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The ultimate Pinterest 101 for writers and bloggers

There are many ways to drive your audience to your blog and one of my favourites media sites is Pinterest. In this post we’ll be taking a look at how to set up an account, to maximise your chances of gaining new viewers, and how to set up visually enticing boards so that your followers can visually connect with your novel and get to know you a little better.

If you’re new to building your brand then I recommend reading The Importance of Building a Platform and How to Identify your Target Audience. Setting up solid foundations for your business is a vital first step, but don’t worry if you’ve jumped in feet first, sometimes simply beginning is the hardest part and I commend your enthusiasm.

Here are my four awesome tips to get you started!!

One: Set up a business Pinterest account. It looks the same as a personnel account, but has tools and analytics that will aid you and your blog. When setting up your profile, choose an image, or logo, that you’ll use across your social media and get creative with your bio. Now is the time to sell yourself, not your books. Tell your readers a little bit about you, your interests and what you write about. Put some thought into your profile using key words that correlate to you. Mine always featuresfantasy-romance writer. Any content you create here can be echoed through all social media platforms to maintain a cohesive brand.

Inspiration for my second novel Mischief and Mayhem

Two: Pin boards: Use boards for historical research, to identify your characters, or help define scenes for your worldbuilding. A word to the wise, if it’s harmful to your brand, or is personal and you don’t wish to share certain boards, keep it locked from public view. Name each board with titles that use keyword to describe what’s contained within. Add boards that will direct the right audience to your profile, so for authors you could add a library board and fill it with books within your genre. Or, maybe have a board with your dream office space.

Create a unique writing den.

Three: Verify your websites ULR in settings. This took me a few tries and a couple of YouTube videos. But have faith, if I can master technology, so can  you. By linking your website/ blog to Pinterest, it creates a PIN symbol on all of your images, enabling you to link your posts to your Pinterest boards. Don’t forget to install a Pin it button to your blog, this is a vital way for you to gain more followers, readers may choose to add your content to their boards, showing your work to a new audience.

Captivating worldbuilding ideas

Four: Use great images in your blog. A picture says a thousand words, or so I’m told. Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash are fantastic sites that offer free stock images, that have no attributes or royalties attached. Don’t forget to edit each image when you add it to your blog, in the alt description box, use keywords to help new audience members find your content. Those keywords are used as the primary function of Pinterest, which runs as a search engine using those keywords. So it’s time to get savvy with SEO.

Finally learn SEO 😉

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Do you use Pinterest? Is it one of your favourite media sites? Perhaps you have another tip to share, don’t be shy, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.
Pen, notebooks, coffee,

Writers: Identify your Target Audience

Writers are busy creatures, apart from writing and editing, we’re continuously developing our brand and building our platform. We’re constantly striving to reach out and connect with our audience. But have you ever stopped to consider who they are? Unfortunately, your story will not appeal to everyone, so ask yourself – who is going to read your book?

We shouldn’t waste precious time on social media, slogging away at the wrong audience. We want to target the readers who will find our story irresistible, those who will take delight in snatching it off the shelf to devour the secrets within. It’s time to stop the busy work and work smart.

So how do we find them? With a little bit of reseach, that should be easy right?? Queue – internal groan!! But there’s no need to worry, relax, we’re writers, and we’ve got this.

First of all, we need to take a closer look at the readers preferences: what do they like to see in the stories they read. And then do a little more research into the reader demographic: those who enjoy, relate to, and connect with the story.

background-books-business-flowers-review

Genre and sub-genre- Readers tend to gravitate to towards a preferred genre. My favourite genre is Fantasy, and within that my sub-genres I love epic/high fantasy, fantasy- romance, and paranormal romance. But I tend to avoid Romance Fiction, or plot driven Fantasy about war.

Plot vs Character- Some readers want a slow-paced story, driven by mysterious events. Others want to enjoy the journey of the characters, taking pleasure from their deep development. My novels are character based, with a fast-paced plot full of adventure and tension.

