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Strategic Blogging, New NAIWE Publishing Expert, and More- April 2010 News

 

     
NAIWE
21 April 2010

Freedom is not in doing what you want to do, but in becoming what you want to be.

-Ardis Whitman

The Edge  

Member Teleclass with Mary DeMuth

Our member teleclass for May will be with author Mary DeMuth. We'll send details as soon as they're available. They'll also be posted on the NewsWire blog and our Facebook Event page. We hope you'll join us!

Publishing Expert Joins NAIWE

Jerry D. Simmons
Jerry D. Simmons, a 30-year veteran of publishing (Random House and Time-Warner Book Group), will be appearing on the first Wednesday of each month on The Freelance Life, discussing topics relevant to the business of publishing. NAIWE members will also be able to contact him directly to ask questions.

Jerry's extensive experience in the business side of the publishing world is a valuable addition to the Association's benefits. Be sure to mark your calendar and listen to The Freelance Life (http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/38165) on May 5, at 3:30 pm EDT. If you want to receive reminders of upcoming episodes, you may follow the online radio show by clicking the "Follow" button in the right column of the page. Members will find Jerry's contact information in the member area of the NAIWE website.

Success Strategy for Writers and Editors

 

Strategic Blogging:

How to Get it Done and Get it Read

by Janice Campbell

"What a waste of time," grumbled a writer at a recent conference. He was responding to yet another speaker's suggestion that a blog is one of the simplest and best marketing tools for an author or freelancer. I've gotten used to hearing complaints, excuses, and grumbling whenever blogs are mentioned, but I've also noticed how fast the whining dries up the first time a fan or client approaches, and starts a dialogue by mentioning, "I read on your blog...".

For every writer or editor who sees the blogosphere as the anonymous, overwhelming clacking of a billion voices, there's another who is quietly and effectively using a blog to communicate with readers and clients, and another who uses a blog as a thought-catcher, catalog of ideas, or a place to judge interest in a possible article or book topic. A blog can be used in any way you choose, but the two most important things you need to do are to get it done and get it read.

Get it Done

1- Decide the purpose of your blog. Do you want to establish a rapport with readers? Sell books? Get new clients for your writing or editing services? Your decision will help you determine your tone and what you write about. 

2- Decide when and how often you'll post. I recommend no less than once a week, so that your readers will have something to look forward to. Try to post on the same day each week, and remember that mid-day Tuesday-Thursday is usually the best time to post. People are often to busy to read blogs on Monday, and on Friday, they're looking forward to the weekend, and not ready to do anything extra.

3- Decide what to write about. If you're going to post once a week, you'll need 52 short articles. Get a calendar with all major holidays marked, and begin listing topics on your chosen blog day. You can use a holiday as a springboard for posts; offer news about your book sales or your business; review other books your readers might find interesting; share news from the publishing or freelance world; whine a bit about your current project (this is recommended only if you do so in a funny way); share a great quote or poem; and so much more. If you're stuck for a topic, post something you wrote long ago, write a response to someone else's blog, or just post an inspiring quote.

Get it Read

1- Feedburner: Your blog posts can be send directly to subscriber mailboxes using Feedburner, a Google service. Add your blog feed, then click on its title to get to the screen where you can "Analyze, Optimize, Publicize, Monetize, and Troubleshootize" your feed. Take a little time to look at the options offered, and use these free tools tools to send your feed to where it can be read. http://feedburner.com

2- Blog Carnival: A blog carnival is a gathering of blog posts on a single topic such as writing, business, or organization. Search the blog carnival site for carnivals you'd like to contribute to, then click on "Submit a Post," and fill out the brief form. Your post will be included (at the carnival owner's discretion) in the next issue of the carnival. If you choose an active carnival that is posted regularly, this can bring your blog to the attention of many new readers who may in turn share it with others. The "Just Write" carnival, sent out by Missy Frye of the "Incurable Disease of Writing" blog is very well run. I recommend it. http://blogcarnival.com

3- Incoming Links: Links are the lifeline of any website, and blogs are well-positioned to benefit from them. If you have a NAIWE blog, you already have a head start on incoming links, but you'll want to gather more by announcing each of your blog posts on social media. Some of the simplest and most useful links come from sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious. You can create an account at ping.fm that will update all these sites at once, and you can use http://hootsuite.com to pre-schedule updates so that they're optimally spaced. (To view the social media sites listed above, just type each name into your browser bar and add .com.)

There are other ways to get your blog read, including blog tours, guest blogging, webrings, and blogroll exchanges, but the first three options will get you started. 

