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
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
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).
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Try doing a Yahoo search on anything related to freelance writing jobs and you’ll pull up a multitude of opportunities, many of them scams. The simplest way to tell if one’s a scam is that it usually starts with “make easy money” just like any other scam. While it’s true that some aspects of a freelance writing career will become easy to an experienced writer over time, freelance writing as a whole is NOT an easy full time career path. But it’s worth it.
As a full time freelance writer, I used to spend countless sleepless nights thinking, researching, and typing out the results endlessly. Wait, “used to”? If I’m no longer a full time freelance writer, what do I know? The thing is, I spent years as a full time freelance writer and I slowed down, not because of the lack of money or interest, but because I wanted to help other freelance writers. That’s right. Now my full time job is helping others do what I did. But I still write almost full time as well. Therefore, I assure you, you can trust my experience.
Some people think “Oh, I can write. My poems from high school are great. I should be a writer.” And if that’s you, writing might be a good career choice for you. But just keep in mind that writing for the web and writing a poem here and there are two entirely different things. Freelance writing as a full time career path will involve writing for a considerable amount of time most days. Decide which you REALLY want to do and do that.
Writing for the web as a full time freelance writer is hard work. Yes, work. Forget all those scammers out there telling you it’s easy. Yes, it’s easy for them at first because they’re copying and pasting the text that I (or another talented writer) put real time and heart into in order to create it. But it no longer becomes easy for them when we decide to pursue it legally.
Ah yes, there’s another thing about freelance writing. You’re not JUST a writer. You’re a writer, researcher, marketer, CEO, manager, self-appointed attorney, and many other things.
The first part – the actual writing – may come easy to you sometimes and maybe even most of the time. But there will be days when you may not be able to form a complete sentence no matter how many deadlines you’re facing or how much money is on the line. Even for writers who seem to just sprout creative words in an instant, writing all day every day can become difficult. And you WILL need to write very often (among other things) in order to make the most money at web writing.
I know what you’re thinking because it’s me as well. I definitely said it too. You’re saying “but I love writing. I already write all day long, nonstop. I can do this.” If so, then you probably can, just like me. However, keep in mind that even you will likely have days where you just can’t. Also keep in mind that everything you write, though it may come from your heart, is for someone else. And, while you are in charge of yourself, you do still have to actually work. Otherwise, what are you getting paid for?
Up until this point, I may have turned some people off already because it sounds like a big complaint. But heck no! I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for the world. The thing is, if you’re going to be in the business, someone needs to tell you the real facts. Yes, I can spend more time with my kids (human and fur variety). Yes, I make a fairly decent income when I’m consistent with it. But it does take real work and effort and if you can’t commit to that, this is NOT the career for you because if you stop working, the money stops coming.
For me, the benefits of staying home with my kids, the satisfaction of knowing my words may help people, being able to finally start saving some money, and some of the other things directly related to being a freelance writer are worth the hard work. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Still want to be a freelance writer? If you said yes, I commend you. Feel free to reach out to me on my Facebook page for help getting started: facebook.com/LynLomasi
(No, I’m not going to charge you anything for advice, unlike those scammers out there looking for a quick buck. NEVER pay for work. You’re the one working. YOU should be the one getting paid.)
**Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this here on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
If you browsed my Facebook wall (or other social media sites I am a member of) and hadn't before (or were not made aware of what I do), you might quickly become confused. Why? I often share work written by my friends as well as what I create myself. This means some topics might conflict with my personal viewpoints and other things posted -- and that's okay. However, it is confusing to some people and I receive questions about it often.
Here's the deal. Freelance writers often get paid based on page views. Therefore, I frequently share to help them out once I have read a piece. Sometimes I agree with the points made in my friends' articles and sometimes I don't. I don't always share based on topic because I can disagree with a topic and still feel the article has value. Even if someone doesn't agree with me, they have a right to speak their mind as well. Unless it's harmful to others, opinion doesn't affect my choice to share the link to someone's work on various social networks.
My strategy for reading when my friends do the same is to click what I'm interested in and ignore the rest. It's silly to send a message to someone asking them not to post certain things. Yes, I have had that happen: (http://www.articlewriterforhire.com/1/post/2013/10/please-dont-tell-me-what-to-post-on-facebook.html). I realize I do share lots of stuff on social sites. Please ignore what you aren't interested in and only share what you are. After all, sharing should be organic, not forced.
What's your sharing strategy? Do you use opinion as one of the deciding factors in sharing content on social media?
Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
"Please subscribe to my work. I promise I will read yours too." Those are words many web writers hear on a daily basis. But should those words be put to rest? In mentoring fellow writers, I often get asked about promotion. Many times people ask me what to do. Now I'm going to tell you what not to do. Here are 5 of the many marketing no-nos for web writers.
Don't blast the same links on twitter all day long.
