Posts Tagged search engine

Twitter Tuesday #1

Welcome to the first installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. There is a lot of bad advice floating around when it comes to how to use Twitter. Is it because these “experts” are wrong? No, but they may not be giving advice that’s good for authors. The tips offered here are all based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach Twitter differently than a faceless corporation or even the regular person who does not possess a goal of becoming a brand. This blog will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

This Week’s Fail Whale–Unfollowing People for Inactivity

I have recently read some blogs where writers talked about unfollowing people for inactivity. I never unfollow anyone unless they are:

1. Abusive

2. Inappropriate

3. A bot.

Why? Because we never know why that person is being inactive. They could have had their computer crash, gotten married, deployed or been temporarily thrust into witness protection to hide from an evil twin who has ties to the mob. We don’t know! Thing is, they aren’t taking up any room, so why cull the herd? The Six Degrees of Separation is our friend. We could inadverdently unfollow the person who might have made that critical difference in our career. Play it smart and leave it be.

This Week’s Twitter Tip–Download TweetDeck

Regular Twitter is fine for the regular user who is only keeping up with a handful of people. TweetDeck makes it possible not only to follow thousands of people, but also genuinely interact….and it keeps you from wanting to slam your head in a door repeatedly (which is always a plus). Yes, there are other similar applications, but TweetDeck is my favorite and the example I use in my book.

Tweet ya later!

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Blogging Part 3–Tearing Up the SEO in 2011

2011 is the year of the Rabbit. That rabbit is DYNAMITE! Okay, so I had to find a way to make a rabbit seem badass, and that gave me an opportunity to use a gratuitous Monty Python reference. Making a rabbit seem hard core is not all that easy, you know. I want you guys fired up for 2011. 2010 was the Year of the Tiger. Easy. Then I looked up 2011. Year of the Rabbit? Great.

We dare not risk another frontal assault… ha ha ha ha ha. I’ll stop :D. For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, here is a clip. You aren’t a true writer until you quote Monty Python way more than is socially acceptable. All right, back to business…

Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. This is the day I dedicate to making your social media experience more enjoyable and productive. Today we are going to discuss search engine optimization (SEO). I want you guys tearing up the search engines Killer Bunny-style. Don’t panic. I am all about making this fun. And yes, technically I am making this Blogging Part III. Why? Because if you don’t understand how search engines work, no one will FIND you–okay the site that sells Zanex and cheap Prada purses will find you. But we want readers to be able top locate all this lovely content that you guys are going to be posting this coming year.

Most of you following this series understand that you need to be blogging. That’s great! But one of the big problems I notice among writers is there is a chronic failure to understand how search engines work and how to use them in our favor. What good is posting content if no one can find it, right?

What I am going to teach you today is going to help you rise even more above the masses of competition all clamoring for the public’s attention and money. Unless you happen to already be a household name, your social media platform is more critical now than ever.

As a debut fiction author you will be competing against counterparts who have a solid social media presence and a blog following. Are you prepared? If not, the odds are not in your favor. According to the BEA, 93% of novels sell less than 1000 copies. A solid social media platform can make all the difference.  In earlier blogs, we have discussed using our name as a brand. Anything else will cripple a platform and leave an author stressed out and spread too thinly. Our goal is to get our names to do the heavy lifting (sales) so we have time to write.

So why is a name so important?

Today we are going to have a quick lesson on how search engines work, because there is no point in blogging regularly if you don’t gain a large, committed following. By the end of this lesson, I am sure it will be much clearer why your name is so critical. 

Think of search engines like a codependent personal genie bent on making you happy. Meet Google the Codependent Genie. Anything you desire is his will to supply. Google, your personal genie, will rush out and find whatever you require because he wants you to be happy and not have to wait.

The Internet is like one giant master closet full of everyone’s “stuff.” Now some people are like my grandmother and everything is neatly labeled, categorized and organized. Our personal genie can rush into the closet, look at the side of the “box” and know exactly what is inside. Yet, other folks on the Internet are more like my mother (okay, me) and they have all kinds of boxes that would have been labeled “Miscellaneous” if only we could have found the box with the Sharpie markers. So either there is no label or there is one giant vague label “My Crap” or “Writing.”

So let’s slip into the shoes of our poor little codependent genie, Google.

Oh, my little Google, you are powerful indeed. Here’s my wish…

(You type) How do I write a prologue for a novel?

What your codependent search-engine genie SEES is…

How do I write a prologue for a novel?

