You Made the News! Now What?

You Made the News! Now What?

A media outlet interviewed you. Congratulations!!

Contributing to articles is a fabulous way to become a well-respected expert in your field!

But once the article goes live, your work isn’t over.

First, share it all around.

I’m so grateful to have landed with Mango Publishing Group. My editor and their social media coordinator share pretty much anything I send their way. So my first step is to send a link to any new piece to them.

Tweet the link and tag anyone else in the piece, including the publication and especially the journalist who wrote it.

Post on Facebook. If you have a business page, start there, but there’s rarely harm in sharing to your personal page at a different time for more visibility. If your friends won’t celebrate your success, why are they your friends? Don’t overdo the promo, of course. But people want to know what’s going on and might be interested enough to share the article.

Also post in any Facebook groups that allow promotional links. Find ones that are the right fit for you and your topic. I belong to many groups but also started my own wellness group where I share relevant information.

Are you on LinkedIn? That’s where the biz folks are. If there’s any business angle post it there.

Pin to a board on Pinterest. Create a board for a specific topic or a “Where I’m Quoted” or “Featured Ins” or some other catchy title related to your topic. Things pinned on Pinterest have a very long shelf-life.

Instagram allows you to use Link Tree to create a link in your bio where you can add articles, social media platforms, and your website since Instagram only allows one link. Post a photo from the article,  preferably the one closest to your quote, then say the link to the article is in your bio.

Don’t forget other relevant organizations. Would the piece interest your high school, college, or professional association? Send it all around.

Hashtags

Be sure to find relevant hashtags because that’s how strangers find articles on social media. Check out Frances Caballo’s excellent post on hashtags for authors. Sometimes that’s what you’ll want, but if your feature covers more than writing, use a hashtag appropriate for your topic. Tons of articles cover hashtags. Here’s one I like. Choose hashtags for the correct social media channel. Popular Twitter hashtags may not trend on Instagram.

Blog It

If you’re new to this process, you could blog about the experience of pitching to a journalist and doing the interview. Write about moving forward with a more involved marketing strategy. Or blog about your topic and link to the piece. Be sure to use the WordPress plugin Yoast or another search engine optimization (SE)) tool. I love Yoast because it removes the guesswork.

Email It

Do you have an email newsletter? It’s lovely to include a link to this new “featured in” with your next newsletter. If you were quoted at length, send the whole quote as the newsletter content with a quick “Not sure you saw this” note. People subscribed to your newsletter because they want to stay in touch.

In the News Page

If it’s your first interview, now’s the time to start an “In the News” page on your website where you collect these things. Leave it as a draft at first, until you collect a few, but have them all in one place on your site.

Save It

And do save a pdf of it. In Chrome you can “print” to “save as pdf.” I do that with every article. Sometimes articles disappear and you want to save it for posterity.

Go you!

Write Now Columbus – September 2020

Write Now Columbus – September 2020

How’s everyone holding up?

Ed and I have reached the pandemic stage many people hit a few months back: Quarantine Crazy. For the most part, we’re self-isolating and wish we could safely do things we did without thought before.

Since he and I spent the first few months of the pandemic dealing with his health crisis, we experienced a lag. Only now do we feel the pandemic grief. The pandemic stress has just begun to catch us. Ed’s grieving in-person classes at Ohio State, volunteering at the Upper Arlington Senior Center’s Cafe UA, and attending face-to-face meetings.

I’m grieving writing in cafes.

I’ve written about my love of walking into a coffeehouse nearly anywhere in the country and sitting down to an empty table and a cup of coffee. Before the pandemic, I haunted Colin’s Coffee or Kingsdale Market District here in Upper Arlington where we live. The pandemic closed both to indoor seating.

I can still walk to Colin’s for a sleepy mudshot and a McRoy, and visit Market District for groceries and a quick chat with the staff. But the pandemic ended my days of spending five uninterrupted hours in either place. I try to adapt, but I’m exhausted and frustrated.

If, like me, you’re thinking, “Shouldn’t I be used to this by now?” check out Tara Haelle’s article “Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful.”  She offers explanations (grief/stress) and suggestions including “Expect less from yourself” which has been my mantra since Ed’s first hospitalization in February.

Haelle talks about “both-and” thinking. Life plods along. Despite the grief and stress, in many ways, it’s lovely. We grieve the losses while enjoying the wins.

Here are a few of my recent wins:

On Twitter, I’m a stone’s throw from 5,000 followers. If you Tweet, I’d love a follow and will follow back. Ditto for all the social channels.

The fabulous Ohioana Book Festival which went virtual for the first time in its fourteen year history, wrapped up August 30th. The replays will be on youtube soon. I hope you’ll check out our “Living Your Best Life” panel. Pia Fitzgerald, Conlee Ricketts, Diana Bosse, moderator Yolanda Tonette Sanders, and I had a blast. I closed my laptop so inspired by their stories.

Legendary blog goddess Nina Amir invited me to co-teach “Blogging for Authors” for the Women’s National Book Association of San Francisco on September 30th. Like pretty much everything else, it’s virtual.

My blog, Bum Glue, was selected as one of the Top 100 Blogs for Writers by feedspot.

