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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Blogging

OWW has been running a thread on the use of blogging as a marketing tool. I resisted blogging for a long time because in the beginning the only blogs I came across were personal diaries or dirty laundry aired for public consumption.

Eventually, I found sites that contained useful information. There were blogs from writers who delivered hard-hitting market information, others who regularly gave the skinny on little known contests and markets, yet others who could disseminate aspects of writing in a way I found understandable. They became resources for me as I learned the ins and outs of the publishing industry.

Do I visit sites with personal diaries? Sure, once a week if I happen to know that person. But most of my time is spent browsing sites more relevant to my current development. Accordingly, I've tried to incorporate this blog with useful information, things I've learned, things I've heard about, and tips and tricks from the college of hard knocks. This has earned me a respectable number of visitors in return.

It's a skill unto itself to create an audience and a following for a blog.
And here's where I tell you: Do what I say and not what I (don't) do.

• Post regularly on forums that caters to the audience you care about. Careful about becoming a post whore and showboating.

• Sign all your email with your blog address as part of your signature. Microsoft Outlook will do that for you automatically.

• Visit other blogs and leave a message.

• Participate at cons, workshops and lectures. Make sure your blog address is listed prominently on their write-ups about you.

• Write articles. But only post your blog address in the bio if it's a blog that would be of interest to that particular audience.

• Make sure the big search engines have your blog listed.

• Link to other blogs. A word of caution: Link to people you want to be associated with. If the other blogger acts the ass, it becomes by extension, a reflection of you. The same goes for an exemplary blogger. Your blog is more respected just by association.

• Hand out your business cards liberally. More people visit this blog because of my business cards than any other method.

This is probably because I am so bad at posting regularly on forums or on other blogs. And the majority of my articles in print have nothing to do with writing, so those readers aren't directed here either. But I've seen these methods work for other people, and they work well if you're willing to post content that is well written, (spell checked) and interesting.

Tomorrow: Markets

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