Leaving Fanmail on Hubpages: A Creative Networking Opportunity
We All Love Receiving Fanmail
Virtually everyone on HubPages enjoys receiving fanmail. In a way it's a reward for working diligently on your hubs, for networking for sometimes hours every day, and for being an integral working part of the HubPages community. It's nice to receive positive feedback, and it can really help recharge those whose creative batteries are a little low.
It makes us feel good, as humans and as writers, to be acknowledged for our attempts, our strengths, and our additions to the experience we call life. Receiving a heartfelt personal message or rave review in our fanmail can spur us onto new heights. What's up with the generic fanmail messages, then?
What Not To Leave As Fanmail
Unfortunately many fanmail messages are generic, boring, selfish, and mass-produced. While I mean no offense to those who have left me such messages, at the same time I feel improvements can definitely be made.
Many writers on HubPages spend hours reading other people's hubs each day, leaving thoughtful comments, and then following and leaving thoughtful fanmail. It can take me anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes to critique each hub, leave comments, and leave fanmail. When the response I get back for my efforts is "Thanks for the follow," it's a little bit of a letdown sometimes. While I can't expect everyone to be as thoughtful as I am, it can be a little discouraging to receive something so generic and meaningless.
A generic term like "Thanks for the follow" does two things: 1. It puts your worth above mine; 2. It's disingenuous and draws attention away from me and back to you. While I understand you might be in a rush, I'd rather you wait until you have time to write something meaningful. Perhaps more importantly than my reaction, the hundreds of people who see your fanmail message on my page are very unlikely to click on your profile to look you up. After all, if you don't care, why should they?
Fanmail that will get you blah reactions:
- Thanks for the comment
- Thanks for the follow
- I look forward to reading your hubs
- Thanks for discovering me
Tips For Leaving Meaningful Fanmail
Sometimes, and rarely, I come across a hub author whose works have little that I can comment positively about. I'm not going to tell them they're great writers if I don't think they are, or comment that their hub changed my life if it didn't.
Despite this, there is usually something (not always, but almost always) that I can come up with to comment about. Their choice in topics, their vocabulary, or one line that really stands out. I look for the positive because I try to leave fanmail on as many people's pages as possible. Not only does it make me feel good to make them feel good, but it's also a great networking tool.
- Don't leave fanmail until you've read someone's work
- Leave meaningful comments as often as possible
- Be more descriptive than generic
- Pick out a couple things that stood out to you and comment on them
- Be genuine, positive, and think of how you're making them feel
Using Fanmail As A Networking Tool
Most people will agree that readership increases when you read other people's hubs and leave thoughtful, insightful comments on their works. Fanmail, when used well, can be a tool by which to attract further interest, readers, and maybe even fans. After all, it's free advertising!
Which Fanmail Message Would You Rather Receive?
When I receive feedback I want it to be genuine, real, and constructive--otherwise it can feel meaningless: Nothing more than a few words strung together and posted to my page. But imagine fanmail as a networking tool, and all that can change.
When I'm reading the fanmail left for me, and am sifting through countless generic posts I might see this: "Faceless39, your hub 'Leaving Fanmail On HubPages: Be Creative' was thought-provoking, and you gave me such good tips. Thanks!" My initial thought is, "Wow, it's not generic. They actually cared enough to read something of mine and leave a thoughtful comment. This person must be worth knowing."
When I see this post I'll zoom in on it because it stands out, is meaningful, and took time to compose. I feel that whoever left this fanmail genuinely liked what I spent hours creating, and took the time out of their life to go the extra step. I'm likely to click on their profile page to learn more about them, probably read a hub or maybe a few hubs, follow, and leave positive fanmail for them.
Using fanmail as a networking tool is fun and easy, and can make people feel great! Be genuine, be positive, and most of all--be the change you want to see in the world!
© 2011 Kate P