by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
"Amy who?" If you get that question often, you need some help branding yourself. Have you ever thought about twitter? Perhaps you've tried twitter already but don't know how to brand your company with it. You're just talking to thin air, right? Wrong. If you use twitter correctly and tap into the available resources, you have access to a very wide audience. I've been using twitter to brand myself in several niche areas for years. So how do I do it?
Follow people who represent what you stand for. This is one of the most important ways to show people what your company is all about. If you want people to know you are involved in a particular activity, be involved in it everywhere, including twitter. One of my missions in life is to help rescue and bring appreciation to small animals. Anyone who knows me, even for a second, knows this. Why? I put it out there. I talk about it, write about it, have a web page about it, facebook about it, and yes, twitter about it with a twitter account dedicated to that alone. On that account, I interact with other animal lovers. Following and keeping up with these people not only shows I'm involved, but it keeps me up to date with what's going on in that niche area.
Tweet tips about your purpose. If your purpose is to bring attention to homelessness and you're tweeting about your new cat and his cute tricks, you are targeting the wrong audience. It's one thing to have random fun posts. But most of your posts should be related to the niche you want to brand yourself or your company in. Otherwise, your followers will be very confused as to what exactly you represent. Do people need to ask what your purpose is? Do your followers often have nothing to do with your niche? If so, work on tweeting more about your purpose, lest you branded for something completely unrelated, such as silly things cats do, instead of fighting homelessness.
Tweet links to more information. This shows your followers you know what you're talking about. An authority on a topic should have an outlet where the topic is further discussed. This could be a blog, a website, a facebook page, or all of the above. Tweeting these links helps to brand your name (or company name) to a niche topic because it shows activity on a particular topic. I am well-known for my parenting and pet content. Why? I live it, write about it, and share content about it regularly. Those links go out to twitter every single time so that followers know what I stand for. When your followers know what you're about, they will start to look forward to this information. That's when you know you've done a good job branding. But don't stop. Keep up the momentum.
Use hashtags that represent your purpose. This helps readers and potential followers find your tweets. If you tweet about homelessness, you might use the tags #poverty, #homeless, or #homelessness after your tweet to indicate what you're talking about. If you do this with every single tweet, people come to associate you or your brand with the topic. To reach the maximum amount of people, experiment and search twitter for various hashtags that mean the same thing. Choose the ones that produce the most results. The more people that regularly use a hashtag word or phrase, the better.
Use hashtags that represent your brand. You can also take it a step further and create tags that represent your company or name. Place those tags, as well as other related tags, in every tweet so that it's easier for people to find you and associate you with certain topics. I add #LynLomasi in many tweets that I want associated with my brand. One of my websites is called Life Successfully. When I tweet about something I want branded to that website, I use the hashtag #LifeSuccessfully.
There are many ways to brand yourself on twitter. Be clear and consistent in the methods you choose to gain the most positive results. Be fair and don't spam too many links or over post. That will actually cause you to lose followers, rather than gain them. Be authentic and use twitter to enhance what you already believe in.
**Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
I've said it before (Gloomy is Good, Too) and I'll say it again. Authenticity is the key to returning readers. Being the true you creates trust.
You may not win over everyone by being you. But your goal is not to please everyone. If you think it is, you may need some serious rethinking time.
No matter how much it may seem that you have different thoughts than others, there will always be someone else who can relate. I am finding this out lately as I open up more on a personal level with certain friends.
Even if no one agrees with you, it is better to be authentic than to fake it just to save face. Readers like honesty and although they may not always agree with you, they'll respect you much more for being real than they will for being fake.
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on Write W.A.V.E. Media.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Most who know me will know that I spend a considerable amount of time utilizing social media. I still will. It’s essential to the work I do and is a significant method for keeping in touch with those I care about. However, starting tonight, I’ve decided to go about it in a different way. I’m minimizing my mobile notifications for Facebook and Twitter – specifically, the SMS (text) ones… and yes, I can feel the shock coursing through the veins of anyone who knows me personally, as they read that statement.
