Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Thursday, September 3, 2015

When Ideas Run Dry, But The Blog Deadline Beckons

Filed under: Author Tips,Blogging,Blogging Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

A well-written and regularly updated blog is a great marketing tool for variety of reasons.

A blog drives people to your website, helps you build your personal or company brand, and allows you to develop a relationship with customers or readers.

A&SIdeasRunDryBut let’s face it, the blog that you vowed to update every two or three weeks can seem like another mind-numbing chore as time passes and your enthusiasm wanes.

What’s worse is that, pretty soon, you start running out of material. After all, you already covered everything obvious and worthwhile, right? What’s left to write about?

Plenty, as it turns out. You just need to put yourself in a position to attract great ideas and snag them as they whiz by. Let me nudge you in a few directions that should help feed the blog beast that haunts your doorstep every couple of weeks or so.

One thing we do regularly at EMSI, and you should, too, is follow the daily news to see what’s creating a stir nationally, internationally or within your industry. For example, the debate over whether the mountain in Alaska should be called Denali or Mt. McKinley could be fodder for someone who blogs about mountain climbing, the outdoors or, perhaps, presidential history.

You also should check social media to see what topics have people the most excited. Twitter and Facebook track trending topics that are generating a lot of buzz, and those could provide jumping off points for your next blog entry.

I would also suggest that stealing from yourself is perfectly acceptable. Revisit old ideas from blogs past, but give them a fresh approach. Even newspapers and magazines will resurrect topics they previously wrote about, wagering that few readers will care or recall that the same subject was explored two or three years ago. You can do the same.

And remember, there’s no need to wait until the last minute to start formulating ideas. Keep an ongoing list, adding to it whenever a topic pops into your head.

Once you decide on a topic, here are a few tips for fleshing it out into a quality blog entry and for attracting the greatest number of readers:

Online searches are your friends. Background information about your topic is just a search phrase away using Google or another search engine. Look for real-life examples or recent news on your subject to add depth and reinforce your point of view. Just make sure your sources are legitimate. You will want to cite those sources, too, because that will add to the credibility of your post.

BLOGcartoonStatistics, studies and surveys. Specific numbers and recent studies also bolster the points you want to make. You could, for instance, write that “there are a lot of libraries in the U.S.” But it’s less vague and more impressive to write: “The American Library Association estimates there are 119,729 libraries in the U.S.” While you can often track down surveys, studies and data with a general Google search, you also can zero in on specific websites. For example, if you are writing about a medical topic, the Centers for Disease Control provides numerous statistics about how many people suffer from various maladies.

Integrate SEO keywords. People search the Internet using keywords or phrases they hope will uncover articles or websites with the information they want. The more you understand which keywords could bring the highest amount of traffic to you, the better, so research what might work best. You can integrate those keywords into a headline or the body of the blog entry. Keywords shouldn’t be too generic, though, or else your blog will be lost in a blizzard of other blogs, websites and news articles that use the same words.

Coming up with and carrying out great blog ideas on a regular basis certainly presents a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

How do I know? I’m always on the lookout for ideas myself. For example, at EMSI we noticed that many bloggers were on the Internet discussing the struggles they have generating ideas.

And, voila, I had a topic for this week’s PR Insider!

BONUS Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

P.S. from Larry James ~ Blogs are also a great tool for launching a publicity campaign! If you need help getting the greatest mileage out of your blogs, give her a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215 or simply reply to this e-mail: prinsider@emsincorporated.com

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Should All Authors Blog?

Rachelle Gardner, Guest Author

A few years ago, the standard wisdom was that authors, both fiction and non-fiction, should have blogs in order to gather an audience and build relationships with readers. Now, not so much. As social media and online marketing have evolved, my thoughts on blogging have changed. I think each author needs to carefully consider whether blogging is an appropriate vehicle for them based on:

whattoblog1. If they can do it well;

2. If they enjoy it; and

3. If their writing career can benefit from it.

If blogging doesn’t suit you, don’t spend too much time trying to make it work.

Why aren’t blogs the appropriate vehicle for all authors?

The proliferation of blogs in the last five years has made it increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowd.
Many authors are blogging faithfully but it doesn’t seem to be increasing readership of their books.
Many authors seem to be blogging to an audience that’s mainly other writers.
Many authors have a hard time figuring out what their blogs should be about (mostly fiction authors).
So, how do you decide if you should have a blog? Here are my thoughts:

Have a blog if:

1. You have something important to say and it seems people want to hear it.

2. You understand that blogging is about offering something of value, NOT about promoting yourself and your books.

3. You enjoy blogging (for the most part, anyway).

4. You find blogging contributes to your creativity and enthusiasm for writing your books, rather than sucking all the energy out of you.

5. You can find the time for blogging without it completely stressing you out.

6. Your books have a highly defined target audience, making it easy to target your blog.

7. Your books are topical (especially non-fiction), so that you have a clear and obvious theme for your blog.

Don’t have a blog if:

1. You keep asking yourself and others, “But what should I blog about?”

2. You only want to blog to promote your books and/or because you think you “have to.”

3. The whole idea stresses you out.

4. You honestly don’t have the time in your schedule to blog regularly.

5. You’ve been blogging for a year or more, and haven’t built up to a traffic level that seems worth it.

Nowadays there are numerous alternatives to blogging when it comes to online networking and promotion.

For example:

E-mail newsletters
Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., more effectively
Leveraging all the various ways Goodreads offers for promoting books
Learning how to attract a readership through Pinterest & Instagram
Having an effective LinkedIn profile page
Connecting with readers on Google+

Copyright © 2012 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent. Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books and Such Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. She’s looking for mainstream commercial projects for both the Christian and general markets. In non-fiction and memoirs, she looks for authors with established platforms, strong marketing hooks and an understanding of how to use social media. Non-fiction authors must have a book proposal and three sample chapters to be considered. She’s also seeking all kinds of fiction, and authors must have a completed manuscript to be considered.

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

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