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Authors: Boost Your Blog Posts

Posted on: October 13th, 2015 | No comments 

 

As a nonfiction author, you’re an expert on a topic—be it health care, personal finance, or neuroscience. This is what sets you apart from others and makes your blog posts more interesting. From time to time, it’s important to offer your readers a different perspective for the content you write—so you are not predictable or promotional. Here are four ways you can make your content more intriguing.

1. Offer expert critique of the hottest issue in the news if you are qualified. Alternatively, you can amplify what someone else is saying about the issue. The Ebola virus has become a major health concern and one that transcends borders. If you’re in health care, write about how to not catch viruses in general or clarify any myths about Ebola.

2. Show readers parts of the profession/work you do that they don’t know about. If you’re an expert don’t repeat the advice people get everywhere; write about topics that only you would know about from experience. For example, if you’re a venture capitalist, what do you observe about entrepreneurs in their closed-door meetings and pitches that people don’t see? If you’re a financial planner, what are some of the situations clients bring you that are most common? Think about what you see or know and offer these insights in a post.

3. Make a “best of” list. Nobody has the time to read everything, which is why “best of” lists are popular; they winnow down content into bites of information. Plus, they are fun and interesting. Think about ways you can simplify the universe of information on your topic and come up with recommendations—“5 Best Movies on Finance and Wall Street” or “5 Best Business Memoirs” or “10 Worst Book Jackets.”

4. Ask other experts in your field or a

Well-Established Authors Share Their Digital Storytelling Tactics

Posted on: October 10th, 2014 | No comments 

On my last post I talked about how first-time authors should use social media to build awareness about themselves and their work. But what about the rest of you who are advanced bloggers, Twitter users and the like? You should step it up to the next level.

This article in Mashable talks about the creative and sophisticated ways some authors are using digital and social platforms to tell stories, connect with audiences and promote their work. While these ideas make sense for authors with well-established followings and readership in fiction, first-time authors can also get some inspiration. I especially liked the idea of posting or tweeting about a variety of subjects—focusing not only on your book but also on topics that you are passionate and knowledgeable about and causes your involved in. The key being: take the time to be interesting and thoughtful.

No Author Platform? Three Ways to Get Started

Posted on: October 10th, 2014 | No comments 

I got a call recently from an agent who received a book proposal from a business professional. She liked the book idea and wanted to take it on but the prospective author had no platform. The agent wanted to know: Could I help?  It raised a good question that I think other authors frequently wonder about: How do you start from nothing?

First I went to the author’s website. He used the site mainly for speaking engagements. The design was fine, but it needed to be professionally written to market his profile and expertise.

1. If you have a website, make sure it is good. For any person or brand, think of your website as your house. It is a reflection of you and it’s the place people will go to when they want to know who you are. It’s your chance to express your value and expertise to readers so take the time to figure out how you are different from others in your space. Ask yourself: Who is your audience? What do you have to say? And watch out for typos—they will put off a reader.

After looking at his author website, I Googled his name. A fairly minimal list of results came up. The agent wanted someone to help him write and place stories and blog posts under his byline so he could start to make a name for himself. This brings me to my second point:

2. Write and place some stories on blogs, even small ones, to show off your point of view and writing. Try Huffington Post or the online version of a magazine you admire. But don’t underestimate the power of guest posting for smaller, lesser-known sites. The main point is to get your voice out there. Re-post content on your own website and share the link through your

Email Marketing and You

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 | No comments 

Major kudos to New York Times David Carr whose latest Media Equation column on email marketing,  “For Email Newsletters, A Death Greatly Exaggerated,” is immensely valuable to all of us who promote our ideas and services and a fascinating case study in how we use information as users of the Internet.    Carr spoke to the editors of popular newsletters about why they are gaining in popularity despite being the “cockroaches of the Internet,” a supposedly outmoded form of digital communication.

What a great reminder to nonfiction authors and other thought leaders that you should collect email addresses and offer newsletters targeted to your most valued audience.  A food history author can send a historic recipe each month; a personal finance guru can curate saving and retirement tips; a yoga author could send meditations and mindfulness reminders.  As Carr notes, all you need technically are services such as Mail Chimp or Constant Contact that are popular and easy to use.  Remember to be clear up front what potential signer-uppers are getting for their subscription, and make it clear that you won’t share their names or send them other stuff they don’t want.

I know how hard it is.  My own newsletter is running late.

Media Interest Growing in What It Takes to Be a Liberated CEO

Posted on: June 13th, 2014 | No comments 

We were excited when Scott Leonard, author of The Liberated CEO (Wiley 2014), hired Big Fish Media to help him and his team get the word out about this intriguing book.  Over recent weeks, media coverage has been growing, with strong interest in Scott’s program for reinventing the workplace.   Among recent developments Scott appeared for a lengthy segment on the Unfinished Business radio program aired on KNX and KFWB hosted by Renee Fraser and Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire.    Financial Advisor ran a feature summarizing his three-year sabbatical and how it applies to the book; Entrepreneur.com published Scott’s article, How You Can Recharge Your Entrepreneurial Batteries with a Working Sabbatical, Fast Company.com featured his piece, Everything You Need to Know to Become a Remote CEO, and Upstart Journal ran a feature, and an essay by Scott, as well.

And there’s far more coverage and interviews which you can check out on the liberatedceo.com’s in the press page.  Why do you think Scott’s message and strategies are connecting across a number of audiences?  I’ll discuss this in a future post.

 

Why It Wasn’t Such a Bad Winter After All

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 | No comments 

It was a harsh six months here in the Northeast. We took a pounding with a never-ending barrage of snowstorms and the freezing temps courtesy of the Polar Vortex.   But spring is here.   Finally.   It’s time for baseball and trout fishing (two of my greatest passions).

Now that the weather has lifted, I see that actually, the winter was better than I’d realized because we got a lot done for our clients—here’s just a sampling:

  • National media campaign.  Al Lewis and his writing partner Vik Khanna asked me to publicize their important work on the ineffectiveness of corporate wellness programs including the publication of their e- book Surviving Workplace Wellness.  Al and Vik make my job easier because they are so original and have so much to say on a topic that is constantly in the news cycle.  Our work began last year when we helped them get an op-ed last year in the Wall Street Journal, among others, and built on that momentum in 2014 by scoring articles and placements in Fast Company, ChiefExecutive.net, IndustryWeek. and Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Al also wrote a book with Tom Emerick and we helped them get into Fortune and placed a cover story in Workforce magazine among numerous placements.
  • Editorial development and promotion.   When we first met Scott Leonard, he had a great idea for a book about a three-year sabbatical he took from the helm of a company he founded.  We helped him develop his concept into a saleable book proposal, then steered him to a publisher.  Later, we coached him through the writing process.  The result:  The Liberated CEO came out in March, published by Wiley.  I was especially happy to see this book published because it offers such a positive message: