Monday

SEO and Marketing: Basic Tips and Definitions

In an earlier article I explained the difference between marketing and promotion. In its simplest form, promotion is a tool or strategy under the marketing umbrella. The marketing umbrella covers the creation or manufacturing of a product or service, R&D, distribution, and any other elements needed to get a product from creation to the consumer. Promotion creates visibility.

Utilizing online promotion means you will be using the internet, search engines, and SEO. SEO is the process of getting the search engines to find and rank your content. You obviously want a high ranking so when a searcher (potential customer) types in a search term (keyword) your site may be one of those on that first SERP.

Marketing and especially SEO can be confusing and seem like a daunting task to undertake, but once you understand the basics it becomes less intimidating.

SEO and Marketing Definitions

1. SEO search engine optimization: the process of creating and/or tweaking website content with the purpose of improving search engine rankings.

2. SERP – search engine results page – the page results from a search query.

3. Keyword –  any word or phrase a searcher might put into a search engine box describe or identify a product or service or information he's looking for online. When using keyword in your title, it’s important to use the keyword in the beginning of the title. Rather than use “How-to-Guide for Inbound Marketing” opt for “Inbound Marketing: A How-to-Guide.”

4. Organic Traffic or Marketing – free strategies, such as Twitter, blogging, article marketing, etc.

5. Paid Traffic or Marketing – utilizing paid/sponsored ads, such as Google adwords, etc.

6. Ranking – your position (how high up) on the SERP: the higher the better. In other words, you want to be on the first SERP, or at least within the first couple of pages.

7. Anchor text – linking to other websites and/or pages directly from text within your content. This strategy should be used to bring the reader to your products, to other related articles you’ve written, to another site that has useful information pertinent to your post, and/or to link to a site you’re mentioning.

Providing readily accessible information and links through anchor text will give your readers more “bang-for-the-buck.” It will give the reader a broader reading experience, and she will definitely appreciate it – this builds a relationship . . . and trust.

Using anchor text links will also help search engines, such as Google and Bing, relate your content to other relevant content, and create a target for searchers to hit.

One last note about SEO, keep your keywords simple and concise. And, often it’s of greater benefit to use long-tail keywords. These keywords may not get as many search hits, but they do get a much more targeted audience; this leaves you with less competition.


An example of a keyword might be, “allergy relief.” Allergy relief is a very generic and heavily used keyword. In order to make it more specific and hone in on a narrower audience/searcher, you might use, “allergy air cleaners,” or maybe, “remedies for allergies,” or, “allergy sinus medications.” You want to narrow the playing field.

TIP: It's important your content is valuable and fresh. While keywords are necessary, useable information that will help your readers is more important. This type of content will motivate readers to share. And, shareability is a now a major tool in online marketing

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More on Inbound Marketing

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Why (Some) Authors Fail - Part 3

Today is the 3rd, and final part of the article from The Book Marketing Experts Newsletter. I hope you've been following along and getting all the great information this article provides. Penny Sansevieri knows her business and it's definitely worthwhile to listen to her advice. So, without further ado, here it is.

Why (Some) Authors Fail - Part 3

By Penny Sansevieri

Not Understanding How New York Publishing Works

We may not like how the corporate publishing model works, we may find fault with it, but to understand it is to understand how the industry works. For example, knowing the publishing seasons and why Fall is the biggest time for New York publishers to launch a book and perhaps the worst time for you to send your book to market if you've self-published.

Also, know that corporate publishers don't publish to niches, or rarely do, so if you're publishing to a niche, you may have a real leg up.

As for bookstores, the big six in New York pretty much own most of the shelf space in your local Barnes & Noble, so if you're vying to get in there, you are going to have to do more than show up with a book in hand and a winning smile. You're going to have to promote yourself to that local market and gain enough interest for your book that people start asking for it in bookstores.
Understanding the corporate publishing model means knowing and researching your industry and again, not just the industry you are writing for, but the market of publishing in general. Knowing what's selling, what's not - who's buying, who's closing their doors. Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with it and you'll have a much more successful campaign.

