Celebrate my Birthday!

My brother spent several years in a country where they celebrate birthdays differently than we do in North America. The person who is having a birthday throws a party for his or her friends. I thought I would try that this year.

The price you see listed includes shipping. I think it’s a win/win. You are able to get some new books to read at a super discount, and I’m able to share some of my writing with you. I hope you join the celebration at http://ruthlsnyder.com/shop!

The books include:

If you’d like to know about other special offers and learn along with me, sign up for my monthly newsletter.

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Twitter Decoded – sale price for a limited time

Twitter Decoded

Twitter Decoded: Tips & Tools for Authors is now available in paperback and e-book. Starting September 9th, the Kindle version will be on sale for $0.99 U.S. Since Amazon only offers Kindle Countdown Deals on Amazon.com, I am making the digital version of this book available from my website. If you are not able to purchase from Amazon.com, click here to purchase your copy for $1.25 Canadian.

Use Twitter to easily and effectively reach your readers

Successful writers take responsibility for marketing their own work. Social media, including Twitter, can be amazing tools. But how do you get started and use Twitter productively without wasting valuable writing time?

Ruth L. Snyder explains the benefits of Twitter for writers and leads you step by step through the process of setting up an effective account. Using this manual, you’ll learn the lingo, find your way around the Twitter dashboard, and start building relationships with your worldwide audience. You’ll also discover many tips and tricks to engage your audience and build a solid marketing platform in minutes a day. Finally, you’ll learn how to write great tweets, use hashtags, link shorteners, Twitter tools, schedule your tweets, use tweet templates, and continue building relationships with your worldwide audience.

NOTE: This e-book provides updated material combined from Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps and Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps.

REVIEWS:

Bobbi Junior

“For a tutorial, Snyder’s content is surprisingly readable and interesting for the Twitter newbie. Explanations are clear and concise – perhaps the result of raising five children. Screen shots with arrows pointing to a relevant box make navigation a breeze. I found myself looking forward to trying the next “Your turn!” at the end of each chapter, as I invariably felt successful after meeting each new challenge.

This book isn’t only for new tweeters, though. Those who are familiar with Twitter will gain from reviewing the Dos and Don’ts of tweets, what goes into a good tweet, and general rules of following and sharing. It’s easy to get into lazy habits, so fine-tuningTwitter activity will serve to enhance the reader’s return for time invested. Moving on in the book, information takes the experienced tweeter to more in-depth understanding of this social media tool. Many will want to leave the later chapters until they’ve had time to get used to the site. Others, though, will appreciate taking their tweeting to a new level.”

Kimberley Payne

“I thought I knew all there was to know about Twitter! But Ruth proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

This resource is set out in an organized fashion that you can refer back to again and again. It’s loaded with tons of useful links to dive deeper into specific areas without feeling overwhelmed.

It’s an excellent resource that makes it motivating to “play” on Twitter. Highly recommended!”

Twitter has been a big mystery to me. I’ve known that I need to use it, and I figured out the basics, but what the heck is it good for? This book helped answer that question, as well as giving the basics of how to set up and get started. Very useful for all writers who want to expand their social media presence. I know the information will be valuable for me as I work to promote my own books.

Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

Day 1 – Get Ready #10DaySMChallenge

Social Media Challenge

Welcome to Day 1 of our 10-Day Social Media Challenge!

Please use #10DaySMChallenge when sharing on social media.

Here is an overview of what we will be doing during this challenge:

Day 1 – Get Ready!

Day 2 – Automate & Systematize

Day 3 – Hashtags Matter

Day 4 – Events & Promotions

Day 5 – Content Themes

Day 6 – Inform your followers (Let your followers know what’s happening right now)

Day 7 – Evergreen posts (Tell new fans about your best stuff from the past)

Day 8 – It’s not all about you

Day 9 – Images, quotes, and inspiration

Day 10 – Wrapping it all up

Today I want you to take some time to think about what you want to accomplish on Social Media:

  • What are your goals? (Audience building? Networking? Sharing information? Making sales?)
  • Why are you spending the time you do on Social Media? (Do you get lost chasing rabbit trails? Do you need to set a timer?)
  • How much time do you want to spend on Social Media? (You should be able to do what you need to do in 30 minutes or LESS per day. This will leave you time to write or do other important things that need to be done.)
  • Which sites work best for the audience you want to reach?

