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Category: Marketing for Romance Writers

Marketing for Romance Writers

What is a Hashtag? #writerslife #MFRWauthor

What is a Hashtag? #writerslife #MFRWauthor @kayelleallenWhat is a hashtag? I’ll share a simple definition in a moment, but to understand you need to know what they were created to accomplish. Do you know what the abbreviation “etc.” means? It’s the word et cetera which is Latin for “additional unspecified odds and ends; more of the same.” It’s intended to reduce the number of characters (or sentences) needed to explain an item.

That abbreviation is a perfect example of not wasting time. We don’t write an entire list, or even the entire word. Although, here’s a question: why is the word abbreviation so long? Hmmm. Another post for a different day.

Since 2012, I have hosted over 350 authors a year on my Romance Lives Forever blog, and I’ve seen trends come and go. One that’s endured is adding hashtags to the subject. Why is this valuable? Because when the post is shared on social media, those hashtags will enable people to find it. Here’s an analogy that might help you understand.

What is a Hashtag

This symbol: # is called a hashmark. It’s also the abbreviation (there’s that word again) for number. On Twitter (and most other social media) when you add that symbol in front of a word, it changes the word to a search program.

Let’s say you want to look up the word “tweet” on Twitter. In the Twitter search box, you type #tweet. The URL that pops up is this: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tweet&src=typd and all the tweets with that hashtag are listed.

Why Do I Need Hashtags

I’m a busy person. I know you are too. Imagine if you needed to pick up something at the grocery store, so you run in, grab a cart, and head for the produce department. When you get there, you discover a case for milk next to the lettuce. Not the milk you buy, unfortunately. Then next to the milk is a shelf with bread, but the brand you prefer isn’t there either. Then comes oatmeal. The quick cooking type–but your kids like the instant version.

At this point, you stop, look around, and realize the entire store has been completely rearranged. There is no rhyme or reason to its layout. It’s just whatever the store received that day in the back went out onto the sales area. No more aisles with bread, or aisles with canned veggies, or aisles with cereal. You have to walk up and down every aisle hoping to find what you need. How fast would you push that cart back to the exit and go elsewhere? Yeah. Me too.

Twitter is a store for information, news and opinions. It puts out whatever comes in as the info arrives. There is no order. You get what you get. If you want to find something on Twitter, you either look for a person who interests you, or a hashtag that does.

Hashtags are to Twitter what aisles are to a store. They are the “departments” where you can find what you need and what you’re looking for. I recommend having 1-2 hashtags in the title of a blog post, near the end of the subject. Use 1-2 in a tweet also. Generally, using over 3 hashtags is considered “spammy.”

What is a hashtag that works well for certain genres? That depends on what you want. Are you looking for suspense books with romantic elements? Try #romanticsuspense #suspense and also #romance #suspense together. What is a hashtag you can use to find info on your favorite TV show? Many times it’s the name of the show. Try #BigBangTheory #TheFlash #Arrow or initials, such as #TVD for The Vampire Diaries.

You could just scroll on Twitter and read, but what if you went there to find out if others are watching the same TV show you are? What is the show’s hashtag? Enter that in the search box and pow! There are all the show’s tweets. How cool to discover the cast is live tweeting! You can interact with fans, actors, and writers. Without a hashtag, you’d be lucky to stumble across even one tweet.

In the banner above, I use the hashtags associated with my writing, so people can watch those and find my books. What do you use when you search for books? When you browse Twitter the next time, click on a few hashtags and see what you find.

If you’ve used specific hashtags to find info, what are they? I follow #Thranduil #ThranduilThursday #LeePace and #Fanart – what do you follow? Please share in the comments.


Want to hear about a new book every day? Visit Romance Lives Forever. Our hashtag is #RLFblog which means posts by our guest authors are easily found on Twitter and Facebook. Check it out!

Coming next week – Best Hashtags for Writers

Best Hashtags for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor

Best Hashtags for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor @kayelleallenWelcome to part two of a two-part series about using hashtags. Part one “What is a Hashtag” is found here. In this section, we’ll discuss the best hashtags for writers. Using hashtags to let readers know about the genres of our books is the #1 way writers use hashtags. In the banner on the left, notice the two embedded in the image: #ScifiRom and #KindleUnlimited. There are other ways to write those, including #SFR #SciFi #Romance and for the latter, #KU. It pays to know more than one and to know what is trending.

Best hashtags for writers

Find out which hashtag is being used most in your genre and use it. There are Twitter bots (legal) that pick up certain hashtags and retweet them to their followers. #SciFi is one of them. Make sure you’re using a hashtag that is actually in use already. If no one is searching for it, the hashtag is pointless. My favorite place to discover what the best hashtags for writers are at the moment is www.ritetag.com It’s free. I don’t use any hashtags till I’ve checked them out there.

Generally, use the single version of a word vs. the plural #book is better than #books for example. Check out this RiteTag listing of results for the word #romance:
https://ritetag.com/best-hashtags-for/romance

Other best hashtags for writers include #amwriting #amediting #MFRWauthor #writerslife #author — share yours in the comments.

