Thursday, January 17, 2013

What Brings You Back?

Last night I watched a webinar that I signed up for, on the subject of building an email list of fans, and to learn how to build a bigger following on Facebook.  Now, I'm not going to talk about the webinar, it would bore you, but a thought came to me while watching it--am I just a business? Is this only about sales for my novels? 

True, that is important, sales I mean, but I also value the relationships I have built and new friends that I have met along this journey. Not just the relationships I have personally, but my newest cyber-friends. There has been several people who have become extremely supportive that I've never met, except on Facebook or LinkedIn. I value their insight and their suggestions. Because I am open to what they have to say, it's helped me to become better at opening up to people. 

 Now, I know I am not the social magnet queen, but my goal is to never make people feel as though their support is not appreciated. Believe me, it is absolutely everything to me.

I have friends that love to leave comments, and some that do every once in a while. I have friends that never leave comments, but have told me they read my blogs and enjoy them. Yes, there are shy people, and there are those who simply go for it, and aren't worried what other's think. I'm sure there are people that aren't 'into' my blog, but are supportive nevertheless. 

My newest venture, the fanpage, has now become a new challenge for me. Trying to come up with clever ideas to post is not one of my strong suits, but at least I am trying. Actually the fanpage is easier, you only have to post short sentences, or interviews and articles that pertain to the subject, reading or writing. 

But, I would also like to make it fun. I have quite a few 'Famous', or they like to think of themselves as such, friends on Facebook. Some interact with their followers, some think themselves 'too big' to do so, but either way they get comments all the time. People so badly want to get noticed by whom they are following. I've never understood that, maybe someday one of you could explain that to me. Just to clarify what I mean by that, I am talking about successful people who are on FB or other social media sites, and post something that they get dozens of comments and never acknowledge the people back. You know, the ones who are too big for their britches, as my father used to say. Okay, one of them does every once in a while, but most of the time they simply post and watch the comments gather. 


I have vowed to always appreciate my followers or fans. True, some 'famous' people could never answer them all, but why post on Facebook if you're that 'big'? 

Anyway, if you have any ideas or suggestions for me about posts you would like to see, or subjects that you would like to read about, I would love to hear them. I do want to make it fun, and for my followers or fans to keep coming back to my blog and fanpage. Maybe look at this as a survey, what do you like to read about on blogs? What brings you back to certain ones?

I can't wait to see your answers, I will be waiting patently. Until Monday, have a great weekend everyone. And don't forget to drop me a line and let me know your thoughts on this subject.

Love, Lisa











22 comments:

  1. I always try to reply to comments on my blogs. Even, if its just a 'thank you'. I think you have to have variety to keep peeps interested. I sometimes post quizzes or topical items. About twice a year I republish info on my books otherwise I just write what comes to me and not necessarily on the topic of writing/books. I think you are doing a good job, Lisa and I admire you for doing 2 blogs each week. I find it difficult sometimes with just one at the weekend.

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    1. Thanks for your ideas Lady M, you have always been great on giving me suggestions! I am with you on coming up with ideas to blog. Sometimes it is really tough. I do think about it for a few days, but most of the time I sit and stare at the blank page until something comes to mind!

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  2. Hi Lisa, What can a fledging writer as me, suggest to a more accomplished one, as you! I enjoy your comments. From now on, I intend to respond to your blogs. You have such an array of information, that perhaps I should follow your example, and start writing about areas familiar to me. Wow, You may not realize it, but just now, as I write, you have opened my eyes, to future blogs. Thank you in advance. Blessings.

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    1. Johnny, you're a doll, I need to check out your site, I'm sure it's great! I am far from an accomplished writer, but I'm working on it. Thanks for the compliments, they mean a lot. I'm never sure if i am writing the right stuff. I do have an array, woulds gives you insight to my crazy thoughts! Also, thanks for joining my site! You're the bomb!

