Turn Your Blog into a Book Production Machine with Nina Amir 

I recently interviewed Inspiration to Creation Coach Nina Amir as part of my Conversations with Frances series. We talked about blogging, how to blog a book, and what blogging has done for Nina’s life and career. Be sure to listen to the webinar. I’m certain you’ll learn a lot.

Here are a few notes from this webinar with Nina Amir:

What did blogging do for Nina Amir’s life?

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Blogging Got You Down? Follow These 6 Steps

Blogging Got You Down? Follow These 6 Steps by Frances CaballoI’ve heard so many questions about blogging that I decided to address them today. 


6 Steps to Better Blogging

Let’s raise the curtain on the issue of blogging, shall we?

You know you should write your blog posts weekly but for some reason you feel writing new posts can feel akin to writing essays about the importance flossing.

Am I right? Guess what? You’re not alone. Plenty of authors feel this way.

There are more of you than you might think. Sure, when you look at other author blogs you think to yourself, “Geez. Their blog is great. They  must love to write those posts.”

Here’s a little secret. There are a lot of you who detest it. I have a colleague, and she publishes her blog posts every Saturday. By Thursday, I hear her complain, “I have to go home and try to figure out what to blog about next. Sheesh!”

See? You’re not the only one.

Learn how to refreshen older content for today's readersClick To Tweet

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What I’ve Learned about Blogging (the Hard Way)

3-2-15 Content is king by Frances CaballoFirst, I owe you an apology.

I should have known better than to write a blog post about the San Francisco Writers Conference.

It’s a great conference – the largest writers conference on the West Coast – but it wasn’t appropriate for me to promote the conference on my blog (even though the organizers wanted me to).

And it wasn’t right for me to accept a blog post about mobile marketing that did not directly address my readers, Indie authors.

Furthermore, after posting my show notes on Fridays for several weeks, I suddenly switch to an older format. That wasn’t right either.

So I’m apologizing to all of you who have been reading my blog and subscribing to it and expecting the type of content you have become accustomed to reading.

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How Hurry Kills Good Books

1Today’s guest post is by Blake Atwood.


The Tyranny of Hurry in Writing and Publishing: A Plea for Patient Writing

In Story, Robert McKee’s modern classic on storytelling, he says what I believe many writers—and especially self-publishers—need to hear: “Too many struggling writers never suspect that the creation of a fine screenplay is as difficult as the creation of a symphony, and in some ways more so.”

Though composing a screenplay differs from writing a novel in significant ways, what McKee prescribes holds true for creators of all kinds. To do good work—even great work—we ought to be more patient with ourselves and our creations.

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Blogging, Twitter Tips and Resources for Indie Authors

9-5-14 640

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for the weekly Roundup of the week’s best posts. I hope

Blogging, Twitter Tips and Resources

32 Web ‪Writing Tips for Better Blog Posts and Social Media Posts, Buffer Blog: Content Crafter Kevan Lee joined us for #Bufferchat to talk about the unique nature of writing for the web. Check out the full Storify recap here, and continue reading for 32 web writing tips from Kevan and the community about how to write successful blogposts, tweets, status updates, and more.

20 Simple Tips for Writing a Blog Post that Begs to be Read, Jeff Bullas: On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire article.

Top 30 Websites for Indie Authors, Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts: Trying to build your writing and publishing career is a challenge. There’s a lot of information out there, and trying to discern a solid piece of advice from fluff or inaccurate data isn’t always easy. We are lucky to know a lot of really outstanding industry people who offer great insights, super tips, and valued feedback on a variety of marketing topics and publishing options. Here’s our list of the top 30 blogs and bloggers we really respect. We hope you’ll follow them, too!

4 Ways Authors Can Rock on Twitter by Frances Caballo, on Joel Friedlander’s blogOver the years, I’ve learned how to improve metrics on this platform, and I’m going to share with you four key steps to rocking on Twitter.

