Category Archives: Blogging

Why an Aspiring Author Should Start a Blog

My aunt recently started a blog: Great Books for Children. In her ambition to become a published children’s author, she felt compelled to start a blog but was hesitant. She considered blogs to be the “junk mail of the Internet” and didn’t want to “stoop” to blogging. I think she’s off to a fine start.

The following email was meant to persuade her to think more highly of blogging, at least considering it a neutral publishing medium with the potential to garner an audience:

1. People should consider your blog a great resource, a bookmark worth keeping, something worth talking about, not a glossy brochure for you as an author.

2. The Internet allows you to connect with an audience despite not having a publisher. If you produce great work, you’ll attract an audience. This is called micro-celebrity:

3. Cory Doctorow is a sci-fi writer who released his entire book online, got an audience, then got a publishing contract. How could a publisher turn away a writer with an existing audience?

4. Do you know the Nie Nie story? It’s the blog of a young Mormon woman who was in a plane crash earlier this year. Her blog has a huge audience. This is an awesome article in the NY Times:

5. Blogging can be grand. Play the medium to your advantage by including pictures and video. Don’t think it’s a lesser medium.

6. Some of my favorite posts on blogging:

7. Bookmarks on publishing:

Learn more about WordPress at WordCamp Utah

WordCamp Utah is a 1-day conference all about WordPress, to be held in Provo, Utah, on September 27, 2008. Speakers will include WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, WordPress guru Alex King, both visiting from out of town, and several local personalities including Cameron Moll, Thom Allen, Ash Buckles, and yours truly.

I’ll speak on using WordPress as a Content Management System, demonstrating that you can use WordPress software to power your website even if it’s not a blog. At our nonprofit foundation, we use WordPress to power over 40 non-blog websites.

This should be a great conference for any blogger, Web developer, or Web publisher. I’m excited to hear each of the talks.

More information: WordCamp Utah (signup)

Market segmentation on your blog

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Seth Godin has suggested that you treat new visitors to your blog differently from returning users. New users should be given context and background about you, and perhaps be invited to become permanent subscribers to your blog. Returning users should have quick access to your new material.

You could also consider turning off ads for your longtime subscribers. On one hand, you’ll forego ad revenue from a large group of people and prevent your advertisers from targeting a known group, but on the other hand, it might deepen the loyalty and increase the satisfaction of your biggest fans. Or you could do the opposite. Personally, I like the first more than the second.

For WordPress users, I wrote a WordPress plugin to do simple market segmentation. It was already the most visited page on my blog but traffic recently jumped with a link from the namesake last week. One blogger even created a graphic for it. Thanks.

Do you do any market segmentation on your blog or website? Where do you make the split, and how is the experience different?

New version of Seth Godin WordPress plugin

Five months ago I created a WordPress plugin to implement a marketing principle taught by Seth Godin. He said good marketers “treat returning visitors differently than newbies”. The plugin has been one of the most popular features on my blog.

Today I upgraded the plugin to version 1.3, adding a feature that allows the welcome message to be displayed permanently if desired.

For more information, read about the What Would Seth Godin Do plugin for WordPress.