Sarah J. Carlson

Contemporary Young Adult Author

The joys of building my social media platform….



But seriously though, blogging is turning out to be so much fun, and I’m meeting so many great writers πŸ™‚

What are your thoughts or experiences around building that social media platform? Any advice for us newbies?

52 thoughts on “The joys of building my social media platform….

  1. seaangel4444

    Hi Sarah! It is early Monday morning here in Chicago, so I hope my early morning writing makes sense! One thing I have learned is to have a varied group of blogs you follow. For example, in my case, I have photographers, artists, poets, creative writers, humor, social issues, you get the picture I am sure! Commenting on a regular basis, liking their posts, and engaging as much as you can with fellow bloggers will allow others to get to know you. Then people who follow that particular blog get to see what an awesome writer you are (which you are!!); they will hop over to, “Sara J. Carlson, Author” and check out your blog. Next thing you know, they are reading and following your blog. These are my own experiences, and I think it is working. I love to go to blogs and say, hey, I didn’t know some of the folks that follow me follow you, etc….etc….. I honestly hope that helps a tiny bit! Cher πŸ™‚


  2. Amos M. Carpenter

    I’m following, I’m following! Have been for a while! Just stop that picture from making those eyes at me! πŸ˜‰

    As for advice, I don’t think I’m qualified to give any – I’m a n00b myself….


  3. Harliqueen

    Social media can be hard work, especially connecting everything to different places. I’d say stick with sites you enjoy, and don’t worry about those you don’t get on with or don’t like. Building a strong platform on some sites is better than spreading yourself too thin πŸ˜€


  4. Jennifer Austin - Author

    I’ve been putting it off for years. “Oh, I can do that when I get published.” Besides, I knew as soon as I did I would be obsessive about it. It’s just one more thing to distract me from writing. But I started a blog, Facebook page, joined a writer’s forum and an author Pinterest account. The trick now is managing the time I spend on each one, because I really do enjoy them all! Blogging is addictive and fun, but writing always has to come first.


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Yeah I totally agree! Working on Pinterest right now:) thankfully my novel’s off to a development editor so I can’t work on it anyway πŸ™‚ it is turning out to be really fun and I’m meeting lots of other awesome writers


  5. Michelle Mueller

    I agree with the above commenter. Follow a variety so that you always have a slew of unique and interesting things to read in your reader! It helps me creatively to follow people who are interested in other things beyond just writing about writing.


  6. Heather M.

    I wish I had advice…that would mean my own blog was doing better. I always get the same advice though, “Post every day!” Which actually did help build my readership a little bit. I wish there was an easy button you could click and instantly every person that would be interested in a blog would just flock to it and start reading. lol


  7. hkrowe

    Hello! Thanks for coming over to my blog.
    As for your question…I find that if I disperse my social media presence I can reach more people. I keep up with Tumblr, Livejournal, Dreamwidth, Twitter, and Facebook as much as I can and reach out to as many people, whether it’s writing excercises, fandom, or just a general opinion or interest in things like TV, books, and art helps. It can be daunting sometimes to keep up with, but most of my notifications comes onto my phone so I can be aware of everthing and respond right away! I work in IT so it helps to be connected all the time. πŸ™‚

    Good luck!
    HK Rowe


  8. Dee Connell

    I started my blog in January to chronicle my new writing journey, but I didn’t engage as much as I should have. It’s a lot of work! How do you write a book, maintain a blog, guest post, tweet and comment on other blogs??? The first few years are the toughest, I’ve heard. Anyway, thanks for visiting my blog. Your comments were genuine and helpful. πŸ™‚