Period settings and worldbuilding– Some readers might be drawn to a specific time period, a particular setting, whilst others are drawn to the escapism of a whole new world.

Art, pink, birds

Writing style– Perhaps your reader desires the luscious, poetic prose of literary fiction. Or the easy flow of commercial writing with its straight-forward style.

Age- Fiction is divided into different categories; Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult. It’s important to determine who your writing for because your character’s age, and their experiences should be relatable to the age group your writing for. Also this will have an impact on the size of your novel, as the industry tends to expect novels to stay within a certain range. For example, YA novels are usually between 60,000 – 80,000 words.

Gender- This won’t necessarily have a huge impact on your audience, after all, everyone has individual taste that isn’t gender dependant. However, it’s worthwhile noting that some genres tend to have a larger demographic following. Romance maybe appeal to a wider female audience, whereas gritty war stories may be preferred by a male audience. It goes without saying, of course both of these types of stories can be enjoyed by any gender.

Notepad-coffee-flowers-writer

And we can go further, refining our target audience with themes such as, culture and race, sexual preferences, disability, mental health, religion, and personal traumatic experiences. Do any of these themes play an important role in your novel? Perhaps they’ll tap into a specific audience who will emotionally connect with the heart of your story.

Once you’ve built up a picture of who your audience is, ask yourself these questions. What do you like to read? What do you like to write? Who are you writing for? What writers are similar to work? Where would your novel sit in a bookshop or library?

You may not be able to identify your target audience right away, it might become more apparent once your story develops. When I first started writing I thought my target audience was Young Adult, but after a few meetings with editors and agents I realised my novel was more suited to the Adult genre. So don’t stress if you get it wrong, it’s all experience.

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

What challenges do you encounter when trying to identify your audience? Please share your experiences, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.
Love writing, notebook, pencil, tea

Top Tips on How to Write Persuasive Content

A writer’s career is more than sipping tea and typing. It also entails running a savvy business where all the job roles become your responsibility; administrations, planning, marketing, graphic designing, etc.

Today were going to look at persuasive writing and how it benefits entrepreneurs in any line of business.

Perhaps you’re asking; what is this and how does it apply to me? Well…

pexels- ideas, pin-board, character files, novels, writing

Persuasive writing is writing where you try to convince the reader to take a particular issue on a point of voice. Persuasive writing may be designed to convince the reader to take your position on that issue or may be designed to convince the reader to take a certain action.

Whether you’re an indie author or traditional author, persuasive writing will become paramount in your marketing. This will include writing about your brand, when creating blog posts, reviews and even through your online presence.

The aim is to coax your audience into engaging with you and your brand, so that they choose to invest in your product, your book or newsletter. We’re all aware that the hard-sell pushes your potential audience away. Whereas, persuasive techniques will entice your reader towards you desired outcome.

book pen artist writer author Lorraine Ambers fantasy romance novel YA

Here are my top tips to help you craft the perfect piece of persuasion.

Know your target audience: This is the most crucial step; once you’ve identified this, you can tailor your advertisements to encourage that particular demographic.

State your reasons why: Nobody likes being told what to do, so give a reason before asking for a call to action. Show what can you do for them. Your audience wants to know – What’s in it for them? What will they benefit from buying this product?

Be consistent: This helps build integrity.

Use repetition: Spice it up a little and get creative to keep your audience interested. On average, your product will have to be seen by the client seven times before they take notice, from there on your building trust to encourage a purchase.

Use social proof: This is where testimonials, reviews and outside referrals become invaluable assets. Psychologically people tend to take comfort in the tried and tested.

YA fantasy romance Author Lorraine Ambers Desk

Comparisons: Metaphors, similes and analogies are a persuasive writer’s friend. Relating your product in a way  that the reader already accepts as true. Then you’re well on your way to convincing the reader to see things your way. Comparing your novels to similar authors has the instant advantage of drawing in your target audience who already enjoy that genre and style of writing.

Agitate and Solve: A useful persuasion theme is to identify a problem that resonates with your audience. Agitate the issue  before offering your solution which will solve the issue. Remember empathy is powerful here; you want to help the audience because you’ve experienced the problem and now have a solution.

