5 Reasons You Need To Stop Being A Lazy Writer on Social Media

By Rachel Thompson | Blog

Oct 09

badredhead media, rachel thompson, lazy writers, social media You may not be a lazy writer on social media, but there are plenty of them out there. Several writers have made these social media faux pas and many have asked how they can overcome looking like an idiot. So this one’s for you!

Read the Article Before Commenting on Social Media

aka, how not to look like a total fool. See, here’s what happens: we, the good people of social media, work diligently to write a post or article about social issues like sexual abuse, rape, or mental health — or maybe it’s about cookies or velvet dog paintings … whatever. Then, we share a tweet or share with a title and a link to said article. Sometimes, the tweet or share asks a question. Now, savvy followers know that the link is there to you know, click.

Once one clicks, violá! Like magic, an article appears. Isn’t tech amazing? Then the reader can read the article, form an opinion, and we can discuss, have polite (one hopes) discourse, and conversation moves forward. I know, I live in an ideal world of unicorns and rainbows.

Not so savvy readers will, however, comment on an article they have not read, chests puffed out with life vests afloat in their own Lake of Opinion that likely has nothing to do even remotely about the article you have written, purely for the sake of making their opinion known, even if it has nothing to do with anything. 

Maybe they are the ones living with the unicorns after all…

This upsets the writer of said article, for good reason; however, it also affects the reader’s own credibility. Addressing the person who doesn’t click on the article:

Do you want to be seen by your own followers as the person who doesn’t know how to click on a link? Who isn’t, for whatever reason, able to perform the due diligence of reading an article before commenting? If your goal is to create a credible following (as writers, isn’t this our goal?), then BE credible.

Read Social Media Bios

How hard is it? Really.

When people ask what I do (I find this especially the case on Twitter), I’m always a little bit amazed. All social media channels have bios! You have one, I have one, we all have one — so read it first before asking someone. This is really lazy, my friends. It takes thirty seconds to check someone’s bio, and maybe another thirty to read a few of their tweets. If you’re not on Twitter, cool. Read their Facebook bio, go to their blog/website and read their about page, or Google them! Do a bit of homework if you really want to find out about someone before approaching them.

Why? A few reasons: we are busy people. Why should I take the time to tell you what I do when I’ve already posted clearly what I do? I even have a link on my bio to my website and blog. You can read about me ad nauseam if you really want to, in many, many places. I’ve made it easy and convenient. We are adults here — it’s not my job to hold your hand and click the little mousey for you. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. Laziness is antithetical to working hard and working smart.

You got yourself this far. You can get yourself a little farther. Release that entitlement chip from your shoulder — let that damn birdie fly away.

Google That Sh*t

So many writers ask me and others questions they can easily Google: what’s a Twitter list? What’s a hashtag? What’s KDP Select? How do I get my Facebook page verified? How do I self-publish? Some people have even gone so far as to scold me for not explaining in great detail all these items to them, or even providing free services for them. Um….

I understand fully that a lot of these topics are confusing. They were foreign concepts for me, too, at first. It took me a lot of time and research to understand them myself. You know how I learned? I Googled them! I read articles, watched videos, took webinars. I did the work. The easy way out is to ask a question of someone and hope they have the right answer? Good luck with that.

The other option, beside Google, is to go into the Help section of whatever social media channel you have questions about and find your answer there or, hire a consultant (like me) to go into depth so you really understand how to use those channels.

Tip: Tired of lazy authors asking you questions they can look up themselves? Send them here:

Let me google that for you

http://lmgtfy.com/ 

“For all those people who find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves,” a description which makes me laugh probably more than it should.

Stop With The Excusesbadredhead media, lazy writers, rachelintheoc, rachel thompson, social media

How many times have you heard (or said yourself), “I didn’t know?” in response to a gaffe? Yes, that’s how we learn and we all make mistakes, but that is a lazy excuse and it can be a costly one. I’m not saying you need to know everything; I’m saying figure out what your strengths are, and focus there. Be honest about what you don’t know or else you are setting yourself up for failure, getting into situations where you’ll be called out for screwing up.

For example, there’s really zero reason for you to be downloading photos from Google at this point, when there are so many amazing royalty-free sites like Unsplash and Pixabay with gorgeous photos for you to use on your blog posts — bloggers have been sued for thousands of dollars for using photos they pulled off Google and their defense is, “I didn’t know.”

Too bad that doesn’t hold up in court.

If you didn’t know, now you do. Here’s a great article with twenty-seven royalty-free photo sites! (Source: VerveUK)

“I didn’t know,” works for my kids because they don’t know a lot of things. They are children, and they don’t have the experiences adults do. I certainly don’t know everything regarding the online world — if you asked me to design a book cover, you’d get stick people. If you asked me to SEO a website, you’d be sorry. I don’t do those things.