A word about Triberr

First, let me say it’s Tri-berr not Tribb-er. It’s has 1 B and 2 Rs. Not Tribber – Triberr. Okay, stepping away from the soapbox…

The site Triberr is a blog amplifier. What that means is when you link your blog to the site, it allows other people to share your post with their social media. Try it for 30 days and you will not want to go back.

On Triberr, hashtags matter. You will gain a hundred-fold more readers with Triberr, so leverage that by using appropriate hashtags. Don’t add your own @name to the title. It will be included in every tweet that Triberr sends, even though you can’t see it on the site. Look at your mentions on Twitter and you will.

Should I use my name as a hashtag?

Is it better to write #KayelleAllen or @kayelleallen in a tweet? (fyi – the @kayelleallen is pronounced at-kayelleallen). These are referred to as mentions. (Mary mentioned you on Twitter means that Mary sent out a tweet that had your @name in it.

I don’t recommend using your name as a hashtag. Why not? You will get far more mileage from the @name because when anyone clicks that, it pops up a link so they can follow you. If they click it again, it takes them to your profile page. A hashtag with your name is only going to open a search for the name. It will not necessarily show your profile, which means it’s less likely to get you followers.

When you tweet, don’t add your own @name either. Obviously, if the tweet is from you, then the person can click your name since you are the sender. If your publicity person is talking about you, then yes, they should use your @name.

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags in your graphics. Especially branded graphics like the one below.

Best Hashtags for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor @kayelleallen

Hashtag Research

Here are three good links to check out for hashtag dos and don’ts:

https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-hashtags/
https://www.tintup.com/blog/7-examples-of-successful-hashtag-campaigns/
http://www.adweek.com/digital/ethan-martin-bukwild-guest-post-hashtags/


Putting hashtags to work

Now that you know what a hashtags are and how they work, what are you going to do with them? Do you have suggestions? What do you think are the best hashtags for writers? Please share in the comments.

 

Is it right to quit? 10 times it's ok #author #entrepreneur @kayelleallen

Is it right to quit? 10 times it’s ok #author #entrepreneur

The question, “Is it right to quit?” seems to require a “No!” in response. But does it? Not if you are quitting for the right reasons. Here are ten times it’s okay (and perhaps advisable) to quit.

When is it right to quit?

  1. When you realize what you’re doing is wrong. You’ve gone about it the hard way, for example, or you realize your information was incorrect.
  2. When it’s harmful or dangerous to yourself, others, or the environment.
  3. When it’s wasteful and not a good use of resources. Is it right to quit if you can fix the issue? Perhaps not.
  4. When someone else can do it better for less. This is an iffy one — quality and quantity are market related. If you can make a widget for a dollar and someone else has a means to make ten of them for that price and they outperform yours, give serious thought to moving on.Is it right to quit? 10 times it's ok #author #entrepreneur @kayelleallen
  5. When it’s not going in the right direction for your purposes.
  6. When you can’t control what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, this is a good time to step back and reconsider how and why. Is it right to quit if you can’t control the outcome? This is probably one of the best times, depending on what you are trying to do in the first place.
  7. When it’s no longer necessary. At some point, when no one needs this product or service, set it aside and move on.
  8. When it’s time to hand it over to a new person. Perhaps someone you know needs a chance to succeed and this project would be ideal for them. Step back and coach, but let it go. Is it right to quit when it means enabling others? Yes.
  9. When you’ve lost your enthusiasm. Perhaps a different approach to the issue is needed, but if you’ve tried different things and you still don’t care, quit. I know, that flies in the face of contemporary advice, but don’t beat a dead horse. Ride a live one.
  10. When you no longer love it. You might be enthusiastic about the concept or the product, but you’re tired of it. You don’t want to do this anymore. Then by all means, step back and move on.

The point of knowing when to quit is knowing what to do afterward. Is it right to quit just because you feel like it? Well, why do you feel like it? Is it because one of the reasons above?

Let me share some things I decided to quit doing recently. I unsubscribed from a few online services I no longer used and from a few newsletters I never read. I stopped wasting time opening email and then filing it and instead, set up a filter in email to automatically file many emails from my target people (friends, family, and businesses). Now I can see the folders have unread mail, read it, and then either delete it or go on to the next thing. It cut down on time filing quite a bit.

I am a graphic designer and love creating fanart, plus book covers, banners, and more. I created a company, The Author’s Secret, for that purpose. However, after five years, I realized I was spending so much time maintaining social media, websites, blog posts, and more for both myself and the company that I had little time left to do what I want to do most. Write. So after a long soul-searching period, I decided to close the company.

Instead, I will offer a few of the same services from my own website. That way, I’m promoting only one site and one set of social media. It’s a win-win.

Is it right to quit? I think so, yes, when the reasons are sound. What do you think? Is it right to quit or should you slug it out no matter what? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear from you, yea or nay.

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