SMS is Outdated and Unnecessary
Why the heck am I getting both text alerts and push notifications for the same exact things on Facebook? I receive several types of push notifications. Two of those include email and Facebook – and I get Facebook alerts in my email too. This means I am getting three notifications for the same updates (email, Facebook app, and SMS). Why? This is a bit excessive. At first, it was a precaution to be sure I don’t miss anything important. However, there hasn’t yet been a time when any of those methods has failed. Besides, with push notifications coming directly from the Facebook app, SMS is actually quite outdated, not to mention unnecessary. Why would I choose text alerts when the push notifications get me directly to the update in the Facebook app? The text notification leads to the mobile web version of Facebook, which is not how I prefer to access Facebook. I prefer the app because the features are better and it loads faster.
Text Alerts Are Annoying
My poor loved ones have to hear the constant annoyance that is my text alert going off literally every second sometimes. This is ridiculous and I’m putting an end to it. In fact, it’s even starting to annoy me and I’m the one who set it up that way. Yes, some of the notifications are important – some. But as I mentioned above, I’m already getting them via my mobile device in other ways. So the SMS is really just an unnecessary annoyance and distraction. Text messages that happen all the time are not cool and neither are those that wake people up in the middle of the night, unless they are an emergency. I don’t need to receive a text message every time a friend or business updates their status on Facebook or tweets on Twitter. I check those that matter via apps or my laptop anyhow. Seeing them more than once is annoying and takes time away from more important things.
My Family Deserves More Attention
I am a mother first before anything and these notifications can be a distraction. I’m not the type to ignore my kids. But glancing at my phone less is something they’ll likely appreciate. The same could be said for my lover, friends, and other family. I’m sure everyone in my life wouldbe very happy if there were fewer reasons for me to glance at my phone during fun activities. I still get things done and if you ask any of them, they’ll tell you I’m very loving and attentive. However, it’s just the principle of the matter.
I’m Hoping for More Productivity
I added so many notifications to increase productivity. Those who know me will also know that I am extremely productive. They’ll probably also be shocked if I can increase that and wonder how I can do that with fewer notifications. If you remember what I said above, you’ll remember that I am getting the same notifications more than once. Therefore, this should actually save me some time. If I’m being honest, I actually don’t look at every notification. However, I do sometimes look at the same ones in more than one place. So taking these away will end that possibility.
My Cell Phone Battery Dies Too Quickly
More notifications equal less battery juice. The whole point of a cell phone is having it available for use at any time. That becomes less possible if I am on the go and for some reason am unable to charge my phone for a lengthy time period. My cell phone battery often dies quickly because I have so many notifications coming in every direction. Cutting off most of the SMS alerts will help remedy a great deal of that issue. Twitter and Facebook notifications come to my phone so often that if I stop receiving text alerts for even five minutes, I know that my phone is having issues and I need to restart it. It’s cool to have that indicator, but at the same time, that’s just too much. In addition to reasons stated above, I need my cell phone to keep its juice.
Certain SMS and Mobile Alerts Are Staying
Because some people do rely on me for emergency situations, certain alerts will still come to me via SMS. However, most will not. For instance, Twitter DMs will stay for people I follow back because those people rarely DM me unless it’s important and about work. I need those SMS notifications, as I do not receive push notifications for anything Twitter-related. But Twitter notifications for specific people and companies will likely go away. I really don’t need to know every time every entity I follow posts to Twitter. But I do need to know when someone needs assistance.
In short, I’m cutting off many of my mobile notifications for family, life, and business purposes. Therefore, if you notice me slowing down on responding to less important things, that could be part of it. I love all of my friends on both sites. But there’s a point where too much is just…well, too much.
**Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Every day as I am browsing Facebook, I see at least one photo posted where it is the intent for people to comment and bash the person who is the subject. I see this most common with either very slender women or very large women. Why? Facebook photo bashing needs to stop. Now.