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Haha I just started my blog a few weeks ago. So, I’m not gonna lie, I have a bit of an advantage over most people as a full-time, unemployed writer. My husband and I relocated to Singapore for his job for a little while and, since I’m basically unemployed, I have A LOT of time on my hands, haha. I am living a very blessed life right now and trying to make the most out of it. It is a tough challenge, though, balancing all that! Especially when you spell it out like that, ew. Anyway, glad to help in any way I can πŸ™‚ Getting to know fellow writers, and hopefully offering something meaningful, has been a real joy I’ve discovered since I started this whole blogging thing! Can’t wait to check your blog out a bit more and maybe see a bit of your writing πŸ™‚


  9. kimhaas

    I’m currently an apprentice editor for elephant journal and I’ve learned that you need to do your best work, share it often far and wide and that the right titles and images will draw people in. Also, have you read “Share Your Work” by Austin Kleon? Loved loved loved it!


  10. Juan Zung

    A lot of great advice on this comment thread. Thanks for getting it going! I especially like the advice to follow a variety of types of blogs instead of narrowly sticking to “writing about writing” stuff.

    I’ve been plugging away on my blog for a few years, but have always had trouble being consistent with [1] posting and [2] staying engaged with the community, both of which I think are pretty vital.


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Yeah, that seems to be a common theme in people’s comments! For me, it seems like short posts that incorporate a visual and humor and end with an interactive piece help. Then it’s attention-grabbing and, I think, because people see it’s short, they’re perhaps more likely to read it. Also I try to keep most of my posts positive πŸ™‚ I also have been trying to comment a lot of other peoples’ blogs as well. happy blogging and thanks for stopping by!


  11. mbarkersimpson

    I think you’ve received some excellent advice so far, and I certainly advocate spending time on blogs you enjoy and contributing in some way. It’s also nice to take part in features and guest-blogging has its advantages. Posting regularly is a no brainer, and other writers generally appreciate a shared experience. πŸ™‚


  12. annabelwriter

    I think I should be getting advice from you! I think we started here about the same time… I’ve got twenty-something followers, so I think you’re doing pretty well! πŸ˜€

    But I do agree with the commenter above about managing time on all your chosen platforms. They are all major distractions from writing. So I try to allow myself a window on each of them every day, then turn it all off.

    I have a friend who’s just been shortlisted for a literary prize and has several agents looking at her full ms, and others calling her! She’s not very active on social media – only twitter a little bit. In the end, it’s the writing that’s important. πŸ™‚

    But I think you’re doing well and your posts are great, and they generate interest always, so my advice would be: keep doing what you’re doing! πŸ™‚ x


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Yeah, balance is definitely key, because it’s writing a good novel that really matters :). Let’s just say I’m currently blessed with a lot of time on my hands, current novel at en editor, and I’m trying to maximize my free time :). Anyway, you’re spot on about what really matters. Happy writing to you and thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. annabelwriter

    That’s wonderful to have something complete and with an editor! The blogging is fun and having started on twitter at the same time as starting here, I’d say blogging is a lot more fun. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and I just saw your twitter account on your page, so I’ll follow you there too. I’m @annabelwriter.

    Happy writing to you too!


  14. rgdole

    it is definitely something you have to work at constantly to really draw attention… my blog is mainly dedicated to book reviews… and yet it seems I draw the most attention with my occasional random posts about other things… there really is no easy answer to how to get attention… you just keep posting… responding to people who comment… and really interact with other bloggers… you make friends and contacts and it’s a lot of fun when you meet cool people from all over…


  15. bonniejtoomey2013

    Even though I’ve been writing now for more than three years, I do still consider myself a newbie as well, but here goes nothing! I think it’s really important to a have your blog, to be really get involved with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, tumbler, any social media platform that serves your writing. I also think it’s really important to truly put things out there for other writers and readers to either enjoy, learn something, and to always remember your audience whenever you post or share. It’s sort of a social media karma that happens when you do that and eventually things to sort of come back to you in a positive way. Good luck!


  16. Matthew L. Campbell

    I’m sorry for not reading through the comments to see if anyone has given this advice: in addition to commenting and networking, offer an experience by sharing that which gives you a reason to get out of bed every morning. Share from the deepest, truest depths of your crazy, beautiful, manic, cynical, compassionate, empathetic, prejudiced mind. And don’t try to please everyone. Always be thirsty to learn and share new experiences, lessons, and revelations.

