Last week, Tumblr/Twitter/blog-girl Mandy King presented the social workings of the internet to a room full of eager writers. The young Account Manager for Professional Public Relations in Canberra and walked ACTWC members through the ins, outs, and memes of Tumblr, Twitter, LiveJournal, WordPress. Mandy hails from Boulder, Colorado in the United States where she ran the events and marketing program at one of the nations’ largest independent bookstores, and was a founding member of Downtown Boulder’s Social Media Advisory Council.
The ACT Writers Centre reached across the internet and offered Mandy a cup of tea while she mused on all matters social media with us.
ACTWC: Your knowledge of how to use social media is fantastic. At what point did you realise this was something you could make a profession from?
Mandy King: I kind of just fell into it. I was running the marketing/events department at Boulder Book Store about the time that Twitter became popular and found it really useful. For me, social media became a great way to connect with other bookstores and with authors, as well as our customers.
ACTWC: Blogging’s something you recommend Authors and writers do – what’s your favourite success story whereby a writer has grown a profile after committing to a blog?
MK: One of my favourite authors is Beth Kephart. She started her blog shortly after publishing her first young adult novel (she’d previously written several award winning memoirs). Since then, Beth has published 6 more YA novels and each one has been more successful than the last. Of course, the biggest reason is Beth is super talented, and I think her blog has also helped her connect with readers. Beth is always sharing her admiration for fellow bloggers and writers on her blog (she definitely keeps my to-read list filled with recommendations!) The blogging community is a very giving community and Beth embodies that.
ACTWC: Where do bloggers go wrong?
MK: Expecting too much from a blog, or blogging solely for commercial reasons. For 99% of bloggers, blogs take a long time to get off the ground and to establish a good following. Have patience and to begin with, just try to connect with other blogs that you enjoy reading.
ACTWC: What is the most important piece of advice you feel you could give to a writer contemplating approaching social media, particularly blogging?
MK: Have fun with it. The best bloggers/twitterers/etc are those that do it for fun. Oh, and remember that whatever you post on social media and blogs can never really be deleted (google WayBack Machine if you don’t believe me). So be careful what you post! 🙂
ACTWC: Throw your favourite blog/vlog/other our way, and tell us a bit about it.
MK: Hands down, John Green. He’s such an amazing author and his vlogs are hilarious. You know a vlog (or blog, for that matter) is good when it
a) makes you laugh,
b) teaches you all sorts of wacky and useful facts, and
c) inspires you to be a better person.
Mandy spends much of her online time talking about books at www.twitter.com/mandyking and www.therealmandyking.tumblr.com. In her offline life, the best place to find her is climbing on a rock face, taking long walks in the Australian bush, or curled up with a good book.