Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

Tag Archives: blog

Why blogging is one of the best public relations tools for writers – Period!

A friend of mine was complaining that he doesn’t believe that he will ever make a mark with his writing (even though I am definitely not alone in considering him to be a good writer) because he believes he will never get the notice that he believes it will take to “gain fame”. Why? Because he doesn’t have a contract, he doesn’t have a marketing budget and most importantly he doesn’t have enough going on to get “noticed” by media. You can imagine that I had lots to say, and I will tell you about the first two point in later posts, but the point about the media I will address right now.

Folks, we are in the twenty-first century. You don’t have to have media behind you to start out with. You don’t need to be an extrovert. You don’t need anything more than the space between your ears and WordPress (or Blogger, Typepad, Posterous or Tumblr or whatever platform you wont to use). Two perfect examples are Gary Vayerchuck and Tim Ferriss.

Let me give you some solid reasons why using your blog can be better than traditional public relations.

You can direct your message specifically to the audience you are trying to reach

I know there are loads of magazines, television, radio, and yes, other people’s blogs out there. But what are you writing about? Now think. Are there any of these outlets that fit your message to a tee exactly? And even if there is one out there with 99% overlap with your audience there could be loads of reasons they might not run your message. You could be bumped by other news. They might not think your message is timely for them. It could be they have “too much” news for their current issue. (Yes, this does happen!) When you write your own blog post none of this matters at all. Your message gets out there every time.

You can say exactly what you want

Your message can be as long or as short as it needs to be (though you should be mindful of length). And you say exactly what you want. There is no editor to cut parts of your message away. There is no interviewer to misinterpret what you had to say. There is no reporter to get your facts wrong. You say what you need to say and what you want to say. And this is gold, my friends.

Your message gets delivered when you want it to

That’s right. If you have a Christmas message then your message goes out on Christmas. If you need to get to the presses right away, well, how fast can you type? With traditional media, again, you are on their schedule. When they release the story (if they release the story) then that’s when you get heard. Not when you take charge with your blog. You never miss a deadline – unless you, yourself, miss the deadline!

The price is right!

You can put your message out there for little or no money. The only thing you really need is persistence and sweat. And name me anything out there in this great big world that is worthwhile but not worth your persistence and sweat?

And you can get “followed”

People who like what you have to say and want to hear more will always have the option to get mail and RSS follow ups as long as you make sure that can happen. This means that the more you have to say of relevance to the people you are directing your message to, the more you will actually have an audience. That’s right. If you know who you are trying to reach and you direct yourself to them long enough, you will reach them.

To me, that is more than enough reason to keep turnin’ and burnin’ at your blogging. It will make sure that the right people will hear your voice at the end of the day. I promise!

No more automatic blog imports: Facebook is driving me more and more to the arms of Google+

Any blogger or writer who frequents Facebook and has RSS support for their blog (or blogs as the case may be) into their Facebook Notes will have seen that Mark Elliot Zuckerberg and team have decided to kill this service. Their message is as follows:

Changes to How You Share Content in Notes

You currently automatically import content from your website or blog into your Facebook notes. Starting November 22nd, this feature will no longer be available, although you’ll still be able to write individual notes. The best way to share content from your website is to post links on your Wall. Learn more about notes.

I have read that this could be a “quality vs. quality” issue, but personally, I think it is a matter is not well enough thought out. This will definitely lead me further to the arms of Google+.

Facebook is taking away a convenience without asking (ergo, not caring) about their end users’ opinions

First of all, as a writer and a blogger, the RSS import saved incalculable amounts of time, not just in the amount of time it would take off from my having to do the updates manually, but also to the amount of time that I would have from publishing to feedback from readers is also lengthened. And I have had no complaints about the quality of the posting. In the meantime I am much less likely to spend my working time every day to make the posts – posts which I were automated before. So I have choices to make. Do I now do this manually, myself? Do I assign one of my employees to do it? Or do I simply put less posts on walls?

If you have to spend the effort, maybe Google+ is more worth it

For me, the more I experiment with Google+ the more I see that its premise is better than Facebook for marketing purposes. Of course I can target whoever is in my circles for various different postings, and I am targeted by those who are in my interest zones. If I am going to spend the time to manually update my blog, I think more and more it will be the Google product. The only drawback I can see with them compared to updating my blog posts manually on Facebook is that at the moment Facebook has a massive population in comparison. But Google+ makes up for this by that quality of the targeted audience.

When I consider the fact that Twitter is still automatically posting the updates and that if I have to do all of this blog post updating manually, then it goes without saying that Facebook will be seeing less of me and Google+ will be seeing a bit more. And that’s that.

About Gary Dale Cearley:

Gary Dale Cearley is an American author, columnist, polyglot and businessman who has lived in Asia for two decades. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute, the University of the State of New York (Excelsior College) and the University of Oklahoma. He works in the field of international business-to-business networking and his passions are all things language, history and libertarian politics. Gary Dale is also an avid reader and book reviewer. You can reach Gary Dale directly by clicking here.
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No more automatic blog imports: Facebook is driving me more and more to the arms of Google+

Any blogger or writer who frequents Facebook and has RSS support for their blog (or blogs as the case may be) into their Facebook Notes will have seen that Mark Elliot Zuckerberg and team have decided to kill this service. Their message is as follows:

Changes to How You Share Content in Notes

You currently automatically import content from your website or blog into your Facebook notes. Starting November 22nd, this feature will no longer be available, although you’ll still be able to write individual notes. The best way to share content from your website is to post links on your Wall. Learn more about notes.

