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Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Open Book: Blog Content Basics

September 8, 2011 Leave a comment

No two brands of ketchup taste the same.  The basic ingredients may be similar — tomatoes (or tomato concentrate), sugar, vinegar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, etc.  — but the taste differences lie in the ingredient quality and proportion.

And so it is with your blog.  Your blog site is uniquely yours even though there may be a couple of hundred or more people blogging about the same topic.  To keep your followers, consider these basics when you post your next entry:

     Does your post solve a problem?
     Does your post inform?
     Or have timeless content?
     Maybe your post is in demand (trending)?
     Or does your musings provide a bit of humor…something that is insightful,     but leaves your reader chuckling inside at your wit or twisted viewpoint…a bit of comic relief?

If you can say yes to one or more of these questions, your post content will provide value to your reader and will have them coming back for more.

Like the quality of the tomatoes in the ketchup, so is the quality of your writing. Write well (with the help of the SEO gods) and your posts will fly off the shelf.  Write incoherently and well, your writing (while surely highlighting your unique brand) might limit your viewing audience.

Open Book: 3 Great Reasons for an Unpublished Novelist to Blog

August 22, 2011 1 comment

People blog for many reasons, but for the unpublished novelist, blogging is a no brainer.

I can’t remember which self-help guru wrote that if you want to be a novelist, you have to do what novelist do. If you imitate the behaviors of novelist, you will one day be that novelist.  One of the behaviors all published authors seem to share is blogging.  Here are the three great reasons why you need to start if you haven’t already.

1.  Name Recognition – Your friends and family might know you are a budding novelist, but you will need a few more thousand book buyers when your novel is finished. Establishing a platform before your first book comes out will give your book a sales foundation.

2.  Expertise – Blogging is a wonderful way of validating your writing through your expertise.  For example, say that your novel is about a mother of a young boy who joins the Confederate army and is wounded inAntietam.  What if you blog about the Civil War?  What if you create a following of historians with your historical interpretations, suggested readings, and new findings about the topic?  Couldn’t you see yourself having a dialogue with some of your followers?  Wouldn’t it be great if your loyal followers retweeted your blog to their loyal followers? This is called viral marketing.

Your Civil War expertise gives your readers the confidence that you will be able to tell a Civil War story with confidence.

3.  Website, Blogging and Marketing – You can shamelessly promote your first novel on your website.  You can blog about it.  You can hop on related websites and leave a link to your new book to increase more widespread viewing and inevitably sales.

Today, a website is equivalent to yesterday’s business card.  However, unlike the painful process of handing business cards out one at a time, now you can reach thousands of people from all corners of the globe in a few minutes.

 Your website will reveal much more about you than merely the standard business card contact information.  From the tone, the style, and the format, your personality will emerge.  The viewer, a complete stranger, might make an intellectual (and sometimes an emotional, depending on how open you are about your personal life) connection with you.  This translates naturally into greater book sales.

And for the website, blogging keeps your site fresh.  If you understand your audience, you can select topics that you know that will keep them coming back.

It might be prudent to keep in mind that even though your candor or attempts at humor might increase your click rate, the energy expended in placating someone else’s bruised ego means less time working on your novel. You just don’t know how your life will move forward with an angry mother —or worse yet, an angry mother-in-law.  So, innocuous storytelling can have consequences.

Blogging with a Twist

May 25, 2009 Leave a comment

If you thought about it, you could have guessed that the next breakthrough in sharing online is blogging through video.  You don’t have to wait any longer.  You can reach people more personally by video recording what you want to say and uploading it on www.blogtalkradio.com.

You will find that there is someone that wants to talk about almost every topic.  Unlike the written word, seeing the person and watching the mannerisms connects on a deeper level that the written word cannot.

I searched the site for people who spoke on writing.  And voila, there were many people out there sharing their writing insights. 

For busy people, I think reading is faster, but for those who want a deeper connection to personal stories and sage knowledge given, this might be what you have been waiting for.

