Social media: When IS enough…enough?


Osiyo~

I’ve been thinking about this post topic for several weeks; writing and what I write. It seems when I’m given free rein my writer’s brain turns off. Much the way my creative bone unhinges. Why? Heckifiknow!

But I have discovered new levels on Facebook that I didn’t pay attention to before. I’d love if you click my FB link on the right or just go here: Facebook While you’re at it and in the mood, why not follow me on Twitter too? https://twitter.com/Calisa_Rhose

Yes. This is a problem for my writing. I caved and got a Triberr account. Not a huge thing, not a big time suck as I’d thought. You really don’t do much there in my opinion. Click a few (or twenty or fifty) buttons to approve blogs to fly into your cyber world to help others promote as they do the same for you.

When I joined my first Triberr group in early July it was a brand new group with maybe five members and reached 4K+ readers. That’s a lot of people gaining access to your blog who didn’t before, which means 4K people possibly checking out who you are on any given day. Cool!

I looked at my numbers today and had to smile. With six Tribes (that’s what Triberr calls each group you join), 70 combined members (not all are in every group so I reach various areas of newness with each Tribe), I couldn’t believe my little old blog now has the potential to be seen by 99,871 people! In ONE month! That number increases with each new member to any one of my tribes. Just WOW.

It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? But- does it really help, or am I just sucking those 5 minutes a day or week by participating on Triberr? Does it really help my blog, or anyone’s of whom I ‘Approve?’ There is no way that I can see to track stats for Triberr success other than to watch my blog stats and see if they improve over time, and which I’m horrible at because I just thought of this! 😆 (going to look now!)

72 Blog followers. Not bad, but I haven’t checked to see how my number compares to say…Nora Roberts, or Laura Kaye, Callie Hutton—or anyone else really. I don’t like to compare because it only serves to depress me. Lol  But how many of those followers are due to Triberr? I can’t say, any more than I can say for certain that X number of followers were gained from Twitter posts, Facebook or even word of mouth and how many are just the result of my awesomeness of blogging talent and uber-cool posts.

The raw fact is—I don’t know. I don’t really care either.

Is that bad?

Do I care that it’s bad? Not really. Why? Because, though blogging is important—in my writerly opinion, or I wouldn’t do it at all—it does not MAKE the writer. I actually researched this. Yes, really! As popular as Nora Roberts is—she does NOT blog! Oh, she has a website, but no blog. So how does she get her name out there you ask? How did she first start and become who she is today? My guess is that she concentrated all her efforts on writing kickass books and , I’m sure, for a big six publisher in a time when they did most of the publicity for her. Now, in a new age when authors are responsible for their own publicity, she doesn’t need to worry as much because she’s already got a huge following.

In my opinion, that is the key to real success.

Write, write and write some more. The more backlist, the more your name is out there, the more readers and fan following you’ll grow. That’s not to say you don’t need to promote—this is the age of self-promotion, there’s no way around that. But if you don’t have books to sell, what do you need followers, readers for? What is there to waste time promoting? That one short story you sold five years ago? Not likely. Again, depends on you.

The question I think we need to ask is how much is too much? Is there such a thing? I think there probably is and that doesn’t matter who you are or how you promote. If you spend all your time promoting that one book—when will you write the next book, or the one after that? And if you do manage to hiccup out another two books, will you spend all your new time promoting them for another three years before you realize it just might be time to write something new again?

I have come to the realization that you should only promote in increments each day or week, or even each month. I have also come to realize my own platform is what will probably help me most. I hope you’ll join me Friday with a part two of this vein of thought.

In the meantime, what about you? How much do you promote and do you see positive results? Enough to keep going even if it prevents productive writing? Are you promoting more than you write?

How do you balance social media and promotion with production?

Dodadagohvi~

 

Advertisements

About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters, five granddaughters, and wife to a wonderfully supportive man. I began writing warm-you-to-the-bones romance as a teen, and the addiction has now morphed into a life of its own. I became a published author in May 2011! I create art and jewelry with polymer clay and beads to relax, and have a passion for sewing for fun. Check out my Tips From an Editor blog at https://painlessediting.wordpress.com/ See my art and sewing projects at http://lisasfancifulallure.wordpress.com

Posted on 09/04/2012, in AHA moments, Blogs, Branding, Goals, my writing, Pen of the Dreamer, progress, Promotion and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. Hi Calisa. I’m just reaching the tail end of my new launch promotions jag and all I really want to do for weeks is just get on and write my new WIP/s. I’ve started a tiny bit of 3 of them and guess what? I had a couple of hours I called to spare last night. I opened what I thought was the most crucial to work on- a sequel. Did I get started? Nope. WIP number 3 was the only one I could focus on, but never mind, after dithering for ages I did do a read through, and added the sum total of a couple of hundred words.

