Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?

Connections for Writers In the first post in this discussion, on August 31st, I shared some of my practices with social media and its potential intersections with Internet search.

However, those were my opinions on the topics and a mere attempt to engage others in the conversation.

And, I’m grateful to the three individuals who responded in the comments—from the United Kingdom, the USA, and Germany—three quite different takes on the subject…

But, just before I share those comments, I should indicate my purpose in wording the topic like I have: Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?

There is a confliction in those words… Yet, I stayed with them rather than settling on something like, How Should a Writer Balance the Benefits of Social Media and Its Intersections with Search

In that first post, I actually did emphasize balancing the potential of both and how they can aid each other; yet, I’ve kept the “Which Is Better” to stir up discussion:-)

In fact, if you read my views about using these tools, you’ll see that I do contrast their benefits and also show their capacity to work together…


Here’s the comment from an author in the United Kingdom:

“This is a real can of worms! I find Google useful for research but I could live without social media, even without my own website, as long as I could contact people somehow, whether it be phone or emails.

“I have been nagged constantly to join Facebook and find there are contacts I could only access if I did so; but, so far, I have resisted. It depends how desperate one is to market one’s work. If all my books were ebooks, I might find the need to try other outlets; but, as most of them are only paperbacks, I rely on word of mouth rather than the computer – but then, I’m a dinosaur! However, I always wished I had an encyclopedia to hand and Google is more than that. Search engines will get my vote.”

Remarkable to me, in the social-app climate that exists, to hear an author talk about using the phone and emails—even though there are many urgings on the ‘Net to have email newsletters, I feel this author’s mention of emails is more personal, possibly because of the word “contact”…

Yes, this author certainly seems well-settled in her personal choices—something that could well-serve many more authors struggling to do what all the “Internet Gurus” are demanding is The Way

Now, some ideas from an author in the USA:

“I think a personal website is one the most important things for a writer. It can have a blog with it and search engines can find it. It contains all the information about current books and a little something about the writer. Other forms of social media don’t seem to yield many results for book sales no matter the format of the book.”

One thing in particular stands out for me in this comment—there are certain estimates of sales attributable to social media vs search directed at authors’ websites and blogs—seems social media, by itself, garners somewhere in the 10% region…

Still… Many folks don’t count on social media for sales—in fact, there are many warnings against spamming people on social media with calls to buy books; using those channels, instead, to show others the author’s interests and values—inviting folks, through their links on their profiles, to visit their Home on the ‘Net…

Finally, the comment from an author in Germany:

“I think a personal website or blog is important for authors. It’s a kind of public shelf where visitors can read old and new thoughts and start one-sided or two-sided conversations. Blogging helps clearing the mind – at least it helps me – and it does this in a somewhat different way than a diary. Maybe the possibility of other people reading forces me to use a clearer language than I would have done scribbling just for my own amusement.

“Facebook is mere marketing. I sometimes chat with friends there, but few posts are interesting enough to click on. Twitter can be a source of information – at least for writers. I’m not sure if others can profit.”

Even though the authors from the USA and Germany recommend a website or blog for writers, I still feel the author from the United Kingdom has an important perspective—especially when there are so many authors who aren’t really trying to sell tons of books…

Plus, the comment from the German author does stress the “public self” nature of a blog or website…

To wrap up this portion of our conversation, I’ll quote Dan Blank ( <— take that link) talking about the tools our discussion is exploring…

“You are told that in order to succeed, you need a website, newsletter, social media and the like.

“It’s not true.

“What you need is clarity on what you create, how to do it, and how to ensure it reaches your ideal audience of readers and supporters. Without these things, all the social media updates in the world won’t help you.”

What are Your thoughts and feelings about all this…?

All it takes is one comment to keep this conversation going………
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

5 responses to “More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ?

  1. martinaseveckepohlen September 3, 2018 at 7:33 am

    I remember reading Dan Blank’s words about clarity. I still find it difficult to understand how he thinks I can reach my ideal audience without a blog, a website or social media. Have you got an answer?


  2. Pingback: Still More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ? | Notes from An Alien

  3. Pingback: Even More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ? | Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: Continuing Even More Conversation about Which Is Better for a Writer — Social Media or Search Engines ? | Notes from An Alien

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