You can listen to what’s posted or you can start your own talk show.  (How many of us have dreamed of this opportunity, but  never thought we would be lucky enough to reach millions of people.)  Best of all, all this is free.  So, get out your entrepreneur hat.  How can we use this social media outlet to further our writing exposure?  Can we use this on more than one level?

Actually, WordPress has a video upload capability.  I just now noticed it. Anyway, check www.blogtalkradio.com out and let me know what you think. 
Oh I forgot to mention.  This site is free and you don’t have to download software to view or upload.

Blogging Expectations

July 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Sorry about the hiatus.  I was contemplating in what direction I was taking this blog.  I am debating whether introducing more of me into the content would dilute the content.

 

So, I have been scouring other writing blogs to see what other bloggers say on the topic.  A couple of them have two individual blogs.  One dedicated to writing and the other dedicated to more personal perspectives. 

 

I can barely find time to write this blog (I work full time).  So sustaining two blogs is not happening. And while I could blog at work, because I am often alone in the office, I do not.  No, I don’t consider myself a goody two shoes (I wonder where that strange expression came from?) by any stretch of the imagination.  I just think that I can accomplish more if I try to keep my activities confined to blocks of time. 

 

Okay, I also think that when you are hired to do a job and you do your own thing on company time, you are in essence stealing from the company.  It isn’t traditional stealing in tangible goods, but nevertheless, it impacts the bottom line.  How does a small business truly grow if everyone on the payroll takes undue advantage of the situation?

 

I began this blog on a whim.  Writing daily was my first goal.  I know that if I keep the channels open, writing becomes easier.  It’s like playing piano.  You lay off the keys for awhile; you get rusty.   It also builds a readership.

 

During my hiatus, I have been learning about search engine optimization and working on writing projects.  I sense that I am spreading myself thin, so I’m paring down again.

 

I will stick with this blog, because I have things about writing to share.  I will work on my writing. 

 

And while we are on the topic of knowledge and sharing….did you ever notice that as we grow older, we seem to know less? 

 

Visit again and learn what I just noticed about aging and learning.  Sometimes, it is painful to be that observant.

How Legal is Your Blog?

March 4, 2008 1 comment

Before I started this blog I was concerned about the legal aspects of the written word. Unlike journalism where the reporters’ code is to cross check the fact against at least two sources, this relatively new medium has no checks and balances and only loosely restricted. 

Many years ago, my mom wrote what I consider the first “blog.”  She called it “The Dear Ellen Letters.”

My mother — a visionary in her own right — wrote letters to Ellen, a distant relative, and sent it not only to Ellen, but to all her nearest and dearest relatives and friends.  The letter was a potpourri of life’s events and some reflections..  The difference was that my mom’s Dear Ellen letters were sent to a contained target audience.  No one was g0ing to sue her if she misreported, misunderstood, or miss quoted.

Today’s blogs are ubiquitous.  They have morphed into webettes (my word for mini websites) that carry links, comments, and images.  For most, bloggers are clueless about their vulnerablity to the legal system.  Their liabilities include copyright infringement, obscenity and indecency both in language and images, and defamation. 

You probably know about the blog wars waged in cyberspace and the impact of internet bullying  (The suicide of a depressed Missouri teen last year caused by internet bullying generated cries for new legislation ).  These underscore the point about just how dangerous thoughtless and callous words can be.

To keep your blog within the legal limits, here’s a definition of infringement:

If you copy or publish written work without the consent of the author, this is copyright infringement.  Cutting and pasting text, an image, or a comment that seems like an everyday object is still considered infringement.  Remember cutting and pasting material from another’s website and putting it in yours is robbery.  It prevents the orignator from pulling his full share of the traffic to his site.  To avoid this, get written permission or an emailed permission (and print a hard copy) .

If anyone can share knowledge or ideas about the legal aspects of blogging, please feel free to contribute. 

Tomorrow I will share my thoughts about linking and allowing others to post on your blog.