Playing the Blame Game

If something goes wrong, own it. Unless it's really not your fault, unless you were taken for a ride somehow, swindled or whatever. Own it. Take responsibility. Here's an example. Recently an author came up to me after a class I taught and said she'd pitched 200 bloggers and only 5 of them wanted her book. What was wrong with them? Well, maybe it wasn't the bloggers at all. Bloggers are busy, busier than they've ever been so your pitch has to be strong and your book exactly right for the blogger you are pitching. If you're not getting a lot of pick up on your pitch you might need a new pitch and/or you might need a new set of bloggers. Don't assume it's someone else's fault. Investigate what happened and take a critical look at the results. If you don't feel you can be objective, hire someone to sift through the data. Assuming success eluded you because of someone else's lack of interest or follow through might be undermining your campaign and you could be missing out on important data that could really help turn your campaign around.

Believing in the Unbelievable

There are no guarantees. No one can promise book sales, fame, or Oprah. Period. End of story. If someone is promising you these things, run, or if the offer seems too good to be true it likely is. If all else fails ask someone you trust. I get folks asking me all the time about campaigns, programs, and marketing opportunities. Feel free to do the same. Whether you are working with us or not, now or in the future, I will always give you a fair and honest answer. If you'd rather go to someone else, great - but find someone whose opinion you trust and ask before signing on the dotted line.

Success is not about hard work alone, it's also about making smart, savvy choices and not being blinded by your own ambition, creativity, or ego such that it undermines your work. To be successful you need to be relentless, believe in your work and your mission but you also need to be objective, realistic, and humble. That is a successful mix for any author and in the end, isn't it really about getting the book out there? Focus on what matters. Good luck!

Helpful Resources:

Some great and helpful books:

* Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, Volume 2: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (ParaPublishing, 2009) - Dan Poynter

* The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book (Writer's Digest, 2009 or 2010) - Marilyn Ross & Sue Collier

* Doing Business by the Book: How to Craft a Crowd-Pleasing Book and Attract More Clients and Speaking Engagements Than You Ever Thought Possible - Sophfronia Scott (Advantage Media Group, 2008)

* 1001 Ways to Market Your Book - John Kremer (Open Horizons, 2009)

* Red Hot Internet Publicity - Penny Sansevieri (Cosimo, 2009)

* Get Published Today - Penny Sansevieri (Lulu Publishing, 2010)

Great Publishing Blogs

* The Self Publishing Review http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/

* POD People http://podpeep.blogspot.com/

* Nathan Bransford http://blog.nathanbransford.com/

* Moby Lives http://mhpbooks.com/mobylives/


Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.  

To read Part 1: http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2010/08/why-some-authors-fail-part-1.html

To read Part 2: http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2010/08/why-some-authors-fail-part-2.html

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NEED HELP WITH YOUR WRITING PROJECT?
I can help. Check out: http://karencioffifreelancewriter.com

Friday

Why (Some) Authors Fail - Part 2

I'm back with Part 2 of an article from The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter. As I explained in Part 1 (posted August 18th), the article is very long, so I decided to break it up for reader convenience.

Why (Some) Authors Fail  - Part 2

By Penny Sanseviere

Not Surrounding Yourself with Enough Professionals

Let's face it, your mother and immediate family will love anything you write. These are not the people who will offer you the kind of guidance that will further your career. Yes, they will (and should) love and support you through this work, but you need professionals you trust by your side giving you advice, wisdom, and direction. You don't need to keep a group of experts on retainer, but you need to know who they are so you can call on them when you need help.

Not Doing Their Research

What would you think of a store owner who opened a yogurt shop in downtown San Diego only to find that five other stores were opening within months of his, one of them a very successful franchise with a huge following? Wouldn't this make you sort of wonder why on earth this store owner would do that, I mean open a store without doing the proper research? Then why on earth would you launch head first into publishing without knowing your market - I mean the publishing market? So many authors learn the ropes after their book is out, and by then it's too late. Well, not too late really because you still have a book, but late in the sense that you can't really do anything about mistakes made and the money it's gonna cost you. There are a ton of online resources out there. Get to know them, I've listed a number of them in this article and there are more, many more. The Internet is abundant with free content. Use it.

