Brew & Ink Podcast – s3 ep5 – Midnight Showing 5

Brew & Ink Podcast – s3 ep5 – Midnight Showing 5

Does a writer REALLY need to be involved in social media? If so, what should they do? Hear the different perspectives from the Brew & Ink writers on how we handle social media. Then Bill Hawkins shares character Blake Sheldon’s interview with Dr. Wolfe. Listen for more clues and then vote on who you think the murderer is!



In this episode:

Does an author need a separate presence on social media?

How is it different than personal social media accounts?

What kind of social media do we use?

Bill Hawkins reads the interview with Blake Sheldon?



Brew & Ink Podcast – Interbrews 9 – Cody Morehead

Brew & Ink Podcast – Interbrews 9 – Cody Morehead

What does an author – or any small business or artist – need to know about art design and marketing? Cody Morehead caught the graphic design bug a few years ago, and after learning from some major companies, he started his own business PubZoo to help writers, non-profits, and companies define their brand. But what does that mean? Listen to the great conversation with Cody about art design and marketing for authors.

Listen here:

In this episode:

How Cody got involved in graphic design and Serious Writer.

What is branding?

Why is branding important for an author or business?

What are some of the common mistakes authors or writers make with graphic design?

Why is listening and paying attention to the market important for marketing?

Why is it important to realize we sell who we are more than the product?





What Twitter’s New Rules Mean for Writers

What Twitter’s New Rules Mean for Writers

Twitter announced another rules update coming on March 23. Many times, these rules updates and changes have no significant effect on us as writers and authors, but this time the changes will hit closer to home.

There are two major things to consider:

  1. Multiple accounts cannot post the same content.
  2. Recycling tweets is a no-no.

First, people who run multiple Twitter accounts may no longer copy content across all accounts.

To control accounts who artificially inflate trending #hashtags, Twitter will watch to see if the same content is being copied across multiple accounts. Social media schedulers that have allowed this process will no longer allow this.

For instance, if you maintain both a personal account and a business account, or book account to promote your book content, you may not duplicate tweets on both accounts. You can, however, retweet content from one of your accounts to the other.

Second, if you only run one Twitter account, you are not allowed to recycle or duplicate your content.

If you retweet previous content you have posted, this also violates this new rule. The language is particularly ambiguous about how long a time frame this covers. Is it don’t retweet every few minutes, twice a month, or ever?

Here’s the specific wording from Twitter regarding the no recycling content rule:

“if you post duplicative or similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account, or create duplicate or similar accounts”

If that seems vague to you, I agree. I’m not sure why the wording is so ambiguous, but the reality is that Twitter can and will limit your account for recycling content, no matter the timeframe between the tweets.

What exactly is “Recycling Content”?

Authors and writers who wish to promote their most recent blog posts, or mailing lists, and publications will want to post them more than once.

Recycling evergreen tweets, to slip in with new tweets on occasion, has been a standard approach in the past. This ability to run content more than once was an easy way to get content in front of new eyes.

If you are trying to grow your account, it’s likely that you are gaining a large number of followers each day and recycling gives you an opportunity to get that material in front of those new eyes…not to mention that it’s a timesaver to recycle older posts to maintain consistency on the platform without creating brand new content.

The staff at MeetEdgar, a social networking scheduler, explains to their users in this blog post what is taking place. This section is particularly important:

“In the past, actions like recycling your Tweets by posting them again and again over time have been considered problematic only in excess, like a user posting the same Tweet every couple of minutes. By comparison, posting the same Tweet that you posted a day, a week, or a month ago has generally been considered fair game–even to the extent that major brands and media companies have made it a staple of their content strategiesBut that won’t be the case for long.”

Crackdown on Purchased Followings

The ability to purchase followers to inflate the importance of one account over another has affected results. And people who have desired to manipulate the system have done so without retribution. Inflating trending hashtags and social network numbers will now be the cause of sanctions on your account.

For example, Social Media Today shared the following on their recent post:

“As we’ve reported, recent research has estimated that fake profiles make up around 15% of Twitter’s total user count, which, as per their latest earnings results, would suggest there are now around 49.5 million false Twitter users. That’s a significant problem, and with people so able to buy Twitter followers and/or inflate their importance, it erodes the value of platform audience, and makes it harder to determine which voices are actually worth listening to.” 

Because of such abuse, Twitter now intends to lock down this manipulation and the simplest way to accomplish this is to force scheduling apps into changing their programs. Following the rules is the only sure way to not be muted or even deleted.


