Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Mailbox ~ Online Presence

As my leg bounces up and down, clonus, as I type,  I wonder if my being online is worth it all and long for the days when I could just write. I spend on average of 60 hours online per week between blogs, promotion, emails, writer forums, research, and games. That's more time than a full-time job. Or at least a standard job. I've never been lucky enough to have a 40-hour work week.

That leads us into your question for today.

How much time is enough when building an online presence? You are everywhere. How do you keep track of it all? LC

Start small and grow it bigger. I started with forums and blogging. To build an audience the forums are great. You just have to invest a few hours a week commenting and posting. If people like what you have to say, they'll follow your blog. This is where links comes in. I put them everywhere. They are in my email signatures, my forum signatures, my books, my author pages, etc.

For forums I belong to quite a few. Mainly the Compuserve Books & Writers, GoodReads, and SheWrites. Keep in mind that there are forums within forums. Join as many or as few as you think you can follow that pertain to information or promotion. There are many I do frequent but it's not a life long quest. It's a question of balance. I could spend hours in these places, but it would not allow me to create and that's why I joined these forums to begin with. I always keep in mind why I'm doing what I'm doing and "because" isn't a good enough reason.

My blog is my lifeline to readers and writers alike. I've got about an even distribution between the two where once it was more skewed to the writers. It's a place I can be me the expert and the novice, the doubtful and the assured, the comedian or the crybaby, the tunnel is black and goes on forever and the hope giver because the end of that tunnel is near.

I can't be in two places at once. I'm only human, but I can be with emails. While I might not be physically present in all areas, I'm just a message away. When I have a few seconds to spare I might open my twitter, or facebook, or my space, or linkedin accounts and post something or comment on something. But mostly I stay away from those time drains. Even this blog is pre written  on Thursdays or Saturdays during my non blogging days and scheduled. My Thursday and Saturday sporadic postings are the only ones that are off the cuff blogs and maybe written 24 hours in advance.

How do I keep track of it all? Digest options and emails. Those I can read or answer during the free seconds of my day or the middle of the night if I choose to. I believe in a less stress life, although I don't have one. Easy is better than hard, but hard is not without merit. While I do not promote my book per se with a buy-my-book plea I do use them as examples here in my blog. I'm all about building relationships with readers and writers alike. After all, writers are readers too.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

14 comments:

Jeremy [Retro] said...

you spend a lot of time and it is well spent... i think for myself underemployed i spend too many hours trying to bring more attention to the things i do. i started my monday at 2am, will work until 6:30am for coffee... break back around 8am until 12pm... break for news/bite... back around 1pm until 5pm... help me. i just check in to all my sites about 5 or 6 times a day.. email every 10 minutes... did i scream help yet? i am in need to fill my cup with more jobs/money, then all this networking.

it has become a balance for me as i am sure for you to... i believe it is all for the right reasons... as i drift off...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Trust me, it's easy for blogging to become a full time job. Balance is key, and limiting what else I do online.

J.L. Murphey said...

Jeremy. LOL I only check my email about four times a day, but it does take me 2 hrs sometimes. I blog from 5am 8 am Thurs & Sun. It's posted when it should be. I try to stay a minimum of two weeks to a month in advance.

J.L. Murphey said...

Alex I spend six hours a week in outpatient therapy, plus shopping, caregiving, writer, blogger etc. I can't afford for online without balance.

Pk Hrezo said...

If we could only get paid to blog and build platform, right?? I do mine while I'm working the real job, so in a sense I do get paid to do it, but it can be distracting. I've cut down a lot cuz there's just no way to do it all.

A.M. Keller said...

I try to balance both as well, though I find myself leaning on one more than the other at times.

Nick Wilford said...

It's a constant balance and important for it not to become overwhelming. Don't have time for forums, just keeping up with all my blogger buddies is work enough. Still working on turning my platform towards general readers as well as writers - that is a tricky one...

J.L. Murphey said...

Actually, I get paid to blog too just not this one. Yep there is too much to do when working a regular job and being an indie author. All you can do is juggle and balance.

J.L. Murphey said...

I used to set aside days for doing a task instead of trying to do it all daily.

J.L. Murphey said...

Nick, It's hard to do something for everyone that's why I split up my blog the way I do. Monday is for readers and writers, Tuesday is the indie authors, Wednesday is the writing/marketing process, Friday is fun stuff about me and those around me, and Sunday is strictly Stroke.

That works so far.

Lara said...

I like that you have a set schedule and you stick to it--you're a great example of how a little planning and effort goes a long way in terms of maintaining an online presence.

J.L. Murphey said...

Thinking and planning before action is my life now. Whether it is blogging or standing up from a sitting position. Having a plan works like a A to Z challenge for the whole year, if you think about it. Day by day you have it laid out what you are going to blog about. Week by week you have a theme.

Kristofer Mcginty said...

"Start small and grow it bigger." More people should take this to heart. There are many aspirting bloggers who try to get into every single social media outlet out there. While you might have a good online presence, it takes away a lot of time from what you actually have to do: to write. Focusing on one or two social media sites or forums is the best way to start in my opinion.

Kristofer Mcginty @ ReachForFreedom.com.au

J.L. Murphey said...

Kristopher, You are so tight. I started slowly almost ten years ago and added sites as time allowed but I don't spend a whole lot of time on any one site.