Measuring Their Success in Book Sales

Many of you might be shaking your head wondering how I could possibly say this, but it's true. Book sales, even in the best of economic climates, are sketchy and planning your success or failure around them is a very bad way to market your book. Here's the reality: exposure = awareness = sales. The more exposure you get, the more awareness there is for the book, the more sales you may get. But this equation takes time and in the midst of this marketing many other really great non-book-sale-related things may happen. An example of this is an author who didn't really sell a lot of her books as she was marketing, but found that her speaking gigs started to pick up. Each speaking gig netted her about fifty book sales, and because of the market she was in, many of those book sales turned into individual consulting gigs that brought in much more revenue than a single book sale ever could have. Get the picture?

The other reason I say this is because book sales can be tough to calculate, many reporting agencies don't report sales for three to six months. I know this sounds crazy but it's part of the reason why publishing is such a tricky business. So, if you're doing a huge push in December and you look at your statement in January and find that you've only sold 3 books, it might be because you're looking at sales figures from September or October when you weren't doing any marketing at all.

Still not convinced? Then let me share my own story with you. As of today, Red Hot Internet Publicity has been out since July of 2009. I suspect to date it's sold 5,000 or fewer copies. Not impressive, is it? Does that number bother me? Not at all. Want to know why? Because out of the copies sold I have probably brought twenty to thirty new authors on board who will likely be authors for life. Also, I got a teaching gig at NYU because someone handed someone at NYU this book and all of a sudden - there you have it. So if I measured my success by book sales, you bet I'd be depressed. Thank God I don't. Book sales aren't what drive my success. The same should be true for you. Start measuring your success in other ways and book sales will come. I promise.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. 

You can read Part 1 here:
 http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2010/08/why-some-authors-fail-part-1.html

You can read Part 3 here:
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2010/08/why-some-authors-fail-part-3.html

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MORE ON WRITING

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~~~~~
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Wednesday

Why (Some) Authors Fail Part 1

It's guest article Wednesday, and I have a very long article from an April issue of The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter. Because of its length, I'm going to span it over three posts. And, today is Part 1.

Why (Some) Authors Fail - Part 1

By Penny Sansevieri

Sorry for the buzz kill title of this article, but instead of spreading pixie dust as many marketing articles do, I thought I'd take a hard look at the realities of self-defeating behavior and some of the things authors might buy into that will sabotage their careers. Over the years I've written a lot of articles on how to be successful, but to be successful you must first learn how to fail up, meaning that you learn from what you did wrong, take full responsibility for it and move on. Lessons in publishing are often costly, both in time and dollars. I don't presume to tell you that you should avoid making any mistakes, but many of them are avoidable. Here are a few for you to consider.

Not Learning Enough About the Industry

The first piece of this is simple: get to know the market you are in. This is a bit of a dual message because I'm not just speaking of the market you are promoting to: your area of expertise, but also to the publishing industry at large. Who else is publishing in this area? What are they publishing? Is your area of writing hot or a fading trend? These are all good things to know before you jump headlong into your area. Getting to know your market can help you not only avoid expensive errors but also possibly incorporate trends into your book that could help to leverage its success. How to learn about the industry? Read up on it at sites like Publishersmarketplace.com, subscribe to the free or paid newsletter the site offers. This will give you a good sense of what's selling, who's buying, what's being published. Publishers Weekly is another good resource. If you can't afford a subscription try their online site at Publishersweekly.com, or check out your local library to see if they carry any copies. This is a great industry resource.

