Friday, September 28, 2012

Are We Shooting Ourselves In The Foot With Our Blogs?

As authors, are we prone to shooting ourselves in the foot? I would say yes, in some ways we are. Creating and keeping up a Internet presence is one thing that we can tend to put up because we are told that we need to, so we do, but we may not know exactly what to do with it.

That Internet presence, in my way of thinking, consists of our web sites, our blogs, and our presence on social media sites, such as Twitter, Face Book, and Google +. This is all time intensive, and, quite frankly, somewhat confusing. Several of my friends are backing out of one or more social media sites, so that they can focus on one or two sites that they feel comfortable navigating, and that they feel they have a foothold in. I think this is a good idea – they can always recreate their presence on whatever sites they have chosen to leave.

We are told that to develop an Internet presence, and a following, we need to blog. And we need to blog on a consistent basis, creating content that is relevant to what our work is, and to the audience/clientele that we wish to attract. It is not hard to get a blog up – there are several free blog Content can be created in several ways – by talking about what we are working on, by talking about the process we are going through to get our work out there, and by adding small tid bits of personal information that make us seem more real, more approachable.

Blogging helps us to build our platform, to firm up our “voice”, and the brand image that we wish to project to the public. Blog under the name that you want to be known by, not some cutsie, made up front that you look like you are hiding behind. Include a bio, with a pic that people can relate to. Include information on where people can contact you, and include it in a place where it is easily accessible. If people cannot find what they want right away, they will move on to someone else’s blog!

Make best use of your blog page, and include information about the work that you already have out there, as well as what you are currently working on. Back this up by placing links to wherever site visitors can go to purchase your work. Remember to place a link to your professional site – you want your site, blog, and any published work, to be connected to each other for easy access to site visitors.

Allow your visitors to comment on your blog. Moderate the comments if you want to, but a better idea, IMHO, is to allow people to post, and to remember to check your comments frequently. You do this so you can respond to whatever comments are left, and to delete the infrequent comment that just does not belong there.

Last, but not least, make your blog clean and easy to read. I hate the word “monetize”, and I will not stay to read a site or a blog that has been “monetized” with ads. I am getting older by the day, and do not want to waste my time on that!

Have fun creating your online presence. Make sure it represent who you are, the work that you do, and that it will appeal to the audiences you are trying to reach. Life is too short to have to keep redoing things!

© September 2012 Bonnie Cehovet


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