Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

It never ceases to amaze me that, in the current WordPress and Typepad age, there are still authors who spend great amounts of money on websites they cannot update and maintain themselves!

This is sheer lunacy. There’s no reason for it!

If you want to fully harness the Internet to promote your book and your services, the only way to go is to have a blog-based web presence; you must be able to easily update your web presence on your own, without the costs and delays of hiring outside designers.

This is not to say you can’t hire a professional designer to set up your blog presence, but you must be able to add, edit, and delete content using basic word-processing typing and editing skills.

How blogs have changed

Today’s blogs are light years ahead of their predecessors. At one time, blogs were limited to just the posts. If you wanted a multi-page web presence, with separate pages for different categories of information, you needed a conventional website.

Now, however, blogging software allows you to combine posts with separate pages. This has changed everything, making it very easy for authors and business owners to create separate pages describing:

  • About Us. This permits you to add a background statement and list your experience and qualifications.
  • Store. You can easily create an online store describing the products and services you offer, linked to a shopping cart for ordering.
  • Testimonials. You can easily keep your client and customer testimonials updated, each time you receive a new one.
  • Contact. In addition to providing contact information in the footer of each page, you can create a page with a contact form that will help you screen your incoming e-mail and protect your e-mail address.
  • Archives. You can easily create a page containing constantly-updated links to articles, audios, and videos.
  • Bonus content. In addition to allowing you to add and create new pages, and track their traffic and performance, today’s blogs make it easy to deliver bonus content to your readers and clients. You can password-protect individual pages of your blog, or set up blog-based membership sites with automatic, recurring monthly billing that restricts content to current subscribers.

When I wrote my Streetwise Guide to Relationship Marketing on the Internet, Foreword by Seth Godin, only those who could afford 5 and 6-figure customized content management systems could update their own websites and control access to content.

Now, you can do most of the same things for free!

Best practices for new authors

Here are some ideas for authors looking for ways to market and promote a new book.

  1. Consider creating a separate blog-based website for your new book. Instead of grafting your book onto an existing website, especially a website you can’t update yourself, use your new book as an excuse to start fresh all over again. This permits you to focus your blog on your book, and the products and services that relate to your book.
  2. Reasonable expectations. There is a difference between updating a blog-based website and creating a blog-based website. Recognize the difference between setting up a blog-based website and updating a blog-based website. Updating is fast and easy; setting-up can take a lot of time…time you might be better spending in creating content and selling your services. Even though there are numerous free and low-cost blog templates, or, themes, available, you’ll often save money by having a blog-savvy designer to set up of your blog.
  3. Know what you need. A blog, by itself, is not enough; don’t settle for a partial solution! Blogs require integration with autoresponders and shopping carts. You need autoresponders to capture e-mail addresses, build and maintain your mailing list, and deliver sign-up incentives. Shopping carts are needed to sell products and services. Your blog will also require integration with today’s social marketing media, so content added to your blog will be automatically replicated on FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You’ll probably also need training to add graphics and links to streaming audios and videos.
  4. Demand design excellence. Your blog doesn’t have to look like a blog! Blogs can be as simple and well-designed as the finest websites. Today’s blogging software permits your blog to have a layout for the home page than for the inside pages. The banner at the top of your home page, for example, can be significantly smaller on the inside pages of your blog. Make sure that you use design purposefully, to project an appropriate image and to differentiate your blog from the competition. Just because you’re using blogging software doesn’t mean your blog has to project an amateur, home-grown image.
  5. Hire the right designer. Hire a designer who has both a strong design sense as well as extensive experience with blogging software. Be careful when dealing with print-based graphic designers who are migrating to webside and blog design. Be especially careful when hiring designers who don’t have a blog themselves, or who haven’t updated their blog in months. Like all crafts, the more hands-on blogging experience a designer has had, the better. (E-mail me for a free copy of my Designer’s Qualifications Worksheet.
  6. Commit to tracking your traffic. Right from the start, commit to paying attention to the website traffic to the various pages of your website. Make sure that each of your blog posts and each page of your blog contains the information needed by Google Analytics, or an equivalent traffic monitoring system. This will permit you to refine your page titles and headlines for maximum traffic and conversions into sales.

Create a content plan

Most important, don’t start blogging until you have created a content plan that specifies how often you’re going to add new content, and the major themes, or content categories, that you want to blog about in future posts.

For example, visit the content plan I created for my series of Active Garage guest posts and download my original mind map for this series. My original map, created in a couple of hours last October, continues to guide my weekly posts.