Not Accepting Feedback

A couple of weeks ago an author who has sat in on a number of my classes, both online and off, asked me numerous times how she could get onto Huffington Post as a blogger. I told her I would try to pursue a HuffPo blogger for her to get feedback on her work. I did this as a favor because, well, she was relentless in her pursuit of this and I had to admire that. So, I finally got a blogger to review her work and the critique came back not so good. In fact it was terrible. I sat on it for a day, wondering if I should share it with her. I finally decided that if she was so relentless about her career, she would be equally relentless about crafting a perfect message, right? Not so much, actually. When I forwarded her the feedback she shot me off an email saying that many other people loved it and that astrologically this was a terrible time to accept feedback so she would dismiss it. Some moon phase or something. I honestly can't recall. No, I'm not making this up. OK, listen, full confession time here. I have a friend who calls me whenever Mercury is retrograde, "don't buy anything electronic" she says, and I listen. Well, sometimes. Anyway, point being that I get that we're all driven by a different drummer, but if someone takes the time to critique your work why would you not try to learn from that? Look, I know not everyone is going to be spot-on with their feedback, but take from it what you can and move on - better yourself, better your writing.

Feedback is a crucial part to any writer's career. If someone who is more knowledgeable than you about the industry you are in is willing to give you feedback you should listen. Really. In a room of one hundred authors I can pick out the successful ones. You know who they are? They are the ones who aren't so wrapped up in their egos that they aren't willing to listen and learn.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

LIKE THIS POST? PLEASE SHARE IT!

To read Part 2:  http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2010/08/why-some-authors-fail-part-2.html

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MORE ON WRITING

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Monday

Writing Marketing Articles in an Ever Changing World

Writing for writing related posts and articles is fairly simple, straightforward, and constant. The rules of writing don’t often change, if ever. A story has 5 basic elements: plot, characters, theme, setting, and conflict. How a writer perceives these elements, how she uses them to create a story, and how she perceives the subject matter is what makes each writer unique, and what makes her work interesting.

Writing for marketing posts and articles on the other hand is far from simple, straightforward, or constant. The reason . . . the rules are constantly changing.

New technology, new social networks, and new applications, along with other such elements make writing for this genre tricky. While some fundamentals do remain constant, such as a writer and marketer needs to create visibility for their work or product, much of how to do that changes on a regular basis. 

I recently wrote an article about the amazing features of My6Sense. This is an application that can be used with iPad and iPhone among other products. It is considered a predictive application. It learns from your usage, and within a few days it will suggest sites, articles, and other content that it thinks you will be interested in.

Once a cutting edge product is introduced, every company in that field jumps on the band wagon, leaving yesterday’s old models and technology in the dust.

The same holds true for search engine optimization (SEO). Goolge, the King in regard to SEO can and does change the rules as they see fit. This affects your ranking and visibility. And, now that Microsoft Bing and Yahoo have joined forces, they are moving forward which will mean more changes are sure to be on the horizon. According to an article by PotPieGirl, “The online search business is BIG business…and the Bing/Yahoo folks want more of it.” And, if you weren’t aware of it, the Facebook search option is powered by Bing. If Google, down the road, becomes a bit concerned over Bing’s advancements who knows what else will be in store for marketers in their endeavors to achieve high rankings in the search engines.

But, all this information is just to make a point. 

When a writer who writes in the marketing arena writes a post or article to bring information to the reader, she may not be able to link to that article as a resource down the road. That particular information may not be pertinent 3 months from the date it’s written, or it may be outdated.

Writers of marketing content always need to be on top of what’s going on. They have to have their finger on the marketing pulse, and constantly write articles and posts that reflect the changing, the new, and the future of marketing.

One final note: It's a good idea, in fact, it's essential to periodically check for 'bad' links (broken or spam links) in your older posts. Google doesn't like 'bad' links and you will be penalized if you have them.

LIKE THIS POST? PLEASE SHARE IT!

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Friday

Networking Like a Pro - A Review

Title: Networking Like a Pro
Author: Ivan Misner, Ph.D., David Alexander and Brian Hilliard
Publisher: Entrepreneur Press
ISBN: 10-1-59918-356-0
ISBN: 13: 978-59918-356-5
Reviewer: Karen Cioffi for BookPleasures

It seems in today’s high tech world, a great deal of promotion and networking is geared toward online readers and businesses. But, the world does not begin and end with the internet—we tend to forget about the original form of networking which is face-to-face.

