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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Tag: Twitter

Social Media…Meh…

Book Promoting? Sparingly. Engagement Plus Profile Clicks? Hell Yeah!

Taking a page from the books of many self-published and indie-authors, many of us newbies love to do one thing: Promote, promote, promote via social media.

 
Sure, it may be new-age, but let’s be honest, how many people promoting something via social media have you bought something from?

 
Me? Zero!

 
So, how do you sell something to me?

 
You need to lead me right to it. Usually, I’ll stumble upon something and buy, but not impulse buy. I might see an ad on my favorite site. I may read an article where something’s mentioned in passing. I may be tempted via word-of-mouth, but to actually click on a social media link?

 
I haven’t done so yet.

 
Yes, I do have the link to my e-book version of Northern Knights in my Twitter bio, but again, it’s only for those who love my Tweets enough for them to click my Twitter profile to see what I’m all about.

 
Oh, he has a book out, I may have to take a look at that.

 
Do I continually paste my link in my Tweets?

 
Nope.

 
Do I continually tell Facebook friends and followers I have a book out and here’s the link, so buy my book?

 
Nope.

 
Just a simple link to the Amazon Store, and that’s it. People who like me will know I have one, and I’ll lead them to it.

 
In fact, if I see numerous ads in my Facebook or Twitter feeds, I’m likely to unfollow or block. If someone comments on one of my posts and says, ‘buy my product,’ I’m not buying. In fact, I’m so turned off I won’t even recommend to a friend.

 
So, how do I plan on promoting Northern Knights?

 
Do I have people close to me who read?

 
Yup.

 
Do I have people close to me buying?

 
Yup.

 
Do I have a target market?

 
Yup.

 
Do I have a pipeline to my target market?

 
Yup.

 
So, who is my target market?

 
I have a few:

 
1. People who love to challenge mainstream views.

 
2. Browns fans, simply because the allegory is satisfying.

 
3. Northeast Ohio, again, for obvious reasons.

 
4. Libertarians. The book is indeed, a Libertarian manifesto.

 
5. Anyone who has enjoyed Harry Potter, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

 
Now, the next thing to do is to find these targets, and I’ve found a few, which is a good start. Some will say to find these before you publish, however, I agree with Joanna Penn when she says any book, at any time, is new to anyone who stumbles upon it.

 
For instance, I introduced my parents to the book ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ about a half-hour ago and George Orwell just gained two fans.

 
But, as for social media? I want to be crazy, interesting, fun, engaging, informative, entertaining, and flattering. Nothing will work better via social media marketing than just being you, that’s one thing I learned.

 
I experimented with this back in 2017, and on my personal Facebook, did nothing but talk about myself…. intentionally….to see peoples’ reactions. I ended up burning a lot of bridges.

 
My professional Facebook and Twitter pages?

 
I did the opposite. I was kind, motivating, and everything I listed above. I focused on them. And, I made a few writer friends, which is awesome!

 
So, for social media, any time I get a new book out I’ll post about it…once. Once and only once, and I’ll put a link in my bio, then I’m going to shut-up. I’ll be the same person I’ve always been before my first work was published, and ditto for subsequent works.

 
I’d like to thank everyone for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.

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How to Triple Your Following

As Soon-To-Be New Author, Platform Building Means Life: Here’s how to Triple Your Following

I sat through an excellent master class from the Jerry Jenkins’ Writers’ Guild today, which taught how to build an Author Platform.

 
Let me tell you something: It greatly expanded my knowledge on platform building. With Lord of Columbia: Northern Knights launching on September 1st, now’s the time to maximize my platform while sharing what I learned.

 

From 240 to 3,800 (As of June 28th, 2018)

Three months ago, I sat at 240 followers on Twitter, and My Freedom Flame had about 1,400 followers. Today, my Twitter following has expanded to 3,800 in twelve short weeks, and My Freedom Flame now sits at 5,125 followers as of today.

 
How did I expand my following?

 
Look, I had no idea where to begin with building a platform, so I decided to take my old Twitter account and turn it into an Author Platform. I did some research and hoped for the best. Here’s a list of what I did:

 
1) Follow 30-40 new people per day and follow any new follower back whose bio is like yours. For each new follow, be sure to follow those active on Twitter and are building their following.

 
2) Post engaging content. So, now that I’m following many writers and they’re following me, it’s natural I post about writing, and nothing else. I might post about the message I wish to spread with writing, or my progress on my project, but I’ve discovered most writers like two things:
a. Positivity and motivation.

 
3) Post often. Be active and post each hour if you can. Just something small, but make it entertaining, motivating, positive, and informative.

 
4) Research, research, research. Get to know your Twitter audience and what they’re after. The more you know about them, the more engagements your following will attain. Read their posts, see who they follow, and continue to network.

