Ten Ways to Connect with Readers while Socially Distancing

by E.J. Wenstrom
published in Community

So, it’s been some weird times. For those of us who are lucky, it’s been a time of constraint,  worry and adjusting. For others, it’s been a time of fear, uncertainty, even mourning. 

I hope you are doing alright through all this, and I write this with the understanding that not all of you will be. My heart goes out to you. 

Regardless of the depth of your individual challenges right now, it can be easy to feel that writing stories—and sharing them with the world—is less important in the midst of all this. So before we get into today’s post, I want to say that this isn’t the case. 

Stories still matter. 

In fact, I believe it’s times like this that stories are most important. And not just because we’re stuck at home and bored. Stories give us the empathy muscles that we so badly need in these times to care for each other.

So with that in mind, let’s talk about ways we can connect with readers as social distancing continues, and well beyond. Because all of these digitally-driven concepts were already options long before it was our only way to connect with the world beyond our home. And rest assured, what’s happening right now is going to continue to shape how we interact long after social distancing is over. We’re building new habits and new possibilities right now. We’re building new skills. 

And our readers are changing, too. 

With that in mind, here are 10 ways to connect with readers virtually: 

  1. Kickstart your YouTube channel
  2. Launch your podcast
  3. Hold an AMA
  4. Go live on video via your favorite social media channel
  5. Organize a panel discussion
  6. Hold a reading or join an open mic 
  7. Launch (or re-launch) your blog
  8. Guest post for a website you admire
  9. Run social media ads
  10. Offer a freebie or sneak peek

It’s a Great Time to Try Something New

Have you noticed lately that, as we all adapt to a new normal that’s not normal at all, how open and forgiving everyone has become? Just look to these news anchors rolling with the punches. We’re all just trying to adapt the best we can here, and it’s got most people in a supportive mood.

If you’ve been curious about testing Instagram live or nervously tempted to share your work for the first time, I can’t imagine a better time to make the leap. You’re bound to connect, and perhaps even inspire. 

I challenge you to give it a try! And remember, as you do it, how much creativity means for the world. 

By day, E. J. Wenstrom is a digital strategy pro with over 10 years at communications firms. By early-early morning, she’s an award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author of the Chronicles of the Third Realm War novels, starting with Mud. She believes in complicated characters, terrifying monsters, and purple hair dye.

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