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  3. No suggestions from me regarding fan pages. My Facebook and Twitter activity is pretty atrocious. My fan page has little to no activity. I keep up with my blogs, but have been doing a poorer job of social interaction in blogging than I would like. Time is a big issue. And I don't even have an outside job that takes most of my time!

    To attract traffic if one is not a real star or a media mogul requires time and energy devoted to reaching out to others. The more we reach out, the greater the percentage of return we get on our own sites. It involves a great deal of sacrifice. Is it worth it? Depends--in some ways it has been for me, but on the other hand I'm still not making any money from my efforts and I'm not writing on writing work like I should. A dilemma for sure.

    When you get this all figured out will you please let me know. I'm still working to find the secrets.

    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. ARLEE! Missed you! I know, I'm bad...I need to go on your site more. Now that I have more time on my hands, at least for a few weeks before I start on the next book, I will go visit your site more. From the few times I went there, your stories were great! Might I suggest, guests on your blog and maybe contests. Those seem to be popular. I know it takes time, but that's where you need to organize your day. That's the only way I get though it. A lot of times though, things don't get done that are on the list. I'm sure you can relate!

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  4. Lisa,

    I have no suggestions either and am also asking the same questions about my blogs. It is quite a challenge to keep up with two of them and doing two posts a week for each. There is no time in my life with what goes on around my house on a daily basis. I'm lucky to have finished my last book actually because my husband thinks I'm obsessed with writing, if I'm out of his sight for too long at any one time. That's how it is when I have a husband who is retired, doesn't understand my passion for writing or anything else I do, and thinks nothing is worthwhile unless I make money at it.

    I also respond to all posters on my blog. I always will because that is what anyone should do when people take their time to read and comment on what you write.

    Sometimes things are in such chaos around here that you guys are what makes me pursue all this with such determination. I don't get to read as many of the blogs as I would like because of the time element and that is likely to become more of a problem because we are thinking about moving and my husband says "I have too much junk" and need to spend my time clearing out stuff. If I disappear for a time that is probably why.

    I do appreciate all the help you're giving me on my book. If I can repay the favor by giving you feedback, just ask.

    Sunni

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    1. Sunni, sorry to hear that your husband is not supportive of your writing. That would suck! I hope someday you prove to him that it wasn't all for not. Don't give up on your dream, you deserve to have what makes you happy and what does he care whether or not you want to write?! Anyway, I know I said I would get to that chapter today, but of course it didn't happen. I will work on it in the morning. Have a great night!

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  5. With the hundreds or even thousands of comments posted to some stars' Facebook posts, it's no shock they never reply. Can you imagine the enormous expense of time necessary to reply (thoughtfully) even to a tenth of those? I consider how long it takes me to respond to a blog post like this. I often spend upwards of ten minutes, tweaking and revising (or just writing it out if it's really long and praying it's right). If I had a post that had 100 comments that ought to be responded to, that would consume 12+ hours. Now granted, not everyone spends ten minutes or more working on responses, but I do. That's why I know I will never have a fan page (or at least won't post to it much) and definitely won't spend much time on Facebook making comments. I'm the sort who feels obligated to respond to comments, and I would be better of writing.

    That's all why I don't have comments enabled on my "blog", which I only use as a website to share announcements about my books. If people want to know more about me or engage in conversation with me, they can use the "contact" link on my site and send me an e-mail. I suppose I could eventually get Twitter, which would give people a less format means of communicating with me, but I would likely tell anyone who tried that to send me an e-mail, because I can't stand the 140 character limit. There were PAGERS that had higher limits than that.

    I'll sign off below just in case Blogger eats my posts as it has a tendency to do. I guess my posts are tasty or something.

    Cheerio,
    Ryan Fitzgerald
    http://ryanjamesfitzgerald.ca

    P.S. I will eventually take the time to reply to Susan's guest post. I was unfortunately bogged down by a really, really long week at work and I still haven't quite caught up. But I felt this was the easier post to reply to. :)

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  6. Ah, my FB fan page lies fallow. I haven't had any clever inspirations for it. I relate to your comments about enjoying your blog for the relationships as well as for the potential to sell your work. I really like the mini conversations I get into with people who comment on my blog.
    As for stars on social media--my husband follows George Takei (original StarTrek fame) who is apparently really funny. I suppose it gives Takei an outlet for his quirky side?? But his ego isn't apparent like some others, so that makes it fun.

