Tag Archives: social media

Social Media Lessons of the Superbowl

Moonday Mania

a blog for authors, readers, and anyone crazy enough to read it

The Broncos were not in the Superbowl yesterday. But we watched it anyway. And it turned out to be a very exciting game! An extremely unusual power outage and all of a sudden those SF guys nearly pulled it off and we were hanging by the edge of our seats. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Since my team wasn’t playing, I wasn’t really watching for the football. Until that last quarter. Okay, then I was really watching and cheering since it was such an exciting turn-around. But the thing I watched during the majority of the game were those famous Superbowl commercials. And there were two that were so similar, I have to bring them up here and show you a do and a don’t for your advertising.

The first one is an ad for Jeep. At first the commercial, which focuses on our veterans felt powerful. They used a good narrator with a strong, sympathetic voice. The pictures were emotionally moving. Your sympathies for veterans are stirred. And then you see the blaring product placement and you remember that this is not a commercial commemorating veterans service. It’s a commercial to promote Jeep

By the end my neighbor, who was watching with me, had her lips compressed and was shaking her head. Instead of making us like Jeep, it made us feel like Jeep had used the service members for it’s own promotion.

Do not use Social Media in this way.

Do not make your fellow loop or class or Facebook Friends feel like the only reason you are out there is to sell.

Another Superbowl commercial also used a similar type of structure, but they did it in a much more successful way.

Dodge paid homage to farmers. The narration was powerful, the pictures emotionally moving, and I didn’t notice the product placement until the very end. This is the way you want your friends out there to feel. Because ultimately, they are your friends. You  sell maybe one to two books a year. The rest of the year they don’t want to feel like you only care about them when they purchase.

I am on a particular loop where this is out of hand. We all know the perpetrators and skip their posts. That’s right. We pass over, don’t read, and delete anything they post. Why? Because  we know it’s just another ad for them. Another, hey, come by my blog or vote for me. Me! Me! Me! And when I say “we” I don’t mean it in the royal sense. This has come up at group discussions and many people have told me that they feel the same. Used.

Don’t use your friends. They are your friends most of the year and purchasers maybe one or two times a year. If they purchase, great! If they don’t, oh well. They are still nice people who come to your blog, retweet your comments, and who will rally around you when you post your no-good-very-bad-day on Facebook. Keep your friends close and if you make some sales, then that’s all gravy. Or cupcakes. Or bratwurst. Whatever you served at your Superbowl party. (We had mini-quiche and Thin Mints.)

Did you watch the Superbowl? Did you have the same emotional response to those commercials? Maybe the message in the Jeep commercial was so powerful the enormous machines blocking my view didn’t block yours and you got teary instead of irate. I’d love to hear from you.


Filed under blogging, Moonday mania

So Long to Sensational Saturdays

Sensational Saturday

a blog for whatever

Hello, loyal Jessica Aspen Writes fans. The good news that on Monday you can still tune in here for Monday Mania, and on Thursday’s, you will still find me writing Thursday’s Bite. But the sad news, the unfortunate news, the it-must-happen-for-the-good-of-the-blog news is that I am discontinuing Sensational Saturdays.

That’s not to say I won’t still be writing the occasional irreverent blog that really has nothing to do with the art of writing or paranormal romance. I will still be posting great posts like: TOO FUNNY! and Why Everyone Needs an Extra Set of Balls but you’ll be finding them on either Moonday Mania or Thursday’s Bite.

Why am I dropping a blogging day?

jessica aspen

Good question. I checked out my site stats and Saturday’s are low traffic days, as are Sundays. Looking on the site stats you all are visiting mostly on Monday’s and Thursdays, with some traffic Tues, Wed and Friday. The weekends you must all be out partying it up! Which is great fun, but not so great for blog traffic. And the truth is that I am getting bogged down in blogging.

Yep, I need to focus more on my writing and less on other things, but I am not giving up blogging! I love it and I love each and every one of you. You are terrific commenters, and lurkers, and sometimes-drop-byers. Thank you each and every one. (OK, I don’t love the spammers, you can all go back to where you came from.) This means that funny, extraneous posts may show up when you least expect them, so be prepared!

What have you done recently to slim down your commitments? Do you find that your social media is taking up more time than you thought? Do you look at your site stats and see how your traffic responds to what you post?


Filed under Sensational Saturday's, Writer's Journey

Get WET!

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing

This month’s Moonday Mania’s have been about Social Media. We started the month with Don’t Should on Yourself, by Keri Silk and moved on to my neophyte blog hints, Easy tips to Make Your Blog Outstanding and Slow Down and Smell the Coffee. So, for the last Monday in March I’m going to discuss a few things I’ve learned from the best.

As many of you know, I’m a big Kristen Lamb follower. Kristen blogs, not just on Social Media, but specifically Social Media and authors. Kristen’s advice is where I am trying to get to, not where I am. If she has any big pieces of advice that you can see I’m not doing, well, it’s because I’M STILL WORKING ON IT!

We Are Not Alone, by Kristen LambWhat have I learned from Kristen Lamb? I’ve learned that the author social media world is always changing. Kristen wrote this fabulous book, We Are Not Alone, the Writer’s Guide to Social Media, and I consider this my baseline bible to social media. But I can’t just read the book. Why? Because the internet is not a static environment. Actually, the world is not a static environment. Since Kristen wrote the book we’ve seen the demise of My Space and the rise of Google Plus. How can a book like Kristen’s, that has info on My Space and none on Google Plus a valid resource for this year’s writer?

Because the advice that Kristen gives in the book applies, whether or not I’m on My Space, Googe Plus or the Next Big SM Hotspot. Good advice is still good advice. (For some hilarious dated advice check out Miss Gloria Richard’s foray into the past via the Loo at Buca De Bepo HERE!)

Kristen’s ideas on creating a platform that centers around your personality and genre are still sound ideas, no matter where you are implementing them. I’m still struggling with this. At first I didn’t really know what I wanted on my site. Okay, Kristen, I need to represent me and my writing, but I’m writing so many things and I’m not sure which one is going to get published. But I plunged in anyway, trying to represent some paranormal theme with the spooky woods header and my Thursdays Bite.

It works, but is it where I want to be? No, and I know it. Thanks to Kristen I’ve been searching for my identity as an author and a blogger, and I think I’m starting to hit it. So my last piece of advice is: be yourself, whoever that is. Figure it out. It may take time, and it’s okay to take the time. It’s okay to start with just the basic template and then add a header and then maybe get a header done and jazz up the site.

The point is, don’t wait till you know exactly who you are to get started. If I had waited till now to get my site and my blog up and running, I might not have as good an idea of who I am as an author. I might still be struggling with the very basics. But I’m not, I’ve moved ahead, still struggling. Still discovering who I am. And guess what?

That’s life.Stock Images - Cold feet

You change. You change as a teen to a twenty-something. The Facebook page you put up at thirty is different from the one you would do at forty. And the blog you do as a newbie pre-pubbed author will be different than the one you do as a newbie, just-pubbed author, and different again from the one you do when you are a famous know-it-all author. but if you don’t put your toe in the water, you never get wet.

So get wet! Jump in! Make your mistakes and just keep paddling till you get somewhere! ‘Cause I know you will be getting somewhere, even if it’s just back to the shore for some icy marg’s on the sand!

Have you jumped in yet? Have you changed what you started with? For someone who’s done this check out Sherry Isaac’s new site (HERE). She’s totally revamped it and it’s got SIZZLE!


Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, website


Moonday Madness

A blog about the craft of writing

March Moonday Madness has become Social Media Monday’s. We started off with Keri Silk and her new book Virtual Freedom: Stop Wasting Time on the Web – Get and Retain Customers Effortlessly. Read Keri’s blog “Don’t Should On Yourself” HERE. Last week I blogged on one of the easy ways we newbies can improve your blog. I’m sure some of you noticed I violated it immediately. To find out my number one tip for bloggers, click HERE.  Today I’m adding in another nugget in my series of where people go wrong with blogs.

Stock Images - His Morning Cup


If you read Keri’s blog, she advised figuring out what you want to do with your blog and your business and directing your efforts. I’m going to take that one step farther and say, only do what you enjoy.

“So, my recommendation to my clients is: find things to do online that you enjoy (blogging, answering interviews, hosting a website, talking on twitter, etc.) and do those things in moderation. Be authentic, have fun with it, and keep the time commitment reasonable.” Sara Megibow, March 2012 Nelson Literary Agency Newsletter.

As busy beavers we work, work, work at out chosen career. And we blog, blog, blog trying to maintain what others have said we need to do. When we try to do too much it not only takes the focus away from our writing, but it rips all the enjoyment out of it. One of the lovely things about being an author is having a career you love and when you add in too many things you don’t love, what happens? You end up hating the career that is supposed to be your dream.

No one want to end up hating their dream. Writing is tough anyway, it should at least be fun.  Limit yourself, not just to doing what you have time for and advances your readership, but doing the things you enjoy. For instance, I don’t do Linked In. I tried it and I realized it didn’t connect me to readers, just business people. I don’t have time for that. Maybe some of you have found it valuable, but I think it’s just one more thing for me to do. So I’ve opted out.

I am still struggling with Facebook. I don’t love the format and just when I think I’m figuring it out, they change things. REALLY don’t like that. But I’m able to struggle along with it and it can be fun seeing what everyone else is up to. I figure it will get easier, so I’m keeping it. I do like seeing everyone’s comments and there is so much more room than Twitter. So for me, it’s a keeper.

The real keeper is Goodreads. I am just starting to explore Goodreads. I get to see what everyone else is reading and keep up on discussions. Not that I’ve got that much time to to that, but it looks like something I will enjoy, so it’s a keeper.

Twitter, I love.

No, seriously. I know I don’t always tweet, sometimes my life interferes, but I still like it. I love the sound bites. The skill involved in splicing a sentence down to it’s components so you can squeeze more in. I love the funny one liners. So Twitter is a win!

And of course there is the blog. I have two. This one and my first Friday of the month appearance on Paranormal Freebies. Paranormal Freebies is for sharing other authors with lots of readers, this one is just for me. And all of you, of course. Here I get to do whatever I want, bounce from topic to topic. Paranormal Freebies sticks to the supernatural side of things.

So I’m doing what I want, maybe a little over comitted and wishing I wrote more, but I’m having fun. How about you? What social media do you find fun? Do you use SM for your career, or just to connect with friends. I do both, how about you?


Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania

Don’t Should on Yourself

Moonday Mania

A blog on writing

Today, I’m excited to have Keri K. Silk as my guest. Keri’s new book on social media, Virtual Freedom: Stop Wasting Time on the Web – Get and Retain Customers Effortlessly will be available for purchase soon. For now there are advanced chapters available and a special bonus for Jessica Aspen Writes readers, check out the bottom of this post to participate!

Authors who have engaged in or been trained in Life Coaching will recognize the title phrase.  It means that every time you say the words “I should…” you are doing yourself a disfavor.  In creating a social networking/internet strategy that is unique to you and your writing –beware! Watch out for those times you are saying should.

I should social network is a huge one! Like the original .com boom and bust, everyone is leaping to social media as the latest and greatest.  It can be. But it can also be an enormous stress and time sucker.  It was originally meant to be fun. A way to find and keep up with old friends. A way to share photos, short updates, etc.

For a brief moment it was – just fun. Then the should stepped in.  It became a frenzy of activity for marketers. Authors were told they should have a social media platform.  But no one clearly explained what that meant.  Do you know why you have a platform? Do you know if it’s working? Do you know how to take the should out and make it fun again?

The first thing I do with clients (and the beginning of the book) is go back to the beginning.  There are several points to consider but the main two are: What are you trying to accomplish and Where is your best venue?

First the What — Are you trying to make a name for yourself before submitting works? Are you self published and trying to get the word out? Are you traditionally published and want to build on their media campaign?  Each what starts a different thread.

Instead of “the scattergun approach” coined by UY Creative Communications Managing Partner Maureen UY.  Take a moment to focus on thewhat you are trying to do.  Choose one that makes the most sense to your bottom line.

Now the Who — (Journalists is this sounding familiar?) who are you trying to reach? Now that you know the reason you are blogging, posting, tweeting…. Who are you doing it for?

The list for writers can be long: publishers, media, buyers, readers, other authors, yourself?  Just like the time you take to craft your writing, you want to take the time to craft your internet writings so that they directly affect the ones you want effected.

For example:  A Facebook page – opens with books that you have written. And you send out a LIKE MY PAGE post to subscribers.  Chances are they already have if they were going to.  And do you know what the purpose is of multiple LIKES? Is this bringing them closer to buying? Are they already buyers?

Perhaps this is followed with: Great News my Book is on Amazon at a new price.  If they have already bought the book – is this wasted effort?  Enough sales to those who have already purchased could turn them off and stop them from paying attention.  When the next book comes out – they would have been ready buyers but now they are off to other things.

Too much to think about? Not really.

Not when you create a simple strategy for identifying and cultivating the right social networks.  A simple strategy is quick to put into place and targets your posting, schedules some using pre-schedulers, allows easy access responding and creates the stream of interested followers that you need to achieve your goals.  Start with these to focal points – the What and the Who.

These will drive which social networks you choose.  Knowing these two things will allow you to free up time with targeted posting. It will also save you money if you are paying a web designer, printer or social media developer.  These two simple starting points are the beginning to creating you successful web based author’s platform or campaign. It can also help you decide if you even need one (yet).


Keri K. Silk is the author of multiple articles and e-books. She is currently finishing Virtual Freedom: Stop Wasting Time on the Web – Get and Retain Customers Effortlessly.  Mention reading about it in this blog when you purchase the advanced e-copy chapters and you will receive a free 15 minute Strategy Session.  Go to www.virtualfreedomthebook.com and click the Buy Now button.


Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, website