Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Fabulous Follower Fiesta/Social Networking in 15 Minutes

Fabulous Follower Fiesta

Here are today's winners! Thanks again to all my followers.

Winner #1:
Katie Ganshert
You won Wish by Alexandra Bullen and Get Known Before The Book Deal by Christina Katz. Please email me your address.

Winner #2: V.S.
You won The Blue Girl
by Charles de Lint and 30 steps to becoming a writer and getting published. Please email me your address.

Congrads and thank you for following me :)


Today's Guest Post is by the awesome WordServe Literary agent/avid blogger, Rachelle Gardner at Rants and Ramblings.

Social Networking in 15 Minutes a Day

A lot of people wonder how they can do all the online networking they're "supposed" to do without it completely draining all their time and energy. Well, I don't have all the answers, but I've developed a strategy that works for me, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Blog

1. I write my blog posts for the week in one or two sittings, usually on the weekend.

2. I schedule my blog to post automatically each day so I don't have to think about my blog all week unless I want to.

3. I'm flexible so that if a timely idea hits me mid-week, I can go ahead and write a blog post and schedule it for whenever I want.

4. All the blog comments go directly to a separate email box. Whenever I get comments that give me an idea for another blog post, I divert those emails to a separate folder called "Save for Blog."

5. I also keep a Word doc with ongoing ideas for blog posts, which I jot down whenever they strike me. When I need to write a post and get stuck, I have both my Word doc and my email "Save for Blog" file for ideas.

6. Some of my posts require almost no effort on my part. I strategically use guest posts and Q4Us, to maintain consistent postings without having to write so much.


Twitter

1. I use TweetDeck to keep my tweets organized on my desktop, but there are many other Twitter apps you can use. Just don't rely on the Twitter website itself - it's extremely inefficient.

2. I don't keep TweetDeck open while I'm working! I take breaks from working and open TweetDeck, or sometimes I actually keep it open on a different computer so I can check it when I take quick periodic breaks.

3. I generally give myself about a two-minute limit on Twitter during work hours, which includes tweeting, reading, and responding.

4. I use TweetLater and often schedule the day's worth of tweets in the morning before I begin my work day. Then as I'm checking Twitter later in the day, I don't have to think of new tweets, I simply respond to others, and read people's responses to mine.

5. In my "leisure" time (nights and weekends) I typically don't limit myself. I sometimes tweet a lot and get into conversations with people, but I don't look at it as a waste of time. It's fun and it can also be valuable networking.


Facebook

1. I adopted the philosophy that we each use social networking for our own purposes, and we get to choose how we use each platform.

2. Therefore I've decided to use Facebook only for my family members across the country, and people with whom I'm actually acquainted in real life.

3. I update Facebook approximately once a day, sometimes less. My Facebook friends are a different group than my Twitter friends. People were getting annoyed at so many updates, so I've cut it way down.

4. I've noticed that Facebook tends to swallow much more time (if you let it). The conversations are interesting and can really suck you in! For that reason, I typically only open up Facebook once a day, and it's usually not during the hours I'm working.

Visiting Other Blogs

I forgot to mention scheduling time to read and comment on other blogs. If you're actively trying to build your own blog traffic, this is a necessary and valuable use of your time. Try to plan on an extra 15 minutes a day for this, and visit/comment on several blogs each day.

When my blogs were new, I spent a lot of time commenting on other blogs. Now I don't need to as much, since Twitter seems to be the most effective way to drive people back to my blog. However, I read about 20 other blogs regularly, and it's almost always on my Blackberry when I'm away from home: sitting in the kids' carpool line or hanging out at their various activities. In fact, whenever I have brief moments of waiting, even 5 minutes or less, I automatically pull out my Blackberry and read blogs. I keep up very effectively this way.

These are my strategies to make sure social networking works FOR me without taking up all my time. What are your strategies?


Check out Rachelle's informative and very popular blog for more insight. You can also follow her on Twitter for her minute-by-minute agent updates!

33 comments:

Dawn Simon said...

Thanks for the tips! I'm blogging and I've saved my name on Twitter, but I haven't gone beyond that point. I will, though, so this is very helpful. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Congrats to Katie and V.S. - those sound like some great prizes!

Wonderful tips, Rachelle. I don't do twitter yet, but you make some convincing points for it. :-)

Thanks Shelli!

Catherine Denton said...

Great thoughts on pre-posting. I need to do that. Thanks for all the tips.
Winged Writer

Steena Holmes said...