Which Social Media Networks Are Best? (From The Best Social Media Networks for Authors by Shari Stauch)

Your other social media networks of choice (in addition to the aforementioned Facebook and Goodreads, which are mandatory!) will depend somewhat on your readership:

  • Twitter trends towards a younger crowd, though more and more folks are exposed to Twitter streams every day through mainstream media.
  • LinkedIn may seem to towards the more serious social media user (think non-fiction and business books) though we’re finding that LinkedIn’s groups are connecting our authors with both new individual readers and the opportunities to put their books in front of larger groups, i.e. associations and clubs.
  • Google+ is an overall great site, though still confusing to new users. The “power” of the site of course is that what you post there, because, well, it’s Google, is also indexed by Google, which makes what you post (i.e. the link to your latest blog) that much easier to discover.

Some additional resources:

Day 1 Assignment:

  1. Write out your social media goals (Share them in our Facebook Group!)
  2. Let me know what you want to accomplish through this challenge. Do you have questions you want answered? What do you struggle with the most? Let me know in the comments below.

For more specific help with Twitter, purchase my e-book, Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps.

Twitter Intermediate1


Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

10-Day Social Media Challenge

Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

What’s more important than Google when it comes to driving traffic to your website, sales pages, and affiliate offers?

If you said social media, you’re right.

With billions of loyal users, social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram are now credited with more than 30% of all website traffic, according to a study by Shareaholic.

Clearly, we all need to pay attention to social media marketing, but if you’ve ever tried to put the power of social media to work for your business you may not have seen the results you wanted. Without a plan, it’s easy to flounder around, waste a lot of time, and not really achieve anything.

A good social media plan incorporates a mix of all the following elements:

  • Interesting and compelling content you create (your blog, videos, podcasts, etc)
  • Older content that still has value to your visitors (and you)
  • Other people’s content
  • Inspirational messages and quotes
  • Funny quotes and images
  • Events and offers
  • Personal stories

I will provide information and an assignment or challenge, each day Monday through Friday, for two weeks. You will have the opportunity to share ideas, ask questions, and learn along with others in a private Facebook Group as well as here on my website.

Ready? Click here to join the challenge now!

Not on Facebook? Send me an e-mail and I’ll get the information out to your inbox each day.

Questions or comments? Enter them in the comment section below.

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What is in your hand?

This blog has been silent for a while. I’ve been taking time to be still before God and ask Him what direction He wants to me take in my writing/blog/business. I don’t know about you, but I’m more like Martha than Mary. I’d rather be busy doing than be sitting still listening.

I’ve been thinking about things that I’m passionate about, things that energize me, things that are fun for me to do. These include:

  • Taking pictures
  • Creating graphics
  • Encouraging/mentoring people
  • Hearing how God is at work in people’s lives

For some people, social media is a waste of time, frustrating, confusing. That’s definitely not the case for me. Looking at the points I mentioned above, that makes sense – pictures and interaction with people are key on social media. In the new year, I will be sharing more. 

Melanie Fischer, one of my InScribe friends, wrote a great post about The Power of One. That reminded me of the poem above which was given to me when I worked as a school board trustee. 

What are you passionate about? What energizes you? What is fun for you? Are you participating, helping, practicing, being kind, working, inspiring, enriching, serving, growing, acting, and being good for something? 

 


Social Media Blog Hop Week 3: Scheduling Posts

Social Media 300x300

The two ways I schedule posts to social media are with a WordPress plugin called Social Time Master (to share blog posts) and with Hootsuite (to share basically everything except personal blog posts). You’ll want to check out Hootsuite’s resource area to learn how to use it most effectively.