Blogging is easy when you’re doing more than simply reacting to current events or blog posts by others. You can always add new posts when needed, but you should know how often you’re going to blog each week, and the general themes of your weekly posts, before your blog goes live.


Avoid the temptation to write a great book, but attempt to market it using a tired, “hostage” website that tries to serve too many different purposes. Instead, use the publication of your book as an excuse to join the blog-based Web 2.0 generation that will provide a fresh start and allow you to update your own site without the costs and delays of hiring others. Once you see how easy it is to keep your blog updated, you’ll never go back to “hostage” websites again.

Week In Review – Jan 31 – Feb 6, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on February 7, 2010

Social Media ROCKSTARS!

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 1, 2010

Social media ROCKSTARS are no different from traditional ROCKSTARS. They possess the same characteristics – Talent par excellence, Performance and Energy. They continuously produce new material, perform brilliantly that crowds love them and energize their audience. People like Kevin RoseMatt Inman and bloggers like Chris Brogan or Marshall Kirkpatrick are the genuine social media rockstars! more…

BLOGTASTIC!: Make more friends in the blogosphere fast!

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 1, 2010

Face to face conversations are valuable for networking, but this strategy has some constraints. Online conversations on the blogosphere gives you the ability to start and engage in multiple conversations with people far and wide, asynchronously. Rajesh leveraged this for his “Quought for the Day” project. Leverage your blog to communicate, collaborate and utilize your blog as a catalyst to enhance your relationships. more…

Change Management #2 – Morphing Organizations: The Executive Samurai and Complexity Theory

by Gary Monti, Feb 2, 2010

To take your organization through change, you need to be a “samurai” who is an expert at even-tempered decision-making. You need to be a martial artist in the sense that you need to adapt your methods to circumstances while maintaining core principles. Then, like Zen practitioners, be imperturbable. Now, you can take a tip from complexity theory on how to best organize: let the people do it themselves. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: What you don’t know might hurt you

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 2, 2010

If you are in the blogosphere, you need to keep abreast of the happenings in this arena. This is not any different from other domain like hardware, software, etc. Considerations for your blog should include SEO, RSS feed, mobile accessibility, etc. There are numerous resources like Squidoo: Blogging Starter Checklist that provide you the information – you just need to look for it. more…

Lessons From Our Past

by Guy Ralfe, Feb 3, 2010

A wise man learns from others’ experience, while a fool does not learn even from his own. In the latter case, history repeats itself. Guy narrates his travails with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Over the past five years, rates have increased and service has degraded in some areas. All indicators point to a repeat of what happened in 1897. It would be interesting to see when MBTA wakes up to reality. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: The right tools

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 3, 2010

We all need need the right tools to excel in our professions and blogging is no exception. Some areas where you need to consider using good tools are infrastructure, tracking, subscriptions and optimization. If you don’t consider yourself a geek who is fascinated by tools, get professional help. more…

Information: The Most Precious Thing Your Company Has

by Robert Driscoll, Feb 4, 2010

Cloud computing is one of the most hyped technology currently. Computing is usually compared with electricity as a utility, but that is not a valid comparison. Electricity is a dumb commodity and who cares if it is stolen. But data on the on the other hand is immensely valuable. When moving your organization towards cloud computing, move slowly and start with applications and data that are not the lifeline of your business. Move at the pace of your comfort and not at the pace the providers recommend. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: Blogging stats can be addictive

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 4, 2010

Though it can be addictive to keep watching the traffic stats to your blog grow, that metric is not where the value is. You need to dig deeper and understand where your visitors come from, what posts they are reading, where they click through, etc. These analytics will help you understand your readers better and enable you to position your blog for greater success. more…

Author’s Journey #7 – Who can help you write your book?

by Roger Parker, Feb 5, 2010

When writing non-fiction books, understand that you don’t have to write every single word in your book! You can get help from a variety of sources. Consider co-authors, ghost writers, assistants and crowdsourcing. They provide key benefits of providing a different perspective and efficiency. Before you make the choice, identify your goals, choose the right option and structure the relationship appropriately. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: More help than you will ever need

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 5, 2010

We all need help with everything we do. Same holds true for blogging. Your blogging success depends upon what you are willing to invest in getting help. Your investment could be time to learn it all by yourself, or you could spend money to get good help. Irrespective, don’t forget the opportunity cost of your time or money. The old adage “when the student is ready, the teacher arrives” fits brilliantly with the blogosphere. Are you ready to leverage your blog and open new doors? more…