Not only is this annoying, it is considered spamming and can get you banned from twitter. It makes me cringe when I see fellow writers sharing the exact same article link every hour all day long. If you want to reshare an article, wait for another day or share it elsewhere, not continuously in the same space. The same goes for when you're sharing on other social networks or anywhere else you promote your links. Oversharing could be a TOS violation. When you violate one thing, readers and clients may question your ethics.
Don't use social networks purely for link posting.
If you join a social site, then be social. Posting only links is not considered being social. Even if you click on links others post, you still aren't being social. Have conversations. Participate in the community. If you aren't going to do anything but post links, then you are probably promoting to dead air space because that's considered spamming.
Don't demand reciprocation.
If you follow another writer's work, don't expect them to follow yours. Sure, they might want to return the favor or they might like your work. But just because you read their work does not mean they are required to read yours. Think about it from their perspective. How do you feel when people expect you to do something? It's not a fair way to treat people. Instead of asking for or demanding reciprocation, leave people to make their own decisions about your writing.
Don't expect family and friends to read everything you write.
This is something many web writers will deal with. It's definitely a good feeling when family members and friends want to read your work. But don't make them feel as if they have to. Not everyone is going to understand your passion for writing. That doesn't mean they don;t support you. They may just have other interests. It's one thing to drop a quick link on facebook where everyone you know can see it. It's quite another to repeatedly email the same links to family members and friends.
Don't use shady promotional tactics.
If you want readers and clients to take you seriously, avoid certain marketing tactics. Selling traffic traffic clicks, using pyramid schemes, and other such promotional tactics may sound tempting at first. But these type of marketing campaigns are often frowned upon and are even against the TOS of many content sites and publications. Keep the trust of your clients and readers by only using trusted promotional techniques. Your clients will trust your work ethics when your traffic is verifiable and your readers will trust what you say if you are ethical in all your actions.
**Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
**I originally published this content on Yahoo! Voices on July 5, 2011
You're looking at your fan and follower lists and you want them to grow. But there are certain things you just shouldn't do to achieve that. Because many web writers get paid an incentive when people read their articles, every view counts. However, did you know that the majority of views actually won't come from your fans and followers? In most cases, the majority of views come from people finding your work in search. It's still great to have fans and followers because it means you know what your readers want. It's also a fun way to connect with your readers and the writing community. But there are some fan and follower no-nos that every web writer should be aware of.
Don't expect someone to be your fan just because you are theirs. This is something web writers come across often. If you become someone's fan or follower on content sites with a community aspect, they often reciprocate, but not always. Don;t be offended when the don't. They may just be too busy to read other people's work. You may also write on a topic they are not into. There are plenty of reasons someone may not want to follow your work, even if you follow theirs. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, this is how it should go. A reader who is interested in your work more than in your reciprocal following is more valuable.
Don't personally advertise your work to people who already follow you. I see this issue come up often. Person A subscribes to person B. Person B is excited to have a new follower. So each time Person B publishes, he excitedly tells Person A to go check out his work. The problem? Person A is subscribed. He receives the notice in his inbox already. He doesn't want to be asked to read it twice. After dealing with this a few more times, Person A unsubscribes and starts ignoring messages from Person B. There's nothing wrong with being excited about your work. But don't force it onto people. If someone has subscribed to your work, they're interested and will probably read it. But don't eliminate that interest by overdoing it on the reading invitations.
Don't assume that because there is no comment, a person didn't read your work. Once you make a certain amount of connections, there may not be enough time in a day to do all that you want. Some people, like me, save time by leaving little to no comments on the work they read. Not getting a comment should not have you sending messages asking people if they've read your work. If they want to read it they will and they may or may not leave a comment when they do. If you ask your fans and followers if they've read your work, this can seem like pestering and cause them to unfan you or unsubscribe to your work.
Don't ask "Can you be my fan?" This can actually cause people to turn away. If someone reads your work and they like it, they will become your fan. But asking someone to be your fan is considered bad netiquette. I have a great following, when it comes to my work. Do you think I got there by asking people to add me? Not at all. I don't ask people to become my fan. If they want to, that's great. But I'm not going to pressure people into clicking that fan or follow button. There are many reasons may not be able to fan or follow me and maybe they don't enjoy my work. That's perfectly fine with me. I'd rather have fans and followers who actually want to be there.
More from Lyn:
Web Writing Tips: Marketing No-Nos
How Much Money Can I Make Writing for Yahoo! Contributor Network?
Web Writing Tips: Getting Started
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of Brand Shamans & the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, we are your brand healing, soul healing, & content superheroes to the rescue!
Running our network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is our top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, we conquer the world, living the RV life and managing our Intent-sive Nature with our awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels.
We also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, we’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
We support many causes via our business ventures, such as homelessness, support for trans youth, equality, helping starving artists, and more! A portion of all proceeds from Intent-sive Nature goes toward helping homeless pets in local shelters.
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