Saturday, June 28, 2014

Connecting to Readers

twobee, published on 12 October 2011
Recently a fellow writer posted a blog about her experiences on Facebook as an author. It doesn’t matter what conference you go to or magazine on writing you read, we are all told that we should have a platform that includes blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media oriented pages. The purpose of which is two fold: to sell our products and to connect with our readers. But do we really connect with them? Do we really want to open up who we are with them?

There is no treasure map with X marking the spot to tell us exactly what we need to do and not to do to connect with our readers. They get tired of the “buy my book” routine that you see all over Twitter and Facebook. They really don’t want to read about your politics and you are likely to attract more trolls than readers that way. Also, your readership is usually comprised of people from all political parties and walks of life. Once you post in favor or against a political party or its representative, you just put at risk losing a huge chunk of your readers. In fact, I had stopped following one famous author for a long time because every time I turned around she was posting about politics. Eventually I started following her again, but that was because she went back to talking about her writing.

What do our readers want to know from our social media and our blogs? The good news is that while we are all writers, we are also readers. As in my example above, what did you want when you first clicked “Like” on someone’s Facebook Page? Sit down and make a list of what you were hoping to get out of following that author’s page—except writing techniques. Only we fellow writers are usually looking for that.  Now, ask yourself, are you providing this information—this list of topics—to your readers? Is there anything special about you and why you do what you do that might be of interest?

I am not going to say that this is easy. I don’t know about you, but by nature I am an introvert. I find it more comfortable to discuss writing technique than about why I do what I do. The skill of opening up about who I am and what I go through is something I am just now learning to do. It is something I have to do. We’ll see how it goes. Unless I am willing to fall down, how else can I show who I am and be able to connect to those whom I want to reach with the stories I write?
What are you doing to reach your readers?

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