I hear often from writers who are on the last nerve with social media—what a timewaster it is, how difficult it is to find time to manage it well when there are so many platforms, and that they’d rather be writing.

Don’t despair!

Recent changes to Facebook Pages, and now to Twitter, are a good thing.

Real people engaging with other real people and building real relationships is the actual goal of all the social media work we do as writers and authors building our platforms. You might think hundreds of thousands of followers is necessary but if you haven’t built trust and a good rapport, those followers will never translate into sales.

Build relationships and the sales will naturally follow.

Enforcement of the new rules will begin March 23, 2018.

For Further Reading

Peruse Twitter’s rules and policies here.

Twitter’s Automation Policy:  4 Things You Should Start Doing [From Sendible]

HootSuite Launches New Integration with Twitter’s Promoted Practices

Want to Grow Your Twitter Following?

Victoria Duerstock grew her Twitter following by over 400% in a six-month time period without buying any lists or leads.  Get Victoria’s “Explode Your Growth on Twitter” course for FREE by clicking here!

A MidSouth transplant from sunny Florida, Victoria Duerstock is living out her “one day” dreams. An avid reader from way back, she has a voracious appetite for all things bookish.  She reads fiction and non-fiction alike but well-written fiction that makes her solve a mystery or gives an unexpected ending really grabs her attention.  She’s even read a manual or two. Ok really, she reads all the manuals.

As a teacher and speaker, Victoria’s mission is to inspire hope and ignite bigger dreams for God’s purpose and His glory in each of our stories. She enjoys speaking at a variety of venues.

As a writer, Victoria is excited to pursue publication of her novel Fractured, the first of three books in her clean read crime/suspense trilogy. She’s busy exercising her non-fiction muscles as well and is published in the following devotional anthologies:

  • Let All Nature Sing, Worthy Publishing, 2016
  • Just Breathe, Worthy Publishing, 2017
  • Words to Cheer Your Heart, Worthy Publishing, March, 2018

Victoria is a wife and mom of three amazing kids. They keep her busy with their schedules and business ventures, and she enjoys her work with the Serious Writer Team where she wears a couple different hats depending on the day.




3 Tips for Explosive Growth on Twitter

3 Tips for Explosive Growth on Twitter

Explosive Growth on Twitter happens! I’m living proof that minuscule platforms can be transformed with just a few consistent steps of action and purpose. That’s right, being intentional with growing a platform will pay off big dividends in the long run. In less than two year’s time, I moved the needle from 53 followers to passing 6,000 today! Guess what that’s a 11220.75% increase! CRAZY right? I call that explosive growth!

Here are my top 3 tips!

#1 Post consistently

Do this. Please. Just be consistent. My numbers drop across all my platforms when I am not actively posting content. I get it. When there aren’t a lot of likes, comments, hearts, etc. it can feel like it doesn’t matter, but the reality is it absolutely does matter.

People see you, and what you post whether they comment or not. Post your own unique content, post other’s content that you like, re-post prior content.

I use a scheduling app to help me not spend too much time on socials, and I regularly go back to repost content. Especially when numbers are growing so quickly, you have to remember that you have new eyes that are not digging back through your timeline to see everything you have ever posted before. Reposting is a great opportunity to deliver great content to new eyes without any additional time spent creating.

#2 Learn to use hashtags effectively

Twitter is all about the hashtags. All hashtags are NOT created equal. Hashtags that work on other social sites will not always translate over to twitter very well and vice versa. Instagram hashtags are a different ballgame and it is not effective to use your letter count with hashtags that are better suited for a different platform.

  • Use the days of the week with your tags – #Mondaymotivation and #motivationmonday, #tuesdaythoughts, #Wednesdaywisdom for example.
  • Use what’s trending for hashtags – on any given day or any given time you’ll see that certain tags are trending. See if you can ride the wave because you have something to post that’s related to that hashtag!

Just recently I posted on #worldreadaloudday with a meme on reading. That tweet was retweeted 12 times to an audience of 187,000! You know it’s a great tweet when your scheduling app sends you an email congratulating you!

  • See what other hashtags people are using that post content similar to yours and then use those as well to promote your tweets.

#3 Track your results

Inspect what you Expect. The old adage is true! Accountability is important in goal setting. You can never demonstrate growth without tracking your results. I set goals monthly and yearly and I check my progress daily, making adjustments as necessary if I’m off the mark on any given week. Because I track my numbers diligently I sometimes find a strategy that is working for me and I then can capitalize on that success.