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    1. Hi Jagoda, and thanks for commenting. I know it's hard to get people to comment, but for some reason this post has worked lol! But, I'm with you, I really enjoy it when they do! I follow several of the stars from Ancient Aliens, and Georgio is great about commenting occasionally. Logan used to be on more, but when he is, he answers the comments he receives. I am mostly talking about all the comedian friends I have, most of which I used to book into rooms, so I know them personally. There are a few who are supportive, but most never comment on anything I put on FB. Sometimes I get a complex from it. Anyway, I guess that's how it goes. They want me to support their pages, but they don't return the favor.

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  7. Personally, I like interactive stuff - polls, contests, surveys, quizzes... "Write one sentence about this picture" type of stuff.

    And hey, WRITING a book is only half the battle; marketing is the other half. So don't be ashamed to promote yourself and your book - well, maybe not ALL the time. :)

    And Sunni - you sound like my mother when she talks about trying to find time to write!

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    1. Thanks Susan for joining in! I agree with the interactive stuff. I have posted excerpts from my book, but I am afraid I will give away to much of it if I do. It's all about the elements of the story lol! I will work on the other stuff you suggested though.

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  8. With the hundreds or even thousands of comments posted to some stars' Facebook posts, it's no shock they never reply. Can you imagine the enormous expense of time necessary to reply (thoughtfully) even to a tenth of those? I consider how long it takes me to respond to a blog post like this. I often spend upwards of ten minutes, tweaking and revising (or just writing it out if it's really long and praying it's right). If I had a post that had 100 comments that ought to be responded to, that would consume 12+ hours. Now granted, not everyone spends ten minutes or more working on responses, but I do. That's why I know I will never have a fan page (or at least won't post to it much) and definitely won't spend much time on Facebook making comments. I'm the sort who feels obligated to respond to comments, and I would be better of writing.

    That's all why I don't have comments enabled on my "blog", which I only use as a website to share announcements about my books. If people want to know more about me or engage in conversation with me, they can use the "contact" link on my site and send me an e-mail. I suppose I could eventually get Twitter, which would give people a less format means of communicating with me, but I would likely tell anyone who tried that to send me an e-mail, because I can't stand the 140 character limit. There were PAGERS that had higher limits than that.

    I'll sign off below just in case Blogger eats my posts as it has a tendency to do. I guess my posts are tasty or something.

    Cheerio,
    Ryan Fitzgerald
    http://ryanjamesfitzgerald.ca

    P.S. I will eventually take the time to reply to Susan's guest post. I was unfortunately bogged down by a really, really long week at work and I still haven't quite caught up. But I felt this was the easier post to reply to. :)

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    1. Yup, I had to copy you in again, lol! I don't know why this page doesn't like your posts?! I can't understand what the problem could be. I will look into it. No, I agree with big stars, I'm talking about people that I personally know who have done some TV or cable. I used to book most of them in bars or clubs in the metro area. Anyway, not important. The point is if you are trying to build a following or fans, you need to engage and if you want support, you need to give it back. I hope that you are successful with your books not engaging much. I do have one cyber-friend who was like you and cut herself off of everything but her blog. Her sales weren't enough for her to stay home and had to go back to work. Now she isn't even posting on her blog any more. I think there is something to platforming. Even if you traditionally publish, you have to build a platform. They don't do it for you. I believe a following is important to get the word out on your book and hopefully people will buy.

      If sales aren't a priority for you, then so be it. I do want to get my book(s) out there and hope that they become popular. I believe in my story and I really like it, I hope everyone else does too. i know there will be those that won't, but it's okay, you can't please everyone. I just hope all this effort pays off.

