Blogs I Follow

Blogs I Follow I’m an avid reader of blogs. I have dozens in my Google Reader and I take the opportunity to read, especially on my phone or iPad, whenever I have a few moments to spare. I’ve been asked numerous times to share the blogs I read, so here is a sampling. My list might be a little different than what you’d expect!   Blogs About Blogging Author Tech Tips Copyblogger Problogger   Publishing and General Business GalleyCat HBR (Harvard Business Review) Writers Digest (There Are No Rules) Nathan Bransford Publetariat Publishing Perspectives Seth’s Blog The Book Designer The Passive Voice The Shatzkin Files Writer Beware Writer Unboxed   Agent Blogs Steve Laube Books & Such (of course!) Kristin Nelson Janet Reid   Simplicity Blogs Be More With...
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What NOT To Blog About

What NOT To Blog About Yesterday on the blog, we discussed online presence, and what our social media activity tells the world about us. Today I want to get a little more specific and highlight a few online no-nos. It can be easy to fall into a “letting it all hang out” mindset with blogging and social media, but from a professional standpoint, you can’t afford major missteps in your online persona. The trick is to be a real person without over-sharing. As an author, there are specific things you should avoid in your blogging, Tweeting or Facebooking. Here are some of them: ♦ Contract provisions This one seems obvious, but many authors don’t realize how many things are covered in their contract and hence are subject to the contract’s confidentiality clause. Any of the following...
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Possibly the Best Blogging Tip Ever

Possibly the Best Blogging Tip Ever My post last Friday received the highest number of comments I’ve ever had on a single post (over 500). It was not because it was such a great post. Rather, I think it was because: 1) The post gave helpful information, but most importantly, it was about the reader — not about me. 2) The post encouraged readers to interact with one another in the comments. 3) There was an inherent promise in the post — that if readers put the “one sentence summary” of their book in the comments, they might receive valuable feedback, not from me but from fellow readers. This bears out something I’ve learned from writing over 1700 blog posts, and I think it may be the most important blogging advice ever: Make your blog about your reader. Engagement is an important part of...
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Should All Authors Blog?

Should All Authors Blog? A few years ago, the standard wisdom was that authors, both fiction and non-fiction, should have blogs in order to gather an audience and build relationships with readers. Now, not so much. As social media and online marketing have evolved, my thoughts on blogging have changed. I think each author needs to carefully consider whether blogging is an appropriate vehicle for them based on: 1. If they can do it well; 2. If they enjoy it; and 3. If their writing career can benefit from it. If blogging doesn’t suit you, don’t spend too much time trying to make it work. Why aren’t blogs the appropriate vehicle for all authors?  The proliferation of blogs in the last five years has made it increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowd. Many authors are blogging faithfully...
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13 Simple Tips for a Better Blog

13 Simple Tips for a Better Blog I was talking with a client who has a book releasing in about a year, and she was concerned about how to begin building her blog and increasing the traffic. At the moment she doesn’t have a great deal of time to devote to it, since she is still writing her book. We brainstormed and I gave her several tips off the top of my head — simple things she could immediately begin to change about  her blog, that wouldn’t change her blog traffic immediately, but over time would have a positive effect. Here are the things we discussed. 1. Focus first on improving the content of your blog rather than any fancy strategies for increasing traffic. The better your content, the more your blog readership will naturally grow. 2. Make sure every post contains a single main idea. It can be...
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7 Reasons to Quit Balking & Start Blogging

7 Reasons to Quit Balking & Start Blogging Guest blogger: Heather Kopp  @SoberBoots I’m a baby blogger who came to it kicking and screaming. So it seems premature, even presumptuous, for me to write a post encouraging other writers to blog. But as a recovering alcoholic, I’ve learned that a newbie is often best-suited to help a reluctant visitor, because her own objections are still fresh in her mind. When Rachelle asked me to start blogging before she shopped my memoir, I understood the marketing logic, but I balked. For very good reasons, of course. Here are a few, along with the surprising aha!s I discovered hiding behind my objections: 1. “I don’t know who I’m talking to.” I have an audience in mind for my memoir, but being asked to start blogging before I have a book felt like being asked to stand in...
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The 5 Most Common Author Website Mistakes

The 5 Most Common Author Website Mistakes Guest Blogger: Thomas Umstattd, Jr., CEO Author Media Here are five things NOT to do with your author website. This is a must-read if you don’t yet have a website because these tips will save you a lot of heartache in the future. If you already have a website, read with caution. Website Mistake #1 – Focusing on Design Over Content If you want someone to visit your website, it must be the most interesting thing on the Internet – for that person at that time. Your website design is like the frame around a picture. Many authors spend more time on the frame than they do on the picture. The design makes little difference in how successful your site is.  (Many of your posts will be read in a reader or in email anyway.) Although you may be emotionally tied to the “look” of...
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What NOT to Blog About

What NOT to Blog About In this age of social media, it can be easy to fall into a “letting it all hang out” mindset. But if you’re engaging in social networking as a way to help your writing career, you can’t afford major missteps in your online persona. The trick is to be a real person without over-sharing. As an author, there are specific things you should avoid in your blogging, Tweeting or Facebooking. Here are some of them: ♦ Contract provisions This one seems obvious, but many authors don’t realize how many things are covered in their contract and hence are subject to the contract’s confidentiality clause. Any of the following are typically off-limits for discussion (public or otherwise) unless you have your publisher’s permission to disclose. Amount of your...
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Do Writers Need to Think About SEO?

