Self-Promotion the Friendly Way

Have a book to sell? Always sending out tweets asking people to buy your book? You’re probably being ignored.

After a couple years of using social media to promote this blog, I have seen a trend. I have more than 3,000 followers on Twitter, and I get maybe two or three views per day from Twitter. That’s it. Promoting on Twitter doesn’t work. I have only 62 followers on my Facebook page, and more than 200 friends on my personal account, and I get up to ten views per day from Facebook. Much better percentage, but not amazing. I get nothing from Google+, nothing from Pinterest (except my Happy Little Cloud post keeps getting repinned), and very little from LinkedIn. So, why do people always say to market ourselves via social media? Well, I also see them say to tweet your blog posts multiple times per day, which to me is just spammy.

Where do I get most of my views? Through WordPress and Google search. My followers read my posts. I have a great group of followers who return all the time to read what I have to say and to interact with me. I think that’s one of the most important things. Interaction. Be real. Be friendly. Be yourself. If you are a genuinely friendly person who gives back and responds to comments, those followers will keep returning. I like to give back to those people with Commentition. Check out my last one.

With Google, I just make sure I tag my posts appropriately, use descriptive titles, and link to any post or website I reference (this helps increase search rankings).

But what about new readers? This is where you have to do a bit of reading and commenting. Go to other blogs and comment. Engage in conversation with the blogger and other commenters. They will likely visit your blog and follow yours. You’ve got another person who may comment. This is probably my weak point. I haven’t been doing this enough, and I really should. I keep telling myself to do it, but find that time is a major issue. But it’s something I will constantly work on.

So, what you need to do is to stop acting like an impersonal advertiser or marketer and start acting like a real person who interacts with everyone. Don’t just advertise on Twitter, talk to people there. Don’t just write posts that sound like essays or articles, write about what you think and feel. Don’t worry so much about making it sound polished. Just be you. If people like you, they’ll stick around and return often.

This is what works for me, and I’ve found I’m not alone. Many others say the same thing. What about you? What have you done that works for you?

33 thoughts on “Self-Promotion the Friendly Way”

  1. Yep. Twitter and social media in general is a bust unless your profile is raised somehow or some way.
    thats not to say dont have social media of course, but at your level and mine, social media isnt going to cause any life changing events.
    gotta do it the honest and slow way likeu say, visit fellow bloggers and comment not just like.

    1. I wouldn’t say to ignore social media, of course. I do get something from it, but it’s rather insignificant. I need to get out there and read other blogs. And not only visit those blogs, but visit the blogs of commenters of those blogs.

  2. Completely agree with you, here. Twitter and Facebook are drowning in ‘spammy’ posts – I know that I never click on any of them so why would I expect anyone else to? There is no quick and easy way to success – you gotta put the work in!

  3. I tried the twitter and facebook routes too. It’s just been a month but it isn’t working for me. WordPress is my niche, for now.

    1. I’ve been on Twitter for nearly 5 years, have gained more than 3000 followers, and still get a very tiny amount of traffic from there.

      WordPress is great for getting views.

  4. I comment a whole lot on other blogs and try to share those posts on Twitter equipped with hashtags etc. It seems to work as I promote a mixture of my own posts those of others and retweet things that I liked to read that I came across on Twitter. Ok the Twitter traffic is still low…
    But I have many faithful readers now which I don’t want to miss. Sometimes I am a bit slow with replying to comments but that happens to everyone I try to be there for my readers. what really works well is also posting frequently and being authentic.

    1. Posting frequently is definitely important. I post twice a day, though that will slow during our move to Canada. And not just posting frequently, but posting something relevant. It’s good to make posts on hot topics, too. But I don’t like to just copy others. I want to put my own opinions in the posts and make them my own. Sometimes, posts will be simple, but show a side of me people may not know.