So our little genie knows you get impatient and begin smacking buttons on your keyboard if you have to wait more than three seconds. He also knows he has less than a second and a half before his mistress gets testy. And he also also knows that if he takes too long or doesn’t return with quality stuff, that his beloved mistress might decide to use another codependent genie (Bing, Ask, Yahoo) and leave him alone in cyberspace with no one to serve. If enough mistresses do this, he knows eventually he will fade away and die and be banished to the realm of AOL.

Our genie, Google, is very motivated.

So as Google the Codependent Genie whizzes into this giant storage closet known as the Internet, he knows that his fastest approach and the one more likely to return quality goods is that he needs to look at the sides of the boxes (think Internet files). He glances at the labels and brings back the files that have been precisely labeled first.

These “labels” are known as tags. Tags are metadata, which means, “data about data.”

When you add tags to your blogs, you make it easy for other people’s codependent genies to go to your stuff first. The genie will look to the labels first. Only after he has located the “boxes” with labels will he then take the effort to look inside the box for what his mistress has requested.

How do I write a prologue for a novel?

Our genie will look for articles and blogs with those three words—write, prologue, novel—in the tags first, and only after that will our little friend sift through the body of the material for those words.

Tagged items will always be at the top of a search and on the first page. This will be important for later when we continue our lessons about blogging. Who among you go to the second page of a search unless you just absolutely have to? Tagging makes the difference between being first on the page versus being relegated to Internet Limbo on page 4.

Tags are also critical to defining you as an author (your brand), much like the boxes in our closets define us as people. If you went into my closet and noticed stacks of boxes labeled, guns, Guns and Ammo Magazines, ammunition, survival manuals, camouflage, snares, rain gear, this would form an impression.

Similarly if you went in my closet and found crochet, quilting, cross stich patterns, thread, fabric, sewing, batting, needles sewing machine parts, you would also form an impression.

So what if you went in my closet and saw guns, romance novels, dragons, crochet, architecture, self-help, babies, cooking, Dr. Seuss, Martha Stewart, political science, 6-Pack Abs in Three Weeks, Judo, How to Train Your Dog? What impression would you form? Would it be positive?

Or would it be more like seeing a recipe that called for beef tips, chocolate, Marsala cooking wine, marshmallows, yams, jalapenos, corn, and jelly beans? Not too appealing, right?

Our blogs and our tags serve to define our brand. The content and tags associated with our name are important. What potential consumers, an agent and an editor see associated with our name is vital in how they mentally define us. Are they going to define us as Quiche Lorraine or Dear God! Who Let the Kids Cook?

As an example, here’s my list of tags:

Kristen Lamb—Kristen Lamb, writer, author, speaker, teacher, social media, publishing, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blog, blogs, blogging, We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, branding, marketing.

Notice all the tags were simple. These tags were all nouns that, if typed into a search bar, would serve to help someone else’s little codependent genie find me FIRST. Generally with writers I see one of two errors. Either they don’t use tags (or don’t use enough tags) OR they use tags that are so obscure they are ridiculous.

And yes, notice I put my name in the tags. Why? Because I want to become a brand name. I want that when people think/say, “social media for writers,” Kristen Lamb comes up first.

Like, say “Tiger Woods” and…okay, bad example.

Say, “Warren Buffet” and you think billionaire. Conversely, say, “billionaire” and one of the first names that comes to mind is Warren Buffet. I want my name to do the same. Say, “Kristen Lamb” and people think social media for writers….and vice versa.

Also, what if someone meets me and all they remember is Kristen and a couple random details? But they liked me and wanted to buy my book? I could happen! :P

If they google… Kristen, writer, social media then who will pop up? See, this stuff is pretty awesome ;)

Here’s an exercise. Free write a list of all the words that you would like associated with your brand name. If someone forgot your name, but was describing your work to a clerk at Barnes & Noble, what words would she use? Write as many as you can think of and highlight your favorites.

You may also want to give a copy of this list to those close to you. Have them highlight their favorites or add any you failed to list. We don’t see ourselves the same way others do and that will help you get perspective and eliminate emotional distancing. Some of us it took years to say, “I am a writer” aloud unless we had wine first. So how do others view you? It’s important.

Also, go back through your blogs if you are already blogging. Do your tags make sense? Are they too vague? Too general? Too obscure? Are your blogs even tagged at all? If, not, then tag them so people can find your content.

We will continue next week with Blogging IV, and tips to help you guys rock the Year of the Rabbit, Killer Bunny Style :D. Taking no prisoners.

