Saturday, I attended my chapter meeting which I haven’t been able to do in a while for one reason or another. The speaker was Kat Rice, owner of Veribatim, a web design and consulting company. She is an internet consultant, helping businesses market their companies online through web presence, search engine optimization and other more creative avenues such as social media. She has a particular passion for bridging the generation gap between Gen Y and the Baby Boomers and has begun speaking and writing about this subject. She's been recognized as a viral marketing specialist after multiple successful grassroots campaigns in 2009.
I tell you this to assure you the girl knows what she’s talking about. She titled her presentation, Writing for a Blog: This Time It’s Personal!
Her intro states. “As a writer, you’ve probably considered using the Internet as a tool to promote your work or sharpen your skills within a community. So why haven’t you done it yet? Maybe you’re worried someone might steal your work. Maybe you’re not quite sure how to make a blog work. Or maybe you’re just not sure where to start."
She went on to say that blogging can enhance your writing skills, help you stick to deadlines and even help you promote your work.
How you ask? Twitter. She loves Twitter. Did you know 60% of Twitter’s community are men? That’s why the 140 character word limit works so well. They could care less about pictures of your cat or your last vacation or that you are in a relationship with Joe Schmoe. Men are not warm and fuzzy.
The key to Twitter is following three types of people and hash tags – industry people, people or groups near your location (EX –for me, it would be the Dallas area) and people from your target market.
I mentioned I hated Twitter because of all the personal messages between two people when I have no idea what they are talking about. EX – private conversations -Janie to Lou – I love that shade of lipstick, too.)
Not Kat. Not only does she NOT hate it, she sometimes jumps in and comments and usually ends up with another follower.
I won’t even try to explain hash tags since I am basically ignorant of them myself. I refer you to two successive blogs in M & M’s archives written by Krista Davis and titled Twitter 101 (April 25th) and Twitter 102 (April 28th.). Suffice it to say, my best interpretation is that anyone can make a hash tag about anything and people can jump in and follow. Two mentioned at the meeting were RWA10 and ASKAGENT.
So, how did I get off on this tangent when the post is supposed to be about blogging? Simple. She said both Twitter and Facebook are great places to post a short note about your blog entries to draw more traffic to the site. Once you get them there, great posts have to be in place to keep them. (You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?)Both venues are great and FREE marketing tools.
But wait! There's more good news about blogging. According to Kat, writing a blog improves your overall writing skills, helps you gain an audience, helps you stay on track with your writing goals, promotes your published works, and gets you involved in an online community.
Hold the phone. Isn’t that what Twitter does for you? I’m so confused. But what else in new?
So, if you’re on the fence about blogging, I suggest you consider all this and decide if you’re ready to make the commitment because trust me, there is a commitment. Kat suggests at least 2 blog entries a week and no more than 7. (Sheesh! Whoever is doing seven a week can’t be sleeping and really needs a life.) I took the sissy way out and asked people to join me on a group blog.
Best decision I ever made!
Now let me hear your comments about blogging, about Twitter, or hell, about anything. Let this be anything Monday since most of you are already in Orlando at Nationals and won’t be reading this anyway.
Hello! Anybody out there? Don't be doing shooters without me in Florida. I get there Wednesday.