Secrets to a Powerful Blog Post by Rebekah RadiceAs a blogger, finding the right words can make all the difference. And today, with more than 152 million blogs on the Internet, that difference can determine your success.

Blogging Just for Writers by Frances CaballoBlogging Just for Writers: Written for new and experienced bloggers, this book provides, tips, ideas for topics and a review of the best blogging applications.

 

 

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

8 New Blogging Rules for Writers

9-1-14 400If you read Search Engine Watch you might have seen 8 Blogging “Rules” You Should Probably Ditch. It was a catchy title that easily tempted me to find out which hallowed blogging rules I could now drop.

Here are the “old” blogging rules and the corrections.

8 New Blogging Rules for Writers

1. Post Five Times a Day to Increase Traffic

I’d never heard of this rule, thank goodness. I don’t think I would have had time to write my books if I’d been focused on writing five blog posts a day. What I have heard, and I believe it still holds true, is that bloggers need to be consistent. If you can only add new posts once a month – which isn’t ideal – then stick to your schedule.

However, if possible, attempt to post once a week at a minimum. If you can squeeze in another post and write twice a week, that would be ideal.

Sign up for Google Analytics to determine how your posting frequency affects traffic. Does posting twice a week double your weekly traffic? If you post three times a week, does this triple your traffic or does it not have any affect? Review your analytics to determine how the frequency of your posts impacts your website traffic.

2. Leave Blog Comments

Apparently, Copyblogger no longer accepts comments on its blog. It instead encourages its followers to start a dialogue about a post on social media. Alternatively, followers can start a conversation on their own blogs and refer back to Copyblogger.

This doesn’t make sense to me. A blog post is the start of a conversation that continues in the comments. To take the conversation elsewhere seems to defeat the purpose of creating a community around the blog.

Copyblogger cited spam as a reason for its new policy and this is understandable. However, you can use a plug-in to quarantine those messages. Or you can do what The Future of Ink has done; they installed a Google+ plug-in for its followers. The comments then appear on the blog and on each follower’s Google+ account. CHECK THIS

3. Outsource Your Blog to a Professional

As someone who writes blog posts for clients, you might think that I am going to be biased and say, “Of course you can outsource your blog posts.” Well, I’m not.

It’s always best to write in your own voice and no one can do that better than you. If you have trouble fitting blogging into your life, then hiring a professional to write it for you is a better than not having a blog at all.

If you decide that you don’t have time to write your posts then I suggest that you work closely with the professional writing articles for you. For example, my clients and I discuss article topics and agree to an editorial calendar. Before writing the post, I check in with the client to ascertain I’m still on the right track.

After I write the post, my clients review what I’ve written before I add it to their websites. This is their opportunity to edit and revise it as they see fit.

4. Always Write 100% Original Content

Writing original content trumps repurposing, but that takes time. If you wrote a nonfiction book, rewrite and update the chapters as blog posts. If someone wrote an article about some great tools for writers, select the ones you like the best and write a post about them. Your content doesn’t always have to be 100 percent original.

9-1-14 blogging rules

 

5. Not Every Post Needs to Have an Image

This is a rule that needs to be tossed with the trash. Always use images on your blog and when possible, use more than one. We are increasingly moving toward a visual social platform so don’t get left behind by neglecting to include a variety of imagery with each of your blog posts.

6. Stick to One Type of Format

You might have noticed that I included a short video in one of my recent posts. Soon, I plan to start podcasting and will include a link to those recordings here on my blog. Use video, SlideShare and other forms of media on your blog to reach a wider audience.

7. Write a 500-Word Blog Post

I have never subscribed to this rule. My posts tend to run about 750 to 800 words. I’ve even written 2,000-word posts for Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer. The length of your blog post should be dictated by how long it takes to cover your chosen topic. Just like your book.

8. Don’t Publish Your Articles on Third-Party Sites

I have completely ditched this rule. As soon as LinkedIn made publishing an option, I started adding my blog posts. Within six weeks, I more than 2,000 people following my blog on LinkedIn. So if you write a blog, don’t forget to add it to this platform.

There is a caveat to this new rule and I suggest you follow the advice from Search Engine Watch: “Promote your content on reputable third-party sites, which provide a link back to where content was originally published, and also give an author bio tied in to your G+ profile. You can wait a week or two before giving your content for republishing. That’s enough time for search bots to know where and when the original article was first published. Include links within your article that point back to your site to drive traffic.”

What blogging rules do you adhere to?

Social Media Time Suck Final 200

Learn time-saving tips with this book!

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

 

Blogging & Social Media Tips for Writers

8-29-14 blog-400This week’s Roundup includes two posts from Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard because we can all learn a great deal from this talented blogger. Don’t miss the post by Denise Wakeman on how to turn your written content into video. Content is king and video is a super way to deliver it. We have so much to learn from her. There are also great posts from Rachel Thompson — with social media tips for writers — and HubSpot. Enjoy!

How To Turn Your Written Content Into Video Content by The Future of Ink: When it comes to marketing, content is still king. Content drives sales of your products and services, and keeps your customers engaged in your business. However, content is also a hungry beast that must be fed – constantly. In order to stay visible and relevant, you have to continue to “feed the beast” and consistently crank out new content and material. That’s why it’s such a great idea to r epurpose your existing content and give your old material new life.

20 Top Productivity Tools For Bloggers: Increase Your Productivity Immediately by Blogging Wizard: I don’t have time. Have you ever said this to yourself or to someone else? I’m sure most of us have at some point in time, even the best of us. It’s a self-limiting belief which stops us from being more productive. It’s not that we don’t have enough time, it’s that we need to find ways to do more with the time we have. In this post I will show you tools to help you become more productive. Whether you want to stay focused while writing, organize your time better or automate tedious tasks.

8 Blogging “Rules” You Should Probably Ditch by Search Engine WatchAs with everything digital, blogging is an evolving field. What was once an accepted blogging practice may just not work in today’s changed landscape. So it may be time to sit back and evaluate whether generally accepted blog best practices still apply to you or not.

The Most Effective Social Media Channel Is… by Rachel Thompson for BookPromotion.com: Easy: the one you like to use the most! Sounds basic and simple, but with all the advice flying around about ‘author platform’ and being everywhere at once (not possible, I’ve tried), what’s an author to do?

How To Make Every Piece Of Blogging Advice More Effective by Blogging Wizard: There’s a fatal flaw in the way we apply advice about blogging. It’s gotten to a point where the lines are blurred. We are applying advice, it’s not working and we’re giving up. Or in some rare cases we apply advice that does more harm than good. But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an approach we can take to help us focus our efforts and make the advice we’re given work for us. In this post I’ll show you how.

How to Get People to Read Your Entire Blog Post by HubSpot: Once upon a time, you wrote an article. It was a good one. It took you four and a half hours, required a ton of research, and maybe cost you a very late night. After you wrote the article, proofread it, edited it, added images, and published it, you felt good about yourself. Clicking the “publish” button gave you a huge sense of satisfaction. Then, you sat back to wait for the accolades, the reads, the shares, the engagement, the fame. Let me interrupt this fairy tale with a cold, hard fact. Most of the people that see your article won’t read the whole thing.

Avoid Social Media Time Suck Final by Frances Caballo

Does social media take up too much of your time? This book is filled with time management tips and apps to save you time.

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

Blogging, Video and Bookselling Tips from Penny Sansevieri

8-8-14It’s August yet it feels like fall here in Sonoma County, which is located about 55 miles north of San Francisco. The mornings are dreary, the dew is heavy, and lately we’ve had very little sun. We’re definitely feeling the dog days of summer. (I love dogs, by the way.) However, these posts did brighten my week and I hope you enjoy them too.

26 Ways to Bring Your Blog to Life from Entrepreneur: We all want more engagement on our blog posts. I mean traffic numbers are nice, but when no one comments or shares your posts, you just feel so alone. (Is anyone listening to me!?) User interaction is the soul of a blog. Not only does it help build your confidence, but it could help turn your blog into a cash cow. Here are 26 ways to bring life to your blog.

How to create a video with PowerPoint from Build Book Buzz: Confession time: I view creating videos as a necessary evil. It’s not something I look forward to, and that’s not just because good hair days don’t come around very often.

Never Sell Your Book: Tip #16 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book from Author Marketing Experts, Inc.: So you’re all ready to promote your book. You’ve got a great press kit, a polished bio, and a letter-perfect press release. Now you’re ready to sell, sell, sell, right? Wrong. One of the biggest mistakes authors make is selling their book. Remember it’s not about the book; it’s about what the book can do for the reader.

Twelve Things You Should Do on Your Personal Google+ Account Right Now from KISSMetrics: Like it or not, Google+ is becoming more important in the digital marketing landscape. Google+ is not just a Facebook redux. Instead, it comprises a huge part of the social milieu of your online existence. Google+ has subtly creeped into your emailing, browsing, article writing, creating Google+ business pages, and a variety of other activities across the web.

13 Ways to Impress an Agent from Books & Such : You’ve been trying to crack the code for getting an agent’s attention, whether in a query or a face-to-face meeting. You’ve been searching high and low for the secret to making an agent sit up and say “Wow!”

 

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

p align=”center”>Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

photo credit: A Guy Taking Pictures via photopin cc

Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging & Marketing for Writers

7-25-2014 social mediaDeciding which social media network will best help you reach your demographic can feel like walking into a cupcake bakery and trying to decide which of the 150 varieties of calorie-packed treats you’d like to try. They all sound good and look great, but which one is right for you? If you find yourself in this quandary, I have good news for you. One, you’re not alone; we can all feel this way at times. Secondly, below is a list of posts that can assist you with your social media marketing. As for the cupcakes, I suggest buying as many as your diet allows – and always purchase the ones with chocolate in the ingredients.

15 Twitter Tips That Get More Retweets, Favourites And Clicks [INFOGRAPHIC] from All Twitter: Did you know that tweets with images generate 150 percent more retweets, 89 percent more favourites and 18 percent more clicks than those without? What if I told you that tweets with hashtags are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted, that links placed 25 percent of the way through a tweet receive the most clicks and that an average tweet will receive half of its total retweets in the first 24 minutes? This visual from Social Marketing Writing features 15 different Twitter statistics you probably don’t know, but should.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch from Buffer Blog: When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there. I’d imagine that a social media marketing plan could feel the same way.

How To Target an Audience (And Avoid Book Launch Flop) from Writer Platform: One of the biggest mistakes writers make as fledgling authorpreneurs is believing that the larger the potential market, the greater the chances that their book (or freelance services) will get noticed.

20 Expert LinkedIn Guides from Business 2 Community: LinkedIn has made dramatic changes to its platform over the past 18 months, making what was a rather plain but effective business networking tool into a content-rich, visually dynamic, more interactive professionally-focused social network.

Poet Robert Lee Brewer On SEO For Writers from Original Content: I have made several attempts to understand search engine optimization (SEO), and I’ve gotten as far as understanding that I need search engines to find this blog and my website. It’s the keyword research that I found so confusing. I tried going to those on-line tools that are supposed to help you find the best keywords for the text you’re using, but then I would get bogged down on whether or not I should use the most obvious keywords because everyone uses the obvious keywords, and it appeared that I shouldn’t be doing that because that would mean I was competing with lots of other people using the same keywords.

Are You Screwing Up Your Twitter Images? 7 Do’s and Don’ts to Live By from HubSpot: Images are crucial to making your marketing stand out, especially on Twitter. Ever since Twitter made photos automatically display in-stream, they’ve been helping marketers get even more results out of the 140-character social network — in fact, an A/B test we ran found that tweets with images get 55% more leads.

You may also like:

Social Media Time Suck Final 200About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

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