 
5) What’s in it for them? Like I said, I’ll post about my message and my book progress, but spin it toward something they can get out of it. If I’m posting about my message of spreading liberty, I’ll let them know why it needs to be important to them. If I post about my book progress, I’ll talk about where I began, and doing so will relate to a lot of new writers.

 

 

It Takes Time to Triple Your Following

It takes time to triple your following, but it can be done. I’ve chosen Twitter because I can post short, helpful blurbs, which people like these days. However, never expect anything over night. It takes time to build a following, and social media isn’t the only avenue.

 
In fact, thinking this can be a grave mistake.

 

 

All About Blogging

I try to post two blogs per day. Sometimes it works, other times not so much, but the goal is simple at My Freedom Flame. I try to help others by relating to them and write articles like this one to help them avoid some of the same pitfalls I’ve made, or I’ll post about issues I’ve researched for my libertarian audience.

 
It’s important to keep your blog focused, and these are the only two subjects I’ll post about: Passion (mainly in writing) and politics, and nothing else. Keep your sights narrow, and again, people want to know what’s in it for them.

 
For passion pursuit, it’s easy. People may be unsatisfied in their life and might be looking for a way out of their job, in hopes to pursue what they’ve always wanted. For politics, my goal is to offer an alternative to mainstream Conservative and Liberal policies from a Libertarian perspective.

 

 

Conclusion

My Freedom Flame is all about entertaining to motivate, educate, and inspire. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s a privilege to have the mindset to interact with you all, forgoing a career which may offer guaranteed hours, money, and benefits.

 
For all of us, we lead different paths, and pursuing passion is such a difficult road, but let others know what you’re doing. A blog will do just this, and it’ll lead them to see and believe that they can pursue their passion. Be the positive light and let others know they can get something out of reading what you have to offer.

 
I’d like to thank all of my readers at My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.

The Strongest Soldiers Pursue Passion

The Wisest Avoid the Pitfalls Along the Way

I’ve spent the morning and early afternoon continuing my research on and even blogging about ways to make money as a writer. The common consensus is if one wishes to make money as a writer, they’re fooling themselves.

 
However, I’ve discovered there are many ways and possible cash flows to pursue writing as a passion and making a nice, primary income off doing so. But, the problem is this: Most just want to write and hope someone comes across their work.

 
I’m a natural researcher and I started researching all the odds and ends of releasing indie-published books back in December 2017 for my September 2018 launch of Lord of Columbia. In other words, I’m doing the opposite of the consensus.

 

Twitter Trouble

You’ve no idea how many Twitter accounts I’ve come across that have books out on the market, but in reality, no one is there to purchase them, so they create a nice, Twitter page with a redundant headline stating something like “Bestselling author of…” but with only a few hundred (if that) followers. I see it again and again.

 
Know what my Twitter says?

 
I’m just a free-thinking, pro-liberty, aspiring indie-author who makes things up and writes them down. Currently penning the trilogy, Lord of Columbia.

 
So, I mention I have a trilogy on the way, but I added a little bit of humor and my political perspectives, as politics are huge in my work. I did my research and found that it’s important to begin marketing a work months in advance, so for Lord of Columbia, if it has a snowball’s chance of being successful, people need to know it’s coming out.

 
So back in March 2018, I took my tiny Twitter page of 240 followers and started posting relevant and engaging content. The return has been substantial, as I now stand at 3,300 followers as of June 11th, 2018, an increase of almost 3,000.

 
But, Twitter is only a small pinprick of marketing, per my research.

 

Other Avenues

So, what else did I do?

 
Links to my blog is on several sites, like Facebook, Flipboard, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and other social media outlets. Sure, I don’t use these other sites often apart from Facebook, but in case anyone out there comes across my blog, it’s another potential fan.

 
I also learned social media marketing is nominal, at best for many.

 

There are Better Ways to Promote

So, what have I done?

 
I’ve looked into both free and paid book promotions sites. I found 40 free sites that will help me with my launch and I have 2-3 paid promotions to use come September 1st, when the book is released. These sites all reach their own social media followers, promote on their sites, and send email blasts.

 
My goal is to reach as many people as possible, and hopefully, 1% will buy. Now, while 1% of say, 100,000 people who come across may appear small, I might see 1,000 sales. Now, think about this: Readers talk to one another. If they like your book, they’ll be talking about it.

 

Let’s Get Tech Savvy

But, I wanted to do even more research, so I decided to tap into SEO and metadata, which is something everyone seems to underestimate. Once I looked into it, I searched via Amazon and have already narrowed the categories AND keywords, long-tail keywords, that I’ll use come September. Instead of blindly picking and choosing categories, I was able to narrow it down so my book doesn’t get lost in a sea of books.