I know what I don’t know. It’s okay to not know everything! Be honest, always.

Always Give Attribution on Social Media and in Blog Posts

A friend is fighting an endless battle now with a large company who keeps stealing her images — she’s a brilliant writer and creates gorgeous visual quotes that she has tag-lined and watermarked. They go out of their way to illegally remove her identifying information and claim it as their own.

Who does that? The skeevy people of this world. Don’t do that.

Everything is searchable on Google, including text, photos, and images. Even if you delete something once you’ve posted it, it can be subpoenaed. The best option: be a stand-up person, and always give credit where credit is due! If you’ve found a great quote, give the author’s name. If you’ve found a great photo, share the photog’s name (unless otherwise stated), and site. If you’re quoting from proof sources in your blog post, name the source and link to it — I often ask permission of the site first.

Check policies of the sites you write for. When I share the articles I write on The Huffington Post, I always write in the blog post intro, ‘this article first appeared on The Huffington Post and is used by permission,’ as is their policy. Every site is different, so check first and if not stated, ask.

If you share someone’s article on social media, look up their Twitter handle and shout them out. They’ll appreciate being ‘tagged’ — you can do the same on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest, also. Social media is ALL about building relationships, and this a cool way to do that.

There is no easy button, and procrastination and entitlement get you nowhere. Do the work. People like people who work, and they’ll respect you more for it.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)

All content © 2017 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.


Photos courtesy of royalty-free Unsplash
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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(24) comments

AK Taylor October 9, 2015

Hi Rachel,

I think your author friend would like to learn about this trick I learned about in a Copyright Webinar to help protect her images http://skinnyartist.com/how-to-shrink-wrap-your-images/ (Skinny Artist). Watermarking, embedding metadata, shrinkwrapping should help. If he or she needs a good IP lawyer then I know of a couple who are good.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 12, 2015

    most excellent! I sent her this info and she is most appreciative — thank you, AK!

    Reply
Carol Hedges October 11, 2015

I am always amazed when someone I have ”known” on social media for a while says: Oh, you’re a writer, I didn’t know! The other reason for checking someone out is, as we both know, that they could be posting porn … I have underage kids following me. No Way do I want them clicking through to any sleazeball…and then running to their parents!

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 12, 2015

    Yea, part of the issue with Twitter is the free-for-all atmosphere and that’s also the fun part. since people don’t follow the ‘no porn’ rule (and it IS their rule) that they don’t enforce, we have to just block. Sadly, when they use a hashtag, the pix still show up and there’s nothing we can do other than report. Not that they care or do anything.

    Sigh. Just focus on what you do and wear blinders, to a certain extent, I guess. There’s no way around it if that’s the game Twitter plays. love you!

    Reply

I totally agree on the comments. I’ve had people look at pictures and ask a question that was discussed in the article. If they actually clicked the link and read the article I wouldn’t need to answer the question. Plus, how can you build relationships with folks on social media if you don’t conversate and connect personally.

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    Rachel Thompson October 12, 2015

    I think my new mantra is ‘clicky clicky on the linky linky’ now for all those commenters — because it’s just that ridiculous. My last nerve up and left.

    Reply
C. Jai Ferry October 12, 2015

::snickering uncontrollably:: Let Me Google That For You — thank you so much for this! Everything I have learned about the constantly changing publishing/social media worlds I have done on my own, reading and critically analyzing what I have read. I am more than willing to share my perspective (and often do) with new writers, but It makes me bonkers (and much less likely to respond) when people ask questions about fundamental issues without even bothering to do a little research themselves.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 12, 2015

    It IS very frustrating, especially because we’ve just spent a good amount of time researching, writing, and laying it all out in the article for no other reason than to help people. It reminds me of being in high school and sitting next to the dumb jock who wants to crib my notes to ace the test so he can play in the big game that night — and believe me, I was the nerd girl who always had her homework done (even though I was a cheerleader, too!). Those jocks hated me because I’d turn away.

    Maybe it’s my tendency to follow the rules, but come on — either clicky clicky on the linky linky, or don’t ask me. they picked the wrong girl to play that game.

    Reply
Terry Tyler October 12, 2015

Excellent post, as ever. The ‘reading bios’ one gets to me most at the moment – I mean, if you’re going to spam your book at me, whether free or not, at least look and see that I’m in England so need the Amazon UK link… also, because I have a review blog for my own reading choices, I get asked to review books, constantly. Um, where on my bio does it say ‘book reviewer’?

My other ‘grrr’ at the moment is people doing guest posts and not bothering to look back at the comments. People, if someone’s featured you on their blog or reviewed your book, take the time to look at the comments. Just 10 minutes out of your busy day to thank people for reading and commenting….

