I subscribe to many writing loops, and I follow several blogs regularly and occasionally I come across some pretty great information. Forever now, I've been hearing that I should be building a platform and using social media to further my writing career, but I honestly had no idea what that really meant. I mean, I have a Facebook account and I'm on Twitter. Of course, there's the blog, and I contribute to another blog as well. So, what more should I do?
Then, through one of the RWA loops, someone mentioned a writer's blog that covered how to build your platform. I thought I might give it a looksee and was amazed to come across one of the most useful sites I've visited recently. Kristen Lamb's blog is one that every writer should favorite and bookmark.
The information on using Twitter alone is valuable. I have to admit that I am one of the twitterers who often can be self-centered, and not have meaningful content, and unfortunately, not use Twitter for the potential to reach other people with similar interests. But in my defense, I didn't know any better, until now. One of the first things I tried as suggested by Kristen was to retweet a message from an author that interested me and that I had checked out and liked (if there was a blogpost linked). Then, she suggested interacting with someone by responding to something he or she said. One of the best places to find someone with similar interests that you could respond to easily was to read the hashtag(#) columns such as #amwriting, #writegoal, #pubtip, etc. Finally, if you have a blog to promote, send a message that will draw your followers but then add some hashtags to the end of the message, and it will go out to many, many more people.
I tried this yesterday and already have four new followers. Now, I'm not saying this is all you need to become known because there are many (thousands, tens of thousands) who are doing the same thing, but it is moving forward.
Maybe you've already tried some of these things or maybe you just aren't ready, but I assure you, when you want to begin to make those necessary connections, you should visit and learn from Kristen Lamb. You can find her at http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/, and she has a book all about the topic too called We Are Not Alone--The Writer's Guide to Social Media.
How about it? Any hints or tricks to reach out to the many people out there in cyberspace?