Days Six – Nine: Getting My Social House In Order

This post is doubling down as a blog update and a implementation test. If all goes according to plan, as soon as I hit “Publish”, an update should hit my Facebook page and Twitter feed at the same time. So here’s hoping. After spending three days messing around with MailChimp (A mail list management application) trying to get it work, I could use a little technological good mojo flowing my way. But for now it works and looks pretty nice, so we’ll leave it at that until I have more time to mess around with all the details. So let me break down some of what I have done…

Mail List:
Every single book I read stressed the importance of having your own mailing list. The reasons seem fairly valid and straight forward:
1) You develop your own list of fans you can communicate to directly
2) With constant change in social media platforms, you never know when Facebook and Twitter will go the way of Myspace (the proverbial Dodo of social media)

They also stressed the importance of setting up the mail list as soon as possible, thus the pause from writing and the dash to get my writer’s platform (fancy talk for social media and website) up and running.

Overall there seemed to be two main applications everyone uses, AWeber and MailChimp. Most people use AWeber, and to be honest, I was considering it too, but MailChimp is free to start, so no out of pocket expense. Eventually, when my list gets over 2000 people, I may want to switch over to AWeber, only time will tell.

Social Media Integration:
Once again, start-up cost became a factor here. You can pay to have robust programs like Hootsuite manage your social media across all the major platforms, or you can use a simple WordPress plugin to send updates out to your Twitter and Facebook pages when you update a blog post. This seemed to be the best design for me, as I want to drive traffic to my webpage, and not try to fight for people’s attention with invitations to play “Monster Legends”. The only issue with this, so far, has been having to sign up as a developer with Facebook, Twitter and Google in order to get the APIs (code to get everything talking to each other). But once that was done, inputting the right information into the correct fields is fairly easy (knock on wood).

If you’re following along at home, I have WordPress running on my own hosted webpage, MailChimp as my mail list application, and a simple WordPress plugin called “NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster” sending out blog post updates to Twitter and Facebook. The mail lists and social media elements took me the better half of 3 days, but at zero cost to my bottom line, I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Oh, and before I sign off for today, do me a huge favor and click on that little link over on the right that says “Subscribe Now”, or if you’re viewing this on a mobile site, click here. I have a goal to get 1,000 people signed up before I launch my book.

Thanks for reading,

About Anthony A. Kerr

Anthony A. Kerr has always been a storyteller. Whether it was acting out elaborate plots with Star Wars figures when he was little, writing really, really, bad movies in high school, or creating weekly comic strips at work. Stories are always swirling around in his head, yelling at him to put them down on paper. Anthony grew up in Wooster, OH and currently lives in Denver, CO with his wife and three children.
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