Prognosticate:  This is a persuasion theme that provides your reader with a glimpse at the future. It’s a strategy built on credibility, if you can back up your claims with experience, credentials or a clear grasp of the subject, then this persuasive technique is a sure winner.

Unify your audience: This technique offers group inclusion. The power of knowing your target audience allows you to offer things that will appeal to them, making them feel selectively included, part of a group and offers real value. A newsletter is a perfect example of how authors can embrace their readers.

Be aware of objections: Being capable of presenting all of the pros and confidently navigating away any  potential objections that may arise. Then you’re actively solving problems and intelligently persuading your readers to invest.

Perhaps your character is trying to persuade the reader to agree with his point of view, as done in the Netflix series You. We know Joe’s behaviour is wrong, but through his constant  management of our objections and by justifying his point of view, Joe manages to keep the watcher on side. That is the power of persuasion.

Storytelling: This lies at the heart of persuasion. Passionate writing that allows the reader to independently persuade themselves.  By using all of the strategies available, tell a beautiful and engaging story. Colourful prose and strong verbs are essential when crafting each piece. Thankfully, we’re writers and have an advantage – use it.

Practice makes perfect:  Much like novel writing, all writing form’s need revision and editing to make them shine. Don’t slack on the essentials.


Thanks for stopping by.

I love hearing from you, please comment and let me know if you have any tips on persuasive writing? Have you used it in your stories or marketing techniques?

And more importantly, have you watched You yet? ;0

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
YA fantasy romance Author Lorraine Ambers Desk Beta Readers

Working with Beta Readers

Getting our writing critiqued is a vital learning process for writers. Through feedback, authors can mould their novel into a piece of work that’s coherent and has marketable appeal. Beta Reader’s response can help to judge which part of your book will work for your audience and those that may not.

I’ve wanted a Beta Reader for quite some time, but had no idea of how to go about it. Can we rely on our family and friends to be honest? Probably not, I tend to sugar coat things for those I care about.

How do we find Beta Readers?

Blogger Ari Meghlem recently asked this question on Facebook. Reaching out on social media is a great way of finding Beta Readers. It’s daunting. It requires bravery and a little common sense.

Finding the right reader is a vital first step. There’s no point in asking someone to read your genre if they don’t like it. Their feedback will be less than helpful. Ask questions and build a relationship. Your ideal reader should be similar to your target audience.

Debut Novel NA fantasy Author Lorraine Ambers Beta Reader

Here are my 3 tips for working with your Beta Reader.

 

Give Guidance

Develop a list of questions that you’d like answered. These might be about plot, pacing, strength of character, or the organisation of the stories concept. Your checklist should meet the specific needs of each book you write. As a great starting point for question inspiration, go check out some of my ideas on these Pinterest boards.

Learnt to love negative feedback

Not everyone will like your work. So you shouldn’t revise your book based entirely on one person’s perspective. Gaining different points of views can help pinpoint the areas that need working on. And as hard as it can be, ask yourself: Will addressing the issues make your book better? Sometimes accepting the truth hurts, but that’s how we grow and learn. So remember to thank your beta readers, and embrace their feedback.

Return the Favour

Offer to work in tandem with your BETA reader. Or consider returning the favour at a later date. By reading someone else’s work you can gain experience at reading with a critical eye. This will be invaluable when editing your own WIP.

I want to say a huge warm thanks to Ari for agreeing to beta read my first novel, her feedback so far has been fantastic. You can read Ari’s previous guest blog post Here.

Thanks for reading my post. Do you have any tips on working with beta readers? If so, please share.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

 © Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.

 

notebook nature writer Author Lorraine Ambers

6 Tips for Twitter #writers

Building a platform and navigating the many different social media’s can be a daunting task. It can seem a step too far, especially when we’re still struggling to write our novel. But fear not, for I’m here to share my top six tips for using twitter.

