Whilst I have learned a lot from all of the helpful YouTube channels, blogs, and podcasts out there, I find that there is much left to be said about how to achieve a steady social media following as a writer.
Writers are a curious crowd and so are their readers. Most writers I know are introverts, in touch with their emotions and happiest when far away from busy crowds and lively conversation.
I am one of these writers. The above describes me perfectly. I write under a pseudonym because I can’t stand the idea that somebody might read my work (or blog) and then confront me about it in real life.
In fact, I had never considered starting a blog or building a social media following…until I discovered that taking these measures might be my only chance to one day give up my day job to become a full-time writer…a day that still lies far ahead.
Yet, I am closer to achieving my dream than ever before thanks to the following 7 essential steps I have taken since 2016:
1. I started this WordPress blog in May 2016 – on a whim. I didn’t even have my supposed author career mapped out but I knew enough about the power of social media back then to know that content creation would be key to any future following.
2. Since I am extremely camera-shy (I’m forever that awkward person at the edge of the frame, desperately trying to duck out of any picture or video) my choice was really between podcasting and blogging. Blogging seemed safer – plus writing is more my thing…since I’m a WRITER and all…knowing your strengths is HUGE.
3. I also created my first (and last) Twitter account (@darkfictioncoma) which I’m pretty proud of as it has steadily built up to over 1.1k loyal followers thanks to the amazing #WritingCommunity out there (thanks all!). [DarkfictionComa] is also the name of my blog and self-publishing imprint which ties all my accounts nicely together and helped me establish something loosely resembling a brand.
4. I learned as much as I could about each of the platforms I decided to join (only WordPress and Twitter in the beginning). I concentrated on engaging other writers/ likeminded people on those platforms but only regarding topics that genuinely interested me. From what I have seen, writers who show up on these platforms and only focus on numbers or sales, don’t get far.
5. I worked hard on building up consistency. In the early days I struggled with this but now I have a regular weekly posting schedule which has definitely proven worth my while. All indications are that consistency will help you be heard/ seen in this noisy world of social media we live in.
6. Earlier this year (2019), I decided to branch out onto a DarkfictionComa Facebook page which I am hoping to slowly build up to help me continue to reach more like-minded people and also potential readers (in case I ever manage to overcome my perfectionism and actually publish my WIP). I am currently running some tests with Facebook ads… since @garyvee is always going on about those.
7. I also decided to create a Facebook group for writers of dystopian and post-apocalyptic YA fiction as I hope that this will enable me to connect with more writers from within my favourite genres who may have interesting views on where the genre is headed and may find this a useful platform to share their own author journeys which I would be excited to hear more about.
Since I decided early to writer under pseudonym, every step I took was with myself AND with my author persona in mind. We are two sides of the same coin (C. S. Knight and I). She is my alter ego – the one who dares greatly.
The other side of me is much more conservative, mostly likes to stay safe, and is much less willing to take risks – great for working in a corporate job.
But out here on social, I wanted to ensure that my author persona (otherwise constantly suppressed) is allowed to be in charge…and she is doing a great job as this blog has had close to 3,000 unique visitors since 2016 (and that’s with a 16 month break from social media and blogging in 2017/18 and without ANY paid advertising).
What do you think about my 7 essential steps to building a social media following as a writer? Do you find this helpful…or maybe you’re not impressed? What steps are you taking to build your following/ making your voice heard? Let me know in the comments below and have a great Sunday (with or without social media).