Excellent advice from Rachel.
“Whenever we decide we might one day sell our book, we are making a decision to be a professional. Being a professional comes with certain rules that don’t generally apply to regular people.”
Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Kenny Louie.
Today we are going to dive back into social media because who we are on-line impacts the odds of our success. Whether we like it or not, engaging on social media and cultivating a following is going to massively impact our professional success (or lack thereof).
In sales we had a saying, Fish where the fish are. Well my darlings, the fish are schooling on social media. When we are online we are not only engaging with the readers of today, we are cultivating future readers. This applies as much to the pre-published newbie as it does the internationally best-selling author.
We are wise to remember that we now have entire generations glued to smart phones and LinkedInInstaSnap, and if we don’t learn how to navigate these waters? Bad juju.
This said. Social media is an extraordinarily powerful tool that is too…
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I’m writing you on my phone as I am in the midst of travel. This is my second city this weekend, transitioning from The Windy City to Memphis TN before back home again. So you’ll have to excuse any grammatical errors in this post. I’ll edit this later (don’t judge me).
Last year, I wrote an article on 5 Creative Ways to Headline Your Blog Post.
Today, I feel compelled to follow up. No, I’m not a blog expert. I am however tired of seeing poor blog headlines. A blog is not your personal diary. A blog is public. Yes, this means hundreds and thousands of people are potentially reading it. Yes, this means you may want to rethink your presentation. No, having thousands of followers doesn’t mean you’re doing it right either.
I know people blog for fun, that’s cool. I also know people blog privately. I don’t understand that. Blog and private just aren’t compatible. Nothing online is private, not even what you think you deleted. Think of a newspaper headline. Your blog is today’s newspaper. Its also your first impression.
At minimum, be sure to capitalize the first letter in your first word and the first letter in your last word.
Ex. I love Cookies
I tend to capitalize the first letter in all of my words (with the exception of a “to” here or a “the” there). It looks neat and professional this way.
Ex. I Love Cookies
If you proofread nothing else, proofread your headlines. If words in your headline aren’t spelled correctly its a bad first impression to the rest of the article. Blog Headlines are the first thing that draw readers in. In every post I open daily, it begins with my interest in the title. What makes me click onto the blog site? The title alone begs me to ask one question: “Why should I read this NOW?”
#3. Ditch The Hashtags
I know I’m gonna get a lot of flak for this but it is what it is and like I say, there are no rules for blogging. At least not that I know of. However, too many Hashtags in a headline are annoying.
Hashtags are great when it comes to sharing on social media, yes, but when you read news articles online, rarely do they include hashtags. It just looks extremely unprofessional in my humble opinion. Hashtags don’t belong in blog titles, they belong in the tag section of the post. Will they drive more attention? For social sites like Twitter, sure. Like I said, I’m no expert so I’m not saying it doesn’t work. Yes, your post title will come up if someone searches that hashtag. Possibly. And yes, word on the street is that hashtags help with auto tweets. The question is, however, if it works, just how effective is it?
I have not, to date, discovered data that indicates usage of hashtags in the blog title increases the visibility of the post beyond the tags we already have. Understand what I am saying here. I am not saying they don’t increase visibility. I am saying that thought Hashtags makes it useful for social sharing, there is no data that I’ve seen that indicates this these Hashtags (those in the headline) produces a better result than tagging your blog post the traditional way. That is, attaching them to the tag portion of the post in the WP dashboard. The problem is not one or maybe even two hashtags. The thing that makes them so unattractive is the four, five, and six hashtags as the headline to a post.
Four, five, and ten hashtags in a blog post is a turn off. One hashtag is OK if you must include tags.
I know we use them to draw more attention to our blogs, but coming up with attractive blog headlines is part of the experience and using hashtags just seems like a cop out, especially for writers. Writing is what you do. Come up with an attractive blog headline for your post instead of a bunch of sloppy looking and unexciting tags.
#4. Too Lengthy
Entire quotes, complete sentences, and whole paragraphs don’t belong in blog post headlines. Its extremely unattractive to readers and makes us exhausted before getting to the article. The purpose is to create blog headlines that make us click on to your blog site. If you’ve given us the entire post in a title, what’s the point? Keep in mind also that even if we like the quote, we can do this through the reader. This means though liking the post, we have not visited the blog which defeats the purpose or at least to me.
I don’t just want you to preview me, I want to gain views by producing quality content that compels readers to click on to my blog site. If readers enjoy their visit with me, I hope to gain subscribers. I am not here to play games. I am here to win. Are you?
Imagine my excitement when I opened my email this morning to find Shayla’s email that I had been invited into The Curiouser Author’s Society! Whoo hoo! For those of you with your noses in the air let me clarify that this is not some ritualistic sell your soul to the devil type thing (You can breathe, no oaths were taken). Curiouser Author Society is an invitation only group of authors, editors, reviewers, and just an entire team of professionals and aspiring professionals who are serious about perfecting their writing. Below is a brief description of our mission, purpose, and goal:
“The Curiouser Author Society is an exclusive community for serious indie authors who want to write better books and put them in the hands of voracious readers while creating a distinctive author brand. ” – Curiouser Author Society
I’m really excited to learn all I can from Shayla and her crew. This is the perfect platform to help me to get my publishing goals off to a great start. Here’s a word from Shayla: