Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Spending Time in the Social Media Basement by Johnnie Alexander

How do you describe yourself to best fit your online presence and, in turn, help you in marketing your work? Author Johnnie Alexander recently received some great advice and she's sharing it with us. -- Sandy

Johnnie: “I feel like I’m climbing out of a basement,” I said to my daughter, Bethany Jett, who is also a writer. “Soon I’ll be on the first floor, and then I can build.”

My imaginary first floor is more commonly known as my social media platform. It’s made of the usual planks: Facebook, Twitter, a website and blog, Pinterest, Goodreads, and so on. The widest is Facebook where I connect daily with friends and followers on my personal profile and author page. The widths of the others vary, and that’s okay. At least they exist.

You may be wondering why I’m in the basement if I already have a planked floor.

Good question.

I’m in the basement, climbing upward step by step, because several of the planks have been neglected in the past few months. My focus, which isn’t marketing-centric at the best of times, has been on completing a novel, going through the edits, writing a new proposal, and attending a writers conference. When I wasn’t involved in these writerly activities, I was catching up on what was neglected while I completed that novel, went through the edits, etc.

Confession: After writing the novel, I also watched TV, read a few books, succumbed to allergies, and napped. Both my body and my brain needed the rest.

A couple of things happened to snap me from the funk.

First, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference where I strategized with my publisher’s marketing team and received insights during my appointments with the publicity pros who were there.

Second, I followed Melyssa Griffin’s advice for updating a Pinterest profile. After a very long brainstorming session with my daughter, I finally clarified my online presence—who I am and what I do.

If you write fiction, you know what a difficult task this can be. Often we don’t have a specific topic to blog about and promote. (Though, as my daughter can attest, even nonfiction writers can find it a challenge to incorporate all their interests under one umbrella.)

Melyssa’s first tip: find two keywords or phrases that identify you. Melyssa’s is Entrepreneur and Blogging Tips. I chose Book Buff and Road Tripper.

Melyssa’s second tip: use keywords to write a short bio and call to action. (Click on these links to see Melyssa’s Pinterest bio and what I came up with for mine.)

Invigorated with a renewed energy and fresh ideas, I’m working behind the scenes (in the basement) to update all my planks with my Pinterest bio as a basis. I’m also creating a workable plan that builds up the most appropriate planks while leaving me time for imagining and writing new stories.

I have a list of items to accomplish, but one by one they’re getting done. My head should be poking out of the basement door before too long.

And though the planks will still be different widths, I’m confident the floor will be strong. 

What two keywords or phrases best describe your online presence?



Johnnie Alexander imagines stories while raccoons and foxes occasionally pass by her window. Her debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, was a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1), her first contemporary romance, was a Library Journal Pick of the Month. Recent releases include The Healing Promise (Courageous Bride Collection) and When Love Arrives (Misty Willow Series #2).

Johnnie is marketing director for the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference and president of the American Christian Fiction Writers Memphis chapter. She lives near Memphis with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees those pesky raccoons whenever he gets the chance.

Join Johnnie at to experience the charm of country living, the love of random travel, and the joy of treasured memories.

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