An update from YOU

I love communicating with readers of this blog, hearing about your projects over e-mail, getting updates on Twitter. It’s so great hearing from you that I’d like to take that private communication to another level — and introduce you all to each other.

We’ve had successful blog parties here before, but lots of readers have jumped onto The Traveling Writer train since then. So today, let’s share updates on our progress! What’s the latest on your project? For many of you, this means your writing. But we’ve also got some travelers, journalists and social media types in the mix. (Yeah, YOU. I know you’re lurking.) We want to hear what you’re working on, too!

Leave us a note below, and if this party gets going like I hope it does, you should have a bunch of other posts to scroll through so you can connect with some of the other fascinating people who read this blog.

Simone: Are you going to j-school? Marianne: where are you on your manuscript? Zoe: How are sales with the book?

Give us:

  • Your name
  • Update on your project — requires brief explanation of what you’re working on
  • URL to your blog or website if you have one — using the http:// format that you’re super good at by now
  • Twitter handle if you have one

[tweetmeme source=”alexisgrant”]

Go!

Update: Gah! I hate when I forget to add the RT button! Retweet this if you want to grow our community.

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A simple tip to help you build your online community

Everyone’s always complaining about how much time it takes to build an online community — to grow a following on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc. It’s true. It does take a lot of time.

So I like to give my clients tips to maximize every minute they spend online. And this particular tip will help you across the board, on every network and platform. Best of all? It’s easy.

Whenever you write the name of your blog, make it clickable. How do you do that? By including http:// at the beginning of the address.

I’m going to use my friend Melanie’s blog as an example, because I was teaching her this yesterday. I know she won’t mind because y’all are going to go check out her blog about life as a new mom, right?

Melanie should be writing her blog address like this: http://soveryvienna.blogspot.com

Not: http://www.soveryvienna.blogspot.com

Not: soveryvienna.blogspot.com

The http:// is crucial. It lets readers click on your link right there, rather than having to cut and paste it into their browser. The fewer steps it takes to get to your blog, the more readers will visit. The easier it is for readers to visit you, the faster your online community will grow.

Do this when you’re leaving comments on other people’s blogs. Do it in your e-mail signature. Do it in the blurb on the left-hand side of your Facebook fan page. (Profiles have a website option built in, so no need to worry there.)

This applies to all parts of your online life! To your Twitter handle! http://twitter.com/yourhandle. To your Facebook fan page! http://www.facebook.com/yourpage. To everything!

Ingrain it in your head. I will always use http://. It doesn’t matter whether or not you include www. That’s your choice.

Note: This trick will NOT work when you’re writing a blog post. You’ve got to use your link button to make a link live.

If you already knew this, don’t growl. Pat yourself on the back. That’s way more productive. And if you learned something new today, go forth in your online community and show off those skills!