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Tips and Advice for Writers on Social Networking
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How To Network As A Writer
I'm a relatively new user here at Hub Pages but what I'm not new at is networking and marketing within the business world.
As the owner of a retail sign and graphics company for over 14 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. I understand the importance of networking and how it can contribute to the heath and wealth of your business - whether you are an online, home-based, small business or large corporation.
A few years ago my first experience with online social networking was at Myspace where I built a nice profile and made alot of friends. My purpose then for being there was not for business -but - I soon realized the importance of how social networking could help gain exposure for my business and connect me to other business owners in my local area.
Since I've come to Hub Pages, the same has applied. I realized early on that to be successful with my online publishing endeavors I needed to do the same things that had made me successful in my sign business: I needed to network.
Since I was already a member of Yuwie - and had established many friends and connections over there, I decided to make Yuwie a "platform" there for my blogs from Hub Pages.
What I did was to create a blog at Yuwie with all my online articles from here. Then I provided the links with a unique tracker url so I could see how well my efforts would pay off. So far, so good. My Yuwie blog is ranking second in my total traffic so far (for more in-depth information about creating unique trackers for monitoring your traffic, you can read about url trackers here: http://hubpages.com/_HubLink/hub/tracking)
Some words of wisdom however for using this type of strategy to bring readers to your hub:
1. If you only sign up on social networks to try to drive traffic to your site, you will be sorely disappointed. Just like in the outside world, RELATIONSHIPS will be the key to how successful you are in bringing traffic to your hub. If you have made genuine friends and have quality content, your friends will follow and read what you have to say. If you are only there to get readers, your "friends" will see through that and see you as a spammer (something none of us want!)
2. To be successful with your social networking sites, I would suggest trying some out and find out which one best fit your needs. Yuwie worked well for me because most of the users there are older like I am. I like the format of Yuwie because like HubPages, I have alot of freedom there. I am able to make my own layouts, provide a slide-show of my artwork, post pictures of my fur-babies and network with other like minded people.
3. Don't expect people to come flocking to your Hub Pages site, either at social networking sites or anywhere else just because you provide a link. The most important thing to do is build you reputation FIRST so that people know you are the real deal - a genuine, talented writer who has something valuable to share. The only way people will TRUST you is If they see that you walk the talk - and are someone that they would want to know BOTH online and offline.
4. When you find the social sites that fit in well with who you are, GET INVOLVED THERE. If you like to garden, join the garden club. If you like animals, join the pet club. AND don't just go there to drop links and flee - get genuinely involved in the groups, care about what they have to say and respond to topics. If you just go there just to drop links you will be seen in a negative light - NO ONE likes a spammer!
5. Utilize the notice boards and message functions at your social networking sites. One of the things I do is to post messages letting people know when I have published a new hub. If it's something that may be useful to them - chances are they will take a look. If not, that's alright too because all my links are in my blog. They can always come back and read the article if they want too. BUT DO NOTflood the message boards with your links - this will definitely make people mad at you and you will be taken less seriously!
I currently have a MySpace account, a Yuwie account, Facebook, Narple, and a new one called "FanBox", which I'm not too sure about yet ( the verdict is still out on that one) There are tons of new social networking sites popping up daily but in the interest of sanity I will NOT be joining all of them!
Just like when I was out networking in the corporate world, the same applied. I joined many groups only to find that REALISTICALLY I could only participate well in a couple of groups (for you that number may vary but don't stretch your self too thin) The Internet is a big big place and you could go crazy trying to join everything! There is NO WAY you can know everybody - but if you have a select group of dedicated friends who like you - the result of what you can achieve can be amazing, to say the least!
A few weeks ago I attended a writers seminar. The authors there shared about how IMPORTANT it is for writers to network by join a writing club, etc. Fortunately for me I soon discovered Hub Pages. Once here, I knew that this would be the place that I would get support for my writing, make new friends with other writers and have the freedom to create which I knew I needed. As far as I'm concerned right now, this is the "social networking" writers group for me. I don't need to go meet someone in a cafe to talk about writing ( although I don't rule that out - because there is definitely something to be said for face to face recognition and conversation)
So in conclusion here, if you are truly interested in making writing your career here, and have your heels dug in here at Hub Pages, it's really imperative that you include social networking as part of what you do as a writer - you need to get your face out into the world - and to your readers.
Here are a few links to different social networks to get you started:
Happy networking and if you have any questions about networking feel free to drop me a line or leave me a comment!