My first blog of the day and what do I see ... great prizes and a wonderful post :)

Oh Sherri ... you need to let me know how many books you read in January ... the results are posted on my blog www.steenaholmes.blogspot.com

Falen said...

an extra 15 minutes for reading and commenting on blogs? Jeesh i wish it only took me that long...
But then, i read a lot of blogs...

Ash. Elizabeth said...

great interview. i love her blog. it's extremely helping in learning more about the publishing biz.

The Rejection Queen said...

Congrats to all the winners!

Janet Johnson said...

Good information. These things can suck up time, but a lot of it's perspective, like she said: social networking, not wasting time. :) And I've learned a lot by coming here!

Natalie said...

This is great information. I need to schedule my networking time better!

Cindy said...

Congrats to the winners and good tips! I'm working to organize my social networking a little better to have more spare time for family and writing.

Heather said...

Great interview! Rachelle is one of my favorite bloggers.

And Falen, I sgree, it definitely takes me longer than 15 minutes to read and comment on the blogs I love, but I try to spread it out over the day, and I stick to the blogs that I think are most valuable (though I have a lot in my reader, and sometimes a good title will catch my eye and I'll read one that's out of my usual loop).

Alison Eckel said...

Thanks for the tips Rachelle and Shelli. I'm new to blogging and a little overwhelmed. Sometimes I feel like the social networking takes more time than the writing. I can see I need a good system like you have Rachelle. Thanks for the help!

michelle said...

This is so informative, I really needed to read this as I have just started out blogging and I was feeling pretty underwhelmed by the whole blogging thing (no feedback, very time consuming) even though it is fun.
Thanks a lot!

Elana Johnson said...

These are excellent tips! It's so hard to keep up with the blogging. I try to comment on every person's blog that comments on mine. Sometimes I can do it, and sometimes I can't. But I try!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great advice! Rachelle's blog is one of my daily stops too :)

I don't do FB at all. I've never heard of TweetLater, but like the idea of it. Thanks!

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Very, very helpful!

Gail said...

Great interview and wonderful tips!
My favorite is reading the other blogs and commenting....and hoping that others will try out my blog too.

Robyn Campbell said...

Congrats Katie! And V.S. too.

Super tips. The blogging is my main time user. I will try to write and schedule my posts to go up everyday that week. But then there is still the reading blogs and commenting.

I don't like twitter. I do like facebook, but that too can be time consuming. Thanks Shelli for having Rachelle in. I learned some things today. (^_^)

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Good tip for having your posts scheduled. Then you have more time to visit others blogs ;)

Katie Ganshert said...

Great tips! And woo-hoo! I'll email you right now. :)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Congrats to the winners! And thanks for featuring the great advice. Those are some great ideas , and I should definitely should try out saving comments for post ideas in a separate folder. As for scheduling posts, I try, but I sometimes get too restless, lol... and then I stress out during the week. *sigh* Anyways, thanks! :D

lisanowak said...

I see stuff about Rachelle EVERYWHERE. She's done a good job of marketing herself. The Word document thing is a good idea. I do that, too, the only problem is that I usually don't do anything with my idea. :)

Kim Kasch said...

Love the helpful hints, tips and more.

Donna B said...

Thank you so much Shelli, you are a wealth of information. I have a question about that automatic posting...you mean, each day it posts that days blog, without you doing anything? I have to check that out...I thought it was just to change the date...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to the winners and thanks for the great tips. I work all day so limit my blog checking to at night after dinner. It's valuable but time consuming so I'm thinking of limiting it to an hour a day and not checking on or commenting on so many blogs each day. I haven't gotten on Twitter yet, but might be able to handle it if I use your time saving tips. Thanks.

Ryan said...

I have no social networking skills whatsoever so this will help me immensely...I hope. Lol.

Linda Kage said...

Wow, sounds like a very effecient blogging method. Thanks for the advice.

Alissa said...

I am in awe of Rachelle's very organized blogging habits. I have a very long way to go with this.

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

These are brilliant. I've sort of just made a post when I have a free moment.
I don't have facebook or any of the others but I will the instant time allows maybe in the spring.
Warm regards,
Simone

V. S said...

Hey darling, I looked on your blog but I cannot find your email.

creativeworksforchildren said...

Great blogging tips. I one lonely follower so far, and feel as if I am in my own little blog-bubble. Perhaps I can use some of your ideas to get things moving!

Lisa said...

This may be the most practical advice I've read for getting it all done. Thanks for this, Rachelle and Shelli!

Jessica Leader said...

Hm, I may start to feel the pull of TweetDeck, thanks to this. And thanks to you both!