And finally, due to COVID19, the Columbus Bar Association postponed my continuing legal education program originally scheduled for May to October 8th. It too has gone virtual.

Ohio State’s own Pulitzer Prize Finalist Lee Martin often cites Isak Dinesen. Dinesen said, “Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.” If only for our sanity, may we each keep our writing near the top of our list.

As always, I would love to hear what each of you are up to, how you’re thriving in place, and what keeps you going.

The Number One Rule of Social Media (and life)

“Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish.” ~ Richard Dawkins

As I mentioned in a previous post, agents and editors want writers to have an established platform when pitching a book. I’ve spent the past month consulting experts and reading books and blog articles on the topic while I try a few techniques. For example, I tackled Twitter with some success even though I’m a major introvert. I’m growing my social media following, blogging more often, and gathering additional subscribers to my email list for Write Now Columbus.

No matter which book I pick up, which expert I talk to, which blog I read, the bottom line comes back to one thing: Generosity. If I’m not offering my followers and readers valuable information, I’m doing both of us a disservice.

Learning this reminded me of a saying I heard years ago. “You have to give it away to keep it.” Seems like a paradox, eh? But in yet another area of my life, it’s proving true.

The books and blogs and experts talk about “noise to signal ratio.” If there’s too much “noise” (Buy! Buy! Buy!) and not enough “signal” (Here’s a helpful thing.) people will turn and run. If I follow someone or subscribe to their blog and all they do is pitch their wares, I won’t hang around.

Why would I expect this to be any different when the tables are turned?

To address this, my current experiment is to share 99% useful or humorous (laughter is also a gift) information. I offer techniques I’ve found helpful, answer questions, and (of course) share cute animal photos. Cue #Scarlet the #ninetyninepercentgooddog. Use her hashtag on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts!

The remaining 1% of my platform is sales pitch material. This might be a link to my newsletter, a request to follow this blog, or an announcement of a class I’m teaching. It’s just a fraction because, when people think of me, I want them to see me as helpful and entertaining rather than as someone chasing after their wallets.

The unintended consequence of trying to be “of service,” is that I no longer dread “marketing.” More than once, when I’ve been sad or in crisis, a mentor has advised me to reach out to help someone else (unless I’m in a deep deep depression for which I need medical intervention). Invariably, just as in the rest of my life, if I can be useful when promoting my business, I feel better too.

What is your experience with being generous in business? I’d love to hear about it!

Rethinking the Purpose of a Title

Rethinking the Purpose of a Title

When I first began blogging in April of 2006, I thought of each title the way a poet might. The title didn’t so much introduce the “poem” (blog article) as enhance it. It was its own “line” in the poem.

I was idealistic and much younger then. I was still in MFA school.

And, I hadn’t read this stack of books on using social media effectively.

In the age of Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook business pages, a title must do more than entertain. A title must make a promise. The article must fulfill it.

With overburdened schedules and a flood of information, readers scan titles for the helpful or entertaining. It is the age of the micro-blog, the mini-article, the itsy bitsy essay. If the title doesn’t catch a reader’s attention, it is lost.

You’ve probably already noticed a change here. What I might have previously titled, “The Farmer” became “Good? Bad? How Can You Tell?” and what I contemplated calling, “The Introvert’s Dilemma” was posted as “Twitter for Introverts.” These are still creative, I hope, but more informative. They promise information.

Don’t worry. I’ll still post photos of #Scarlet the #ninetyninepercentgooddog with silly titles.

Those promise to entertain!

And now I shall go enter “Effective Blog Titles” into the google machine and see if the experts agree.

Twitter for Introverts

Twitter for Introverts

In a previous post, I explained how agents and editors expect authors to have a social media presence before pitching a book. I did not mention how daunting I found this fact. It’s similar to how naked I felt when I first began pitching a book to agents and how it has continued to feel pitching the book to publishers and submitting to contests as well.

You see, I’m an “off-the-scale” introvert. It’s no surprise that every time I take the Myers-Briggs personality inventory whether it is a short version on the internet or the very very long version administered by a psychology professional, my “introversion” score is nearly as high as the scale goes. Putting myself out there is truly a stretch.

Add to that recurrent chronic depression and you have a roadblock many might not overcome. I can only do this social media stuff if I find a method that works with my natural talents.

My Facebook author page hadn’t seemed that much of a stretch from my personal Facebook page so I linked it to Twitter. When I posted to Facebook, it automatically tweeted the same thing.

But the books I read about Twitter explained that this wasn’t enough. I needed to interact. To my introverted self, this sounded as terrifying as walking into a cocktail party and shouting, “Look at me!” That was not going to happen.

On a four-mile run, I began to think about how I best communicate: one on one. I wondered what would happen if I just began talking to individuals the way I might in the rest of my world.

So I started responding any time someone tweeted something that resonated with me. For a few days, my tweets went unanswered. A few days later, one or two people replied.

Then, something remarkable happened. One of my running heroes, Hal Higdon, retweeted one of my replies to his tweet!

A few days later, it happened again!

My one-one-one approach not only allowed me to play along with the extroverts who love Twitter, but also effectively increased my social media exposure. I learned that even off-the-scale introverts can Tweet!