Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blog, Blog, Blog

I'm BLOGGING this! - MOO Sticker Design

A blog by any other name is, Free Publicity.

Why aren’t you blogging?

I have heard a lot of excuses for why authors don’t want to blog.
    "I am not good with computers."
    "It is too technical, I don’t know how to set up a blog."
    "It is too much work to maintain."
    "I can’t think of anything to blog about."
    "No one will know how to find my blog."

These are the most common excuses, but none of them need to be a deterrent.  Blog hosting providers like Google and Wordpress are developing more user friendly tools every day.  Gone are the days when you had to know a programming language to create a good looking website to promote your work.  These days blog domains are creating templates that allow inexperienced bloggers to create attractive and exciting multimedia pages.  An author can create what amounts to a decent webpage through their blog.

Take for example Blogspot.com, Google’s blog domain.

When you set up your account you not only get a front blog page, but you can also create additional pages for information  such as, About the author, a page specifically about your Books, Reviews, Virtual Touring and more.

Take a look at my blog.  I have additional pages that allow me to give focus to information I think is of value to my followers. At the bottom of my page I have a YouTube playlists of book trailers showcasing book trailers, for authors whose books I have reviewed.  I can add audio files, and link to sites that have posted my reviews.

Through investing time in creating a blog, I have gained access to all the great features that used to belong exclusively to companies and people with the cash needed to hire a web designer and techno geeks.  I have had fun finding and adding gadgets, personalizing my site to promote my work and I didn’t need to pay a site administrator to get it done. I have even posted attractive links to books on Amazon.com where followers can make purchases.  [See, look left]

Granted I like computers, but I did all of this without knowing a computer programming language, or html code, because Blogspot.com has designed it’s tools with beginner to average computer users in mind.  The same is true for most blog hosting domains.  It serves them to make it easy for users to . . . well, use.

Even if you aren't super with computers, you should be able to create an account, a basic site, and learn how to post. You can afford to play around creating a site because it doesn't cost anything to set up a blog and because you don't have to start posting until you have things the way you like them. You could, if you wanted to, but there is no pressure to start posting immediately.  Also, until you start connecting your social networking accounts to each other no one has to see your blog under construction.

The number one way to promote yourself and your book is through blogging.  Blogging allows you to communicate with fans, to answer their questions  and tell them what you want them to know. 

Many social networking sites have programs or applications which allow you to syndicate your blog, redirecting traffic to flow into your blog through links that announce automatically when you publish a post. That means once you post to your blog, an announcement rolls over to Facebook, or Linked-in, and even Twitter, letting your followers know they have something new to read. 

Subscribe buttons allow followers to receive your blog like a morning paper on their iPads, pcs, smart phones and other media devices. Where have all the newspaper subscribers gone?  Why—to  the internet, where they are reading their favorite morning blogs over a cup of Joe.

So what is really stopping any of us from capitalizing on this obviously a great promotional opportunity? Yup . . .

Fear

"It is unfamiliar territory and it sounds like hard work. I told you I hate computers!"


Let’s do it!

Let's move past our fear response and let’s familiarize ourselves with the tools.  Let’s talk about it as we go. We don’t have to go it alone. If we have a question, let’s look for answers together. 

Over the next few weeks, we will explore blogging, the best blogging practices and we will familiarize ourselves by using Blogspot.com’s tools and gadgets in creating an author blog. 

Just think about it . . .  Free Publicity.




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