Rethinking Social Media & Relaunch

!UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

After spinning my wheels for the past year, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not only time to rethink the way I “do” social media, it’s time to rethink the way I present myself to the world through it.

It can’t be just me who gets overwhelmed by it all and romanticizes the way it must have been for authors of yesteryear. Social media is sometimes demanding, cumbersome, time-consuming/wasting. I’ve heard it called a “necessary evil” for writers on several occasions. But I don’t want my social media to be a “necessary evil.” I want my social media to be as much fun as I want the rest of my life to be. I’m all about the fun, dammit.

But I wasn’t having much fun at it on a professional level, it didn’t feel like I’d mastered any of it (if there is a such thing!) or that I’d found my ideal community yet, though I’ve made plenty of friends along the way. Shouldn’t this all be more cohesive? Why does everyone else seem so much more organized about it than I do?

mug shot

With the help of people who know way more than I do about it, I’m renovating and relaunching with more purpose and under a cohesive brand. And I’m excited about it.  With a new book coming out (April 15!), the timing feels right. It also feels like someone has stopped that spinning wheel.

WEBSITE RELAUNCH and BLOG PARTY: Thursday, April 3
hors d’ oeuvres, giveaways, special guests, party games

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What have my Social Media Renovation plans included?

-First, merge my thewhiteforest.com site with this site: Why do I need a static “informational” blog (thewhiteforest.com) and this “interactive” one? Why the extra upkeep? I am no longer simply the author of the White Forest series. My career extends beyond that, so my site should reflect the myriad me’s, rather than the individual books.

-Then, UPDATE the blog theme. This theme, while hot in 2010, has been replaced by a slicker set of theme options. Why not look like the professional I know I am and get with the times?

-Set up the blogs I love in an aggregator! I’ve just signed up with Feedly.com and it is such a relief for all my blog subscriptions to be in one place. Before I would get some subscriptions via email, check my wordpress reader, use comments on my blog to find people, etc, etc. Having them all in one place with a little “hootlet” to share snippets on Twitter is so much more enjoyable. And efficient! I love time-saving devices. Gimme.

-And speaking of Twitter… I used to detest Twitter until I figured out how to make it fun. It’s really about throwing things out to the universe and seeing who responds. And, unlike Facebook, anyone can respond in some way to what you share. I love the group tweeting and live tweeting aspects, sharing with that universe some piece of information or insight gained. If you are scratching your head over Twitter, do what I did and find someone who is really good at it. Whose eyes light up when they talk about it. Buy them a drink and have them teach you how to use it.

-My publisher and I invested in someone to create a graphic and logo that I can use across all my social media platforms in order to bring everything together visually. Brilliant! She worked collaboratively with me to build something that speaks to my personality as well as attracts the kind of people I want in my community.

Take a sneak peek at what we’ve come up with so far on my Twitter Profile. I’m really loving having graphics that are uniquely mine rather than cookie cutter images.

These are just the first steps. The branding will continue across Facebook, newsletters, and other media. There are also other resources I enjoy such as GoodReads and Pinterest. And I’ve made a promise to myself to at least give Google+ a chance.

As writers, we often turn to other writers to help hone our work and see what we can’t. If any other part of our writing career feels stagnant, perhaps it’s time to go outside of our own heads for professional assistance?

I think investing a little money in your writing career (if that’s what you want) can be a great boost. I always tell indie authors, “If you aren’t a graphic designer, do not create your own book cover. Pay a professional (or a talented art student) to do it for you.” I decided to take my own advice when it came to social media and branding.

~     ~     ~

What about you? What kinds of social media do you favour and have you been rethinking how you use it? Has anyone else been thinking about branding themselves? 

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8 Comments

Filed under writing life

8 responses to “Rethinking Social Media & Relaunch

  1. Looking forward to your new site–and congrats on another book!

  2. Hey, Danika, thanks for following me (@ThirdScribe) on Twitter. I swung by here to check out your site and saw that you are looking to rebuild the whole thing! I agree that it’s a very good idea to consolidate your web presence and I wish you the best in this endeavor.

    Oddly, and I hope this is more helpful than intrusive, my company, ThirdScribe, provides a complete platform for authors: including a full website with a lot of premium tools and plugins to go with it. We made with authors like you in mind — it’s based on WordPress (so should be very familiar to use) is fully responsive, is built for selling books, and we can easily import all of your data and map your domains there. ThirdScribe sites comes with complete support, so you don’t have to go it alone. And, it all costs less than what you’re probably paying for hosting now ($6.99/mo).

    If you’re interested, you can learn more at http://thirdscribe.com/about-thirdscribe or feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    Good luck with the new book and your social media reboot!

  3. Hi Robert. I’m already working with someone, thanks, but if I hear of other writers wanting website revamps, I’ll mention your services.

  4. Pingback: Weekly Writing Workout: Get Your Purpose Straight | writing to support my teaching habit

  5. I like your thoughts. Aside from blogging, social media continues to be a thorn in my side rather than a helping stepping stone. I feel like I have to force myself to Twitter, Google+, Facebook. I don’t use Instagram because I don’t take a lot of photos these days. I enjoy Pinterest, but I have to be careful because I’ll get sucked into that and before I know it an hour has flown by and all I’ve done is look at pictures. I’ll be interested to see how you revamp your social media tools.

  6. Yeah, I was *forcing* myself a bit before, spinning my wheels in forums without any purpose. I don’t use Instagram at all and I don’t think I need to. I think we can pick and choose. I think it’s better to be really good (and enjoy) a few social media tools, then to spread yourself thin trying to juggle them all. Right now, for me, that means blogging and Twitter. That’s all I can handle right now. (Facebook a bit, but I use it for more personal things than anything else)

  7. Pingback: Rethinking Social Media Part Two | writing to support my teaching habit

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