For those of you doing said bashing, who made you the authority on how someone else should look? Perhaps they have a health issue causing them to gain or lose weight. Perhaps there is nothing wrong at all and you're just rude and judgmental. Maybe it is something else altogether.
People come in all shapes and sizes and all of them are awesome. Being different is what makes us each unique. And we are all beautiful for our own reasons.
“But look how tight her clothes are for her size.” “She looks like a skeleton.”
Again, do you know how she got there? Furthermore, even if you do, it's her body not yours. Only she can decide what to do with it. “But I have to look at it.” Umm, no you don't. If you really don't like it that much, then look away. But don't make her problem – if she even has one – worse by posting her photo online and ridiculing her.
Ever looked at the figures on cyberbullicide – suicide as a reaction to being bullied online? Could you really live with yourself if that happened to someone because you wanted to have some “fun” commenting on a photo online? Really? If care for your fellow man/woman doesn't stop you from leaving those nasty comments, perhaps the knowledge that cyberbullying is a crime will. That's right folks, it can land you in jail or worse, depending on the effects of the bullying on the victim. Look that up too while you're at it.
I propose a challenge to anyone considering leaving a not-so-flattering comment on one of these photos. Find something nice to say instead. I guarantee you that will feel a whole lot better than the alternative.
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Comments from readers can make a person laugh, cry, or even stare off into confusion. Readers can do anything from asking genuine questions to trolling posts and leaving comments to get a purposeful rise out of the author or other readers. Should web writers answer reader comments? I've written on this topic before but it's been a while and is a good time for a refresher course, as well as some new information.
Is responding to your readers allowed?
Depending on where you are doing your web writing, responding to readers may not be allowed. If you are writing for a website or blog other than your own, be sure to know the terms and what is and isn't allowed. Some venues encourage commentary between authors and readers, while others prefer that only the readers do the commenting.
Is the comment genuine?
Before you lay your fingers on that keyboard to draft a response, consider whether the commentary left is genuine or not. Does the reader appear to be truly curious about the subject or does something seem off? Sometimes readers may leave comments meant to reel you in, so to speak. Consider the motive behind the comment before deciding about responding to it.
Is your response reactionary or truthful?
Are you just responding a certain way in a moment of frustration or passion or are you being completely truthful? Be genuine and true if you are going to respond to your readers. If you can't be truthful, there's no sense in engaging readers via the comment section. Sometimes what you want to say at first may not be totally in line with the way you truly feel after some thinking. Some comments don't really need a response and many times you'll find that your readers will come along and defend you if the comments seem to call for it. You won't have to say anything because they will do that for you. Of course, I am one who really doesn't care what people think of me, so I generally don't feel the need to be defensive anyway.
Is your response useful?
Don't waste your time typing up a response that isn't going to benefit your readership in some way. If your reader is asking about lizard care, there's no point in answering questions about your college degree, unless you graduated from some lizard specialty school and it's relevant to the questions at hand. A helpful comment section will include questions and information that adds to what is available within the article itself.
Is your response helpful or hurtful to your desired image?
Is the language and context you present in your commentary what you want to present to readers and potential clients? I personally am my true self no matter where I am. Therefore, I don't worry about this one too much. I know that I am not going to say anything that I wouldn't say in front of anyone, including business contacts. But if you know that you don't have the same awareness and control, be sure to examine what you are posting before hitting that comment button. Some people may find it helpful to type up potential comments in a document and read it aloud before posting.
At the end of the day, if you are truly comfortable with what you are posting and it is acceptable to the venue, readers do appreciate interacting with writers. Therefore, if done correctly according to your personal standards, this could actually boost your career.
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
You spend hours on a submission perfecting every little detail when along comes an editor to mess with your masterpiece. If you're going to make it as a writer, you will have to work with editors. A necessary part of the publishing process involves dealing with editors.
Learn to compromise. Editors can and often do change things. That's what they're there for. They catch the little mistakes we make (and we all make mistakes). They also may make changes that are better for structure, your audience, the web, and more. Though you may not always agree with their changes, you will have to deal with many of them. Depending on the publication, you may be able to form a compromise with the editor.
