So a few weeks ago, I shared a post called “Does An Author Really Need a Social Media Platform?” With everyone being online and plugged in, it’s not surprising that mostly we lean towards social media and understand why it’s useful for authors.
But I wanted to discuss the idea of not directly using social media. Whether you absolutely hate social media, are just tired of it or get stuck trying to keep up with the ever changing platforms and algorithms, then this post might be for you.
The Social in Social Media
Not hard to see what social media is all about, it’s right there in the name. Social. These numerous platforms allow us to be more social, to connect with people from every different walk of life, from around the globe… oh and for companies to mine our data and sell it, but hey, what site doesn’t do that these days, right?
For the introverts, like myself, even this digital socialising can be overwhelming. We don’t have to be in crowded noisy rooms full of chatter to feel drained. The digital world is just as draining and requires we step back more and more to recharge.
Add to that the ever-changing playing field of these platforms and I understand why, when I discussed the bleh of social media in a recent newsletter I sent out, many of my subscribers reached out to me sharing the same feelings.
No Social Media?
It seems almost impossible to think of a time before social media, it has been infesting our lives for decades now, every few years something new rises up and people swarm to it. Maybe it will become one of the staple platforms, or maybe it will fade in popularity just to get bumped by another new one rising up.
With everyone spending so much time on these platforms, can you really manage not being on them? Can you be a successful author without social media?
There are actually some authors who aren’t on social media, so it is possible – practical? Maybe not, but definitely possible. So let’s talk alternatives!
Blogging has continued to go from strength to strength, even with all these social media platforms, the humble blog still has a place. According to HostingTribunal.com, more than a third of all websites are blogs and over 6 million posts are uploaded daily.
People still read blogs, many like the longer content and deeper focus of a blog as well as a short sharp update flash on social.
Create your own blog
I personally recommend adding a blog to your Author Website. A blog allows you to have better connection with your readers and keeps your content fresh, which encourages web spiders to crawl your page more frequently (this in turn means you are indexed and better to be found in searches).
If you don’t know where to start when creating and maintaining a blog, check out my Blogger Series.
Redesign and work on an existing blog
Do you have a blog you aren’t using? Or maybe one that doesn’t bring in much traffic? A lot of writers seem to create blogs then let them dry up. If you are expecting instant results, then you’re doing it wrong.
Consider giving your blog a new layout, creating a Content Calendar and working the SEO. Practice patience and build up your readership slowly. Next make sure you are visiting other blogs, interacting with other bloggers and building a community.
Whether you want to create/run a blog or not, you can use someone else’s blog to market yourself and your work. Many bloggers offer guest posting options where you can be interviewed or write an article that is featured on their blog.
Guest blogging is a great way to reach a whole new audience. However, you do need to make sure you are reaching out to the right blogs. They should have a connection to what you are doing – so if you’re an author, you are looking for writer blogs, book bloggers, publishing industry blogs etc.
It may seem obvious, but when I ran guest blogging options on this site I received (and still do) many requests from people who wanted to be guests and their topics had NOTHING to do with my blog’s niche.
Don’t waste a blogger’s time by requesting a guest post option without making sure a) they allow guests b) what you are writing connects to their blog. Also, check first to see if they have guidelines listed – READ them and follow them.
Again, I had a whole page that listed what I needed from guest posters with a contacts page at the end… people skipped over and reached out, often sending me things I would not accept or asking questions I had answered in the guidelines. This is just BAD!
The good thing with blog posts is they linger indefinitely. So unless the blog is deleted or the platform shuts down, those posts can continue to bring people to your website/books.
Like blogging podcasting can be useful, though I can tell you it’s a LOT harder, more time consuming and costly than blogging. But audio is a medium that is still doing well and growing in popularity.
But also like blogging, there are many opportunities to be guests on a podcast. Take some time to research the different podcasts and make sure you choose ones that work for you.
Definitely listen to several episodes before reaching out, especially any guest ones so you know how the podcast runs and the style. Some podcasts are done as interviews, others are informal chats, some have one host, others multiple etc.
See if the podcasters are accepting guests and again, if they have details on their website, read them carefully and follow them. Trying to skip ahead because you didn’t want to “read” will only annoy the hosts and may get your blacklisted.
Guidelines are created to help you and the podcaster (or blogger) to save time. So don’t skip it.
Like blogs, podcast episodes can remain online indefinitely, so even if months or years pass, people can still end up finding the episodes and learning about you. You can also put links to the podcast (or blog) on your website for easy access.
Unlike with social media posts where things disappear down a timeline.
Obviously, events were easier before the pandemic, but things are starting to head in a better direction. So now events are something to consider.
These can be writing conferences, book cons, book signings in a local library, workshops, guest speaking at a local book club or school etc. It is recommended you start small, look for events in your local area such as at a bookstore or library.
No events? Consider hosting one. It can take time and effort but it could be worth it, especially if you have other authors in your area who would be willing to join in and support the event. Reach out to your library or maybe a school (if you write children’s or middle grade books) as a venue.
It is all about networking and networking doesn’t have to be done online. In fact, there was a time when it was all done at in-person events. 😀
Rachel and I talked about newsletters in a recent podcast episode. Newsletters allow you to connect directly with your readers and fans. These are people who were kind enough to give their email addresses so you could reach them directly.
It can take time to get set up, choosing a platform (and figuring out how it works), designing your layout, brainstorming content ideas et but it can be worth the time.
Remember, people love books and readers LOVE to discuss books with other readers. So your newsletter can grow from word of mouth.
Also, definitely put details of how to join your newsletter into the back matter of your books, add a link on your website and in your Linktree!
If you have some strong fans of your work, you can encourage them to be part of your Street Team. A street team is made up of fans of your work who come together to support you. They are people who already love what you do and are happy to talk about it.
While it’s awesome that people love your work enough to want to talk about it, setting up a street team can take some time and there should be incentives to joining, such as receiving early copies of your ebooks etc.
Put an opportunity to join the street team on your website or in your newsletter, garner interest and when you have a few people in the team, simply create graphics and details about your work, put those in a place the team has access too, such as Google Docs and encourage them to get the word out. That way they are using their social media.
This is a great marketing method when doing a run up to your launch.
These are just a few of the ways you can market your work without being on social media. People can will find your blogs, podcasts and events etc without you having to announce them on your social media platform.
In the end, social media can be a big help and can definitely help to get the word out, but it can be a big time suck and quite a stressful place. You need to work whichever way is best for you – maybe it’s a mix of everything, maybe it’s avoiding social media completely. Do what you prefer!
I hope you found this article useful! If you did, give it a share in case someone else could benefit!
PS: Mega excited because The Merry Writer Podcast hit over 3,000 downloads over on Podbean! Thank you to everyone who listens!!
Do you do any of the above mentioned?
I write articles on writing, marketing, blogging, organising, social media, books and some random stuff. I also create free printable resources. If you find my content helpful, entertaining and like what I do, consider supporting me on ko-fi (where you will also find extra content I post).