Social networking 101 for the writer

In the past few years I have become what I call a social networking whore. But two years ago, I barely had a LinkeIn account. I thought social networking was for young twenty-somethings who had nothing better to do with their time other than update one another with 140 characters or less. But after some careful examination, boy was I wrong. Everyone from CNN to Oprah is using it. See what you need to know.

Recently I went to a Writers Conference and attended a workshop on Social Media. Having over 15 years of technical experience I realized that I was a rare commodity in this sea of writers. It was there that I realized that most writers are not that tech savvy. And why should they be? Well for one thing, to help them in promoting their book.

Everything can be accomplished in baby steps, including social networking. If you embraced email finally, you can definitely take these five baby steps to get you into 2010 with social media. Just like email, social networking is not going away, so embrace it. Think of it as a hug that hugs you back. The benefits will be ten-fold.

First and foremost, get a professional head shot. They cost about $25-$60 or you can get a friend to take one for free. (Just be sure that the background is solid and a different color than your shirt.) Why do you need one? Because you’ll need it for social networking and for that book jacket cover when you get published.

Second, buy your url name. Even if you do not have a website yet and don’t plan on it for a while, if you are serious about your writing you should buy it. It only costs $10 a year to maintain. If your name is common, pick something that makes you stand out and is easy to remember, like You can purchase from any ISP provider such as GoDaddy, CoolHandle, HostGator, but my personal favorite is Moniker.

Third, get a LinkedIn account. Why is this important? Because LinkedIn is an interconnected network of people such as agents, editors, and publishers that you can connect with and can help you with your craft or even help you get published. Be sure to fill out your bio and list what you write about and list your url to your website, blog or any online published articles.

Fourth, start blogging on anything your heart desires. There are lots of popular blog sites to use such as WordPress, eBlogger, and Blogspot to name a few. You can blog on anything you are passionate about and want to write about from knitting to cooking to the environment. Your goal is to build a following, otherwise referred to in the writer world as “platform”.

Fifth, do not be afraid of social media. It will not suck up your time or invade your privacy. I will walk you through it one step at a time. Plus, you’ll also learn how with just one click you can update multiple social mediums simultaneously.

Upcoming topics: Twitter, Facebook, ShareThis, Platform, Security & Privacy Settings

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  1. Social Networking 201 « +/- 30…

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