Blogging is an important part of my life. It the primary way I have built and communicate with my tribe. However, it is not the only thing I do. I’ll bet it’s not for you, either.
If you are like most bloggers, you are trying to squeeze it in between your job, your family, and a thousand other activities. It can be really tough to be consistent.
Sometimes we need to stretch ourselves outside of our comfort zones in an effort to improve our writing. But it’s not natural to make yourself uncomfortable. No one willingly jumps out of box without a bit of helpful prodding or a direct challenge.
I’m here to help.
There is something about the word productivity that makes every blogger blush deeply.
You turn on your computer, check your email and Facebook, and forget why you logged on. Forty minutes later you walk away feeling guilty and unproductive. It happens to you every single day.
The Internet is inherently unproductive. Every aspect tries to consume your attention. Your friends want you to read their updates. Apple wants you to check out their latest gadget. Google wants you to click on as many search results as you can.
A few weeks ago, an author friend of mine was preparing a proposal for his new book. He called to ask me what social media stats he should include. In other words, what would be meaningful to prospective publishers? This is a great question.
Agents and publishers are looking for authors with meaningful platforms. Most look at specific social media stats as a proxy for this. These stats include those specifically related to blogging, Facebook, and Twitter.
A few weeks ago, I started using Evernote as my primary “blogging workbench.” It is where I store blog post ideas, collect various post components, and then write the post itself. This has proven to be a robust solution that enables me to be working on several posts simultaneously.
I thought I would share my workflow with you. Yours will be different, I’m sure. But, hopefully, this will provide you with a few ideas.
Although I’ve been blogging since 2005, I still feel like a newbie, sometimes. For years, I’ve wondered, “Why is nobody reading what I’m writing?” Maybe you’ve asked the same question.
I’m beginning to discover the answer. It has to do with community.
Using social networking to promote our ideas or to sell a product or a vision can be a dangerous thing. It is so easy to fall into the whale’s mouth and exaggerate, inflate, or cover over the broken image of who we really are. In our eagerness to impress and sell, we can easily stumble and fall.
While projecting a too-good-to-be-true image may produce short-terms gains, it results in long-term disappointment. Eventually we can’t hide the truth of who we are. There is too much information already out there. The truth is that most of these people are just like you and me.
As a blogger, I love getting comments. This is one major way in which blogging is different from all other forms of writing. You get near-instant feedback. This is tremendously gratifying, but it can also be a challenge to keep up with them.
Over the last six months, I have seen my average number of comments per post double. This has been due, I think, to four reasons:
Turney Stevens is the dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Business in Nashville, Tennessee. Recently, he interviewed me on his program, “Conversations with the Dean.” We talked about the future of printed books, e-books, leadership, personal branding, and a few other topics.
More specifically, Dean Stevens asked me the following seventeen questions:
I usually get one or two emails a day from readers who have caught typos in my blog posts. Most go out of their way to apologize for bringing the subject up. Regardless, I am always appreciative. I fix the error, thank the reader, and move on.
However, on occasion, I get an email from a self-appointed member of the Grammar Police. They feel compelled, not only to point out my errors, but to chide me.
Ten days ago, I launched my 2011 Reader Survey. This is the third consecutive year I have done this exercise. I have benefited enormously each time. Ultimately, I think it also benefits you, because it helps me improve my blog and my writing.
In my original post, I promised to summarize my results. I also want to share the conclusions I have come to as a result of the data. As a point of reference, more than 1,200 people have completed the survey so far.