Sep 30, 2007

There's More To Successful Blogging Than Merely Snarking

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in search of a fabulous career must be in want of networking opportunities.

That's the start of The Savvy Gal's Guide to Online Networking (or What Would Jane Austen Do?) by Diane K. Danielson and Lindsey Pollak. Both women practice what they preach in promoting this book, applying some of the techniques they describe to reach a wide audience (through people like me), and getting reviews onto blogs and other online sources. In fact, the book demonstrates how you can steadily build an audience, get search engines to notice your business or project, move your blog up technorati's rankings, and acquire a group of online colleagues who can help promote your cause.

There is very little connection to Jane Austen, who gets a mention here and there, but who cares? Using her name in this original context got me to sit up and take notice. That's a valuable ploy in this age of short attention spans. Much of the research that the authors quoted comes from some Pew Studies that I had already read. In fact, I have been using the information contained in this study, plus advice from Technorati, to promote my various blogs. Like most folks, I blog for fun and not for profit, but it certainly boosts my ego to see my comment section filled and to read responses.

One of my duties at work is to help programs with marketing. Naturally, the Internet is playing a larger role in outreach and networking for all businesses, and so I help nonprofit groups set up websites, chatrooms, blogs, and the like to promote their organizations. That is why I started this blog: To "study" effective promotion techniques and to implement them. (Oh, but I delight in expressing my opinions while I'm at it!) In regard to promotion,Tom & Lorenzo who began blogging a month before me, have me beat hands down. It doesn't hurt that their wit and humor are unsurpassed and that they happened to hit a nerve with their core audience. But this is exactly what the book talks about: Find your passion, write about it, promote it, and visitors will come.

According to The Savvy Gals, a majority of blogs receive fewer than 100 unique visitors per day. In fact, my largest blog reaches that number and often goes beyond this, but it has taken a lot of steps to get there. In fact, I could have used The Savvy Gal's Guide last year! The competition to get noticed on the Net is keen. I believe the last figure I read, and this was six months ago, was that over 56 million blogs have been created worldwide; and that's not counting face books or my spaces.

So, if you are a guppy blogger who wants to swim with the sharks, a guide like this is invaluable. The authors also explain the basic rules of Internet etiquette, which is where Jane Austen's sage advice comes in. If you wouldn't express your true thoughts face-to-face to someone, then don't write them down in an e-mail or comment section of a blog either. (You hear me anony-mouses?) The guide cleverly follows a fictitious character named Wendy as she learns the rules of online networking. There's even a section on how to choose a photograph to place online. The image should reflect the nature of the blog, as mine, ahem, does for Dishin' Dat. The image is not so perfect for Jane Austen, however, and I have changed it to reflect a more sedate individual for that blog.

In conclusion, this book, only 126 pages long, offers a wealth of advice. The content is excellent and the cover is snazzy, but I think the authors could have used some expert advice when it came to designing their page layout. A zingier headline font and jazzier text boxes would have had more visual impact than a default MS Word doc layout. But I quibble. These gals showed wisdom and good taste when they featured my Internet friend Linda Merrill from ::Surrounding:: as a great example of online networking.

If you blog with passion, as I do about Jane Austen, then people will start to take notice. These days I receive promotional materials out of the blue. Just take a look at my book list! A majority of those materials arrived in my mailbox without my asking. As I conclude this short review, I have only one task left: To inform the Savvy Gal authors that this post sits on my blog. Might as well network while I'm at it!

1 comment:

Linda Merrill said...

Thanks for the shout out!