Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Dora’s Essentials - To Writing 101

10 Simple Tips To Establishing Yourself As A Writer ... Using Social Media
By Pandora Poikilos

Table Of Contents
1. To Blog Or Not To Blog
2. Make Yourself Known
3. Putting It All Together
4. Timing & Consistency
5. Keep It Simple
6. Writing Styles & Payment
7. Plagiarism & Sources
8. You Really Can’t Please Them All
9. Outside The Cyber World
10. Don’t Give Up

1. To Blog Or Not To Blog
Writers who blog or bloggers who write, decide which one you want to be. Because as a writer, you can't be both. Having a blog as a writer is not about sharing where you are, what you've had for lunch and what you're planning for dinner. You need focus. Settle on a theme and stick to it. The theme can evolve in different topics which is what makes your blog interesting but when you're describing your blog, you'll have to be able to do it in three words or less. "A little bit of this and a little bit of that" just won't cut it. Blogs are the best way to make your writing known. It is cheap (even free, if you're not opting to use your own domain name) and can attract a large audience with the right tools.


2. Make Yourself Known
Once you have a blog or site, great! Who knows about it? Facebook is proof that at least 600 million people from various locations and walks of life have Internet access. Find ways to tell them you are around. Facebook is a great networking tool (but do be careful of personal information that you share on it), then there's Twitter, Friend Feed, Networked Blogs, Tumblr, Bloggers, Blog Frog, Blog Catalog, E-zine Articles, Link Share Forums, Blog Farm ... the list is endless. You get the idea though and bear in mind there's always something new coming up. Try to get yourself involved in as many as you can. Yes, this will take a lot of time.

But consider this time used as an investment towards getting your work published outside your blog. Decide whether you're writing for pleasure or for profit. If you're writing for both, you'd have to keep your family pictures or information on home addresses separate. The key to joining as many communities as you can is to make yourself known. You want people to remember you for that great piece you wrote not for that sordid picture of you after having one too many drinks on a Saturday night out with friends.


3. Putting It All Together
With so many networking options around, it can get hard to keep track of which ones you're in. However, you will need to find a way to do this. List it out on a piece of paper or create your own link page of the sites and networking communities that you have joined. But, yes, there is an even easier option. Using your RSS Feed you are able to link your blog to most of your social network options. For instance, link your blog to Networked Blogs which can then be linked to Twitter which is then linked to FriendFeed, trust me, it's not as confusing as it may seem.

What exactly is RSS Feed and how do you get it? Technically, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is defined (Wikipedia) as a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works - such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video - in a standardized format. Simply put, it shrinks your blog to a single link that allows you to share your updated content with other sites and users. This means that you do not have to go to each site to update your blog, add in your RSS Feed and it will be done. Some blog providers have this automatically done when you start up, you will only need to go to settings to retrieve it and add to the site of your choice.

However, in the case of Blogger, you will need to use a Feed Burner to retrieve your feed link and then place it under Setting, at the blank space that says Site Feed. Why piece it together? It saves you time, a lot of time. You don't have to manually update most of your networking sites and it provides readers from different networking sites updated blog posts. Do make it a point to check in once every few days, though. This enables you to answer direct messages and to meet with users on that site. Also, leave your contact information on your profile so people have other means of getting in touch with you.


4. Timing and Consistency
Regardless of whether you are working on your site part time or full time, timing and consistency is everything. Set aside regular hours in your day - four, six, eight, some people are even at it for more than 12 hours a day. Essentially, as your network grows, people will be more comfortable in knowing when they can contact you. This is especially the case for potential clients. Wherever in the world you are, you'll face time differences with someone else but as your network grows, you'll find common ground between you and others.

Consistency is one ingredient you'll need a lot of to establish yourself as a writer, anywhere. Nothing is more irritating to a current or potential client than to have a writer that is 'sometimes' available. You must have some web presence on a daily basis. Be it through your blog or networking with others, don't let yourself be forgotten. Associate your online identity with a particular picture or logo. Every other site they go, people will see this and know it is you. Be safe about publishing personal details but don't seal yourself, keep yourself open to opportunities.


5. Keep It Simple
Let's be blunt. You're writing for attention. You're on the WORLD wide web for a reason. You want people to notice you or else you'd be on your sofa reading instead of being online. Don't provide readers with a list of 'things to do' as if they are doing you a grand favour by visiting your site. Keep it simple. Design-wise, let it load quickly. There might be 600 million Internet users but that doesn't mean everybody has a fast, reliable connection. And like in the business of conventional customer service where calls must be answered within three rings, you have approximately five seconds to captivate your blog reader.

Be it your blog header, title description or profile, something has to scream, "Wait, don't go!" On this note, do be careful about links. Don't distract your readers to the extent they click a link and don't come back to you. Adjust it in your settings or find means to ensure that links open up in a new window.

Buy the book @ Smashwords

About The Writer

Pandora Poikilos has been writing for more than 10 years for various media which include newspapers, radio, television and various websites. A social media enthusiast who is passionate about blogging and finding her way around the virtual world, she wills away time in the real world by reading, writing and people watching. More about Pandora Poikilos.

For more information regarding this e-publication and upcoming publications, please email the writer - pandorapoikilos@gmail.com
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
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Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
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3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
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5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
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12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

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Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

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My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

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Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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