Let it go. That may be easier said than done in many cases. As writers, we see our writings as our little babies, if you will. We work hard on it and it means so much to us. Altering it can feel like someone is trying to change us. After all, it does have our names on it. But at some point, we have to learn to let it go. If the work never bypasses an editor, it may never get out in front of the audience. Try not to get too attached and let the work go once its complete.
What's the change? Instead of becoming to attached to the way the piece is written, focus on the message. If the edits do not take away the message, don't be so hard on the editor. It's perfectly fine to address the editor if you feel that the changes are unsatisfactory or take away from the message. But if the change is nothing that takes away the message, why waste all that energy getting upset? Write another article.
Report the editor. This is only for extreme cases. I say that because as a writer, you will need to learn to deal with the fact that your writing will be changed by editors if you want it published with major companies. If the editor really is making changes that are unreasonable (and not just changes you don't like - changes that affect the quality of the work significantly), that's when you report the editor. I advise not taking this route unless necessary because a writer and editor need to be able to work together peacefully. But obviously, if there is an injustice it should be reported.
Switch venues. If you just cannot deal with a particular editor, write somewhere else. Ultimately, you should be happy with your writing (or any) career. If that's not happening, you haven't found the right venue/s to write for yet. Realize you should not be switching venues every time you don't like what an editor does. But if there is a true problem, remember that you can move on.
Write for yourself. If you truly cannot deal with anyone at all messing with your own work, only wrote for yourself. When someone is paying you to produce work, it should be what they want, hence part of the reason for the editors. If you create your own venue, such as your own website or blog, you make the rules. Even if you go this route it can still be a wise move to have an editor or at least a writing buddy that is willing to be a second pair of eyes. But you'll have the most freedom when writing for yourself.
Bottom line: Editors are a part of the writing and publishing business and writers need to be able to adapt to that fact. Work with (not against) your editor, unless you have a legitimate claim against them.
Tired of writing about the same topic all the time? Your readers may be tired of looking at it as well. While it's great to specialize in something, you should also throw in other topics now and then too.
You can specialize in more than one topic without losing credibility with your readers. In fact, you may find they are glad to see random topics mixed in with what they are used to seeing you write.
If you want to succeed in freelance writing, variance can be a very good thing. Clients love writers who specialize. But they also like to see some versatility. This way, if they have a topic that shies away from your usual routine, they know they can at least consider you for the project. However, if you only write on one topic, how will they know if you are able to handle anything else.
Are you showing enough variance in your work?
Readers and fellow writers often ask me why I enjoy helping so many people? Am I worried about creating competition for myself? Why do I just freely give advice and inform others of what I do to succeed in writing? Am I creating competition by helping others succeed?
If I were creating competition, I am not afraid to play the game and I'd play it fair. However, I don't believe I am. Why? There is a vast sea of opportunities, gigs, jobs, and contracts in the writing world. It's not humanly possible for me to have every writing task to myself, nor would I desire to.
Aside from that, I am wise enough to know that every assignment is not for me. I don't know everything there is to know. Also, each writer has their own style. Why take on a project I know I can't do when there could be someone else better suited to it and who may need it more than I do? Instead, I could refer a good writer and move on to something better suited to me.
I have always believed in helping others, no matter the situation. Whether in my career or in every day life, if I see someone who needs help, I'm going to provide it if I have the means. If you knew a secret that could change the whole world for the better, would you keep it to yourself? Of course not - at least, I hope not.
No, writing advice is probably not going to change the world. However, if I can offer some guidance that can help change someone's perspective or career for the better, you can bet I'm going to tell them. One small piece of advice or word of encouragement could be all that is standing in the way of someone living their dream. How do I know this? People have given me that kind of hope and assistance. Were it not for fellow writers pushing me and offering me advice, who knows where I'd be today?
So, am I creating competition by helping others succeed? Does it really matter?
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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