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 12, 2015

    Thanks, Ms. Terry! People just don’t bother to look, especially spammers. Gosh, so annoying. And what’s with all the authors spamming other authors, anyway? We’re not their demo. If they took 5 minutes, they’d look for readers — people who are looking for books, not other authors who are looking to sell books, too. It’s lazy marketing.

    And book reviewer– ha! same here. I even state on both my sites that I’m NOT a book reviewer! But of course, they never get that far. Again, lazy marketing. Agree as well on the commenting — what about the bloggers who don’t even comment on their OWN blogs? *head to desk* Every day, I hear bloggers whinge (that’s how you say whine over there, right?) about no comments, yet when they get them, they don’t respond. WTF?

    Here’s the killer, though: I write about social media and book marketing for the Huffington Post. At least 2-3 times weekly, an author asks me to interview them and review their book for HuffPost. Um…

    Reply
Jake D. Parent October 17, 2015

Quality > quantity. Be a human. Make social media… SOCIAL! 😀

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 17, 2015

    Bingo! It’s just not that difficult, right? One would think. 🙂

    Reply

Thanks for the post. I’m afraid I’ve been guilty of relying on you for answers a couple times, but you have always been so gracious. And thanks for the link to the royalty-free photos!

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 19, 2015

    Hi Marsha! Hey, I don’t mind answering stuff if we’ve already developed that relationship (as you and I have) or if it’s here on my blog and you can easily look it up — if it’s not here, ask away.

    I think what bothers most professionals is when we get the ‘what do you do?’ or ‘how can you help me?’ or ‘what is a tweet?’ questions (LOL) — when all that info is readily available with one click.

    Reply
Candy Korman October 19, 2015

YES! Figure out your strengths and go with them. I’ve seen too many writers commit to blogging at an unrealistic rate or simply get sloppy with overreaching. And missing attributions!!! That just makes me angry.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 19, 2015

    Same here, Candy. I see the missing attributions on Pinterest ALL THE DAMN TIME, and it drives me to distraction, particularly with quotes or jokes they’ll claim as their own. If you truly don’t know who said something (which is easily Google-able), at least say ‘found on Pinterest’ with a link. SOMETHING, you know?

    As for blogging, yes, I have many authors who want to blog daily and I see no reason for that. For SEO purposes, once weekly is plenty. Even every other week works if one is just too busy to commit to more. With new books to write, jobs, and families, burnout happens and quality goes way down. Be realistic is always my advice. thanks for reading and commenting.

    Reply
Jayson Santos October 23, 2015

I enjoyed reading this Rachel!

Right, it’s perfectly OK not to know everything. But if you’re excuse for not knowing something is your laziness, then that’s very annoying. Make an effort to at least research and know the basics (even the obvious).

Almost everything online is at our finger tips, so pour out a little will…and skill.

Reply

[…] do authors ask me to do these things for them? Because they’re lazy, which annoys the hell out of me, so even if they had a sliver of a chance for a review or […]

Reply

[…] There’s no getting around this one. Some people are just lazy. I am literally spoon-feeding valuable free information to them, and they still want more. I get that this challenge is challenging (um…), but do the work! Nobody said that being an author is easy, or that learning how to market our books would be a cakewalk. Get off your ass and do the damn work. […]

Reply

[…] There’s no getting around this one. Some people are just lazy. I was literally spoon-feeding valuable free information to people daily with this challenge, and they still wanted more. I get that this challenge was challenging (um…), but do the work! Nobody said that being an author is easy, or that learning how to market our books would be a cakewalk. Get off your ass and do the damn work. […]

Reply

[…] There’s no getting around this one. Some people are just lazy. I was literally spoon-feeding valuable free information to people daily with this challenge, and they still wanted more. I get that this challenge was challenging (um…), but do the work! Nobody said that being an author is easy, or that learning how to market our books would be a cakewalk. Get off your ass and do the damn work. […]

Reply
Solveig April 16, 2016

I enjoyed your post Rachel. I always try to search for things if I don’t get something. But that does not mean that I find all the answers. Generally I read bloggers’ about pages before following a blog. On Twitter it’s the same thing.
now, ask am participating in the A to Z challenge I have received some comments that just tell me that someone stopped by and that I should visit them in return, without there being anything mentioned in relation to what I wrote.
Have a great weekend!

Reply
Icy Sedgwick June 6, 2016

I’m totally bookmarking that list of stock sites! I always use the likes of Pixabay, Cupcake, Gratisography, Death to the Stock Photo etc. as I teach graphic design, and part of that is around the use of copyright and images, so it would be silly not to apply that on my blog! That said, I do like using my own images where possible. Any excuse to get the camera out…

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[…] think you’ll agree with me when I say this is the laziest of lazy marketing. There’s no story, no context, no value. I promise you there are easier and more effective […]

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