We had another great show titled “Blogging Ideas the Whole Year Through,” with special guest author and book marketer Tony Eldridge that was chock full of ideas to keep bloggers going all year long.
To kick things off, we consulted Search Engine Marketing Expert Susan Gilbert for a tip.
Blogging is like planting seeds; authors have a hard time sometimes coming up with ideas for their blog, they will do 1 or 2 posts and then say: nothing is happening; there aren’t a lot of subscribers, etc. But blogging is a process, it takes time and you have to keep going.
Susan said when she was self-publishing her book The Land of I Can, she really worked hard to promote the book. For two years she went to bookstores, did speaking engagements, fundraisers, Amazon promotions… she pounded the pavement and got some orders, but sales were not happening as fast as she thought they would.
In Susan’s case, the book she wrote was a 52-page illustrated gift book which she thought women would buy for themselves and to give to other women. She made sure it was available in Hallmark and other gift stores. And, after two years, that went into effect when a woman who oversaw support services for the principals of the San Diego unified school district received a copy of The Land of I Can. The San Diego unified district was about to undergo a lot of change and this woman bought 250 copies to give as a gift to each principal. In turn, the principals gave the book to teachers, who started using them in character development courses.
Now, even though it’s 10 years later, every September Susan gets large orders from schools or booksellers on behalf of school districts using the book. Publishing and promoting the book planted the seeds, and in this case it just happened that those seeds were picked up somewhere other than where Susan originally imagined. And they took it and planted it elsewhere. It’s the same idea when you start blogging – keep in mind you’re planting seeds… it takes time but it will bear fruit.
For additional resources and tips check Susan Gilbert’s website, www.susangilbert.com.
Our guest Tony Eldridge is the author of the award winning action/adventure novel, The Samson Effect, which Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure.” He is also the creator of Marketing Tips for Authors, http://blog.marketingtipsforauthors.com/, a site that publishes free tips and videos to help authors learn marketing techniques for their books. You can read the serial release of The Samson Effect at http://samsoneffect.marketingtipsforauthors.com/.
Some blogging stats:
· There are now 70 million blogs
· Approximately 120,000 are started each day or 1.4 new blogs every second
· Bloggers post an average of 17 posts per second (or 1.5 million posts per day)
When Tony started Marketing Tips for Authors, he wanted to have a blog to build his platform and to be a tool for selling his book. Before he went live with the blog Tony sat down and thought about what to talk about, not just short term, but 1-2 years down the road. Tony has a marketing background so it was natural to tap into that experience when he began the blog. The point of Marketing Tips for Authors was to share experiences and ideas, and also gather resources from other authors to share with his readers.
However, Tony notes we all hit the wall with maintaining a blog at some point; while a book has a last chapter, a blog is a never-ending project and that can be a psychological block for many.
So, where can bloggers find ideas and inspiration?
* Breaking News: blog on current events in your industry.
* Google Alerts: set Google alerts for the topics of your choice and see what others say on your topic.
* Books, Conferences, Seminars: share your experience with your readers.
* Interviews: interview an expert in your field. Experts generally love to do interviews and they will share the interview with their followers, which expands your base, too.
* Carnivals: these are posts that list links to other posts on a subject – carnival posts make it easy to keep a blog going, and you can send people to links of useful information you’ve found online. They’re easy posts to write, consisting of a sentence/link, so it’s a nice and easy feature to do regularly.
* Make Lists: people love to scan lists; “6 ways to;” “8 steps for better;” etc. – Tony says whenever he speaks or writes on subject, uses a 1., 2., 3. format … for list ideas on his blog he uses his own experiences, researches what other bloggers do, Googles topics and filters through the best ideas.
* Case Studies: break down the merits of an event & highlight the pros/cons
Complain/Praise: whether it’s Google, Twitter, Firefox, you can easily find material to comment on.
* Define buzz words: web 2.0, geotargeting, or a niche, there’s plenty to choose from.
* Schedule/write your blogs in advance: most blog platforms let you schedule posts.
* Read up on your subject in your area of expertise and blog on it.
* Take a break: use guest bloggers, run ‘best of’ posts, schedule a series – or take a break and let people know are on vacation if want to recharge.
How often should you blog?
Reexamine your post’s frequency: once a week is a good start – Tony says it’s more important to blog on a regular basis than push yourself to blog a specific number of times/week. If you blog regularly then people know when to look for your new posts. Start out couple days a week to get a rhythm going and then work up to additional days if you want.
Set posting categories: Tony uses “guest bloggers,” “book reviews,” “advice posts,” etc. He manages to blog several times a week by running a carnival one day a week, a guest blog another day, followed by how-to articles on other days and sometimes reviews. When using that kind of format for the week, Tony doesn’t feel he has the pressure of writing five original blog posts every week.
Find Guest Bloggers: to keep the continuity of your blog going – target potential guest bloggers by visiting blogs you find interesting and contact the blogger and ask if they want to share marketing success/tips with readers. Send invitations out to writers’ groups, invite your blog commenters to write a guest post; Tony says these people have a lot to share with others and are engaged.
Additional blogging ideas
* The Author Marketing Experts blog has blogging ideas for each month: http://fb.me/DqZAid4R – for instance, October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Children’s Magazine Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Gay & Lesbian History Month, National Book Month, etc. You can piggyback onto these events all year long.
* Fiction ideas: blog in character, partner with other authors so you can spread the responsibility, talk about writing (inspiration, goals, tips etc.), publishing options (self published? ebooks?).
* Other ideas: write good (catchy) headlines, do giveaways, add your blog url to your email signature line, comment on other blogs, use RSS so people can subscribe to your blog.
A blog is a very unique marketing medium that will live on – you’ll get residual traffic, you can Tweet on your blog posts and continue to build traffic that way, and once your posts are indexed in Google your blog will continue to spread online.
Special offer: 50% off of Tony Eldridge’s video e-book, “Conducting Effective Twitter Contests,” http://bit.ly/b1mqQz.
Links for additional inspiration and ideas
For over 15-years, Jim Kukral has helped small businesses and large companies like FedEx, Sherwin Williams, Ernst & Young and Progressive Auto Insurance understand how find success on the Web. Jim is the author of the book, Attention! This Book Will Make You Money, as well as a professional speaker, blogger and Web business consultant. Find out more by visiting www.JimKukral.com, and his blog, http://www.jimkukral.com/category/blog/. You can also follow Jim on Twitter http://twitter.com/JimKukral.
- The Whys and Hows of Guest Blogging (ereleases.com)
- 6 Ways to Keep Your Blog Posts Full of Fresh Content (social-media.blognotions.com)
- 7 Ways to Write Better Blog Posts (quickonlinetips.com)
- 8 Things You Can Do to be a Better Blogger (blogher.com)