I have a confession to make: I’ve always been late. I am punctual, yes. I usually show up on time to work, meetings, and social events, but I have a hard time keeping abreast of changing technology.
I find it hard to adapt to the newest gadget or to assimilate the latest mode of communication, even after all my friends have switched over and even my office has upgraded (a sure sign of ‘lasting change’ is when the office embraces the newest thing). My first smartphone was work-issued and years behind most people. This is my first blog. Yes, in 2011! And my Twitter account was started on the same day. I never did get around to Myspace or Facebook…
Why did I make the leap? Sometimes, as with my smartphone, because I had to. The blog and the Twitter account weren't done for me. They were necessary steps in my progression to becoming a Professional Writer. I needed to reach out to my fellow writers and (hopefully) my potential audience in the event that I do ever get published. How better to do it than in an easy, instantaneous, way?
How did I do it? Below, I set out my small steps towards establishing my cyberspace (read: technological) presence in the world.
I set up a Blogger account by going to http://www.blogger.com/ and signing up. It took a few minutes. No fuss, no muss. It was easy because I already had an email account I wanted to dedicate to my tech presence.
If you don’t have an email account to dedicate to blogging, tweeting, etc., as I would suggest you do, you can set one up in another few minutes with Gmail at mail.google.com/mail/
Now, Blogger allows you to manage more than one blog at a time. I suggest you start with one blog, dedicated to a fairly discreet topic, and take it from there.
I set up a Twitter account by visiting twitter.com. Again, it was easy. For ease, I used the same username as I did for my email account and my Blogger account. The point is to generate some recognition, right? So be consistent. Once my Twitter account was ready, I sent out a couple of writing-related tweets and I got back a few followers on my first night. These were general followers who seem to be on the look out for new ‘twitterers’.
By searching for “writer”, “author” and “romance novels”, I was able to find some folks to follow, folks who shared my interests, and after responding to some of their tweets, I started getting back followers as well. Remember to keep tweeting every day or else you lose your followers. You also should have something interesting or thought-provoking to say. Word to the wise: Twitter thrives on wit and sarcasm, all under 140 characters (the maximum size of each tweet).
I wrote a bunch of blog posts. Not nearly as many as I needed, so I am still catching up, but enough to cover me in case I can’t churn out a provoking post every day. I try to stay on topic: writing, writing romance, finding inspiration, etc. I suggest you consider the benefit of writing some posts before you take Step 1 and 2 above (or ‘go live’ with them), just so you have a cushion of posts to fall back on. One of the hardest parts of keeping up with technology is staying active and current.
This is my beginner’s advice on technology for fellow beginners. As I pick up enough tips and tricks to become an intermediate tweeter and blogger, I hope to post some more in this area.