Networking Like a Pro is not only a reminder that face to face business networking is still alive and healthy, but in many businesses it is also a necessity. And it, along with online networking is a skill like any other that needs to be learned and honed. The co-authors took great care to cover all facets of the networking arena and show that whatever your method or focus, creating social capital is a necessity.

To better understand the importance of networking, the co-authors compare social capital to financial capital. While financial capital is material wealth, money or property, social capital is, according to Networking Like a Pro, “the accumulation of resources developed in the course of social interactions, especially through personal and professional networks.” They go on to explain that “these resources include ideas, knowledge, information, opportunities, contacts, and, of course, referrals. They also include trust, confidence, friendship, good deeds, and goodwill.”

It’s also understood that social capital can actually lead to financial capital as the subtitle of the book describes, Turning Contacts Into Connections. The essence of our marketing endeavors is to sell our services or products; those we come in contact with, whether online or fact-to-face, are possible customers, resources, or contacts leading to referrals.

Networking Like a Pro covers a wide-range of networking topics: The Networking Mind-Set; Your Networking Strategy; Networking Face to Face; Making Your Network Work; Secrets of the Masters; and Is Your Networking Working? Each of theses topics is thoroughly examined and explained through analysis, step-by-step instruction, conversational examples and even diagrams.

In Part III, Networking Face to Face, the co-authors examine: Joining the Crowd; The 12 x 12 x 12 Rule; Where’s Your Attention Focused?; Telling Your Company’s Story; and Quantity is Fine, But Quality is King. This section is so detailed it provides networking mixer diagram configurations with explanations on how to read a room.

In the chapter, Telling Your Company’s Story, the co-authors delve into the unique selling proposition (USP) which every marketer must have. A good USP is a memorable one sentence pitch that “simply tells people what you do, in a manner that gets them to ask how you do it.” Each section is conveyed in the same meticulous manner; nothing is left to guess-work.

I was impressed with Networking Like a Pro. It provides a tremendous amount of practical information in an understandable format. Co-authors Misner, Alexander and Hilliard created a comprehensive book that covers networking strategies from A - Z. It explains with great detail the ins and outs, and tricks of the trade of Networking Like a Pro and turning contacts into connections.

LIKE THIS REVIEW? PLEASE SHARE IT!

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Wednesday

Do You Have a Backup Plan?

It's guest post Wednesday and I have an interesting and important post from Jim Edwards, syndicated newspaper columnist, writer, and marketer. This post deals with something I think must have happened to most of us at one time or another--it's happened to me.

What Will You Do When Disaster Strikes?
(Always Have a Backup Plan)
- by Jim Edwards

What a nightmare!

Imagine spending four months preparing for an important
party attended by your key business associates and their
customers. This party will make or break your finances for
the next year, possibly longer.

Now picture this: just after the party starts, the power
goes out, the band disappears, the caterer gets arrested and
the fire alarm starts screeching. The fate of your business
hangs in the balance. The decisions you make in the next
couple of minutes determine whether your business succeeds
or fails.

What will you do?

In a manner of speaking, this exact disaster happened to me
when I launched a new product online not too long ago.

We spent 4 months and hundreds of hours developing a CD-ROM
product to help online business owners get more website
traffic.

We then convinced a very famous expert to put his reputation
on the line by sending an email inviting 20,000 of his best
customers to buy our product at a discount.

Just as he sent his email our shopping cart *broke* and
everything stopped working. The complaint letters started
pouring in and thousands of dollars in revenue depended on
what we did in the next few minutes.

Luckily we could access another shopping cart on a different
server and, mostly through luck, we got back online with the
replacement 30 minutes later.

But that horrible event taught me a valuable lesson and,
whether you operate an online business or not, you can learn
from it too.