    Yes! Write, write! Wait what am I doing commenting here? I was posting my guest blog visit on fb and saw your photo. Couldn’t resist popping in to talk to you! Have a good write!

    Like

    • Ooh Nancy- me loves being irresistible! I’m so glad you stopped by. I think as long as you are writing (congrats on 200 words on #3!) that’s what counts. Not which wip those words get into. 🙂

      Like

  2. I’m focusing on my writing. I used to blog once a week, but I’ve let it go down to my once a month group blog. I don’t think it’s worth my time. I prefer to use Facebook to share shorter stories and anecdotes with my fans. I’m on twitter, but I use it to connect with other writers and industry professionals – I don’t know many readers who aren’t writers on there. Can you tell I’m in the “time suck” camp?

    Like

    • I love my blog. There. I’ve said it. My name is Calisa and I’m a blogging fool…er, addict. I just need to learn to grow as much adoration for writing and less for socializing. 🙂

      Like

  3. Callie Hutton

    Hey Calisa, finally made it, lol. Promoting is definitely a huge time suck. The only way I control it is to stay off the internet completely for 4-5 hours a day while I write, and only write. I set up a once an hour tweet with twuffer before I leave in the morning, which goes right to my FB page. Then during my itnernet time in the afternoon I try to do some blogs, etc. But lately I’ve been bogged down with edits, so I haven’t even done that much. But I agree, the best promotion in the world is getting those books out there.

    Like

    • Your wise words led my thoughts on having that backlist to fall back on, Callie. You are my hero! Now get those edits finished so you can share something new with us! 😆

      Like

  4. Honestly, I think all the self-promotion & social media kills your creative juices. You spend all your “brain time” on social sites so when you sit down to write, your mental energy is zapped. I don’t want to be a “Facebook author” or known for my witty blogs and Twitter tags. I want to write novels, not paragraphs. I stick to my favorite email loops and take a couple hours on the weekends to peruse my buddies sites (like yours). Otherwise, I’m putting what little mental capacity I have left back into writing.

    Like

    • Oh Harley, you just can’t go wrong with that kind of thinking- if that is what helps you write. I agree about not being a paragraph writer, though I never looked at it that way. Thanks for stopping by and have a safe ride hon!

      Like

  5. Well my darling, you KNOW I’m a Triberr Believer just because of the blog thing. Write, write, write, of course is the key but I see Triberr as a newspaper headline of blogs. It’s how I found this article and clicked on it. I’d say, add +1 to your stats for Triberr. LOL. Great blog and I heartedly agree about writing. It’s why Triberr can empower us to write instead of spending all day long promoting our blogs, Triberr helps others do it for us. Big hug – you know I’m a fan.

    Like

    • Well I do know your fetish for Triberr, Karen! You are the +1 reason I caved and joined it! lol Thank you for everything and for stopping by to prove Triberr is one good promotion idea I can’t argue about. 🙂 MFRW and it’s rulers ROCK!

      Like

  6. Hi Calisa,
    I’ve very much like Joanne. I’m pretty shy and was taught no one likes a person who brags so it’s hard to be out there all the time saying, “look at me, buy my book.” I try my best and usually keep it to guest blogging for a few weeks when I have a new release out. I have a blog that’s tied to Amazon and Goodreads. I have a twitter account but haven’t done a thing with it as I have yet to figure out what I should be posting because I’ve been told don’t post just promo stuff. I try to keep a balance between writing and promo, but lately the promo has dropped off a bit.

    Like

    • I’ve always considered myself as shy growing up, but I wonder. My mama always said if there was any conceit in our family, I had it all. *shrugs* Is bragging bad? I suppose it depends on how you do it.

      Like

      • Well, Calisa, my mother said the same thing to me. I was shy and didn’t say much, and she said people would think I was stuck up. My answer to that was, “Let them.” I don’t want people like that in my life. Don’t always believe what your mother tells you.