Scheduling posts is something I resisted for a long time. I don’t like to see my Facebook or Twitter feed full of repetitive messages and neither does anyone else. However, life is busy and scheduling posts does save time. So how do we take advantage of the time saving tools, but also keep our posts interesting and helpful?

Hootsuite Scheduling
Scheduling posts on Hootsuite

Here are some ideas I keep in mind when scheduling posts:

  1. The 80/20 Rule – We all know what it’s like to be around people who always talk about themselves … boring at best, annoying at worst. I use eighty percent of my posts to share helpful links (from others), quotes, retweet, and comment on other people’s posts. The other twenty percent of posts I use to share my own links, advertise my products, and share my work.
  2. Social Media is about building relationships, not making sales –  Social media should be about building relationships, about the other people we interact with, not about ourselves. When we build relationships, sales will follow because people will trust us.
  3. Repeating the same message over and over chases people away – How many of us enjoy being around a whiny child? Repeating the same message over and over is just as annoying – a great way to lose followers. It’s okay to share the same link repetitively, but the angle and information shared in the post should vary.
  4. Post when your audience is most likely to see the message – When we pay attention to our audience, we don’t waste time doing things that are ineffective. For general guidelines, check out the information shared by Social Media Today. One or two posts during high traffic times may be more effective than ten posts when our audience is offline or preoccupied. Sometimes it takes trial and error to figure out when our personal audience is listening, but it will save time and effort in the long run.

I’m still working on my scheduling strategy. In my ideal world I would schedule posts once a week. In my real world my schedule is not predictable and I end up scheduling when I have something important to share.

Do you use an app or software to schedule posts? Share your strategy and tips with us!

Want to learn more about Twitter? My new book, Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps is available for pre-order on Amazon. (April 27th – Read a Story Day – is my official launch date.)

Beginnging Steps 1


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Social Media Blog Hop Week 2: Favourite Graphic Program/App

Social Media Blog Hop

No matter which social media platform you use, you need great graphics. Images draw more attention to your content and improve your chances of being seen and heard. Make sure when you use pictures, that you use royalty free images and are NOT infringing on copyright. There are sites which offer free graphics, but I prefer to either use my own pictures or pay a small fee to use pictures taken by others.

I recommend the following sources for graphics:

  • Dollarphotoclub.com (High resolution royalty free images AND vectors are available for $1.00 each and may be used for commercial purposes.)
  • Clickartonline.com (Clipart, photos, photo objects, fonts, sounds, web graphics, and animations are all available to use. The yearly fee is $39.99 for unlimited downloads and you are able to select the size of the image you want to download.)
  • Take your own pictures using your phone, iPad, or camera. (Take the time to edit your images and present the best visual appeal you can. You may want to use an online editor like PicMonkey)

Once you have a graphic to work with, you can add text and personality to them by using design apps or software.

Created on Canva
Created on Canva
Created on Canva with a picture I took on my iPad
Created on Canva with a picture I took on my iPad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recommend:

Canva

(This program is available online at www.canva.com or as an app from iTunes. You can either sign up for a free account or sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account.)

Canva has predesigned “canvas” sizes for: Food & Drink Menu, Social Media, Presentation, Poster, Facebook Cover, Facebook Post, Instagram, Blog Graphic, A4 Document, Card, Email Header, Twitter Post, Invitation, Business Card, Album/Podcast Cover, Twitter Header, Pinterest, Real Estate Flyer, Google+ Cover, Kindle Cover, Photo Collage, Facebook Ad, and Facebook App. You are also able to select “Use custom dimensions” in the top right hand corner and create a canvas using either pixels or inches.

Canva provides many options for design with text in various fonts, background colours, layout options, and uploading your own pictures. Canva also provides access to 1,000,000 images, some of which are free, and others available for $1.00. Basically, if you can dream it, you can design it on Canva.

