Recently I read a blog post about a writer who quit because she felt overwhelmed by the amount of time she needed to spend on promotion. The time she felt pressured to promote on social media had drained the joy of writing and only added stress to what had once been a dream come true. It was sad, and I've heard others express their frustration and distaste of that part of the business. Even authors contracted by the big traditional publishers must parcel out pieces of their writing time to promotion.
I have no easy answer because if a writer wants their work to read readers they must use social media to get their word out. This is especially true of indie-published authors and those published by small presses. But there are ways to lessen the stress. Don't do it alone. Be a group. A group blog. A group Facebook page. A group Twitter. Make a schedule and a plan so the group is active on whatever forum it is. What are the benefits? Most of the below refer to blogs but would be true for FB or Twitter also.
1. The most obvious is time. If you belong to group blog, instead of feeling like you need to post every day, you might only post every two weeks or even once per month. You're still active but not spending as much time.
2. Each member of the group brings their own strengths and widens the fields of expertise contributing to the blog. Do make sure the people in your group actually have something to contribute. Most writers do.
3. Having different people posting varies the 'voice' of the blog. Perhaps someone brings humor and another writes in a highly professional manner.
4. You have an immediate wider audience group. Each member brings their own friends, fans and contacts. Even if you start with mostly family, friends and known professional contacts, those branches will sprout and grow.
5. Each member will also bring connections to other forms of social media. Nearly all writers will have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn presence. When they post and link their posts to those platforms, all members are appearing there too. It helps everyone.
6. Not to be overlooked is the security and comfort of being part of a group. You'll find support and assistance among your members. You'll learn things from them.
7. By having others depend on you to do you share, it will force you to stay active even when the business has weighed you down.
Please visit me today at the IWSG Blog, a group I'm very proud to be part of. Are you a member of a group blog? What do you see as the benefits? Does social media stress you at times? How do you motivate yourself to stay active?