Tag Archives: communication

I Think Better than I Speak

Blog posts and vlogs may try to convey the same message, but making them can’t be any more different than they are. I’m doing both. I’m writing this blog, and I’m making videos for the same purpose. I’m just expanding my reach on the internet. However, how I come across is quite different.

Watch this video before reading on. Don’t worry, it’s not long.

Blogging

Blogging allows me to take the time to think about what I’m going to write. My words are well thought out, and I can re-read to edit it. I can make it look and sound good. I sound far more articulate, I use bigger words, I have no pauses. It just looks so much better. It’s also easier for me to do, because the words flow out of my brain and onto the computer. My thoughts are far more well-organised. I think logically, and I tend to use more complex language in my mind. I speak smoothly in my mind.

Vlogging

The potential to reach a larger audience on YouTube is irresistible. I’ve found a much bigger response from people on YouTube for one of my videos than I usually do for a blog post. What I like about doing videos is that you can usually see the real person. It’s not just words, but the actual person speaking. But the problem with making videos for me is that I don’t have the patience to spend hours editing a video to make it sound and look perfect. But when it looks perfect, I don’t sound natural. It’s not how I talk. I’m giving up on sounding like the best speaker on video. Although I taught conversational English for eleven years, and I’ve been able to have extremely good conversations in lessons, when you put me in front of a camera, I don’t appear like a very outgoing speaker. I pause a lot. I have thinking sounds all over the place. But I don’t want to edit those out. One, it’ll take too long. And two, it’s a more manufactured me.

But taking both of these into consideration, I think I sound more articulate in text rather than video. However, I will work on the videos a lot, reach a new audience, and have some great conversations. What videos allow me to do is deliver my message more quickly. And you get to see another side of me. I’m more confident in my ability to write blog posts, but I have the potential to reach a larger audience on video.

If you blog and vlog, how do you feel about your ability to communicate via the two media? Let me know in the comments below.

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Improving My Social Media Presence

One of the most important parts of being a self-published author is marketing. And one of the best ways to market is by using social media. But you have to have a pretty good reach and a lot of luck getting people to share your book. At the moment, I’m not published, but I am often marketing my blog posts and videos. I need to improve how I use social media.

Twitter

Today, I’m starting with Twitter. The potential of Twitter is great. Although I have only 3,310 followers, if someone with twice as many followers retweets one of my tweets, my audience grows drastically. It’s a dream for someone who’s marketing their own content for it to go viral. But how do you do that? Well, you need to either have an influencer retweet your tweets or become an influencer on Twitter. These people have a lot of followers who love to share their Tweets. I found a couple resources which seem to be pretty useful. First, there’s a website that provides a list of websites that help you find influencers. The second one is a website that gives you forty steps to become an influencer. I’m going to be trying these out.

What I’ve begun doing is interacting more with my followers. Talking to them, retweeting them, and liking their tweets. If they’re a new follower, I retweet one of their recent tweets. I plan on starting up some lists, as well. And I want to find some influencers who regularly interact with their followers.

YouTube

This is my second focus at the moment. I’m going to be setting up my channel to be more orderly, so there are several sections on my main page that make it more organised and easier to find certain content. I’ll be making videos more regularly, too. I’ll be sharing my videos on social media, and I’ll be commenting on others’ videos.

Facebook

I’m still working out how to increase the popularity of my Facebook page, but I plan on interacting more and providing more interesting content that you don’t find on the blog.

Those are the top three social media sites I use. There are others, of course, and I regularly use them, but I don’t focus as much attention on them as these three. You can only spend so much time using social media, so you have to choose the ones you have the best results from.

Do you have any tips for using social media? What works for you? Let me know in the comments below.

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?

Reddit Delivered Big Time

I had a simple question to ask on Reddit, and what I got was a great response. I’m not used to using Reddit, so I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of discussion there was because of this question.

All I asked was about fan-friendly fantasy authors, and I got a big list of them.  You can check out the comments here.

While I asked about which authors tend to communicate with readers well, answer emails, respond on Twitter, and so on, I was surprised to see some of the bigger fantasy names actually take part in this discussion. Janny Wurts responded. Some others, like Django Wexler, J. D. Hallowell, and Krista D. Ball were active. But then we had the biggest name of all. Can you guess? Brandon Sanderson!

You may be asking why I asked that question. Well, I have my reasons. Reasons that will be apparent in late October if all goes well.

Talking to Authors

Many readers would love to talk to their favourite authors. With the internet, it’s quite possible to have that chance. But it depends on the author, as well. Some are very open to talking to their readers and easy to contact. However, others are quite busy and not at all easy to get in touch with. Some have other people handle their correspondence.

I’ve spoken with a couple authors who are well-known or relatively well-known within their genres. One is Alastair Reynolds. He wrote the Revelation Space series. The other is Michael J. Sullivan. He wrote the Riyria series (and is still writing in that series). Michael has contributed on this blog, as well. There are many others I would like to talk to, and maybe I will in the future.

Which authors have you spoken to (in person or by email is fine), and who would you like to talk to? Let me know in the comments!