Best Social Media Sites for Writers

skitched-20090224-113408.jpgThere’s a great interview with Jennie Crommie over at serenity for the self-employed in which she talks at length about how’s she’s used social media marketing to grow her freelance writing business. I, too, have been adding social media to my marketing arsenal – it’s right up there with my website, LOIs (letters of introduction), pitches and funky business cards.

I agree with Jenny that “social media is all about connecting, building relationships, finding people with common interests, networking, expanding horizons, and learning new things.” But with so many social media sites out there, and new ones cropping up all the time, which are the best social media sites for writers?

I’ve been asking writers this very question and while everyone has a different approach to social media, there are a few specific sites where writers congregate. Check em’ out and dive right in, because as Jenny says, “Social media is not a fad. It’s here to stay… And if you’re in business (and want to continue to stay that way), you have two choices: change or die.”

Best Social Networking Sites for Writers

LinkedIn

LinkedIn_ Answers_ Browse Open Questions-1.jpgOf the writers I’ve spoken to, most agree that LinkedIn is the most useful social networking platform for career advancement. Most social networking sites are all about your personal life, but LinkedIn focuses on your professional life. And with over 16 million users, you’re bound to find other people interested in your niche. The best way to get noticed on LinkedIn is by filling out your profile, expanding your network and getting recommendations from your “connections”. For more details, check out Collis Ta’eed’s article on FreelanceSwitch.com,
8 things you can do to get work through LinkedIn.

Twitter

skitched-20090210-195806.jpgTwitter is like a cross between a blog and an instant messenger, what the “tweeters” call a “micro-blog”. Twitter lets you post short, 140-character text updates to a public website, which people can follow and respond to if they feel like it. Twitter’s a great place to publicize your work, find new work and find sources for work in progress. For more, check out my previous post on Twitter or read Robert Janelle’s article, Putting Twitter to Work For Your Freelance Writing Business.

Facebook

skitched-164.jpgWhen my mom joined Facebook, I knew I was in trouble. But this just goes to show how omnipresent Facebook is. What was once an outlet for college students to keep in touch with friends is now the second most popular social networking site in the world, just a notch below MySpace. This means it’s crawling with fellow writers and publishing professionals. You can find many of them by searching for “Groups” focused on writing. For example, there’s the National Union of Journalists, the Poets and Writers Registry, Science Writers and Writer’s Market.

In addition to Groups, you can also use Facebook to promote your website and blog by linking to them on your Facebook profile. You can even set up your account to update everytime you’ve posted a new blog post, thus driving more traffic to your blog. The sky’s the limit with Facebook, it’s all a matter of how you use it.

Best Forums for Writers

Social media marketing doesn’t end on social networks. Forums can be a great source of advice, job leads, moral support, feedback and good old-fashioned banter. Here are a the most popular writer’s forums. Check em’ out and don’t be shy – everyone is very friendly!

  • Absolute Write Water Cooler – One of my favorites. With over 14,000 members, this forum is huge and its membership diverse. This very active forum has rooms for just about every kind of writing genre, from fiction to freelance to erotica.
  • Journobiz – This UK-based forum has over 1,600 members, many of whom are well-established and a fountain of generous advice. For anyone in the UK, this is a great place to share contacts, information, stories, or ask for help on anything journalism related.
  • Accentuate Writer’s Forum – This relatively new forum already has over 700 members and is primarily focused on freelance writing, blogging and web writing.
  • Mediabistro.com Bulletin Board – This forum is a great place for anyone in the content industry, including editors, writers, producers, graphic designers, book publishers, and others in industries including magazines, television, film, radio, newspapers, book publishing, online media, advertising, PR, and design. Their mission is “to provide opportunities to meet, share resources, become informed of job opportunities and interesting projects and news, improve career skills, and showcase your work.”

What are your favorite social media sites?

Is there anything I’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!

And feel free to connect with me in the social networking sphere. You can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Hope to see you there!

8 Responses to “Best Social Media Sites for Writers”

  1. Carolyn Howard-Johnson Says:

    Monica–it’s nice to meet you. YOu were kind enough to drop by my Writer’s Digest 101 Best Website pick blog, http://www.sharingwithwriters.com. You mentioned this article. I would love to publish it in my newsletter. Of course, I can always link to this as a tip, too. Let’s discuss it. My e-mail is hojonews @ aol.com.

    BTW, anyone interested in subscribing to the letter (it’s free and full of tips for writers) may send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. HoJoNews @ aol.com.

    Best,
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  2. Janet Barclay Says:

    Your post title caught my eye because although my clients are mainly professionals in other industries, I do work with some writers, and I wanted to let them know what social networking sites you recommend. Interestingly, it seems that LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are the top three, no matter what field you’re in.

  3. monica Says:

    @Carolyn – I’ve sent you an email. Thanks!

    @Janet – I think you’re right. I expected to find some niche sites for writers, but these seem mostly to be in the form of forums. But it kind of makes sense. All of these professions fit under the business blanket. And as people in business, we all have something to learn from eachother. Why not network with as broad a group of people as possible?

  4. Tumblemoose Says:

    Hi Monica,

    I do use all of the sites you mention, just in varying degrees. I like LinkedIn because of the groups and the opportunities that present themselves there. I find Facebook to be a bit cumbersome due to the sheer volume of karmas, gifts, birthday greetings and all of the other sidebar distractions. It does have the advantage of being wildly popular, so it is a great way to connect with folks.

    My absolute fav is Twitter. It is nimble and the feedback is instant. I’ve also connected with all manner of folks within the industry.

    There are certainly other social media sites , but I’ve found it is too difficult for me to keep good track of goings on when I spread myself that thin.

    George

  5. Janet Barclay Says:

    Monica, thanks so much for the link love!

    Have you checked out http://www.redroom.com?

  6. monica Says:

    Janet, I had never heard of redroom until now – wow, what an incredible find! It seems especially good for book authors. It’s a huge resource and a very professional community. I’m definitely going to give this a deeper look.

    George, Twitter is my fav too. Mostly because always on. It can be distracting in that way, but those distracts have also led to some great leads!

  7. Janet Barclay Says:

    Monica, I forgot to mention that I fully agree with your comment, “Why not network with as broad a group of people as possible?” Although we can learn a lot from our industry peers (regardless of profession), that’s not usually where we’ll find the contacts that are going to directly help the bottom line, which is really what we’re all aiming for.

  8. monica Says:

    Janet, that’s a very good point. Writer’s often do a great job of networking with other writers, but those aren’t the people who actually need to HIRE a writer. Great for moral support, but as you say, not so good for the bottom line. One of the best places I found for networking that actually has actually provided leads is the A1 Business Forum (a forum for small business owners in the UK). Not only do I learn from a bunch of fellow entreprenuers, but I also meet a lot of people who actually need my writing services!

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