Just like the example above from #worldreadaloudday if I wasn’t constantly checking numbers but just posting, I wouldn’t know this and couldn’t use this information to help me in the marketing section of my proposal. I track daily because I’m a bit OCD and a perfectionist, but I love to look back at the way the numbers grow and then I really love it when I reach a goal before the deadline. It makes me work harder for the next one.

If you thought this content was helpful, please check out not only the Writers Chat recording where we discussed Twitter with other authors during the show but also my course on Serious Writer Academy for only $10 called Explode Your Growth on Twitter. It not only reviews these top 3 but gives you a top 5 and a BONUS because I just can’t stop talking!

I hope you’ll enjoy it.  Let me know how your growth improves – I love to hear your stories. Message me at my website

Victoria Duerstock | SeriousWriter.comA MidSouth transplant from sunny Florida, Victoria Duerstock is living out her “one day” dreams. An avid reader from way back, she has a voracious appetite for all things bookish.  She reads fiction and non-fiction alike but well-written fiction that makes her solve a mystery or an ending she didn’t anticipate really grabs her attention.  She’s even been known to read a manual or two. Ok really, she reads all the manuals. 

Victoria is a contributor for Just 18 Summers and maintains her own blogs Encouraging Women Today and the Creative Corner
Victoria enjoys speaking and teaching and of course writing! She is excited to pursue publication of her novel Fractured, the first of three books in her clean read crime/suspense trilogy. She’s also busy exercising her non-fiction muscles as well and has been published in the following devotional anthologies
  • Let All Nature Sing, Worthy Publishing, 2016
  • Just Breathe, Worthy Publishing, 2017
  • Words to Cheer Your Heart, Worthy Publishing, publishing March, 2018



Writing Goals and Accountability

Writing Goals and Accountability

When we think of our writing goals, we often focus on what we actually have no control over.

“I want to be a bestselling author.”

“I want to be published with Harper Collins.”

“I want to sign contracts with this agency.”

Those are great dreams and I hope they all come true for us, but honestly, we have no control over what someone else offers us in terms of representation or contracts. We also have no control over our readers purchasing our books. What we can do, however, is set goals based on what we can control:

“I’m going to do x, y, and z marketing strategies to sell a huge number of books.”

“I’m going to send a proposal to Harper Collins.” (Check submission guidelines — this is just an example!)

“I’m going to query this agent.”

Attack your Goals the SMART Way

The SMART method assures that your goals are actually things you can accomplish.

Relevant, Realistic
Time-based (deadline)

There needs to be room for WOW, so make sure to hold on to your hopes and dreams!

We had several guests pop in and share their writing projects and goals, and I know I found encouragement (and some great ideas) from what they said! Below the replay you’ll find our guests’ goals and some of the action items they’re using. Enjoy!

 Our Awesome Guests



Have a book published at the end of the year.

Action Steps:

Randy segments his day into four different ways: edit, write/rewrite, learn, and plot in a room with no electronics and transcribes them into snowflake. Also writes 1500 words every week to a mentor who critiques it and sends it back.



(1) Working on a book launch with SCWI.

(2) Either start a new series or continue with her current one.

Action Steps:

Market to the parents. Homeschool groups. Maybe write some curriculum.



(1) finish writing devotions

(2) editing novel

(3) finish writing proposal

Action Steps:

Breaking her day down into 15 minutes and trying to get stuff done; continually editing



Working on four different projects “Serial Launch Program;” Has been a paid writer for over 10 years. Get the writing done.

Action Steps:

Three different guest writing opportunities. Stop calling her work a “project” — spending an hour and a half working with seniors telling their stories. It will be a training program. Been approached by a geriatric center to implement throughout West Virginia. Scheduled out the implementation for individuals, putting it on Udemy, and finishing the system for the facility.



(1) Protect time.

(2) Write a specific letter to a specific person a week.

(3) Main writing goal: have first drafts of book 3 and 4 in my series done.

Action Steps:

(1) Practice saying “no” and choose to do things that are in his gift-set and relying on his congregation to use their gift set. Through the end of the year, not pick up the stuff he’s let go of during the sabbatical. Have margin.

(2) From Lori Roeleveld’s class at Blue Ridge – Write letters of encouragement to younger people in your congregation – and let them be the best writing you do. It blesses someone directly.

(3) Book launch tonight to sign books. Indie publishing. Goal is four books, so will write the next two books together and publish within 4-6 weeks together.