Are you a writer? Are you an aspiring author? Do you write for random websites and blogs for free and get satisfied with getting all the credit and appreciation? I am sure you are suffering with a disease called ‘continuity of thought’. You cannot do one work for a long time, because you are thinking or incubating about one particular subject, you obsessed with it. You find it difficult to manage your mind, difficult to separate incoherent random musings from daily life. You feel the desperate need to tell the story to everyone. There are people who blog about pretty much everything (I find it annoying) and yet manage to get many readers. You must be wondering how.
Most people do not plan to become writers. It happens with them by chance, by sheer serendipity. You put up a random post on a micro-blogging site and it catches a lot of attention. People appreciate the writing, share their own experiences as well, a long thread of discussion happens. The great internet magic you see. This gives you a new high. You try it again and again, it becomes a habit and then your only virtue. You share not only what you write but also about writing. You share writers’ memes on Facebook. You are building this I-am-a-Writer-Too image among your friends. Now you have a blog with good number of followers. But, you don’t realize how and when you start bragging about it everywhere. You attach the amusing name of your blog at all places.
Before taking this any further, let us be clear that writing comes with an inherent right to brag. Bragging is quite normal. Of course, it is your original work, your own words, your creation and you deserve credits. Whether bragging is good or bad and whether it works or not is what nobody can determine accurately.
How to brag about your writing?
By bragging I don’t mean literally showing off but bragging may also mean promoting your work. There are some common bragging habits that need a mention.
Marrying your blog to Facebook and Twitter is something you cannot miss out. People live their life on social networking sites and that’s where you get them to get to read your work. On Facebook you can share it on your wall, and also on your blog page. The two times sharing appears on your friends’ feed. It might sound like ranting and you might already feel awkward for blowing your own trumpet. But, never mind, Bragging is normal!
Personally text your friends and friends of friends, saying, ‘Hey, I wrote something about ‘so-and-so’ issue. Thought I should share it with you. Do let me know what you think’. Or ‘I thought to you’d be interested, do check it out’.
If you don’t want to say it yourself, make somebody else to say it for you. As recommending others to read something works well. It makes people curious. So, ask bodaciously, “Hey, could you please share my article on your wall? Also please like image and share the page too”. Your friends are very kind people, they don’t want to hurt you. They reply with a ‘sure’ and a smiley.
And promote your blog like this, “Hello everyone, I’ve started blogging, please follow my blog so that you don’t miss my posts. Here is the link to my Facebook page, please support!”
Tag your friends in your posts. If people comment on your posts in Facebook, reply to each one of them, say thank you again and again. This might make your post active in the feed and more number of people will see it.
And if all this isn’t working, then join some groups on Facebook with these names. “Writers’ Carnival”, “Bangalore Bloggers Association”, “Hyderabad Bloggers Association”, “Indian Bloggers group”, “The Writers’ Group”, “Bloggers and Writers”. Okay, I’ll stop. You introduce yourself very sweetly, “Hello Writers, I am new to this group. It is great to be a part of this community. Please support my blog” and post the link. But, you know what, you check after a day or two still nobody cares. When somebody’s post in one of those groups has attracted hundreds of comments and many likes. Post your blog link and page link there, at least you’d get some views.
And then register your blog with websites that rate blogs, whatever ranking you may get, even if it 134246, post that on your blog. Try all the widgets that you think can grab traffic. Don’t forget to add tags. Create an About Me page. Don’t worry narcism is not a crime, in fact it is a new religion! And trust me, Bragging is Normal!
Now, let’s take you wrote a poem. On Facebook like some pages related to poetry and literature. Join groups with names like “Poets’ Corner”. Post your work there. I mean your blog link. That might get you some views. Well, these groups might have a No-Self-Promotion-Policy, but it’s okay, post it for as long as your post it allowed. Also there are many groups on LinkedIn like “Poetry and Literature”, “Poetry and Prose” etc, which you can join and start a discussion. Connect with those who hit a like to your discussion.
If you are living in a metro city Hyderabad or Bangalore or Delhi, attend the Bloggers Meets. These meets are awesome because they officially invite you to specially brag about your writing. Very open business. Isn’t that awesome? You’d get to meet other bloggers. You might be amazed by some successful people who did enough bragging that they are now generating income by linking up their blogs with private businesses and other websites. For example a travel blogger who blogs for a travel agency. Isn’t that cool? Take a group picture and post it on Facebook, tag everyone. Take their mail Ids, add them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Send them your blog link asking them to give their opinion. If you write anything new, message them saying you need them to review your work. This might help for the first few times. Later, they might not even reply to your message.
Although, nobody can guarantee you if doing all this will help in generating traffic and praise for your work. This is the age of micro-blogging where anybody posts their quick thoughts while taking a dump or travelling while standing in a moving a bus about anything and everything staring from movies to politics. People are busy to read your 1000 word long post and they will tell you this on your face. You posts might get lost in the overcrowded and ever generating newsfeed. Moreover, most for your friends are techies who do not have the time to read your book review, appreciate your poetry or give a damn about what you think about the recent SC judgement. The community you build by connecting with writers, they cannot read your work, they are busy finding audiences for their own work or genuinely they find your work substandard. Also you might run the risk of getting unfriended by you close friends for ranting about your blog and the perks of living a writers’ life. Yet, never give up on bragging! Bragging is Normal!
Tomorrow you might write a book and need to get a publisher. Before that, be prepared to brag about it. The marketing department and PR agency of your Publishers will plan and get all the make over for your book. You might have to even travel from place to place to promote your book. All the best with bragging about your writing. But, don’t be under the misconception that your book will fetch you so much money that you can quit your job. Good Luck!