I like the many options Canva provides, but making an image can be time intensive. I’ve also noticed that sometimes the downloads (either png or pdf) are not as clear as I would like them to be. But for a free program, it’s a great tool.

Rectangular image created on WordSwag with an image from Pixabay
Rectangular image created on WordSwag with an image from Pixabay

WordSwag

Created on WordSwag with a free image that comes with the app
Created on WordSwag with a free image that comes with the app

As far as I know, WordSwag is only available as an app. (I use it on my iPad.) WordSwag is intuitive, easy to use and great when you want a quick blog graphic or want to share a quote on social media. It has several options available, including access to images on Pixabay (over 330,000 free photos, illustrations, and vector graphics in the public domain).

The graphics created on Wordswag are either rectangular or square. Wordswag is not very flexible, but still provides great graphics in very little time. (All of my graphics for this year’s blog hops were created on WordSwag.)

Created on WordSwag with an image from Pixabay
Created on WordSwag with an image from Pixabay

 

 

What is your favourite source for graphics to use on your social media sites? Enter a comment or link in to our blog hop below.

 

 

 

 

 


Feel free to share the blog hop button on your site. Here’s the code:

<a href=”http://ruthlsnyder.com/2015-social-media-blog-hop-week-1-favourite-social-media-site/#.VPcPGHZks1Y” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://ruthlsnyder.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Social-Media-300×300-150×150.png” width=”300″ height=”300″ /></a>

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2015 Social Media Blog Hop Week 1 – Favourite Social Media Site

Social Media Blog Hop

This week we are kicking off the 2015 social media blog hop with the question: What is your favourite social media site and why?

Facebook is where I spend most of my time on social media. I have a personal profile and author page, belong to many groups, and also administer pages for Glendon Playground and Park Society as well as InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. I appreciate the following benefits of Facebook:

1. My personal profile allows connection with an audience as large or small as I choose. Facebook allows me to decide whether I share information with specific people, only my friends, or everyone who chooses to access the information. I’m able to post plain text, pictures, and videos and so are my friends. Facebook is a great way to build connections with people I’ve just met as well as keep in touch with friends I’ve had for years. Some of my friends on Facebook are people I went to school with in grade 6 over 30 years ago.

2. Facebook Pages allow me to spend as little or as much as I want for marketing. There is no charge to have a Facebook Page. Although Facebook does regulate how many people see the information I post on my page, it does provide a free venue for sharing information. If I want to increase the exposure of a particular post, I’m able to pay to boost it. Facebook allows me to pick the demographics of the people I’m targeting with my content so that I’m not paying to send it to those who probably are not interested.

3. Facebook Groups provide an avenue for me to build closer relationship with a group of people who are all interested and passionate about the things that I’m learning about or doing. Through groups I’ve participated in Bible studies, received help and support in healthy living and marriage, and had the opportunity to learn and share about writing, blogging, marketing, my book launches and many more things. Groups can be public, private, or closed – allowing administrators to choose who belongs to the group and how far and wide the information is shared.

4. Facebook Events allow people to share information about upcoming events including anything from a baby shower to a drama presentation to a book launch. Event pages can help market the event, provide the possibility to participate either in person or virtually, and also provide a venue to share pictures, etc. during and after the event.

Some facts I try to keep in mind when I use Facebook:

  • Facebook is hosting my information and can choose to close my accounts at any time.
  • Although Facebook has security measures in place, I still choose not to post certain content because once it’s on Facebook I may not be able to control what happens with it.
  • I never post on social media when I’m angry or post anything that I would be ashamed to see on the front page of my local paper.

My second choice for social media is Twitter. But that will have to wait for another day!

What’s your favourite social media site? Why?


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Feel free to share the blog hop button on your site. Here’s the code:

<a href=”http://ruthlsnyder.com/2015-social-media-blog-hop-week-1-favourite-social-media-site/#.VPcPGHZks1Y” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://ruthlsnyder.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Social-Media-300×300-150×150.png” width=”300″ height=”300″ /></a>