Happy writing!

Until next time…

Give yourself the gift of success for the coming year. My best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books!

This Week’s Mash-Up of Awesomeness

Jane Friedman (Editor for Writers Digest Magazine) posted her 10 Best Tweets of 2010

Two New Bloggers that Have Captured MY Interest (I am a raging geek, so I totally dig these)

Manon Eileen is blogging on psychology and philosophy and their influence in storytelling. Simulated Reality in Schitzophrenia & Brain in a Vat 

Another new blogger Peter St. Clair has some awesome posts this past week. Read about Jim Jones and Dexter–Crafting an Anti-Hero all on the same site! Yes, my leg is thumping.

Shennandoa Diaz has an excellent blog. Key Elements of Strong Fiction.

Make sure you stop by for Author Chuck Wendig’s Edit Your Shit Part III–The Contextual Edit

Author Jody Hedlund has a fantastic blog about Finding Your Blogging Voice

Need a great laugh? Holiday Survival with Bayard & Holmes & Tawna Fenske’s Peeing in Front of Spouses, Agents & Readers

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Search Engines–Your Personal Genie to Build Your Author Brand

Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. This is the day I dedicate to making your social media experience more enjoyable and productive. Many authors have gotten the message that they need to be on social media and they need to be blogging. But one of the big problems I notice is there is a failure to understand how search engines work and how to use them in our favor. What good is posting content if no one can find it, right?

What I am going to teach you today is going to help you rise even more above the masses of competition all clamoring for the public’s attention and money.

These days the competition is fierce. Barnes and Noble just announced its self-publishing service PubIt so everybody can get published. The gates have been thrown open and it is every writer for himself. Why I brought up this new development in self-publishing is that it highlights why it is even more critical for authors to have a platform. Unless you happen to already be a household name, your social media platform is more critical now than ever.

As a debut fiction author you will be competing against counterparts who have a solid social media presence and a blog following. Are you prepared? The odds are not in our favor. According to the BEA, 93% of novels sell less than 1000 copies. A solid social media platform can make all the difference.  In earlier blogs, we have discussed using your name as a brand. Anything else will cripple a platform and leave an author stressed out and spread too thinly. Our goal is to get our names to do the heavy lifting (sales) so we have time to write.

So why is a name so important?

Today we are going to have a quick lesson on how search engines work. By the end of this lesson, I am sure it will be much clearer why your name is so critical.

Think of search engines like a codependent personal genie bent on making you happy. Meet Google the Codependent Genie. Anything you desire is his will to supply. Google, your personal genie, will rush out and find whatever you require because he wants you to be happy and not have to wait.

The Internet is like one giant master closet full of everyone’s “stuff.” Now some people are like my grandmother and everything is neatly labeled, categorized and organized. Our personal genie can rush into the closet, look at the side of the “box” and know exactly what is inside. Yet, other folks on the Internet are more like my mother (okay, me) and they have all kinds of boxes that would have been labeled “Miscellaneous” if only we could have found the box with the Sharpie markers. So either there is no label or there is one giant vague label “My Stuff” or “Writing.”

So let’s slip into the shoes of our poor little codependent genie, Google.

Oh, my little Google, you are powerful indeed. Here’s my wish…

(You type) How do I write a prologue for a novel?

What your codependent search-engine genie SEES is…

How do I write a prologue for a novel?

So our little genie knows you get impatient and begin smacking buttons on your keyboard if you have to wait more than three seconds. He also knows he has less than a second and a half before his mistress gets testy. And he also also knows that if he takes too long or doesn’t return with quality stuff, that his beloved mistress might decide to use another codependent genie (Bing, Ask, Yahoo) and leave him alone in cyberspace with no one to serve. If enough mistresses do this, he knows eventually he will fade away and die and be banished to the realm of AOL.

Our genie, Google, is very motivated.

So as Google the Codependent Genie whizzes into this giant storage closet known as the Internet, he knows that his fastest approach and the one more likely to return quality goods is that he needs to look at the sides of the boxes (think Internet files). He glances at the labels and brings back the files that have been precisely labeled first.

These “labels” are known as tags. Tags are metadata, which means, “data about data.”

When you add tags to your blogs, you make it easy for other people’s codependent genies to go to your stuff first. The genie will look to the labels first. Only after he has located the “boxes” with labels will he then take the effort to look inside the box for what his mistress has requested.

How do I write a prologue for a novel?

