re: Dump the Blog, Go Full-Tilt on Twitter?

posted 3/20/12

Dear Editor

A published writer friend is thinking of freezing her blog and simply posting regularly on Twitter. She says the blog takes too much time for too little feedback. I get that she wants more writing time while still having the social networking, but this seems like a strangely backward idea. If I wanted to open a discussion, Twitter would be my last choice. What’s your opinion? Which will agents/editors prefer to see? How do YOU write a successful blog, keep tabs on the triplets, write books, and run the vacuum cleaner? or feed the dog? or put your feet up for a simple moment of peace and quiet?

Anon.

 

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Dear Anon….

Actually, your desire for “discussion” can be met on Twitter via chats, hashtag threads, and replying to others’ tweets. Plus, good tweets are retweeted to thousands of people, who may then reply, retweet, and “follow” you. Major networking and promo potential! But participating in Twitter on that level takes time. I respect your friend’s choice to go all in. Editors and agents know the potential of a strong Twitter presence. I hope she doesn’t “freeze” her blog, though. Readers seek out authors through their websites, and a dead blog makes a site look abandoned—a negative impression. Keep a blog current with minimal effort by blogging one of your tweeted items every weekish with a sentence or two expanding on it. (BTW: We have hissing cockroaches instead of a dog. Far less work.)

Happy writing!
The Editor

P.S. For more on this topic, read Promotion
posted by: The Editor
under: Promotion
Comments to "re: Dump the Blog, Go Full-Tilt on Twitter?" | Add a Comment
    1. Cat Woods wrote (on 03/20/12 at 7:45 am) :

      LOL! And they’re not picky about what they eat!

      Thanks for this quick tidbit.

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      The Editor replied (on 03/20/12 at 12:00 pm) :

      And did you know they get all the water they need from the rare pieces of food you have to chuck in the cage? Can’t get lower maintenance than these little guys! My boys love taking them out of the cage for a crawl. Happy boys, no work for Mom… best pets EVER.

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    2. Tamson! wrote (on 03/20/12 at 7:46 am) :

      I completely agree. Both have their merits.

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      The Editor replied (on 03/20/12 at 11:56 am) :

      Indeed, Tamson. It’s very much a matter of each writer finding what’s best for him/her.

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    3. Chris Kelly wrote (on 03/20/12 at 8:26 am) :

      I guess I should comment about blogs/tweets, but would rather write about cockroaches. When we lived in a developing neighborhood in Chicago, the CRs were endemic. We would kill a bunch off, and then they would start again….smaller, small, medium-sized and then full-sized buggers. Onto the Raid again.

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      Teasha Seitz replied (on 03/20/12 at 10:34 am) :

      TMI, Chris.

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      The Editor replied (on 03/20/12 at 11:57 am) :

      Ha! Add a family of skunks secretly hiding under the house and you’ve just described my first abode after leaving Mom and Dad.

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    4. Kurt Chambers wrote (on 03/20/12 at 12:05 pm) :

      Twitter is good. You get a wide audience if used correctly, but I’ve met so many awesome people through the blog world. A blog is a great place to let your personality shine 🙂 That’s my thoughts.dsofHel

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    5. Kendra wrote (on 03/20/12 at 1:09 pm) :

      I have to second the ease of caring for hissers! I started keeping them in my classroom (I teach science, so it’s a perfectly natural leap, thank you very much). And I’m fascinated by them! I have a colony of about a hundred now, if anyone would like to join in the fun!

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    6. Haley Whitehall wrote (on 03/20/12 at 4:30 pm) :

      I’m currently freezing my blog for two weeks so that I can finish my manuscript and get it off to the editor. Sometimes I just need to go into my writing cave. I like Twitter better than blogging, but I do believe keeping a currently blog is important.

      What do you mean by expanding on a tweet? A five sentence blog post?

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      The Editor replied (on 03/20/12 at 5:53 pm) :

      Yes, Haley, that’s what I mean. Within this strategy, you’re not out to grow your blog readership. You are offering your readers/fans/visitors a glimpse at your literary sensibility or personality and welcoming them to your site/books. You are thanking them for stopping in with a little reward in the form of an active presence. You can give shout-outs after a school visit, you can post the cover of a book you are enjoying because your readers might like the tip, you can give an update on your WIP, post your reviws or links to articles or blogs you think are noteworthy with a reason or two for sharing the info. All the stuff you’d tweet, just with a few sentences about why it is worth sharing with your readers.

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      Patricia Newman replied (on 03/21/12 at 7:45 am) :

      I agree! I use both a blog and Twitter. My blog is directly linked to Twitter–every time I post a new entry, it gets tweeted to my followers. I’ve taken to using hashtags in the titles of my blog posts to help save a few precious minutes. I love the way Twitter and a blog work together. Twitter has also driven more readers to my blog.

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      The Editor replied (on 03/21/12 at 9:34 am) :

      Intriguing tip for hashtag use. I see how it works: Your tweet becomes your blog post’s title, as in “#Writing workshop excites kids about developing characters #literacy #elemed #reading #lrnchat” and “School kids connect with Nugget on the Flight Deck #militaryfamilies #SupportOurTroops #literacy #elemed”. (Check out Patti’s blog to see this in action: http://www.patricianewmanbooks.blogspot.com/.

      My only question for you, Patti: Do you worry about the hashtags distracting from the blog post title?

      FYI for those who don’t know how hashtags work: Including hashtag’s in her tweets gets Patti’s tweets in front of an audience discussing her subject but whom might otherwise never know about her blog, such as the people taking part in the #militaryfamilies discussion. Curious readers just click on the link her tweet and, voila!, new visitors who may become fans.

      Patricia Newman replied (on 03/21/12 at 10:24 am) :

      Re do I worry about hashtags being distracting? Sometimes. I’m getting better and better at crafting a title that will work on both a blog and Twitter–definitely takes practice. As a general rule, I only insert one hashtag as part of the title, i.e. #Writing workshop excites kids…, then I list other hashtags at the end so the actual title isn’t garbled for non-Twitter users. I’m all about ease, and if I write a blog post I want to distribute it as widely as possible outside my usual sphere. Between promoting, writing, and my duties as a SCBWI regional advisor, my time is at a premium 🙂

      The Editor replied (on 03/20/12 at 8:27 pm) :

      Oh, regarding your short “freeze.” That’s really a different thing. Hunkering down for a writing surge for a couple of weeks is understandable to everyone; just be sure to indicate that’s what you’re doing in your last blog before a “vacation” and give a return date. Then it doesn’t feel like you’ve “abandoned” the blog and your loyal blog readers are clear about what’s up. Some hardcore bloggers say you shouldn’t ever go on vacation from the blog, that you’ll lose visitors who won’t return, but I think short times away are fine. Obviously, as I took a break after the intense Revision Week at the beginning of March.

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