        Like

        • Exactly what happened to me when I hit high school and sunk inside my head after moving to a new school. People called me a snob, stuck up- until my sister informed them that I was just shy. Me? Really? Huh! I was a snob! lol But that lasted as long as it took to get rejected by the only boy in that school that caught my eye, because he was a popular sr with a girlfriend and I was a new freshman. lol

          Like

  7. Huh. Good question, Calisa. I’m working that out right now. Or trying to. Right now, I’m writing at night and doing the social thing during the day. Not at all as well-balanced as I’d hoped, but I guess we’ll all figure it out. Must. Go. Write…

    Like

    • I’ll address more Friday, Juli, but I don’t balance my time well at all–which is why it’s been on my mind so often lately. Thanks for taking time to stop by.

      Like

  8. Joanna Aislinn

    This was an excellent post, Calisa, and the conundrum you describe I definitely feel all the time. I also try to do bits and pieces and keep my social media simple: FB, Twitter, blog, WANAtribe and A Tribe of Writers. (I may have just joined MasterKoda, too–who knows?) I actually signed up with Triberr and Goodreads, but don’t make good use of either. As you stated, the time factor is an issue and I really need to learn how to use them as well.

    Great point about Nora Roberts sans blog. (I do, however, like having a little soapbox all my own where I can have fun talking about all kinds of subjects. I also like visiting others’ blogs, learning from them and just…well, socializing.

    Like

  9. I struggle with this. Promotion can suck so much time, I’m about ready to turn off the internet for a few days and just write. It makes my little heart race thinking about it. I’m sure there’s balance in it, but I wonder if writing a few great books isn’t a better way to get your name out there.

    Like

    • Juli, I think you’re right. The best promotion is your books. Your books have to be good, so make them the best you can. Do what promo you can and forget about the rest. Please, please, please, don’t make my mistake of overpromoing and not writing.

      Like

    • I know what you mean Sandy. I turn mine off sometimes and then have a panic attack! lol Pathetic! 😆

      Like

  10. Until I started my social media journey, I had no idea there were so many authors out there. It’s hard to make an impact no matter how much time you spend.

    Like

    • I agree, Lisa. I have given that some thought lately too. Where will books and writing go with so many books out there now and that number is increasing daily. Good luck on your new journey.

      Like

  11. Yup, that’s a question I ask myself all the time, too. I’m a naturally shy person, and I’m very introverted. I’m that person in the back of the room who hasn’t said a word. Mostly because I’m scared to death. I was taught talking about myself is rude. So for me, self promotion is a huge learning curve and it hasn’t been easy.

    So, I’ve decided to do a little more than I actually want to do. To force myself to put myself out there just a little bit each week. When a new book comes out, I want to put a bit more effort into it, but mostly, I want to focus on my writing. Because I realized two things. One being exactly what you said: without that book, there isn’t anything TO promote and that’s what this is all about–the books I write.

    And two being that I can’t force myself to be someone I’m not. I DO compare myself to others, and for a while, I felt horrible, sure I was failing. Then I decided to just be me, because that’s all I can be. I trust in God to help me take it from there.

    Great post, Calisa. Very thought provoking.

    Like

  12. Hi Calisa, great post. I have to agree. Promotion sucks a lot of time from a writer’s day. I used to do a lot more, but have since cut back. My blog is hooked up to FB, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon and Triberr so it’s automatic. I don’t do so many guest blogs anymore and I don’t fight the pirates unless I get a Google Alert. I try to spend my time doing what I love best – writing. Hugs! Gale

    Like

  13. I love social media…but I know I spend way too much time there. So I dole it out in little bites of 15ish minutes after I meet a wordcount goal or editing goal – and then I wonder what I’m missing! But I do wonder, still, if I’m going social media ‘correctly’…

    Like

  14. This is a great post! And I think on this question every day. I love to write, but hate promoting. It takes time away from writing and when I check to see if my books are selling and find they aren’t, it slows down the writing process. I start to think, why bother at all? But then I get cranky because I’m not writing, so I go back and get lost in my newest work in progress and find the magic again.

    I know I have to do a certain amount of promoting, so I do have a Twitter account, a blog and belong to a group blog. I also post excerpts on various promo loops with the hope of attracting new readers and do guest blogs and have giveaways when I have a new release out. I also have a website, of course, that showcases all my work with links to buy, and also a page about me on the site.

    But if I could just write and not worry about sales or book promotion, I think I would be a lot happier and less stressed.

