Each Sunday, I will endeavour to provide you with a curated list of the best articles I have seen throughout the week that relate to building your platform.
The featured articles cover topics on book marketing and promotion, blogging, social media and self-publishing. (I may even throw in a few inspirational and fun posts, just so that its not all work and no play!)
Engineer Your Best Year Ever
I’ve just recently returned from an amazing 5 day stay in Vegas for the New Media Expo conference and WOW!
What a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the companyand experience the charismaof some of the top bloggers, podcasters and new media experts killing it online today.
And although the conference boasted some pretty big names, the majority of the energy and inspiration could be felt in the halls, between presentations, from the teeming masses of average Joe’s, bursting with excitement at the possibilitiesthe potential that awaits for those of us just getting started.
If you’ve experienced a conference, you probably know what I mean. It is immensely motivating to surround yourself with a group of like-minded, passionate and intentional people. People who speak your language.
I know for us often introverted writers, the idea of “networking” at a conference sounds downright harrowing, but from one wallflower to another, it’s worth it. 😉
There were a few key takeaways from the conference that I will leave you with before jumping into the featured articles this week.
One of the most significant came from Lee Odden, author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing:
“Stand for something.”
How do you want to be known? Be specific about who you are, what you can offer and what you stand for.
Another important point came from author, digital media analyst and speaker, Lynette Young. She cautioned against the myth of the overnight success, andusing an iceberg analogysuggested that most people’s “success” lies under the water line.
The majority of the work, effort and growth happens below the surface. The more ice (fame, popularity, influence, success) you see above the water line, the bigger the iceberg (or the greater the effort) unseen below the suface.
On and off-line businessman, Chris Ducker shared:
“When you build the business of you, nobody can copy it. It’s 100% original. Your audience will determine what the business of you actually becomes.”
And my new favourite Canadian, Scott Stratten of Unmarketing, insisted that we:
“Stop marketing and start engaging. Focus on what matters, and not on what’s new.”
According to Scott, marketing only happens when you’ve created something that people want to talk about.
He also noted that:
“It takes the same amount of effort to be awesome as to be an ass.”
I think I know which direction I’ll take…
Skip the New Year’s resolutions this year and focus on what drives you. What do you stand for and what goals and plans can you make that will move you forward in your career as a writer?
Pinpoint what matters and spend the majority of your time there. Create something that matters.
Don’t pollute what could happen with what has (or hasn’t) happened in the past. Set your goals just outside your comfort zone, be specific and write them down.
Go for awesome! 🙂
Now on to the featured articles of the week!
How to Write a Blog Post That Wins Your Audiences Undying Loyalty from Sophie Lizard at Firepole Marketing
In this article, Sophie shares with us one of the keys to marketing success: building a devoted audience of raving, hardcore fans! Learn the “three distinct phases to creating a blog post that captures hearts and minds”.
7 Cool Bloggers to Watch in 2014 from Mary Jaksch at A-List Blogging
A huge honour for me to be included this year on Mary’s list of bloggers to watch, although my boys would scoff at her use of the word “cool” to describe their Mom in any way…
Marketing is Easy, Writing is Hard from James Scott Bell at The Kill Zone
James shares his five simple steps to book marketing, whilst reminding us to “work on [our] writing and don’t gamble.” 😉
An Open Letter to Writers Struggling to Find Their Courage from Jon Morrow at Boost Blog Traffic
Some serious tough love via Mr. Jon Morrow, calling us out on our excuses and demanding we find the courage to write.
Don’t Anyone Put Me in Charge from Hugh Howey at HughHowey.com
Hugh explores how major publishers could emulate self-published authors and how he would “blow the doors off [his] competitors and become the #1 publisher in the land…” I dig this guy! 🙂
100+ Website That Pay Writers from Carol Tice at Make a Living Writing
A carefully curated list of nearly 120 websites and blogs that pay for guest posts. Why not get a little attention for your writing AND get paid while you do it?
It’s Not Just One Book. Your Rights and How to Exploit Them from Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn
Discover how your manuscript can go from one, to many streams of income through rights exploitation. (Yippee!)
50 Websites Every Author Should Bookmark in 2014 from Wise, Ink
A fantastic resource for writers, with everything from content tools and marketing resources, to author community sites and writing/publishing blogs.
12 Most Community Driven Ways to Build a Successful Digital Tribe from Paul Biedermann at 12 Most
What makes a digital tribe tick? In this article, Paul shares twelve ideas that are critical for building successful online communities.
How To Design a Custom Opt-in Form Without a Plugin – Part 4 from Marianne Manthey at Design Your Own Lovely Blog
A super helpful, four-part tutorial on how to style sidebar opt-in form boxes using CSS.
20 Example Blog Media/Press Kits for Your Inspiration from Jeni at The Blog Maven
Looking for ways to rock your media kit? Check out this post of goodies to help you get inspired.
How to Get Paid to Write for Magazines The Ultimate Guide from Linda Formichelli at Boost Blog Traffic
Linda shares not only why you should be writing for magazines, but also the nuts and bolts process for creating a “kick-ass” query letter and whereor rather, whomto send it to.
202 Bite-Sized Tips To Insanely Increase Your Blog Traffic from Ana Hoffman at Traffic Generation Cafe
No more grumbling about the ghost town that is your author blog! Try a few (or twenty) of Ana’s traffic generating tips, and watch your readership numbers start to climb.
A Simple Guide to Creating Social Media Sharing Links for Your Ebooks from Magdalena Georgieva at HubSpot
Encourage your readers to share your content by adding social media sharing links in your ebooks. (Can’t wait to try this out!)
How To Create a Rock-Solid Tag Line That Truly Works from James Chartrand at Copyblogger
Struggling to come up with the perfect tag line that encapsulates the essence of what you and your work are all about? Check out this article for tips and inspiration.
3 Book Marketing Projects to Tackle in 2014 from Toni (the geek) at Duolit Self-Publishing
Pick your project. Or better yet, do all three. 2014 is the year for you to get serious about your writing career!
The Feedback You’ve Been Waiting For from Seth Godin at Seth Godin’s Blog
The difference between applause, snark and genuine feedback.
Just For Fun
The zany Chase Reeves of Fizzle.Co (formerly Think Traffic), delivers his tips for creating content faster and “better-er”.
What great things will you do this year? What goals have you set for yourself that are just a bit outside your comfort zone? Share them in the comments below, and let’s raise our virtual champagne glasses to our best year yet!
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Top photo via hotblack