 
I’ve also looked at several outlets, like Draft2Digital, Smashwords, Amazon, and others. I also looked into Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) and KDP Select, all of which have their pros and cons, so I already know exactly which platforms I’ll publish on, and when.
Also, I’ve researched how to choose a book title. Lord of Columbia was initially called Once: The Lost Books, until I saw the redundancy, so I changed to Age of Columbia, also redundant, especially in anything fantasy. So, and again, I used Amazon’s search bar, and even Google, and saw Lord was used often in fantasy but not overused.

 
The title of the book was to be Lord of Columbia: Uprising, until I saw uprising isn’t something those in the fantasy genre search for. So, I took about three hours on a Sunday night in my parents’ living room, long after they went to sleep and typically long after overstaying my own welcome, and came up with Northern Knights, as Knight is used often, but not too often, so my titles are something that are searched by Amazon users but not overdone.

 

Conclusion

I think many indies just want to rush and get a book published so they can say they published a book. That’s fine, but I spent over a year getting Lord of Columbia ready, and from December until September, continue to research how to give it the greatest chance to succeed. When you spend so much time on a project, it deserves the extra tender, love, and care to put it in position to succeed.

 
Your books should be like your own children. If your child is gifted in sports, you’re going to do all you can to make sure they succeed (and possibly save a lot of money if they go to college), you’re going to do everything in your power to make them succeed. Your books can make you some money in the long-run, and you’re doing what you love.

 

Take the time and get it right.

Don’t Panic! The Road to Success Takes Time

The Road to Success is Full of Twists and Turns

 

Success is a long road and it’s a direct reflection of our own work ethics. So, even if you see others succeeding around you in their chosen fields, I advise you not to panic. Success is like weight loss, those who lose weight faster have a far less likelihood of keeping it off. Those who lose one to two pounds of body-fat per month are more likely to keep the weight loss permanent. Well, success is no different.
The reason success is a long road is because there are a lot of avenues from which to go. For one, we must market our own product, in my case, the first book in a trilogy I’m releasing in late summer/early fall called Age of Columbia.

 

Social Media Scandal

For another, we must look beyond social media. From an indie-author’s perspective, we’re looking to align with book promoting firms, markets to outsource our books, book covers, building a blog, a website, an email list, and if we have time, promoting via social media.
Yet, we’re all conditioned to believe social media success requires fame.
That’s never the case, as those you may see succeeding around you post a script to social media. Social media for the most part is inflated success, much like an NFL Draft prospect’s inflated numbers due to running a system offense in college, only to implode at the next level (Robert Griffin, Andre Ware, Brandon Weeden, anyone?). If someone’s generating a lot of likes and comments on social media, fantastic, let them feel their false sense of success and let’s get back to reality.
The truth is you need to become successful by marketing toward your target market. Sure, your friends may love it each time you make an accomplishment and you may even post your success stories on social media, but if you have a couple thousand friends, it’s a small sample size. Let’s be honest.

 

Facebook: Fake News!

So, ignore the social media “sensations” on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever account you prefer. It’s false success. True success lies beyond a social platform. True success involves spreading a message to your target audience in hopes your target audience will take your message and spread it to the masses.
Know what I look for on social media?
Shares. Retweets. People reading my work and sharing it with their friends or followers. If someone likes a Facebook post or a tweet, how do I know they didn’t absentmindedly hit the like button? Comments? People may give me a compliment or critique, but sharing the work plays into my hands.
For example, once the Pepsi Guy (see previous posts) came across my work and noticed my little ruse, so he thought it was a good idea to share it on my Facebook timeline and his. Needless to say, my old blog, MatthewsFit, garnered 1,200 views within two days.
The above example shows the power of sharing and it’s going to get your name and message out there to more people than 1,200 likes ever will. Thanks, Pepsi Guy, you made my day a few months back. If you ever read this post, feel free to share it on every single social media platform you have.
Okay, but back to success.

 

Arnold and Stallone

Why is it such a long road?
Just like achieving true weight loss, true success takes time because the old cliché, the longer you wait, the better it gets (take wine, for instance) couldn’t bode to be truer. Think of guys like Stallone and Arnold who achieved fame later on, such as in their mid to late-twenties or early thirties. Now look at a few child stars. How many child stars go on to be stars as adults? Few.
Stallone’s story is beyond inspiring, but so is Arnold’s, who had to escape Austrian social norms to become what he wanted. Stallone slept in a bus station for three weeks and was left with nothing when he wrote Rocky.
The road to success is full of twists, turns, sinkholes, and jagged rocks. The strongest survive. If you’re reading this post and you’re struggling, keep moving forward.

