Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blogging Seminar

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida

I'm teaching a seminar today entitled "Sucessful Blogging".   Below are the seminar notes.

Successful Blogging
Thousands millions of people find it easy to start a blog, then quit after only a few postings.  They failed.

To count yourself as successful, either:
You make a lot of money or gain professional status.
Hint: 10,000+ readers needed to make money.
Or:
You enjoy writing and don’t burn yourself out.
And:
Your readers enjoy reading, and keep coming back.
Dick’s Blog
~2500 posts
~500 readers/~20 archival readers

This Seminar
Part 1: What to blog
Part 2: How to blog



Choose the Right Media
Status for concerned family & friends --- Arrived safely Bimini
·         Use Twitter or texting
Pictures and short descriptions. Sharing experiences with friends.   “Enjoying cocktails at sunset.
·         Use Facebook or Pinterest
Email newsletter (old fashioned)
Transient Value
Archival Value
Varied content things you enjoy writing and readers enjoy reading.  e.g. compare to a newspaper daily column
·         Use a blog.
Substantial content regarding a single theme or story.
·         Write a book.



How To Bore Readers
·         We are here having a wonderful time (and you’re not)

·         Too narrow ideas of what to blog, leading to repetition and predictability with regard to comment.

·         Too loose ideas regarding frequency of publication.

·         Failure to put yourself in the reader’s shoes.
o   Non-real-time readers
o   Skimmers & Cherry Pickers
o   Hurried readers
o   Leisure readers
o   Fans

Writer’s tip: Visualize the target audience for each piece.




How To Burn Yourself Out
·         Writing as a chore rather than a labor of love.

·         Rewriting/reformatting for Blog + Facebook + Twitter

·         Too narrow ideas of what to blog, leading to repetition and predictability.

·         Expectations over and above having fun.



Hosting Choice
1.   Blogger (Google)  ß Dick’s choice & experience
2.   Wordpress ß Very popular
3.   Others ß Fragmented & maybe insecure





Important Host Considerations
1.   Editing/submission
a.   Email submission (such as via SSB radio)
b.   WYSIWYG, scheduled date/time, save drafts
c.      Supports pictures/videos
2.   Allow comments
a.   Spam filter
b.   No approval needed
3.   Templates/desktop-mobile templates
4.   Statistics and reports
5.   Gadgets
a.   Polls, lists, follow email,     popular, search, archive, …
6.   Archive/backup
a.   Export/import   (migrate hosts)
b.   Export to book.
c.       Save your own backups
7.   Security & Attack immunity

Unimportant Ideas/Bad Ideas
1.   Your own domain name
2.   DIY hosting
3.   Web site rather than blog
4.   Time invested in formatting text or pictures
5.   Hyperlink circles
6.   Non-original content
a.   Facebook/reddit/buzzfeed… zillion competitors
7.   Things you may regret
a.   Personal info
b.   Dear diary
c.      Complaints/insults
d.   Use of people’s full names
e.   If your grandchildren read it.
f.       If your post becomes a news item



Making a Book From Your Blog
Google “blogger book publisher”.  You will find numerous sites that do it at a reasonable price and with minimal work.

Length of the book is critical. 
·         150 pages is optimal
·         dickandlibby.blogspot.com crashes all know blog-to-book tools because of far too many pages.
·         Separating the wheat from the chaff may be your biggest challenge.
Beware! Spelling and grammar standards are higher for books than for blogs.
Making Kindle Books is also easy


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