Happy Earth Day

Whether you consider yourself a "tree hugger", or you simply changed the lightbulbs in your lamps, I do hope you'll do your part on Earth Day and beyond, to maintain and protect our big blue marble.

Even though I could talk about endangered animals, global warming and a host of other topics in this area, I'll follow my own advice and stick to the focus of this blog. With that in mind, here are some simple things you can do as an earth-friendly writer:

1. Recycle, or pass on/share magazines instead of throwing them away as soon as you've read them.

2. If you keep a journal, try to find one that contains recycled paper.

3. If you're in the "coffee is my life-blood" crowd, try to choose organic and fair trade brands.

4. Last, but certainly not least, use your talent to write in support of whatever topic you care about. One person can make a difference. Let your voice be heard.

Good Writing & God Bless,

Cheryl Pickett


Of Dust Bunnies & Expertise - How Personal Does A Blog Need to Be?

I got a comment today on an earlier post, and I thought it was a sentiment that others might share, so I decided I'd write a new post for everyone, rather than just reply.

The comment was this: the writer has decided to start a blog soon, but has concern about writing about him/herself (sorry the sig doesn't tell me). Here are a few thoughts:

1. Your blog is yours, no editors involved, it will be whatever you want it to be.

2. Many blogs talk about needing to clean up dustbunnies, listening to favorite music, or the latest art created by the blog owner's cat. If your reason for writing is for fun, to have an online journal to share with family and friends, posting that kind of stuff makes sense.

3. If your reason for blogging is to build an audience, show your expertise and generate traffic to a website, then those types of personal details won't be your focus (have two blogs if you want both styles).

4. You can interject your personality without being overly personal. This can be accomplished relatively easily too, partly because you'll have your own style that will come out once you've posted a handful of times.

Also, if you think of yourself as a teacher, or as simply being in a conversation with your readers, you'll write in first person, but not about yourself, if you don't choose to.

5. If you are writing to enhance your career, it's always good to keep a close watch on what you say and reveal anyway. You never know who could be reading, and what they might do with the information for the good or bad.

Good Writing & God Bless,

Cheryl Pickett


Would You Take the Time to Do This?

Someone I consider a mentor, Jeff Herring the Article Guy, recently posted a blog entry that I wanted to share. There are several lessons to be learned and there's some amusement to brighten your day as well.

As you read it consider this: If you had been in his situation, would you have taken the time/made the effort to participate?

If your answer is 'of course, why wouldn't I?', you're in good company with both your slightly off sense of humor and creative marketing skills. If you like BBQ, you get even more points :-)

If your answer is 'Why should I?' or 'I don't know' here's where the lessons come in:

1. If you send out a newsletter or blog and struggle for something interesting to write that connects personally as well as in business, participating ins stuff like this gives you a new topic if nothing else.

2. Good marketing is about getting your name out as much as possible and as creatively as possible, every little bit helps.

3. If you're pitching a journalist, sending an article, listing accomplishments, do you think you might pique someone's interest to find out more if you listed "Member of the Pig Hill of Fame?"

4. And this one's probably most important-do it just because it's fun. Business doesn't mean boring. When the opportunity presents itself, take a moment, relax, laugh out loud, enjoy yourself/your family and experience the true riches of life.

Okay, here's the link:http://fromthedeskofjeffherring.com/something-no-other-internet-marketer-can-claim/#comments

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


Lesson #2 Amazon was Never the Only Game in Town

Well, so far, Amazon seems to be moving full speed ahead with their new business strategy. It's only about a week in though so who knows what will happen. In the meantime, make yourself heard whatever your opinion.

Lesson #2 Amazon is not now and never was the only place to market your books

Yes, Amazon and other sites have provided many opportunities that didn't exist a few years ago, but a successful marketing strategy never includes just one outlet. Somehow, some authors seem to believe that if you simply put a book online, it will sell by virtue of its existence. If that was true, a lot of people would be making a whole lot more money than they are.

I hope at some point Amazon will be author friendly again. However, I know I still have opportunity to sell my products with or without them, and so do you. You will be the main source of whatever publicity and traffic you get no matter what, and your buyers, will generally buy from whatever source you refer them to if it's secure.

Whatever kind of product you want to sell, your plan needs to include reaching as many buyers as you can in the way they prefer whenever possible. If that happens to be Amazon, simply be prepared to offer plan B and support it as best you can.