Sunday, May 29, 2011

Using Facebook Fan Page as a Promotional Tool for Freelance Writers

I began using Facebook only a year and a half ago. After several months of posting a link to new articles from my personal Facebook profile, I began to fear that I might alienate my friends. So, I set up a Facebook Fan Page instead. I immediately invited some of my friends to join my new Fan Page, I included writers and any friends that had shown an interest in my web content links in the past. I wound up with a little over 40 fans and I've gained and lost a few fans since then.

Learning from Promotion Mistakes
All in all, the Fan Page didn't work as I'd hoped. Let me tell you why. As a web content writer, I know that when you set up a blog, or a website, visitors come there looking for information. I write about loom knitting, crochet, parenting special needs kids, and my experiences as a freelance writer regularly. Someone visiting my Facebook Fan Page is going to see all these things.

What if the person is visiting because they are interested in loom knitting? They will be overwhelmed with links to unrelated content. They will likely leave my page before they find what they are looking for.

The Facebook Fan Page that Worked!
About a week ago, I tried an experiment. I set up a new Facebook Fan Page devoted entirely to loom knitting. I linked to it from 2 of my most popular loom knitting articles online. On the Fan Page, I shared a few of my newer loom knitting articles and posted a poll question. I didn't send any invitations to anyone to join the Fan Page. That Fan Page that is barely 1 week old already has 14 fans. It is growing at a rate of 2 fans per day, with no soliciting on my part. Also, those fans are participating in conversations on the Fan Page. Why? Because they want to read and interact about LOOM KNITTING, not about me.

I intent to add a link to the loom knitting Facebook Fan Page from all my previously published articles in the upcoming week. It will provide a wonderful audience for promoting future articles. What more could a freelance writer want than a page full of fans hoping to read their next article?!? That is why you should niche. They aren't MY fans, they are loom knitting fans. They are hungry for loom knitting information that this Facebook Fan Page will provide.

I plan to create Fan Pages for each of my niches, in hopes of reaching more readers. This is why niching is so important online, tightly focusing on one topic gives people what they want to read.

I still keep the personal Fan Page on Facebook. It isn't much of a promotional tool for my writing, but I use it a bit like an online resume, tracking all my newly published work.

Do you have a Facebook Fan Page? How is it working for you?

Update July 25th, 2011

I am updating this post to show the stats for my fan pages after only a few months. My personal fan page is now up to 47 fans. My niche fan page about loom knitting is at 96 fans. According to insights, which is delivered to my email monthly, the posts on the niche fan page received 1291views in the last month! No wonder my loom knitting articles are continuing to do well in their off season. Fan page niching is the way to go. I'm looking forward to crossing the 100 fan mark next month... only a few months after beginning the fan page!

Another Facebook Fan Page Update

My first experiment using Facebook fan pages as a promotional tool for my loom knitting niche worked so well, that I made Facebook fan pages for all my writing niches. One of the places that I write, Squidoo, has a handy tool for adding Facebook fan pages. I created a fan page for each niche and linked to it from only my most popular articles at Squidoo. Here is the status of my Facebook fan pages after only two months in existence:

Crochet:  37 fans
Down Syndrome: 22 fans

Green Living: 5 fans
The Knifty Knitter: 122 fans

I know I've said this before, but Facebook fan pages are an amazingly powerful tool for promotion of online writing. I can't wait to add fan page links to all my content!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Google Panda - Writing Changes

Two different websites emailed me today (Bright hub and Squidoo) to let me know that I had used page breaks in some of my articles and they were going to eliminate the breaks and change the work to a single, more lengthy page. Both places cited changes in Google's algorithm as the reason.

While once it was thought that anything over a given length was sudden death for webpages (800 words was a rule of thumb), Google has apparently been tweaked to now prefer longer pages. That information is a summary of the email I received, not my own opinion.

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