When I first got into the writing world for the sake of publishing I was given advice by several different people about the best ways to build an audience. Almost all of the suggestions involved sing social media platforms as a base. The problem was I was told in order to be successful I basically had to be a part of at least half a dozen different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr, have a blog, create a website, and on and on without end. I can barely keep up with what I have which is only four of those.
I did finally create a website, writingforces.com. It is basic, I can admit that. I am still learning and will hopefully have some merchandise and a section for pictures soon but for now it is something at least. It took me over a year to learn to just do the simple things that are on it. I am proud of the fact I was able to figure it out and that I forced myself to sit down and finally accomplish that task that hung over my head for months.
I have had this blog for a few years though anyone that follows it knows just how inconsistent I can be when something else distracts me, or I distract myself. I have been doing my best to be more on top of things and I have only missed about a week and a half in the past ninety days or so. For me that is a huge improvement. I am hoping the push recently to commit to getting posts up everyday will remain as more of a habit instead of just lasting during this one focused effort but only time will tell.
I have been a part of Facebook for nearly a decade so that part was easier. I did, however, have to learn how to create and manage a page along with sharing links, adding my website and setting up events. Other than sharing the links for my daily blog posts I am still not great at posting there. I don't have Instagram because I take so few pictures but I am trying to include more and add them on my Facebook author page when I remember to take them. Mostly it is from events right now but with time I am trying to improve.
I added Twitter about three years ago but in all honesty I forget it is there half the time unless I get notification of a new follower. I don't participate in the paying for followers thing so I am just under 2500 but I am ok with that. Like everything else, there is a learning curve. I am not the best student but I try my best. What I find difficult to believe is that there are people that honestly believe you have to be a part of all of them in order to be successful.
If I were to post teasers and promos (which I would first have to create) in ten to fifteen groups on Facebook per day along with make two to three tweets per day plus interact with people on both sites for a few minutes per group in order to be an active participant, then write a blog post and share that around, and update my author page everyday I would spend most of my free time chained to my phone or computer. Now think about how much time it would take to do all of that, plus adding other sites you would have to interact and share on. You could easily spend hours just updating and sharing on social media and never even get a chance to actually write. Then of course there is editing, researching, beta reading, more editing, cover design and, oh yeah, let's not forget a lot of us have day jobs and families.
Being able to interact with your readers is a key to being successful. Not letting yourself get burnt out because you are trying to do so much you lose sight of the reason you are doing it in the first place is even more important. Balance is key. I am still learning to balance my ambition and need for focus with my obligations in order to find peace in every realm. Part of that, for me though, is not overdoing it.