I have read that this could be a “quality vs. quality” issue, but personally, I think it is a matter is not well enough thought out. This will definitely lead me further to the arms of Google+.

Facebook is taking away a convenience without asking (ergo, not caring) about their end users’ opinions

First of all, as a writer and a blogger, the RSS import saved incalculable amounts of time, not just in the amount of time it would take off from my having to do the updates manually, but also to the amount of time that I would have from publishing to feedback from readers is also lengthened. And I have had no complaints about the quality of the posting. In the meantime I am much less likely to spend my working time every day to make the posts – posts which I were automated before. So I have choices to make. Do I now do this manually, myself? Do I assign one of my employees to do it? Or do I simply put less posts on walls?

If you have to spend the effort, maybe Google+ is more worth it

For me, the more I experiment with Google+ the more I see that its premise is better than Facebook for marketing purposes. Of course I can target whoever is in my circles for various different postings, and I am targeted by those who are in my interest zones. If I am going to spend the time to manually update my blog, I think more and more it will be the Google product. The only drawback I can see with them compared to updating my blog posts manually on Facebook is that at the moment Facebook has a massive population in comparison. But Google+ makes up for this by that quality of the targeted audience.

When I consider the fact that Twitter is still automatically posting the updates and that if I have to do all of this blog post updating manually, then it goes without saying that Facebook will be seeing less of me and Google+ will be seeing a bit more. And that’s that.

About Gary Dale Cearley:

Gary Dale Cearley is an American author, columnist, polyglot and businessman who has lived in Asia for two decades. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute, the University of the State of New York (Excelsior College) and the University of Oklahoma. He works in the field of international business-to-business networking and his passions are all things language, history and libertarian politics. Gary Dale is also an avid reader and book reviewer. You can reach Gary Dale directly by clicking here.
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Is blogging a lesser form or writing?

Yesterday I had a bit of a chat with a friend of mine who I would consider quite intelligent. He has lots of neat ideas and constantly shares them with me and other people. I asked him whether he ever blogged and recommended that he do it if he didn’t. His response was interesting. Depressing and a bit harsh but still interesting. He said “I never can think of blogging. It is akin to vomiting on the web. The problem is there are too many voicing their opinions and most often they stink, or are amateurish.”

I won’t identify this friend because I don’t think he would want that. If you look at his statement about blogging then you might be able to understand why he would be against being identified. Reading between the lines it is very easy to assume that it is a privacy matter and he prefers to maintain privacy.

But that is not all there is to his short, but very harsh, critique of blogging. Taking out his first two statements, (“I never can think of blogging. It is akin to vomiting on the web.”), let’s look closely at the second two points:

1) “The problem is there are too many voicing their opinions…”: I find this assertion interesting to say the least. How can one understand, quantify or rate how many opinions are too many to be voiced? My personal belief, which just may be very American, is that anyone who has an opinion has a right to voice it. Society is much the better for voiced opinions. And with blogging you can shut out these opinions, if you prefer not to hear them, by simply choosing not to read the blog postings! Don’t want an opinion from a blog? Cool! Don’t read it.

2) “…and most often they stink, or are amateurish.: I don’t agree. Though many blogs do stink I would not say that “most often” blogs stink. And most bloggers are amateurs when it comes to the world of writing. But that having been said, every blog is different and exists for different purposes. Some are for businesses. Some for information dissemination. Others are simply journals of the authors’ daily lives. Blogs don’t need to be elegant. They just need to be able to communicate. Some blogs might need polish, but it doesn’t take Einstein to know that 99.9999999999% of the bloggers don’t have Pulitzer prizes. No one should expect blogs to be more than what they are.

I am a little disheartened at my friend’s opinion of blogs. I find them to be great pipelines of ideas. I am more than a little disheartened in the standard he believes he has set here. The truth of the matter is that blogs do matter. They are a very grand avenue in the sharing of ideas. And though I think my friend’s idea about blogging stinks, I would love for him to start blogging about his other ideas. I think a whole world would open up to him.

About Gary Dale Cearley:

Gary Dale Cearley is an American author, columnist, polyglot and businessman who has lived in Asia for two decades. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute, the University of the State of New York (Excelsior College) and the University of Oklahoma. He works in the field of international business-to-business networking and his passions are all things language, history and libertarian politics. Gary Dale is also an avid reader and book reviewer. You can reach Gary Dale directly by clicking here.
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Writing is Exploration

One thing I have learned as a writer, whether it is a book, article, web posting, blog or whatever it may be, is that writing in and of itself is an exploration of my mind.  This is not to say that I am actively looking into my mind as I write, although that might be fun to do some time, but what I find is that almost always in retrospect I have learned something new.

Many people would think that I am a very methodical writer.  I plan out what I want to write beforehand in most cases.  I do this for several reasons:

1)      I can easily keep the point that I start out with if I have already predetermined a structure;

2)      The planning helps me to write faster because I already know what I am going to write about; and

3)      Having the planned out or mapped out structure is one of the best defenses against writer’s block.

All that having been said, during the planning process I discover so much more about my subject when I am considering all the angles of the material.  Then I also notice that during the writing process itself, while I am banging away at the keyboard, my mind wonders throughout the subject matter and sometimes even crosses the borders into other subjects.  I normally finish my writing not only with a sense of accomplishment (for getting the words to paper) but also a small sense of enlightenment.

If you feel the same way whenever you do anything, whether it is writing a novel or pruning roses, then I say you are a lucky person.