Our genie will look for articles and blogs with those three words—write, prologue, novel—in the tags first, and only after that will our little friend sift through the body of the material for those words.

Tagged items will always be at the top of a search and on the first page. This will be important for later when we discuss blogging. Who among you go to the second page of a search unless you just absolutely have to? Tagging makes the difference between being first on the page versus being relegated to Internet Limbo on page 4.

Tags are also critical to defining you as an author (your brand), much like the boxes in our closets define us as people. If you went into my closet and noticed stacks of boxes labeled, guns, Guns and Ammo Magazines, ammunition, survival manuals, camouflage, snares, rain gear, this would form an impression.

Similarly if you went in my closet and found crochet, quilting, cross stich patterns, thread, fabric, sewing, batting, needles sewing machine parts, you would also form an impression.

So what if you went in my closet and saw guns, romance novels, dragons, crochet, architecture, self-help, cooking, babies, Dr. Seuss, Martha Stewart, political science, 6-Pack Abs in Three Weeks, Judo, How to Train Your Dog? What impression would you form? Would it be positive?

Or would it be more like seeing a recipe that called for beef tips, chocolate, Marsala cooking wine, marshmallows, yams, jalapenos, corn, and jelly beans? Not too appealing, right?

Our blogs and our tags serve to define our brand. The content and tags associated with our name are important. What potential consumers, an agent and an editor see associated with our name is vital in how they mentally define us. Are they going to define us as Quiche Lorraine or Dear God! Who Let the Kids Cook?

As an example, here’s my list of tags:

Kristen Lamb—Kristen Lamb, writer, author, speaker, teacher, social media, publishing, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blog, blogs, blogging, We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, branding, marketing.

Notice all the tags were simple. These tags were all nouns that, if typed into a search bar, would serve to help someone else’s little codependent genie find me FIRST.

And yes, notice I put my name in the tags. Why? Because I want to become a brand name. I want that when people think/say, “social media for writers,” Kristen Lamb comes up first.

Like, say “Tiger Woods” and…okay, bad example.

Say, “Warren Buffet” and you think billionaire. Conversely, say, “billionaire” and one of the first names that comes to mind is Warren Buffet. I want my name to do the same. Say, “Kristen Lamb” and people think social media for writers….and vice versa.

Also, what if someone meets me and all they remember is Kristen and a couple random details? But they liked me and wanted to buy my book? I could happen! :P

If they google… Kristen, writer, social media then who will pop up? See, this stuff is pretty awesome ;)

Here’s an exercise. Free write a list of all the words that you would like associated with your brand name. If someone forgot your name, but was describing your work to a clerk at Barnes & Noble, what words would she use? Write as many as you can think of and highlight your favorites.

You may also want to give a copy of this list to those close to you. Have them highlight their favorites or add any you failed to list. We don’t see ourselves the same way others do and that will help you get perspective and eliminate emotional distancing. Some of us it took years to say, “I am a writer” aloud unless we had wine first. So how do others view you? It’s important.

Also, go back through your blogs. Do your tags make sense? Are they too vague? Too general? Too obscure? Are your blogs even tagged at all? If, not, then tag them so people can find your content.

Happy writing!

Until next time…

This Week’s Mash-Up of Awesomeness

Great blog by Tawna Fenske about the dangers of over-editing.

Kid.Lit is such a tremendous resource for writers. Great blog Antagonists in Contemporary Fiction.

5 Ways to Make a Novel Hopelessly Addictive by Editor A. Victoria Mixon.

Learning from Hollywood-High Concept in Women’s Fiction by Lydia Sharp.

9 Ways to Prepare for National Novel Writing Month by Jodi Cleghorn

Creating the Page-Turner: Tricks to Great Pacing in Your Books by Mary Carroll Moore

Bad Advice to Ignore from Your Critique Group  by Anne R. Allen

3 Reasons to Start Blogging Before the Book Contract by author Jody Hedlund

And now the shameless self-promo. We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media is designed to be fun and effective. I am here to change your habits, not your personality. My method will help you grow your network in a way that will translate into sales. And the coolest part? My approach leaves time to write more books. Build a platform guaranteed to impress an agent. How do I know this? My book is recommended by agents.

You don’t have all day to market. You have best-selling books to write! So pick up a copy today.

Need a great workshop? SIGN UP TODAY!

Best-Selling Author Candace Havens’s on-line workshop teaches everything from plotting to editing. She also brings some of the industry’s best and brightest to make you guys the best writers you can be. I will be teaching about social media for three more days!!!! It isn’t too late to sign up and it is FREE.

