Social Media Confusion

I have a new trophy from WordPress!

Yes, I now have five followers! And I love each and every one of you. I don’t know what they did with the other 1980 of you, but I pray I haven’t lost you and you are safe.


I’ve been trying to get the hang of Twitter. I have several new followers, mostly from Sisters in Crime. I’m getting to know some folk there and enjoying myself. I honestly don’t know how to use Twitter And rarely use hash tags except from #amwriting and #writerslife.

That’s probably not going to help me find followers.

I’m mostly using what I find to be humorous one-liners. I’ve followed all of the followers of the authors I most admire and of whom I write similar material. Many have followed me back, but I’ve followed 1889 and only 636 have followed me back. Any suggestions would be helpful.

I’ve just begun to retweet funny stuff and blog posts of writer friends.

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and start a mail list. Yes, I know, I should have done this three years ago. I didn’t feel it was all that important, but EVERYBODY says it is. So, I decided to tackle Mailchimp.

If I send out a newsletter, it will likely only be twice a year. I produce books slowly and only plan to use the newsletter to notify of pre-orders and new releases, or introduce new projects.

I’d like to set up lists of author friends who help promote, fans of the different genres I write (and keep them separate), and lists of other writers whose work I promote, book reviewers, and beta readers.

I don’t know yet if there will be any way to differentiate in as much as I have yet to get beyond MailChimp’s home page.

I wanted to use my new domain name for email. My new email is, but that’s only for promo stuff. My old emails still work.

MailChimp no longer allows gmail, yahoo, or other free email servers in as much as third party servers frequently block their mail. So I had to buy a service provider subscription. First I went with Google Business apps. It was only $5.00 per month. I had to verify ownership of the domain name with Blue Host. That got complicated when I tried to transport codes to Blue Host and set up Outlook and took a couple of hours of customer support.

Then I learned it was necessary to have hosting in order for you to use your domain address as an email address.

Since I bought my domain from Blue Host and plan to have them host my website, I renewed my hosting account with them, which cost more than twice as much as Google business apps.  But hey, I should have a web site for S.K. Nicholls Brave Blue Heron Books soon.

After cancelling Google Business apps, I spent another two hours with Blue Host re-setting the settings.

As soon as I figure out my WIIFM (what’s in it for me) to offer people when they subscribe to my newsletter, and figure out what plugins work on my WP blog, and figure out how to use Mail Chimp, I’ll be adding a subscribe button of some sort to my blog and other social media.

Southern Recipes, book of short stories, Private Investigator joke book (I’ve been trying to write one), any suggestions on what you’d like to have a reward for receiving two more emails a year?

Marketing, self-promoting…writing? Argh!

35 thoughts on “Social Media Confusion

  1. 1. I’m guessing your five wonderful followers are connecting on one of your other blog affiliations—perhaps Sisters in Crime?
    2. You are SO far ahead of me! I haven’t done any of that stuff, and wouldn’t even know how to begin. I’m in awe of you.
    3. I’m not sure that a giveaway for a 2x a year newsletter would be that big a draw for me. I’m far more likely to see that a writer I enjoy and admire (that would be you!) has a way to keep in touch. But maybe I’m just weird…

  2. Twitter is tough at first, but I’ve found simple hashtags help draw people in. Honestly, simply reblogging other authors will help build your fanbase. #ASMSG and #Bookboost are two of the big author hashtags. If you use those then it might help with promos. Really depends on what you’re goal is, I guess.

  3. Your social media description matches my befuddlement with what my other writer friends and you have been doing (or are trying to do). Newsletters seem superfluous to me now, as I broadcast so much of my personal and writing life in my blog posts. Of course, I’ll probably need to bite the bullet and publish one to promote my memoir. Me to you: ARGH!

    • It’s daunting…and I doubt if I do any of it really well. Anne R. Allen says most of this stuff is unnecessary nowadays and a waste of time. BUT not the newsletter.

  4. It’s a real learning curve, but we help each other when we discuss the hazards of this crazy writing life! I haven’t tried Mailchimp. Sigh. Seems scary. But it’s better to look under the bed and see if the bear really is there than it is to lay in the bed praying it isn’t.

  5. I’ve never gone down the newsletter path. I’m less encouraged after reading about your efforts. I might subscribe, but rather than a recipe can you send me a slice of that cake?

  6. Congrats on all you’re undertaking!. For Twitter, I would seriously back off on all the follows. 1). I think Twitter still maxes you out at 2000 following unless you have a like number of followers and 2). A lot of people (me included) are leery of following someone who is following a good deal more Tweeps than are following them. Many times those can be spammy accounts.

    Use or to balance out your follows/followers. Both are free Twitter tools that are easy to use. Hootsuite is also a good Freebie that allows you to see your Twitter lists easily for replying and RTing (you could duplicate those lists for betas, CPs, etc., you’re planning for Mail Chimp). You can also set up a Hootsuite stream for certain hashtags. I have one set for the #Mothman so I know whenever someone is talking about my creature who factors in my Point Pleasant series.

    I delayed doing a newsletter too and only started one last year, but I am so glad I did. MailChimp is a great tool!

    • Thanks for all the info. I’ll have to refer to it, cause my head is filled with too much stuff now. I’ve often wondered why my Twitter followers were so unbalanced. Not everyone whom I follow follows me back.

      • Exactly. But Manage Flitter or CrowdFire will let you see who ISN’T following you back. All you have to do is go to either site, click “log in with Twitter” and it does the rest. When your unfollowers load, you can unfollow them directly from the app. Just be careful you don’t unfollow hundreds at one time, or Twitter will flag your account.

          • When I first started using ManageFlitter 50 per day of unfollows was the limit, but it may be bumped up by now. I’d still probably stay with that to avoid seeming spammy. I’m not sure about CrowdFire (my followers were more than my non-followers when I started using it), but I’d probably stay in the same range. You’ll have your account evened out in no time!

    • I used FindUnfollow to identify Twitter accounts that have not followed back. I give each account one chance to follow back by tweeting a message saying “A simple follow back would be appreciated”. If they don’t, I unfollow them. Good luck.

  7. I feel your pain, Susan. Who has time to write with all of these social media expectations? Grr…I think I’ll just use my blog/website as a newsletter. I’m scared of Mail Chimp. 🙂

  8. I must be one of the five. As far as Twitter is concerned you should get on and like and thank folks who mention you. Retweeting is a good idea as well. People like to follow those who they think are going to give them a shout out now and then. I have over seven thousand followers and growing. It is hard work too.

    • I can’t figure how to thank people for following. I get a flood of followers after liking people…like a hundred in a day…then nothing. I could sit and nurse the screen all day, but I’d get nothing else done. I haven’t figured it out yet.

    • I don’t have a generic egg. I have my pic on there. Always have. I read stuff and like it, but don’t retweet much. Need to step up my game I suppose. After I like people and they like me back, they just fade into oblivion. When I look at my feed, it seems a long trail of book spam. Is that actually what I’m supposed to be retweeting? I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemies. Can’t people say meaningful stuff on Twitter? It just seems like promos and nonsense.

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