You Have to Be Visible

To find readers, you have to be visible.
Photo by Cameron Readius on

Yesterday I read a post on Janet Reid’s blog where she talked about whether or not you need to be on social media. A reader commented that they did not want to Tweet or blog because they want to keep their thoughts to themselves. They are a very private person.

If you want to publish and reach readers, you need to be visible. Okay, I guess you really don’t. You can write and write and write and hope that readers will find you some how. But you are improving the chances that this will happen if you are visible.

Visibility looks very different from person to person. I have one writing friend who almost never posts a photo. This includes photos that include her daughter. She almost never mentions her daughter and when she does never calls her by name.

I have another writing friend who posts photos constantly. She talks about her kids. She posts about her husband. But I have no clue what their names are. On social media they are called “Husband Man,” “Girl Child,” and “Boy Child.” I honestly couldn’t event tell you if they are actually a son and a daughter because she repeats funny conversations but doesn’t include their photos. Instead she constantly posts photos of the urban wildlife in her neighborhood – squirrels, foxes, and deer.

Both of these writers are concerned about privacy but they handle it very differently. The first writer never posts about her family at all. The second writer posts about them regularly but we never see them. And, in all truth, the second writer is the one who has built up a vibrant social media presence. Is it because she talks about her family?

Nope. It is because she is present. And there are so many ways to be present and preserve your privacy. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Post about favorite books. These don’t have to be your books. Post about books by other writers.
  2. Post interviews with other writers.
  3. Post about your hobbies. I know one writer who collects pencils. Another collects fountain pens. One woman collects historic sewing accessories. All of these things make good social media posts.
  4. Create posts about libraries or anything else that interests you.

I hope you are getting the point that you can post about such a wide variety of things. You don’t have to let people into your world but you do have to convince them that that is what you are doing. Do this and they will feel engaged with you. And when you sell something? Half your marketing work will be done.

Why? Because they can find you and they will care.


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