My friends and family have been great. First, my wonderful writer's group who devoured and critiqued the monster first draft are happily devouring the web version (which will also be a monster) and giving me plus votes. Thanks guys. I've got some Facebook friends reading it, and my boyfriend (who for some reason doesn't read fiction) is reading it. Thanks, honey. I've even got aunts and uncles who hardly understand the Internet checking it out. Thanks.
The greatest problem has been advertising it. It's been really hard to get traffic to my story. I've been on Twitter for over a year and have 2000+ followers, so this shouldn't be that big of a problem, yet it is. There are various sites designed to specifically advertise web fiction for free, which I've been using, but I don't think I've gotten a lot of readers from them. Most of my readers came from real life word-of-mouth and from interacting with other authors on JukePop.
I've been bothered by the realization that few people on Twitter and Facebook click on external links. I think I already knew this to some extent since I've been sharing my blog, but I really figured it out once I started advertising my story. I get lots of retweets, which are great and I appreciate them, but they aren't enough. I think only a couple of people actually click on the links to blogs and stories.
I've been trying to figure out why this is. I haven't done extensive research or anything, so I'm just going to toss out a few of the thoughts I've come up with.
I've only been using Twitter for a little over a year, and Facebook as an author platform for a few months, so I don't know if they used to work better for advertising, but I have a feeling that they might have. I'm thinking that maybe when Twitter first got going it was a great way to advertise, but then so many people started doing it, that people just got sick of it. I get that. I'm a little sick of certain kinds of advertising too.
An obvious reason is that some people are very aggressive in their efforts, and are very insincere about it. I ignore those people too. Advertising is all they do. You follow them, and they tell you to like their FB page without even saying hi. No. That's not cool. You have to interact with people. You have to assist them in their advertising efforts as much as your own. I talk to a lot of people, and I'm not aggressive or excessive in my efforts. Yet I get only retweets. (Again, not complaining. Retweets are great, but they only go so far.)
Okay, so is it because when people are on Twitter they want to stay on Twitter? When on FB they want to stay on FB? Maybe they don't want to click on a link to be redirected to a blog or a story. Part of me says yes, another part of me says no. People hop on social media to read articles all the time, so this doesn't completely add up. Are they only reading professional articles, and not personal blogs/stories? Or are they clicking on blogs and just not commenting? My blog tracks how many views I get, so there might be some truth to that.
The lack of comments is another thing that bothers me. I get views on my blog, but very few comments. Sometimes I'll get comments on the FB or Twitter link, but not the blog page. It would help me a lot more if they were on the blog post itself. If people see comments, the more likely they are to comment. That's just how we work. I'm guessing part of the reason people don't comment is that you have to put in your email, and not everyone wants to do that. It's the reason why I don't always comment on other people's blogs. But then I thought, does it really matter at this point? I've got a FB, Twitter, Instagram, tumblr, a bunch of emails, and random other accounts. Really, does one more matter?
So, I don't know how to help myself. (Actually, I do have an idea, but I'm super, crazy busy right now, so I won't be putting this idea into action for about a month.) So, while I don't know how to get people to click my links, comment on my stuff, and like my Facebook page, I do know how to do this for other people, so that's what I've started to do. If I can't help myself, I might as well help other aspiring authors. Readers, you should start liking author FB pages, clicking a web serial or blog link from time to time, and even leaving a comment. Let's help each other out.
And, speaking of, (yeah, of course this post was going to end with a link to my story), you should check out my web serial, "City of Secrets." It's free to read, and new chapters come out weekly (for the most part) on Tuesdays.