Public Relations · Publishing

Old dog; new tricks

Well. So far so good. I have a BLOG. As a publicist, I was originally forced into it by the cruel, judgmental voices in my head, saying, “You don’t have a BLOG? Everyone has a BLOG!” I have continued to ignore Twitter (Twitter? What’s Twitter), but dang it, I have a BLOG.

So what have I learned? What advice do I have to give to the lost, bewildered bloggers out there? I suppose there are a few things I’ve picked up since February.

1) Make your bio and your contact info easy to find on your blog. The worst thing for you is to be mysterious. Tell readers about yourself so they can relate to you. Make yourself easy to contact for comments and interview opportunities, especially if you have a marketable area of expertise.

2) In the first few weeks, write about people you want to meet/interview/clone. Seriously, I wrote about HARO’s creator Peter Shankman within the first month of my blog, and he was nice enough to send me an email, thanking me for the shout out. In turn, you hope people like this will spread word of your blog. And that’s what it’s all about—forming a group of personal minions.

3) On the same token, if you write about someone (an entrepreneur, an artist, a band, a restaurant, etc.), TELL THEM ABOUT IT. Get in touch with them and say, “HEY! I wrote about you on my blog!” On the business side: Make it a networking opportunity. People like to see their name in print, so share the love. And just as I mentioned in item 2, maybe the person you network with will start networking for you. On the fun side: I did a review of Fish Restaurant here in Charleston, and the owner found the review, printed the review, and posted it in the kitchen. I then had my birthday dinner at the restaurant, and I was treated like royalty because I was “the girl who wrote that amazing review.”

4) Start an interview series. I have a series on my site called “An H and Five W’s.” I ask artists, musicians, and authors six questions. In each case, the questions are similar—basic but with highly individualized responses. Sure, this is easy for me, because I don’t have to actually write much of anything. But it’s more than that. It’s about reaching out and giving someone attention for what they do. Then, because of the attention given, the fans/friends of said artist/author/musician find my site. It’s good when people find your site! Example: I interviewed Charleston artist Nathan Durfee. Not only did I get hits from gallery owners who showcase Nathan’s work, but Nathan posted a link to my blog on his website. This equals blog traffic, and hey, isn’t that why I started the blog in the first place?

So there you go—four tips after four months. Thanks to you who have been paying attention. Thanks for the comments and the emails. I’ve been having so much fun! Hope you have, too!

6 thoughts on “Old dog; new tricks

  1. Hi,

    I understand and see how you can build up traffic to a Blog in your line of work, where you have opportunities to interview personalities, or to write reviews about restaurants etc … By telling those you wrote about they in turn tell others and/or link to your site.

    But how do you build up traffic to a website or Blog whose only object is to discuss one subject/issue; as well as promote/publicise a book?

    Traffic does build up slowly through word of mouth and entries in various directories etc … but short of spending vastly on advertising how does one build traffic to such sites, and promote a book.

    Thanx for your help. God bless.

    Victor Moubarak

    1. Hey, Victor! Thank you for stopping by! In regards to your question, one suggestion is building your online rep. I see you have a website and a blog, which is perfect. That way, people who visit your blog will also visit your website. It’s also good to follow other industry-related blogs (just like you’re doing with mine). That way, you can comment/ask questions and post your URL at the same time. When people see your questions/comments, if said question/comment interests them, they’ll follow your URL back to your site. It’s about an online presence. (If you build it, they will come.) And OF COURSE always include your website URL in your email signature, on your letterhead, on your business card, etc. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. Wow! I just read from Dobie’s Stories! Now I used to live in SC and remember magnolia blossoms as big as pie plates. I climbed that tree with you, scraping my feet on the bark and snagging my hair on the branches.

    I will be back to read more. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey, Ginger! Thank you so much for checking out my blog! Love your illustrations. Gorgeous work. Feel free to stop in anytime!

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