Iíve been wondering lately how to keep up with everything I need to write. My first passion and priority is my fiction writing, the short stories and novel that Iím working on. But thereís other writing I need to do too. I sometimes receive interview requests from bloggers who invite me to visit their blogs and thereís my own social media sites. I have to do something to fill the white space in them. So thereís often something else waiting for me to write, taking me away from what I want to work on. I imagine many of you can relate to this.
So how do you manage to keep up with the other writing you have to do and have time for your fiction? Iíll not tackle interview requests as thatís a blog post in itself. Instead Iíll concentrate on writing for your social media sites: your blog, Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else you are online. Iíve borrowed some ideas from a Romance Writers of America online course I attended recently, as well as adding my own suggestions. The course titled how to use your blog effectively and it was tutored by contemporary romance author, Stacey Juba. Although the course was specifically about blogs, Staceyís lecture about generating material for your blog can be applied to other social media too.
When writing for any of your social media sites, you want to keep in mind that one of your main goals should be to help readers discover your writing without doing a hard sell. Keep that in mind when you choose topics to blog about or guests to invite to visit your site.
A couple of the most obvious types of posts to include are announcements of new book releases or other news about your books and writing. These posts donít need to be long to get the information out. Short posts, including all the important information, is all thatís needed and, if you craft them properly, nearly the same post can be uploaded to your blog and Facebook page. Be sure to add an image with the posts to catch readersí attention.
Since your aim is to introduce readers to you and your books when they are reading posts on your sites, try to keep the posts on your site loosely related to you writing. Do your stories or books have a theme? If so, use this theme in your posts. For example, I write stories set during the Second World War so I could post information Iíve discovered during my research or other facts and articles about the war era that might interest readers.
Inviting guests to your blog or sharing Facebook posts by other writers are also ways to create content for your sites without spending lots of time writing your own new material. If your writing has a particular theme or setting, look for writers who write on similar themes or about the same era or place as you. Find something that links their work to yours. When you invite other authors to your blog, suggest a topic for their guest post or interview them about their writing. Create a list of interview questions you can ask all your guests.
In order to find guests for your blog, you could register as a tour host for a blog tour company. The company will contact you with requests from authors seeking blogs to visit and you can choose the ones that are compatible with you and your blog. There are lots of blog tour companies out there so surf the net to find one that suits your genre and style. I work with a company that hosts historical fiction tours but there are loads of others. Some are general, others specialise in specific genres such as romance or crime.
Do you post reviews of books youíve read to Amazon, Goodreads or any other sites? If you do, you also have a nearly complete blog or Facebook post too. Just add a sentence to introduce your review and post it to your social media sites. Donít foget to include an image of the reviewed book. In order to draw readers to your blog who like the kinds of fiction you write, itís a good idea to feature reviews of books in the same genre as yours.
If you donít want to limit your blog and social media posts to topics related to your writing, you might choose two or three topics that interest you. Maybe a hobby or a passion of yours. Or you might decide to post about the place where you live or the place where your stories are set. Give readers a glimpse into you, your interests and your life in the material that you post. Limit yourself to a few topics so that readers have an idea what to expect when they visit your social media sites. †
†When youíre writing social media posts, donít forget your readers. Try to answer the question ďWhatís in it for me?Ē from the readersí perspective. Why do they want to read your posts? Will they learn something new and interesting? Will the post give them something they want? For instance, will it make them laugh or feel good? Will they feel they have something in common with you? If readers donít find anything relevant to them in your posts, they wonít bother to read them.
So, if you want to be able to devote your time to the writing you really want to do, but donít want to neglect your social media sites, then find ways to create posts quickly. And be sure these posts resonate with your readers.
How do you juggle Ďnecessaryí writing with the projects you are passionate about?