The lesson?

Always have a backup plan and prepare for things to go wrong
online, because they will go wrong!

~ Email ~

Anyone who uses email should maintain at least one extra
email account in case their primary account goes down.

You can open a free email account at HotMail.com or
Yahoo.com in less than 5 minutes, but if you don't set the
account up ahead of time with your important contact
information, you may find yourself unable to communicate
with key people because you don't have their information.

~ Internet Access ~

If you use email or the Internet for any aspect of your
business, then you need a backup plan for getting online in
case your primary connection goes out.

If you have a cable or DSL connection, this means access to
a dial-up connection like AOL or MSN. If you don't want to
pay the monthly fee then hang onto one of those "free trial"
disks and sign up for a free 30 day account when you need
it.

~ Your Disaster Plans ~

Don't just consider technology failures in your backup
planning.

Those good old "elements" like wind, fire and water should
also factor into your thinking. Whether backing up your
latest ebook or the family digital photo "album," keep a
copy of your sensitive files on a CD-Rom or floppy disk,
preferably somewhere safe like a bank safety deposit box.

If you use the Internet and email for anything other than
casual surfing, know ahead of time exactly what to do if
things go wrong.

If your income depends on the Internet, then you must know
in advance how you will get online, communicate and replace
your entire web-based business (website, web hosting,
shopping cart, autoresponders, secure server, credit cards)
in the space of 24 hours if necessary.

Don't wait until you find yourself in the middle of an
online disaster to learn these lessons the hard way.

----

Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-
author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to
use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted
visitors to your website or affiliate links...

-=-=-==-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
 Want to write your own ebook?

Jim Edwards can show you how, along with showing you how to make it profitable.

Click Here to Learn More: 7 Day Ebook

-=-=-==-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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Monday

Writing, Accounting, and Synergy

In accounting – if you (the accountant or bookkeeper) are off even one penny, you have to search and work until that penny is found – all the income, expenses, assets, liabilities of a business must all sync at the end of every month, quarter, and year. Your balance sheet, which reflects every penny in and out, must be perfect. All this along with reconciling the monthly bank statements.

The various data from different departments, such as research and development, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll, must all be included.

Writing, in some aspects is similar to accounting; each element of a story - theme, setting, plot, conflict, characters - must all work together to create an error free balance sheet at the end. In other words, they must meld together to create a coherent, engaging, and interesting article or book. The end piece must have proper grammar, and the correct formatting. And, if something is amiss, the author needs to find the troublesome spot/s and correct it.

In both arenas, details are important, as is balance.

Suppose in accounting your accounts payable far exceeded your accounts receivable, or your liabilities far exceeded your assets. This would make for a dire situation, and one that would need correction.

Well, in writing, suppose you have wonderful characters, but they have no where to go; your story lacks an engaging plot and conflict. Or, maybe you have a great storyline, but your characters are flat, they have no dimension; these situations are also cause for alarm and need to be addressed.

In writing, it’s the combination of all the elements of writing that moves a story forward and creates a page-turning adventure. You may have a character driven story, or a plot driven story, but in both, you need all elements of the story to weave together, to create synergy.

Synergy is a great word. It means the combination, joined forces, or combined effects of individual elements which will create an end result that is greater than the sum of their individual effects or capabilities.

I actually like Wikipedia’s definition: “Synergy, in general, may be defined as two or more agents working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the agents independently.”

This is what the elements of writing, joined together in just the right way, produces. Theme, setting, plot, conflict, and characters combine forces to go beyond their individual capabilities. The writing synergy process creates an end result that is not attainable by any of the elements independently.

Like this post? Please share it!

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MORE ON WRITING

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Wednesday

So, You Want to Write a Book, But Will You?

It's guest post Wednesday, and today I have an article by Suzanne Lieurance. Aside from being a multi-published author and freelance writer, Suzanne is a writing coach and instructor. Her programs encompass writing for children, freelance writing, and the marketing aspects of writing.

3 Reasons Why Most People Who Say They Want to Write a Book Will Never Write One

By Suzanne Lieurance

Almost everyone has dreams of writing a book some day. Yet, for most people this will never become more than a dream. And thousands of others who do manage to START writing their book will give up midway through and never finish writing it. As a published author and a writing coach, I've discovered there are basically 3 reasons most writers give up on their dream of one day writing a book:

1. Wanna be authors think their book has to be one of the best books ever written.

This is a lot of pressure for any writer, much less a first time author. No one could measure up to this, so it's safer and easier to give up before ever starting. But the truth is, published authors simply try to write the very best book they can write. They don't worry about it being one of the best books ever written.

2. Wanna be authors figure they really don't have anything new and different to say that hasn't already been written about before in other books.

That old saying, "there is nothing new under the sun" is true. So published authors don't worry that someone else may have written a book about the same topic they wish to write about. Instead, they try to give their book a unique "spin" on the topic. That means they write about it in a somewhat unique way.

3. Wanna be authors think writing should be easy. If it isn't, that means they weren't meant to be a writer. When they start writing, and the writing becomes difficult, they figure they must not be cut out to be an author.

Writing is a craft and it is often just plain hard work even for the best of writers. In fact, good writing is usually good rewriting, so most of the well-known authors work hard at their writing. They write, then rewrite and rewrite until they get the work just right. If they stopped when the writing got difficult, they'd never publish anything either. As you can probably tell by now, each of these 3 reasons for giving up on writing a book is merely an excuse for not following through on a dream.

If you dream of writing a book someday, don't expect to write one of the best books ever written. Don't worry that you have nothing new to say. Just try to say it in a new way. And, most importantly, don't expect the writing to be so easy that there's nothing to it. Just keep plugging along and eventually you'll have a finished manuscript you can be proud of.

Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, the author of 22 (at last count) published books, and the Working Writer's Coach. She is also the coach at http://workingwriterscoach.com/

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Monday

Marketing and Promotion: Are They the Same Process?

Merriman-Webster.com notes that both the words, marketing and promotion (the terms, or the present day meaning), came into existence around the 15th and 16th centuries. Interestingly, although both marketing and promotion seem to be used in place of each other, and marketing is regularly used in place of promotion, they are separate processes. Well to be more clear, promotion is a process under the marketing umbrella.

Marketing, according to BusinessDictionary.com:

Management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. As a philosophy, it is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction. As a practice, it consists in coordination of four elements called 4P's: (1) identification, selection, and development of a product, (2) determination of its price, (3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and (4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.

So, marketing is taking your product from the idea to the sale. While you may not think that marketing is necessary in the idea stage of a product, think again. If you don’t produce a product that your target market will be interested in, you most probably will not get to the “sale’ stage. This means the product will need to be saleable in every aspect, from the product itself, or in a writer’s field, its content, to the package, price, and distribution. All this takes marketing research.

Promotion on the other hand is the marketing process of bringing your product or service to the attention of your target market. Promotion encompasses the needed strategies for actually selling your product. Promotion is done through publicity and advertising – in essence, through visibility.

Visibility can be done using online social networking, taking advantage of services/sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Digg. It can also be accomplished through traditional promotional techniques, such as ads, business cards, and flyers, as well as through inbound (organic) promotional strategies: providing valuable blog and article content, reports, e-books, and newsletters.

Organic promotional strategies are those that bring visibility to your product/service through processes mentioned above such as blog and article content. This type of promotion may take a bit of time to establish, and involves work, but its long-term benefits will be worth the time and effort. This type of promotion creates trust and reliability. You will develop a relationship with the potential customer/reader. She will come to value the information you provide, and look forward to it.

Digital-Web.com defines organic traffic as:

Organic traffic, as the name implies, is traffic that comes to your Web site naturally and without being driven there by a specific marketing campaign. In essence, Web site visitors are there because they found the site and thought it had something they wanted. And like anything organic, organic traffic isn’t there instantly; it takes time and nurturing to grow into something healthy and with longevity.

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