Anything worth having involves a struggle. A walk into the unknown. A walk into hell. But such walks will strengthen your mind, body, and soul. You’re going to emerge stronger, more confident, and ready to attack each day.

 

The Success Ritual

Here’s an exercise to do that I learned last night. It’s new age, but it’s full of Wicca at the same time, which is my forte. Picture a domed circle in front of you, us Wiccans use a sword to create such a circle. Enter the circle, as I would from the east, and picture a dome above you. Picture walls surrounding you. Us Wiccans will continue to raise energy to the point we’re feeling it all around us.
Around you, picture signs with phrases that hold you back. For myself, it’s overthinking, insecurity, adversity in my past, being shunted to one side in my past, my confidence going to the wayside, lacking confidence with even the smallest situations, and the works. Picture everything holding you back. Whatever it is holding you back from success, picture it all around you.
Picture a fire pit in the center of the dome. Us Wiccans use an altar with burning candles, preferably green or red, as it generates strength or success. Rip these notes from the walls, visualizing everything that holds you back, take them all off. Sometimes in Wicca, we’re physically write or draw such things, and burn them, allowing the fire to absorb.

Throw all of these problems, obstacles, and roadblocks into the firepit. Sometimes, praying to a higher power, such as myself to Pan and Selena, the Lord and Lady, respectively, will help. Invite such higher powers into the circle and let them assist you in destroying everything that holds you back.
Then, repeat the ritual the following day. Do this again, again, and again. Perhaps try it once outdoors, as for us Wiccans it’s our natural ritual habitat. Whatever works for you, and in time, your habits will change, and your road will be clearer. Your brain will rewire itself, and soon you’ll find yourself light years ahead of where you were.

How to Maximize Twitter

It’s important for us to build a platform when we’re pursuing our passion, and I’ve recently taken to my old Twitter account and rebooted it. In just over forty-eight hours, I managed to gain seventy followers, and the number continues to rise.
Why is this important?
Twitter is a great way to increase exposure in addition to a blog, Facebook, and other social media accounts you may venture in to.
I want to show you today how I managed to take a Twitter account I created two years ago for work-related purposes and transformed it into one for motivating others to pursue their passion. For my account, it’s motivating people to pursue their passion in writing.
Since my blog followers are all writers, this will help you in your own unique quest to build an audience. If you’re an aspiring indie author as I, Twitter becomes important (to an extent) in book marketing, though via several articles on Just Publishing Advice from Derek Haines, we need more than just social media.
For purposes of this article, we’ll focus on Twitter.
So, for about a month, I was posting anything and everything, but I wasn’t doing several key things to get noticed. Instead, it was like throwing and hoping someone would come down with the ball. I’d tweet, use a few hashtags, and I might get a response.
I also made the mistake of intertwining my Twitter posts with my Libertarian agenda which I’ve preached several times, most notably on my personal Facebook account.
So, what I do different that’s given me over seventy followers (and counting) since two o’clock Saturday afternoon?
1) I started following likeminded people and did a little creeping. Now, each writer, blogger, or author may have an agenda similar to mine, but they realized something I didn’t; people in writing care about writing and writing advice, not the agenda. Let your book do the talking when it’s published, you just focus on writing.
2) Post relevant information. In a way, Rule Two might be an extension of Rule One. You need to post advice relevant to your passion. Sure, Libertarianism is one of my passions, but my main passion is writing. That’s why I’m on Twitter; to meet likeminded people who like to write. I can use my books to spread the political agenda.
3) I post often, literally every waking hour on the waking hour. Now, this may seem like a hassle, but make notes on what you want to post about, but it must be relevant to the subject at hand. For me, it’s showing people what I do to write for a few hours each day. I like to motivate, so I show people what they can do to motivate themselves to write, especially if they hit a standstill.
4) Like and comment when applicable. Like, comment, and retweet anything you might find yourself tweeting about. Or, if you’d like, tweet something similar but word it differently. I’m following a guy whose passion is motivation, and he’s a writer, so his posts influence my own.
5) Maintain the presence. You can’t do this for twenty-four hours and call it fixed. I went from having roughly 240 followers for months and the number is now approaching 310. At this rate if my pace continues, this time next year I’ll be closing in on 13,000 followers. That’s 13,000 potential book buyers. If only 3% buy the book, that’s almost four hundred customers. If I sell for, say, $9.99, it’s nearly $4,000.
6) Use Evergreen Posts. Evergreen posts can be recycled and as you attain more followers, guess what? You can post the same thing time and again as these posts will be fresh to your current followers.

I would like to thank Derek Haines of dahaines.com and justpublishingadvice.com. I’ve been following him for some time and he always has the answer to this rookie indie author’s questions!

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