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What’s Almost Better than a Free Web Site?

Wow! This will be the second week in a row that Writer’s Digest Magazine has recognized this blog for excellence. I am truly and deeply terrified…honored. I meant honored. Yes, honored. So thank you Jane Friedman for working your tail off to give writers the tools they need to succeed. And thank you, thank you, a million thanks for considering this blog to be one of those tools.

Deep breath. Ok.

Originally I was going to blog this week about Facebook—profile pages versus fan pages. But apparently Jane Friedman has better writer spies than I do, and she beat me to it (link to her blog at the end). I’ll do that another week. So what are we going to talk about?

MySpace.

Bet you didn’t expect that one. Maybe the title gave you a teensy hint. MySpace. Ha ha! It actually isn’t dead. In fact over 60 million active users as of March 2010 say MySpace is alive and well despite some setbacks. Will it fade away eventually? Probably. But Twitter and Facebook likely will as well.

Blasphemy, Kristen!

Yes, I am sorry to tell you that Twitter is not timeless. It has a shelf life. Hopefully, for us addicts, it will be a very long shelf life, but we do tend to forget our loyalty when lured by the new shiny thing. That is why a lot of what I teach has less to do with technology and more to do with application. Technology will eventually face obsolescence, but application is timeless. Branding your name (last week’s blog) was smart back when everything was done by snail mail and it was smart when Friendster was big and it is smart now with Facebook.

Back to MySpace. Until it blows up or is taken off-line for good, it is going to be a super-powerful tool to help you succeed. I hear too many authors say, “MySpace is so yesterday. I’m on Facebook.” Well, okay, but you are shelving a very powerful tool for promotion, and we aren’t on there for fun, we are there to build a brand.

Every writer should have a MySpace page, especially a new writer. GASP! Yes you read correctly. I do believe I am unique in teaching this technique that I am about to pass on to you. And there is more about this topic in my upcoming book, We Are Not Alone—Writers and Social Media Marketing.

Kristen! Why on earth do you want us to mess with MySpace? We can barely keep up with FB and Twitter for goodness sakes!

Well, first of all, my book teaches a method that will help you dominate the domains and command all the digital real estate you can. It takes a lot of work at first, but if done correctly, it will take minimal time to maintain. I recommend a presence on all three major platforms—MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. To what degree you participate in any of them is up to you. But that is a discussion for another time.

MySpace is one of your greatest assets, and more writers should take advantage. Why?

How many of you already have a customized, fancy, interactive website? If not, then…

How many of you have $10,000 to go drop on a customized, fancy, interactive website?

How many of you have $1000 or $500 for a regular, not-so-impressive web site?

How many of you, especially new writers, barely have money to eat, let alone THINK of building a web site?

How many of you want to pay some web guy every time you want to put up something new or change something?

I highly, highly, highly recommend MySpace pages as a web site. Why?

  1. They are free.
  2. They are easy to build. If you can right click, cut and paste, then you can build a killer MySpace page. MySpace is the friend of the technology-challenged writer who doesn’t have the cash to pay someone to build a fancy web site.
  3. MySpace pages are free, quick, and easy to modify (upload new pictures, blogs, links, etc). In fact, you can change the look of the entire page in 20 seconds.
  4. It is easy to post blogs.
  5. It is easy to link to your Twitter (embedded widget)
  6. Regularly updated MySpace pages score very highly with search engines. In English that means your name (brand) will rank higher on a Google search much quicker than you will with a static site.
  7. MySpace makes it easy to separate your personal life from your professional (without the awkwardness of multiple FB identities).  
  8. Can be easily synced to Twitter. Update Twitter, and it will auto-update MySpace.
  9. Is a great transition to a Facebook fan page. Face it. If you are an unpublished writer who isn’t even sure of what genre you want to write, you DO NOT need a fan page (yet).  
  10. Unlike a static web page, MySpace pages are already integrated into an existing network thus making it easier to gain a following.  There are some die-hard MySpacers who could be potential readers. Why alienate them? This is why I assert that ALL authors can benefit from having a MySpace page.

I taught this technique on Saturday to a group of Rotarians. Rotary is 105 years old. Like many service organizations, they must get plugged in and become relevant or face declining numbers. I built a MySpace page for my club and we use it for recruiting. It looks cool, has embedded music and video and best of all…it was FREE!!!!! And it took all of two hours to do and takes only minutes to maintain.

