Event report

Conference 2012 - Online marketing for writers

Report published 31 July 2012

Talli Roland told us that marketing is raising awareness about you and your writing. It’s not the same thing as selling. It’s about building relationships. Social media has made it imperative that writers interact with their readers.

The talk covered a range of social media tools – including websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon and many more. Talli had a few top tips for people who were just getting started with their social media interactions.

• Market yourself, not individual books.
• Develop your brand – think of three words that describe your writing and come up with a sentence that incorporates it. This is your tag line.
• Everything you do online should reflect your brand. Be positive. Be authentic. Be nice.
• Remember that anything you put on the internet will last for ever.
• Decide on what you feel comfortable with doing and start with that. If you don’t enjoy doing it, it will show.

• When choosing a name for a blog (or website or Twitter handle), try to use your own name. This means it will come up when people Google your name.
• If someone comments on your post– respond to the comment!
• Comment and follow other people’s blogs. This helps build relationships with other bloggers. Blogger puts all the blogs you follow into one section, so you do not need to get emails every time someone posts. Wordpress has something similar.
• Put your ‘follow’ buttons at the top of the page, not the bottom!
• Set yourself a blog schedule and stick to it. Be consistent.
• Do short blog posts. Don’t over think them. You can pre write blogs and schedule them to post on different dates.
• Blog often.

• Try and tweet twice a day – once in the morning, once in the evening to catch people in different time zones.
• Be friendly and follow people back.
• Don’t be afraid to jump in and talk to strangers. That’s the nature of Twitter. No one will think you’re being presumptuous.

• Have a page and a personal account. Try and give them different names so that you can tell them apart.
• A page is more like a newsletter. People can ‘like’ a page and become fans. There is no limit to the number of fans.
• A personal account has a limit of 5000 friends. This is the more interactive, personal page for friends. 

• This site is all about reading. It’s better to be on Goodreads as a reader. However, make sure you keep you author page updated.
• Every author has an author page. Make sure it’s filled in with a picture and bio. You can ask review quotes to be added to the site.
• Reviews on Amazon.co.uk don’t transfer to Amazon.com and vice versa.
• You can ask for one star reviews to  be removed from the site (there was some discussion about this).

How important is an online presence for unpublished writers?
• Very important. 

Written by Rhoda Baxter.

It's a fact

During 2013, the readers for the RNA's New Writers' Scheme critiqued a total of 12,110,357 words.