My science blog is based on facts surrounding my career in the geosciences. On this page, I share blogs of a technical nature from myself and geoscientists around the world, employment tips from a scientific manager's perspective, and travel stories through the eyes of a geologist. The blog has become quite diverse from learning how a volcanologist studies volcanoes in Hawaii, to how a geographer maps glaciers in Antarctica, to what it's like to work behind a drilling rig. These blogs provide a glimpse into the lives of geoscientists and provide helpful advice for students. Currently, I post blogs about every two weeks, depending on the number of blogs I receive from the geoscientists. I receive the blog post information from a form the scientist fills out on my webpage and pictures sent to my email. Once I receive the submission, I review and edit it and announce the blog on social media once it's posted. I use WordPress for this blog and the TweetOldPosts plugin to repeat blogs randomly every two hours. A new post is repeatedly daily for a week via Hootsuite or manually. I request the blogs from scientists that follow me on Twitter as well as colleagues. Twitter provides me the diversity to reach out to geoscientists of all backgrounds, and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to correspond and learn from them. It's because of this engagement that the word is spreading and the blog is growing.
My author blog also takes up a major portion of my home time. My second love is writing in general and I have written two novels and am working on a children's book. I signed recently with a publisher, Damnation Books, for my young adult thriller and am awaiting edits. Every author these days needs to have a following on the internet. So, I started a blog on my author webpage and it includes short stories and Twitter tips. The writer community on Twitter is engaging and supportive. Numerous authors will share books and blogs. I've been busy with a children's book lately, but usually I write a blog at least monthly and announce it on social media. I write at whim, depending on what I feel at the time. My short stories include The Writing Desk Saga on the perils of being a writing desk, cat, dog or writer, depending on the view. I've also written about the Vietnam War from my uncle's frontline perspective, the torture of being a baking mom of a family obsessed with pumpkins, and my thoughts before walking down the aisle on my wedding day. I use Weebly for my author page and Hootsuite to share and repeat my blogs. I don't have Hootsuite premium, so I usually set up my weekly blog posts for Twitter manually on Sundays. This is very time-consuming, so I'm looking around for other options and am even contemplating switching to WordPress to use the TweetOldPosts plugin, since it's automated. I like the theme of my Weebly page, however, so it's been difficult for me to make the switch. I'm guessing that WordPress is the more popular platform, but it was a bear to understand. So, if you're just starting out, I would suggest to find free learning videos. Currently, I have over 3,500 followers (none purchased) on Twitter and they're growing every day. I have continued with the social media tips I learned early on and have gained several new friends on the way. There are a group of us who help each other share the word on any new books and blogs especially on hashtag event days such as #FF (Follow Friday). Again - engagement is essential.
I've learned a tremendous amount on how to effectively use social media, web design and blogging over the past year, and I continue to watch and learn from others every day. Although I have two very different blogs, the engine behind growing a following is actually easy. As long as I continue to be engaged, I will continue to grow a following on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Good luck with your writing and sharing. The learning never stops in this ever-changing arena, but the internet provides the tools you'll need to make your way through. If not, just ask on social media. Now, go engage!
If you're interested in some of the techniques I used when I started using Twitter, see my Twitter tips at http://www.sandiewill.com/blog/category/social-media
I also recently wrote an article for Writer's Helper on twitter tips. Here's the link: