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...
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Social Networking in 15 Minutes a Day

A lot of people wonder how they can do all the online networking they’re “supposed” to do without it completely draining all their time and energy. Well, I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve developed a strategy that works for me, so I thought I’d share it with you. Blog 1. I write my blog posts for the week in one or two sittings, usually on the weekend. 2. I schedule my blog to post automatically each day so I don’t have to think about my blog all week unless I want to. 3. I’m flexible so that if a timely idea hits me mid-week, I can go ahead and write a blog post and schedule it for whenever I want. 4. All the blog comments go directly to a separate email box. Whenever I get comments that give me an idea for another blog post, I divert...
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My Comment Policy

One of the most helpful blog posts I’ve read in awhile was yesterday on Michael Hyatt’s blog: 8 Blog Tips from Tim Ferriss. I’m going to try harder to put some of the tips into practice. But it was tip #6 that really got me thinking and re-examining. “Practice zero tolerance for negative comments.” I’ve always tried to make this a friendly, welcoming place for everyone. I’ve intentionally allowed, even encouraged, differing viewpoints. We don’t all see things the same way, and I’m very interested in other perspectives. In the vast majority of cases, my readers are a smart, kind and funny bunch, and your comments make this blog great! Yet once in awhile the tone in which an opinion is expressed can be harsh, overly critical or even...
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How to Build Traffic on Your Blog, Part 2

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SkKU-ICwK1I/AAAAAAAADBY/whuug-ZioH4/s200/jen_picture.jpg Another Guest Post by Jennifer Fulwiler!Last week we talked about how to create a blog that will entice new visitors to become loyal readers. However, that probably left many of you wondering, “How do you get those visitors there in the first place?” I’ve been asking that same question for more than 10 years as I’ve worked to get the word out about both personal and professional websites, and in this post I’ll share my thoughts on the main options for pro-actively driving traffic to your blog. Commenting on other blogsLeaving comments on other blogs is the only thing on this list that I would say you must do. Not only is it a way to get new readers, but it’s just good etiquette to show an interest in other people’s sites. In order to make sure...
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How To Build Traffic on Your Blog (Part 1)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SkKU-ICwK1I/AAAAAAAADBY/whuug-ZioH4/s200/jen_picture.jpg A Guest Post by Jennifer FulwilerA lot of writers have mixed feelings when they hear about the importance of using blogs to build platforms. On the one hand it sounds nice to have a popular blog, but on the other hand it’s daunting: How do you go about getting traffic? Isn’t it mostly just luck anyway? I have good news: Attracting a loyal readership to a blog is not just blind luck. After more than a decade working as a web developer, I’ve learned from some exciting successes (and a few spectacular failures) that there are concrete steps you can take to grow traffic to your site. When I give advice on this topic I usually spend most of my time talking about how to write well; after all, if a blog is not well-written there are no tips or tricks that will make people want...
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Do You Need a Blog Mentor?

Yesterday I was talking to one of my clients, the uber-talented Patricia Raybon, about building an online presence and using blogging and social networking to build a platform (all the things we’ve been discussing on the blog lately). She said she’d been reading all the recommended websites about blogging, and even got the book Blogging for Dummies. But it all still seemed so overwhelming. Can you relate? I think many people feel this way. Patricia said, “I’d love to be able to work closely with a cyber counselor – that’s what I call it, anyway. Someone who could work with me, step by step, as I’m starting my blog and trying other social networking. Someone to talk me through designing my blog – not just the look of it, but the concept...
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The Dreaded Author Platform

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SjXF4z8C_nI/AAAAAAAADBA/5oCn_9e0Kx8/s320/WTPconference.jpg Last week at the Write-To-Publish conference, the one topic that kept coming up in conversations, panels, and workshops was AUTHOR PLATFORM. Yes, the hated p-word! I explained again and again that publishing just ain’t what it used to be. Gone are the days when publishers were solely responsible for the marketing of a book. Today’s audience is more segmented than it has ever been before. People have more options for their leisure time than ever before – 600 channels on television, movies on demand, video games and Wii, and then of course, the Internet. It’s harder than ever to attract people to books. The way to do it is increasingly through personal connection, and that means YOU, the author, making connections with your readers. (This discussion applies mostly to...
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To Blog or Not to Blog?

That is the question I’m getting a lot these days. Many authors are being advised that they must have a blog as the first step to marketing themselves. But I think that advice is getting outdated. Here’s why: → According to Technorati, there are nearly 113 million active blogs. That’s not a typo. Considering there are about 400,000 new books being published in the U.S. each year, logic dictates that it might be easier to market your book itself than to try to market your blog amongst the crowded blogosphere. → Creating and maintaining an active blog is an incredible amount of effort. You need to update your content at least three times a week, and you need to spend time online in activities that will draw people to your blog. If you don’t LOVE blogging, you...
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