Blogs aren’t just for daily journal entries. Where did that idea come from? Blogging for self publishing authors is an essential part of marketing a book, and is part of the process of getting a book to print.
Blogging Reveals Yourself
Every author has a voice and blogging is a great way to introduce your readers to your writing style and your personal voice as an author.
Blogging For Authors Is Good Practice
If you’re writing a book or self publishing you may not have other opportunities to practice the art of writing. Journalists and copy writers spend a great amount of time everyday honing their craft. Writing short blog articles helps to hone the writers style, editing skills, and getting a story from mind to “paper.”
Blogging Chronicles the Journey
Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s likely that your book won’t be magically written overnight. You’re going to start the adventure of a lifetime. Start engaging your audience now by blogging about what you do along the way — days when you have writer’s block and what you do to solve it, character development, non-fiction writers may want to share information or data they research or authorities in their field they consult. Readers will love reading about the unique path your book takes to publication.
Blogging for Self Publishing Oils the Publicity Machine
In today’s publishing world, every author must be a promoter too.
— Authorhouse.com (self-publishing company)
Blogging for self publishing is the beginning of marketing. Whether you’re an author seeking a publishing deal or you plan to self publish, you’re going to have yourself “out there” and do a lot of your own publicity and marketing. Starting your blog now shows you’re connecting with your potential readers and you’re already working toward book sales.
March 2010 Fast Company Magazine notes a milestone of the past decade: US Cell phone penetration was at 34% in 2000 and increased to 89% in 2010. Those figures reflect the number of phone users, however they don’t take into account the major change in cell phones during that time: the dawn of the smart phone. Not only are there more cell phone users, but there’s an increasing segment who are using their phone to connect to the Internet and view websites on the go.
What do phone users see when they go to your website? It’s worthwhile to look at it on your own phone or borrow a friend’s phone. Here’s a one-two punch to catch smart phone hot spots, improve your website and the phone user’s experience.
- Text Phone Number. Open up your website online (on your PC or Mac is OK). Mouse over your phone number. If you can highlight one number at a time it is “text”. If the whole number highlights or a larger area highlights, then it’s likely your phone number has been created as an image. Phone users rely on text phone numbers because they can simply click or touch the number to dial it. Wouldn’t you like customers to be able to easily call you?
- Flash Dead Zone. Handhelds don’t have the capability to display “Flash” software. The iPhone doesn’t Flash either. The iPhone’s big brother, the iPad, doesn’t have Flash. If your website uses Flash, all these users see is “a dead zone”, a box with nothing in it. I worked with a client last year whose entire website was developed in flash. It’s a white page on a white background. Even the navigation menu is in the Flash file. Phone users see it as a white screen with no links to go to any of the secondary web pages.
Design to Spec knows that your successful Internet Marketing begins with being seen online… on computers and on phones! Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss any of our savory marketing tips.
Last week I was in sunny Southern California. A trip to CA means a day at Disneyland. This time I was disappointed to find one of the big attractions closed for major renovation. Ah, but when Disney closes down a ride they close it down 100% the right way, no short cuts.
So what does Disney do? First, they had put up a fence. Not a run of the mill cheap chicken wire fence. This fence was an 8-foot high wood picket fence that circled the entire attraction, probably an area larger than a city block. The fence was high enough so that the magic of the Magic Kingdom wasn’t compromised by a construction scene. The magic of something new underway was kept under wraps until it was ready to be unveiled.
Disney didn’t just throw up a fence– they also maintained it and added design elements. You can see in my photo it was painted a delicious “cartoon” pastel, the boards were shaped with a bit more whimsy than a common picket, and every few feet a period brass lamp was positioned. The lighting probably wasn’t needed but it fit in with Frontierland and was another over-the-top touch that is no longer surprising at Disneyland, but expected! Just as the rest of the theme park achieves above-and-beyond cleanliness, the fence was free from graffiti, knicks, fading and stickers. It not only worked, but it looked fabulous too!
Disney knows there are no second chances, their reputation is built on incredible first impressions.
So what does Disney and pristine fences have to do with websites? Ask yourself “Is my website working beyond visitors expectations?” and “Will the design WOW people and get them to call you or buy?” If you’re not happy with the answers, call Design to Spec to create your strategy for a happier, more profitable website.
Developing great content and doubling your marketing efforts go hand in hand. My clients know that I preach “There’s no shame in using it again!” It you own the rights to your original content (writing) you have first time publication rights, next time publication rights, and the right to use it again and again.
When I opened up Rolling Stone magazine I found a brilliant example of the “redirection” practice I’ve encouraged. RS is an established print publication much like the printed newsletter that some of my clients use and should continue to use when it works for their customers. RS has an index of excerpts from their online articles with links to read the complete article on their website.
A redirect from print to a website or blog achieves two powerful tasks. First, it trains your “paper” customers to start using the web where they can easily print, email, and forward your articles to others interested in the same subject, forward to directories like Digg.com, helping your message to propagate across the web.
The second accomplishment of redirecting content through a link is that you’ll be getting paper readers to your website for another marketing opportunity. The longer you embrace them in your paper or web content the longer you’ll hold them to complete a business transaction.
If your paper marketing is working for you then by all means don’t give it up. For those who have made the leap to Constant Contact or iContact for e-newsletters, consider adding excerpts with a link that leads your readers to your website or blog.