This post is part of a weekly series on YWP, aptly titled “The Writer’s Weekly Wrap-Up”.
Each Sunday, I will endeavour to provide you with a curated list of the best articles I have seen throughout the week that relate to building your platform.
The featured articles cover topics on book marketing and promotion, blogging, social media and self-publishing. (I may even throw in a few inspirational and fun posts, just so that it’s not all work and no play!)
A Picture is Worth a Thousand “Likes”
Image based content is becoming more and more relevant in driving social media engagement.
Photos, infographics, image quotes and other forms of graphics often receive significantly more interaction than their text-based counterparts.
And, whether you are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or Pinterest (or all of the above), the skillful use of images can give you an edge when it comes to capturing the attention of your audience.
To benefit from this trend, consider doing the following:
- Share excerpts or quotes from your book, speaking engagements or reviews.
- Create throat-grabbing blog post images, helpful infographics or fun collages.
- Design image quotes that are entertaining, inspirational or even a series of quick tips.
Use your creativity (or get inspired by somebody else’s) and start developing some truly share-worthy images for your social media accounts.
Here’s a list of tools to get you started:
Morguefile – Totally free, high resolution stock photos that are easy to search. Love this site!
Unsplash – Free (do whatever you want), high resolution photos.
PicJumbo – Completely free photos for commercial and personal works.
PicLab – Free iPhone or Android app to add beautiful typography, artwork and effects to your photos. You have the option to pay an additional buck or two to get loads more fonts and effects, and you can share to social media sites right from your phone.
Phonto – Another great, free text on image app, which allows you to use your own image or a background image that you can edit and tweak. Also able to share to social media.
Instagram – Take a picture or video, choose a filter (my 4 year old loves this part), then post to Instagram. You can even share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more.
Goodreads Popular Quotes – A plethora of quotes from writing and romance to humour and happiness.
50 Quotes for Writers – An inspirational list from WriteToDone.com
50 Best Success Quotes – A great list from Under30CEO.com
Infogr.am – Create beautiful, interactive (you can upload pictures AND video) infographics.
Vine – I haven’t quite got the hang of this one yet, but Vine lets you create and share short, looping videos.
Favourite Photo Editor, Ever!
PicMonkey – A free online photo editor for people like me who love to create, but hate to learn the software. Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to use the PicMonkey photo editor.
Amazingly Simple Graphic Design Software
Canva makes design simple for everyone. Create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more.
Here’s an example of an image quote I whipped up in minutes using Canva (complete with watermark):
Social Media Image Sizes
This is a nightmare to keep up with, but here is a link via Authormedia with The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Social Media Image Sizes (for now).
For additional information and resources on creating awe-inspiring images, check out Powerful Pictures Perform: How to Create Images that Grab Attention.
Still with me? Great! Let’s move on to this week’s featured posts.
How a Blogger Can Build a Global Audience from Zero: Part Two – Marketing and Momentum from Jeff Bullas at JeffBullas.com
An excellent, two-part post on everything you need to know to take your blog from zero to hero!
5 Surprising Reasons Why Email Trumps Social Media from Jason Kong at YourWriterPlatform.com
In his guest post here on YWP, Jason shares some compelling reasons why good old fashioned email beats social media as a communication channel.
10 of the World’s Most Popular Beliefs from Jonathan Mead at Paid to Exist
A list of some of the most powerful, life-altering beliefs that Jonathan has encountered in his life to date. I’m printing this and putting it above my desk!
It’s Not the Load That Breaks You Down, It’s the Way You Carry It from Tyler Tervooren at Riskology.co
An inspiring post from Tyler, teaching us that how we perceive our burden can make all the difference.
Have Facebook Fan Page Benefits Gone As Extinct As The Woolly Mammoth? from Kim Castleberry at JustAskKim.com
The percentage of fans who actually see your posts on Facebook is quickly declining. Kim shares some tips as to how to deal with the possible “extinction” of the Facebook Page as we know it.
10 Creative Rituals You Should Steal from Sean Blanda at 99U
A list of interesting and unusual rituals that some successful authors, entrepreneurs and others are enlisting to get the creativity flowing.
The Write Life Presents: The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2014 from Carrie Smith at The Write Life
A great gathering of sites for writers from blogging, business and career to copywriting creativity and craft.
You’re an Expert (And Don’t You Forget It) from Sophie Lizard at Be a Freelance Blogger
Don’t feel like you have what it takes to produce expert content, or–heaven forbid–charge for your work that stems from your experience, skills and abilities? Let Sophie straighten you out!
The Underdog’s Guide to Building an Unforgettable Blog from Henneke Duistermaat at Boost Blog Traffic
Ever feel like you just can’t compete, lost in the noise of the voices of a million+ other bloggers? In this post, Henneke skillfully shows us how to create a blog no one will forget.
Just the Tip: Genius Isn’t Always Obvious from Ashley Ambirge at The Middle Finger Project
This is a fantastic article: not just for the super useful tip, but as an excellent example of how revealing your personality in your writing can be as compelling for the reader as what you have to say.
Fascinating debate on whether author websites are relevant, manageable or necessary for authors (as opposed to social media or other activities). What do you think?
Just For Fun
Want to stop sounding stupid and write like a pro?
Proofread your work.
Writer, Jeff Goins, drives the point home in his article; Taylor Mali provides the visual. 😉
“The The Impotence of Proofreading” by Taylor Mali
Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s roundup, and are now off to employ your new-found tools to fashion stunning images and graphics to share on your social media networks. 😉
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.
Konrad Sanders says
Wow! Kimberley this is extremely useful and came at just the right time for me. I’m loving the resource list of stock photo sites and picture editors etc, these are just what I need.
Any thoughts on how much social media content should be imagery and how much should be text, links, videos etc?
Thanks again (this is getting a big fat ‘tweet’)
Kimberley Grabas says
Awesome, Konrad! Doesn’t it make a task so much easier when you have the right tools for the job at your fingertips? 🙂
As for the mix, it really depends on your audience. You’ll have to do a little testing to see what your “peeps” respond to best in the form of shares and interactions.
Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Susi Lovell says
Terrific list of resources. Thank you so much.
Kimberley Grabas says
My pleasure, Susi! 🙂
Ignatius Fernandez says
Kim, thank you for huge spread of articles. Useful. I liked the section on quotes, in particular, and the quotation from Mike Rich: “Write your first draft with your heart. Rewrite with your head.” Even before reading these words, I tried to do that. God bless. Ignatius Fernandez.
Kimberley Grabas says
I appreciate your feedback, Ignatius!
And that IS a great quote! 🙂
Heather van der Hoop says
Thanks for sharing our list of the 100 Best Websites for Writers, Kimberley! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
The Write Life
Kimberley Grabas says
LOVE those kind of lists! I know the effort it takes to but a list like that together, so thanks for making life so much easier for the rest of us! 😉