Do Writers Need to Think About SEO? Guest blogger: Erin MacPherson Let me guess: Someone, somewhere has told you that if you don’t develop a strong Google-optimized search engine optimization (SEO) strategy stat, your blog will disappear into oblivion on page 24,000 of Google and you’ll  find yourself writing for an audience of 2 while your posts languish with nary a comment or a tweet. Insert deep breath here. SEO has become quite the buzz-word lately—and while it is superimportant, I want to ease your mind a little and tell you that it’s not necessarily as dire as you may have heard. But first, let me tell you a little bit about my background so you don’t think I’m just rattling off some random but unproven facts. I’ve spent the last six and a half years working as a staff web...
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When Do You Read Blogs?

When Do You Read Blogs? I’ve been writing this blog for three-and-a-half years and this whole time, I’ve been on a Monday through Friday blogging schedule. So now I’m experimenting with posting on weekends, too, which I think will give me more time for some fun stuff like comics and questions and polls and contests and videos. But I’m wondering if people even read blogs on weekends. And that led me to wonder about your blog reading patterns in general. Do you have a regular time when you normally read blogs? Or is it random? Do you ever sit down to read blogs on the weekend? Do you only read at work (i.e. on the weekdays?) Do you read at home, or both? Inquiring minds want to know! Tell us about your blog reading patterns. P.S. Just to answer my own question…my own blog reading...
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Vlogging, Anyone?

http://www.youtube.com/v/jMJA8e43TOw?hl=en&fs=1 Guest Blogger: Jennifer Wilkov Society loves moving pictures. Movies and television have been around for a long time, but then along came the Internet—and YouTube is right up there with Google and Facebook as the most visited websites in the world. Vlogging, or video blogging, is a great way for you as an author to engage in a more personal way with the visitors of your blog from the comfort of your computer. Videos help to bring the reader, other writers, and the industry to you. It’s a great way to let them get to know you. Videos can help boost your career, as agents and editors can see you speaking live on your blog when they’re deciding if they want to take you on. If you’re being considered to speak at industry events and conferences, your vlogs give a quick sample...
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What’s Your Blog Identity?

A WordServe client wrote me: I’m always trying to figure out what magic widget I need to put on my blog and my website to encourage people to be followers. It would be a HUGE BENEFIT to clients if you could get some techie to give a clear easy answer to this: best practices for increasing blog followers.I think this writer perfectly captured something we all think about blogging: Shouldn’t this be easier???Hard truth: There is no magic widget! Building blog traffic is a lot of work. But since you asked, here are my four “easy answers” for increasing blog followers: 1. Educate yourself continually. I follow these blogs:Daily Blog Tipstentblogger.comproblogger.netcopyblogger.com You can also read Mike Hyatt’s frequent advice on social networking. I especially like this...
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Blogs We Don’t Like

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/TPiAJ488CwI/AAAAAAAAENY/eeQ6nsVDv6g/s200/thumbs-down.jpg Somebody asked me recently, “What turns you off in writers’ blogs?” They wanted to know if there were certain things I saw that would make me not want to represent someone, or at least make me wonder whether I should. So I thought about it, and here are a few of my answers: → A humor writer whose blog doesn’t seem funny to me.→ A memoir writer whose blog consists of reflections on life (something I enjoy) but they’re just boring.→ A writer who rants and complains about the publishing business in general or agents in particular . (And I recognize the difference between ranting and simply processing inevitable disappointments.)→ A writer whose blog has irregular and infrequent posts.→ A blog that is really unfocused and doesn’t know what...
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Q4U: It’s a Blog’s Life

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SvzRuj5HyWI/AAAAAAAADPU/4SvRsRTQje0/s320/sticky+note+Q4U.bmp I’ve been thinking about all these publishing blogs, and why we read them. (Yes, I read them too.) I’m interested in hearing your perspectives on the blogs. Feel free to answer any of these questions: What are your primary reasons for reading the blogs? How often do you read blogs? How often do you comment? What’s the BEST advice you’ve received from a blog? What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned from a blog? What are your favorite blogs? (Besides mine, of course! No fair sucking up.) Thanks for your answers, and have a great weekend!. Be Sociable, Share! ...
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