Now when I meet someone and they say, “What is Rotary?” I can send them to our MySpace and feel confident that it portrays the best about who we are and what we do.

Our club didn’t have to hope that some Rotarian in our club was a computer geek who would build a site for free (or at least give us a price break). We didn’t need to raise funds to hire a web master to build a nice looking web site. We didn’t have to allocate funds for web hosting.

MySpace allows us to get all the benefits of a webpage without the hassle and expense of a web page.

http://www.myspace.com/swfwrotary

If you aren’t already on MySpace, I recommend getting a MySpace page (using the name you wish to brand).  It will save you time and money better spent focusing on improving you and your writing skills. When you get business cards, print the MySpace domain on your card just like a web site (or along with your existing web site). Put your MySpace domain in your information section of your bios on Facebook and Twitter just like you would a regular web site.

You don’t have to do your socializing on MySpace if you don’t want to. MySpace might be annoyed at me for saying that, but it is their job to make interaction more fun and exciting than Facebook, not ours. They benefit off us being users who post regular content. Thus, they still profit when we use them for a free web site (we are sending traffic their way).

My MySpace page, I think, looks great, and it has had well over 30,000 hits (even though I was once dumb and went under texaswriterchik). My MySpace page has the links to my blog, my static site and even a nifty button to help visitors follow me on Twitter. Sounds a lot like a web page, right? Only this didn’t cost me anything but time.

And I know all the Facebook loyalists are groaning, but human nature is to be impressed with the shiny thing, and cool backgrounds trump uncool backgrounds any day of the week. If you love Facebook, feel free to invite visitors to socialize with you on your Facebook site. It isn’t social media infidelity if you do. MySpace will get over it. I am sure they would rather have you on their platform some of the time instead of none of the time.

I recommend MySpace or Yours for awesome free backgrounds. For those on Twitter, they also offer some amazing free Twitter backgrounds (even to match your MySpace background if you like). Freesourcecode.com is also a great place for amazing free backgrounds (particularly for fantasy writers). This site also has ways of helping you create a customized background with you photo or logo. You will have to mess with some pop ups, but I have always used both of these sites, and, in the past four years, have had no problems.

I recommend saving the code in individual Word documents and labeling what they are…Killer Dragon MySpace Background, Awesome Fairy Background, etc. This will make it easier to change backgrounds regularly and you won’t have to start over looking for a good background.  You will be able to change the entire look of your page in the time it takes to highlight, delete, copy, paste, and save. DONE!

Some tips…

  1. If you load music, make it appropriate and even neutral. We are there to build a brand, not upload every song we’ve liked since high school. We might love Hip-Hop or Norwegian Death Metal, but others might not.
  2. Limit adding flash. Photo slide shows are pretty, but they will slow down the loading time of your MySpace page and frustrate visitors.
  3. Keep it simple. Think of this like your web site. Bio, contact info (on all other social media sites) and your blog (feel free to use it to send people to your WordPress or Blogger). That’s all. Photo albums are extra. Games and Mafia Wars are for regular people, not professionals.
  4. Update regularly. Make an effort to log in and at least send out a status update at least once a day. Just comment on someone’s page or add a friend or two. Just have activity. It takes 5 minutes and will help you score higher with search engines.
  5. Make your page open to the public like a web site (cuz, well, it is like your web site). Make it easy for us to visit. Solving CAPTCHAs and making us cough up your personal e-mail, your real last name and the name of your first pet is annoying. We are lazy. We will go elsewhere and find friends who are not so high-maintenance.

Most of all HAVE FUN! MySpace is a great way to express your creative side and all that money you would have spend building a fancy website can now pay for you to attend a conference to make you a better writer.

Happy writing!

Until next time…

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By the way! If you loved this blog and just want MORE? My book, “We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” is now available. Buy one today and take charge of your writing career! My book is designed specifically for writers. I want to change your habits, not your personality. Harness that same creative energy used for writing and use it to build your platform.

Invest in your career.

I recommend you stop by Jane Friedman’s blog “There Are No Rules.” Check out all the other links that Editor Jane listed for their quality information. She works hard to gather the best of the best to make us the best, so take full advantage

http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/

I also recommend Bob Mayer’s Warrior Writer Workshop. This blog would have never happened had it not been for Bob and his Warrior Writer training. Bob works extremely hard to help writers be successful. Sign up for a WW Workshop near you or join his on-line Warrior Writer Workshop at www.bobmayer.org.

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