Great Blog Examples

It's a good idea to study successful blogs to see what makes them work. Remember, though, that each of these blogs has been up for a long time, so there's enough content to draw readers. You can't start with a hundred posts, but you can start with one, and build from there. Little by little, bit by bit, you'll create a site that connects you with readers and clients, and meets the objectives you set when you began planning. Here are five blogs that offer very different examples. Enjoy reading, then plan your own and get started.

Seth Godin writes a long-standing blog that supports his non-fiction writing career. He's created a vast following for his interesting posts, and that's translated to great sales for each of his books. Here's a good sample post: When a stranger reads your blog (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/04/when-a-stranger-reads-your-blog.html).

Copyblogger is where blogger Brian Clark shares his expertise in frequent, information-packed posts. He also hosts guest bloggers, which a good way to add content without having to write everything yourself. http://www.copyblogger.com

QueryShark is the blog where agent Janet Reid shreds reader queries. It's definitely blood-in-the-water writing, and it gives you a strong taste of Reid's personality and working style. She does it all in a spirit of helpfulness, and you'll learn a lot by reading it. For Reid, it's not just an act of charity or wicked fun--it's smart marketing that draws potential clients like flies to a sticky bun. http://queryshark.blogspot.com

Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, is an avid blogger, and his posts are always meaty and thought-provoking. He writes about publishing and life, and manages to promote his company, his speaking services, and his author's books in a low-key, entertaining way. http://michaelhyatt.com/

The Cozy Chicks blog is a great example of group blog. Seven writers of cozy mysteries have teamed up to create a blog that helps to market their work while building rapport with readers and fans. It's an excellent way to share the blogging load and have fun in the process. http://www.cozychicksblog.com

Janice Campbell is Director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, as well as a freelance writer and Lucky Freelancer Coach.

(c) 2010 NAIWE http://NAIWE.com.

The Author's Voice

"You must stop editing--or you'll never finish anything. Begin with a time-management decision that indicates when the editing is to be finished: the deadline from which you construct your revisionary agenda. Ask yourself, 'How much editing time is this project worth?' Then allow yourself that time. If it's a 1,000-word newspaper article, it's worth editing for an hour or two. Allow yourself no more. Do all the editing you want, but decide that the article will go out at the end of the allotted time, in the form it then possesses. "      

-Kenneth Atchity, A Writer's Time


Breaking News

- Teleclass: Mary DeMuth                          - Publishing Expert Joins NAIWE

- Success Strategy: Blogs: Get it Done, Get it Read
- The Author's Voice

 

Don't use words too big for the
subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. ~C.S. Lewis

 

Have you taken the survey?
We posted a 10-question survey about the usefulness of the NAIWE site. Based on responses so far, we've already added a site-wide search box on the home page, and are working on other additions. We'll also be posting more instructions for how to use the formatting features of the NAIWE blogs, as they've been significantly updated.

The survey will be open until the end of April, and we'd love to have your feedback. 

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WDMLZ5D

Have something to say,
and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret..  ~Matthew Arnold

Resource of the Month 
If you want to be published, learn from authors, agents, and editors in a free teleseminar series from the San Francisco Writer's Conference

http://www.sfwriters.info/

Member SEO Tip
Good incoming links can boost your search engine ranking dramatically. Look for high-quality links from well-respected sites with related content. For example, a link from a popular writing or editing site will carry more weight than a link from a free blog on raising canaries.

 

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. .  ~William Feather

 

National Picture Book Writing Week will be held May 1-7, 2010. The goal is to write seven picture books in seven days. You'll find instructions on Paula Yoo's website. NAIWE Director, Janice Campbell, plans to participate and will be blogging on the event at the Words Into Books blog.  http://WordsIntoBooks.com.

Subscribe to the Writing-World newsletter and get expert tips and techniques on writing marketing and publishing twice a month, plus market news, publishing news, contest listings, information on freebies for writers and much more. Now in its tenth year! Visit http://www.writing-world.com/newsletter/index.shtml to sign up and read back issues.

 

Become a Writer's Digest VIP: Writer's Digest and Writer's Market have teamed up to offer a great discount on these two helpful resources. Read more about it on the Writer's Digest VIP page at http://tinyurl.com/wd-vip.

Copyright 2010 by NAIWE

This issue of The Edge is brought to you by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors. If you're not a member, we invite you to join us , and experience all our success and support benefits. Nothing says "I'm serious about my career" like membership in a respected professional organization!
 
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