Blogger. Facebook. Goodreads. Google+. Twitter. Social media platforms that take time away from our writing…but for a good cause. Multiple good causes, in fact. And definitely worth a 2-hour investment each week.
If I hadn't started this blog way back in the fall of 2009, I wouldn't have discovered how many of us are posting regular updates on our writing endeavors. I wouldn't have made the friendships that resulted in Write1Sub1, going strong for four years now. I wouldn't have learned about Duotrope (no longer free), Ralan's Webstravaganza (free), or The Submission Grinder (also free), which have led to paying homes for 97 of my short stories, not to mention a book deal. I hope that by sharing links to my published stories, I've raised awareness regarding how many great publications are out there waiting for your work.
I used to visit more blogs than I do these days, but I continue to return every comment I receive. If you leave a comment here, I'll be sure to visit your blog and comment in like manner. Between writing my weekly posts and commenting on others, I probably spend an hour and a half blogging each week. Worth it? Yes indeed. Each of my posts average 150-200 unique hits and close to 20 comments. So what if readers stop by without commenting? I'm glad you stopped by. I'm looking for readers here, after all. You're absolutely under no obligation to leave a comment.
As far as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter go, I use them for advertising, plain and simple. I've gotten better at scheduling tweets ahead of time with Tweetdeck and retweeting (social media etiquette dictates a 10 to 1 ratio between retweets and your own tweets), but I haven't figured out Google+ yet. Even with close to a thousand followers over there, I'm not sure how many of them see what I post. Regardless, a daily investment of 5-10 minutes is enough to keep my Facebook/Google+/Twitter presence alive.
Oops, almost forgot Goodreads. Yeah, that one... Not sure yet how to use it effectively.
What do you think? Ready to school me on social media etiquette? Have you managed to hire enough bots/clones to take care of the social media time suck for you? If a massive EMP wiped out the interwebs tomorrow, I wouldn't miss Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. But I would definitely miss this blog. Because y'all rock.
As always, thanks for reading.