  5. There’re so many bloggers vying for attention on Twitter, it’s numbing. Facebook gets me some looks by posting in groups, but doesn’t lead to blog traffic. You’re right, the old-fashioned way of commenting and interacting with other bloggers works best. In fact, I’m doing it right here, right now!!

    1. Yes, you are! And you got yourself a view from me. And a follow, too. Your blog kind of brings back some memories. A bit of nostalgia. I was never really a big western fan, but sometimes, it’s nice to watch.

    1. Twitter’s fairly simple, and if you get into a conversation, it’s easy to navigate. However, there are so many people just advertising. Need to choose who to follow carefully.

        1. I’m following around 3,000 people, which is far too many to keep track of. Luckily, most don’t tweet often. And I can easily just search for conversations I want to get involved in.

            1. I tend to focus on Facebook, tweet only occasionally, and just advertise my blog posts on Google+ and Pinterest. It takes very little time.

  6. Heh, thanks for putting words to what I’ve been thinking over the last month. I knew I wasn’t getting anywhere with tweets and posts. Even following potential readers online doesn’t really work all that well — I get a lot of that and I maybe follow 3 or 4 out of the dozens I get over the course of a few months.

    [As an aside, if your Twitter feed is jampacked (I’m talking like 5-6 tweets an hour, all day long) with writing affirmations, author quotes and personal bon mots, I start wondering when you actually have time to write, or if you’re more of a writing cheerleader than an active writer.]

    One thing I have learned is basically being actively social with others does really go a long way. You don’t always need to think of it as if you’re a salesperson…think of it more as finding like-minded fans and getting to know them, let them know who you are and what kind of stories you’d like to share with them. 🙂

    1. I think if there are tweets from one person that often, they’ve probably been automated. There are services for that. I personally don’t like that, and wish to write my own tweets.

      Definitely don’t have to be like a salesperson. I find that a bit of a turn off. I like genuine interaction between people.

  7. Sounds good to me. I find I have a lot of followers on Twitter but seem to do better with promos on my FB pages and on my blog. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Reblogged this on TheKingsKidChronicles and commented:
    Thank you so much. I haven’t been advertising my book much because I don’t want to turn people off. I’ve been tweeting and promoting other authors, and blogging and following, and commenting (sometimes) but keeping up with all of that plus email, plus writing, etc, etc., etc., you understand. So I’ve neglected the personal touch and my blogging has mostly been re-blogging for quite a while now. Think I’ll back up and go back to the personal approach. I like people. I need to show it.

  9. I do automatically co-promote on my Facebook page, twitter, and LinkedIn and usually post manually to ello. I do sometimes attract a new visitor through those platforms, but not often.

    I spend major amounts of time reading and commenting on other blogs, particularly ones that I follow by daily or weekly digest. (I do appreciate your interaction with and celebrating of your commenters, Jay Dee!) I don’t often read from my WP reader. Like you, I know I should spend more time searching the reader with keywords to find new blogs to follow, but there isn’t anything else I can give up time-wise to make that happen. Fortunately, I am content with growing my blog very, very, very slowly.

    1. I usually don’t have time to look at my reader, but I do when I can. I sometimes search for keywords, especially on topics I enjoy. I follow a lot, and some of them follow back. That’s nice to see. I’m trying to grow my blog quickly, because I want to establish a strong base for when I do publish my first book.

      1. Yes, you definitely have a more professional approach to your blog. I follow a number of other authors who use their sites as part of their promotional efforts for their books, stories, and poetry.

        1. I do promote here, but I mostly point people over to my official author blog, which is woefully quiet. I just haven’t updated in a long time. But once I get settled in Canada, I should have time to work on many aspects of it.

          1. I admit I haven’t been over to your author site lately, but it makes sense to have all the book/story/world things concentrated there when you are going to go into promotion mode.

            1. My author site doesn’t get much traffic at all, since I haven’t been promoting it recently. After going to Canada and getting back to my writing, I’ll be doing that a lot.

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