Category Archives: blogging

Advice on blogging

Borrow Your Brilliance

by Brittani Hensel, Project Coordinator

My boss recently gave me a book about brainstorming called, “Jump Start Your Brain” by Doug Hall.  I flipped through it a little bit, but one chapter called “Borrowing Brilliance” stopped me in my tracks. I thought about all the times I’d people-watched while walking in the mall, getting fashion advice from magazines, listened to other people brainstorm, watched them while they work, and the ever-present question, “What would you do?”

After reading Jump Start Your Brain I quickly realized, I’ve always borrowed brilliance. I have always looked to those wiser, older, and more knowledgeable than I to gain information and principles that I could use as well.

This book offered a “David & Goliath” example in which you can learn something by “looking at other David’s who have done battle and won” to learn how to succeed yourself.  Very similar to learning from other people’s mistakes I’d say.  But, that’s precisely how I’ve lived my life. I’ve learned from other people’s actions, fashion, writing, and even communication skills.

Authors come to me often and ask what they should write about on their blog, and while the answer varies from author to author, it’s always the same.  “Take a look at this blog, this blog, and this blog.” I tell them that often reading a blog will give them inspiration on how to write one. It’s how I’ve always led my writing, especially for blog topics. Borrowing ideas and “brilliance” from other people seems to fuel the fire the best, and I say why not use the kindling?

As an author and marketer, take heed from your favorite writers, mentors, and friends. Every second is a learning experience, and life always has something to teach.

Click on the images below for links to help jump start your own brilliance:

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Building Relationships with Bloggers

by Kelly Rynard, Literary Publicist

WARNING:  The referred link via Unmarketing contains harsh language that may be offensive to some.  We used this link as a literal example of what not to do when reaching out to fellow bloggers.

Scott Stratten of Unmarketing recently tweeted, “There are comment train wrecks, and then there is this bit.ly/hwK8Qa.” And “this” is an excellent example what NOT to do when commenting on a blog. Basically, this particular author was upset with a critics review and took matters into her own hands.

As a social media specialist, I train author’s everyday on how to use social media sites to their fullest potential. One of the most popular questions I get asked is, “how do I reach out to bloggers?” and “what am I suppose to say in a comment?”

As we work to build relationships with fellow bloggers, there are few simple rules we like to follow:

Be Selfless. If you want bloggers to promote you, you must first promote them. Think about building a relationship based on their perspective, what can I gain from this.

Comment on Comments. One of the greatest things about blogging is receiving comments. It makes you feel appreciated and respected. In return, your reader feels the same way when you take the time to respond to their comments and it keeps them coming back to read more.

Comment on your Reader’s Blogs. Leaving thoughtful comments on your reader’s blogs is all about giving back. You will begin to see your relationship grow when you take the time to engage and promote other bloggers.

Create Valuable Content. Create posts that have a subject matter that is of value to your readers. Find out what they want and then give it to them. Write to the people that actually read your blog.

I heard Stratten give a talk about month ago on social media and he gave some interesting tips. He calls people on the internet that have nothing better to do than say mean things, trolls. “Don’t feed into the troll,” he says.

So on that note, if someone posts a comment you don’t like, don’t shoot yourself in the foot and “feed the troll” just to make a point.  Stay positive, engage fellow bloggers that have common interests, be selfless and be patient.  It takes commitment and rock solid content to build a strong blog following.

To get started with our own blog, let AuthorHive help get you started.  Check out the following book for a comprehensive look to starting, maintaining and expanding your blog site:

I have writer’s block….I don’t feel like it……

by Chris Bass, Director of Author Marketing Services
I have a raggedy yellow piece of paper that my father gave me about 30 years ago.  Written on it are these words, “Nothing great was ever accomplished without discipline.”

Today you might be feeling full of excuses about why you can’t write, why people aren’t reading your book, why you can’t come up with anything worthwhile to say in your blog.  You have a choice to make.  You can listen to the excuses or you can get busy about doing something great.

Stay disciplined even when you don’t feel like it. Experience tells me that in the long run you’ll find you’re doing great things.

5 Ingredients to a Great Blog Post

by Maggie Hames, Social Media Specialist

The influence of bloggers is continuing to grow daily. eMarketer estimates that this year more than half of internet users will read blogs at least monthly. As an author, what better way to reach your audience, establish yourself as an expert and do what you love all at once? Blogging is the perfect social media outlet for authors to get started online. By trade, authors are writers and are well versed in their subject matter. So take it to the next level. Successful authors like Jackie Collins and Seth Godin are blogging about what they know and you can too.Here’s a go-to guide to writing a successful blog post:

  1. Be Interesting. No one wants to hear about what you wore to your grandmother’s 91st birthday party. So don’t write about it. Write content that will be useful to readers. Dip into the wealth of knowledge that you already have on your subject matter and write for your readers. The best writing comes from taking your personal experiences, theories and ideas, and turning them into content shaped for others.
  2. Tag, Tag, Tag! Tags are key to driving traffic to your blog. They make your blog post searchable and they link your blog to other blogs with a similar topic. Chose tags that are specific to your post and also choose a few from the most popular tags.
  3. Picture Perfect. Readers will get bored with pages of straight text. Incorporate photos or videos into your post to make things more interesting. This will get the readers attention and keep them coming back for more.
  4. Link Intelligently. Link keywords to outside sources with more information. To get started, Google the keyword and try to choose something off the first page of results. But be careful.  Be sure to choose sites that are reliable and add value to your post.
  5. Have fun! If you’re bored writing your post, imagine how your readers will feel. Have personality and show off your writing skills.

As your blog begins to develop, remember there are several ways to get more traffic to your blog. Start by sharing it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Next, we suggest reaching out to other bloggers in your community who are talking about similar subjects. Reach out to them by leaving thoughtful comments and suggestions. This will peak their interest and motivate them to visit your blog. You’ve got to give love to get love. Let us know what you enjoy seeing in a blog post in the comments section and happy blogging!

Blog it, DANNO!

by Chris Bass, Director

As an author you have many choices on how to market your book, but like many of us your time is limited and unfortunately you don’t have an unlimited supply of cash.  So the question becomes, how can you make the highest and best use of your limited resources (time and money) to develop a relationship with your readers?

Welcome, to the world of blogging.  A blog provides an outlet where you can engage your readers, share your opinions, expertise and even excerpts from your book.   It is one element of social media outreach that can put you on a path to achieving 1000 True Fans. Imagine 1000 people following you, your ideas and your work, not a bad way to make a living.

So, for someone who is just starting out, what are the key components to producing a blog that people will tell their friends and acquaintances about?

  • Be consistent – set up an editorial calendar and follow it (at least one post every other week is a good start)
  • Identify what you are an expert in or where you have a particular point of view and write about it
  • Link to other thought leaders in the industry, who share your interests
  • Don’t give up, it takes time to build an audience

This is by no means intended to be a comprehensive list, but a good starting point.  There are several tools you can use set up your blog and as Seth Godin, best selling author, points out in a recent post the best way to learn blogging is to do it.