All authors really want to do is write. However, having written a book and published it, one is required, then, to bring it to readers' attention.
Marketing? Ugh! I do as much as possible in as little time as possible, using these tools to help me reduce all of that to manageable proportions!
A friend helped - and continues to help! - to set all of this up.
My host is 34sp.com - can't recommend them enough. Endlessly patient, highly technically able and most helpful even when asking them something that isn't strictly to do with "current website configuration" - ie, you can ask them about something you are thinking about installing and they will check it out for you.
If you decide to go with 34sp.com, mention my website - imogenKnightReikiCircle.co.uk - and we'll both get a free month of hosting!
- Of course, I use self hosted WordPress - what else? 34sp.com installs it automatically.
I have a selection of both free and premium plugins - basically, I choose the ones that are easiest to use and do what they are supposed to.
AA's Digg Digg Alternative - this free plugin gives little sharing buttons down the side of the page, which is what I wanted it for. My friend tells me it is easier on "loading time" than other similar plugins. Frankly, I have no idea what that means. As long as it does what it's supposed to, I'm happy.
Amazon Send to Kindle - this allows readers to send any post to their kindle. Handy, if you want to read on the train!
CommentLuv Premium - the first of my paid for plugins. The primary purpose of this plugin is to encourage people to comment on blog posts - if they have a blog and they tick the little box, then they will be given a choice to link to their latest posts, which is, apparently, good for SEO - "deep" links are more persuasive to the search engines than the standard link to the home page.
G.A.S.P. - reduces spam dramatically. This generates a little box that has to be checked to prove a commenter is human, rather than a robot. I have no idea how this works, or even what a spam robot is (or why anyone would use them!), but from my experience, it does reduce spam.
Keyword Name - lets you set whether or not to allow keywords in the name field or not.
ReplyMe - Lets the author of a comment know their comment has been published. It's a nice way of thanking someone who has taken the time to comment and encourages engagement.
You can change the message to whatever you want.
Fast Secure Contact Form - People have to be able to get in contact with you somehow, and this is the contact form to do it with. Easy to use, discourages spam. It works, which is all anyone can ask, really.
Hybrid Connect - this paid for plugin allows you to design beautiful forms to encourage people to keep in touch. I like it mainly because it's pretty.
Tweet Old Post - free plugin that tweets posts that may be neglected. I like to set it to over 30 days old, no older than 90. Reminds your twitter followers of older posts they may find useful.
Tweet Pull Quote - In any post there are one or two little quotes that bear tweeting. This free plugin pulls them out to the side, adds a twitter button and lets readers tweet them in the easiest way possible. It also breaks up the wall of text into a more pleasing format!
- WordPress SEO - the very best SEO plugin out there, guiding you through the process with ease.
Commenters are also given the opportunity to post their twitter name, if they like.
CommentLuv Premium also has a few supporting bits and pieces:
You can also set rules to reduce spam by humans.
Personally, I don't bother much with this one - people who put keywords in name fields are spammers, so I have it set not to allow them.
I love twitter and have made some wonderful friends through it. However, at first I was struck by how much it resembles a large room where EVERYONE IS SHOUTING at the same time!
Bottom line? No one can use twitter effectively without tools. These are mine.
Hootsuite - the free version of this very useful site allows you to shedule tweets, make lists, interact with your followers and generally oversee what is happening on your feeds from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+
Tweetadder - my favourite - premium! - tool for Twitter. One can spend hours and hours on twitter without really achieving much but Tweetadder lets you follow, unfollow, find interesting people, send welcome Direct Messages (for starting conversations with new people), find out which of your followers have got a life and found something better to do (!) and a whole host of other things that are really useful and time saving.
I use it to keep up with my friends, to #FF people I've interacted with that week (as well as a few regulars!) and to chat with new people who seem interesting.
There is a premium version, but I've never felt the need for it.
It lets me automatically retweet some people, using specific hashtags, automatically adds my RSS feed - and those of a select few interesting friends! - and weed out spammers before they get into my feed.
An outrageously useful tool that allows me to do my twitter thing while drinking my first cup of coffee!
Warning: Overenthusiasm with Tweetadder will get your account suspended. Be careful with it.
CommentLuv, Hybrid Connect and Tweetadder are all affiliate links - if you do decide these are interesting tools and you plan to buy them, I'd be really grateful if you would do so through my links: it helps support this website.