What Kind of Content Should You Create?

What Kind of Content Should You Create?

The holidays are long behind us. What’s more, Punxsutawney Phil let it be known today that it’s going to be a short winter. Spring is on its way. Looks like we’re all out of excuses for failing to create valuable content. We’d better get on that. But …

What Kind of Content Should You Create?

Your focus depends on whether you are a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) concern. Fellow writers, we are solidly B2C (unless you’re writing business books). Common to both, however, is this: Writing is a business. And if you want to connect with your intended audience, you should be creating content on a regular basis and connecting with that audience in every way possible.

One part of your audience includes other writers, agents, editors, and those in various aspects of the publishing industry (it’s about the networking, people!). The other part is readers in your genre. If you’re already published — whether traditionally, indie, or self-published — you likely have some readers, and Lord knows you want more of them. If you’re in the as-yet-unpublished category, you need to start connecting with potential readers now, before you are published.

The infographic below is a terrific guideline for deciding which tactics you should be using. Whatever you do, don’t — let me repeat, do not — jump in and attempt every single one right off the bat. Pick one and learn everything you can about it. Get good at it. Become consistent with it. My recommendation is to start with a WordPress blog. There are a couple of good reasons for this:

Your WordPress blog is both a website and a blog, all in one place.

You never want your blog readers to have to wander away from the cozy confines of your delightful blog out into the cold, dark interwebz to visit your website. You don’t send the most important person in your (writing) life out to cruise the dive bars of cyberspace! They could get lost and never find their way back to you. Avoid this tragedy. Feather a comfy little nest for them to visit, have a cup of tea or a cocktail, enjoy your writing and learn more about you.

You own and control your blog and everything on it.

Your blog is the hub of your online presence. You create a blog post and — voila! — you now also have a Facebook post, a tweet, a Google+ post, a LinkedIn post, and numerous others through the miracle of cross-posting. Oh, that’s right, you’re not on those platforms yet … because I told you not to jump into the deep end before you knew how to swim. Good, I’m glad you were listening. But here’s the thing: When you do get going on those platforms, you’re going to be able to take those blog posts and cross-post them to your other places on the web … so that even if Facebook blows up your page, or LinkedIn becomes unlinked from our universe, or some other cosmic calamity causes your social media account to be lost forever, you’ve still got your blog.

Words to remember: Your blog is forever. Make it the home of everything important that you create for the web.

Start with your blog and build your online presence piece by piece.

Chances are, you’re one of the one-billion-plus people who have a Facebook profile This is a nice way to stay in touch with your old school chums and those relatives you’d rather not see beyond weddings and holidays. But for your business? You’re going to want to have a Facebook page. That differs from a Facebook profile in several significant ways, which we will go into in a future blog post.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and all the rest? Each has its own merits. Yup, sounds like another blog post coming on.

To make sure you don’t miss these and other posts that can help you be a better self-marketer, be sure to subscribe to receive notifications of future blog posts by using the box at the top of the right-hand column.

INFOGRAPHIC - What Content Types Should You Create

Social Media Image Sizes 2016

Social Media Image Sizes 2016

You know the old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”? Well, sometimes things just change, period. And in the world of social media, whether you use it for marketing or just keeping in touch with friends and family, it’s a whole lot easier if you have a cheat sheet to refer to when it comes to acceptable and recommended social media image sizes.

Ta-da! Thanks to the good folks at SLR Lounge (a photo site my photographer hubby and I like), you now have one.

(NOTE: There is one change to this infographic you should be aware of. Instagram image size used to be 640px by 640px but in July 2015 switched to 1080px by 1080px to keep up with Retina and other high resolution displays available on smartphones, tablets and laptops.)

Social Media Image Sizes

Life is Short

Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

This week officially begins a new chapter for me.Life is Short

Just a little over two years ago, I sat down to write a novel, something I’d been wanting to do for a long while. It got off to a rocky start; I ended up with three distinct beginnings to three very different stories, and there I sat: stuck. So I signed up to work with an accomplished writer and editor for eight weeks and received the kind of guidance and feedback that helped me push through. I found my story. I figured out who my main character really is, what she wants, and what she doesn’t even know she wants. I was on my way. What a relief!

However, right around that same time, (more…)

Google and the Great Gmail Switcheroo

Google thinks you’re stupid.

Frustrated with GoogleIf you are a Gmail user, you may have noticed (or will soon notice) that Google thinks you can’t manage your own email.

Google has inexplicably decided to separate your Gmail inbox into separate “tabs,” and THEY will decide what goes into each tab. What this means is (more…)

How to Keep Your Email List Happy

Email ListThe money is in the list.

If you publish an email newsletter or do any other kind of email marketing, you know how precious your list is – and you’ve probably heard me talk about this before.

Today I wanted to share with you a way to be sure your list remains eager to hear from you and engages with you in a meaningful way – and, in fact, makes it easier for you to provide just the information they’re looking for!

I’m going to assume that, like my own, your list was built on IRL (in real life) relationships and voluntary opt-ins. I’m going to further assume that you’ve never purchased an email list, “scraped” email addresses from websites, or obtained email addresses in any other [ahem] less-than-desirable way.

If so, you’ve set a high standard for yourself, and I applaud you.

Along with impeccable ethics, I’m betting you’ve also set a high bar for yourself when it comes to meeting and even exceeding your readers’ expectations. You realize that you really have to strive for quality information, a reasonable publishing schedule, and content that engages in every single communication. You know that the last thing you want to do is alienate an audience that’s CHOSEN to spend time with you! They’re counting on you to deliver on the promises you made when they signed up.

So, I have a revolutionary idea to propose, and it’s something almost no one else is doing, so you’ll really stand out if you follow through with this: (more…)