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Freelance Writers and Social Media

Back when I bought my first computer (an Apple II+ with cp/m) I was truly an early adapter. You know, one of those semi-obsessed folks who talked computers all the time and had to have the latest gadget.

But that was a long time ago and I’ve been slow to get involved with “social media.” It turns out part of my reasons for letting myself get behind were right; social media can be a total time sink.

I have, however, been venturing out of my semi-Luddite cave. And, like so many new things in life, it turns out that social media not only doesn’t have to be a time sink, it’s a learnable skill.

Blogging

Take blogging, for example, which may or may not be part of social media, depending on who you ask. There are experts around. Two of my favorites are Yaro Starak who blogs at Entrepreneurs-Journey.com. (He also is a partner at Become A Blogger, a great course on blogging that’s surprisingly affordable.) My other favorite is Darren Rowse of ProBlogger fame. Trying to keep up with either of these experts is nigh on to impossible if you do anything else, but every time I dip in, it’s worth it.

Twitter

Next for me has come twitter. (You can follow me there at www.twitter.com/AnneWayman.) Twitter is still sort of a mystery to me, but I do get a kick out of writing posts that are 140 characters long – that’s all that’s allowed. Plus, I’ve found some interesting people there I never would of met otherwise. Darren Rowse comes to the rescue again with his Twitter Tips blog. 

Facebook

Facebook remains mostly a mystery to me. I’ve joined a couple of writing groups, connected with my own kids there (I figure extra connections with kids is always good.) But that’s about it. I’m sure there are blogs or sites that will help me sort that out too, when I’m ready, which isn’t today! And probably not tomorrow. Maybe next week.

Oh, and then there all all these buttons to Digg, Stumble, and more at the bottom of each post. I think the idea is you’re supposed to click on them if you like them and help make me popular. Sigh.

How do you use social media?

Write well and often,

Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • The conversation was relaxed and she was laughing it off. ,

  • admin

    Carol, you’re doing way better with facebook than I am… where are you posting there that you’re able to slip links in?

  • I found this discussion fascinating. For ages, I had a Facebook account and did nothing with it. Then it dawned on me what a great marketing tool it actually is. Now, I use it for a mix of personal and business. Since I promote authors, speakers and healing artists, I can slip in web links and information without making it sounds like I am doing any aggressive PR. I have certainly obtained several clients from my use of Facebook. I also belong to Xing and SelfGrowth.com. On SelfGrowth.com, you can post your articles and I have made some great contacts there, though no business as of yet.

    I do think there are ups and downs to it all. I use these sites a secondary means to obtaining business and usually only visit them at the end of the day when my ‘real’ work is done!

    Thanks for a great article and discussion starter, Anne!

  • admin

    Well said, Devon, well said, or well written. Social media seems to be either, well social or marketing… it sure isn’t writing.

  • I have my blogs, a couple of myspace pages, and spend some time on relevant forums. Facebook is not useful for me, and I can’t stand Twitter, so I don’t use them.

    I’ve landed some great gigs from the main blog, Ink in My Coffee, and I’m learning how to use MySpace better, but the work has to be written before it can be marketed, so my focus is on that.

    Devon Ellington’s last blog post..Monday, Janaury 12, 2009

  • admin

    Kristie, great system, and am looking at ping.fm now

    A

  • Hi Anne:

    I made it one of my 2009 business goals to use social media to the fullest extent, but I know what you mean about it being a time bandit. I’ve been using http://www.ping.fm, which is the coolest tool when it comes to social media. You can set it up so that when you post an update, it automatically posts it to all of your social media sites for you. Automation is a fabulous time saver! I “ping” when I post to my blog, want to share an interesting article, or tell my followers I’m drinking my first cup of coffee in the morning.

    I set aside 1-2 hours per week to connect with people that are potential referral sources, information providers, etc. For example, one of the areas I specialize in writing in is personal finance, so I try to connect with financial advisors, credit companies, mortgage brokers, lenders, etc. After I explain why I want to connect with them, and they accept my connection, I wait a week or so and then I send them a personal email about what I do. Then I ask if they know of anyone that may need my services.

    So far this year, I have landed two paid assignments from it, and have a few others lingering in the social media atmosphere. I said all of that to say this. I used to think social media was for teenagers looking to get their technology fix, but it can be (if worked properly) another stream of business.

  • admin

    Ruth, I took the pledge… may I copy your badge for my site?

    Looking forward to brushing up on my womyn’s herstory

  • Write well and often – sing it, sister!

    You might be interested in Taking the Pledge to blog about a woman in technology March 24, 2009 – Ada Lovelace Day. See the badge on my personal site, http://www.ruthseeley.com.

    Ruth Seeley’s last blog post..NV09 for NeoLuddites Contest Entrant: Kirsten Churchinoff

  • admin

    Brick… not sure I’m the one you want to follow… haven’t done anything with retweeting…

    Carol, that’s right… I’m on or is it in linkedin too… don’t do much with it.

  • Anne, don’t feel bad. Just this week I joined some ‘social network’ places, like twitter (just followed you, lol), facebook, myspace, buzz, digg, newsvine, mybloglog, plaxo, linkedin.

    Like you say, they are supposedly to make me popular and draw readers (thus more page views) to my blogs and business site.

    We shall see.

  • LinkedIn is the place! I’m on a great editors & writers group there. I’m also on Facebook but mostly for personal stuff…and my resolution for this year is to get going on Twitter.

    Carol Tice
    http://www.caroltice.com

  • admin

    Oh my, Michelle.. you’r way ahead of me… Zoho? Ning? sigh 😉

  • I am on Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, MyBlogLog, Blog Catalog, Technorati, Stumble, and Zoho so far.

    Twitter I use weekly or biweekly to post what I have already done.
    Facebook I use for personal use.
    MyBlogLog I use sometimes to read my messages, post messages, join communities, find new communities, etc.
    Blog Catalog I haven’t been to for quite some time.
    Technorati I think I forgot all about. Been a very long time.
    And Stumble I signed up for awhile ago and haven’t really figured out how to use it properly yet.
    Zoho I’m still waiting for the girl to email me some more info. on the writing group I signed up for.

    I think I may sign up for Ning soon.
    That’s it.

    Michelle Kafka’s last blog post..Happy New Year!

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