    Then again, there’s no one right way to do it.


  17. A.D. Everard

    I’ve been blogging about 18 months. Before I began, I thought blogging was more like a soapbox or a public diary and I wasn’t interested. That said, I found some science blogs that were so much more and began to follow them, which was when I realized they could be very informative and interesting.

    After I published my first book, I knew I needed to blog to let the world know there was something out there (I learned I should have started a good six months BEFORE I published,, but in the age of the Internet and instant gratification, I preferred to wait until I could say, here it is).

    Anyhow. I started blogging, nervous as anything. I started once a week and I was always terrified that I would run out of things to say.

    Then I learned that just about everyone in Blogsville felt much the same way, at least at first, and as I got to know people and relax, I found inspiration everywhere.

    For the most part now, I blog 7 days a week, even on holidays (Christmas included), although I’m pulling back a little on that while I get some serious work done on project number 3 – Book 2 was published 10 months ago.

    My advice? Have fun. Post frequently if you can. Enjoy the moments. Have fun. Laugh and be upbeat. Visit others and follow those who truly mean something to you. Oh, did I mention have fun?

    Cheers! πŸ˜€


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Blogging is turning out to be very fun and a great way to meet kindred spirits! Glad I started now! It’ll provide a great distraction as I’m sitting around waiting for feedback from editors and then waiting around for all the inevitable rejection letters when I start submitting to agents next month. Thanks for your advice and thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚ love fellow writers!


  18. pipergustafson

    I just started my blog, so I’m too much of a newbie to offer much advice…. but I ADORE Pinterest! I began a storyboard, where I basically pin quotes or pictures or really anything that reminds me of any of my characters or their stories. It’s a great way to find inspiration–it can really bring some scenes to life for me that I was struggling with before. But it is a double-edged sword…. sometimes I have so much fun on Pinterest that I forget to write! πŸ™‚

    But my general feeling is to give Social Media platforms a try, and see which ones inspire you. Blogging was so inspirational right off the bat, and Pinterest is a great creativity tool, so I know I’ll stick with those. I eventually want to give Twitter a shot, but I struggle with that one the most… no idea who to follow, or what to say. Maybe someday!


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      So I’ve recently started with Pinterest and am having loads of fun with it! I made an inspiration board for my current novel, Hooligans in Shining Armour, and even figured out how to show it on my novel page. (I felt super smart when I got that figured out haha). I’m totally finding you on pinterest and following you! I’ve got twitter up and going, am amassing lots of writer followers, but I still don’t feel like I know how to use it….. Guess I’ll get it figured out one of these days. Anyway happy writing and thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚


      1. pipergustafson

        Well if you ever figure out Twitter, please share some tips!! It feels so unnatural to me haha. But I will certainly be following you!

        And my Pinterest name is Dec Adence; my storyboard is just called Underground. Call me crazy, but I created a separate Pinterest account for my storyboards… maybe I haven’t fully come out as a writer just yet πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


  19. Jacinta

    My biggest thing with social network is that it can be a double-edged sword, if you will; you can spend ages posting and liking and all that jazz which builds your fanbase, but that also means you might not be writing as much (see also, Twitter). Learning from other people is amazing, and building a network of writers is great, but so is disconnecting every day so you can work undisturbed.
    Also, I loved your pic in the previous post about semicolons. As someone who has tutored English quite a bit, and wrote a lot in school, I feel they are highly undervalued as punctuation.


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Good point on the need to balance time, as we’re building our platforms to promote or writing in the first place πŸ™‚ It has been a pleasure connecting with so many other writers.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my semi-colon piece, as it is a most misunderstood punctuation. It’s misuse is one of my pet peeves when I’m critiquing other writers’ works. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚


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