      I will let Susan know when you do post, so she can answer you back. I understand when your time is limited. Have a great week Ryan, and as always, look forward to talking with you again.

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    2. ...

      Once again, I shamelessly plug for WordPress. >_>

      I read somewhere someone had a similar issue, but those posts were disappearing into the spam folder. I don't see why they would doing that, given the Captcha and all. But back to the topic.

      I've browsed an author's website once or twice (Stephen King and Jim Butcher's sites come to mind), but beyond glancing at them, I just stick to reading the books. The only engagement I crave from authors is a book. That's always been enough for me. Perhaps I'm antisocial. The only real exception there are the blogs of some Indie authors, whom I conversed with prior to reading their books (and in some cases, still have yet to read their books).

      As for traditional publishers ... I've never understood why people think traditional publishers build platforms for their authors. Sure, they might for the stars, but consider how much advertising costs and how many books a publisher puts out a year. While Harlequin isn't exactly normal in terms of its output, Kris Rusch just pointed out the other day that they publish 110 titles per month, which is 1320 books per year. That's a lot of books to get lost in.

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  9. Once again, I shamelessly plug for WordPress. >_>

    I read somewhere someone had a similar issue, but those posts were disappearing into the spam folder. I don't see why they would doing that, given the Captcha and all. But back to the topic.

    I've browsed an author's website once or twice (Stephen King and Jim Butcher's sites come to mind), but beyond glancing at them, I just stick to reading the books. The only engagement I crave from authors is a book. That's always been enough for me. Perhaps I'm antisocial. The only real exception there are the blogs of some Indie authors, whom I conversed with prior to reading their books (and in some cases, still have yet to read their books).

    As for traditional publishers ... I've never understood why people think traditional publishers build platforms for their authors. Sure, they might for the stars, but consider how much advertising costs and how many books a publisher puts out a year. While Harlequin isn't exactly normal in terms of its output, Kris Rusch just pointed out the other day that they publish 110 titles per month, which is 1320 books per year. That's a lot of books to get lost in.

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    1. Just so everyone knows, the above comment is not mine, it's Ryan's. For some reason my blog won't post his so I copy/paste them for him.

      I wonder Ryan, do you have a MAC? I'm just trying to figure out what could be happening with your posts. I don't like WordPress and if I tried to move my blog I would lose people who signed up for this one. yes, back to topic.

      I understand as far as the big names, the book is all you need, but if you're a SP like me, you need to get your name out there and hope that people try your books. I think the more people see your name, the better if your trying to sell something. I don't believe you are anti-social, maybe you're like most writers, introverted. Most of us just prefer writing and being in our little world we have created for ourselves. It's hard to get out in the spot light, we just don't like it, bit now a days we have no choice.

      As far as TP, they don't do much at all for author's except collect a percentage and put their name on your inside cover. Unless they offer a big advance, they are hardly worth it.

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    2. Lisa,
      I would love to suggest some ideas but I wouldn't know what you find offensive or not. I would love to hear human interest stories on how women from the Middle East have overcome domestic violence or are tolerating it. I don't know if that sounds interesting to you but thought I'd try. Take care and love your blogs, now that I can FINALLY REPLY TO THEM:)

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    3. Lori, I would love to do stories like that and that is not offensive to me, that's for sure! I can't, however, do controversial stories. I can't go into politics, or religion either. Not everyone feels the same way and I don't want arguments or to offend anyone. Sorry, but if there is something else you would like to see, let me know!

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  10. It's time to try Name/URL as a login instead of Google. I figured since most of the people who use Blogger that have their comments eaten are using Wordpress as a login (that failed for me, too) and that they have shouted success with their Google account (Google = Blogger), that I would have no issues if using my Google account. Alas, that seems to not be the case.

    I guess we'll see now. Otherwise, Blogger hates me.

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  11. Let's see if Anonymous works, also.

    I forgot to answer your question, and no I do not use a Mac. I run Windows 7, 64-bit. I also run Linux Mint on my laptop, but I don't use that for anything but writing.

    -Ryan Fitzgerald

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