YA fantasy romance Author Lorraine Ambers Desk

It’s important to remember you’re presenting yourself as a brand. Every interaction on the internet should be tailored towards catching your target audience and strengthening your business – you as an author.

  1. Load a profile and background image, then add a few sentences to describe yourself. Want inspiration? Check out your fellow writers and see what catches your eye.
  2. Every social media has a different way of conversing. Twitter does this by short, punchy statements. Using just 140 characters to convey your meaning. Twitter is fast moving so mistakes can be made. But that’s ok, your friends will forgive and forget. So dive in and have fun.
  3. Picture’s and Gif’s are a great way to draw attention, so get creative. Warning about copyright, please make sure you have the right to use the images.
  4. Use hashtags as a way to connect with likeminded individual. Some of my favourites are #amwriting #turtlewriters and #fantasy. Play around with them and pay attention to what similar authors use.
  5. Remember your manners and don’t spam. The fastest way to be unfollowed is by only plugging your own work. There tends to be an unwritten rule that the ratio should be 80% sharing and 20% promoting. I like to mix it up, not all of my tweets are promotional. Most are asking questions, interacting and statuses about my writing journey. Take a look at my profile: https://twitter.com/lorraineambers
  6. People tend to converse through the newsfeed and ignore DM’s (Direct Messages) because the majority of messages are spam. If you want to chat, be brave and tweet them directly by adding there @name. Try me, I’ll be happy to reply. @LorraineAmbers

There we have it, my top 6 tips for twitter. Do you have any tips to share? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2017
Pixel image computer desk research business

Exploring Google+ for Writers

Hi everyone, thanks for joining me on my expedition of Google+. As an author and blogger I need to get my content out there. To be seen by the masses. Social media provides us this opportunity. But where do we start?

Entering the realm of Platform Building is daunting and a subject we’ve already covered. With our brand discovered and in place, it’s time to adventure into wide web.

photo credit: Social Media Marketing Mix via photopin (license)
photo credit: Social Media Marketing Mix via photopin (license)
Take a look at some of the previous journeys:

Reaching a wide audience and connecting with our readers is the aim, so let’s get started!

Step on: Set up an account using the same crafted brand bios and photos. How to achieve this can be found on my blog about building your platform. It’s an important first step and should not be missed. Tip: Google+ maximises your Google search results from essential key words in your Bio. Understand your target audience; use the same language so they can discover you. Example: fantasy, non-fiction, young adult and romance are a few of mine.

You can create a personnel or business profile. I opted for a personnel page. As a new author I wanted to be proactive in reaching out to other people and have them get to know me. You have to use your personal profile to do so.

Business writer artist author Pixabay

Link your account to your website, and any other media sites you have created. Having multiple platforms generates more visibility for your work. More sites! –  I hear you cry, I know, It’s hard work. Take it one step at a time and breathe. It’s taken me a couple of years to get to this point. I’m still learning and growing. So can you.

Google+ is an excellent site for meeting up with likeminded individuals. Choose relevant interests and community groups. I’ve joined communities like; Writers blogs, Creative writing and Book reviews. Tip: Select a few and concentrate on them, don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s easy to get carried away and hard to maintain.

photo credit: @brockuniversity Social Media via photopin (license)
photo credit: @brockuniversity Social Media via photopin (license)
Unlike other social media, Google+ has the advantage of creating circles. Your circles could contain containing authors, editors or publishers.  Reach out and connect with your circles, formatting posts that connect specifically with them in mind. They in turn, will link you to their circles, helping you to grow.

Like all media keep posts relevant, with good content and on a regular basis. Get to know your connections and have fun. The advantage of Google+ is there is no maximum content. You can submit a chapter of your novel to be reviewed or post book reviews. It’s an intelligent platform with a host of feature just begging to be put to good use.

Google+ Hangouts is a free online video chat that can include up to 10 people. Just think of the possibilities this opens up, book readings and meeting your readers.

Why not follow me on Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/2/+LorraineAmbers

Tell me about your Google+ experience, share some great tips, I love to here from you.

©Lorraine Ambers 2017