Today I had the pleasure of participating in a webinar for the Book Buzzr Marketing Technologies Center. These educational webinars are provided by Book Buzzr free of charge to anyone interested in participating. They represent a great way to get focused information and tips on a specific area. Check the end of this article for a link to the next in their series, next week where I’ll be on a panel with Tom Evans.
Each webinar usually lasts 60 minutes with a panel of two to four industry professionals. One of the great things about these webinars is that participants can use the Gotowebinar.com interface to type in questions while the presentation is in progress. This makes the whole thing more interactive.
Technology Giveth, and Technology Taketh Away
Of course, like anything relying on pretty new software, telephony, internet connections and the entire world of web browsers, mistakes will happen. Glitches will spring up. Bugs will be found. It’s part of the territory.
In this case, the recording part of the software malfunctioned, so there’s no record of the webinar on Author Blogging. Freya, the Author Community Manager at Book Buzzr, has asked the panelists to reconstruct part of their presentation.
Here are the questions that were submitted by attendees, and some responses.
- A blogger finds it challenging to frequently update her blog. Do you have any suggestions for her.
It’s important that blogging is not stressful, or you won’t keep doing it. The way around the stress is to set a schedule for publishing articles on your blog and staying with it. Even if it’s once a month, write one really great article and people will look forward to it. And if you use the scheduling power of your blogging software, you can get a week or two ahead, and lose all the stress of trying to make a deadline.
- How do you find people who have the same aspirations or interests as you?
When you start a blog, you need to find the other bloggers in your niche and get to know them and their work. They will become an important part of growing your blog and finding traffic for your posts. Popular blogs and active discussion forums are places where people interested in your subject hang out. You have to hang out there, too, and your contributions in these places will start little streams of traffic to your blog.
- How do you choose a good blogging platform?
Although Blogger and WordPress.com offer free and easy blogs that you can get started on in a few minutes, consider getting a hosting account instead and installing the WordPress software. This is usually a “1-button” installation that takes about a minute. You will then own your blog and it will become an asset.
- I’m interested in reader engagement. Is it that important to get people to comment?
It’s really important for bloggers to understand how many different types of reader engagement there are. From coming across a comment of yours on someone else’s blog (very low engagement) all the way up the scale to opting into your mail list (very high engagement). There are many levels and each comes with increased trust and authority. That’s why it’s important for bloggers to offer a variety of options to readers to match their level of engagement. Commenting is a pretty high level of engagement, and it makes sense to encourage comments when possible.
- How can I get readers interested in my books through my blog?
Not by blogging about your book. The key is listening. If you go to those blogs and forums I talked about in a previous question and just read through the questions people are asking, you won’t find any people asking about your book, will you? But think about all the different ways to write about the subject of your book: what’s happening in your field right now; interviews with prominent people in your field; new technology developments or tools that affect your work; really, the list is endless. And all the writing and communicating you do on these topics will lead people to your publications.
Blogging remains the best foundation, in my opinion, for an author’s online presence. It’s the center of a hub-and-outpost strategy for social media engagement that allows you to be in control of your time and the way you engage in different arenas.
Maybe someday high schools or universities will start teaching blogging as a new and basic form of writing and content generation. I can’t think of another part of the media that’s as vibrant and fast-growing right now as the universe of blogs.
As an author you have a built-in advantage in blogging—you just have to learn a few things and get started. And no matter when you begin, you’ll be glad to put that essential plank in your author platform.
Next Book Buzzr Webinar: Register here for Marketing Your Book in an iWorld with Joel Friedlander and Tom Evans
Photo by youngthousands