Recently, I sat down with a group of bloggers and posed this question: Do you have a fan page and why?
One of the comments I see most often in regards to writers making fan pages is “Who really wants to visit my fan page?” Founder of Many Kind Regards Erin Whitehead answers this question with a simple, “Branding yourself as a writer is just as important as branding your blog.” She goes on to say, “If you want a decent social media following (which is becoming more and more of an absolute need for online writers) you have to be willing to self-promote. It has nothing to do with ego and everything to do with showing the world who you are. If you won’t promote yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to do it, either.”
Erin makes a valid point. Ask yourself “Why am I a writer? What am I trying to accomplish by writing?” Chances are pretty good that you have a goal, a reason for writing. No one writes in the online world for the sheer purpose of keeping their words private and unread. The people who intend their words to be private and hidden are called diarists. The rest of us write fully intending for others to read our work. So what sense does it make to work so hard at writing and then let all of that work fall to the wayside? Self-promotion is, indeed, important.
But what do other bloggers have to say about “self-promotion” in the form of a fan page?
Rachel Brencke from TheLawTog says, “Yes [I have a fan page] - because I’m full monetization - it’s not a personal blog.” Brencke brings up an interesting aspect to blogging: Monetization. When trying to monetize your work, or make a living off of what you write, it’s important to understand that your writing is not just a personal blog; it’s a business. Brencke goes on to say, “My Facebook fan page is a facilitator for bringing in an audience to read about the specified topic of interest. From there, the readers are provided free and paid resources for furthering their education. The Facebook fan page gives a personal handshake to a professional and straightforward legal blog.”
Dawn Nicole tells me that Facebook is “the social media most people use, so I think it’s a missed opportunity not to be present on it.” She adds, “Brands also like to see you present on various social media including Facebook.” Between Brencke and Nicole, we see a pattern. To monetize your work, potential advertisers and investors want to see you with a fan page.
It's NOT About Just Your Friends And Family
Adrianna Domingos-Lupher from SpouseBox echoes this sentiment. “Many publishers require that writers have a ready marketing platform.”
Additionally, Nicole notes that she believes “personal Facebook pages shouldn’t be used as a self-promotional business tool,” and confirms that is “another big reason I maintain a separate fan page.”
Rheanna Christine of Cammo Style Love says she uses her fan page “for sponsored posts, advertisement when I don’t want to write an entire blog post, posting about current events quickly, and extending the conversation from blog posts. I also really enjoy using it to share about other bloggers that I love!”
It's Also Very Much About Connection
Dina Farmer had some interesting numbers for me when asked about her fan page. “What is strange is although I get a lot more interaction and I have 150% more followers on Twitter, I still get over 70% of my hits on my blog from Facebook. Which leads me to believe that although Facebook is doing everything they can to crush free pages, fans are still reaching my blog this way.”
Facebook is the single biggest social network, it’s where nearly everyone is, so it’s very easy to find your target audience.
Heather Aliano of Only Passionate Curiosity added, “My fan page is my personal connection to my audience. In my niche, support and community is a huge need. Many of my readers are overwhelmed homeschooling mothers, and a fan page opens up the conversation. On the blog, it’s a lot of me talking. On the fan page, they can talk back. I can answer questions, and commiserate with them. I can share bad moments as they are happening without having to write a book. It gives them a behind the scenes look. I LOVE FB fan pages for blogs.”
It's Most Definitely Not About YOU
Kara Rajchel wraps up our conversation by saying, “Facebook is one of my top referrals (Mobile Facebook actually comes in before web Facebook). This is for pretty much all of my fan pages in various niches. Facebook is the single biggest social network, it’s where nearly everyone is, so it’s very easy to find your target audience. The key is the same with any social network, it’s not about you. It’s about the social interactions with your fans. Keep that in mind, instead of thinking of it as only a self-promotion tool, and you’ll find more success. It also helps to understand how it actually works and what the best practices are. The issue I see most is most fan page owners, even those who should know better, don’t understand how to use it well or what metrics they should actually care about.”
Simply put, having a fan page on Facebook isn’t about ego, it’s about utilizing social media to engage your audience and grow your business and your skills as a writer.
Do you have a fan page? Visit my fan page and give me a like, and then leave your fan page in a post for a “like” from me.
And don’t forget to register to get updates from The Write Resource. Next week we’ll talk more in depth about Facebook fan pages and how to make them work for you.
Many Kind Regards,
Haven't quite made the jump to writing online? Rebecca gives excellent tips on getting started here.
original photo credit: Denis Dervisevic Flickr