Jon Gibbs (jongibbs) wrote,
Jon Gibbs
jongibbs

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The Fine Art of Self-Promotion: Part Four – If blogs were people…

If blogs were people, what would yours be like?

 

Reading an entry on someone else’s blog is a bit like overhearing a one-sided conversation on a bus. The blogger isn’t talking to you – doesn’t even know you’re ‘listening’. Nevertheless, we form an opinion about that person based on what he/she says (and how it’s said).

 

From a self-promotional point of view, it’s important to be aware of the kind of person visitors ‘see’ when they read our journals, and to remember that every post we make may be the first and only entry someone reads. Of course, what we then do with that knowledge is up to us. 

 

So how can we tell how our blogs portray us to the outside world?

Take your last twenty posts and boil each entry down to its basic, one-word ingredients.

Those ingredients fall into three categories, the first of which is ‘Positive’:

 

Amusing

Articulate

Entertaining

Friendly

Funny

Informative

Recommendable

Thought-provoking

Useful

Upbeat

 

There are a few Negative ingredients.  In my opinion, fiction writers using their blogs for self-promotion should avoid these at all costs:

 

Aggressive

Arrogant

Boring

Bossy

Embarrassing

Offensive

Intolerant

Rant

Unfriendly

 

There is a third category, Neutral:

 

Advertisement

Self-advertisement

Personal

Update

Vent

 

If you write out the ingredients of your last twenty posts, you’ll get a pretty good idea of how your on-line readers see you.  If you’re happy with that, keep on doing what you’re doing, if not, then you’ll know what to change, but we’re not finished yet.

 

THE WRITER’S BALANCE - Beware the Neutral post

Earlier in this series, I talked a little about The Writer’s Balance – the ratio between self-publicity (letting people know where they can find you and your work) and self-promotion (making them give a dang).

 

Others may disagree, but in my opinion that should be one part self-publicity to ten parts self-promotion. In other words, if your goal is to use your blog to create an ‘online presence’ as they say, then self-advertisement posts – be they announcements; story clips; WIP reports etc, should be the exception, rather than the rule, and here’s why:

 

With the possible exception of ‘Advertisement’, the effect of a neutral post depends almost entirely upon the readers overall perception of the blogger. If your journal entries fall mostly into the neutral category, potential visitors won’t care enough about you to read them.

 

I hope this is useful. Next week, I want to talk about some simple, easy to remember, methods we can all use to increase our blog traffic, in the meantime, I'd appreciate your opinion:

 

Did I miss out any ingredients?

 

What ingredients would you recommend for a good self-promotional blog?   


Tags: fiction, writing
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