Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blogging for Authors

Blogging for Authors
Saturday Linda Austin, who blogs at www.moonbridgebooks.com, and I conducted a two hour workshop for St. Louis Publishers Association members who were interested in learning why it is important for authors to blog. Originally we intended to limit the group to fifteen, but we had eighteen people eagerly sign up and we even had to turn someone away. It is obvious that our members have an interest in social media but due to variations in the level of knowledge it is hard to talk about these subjects at our monthly meetings where the attendance is much larger. Having a smaller session geared towards beginning bloggers definitely helped us to define what should be covered.

The workshop began with me covering the reasons why having a blog instead of just a website makes more sense for authors, free versus paid blogging platforms along with the pros and cons of each, why and how to purchase a domain name, and considerations in deciding what to call your blog. Because I have two blogs on a free platform (Blogger) and one on a paid platform (Wordpress), I briefly pulled up my sites to give the attendees an idea of what they look like.

Linda Austin & Kim Wolterman at Blogging for Authors

Linda followed up by using the blog of her publishing company, Moonbridge Books, to illustrate the different segments that authors might want to have on their blogs such as blog posts, an About page, a listing of blog posts, pictures of book covers, and ways for followers to share posts on social media. She also discussed what to blog about, how often to post and the importance of interacting with readers. The audience was very engaged and asked a lot of good questions. We received seventeen completed evaluation forms, which is outstanding, and the feedback was very positive. So I do believe that Linda and I will be conducting future workshops together, with the next most likely being Twitter for Authors.

It was interesting to prepare for the workshop as I learned a few things myself. I will probably be re-working myhousehistory.net a bit, and I definitely want to purchase domain names for my two Blogger sites. In fact, I bought the domain name for this particular blog Saturday night. As of today, the new name is still getting the dreaded 404 code error - the requested URL was not found on this server. I will talk about this more in my next post.

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