As writers we often limit our abilities to our latest manuscript or blog post, without giving much thought to how we actually share our work through links in our marketing efforts. We try to get people to really pay attention to what we’ve written, without composing a reasonable answer as to why our work is worthy of being read by our audience. It’s a funny conundrum if all we do is push our latest blog post, article or book in front of people’s faces. So much work went into these pieces. Surely they deserve more attention than that!
Getting an audience for our writing is akin to flushing the toilet and washing your hands after you go to the bathroom. It’s like doing the dishes after you’ve cooked in the kitchen and eaten your meal, or putting the groceries away after you’ve gone shopping. All of these things are complete tasks, where each part of them is integral to the optimum success of the initial act that starts a sequence of events. As with a puzzle, there are specific pieces that must be put into the proper place at the most advantageous time.
It’s never enough to act like a child and say, “Hey look! See here! You’ve gotta see what I wrote and you’ve gotta look at it now! I mean it, okay! I want you to read this!” We get on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, passing links around as if they are gold, when all they are is another link somebody wants us to click on so they can get a page view, or (if the stars align just perfectly) sell another book. What? Are we suddenly in 5th grade again, where we jump up and down until we get acknowledged?
Sharing links is an art, a type of writing that challenges us to be exceptionally creative and precise, when we propose someone who is as busy as we are, or perhaps even busier, should take the briefest moment out of his or her day, to click on our links and God willing, read what we wrote. Want some icing on that cake? Not only did they click and read, they actually passed it around and shared it with a few people.
The real question is, “What are you giving your audience when you put a link out there for people to click on?” Take yourself out of the equation for a moment, and realize that your writing is a service to others, so how are you serving your audience? Once you figure this out, you can draft creative introductions to the link you intend to share with others.
Here are a couple of examples for you to consider.
This is the link I want to share. It’s a book review, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I could write:
Or, I could do something like this:
Suddenly, it’s not one more book review someone wrote, but an action adventure mystery, and it’s really good and promotes excellence in reading. By being more creative and descriptive, I’m giving people something besides another boring link to click on.
Guide to Hot Water Bath Canning - Please buy a copy and share. http://goo.gl/zsmkye
Okay, so I’ve told my audience what it is and that I want them to share it. How nice of me. Gee, I wonder if I might get a few sales out of this one.
Or I can appeal to people who are interested in canning, focusing on my targeted audience and write this post.
Canning season is upon us, and this Guide to Hot Water Bath #canning is getting excellent reviews. Please retweet and pass it around. http://goo.gl/zsmkye #WellnessWednesday
Notice I’ve shortened the link using goo.gl to fit more descriptive words in my post. It’s supposedly the right way to share links, especially on Twitter, but I’m not sure it’s quite the big deal it’s made out to be. I have mixed thoughts, though I do like being able to add more words and hash tags to my posts, so shortening the link is quite helpful.
The idea is to share links that make sense, attract your targeted audience, provide outreach, so people will share your work because what you wrote might be beneficial to others. It’s all about serving your audience, as opposed to reaping the rewards of them bowing at your feet. We’re writers, not gods, so it’s important to use our skills in every area where words are required, to help us earn those page views and sales. The market is completely saturated. The least we can do is recognize that we are one grain of sand on the beach, and no one has to read a single word we publish, unless they really want to because we took the time to be that good.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope this post helps you in your online presence and marketing ventures. Oh, and now that I’ve put it in front of your face, please share this article and pass it around as much as possible :) I really do appreciate it.
Best to all,
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