    Like

    • I know we have a certain amount of promoting to do, Susan. I also know you do a great job. 🙂 I’m also on a group blog and guest blog now and then just to keep a presence. But I’m thinking I don’t need to constantly be in the world’s face. lol

      Like

  15. I spend most of my time on Facebook, and my posts are linked to my twitter account so I only have to post on either/or. It’s the blogging that can get tedious, as I prefer to spend my free time writing. A quick post on FB seems to generate more feedback. However, I get that blogs are important to give fans a place to get to know you more personally than FB posts or twitter posts. I think it’s fair to say that fans or readers of your blog are coming more to hear interesting events going on in your life than to constantly see self-promotion and such. Just my thought. However, I’m not just a reader, but a writer. I don’t have the strict point of view from the reader perspective. I do know that when I was mostly just a reader (while I was raising young kids and had put writing aside for a few years) I spent more time reading my fav authors’ blogs and searching the Web for more authors I might enjoy. As a writer, I don’t have the time for that. Sad, but true 😦

    Like

    • It is to each her or his own, Niecey. And how we deal with promo too. We all know it has to be done and how much is where we need to keep the focus. Thanks for coming by!

      Like

  16. Calisa, I agree with you. When I started, all I heard was promo! promo! promo. Not knowing any better, that’s what I did. I tried everything out there–website, blog, group blogs, guest blogs, twitter, facebook, myspace, solo contests and contest with others, writing book reviews, group and solo chats, many, many yahoo loops, newsletters and other things I’ve probably forgotten about. I even paid for promotion. I promoed so much I didn’t write. And you know what? None of it works. I’ve come to the conclusion that promo is a black hole. All my considerable efforts have scattered into cyberspace with no return. I wish I had spent all that wasted time writing. Right now, I’m so burned out, I don’t even want to write. I certainly hope no one else winds up like me.

    While we do have to promo some, less is probably more. Have a website. If you like to blog or play on social media or the yahoo loops, do so. Do more when you have a release, and keep it up for a few weeks afterwards. And then limit yourself. The old standby is half an hour a day of promotion. If you spend more, I think you’re wasting your time.

    And I don’t use triberr. I hate blogging.

    Like

    • Exactly Linda. Me too on the promo thing. I was over wound by the time my book came out I went overboard and nearly burned out by the end of my first tour. I swore then I will never do that to myself again. I’m sorry it was so rough on you but I hope you feel like writing much more soon! 🙂

      Like

  17. I ask myself this all the time. I’m on Triberr, too. My blog views have gone up somewhat. My followers increase at a snail’s pace. Most sign up to follow when they stop by to visit with a guest blogger. Do I tweet? Once in a while. I mainly follow blogs…mainly ’cause I love the writers I follow. Such sweet and talented ladies.

    For me, that’s the thing. The writers. Not their books, but their personalies which–guess what!!–spills over into whatever they write.

    So, I’m trying to promote me as a person. Not what I write. But me–a “fluffy” (that’s polite-speak for overweight, BTW) grandma who lives in Virginia with her author husband, a writer who gets great enjoyment from helping others and who realizes she has so much to learn about the craft of writing. Me. But how do I win over people? Darned if I know. I blog…I comment on facebook once a day…I tweet via Triberr. Mainly, though, I write. I keep telling myself the more I write, the better I’ll get. Lawd, I should live so long!!!

    You present some great arguments for focusing more on our craft and less on social media. I read a blogpost earlier that asked if anyone has ever bought a book or a product they saw advertised on facebook. I stopped and thought. No. No, I haven’t. I have bought many, many books I’ve read about on blogposts. But never one from a facebook or twitter post. Never. Nada. Nope.

    Oh…and did I mention I’m a fluffy grandma who knows how to ramble??? Yikes. I better hit the “post comment” button before I go off on another tangent.

    Like

    • LOL You are just like me Vonnie. could write a book in a comment! 😆 I dread promoting some days and have cut way back now that I’m between releases, with the next at current not due til March. I will always help other authors promote and that is as satisfying as spending an hour on FB to me.

      Gove Cal a hug from me. 😀

      Like

  18. Interesting post Calisa. I wish there was a way to tell if all that is being done to promote is too much or not enough. And it’s so easy to get sucked out of your writing and into the socializing that is facebook, twitter and all the other fun sites out there.

    Looking forward to part 2 🙂

    Like

    • I wonder too. Each time I get on FB or Twitter or Triberr I wonder if I’m just wasting time and hope not, that it’s actually a good thing to invest time in. Thanks! 🙂

      Like

%d bloggers like this: