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March 2012

Kony 2012: The Power of Social Media at Work to Change the World

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This morning, one of my friends posted a video called “Kony 2012.” I didn’t really take notice of it at first because I’m not a super political person, but it did catch my eye because I thought, “Hm, I don’t remember hearing anything about a candidate called Kony in her state.” Then I saw another friend post it. Then another. So I decided to watch it.

Thirty minutes long, and I watched every second of it. That’s not the norm for me, especially in the morning when I’m busy answering emails and getting set up for work for the day. I usually just don’t have the time. But for Kony 2012, I made the time…and I hope you will too.

Kony isn’t a politician; he’s a war criminal that is literally stealing children from their beds to he can arm them and force them to kill. I’ve heard of that happening, but I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know his name, nor did I know that we’re talking about tens of thousands of children. And that’s what this campaign is all about. He’s able to stay under the radar because people have no idea who he is. We need to change that so he can be captured and brought to justice.

It’s a powerful message, but what I think is interesting is that we’re going to watch something even more powerful in real-time: the use of social media to make a huge change in the world. Already, through Facebook and other social media sites, Invisible Children has made a huge difference, gaining support to raise money, reach politicians, and get the world out about Kony’s crimes.

Twenty years ago, this wasn’t possible. Today it is, thanks to social media. That, to me, is chill-inducing and more exciting than just about anything going on in the new media industry.

I hope you’ll take the time to watch and pass on this video, as well as sign the pledge and consider donating to Invisible Children. What do you think of their social media campaign?

Self-Publishing Secrets: Exclusive BlogWorld Interview with Rachel Thompson

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Today, I have a special treat for you all! I got the chance to sit down with Rachel Thompson to talk about her digital publishing success – and she has some awesome advice for anyone considering the self-publishing route. Let’s take a look at what she had to say about finding success on with Kindle publishing and personal branding for authors.

Allison: For readers who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about you and your content creation experience, especially with self-publishing.

Rachel: I started out as many of your readers have – a blogger, back in ’08. I still blog regularly, every Monday. As my posts became more popular as did my presence on social media, I pulled together many of my more popular essays, wrote original material never seen before, and published my first book, a collection of primarily humorous essays titled A Walk In The Snark in January 2011 which reached #1 on the Kindle Motherhood list in September 2011. I released my second original collection titled The Mancode: Exposed and that book hit the Amazon Overall Top 100 within one month as well as #1 on several key lists including Parenting and Families, Marriage, and Relationships.

It sounds like self-publishing has been good to you! Why did you initially decide to go the self-publishing route rather than the traditional route?

To be honest, I was so excited about the thought of putting together my own work with the fabulous help of experienced people in the field of publishing: my editor, a formatter, a graphic designer, another writer who’d helped many other writers go this route – it simply felt the right way to go. I encourage anyone who wants to indie publish to find others who know the way – there are tons of great resources out there now.

So, do you think digital publishing works better in some genres than others or is this something all authors should be exploring?

I think it can work for any genre. I’ve worked with a few authors who are hesitant due to the full-color graphics of their material, but in the end, the work looks amazing. The medium works better than print in most cases from what I’ve seen. I certainly can’t speak for everyone. It’s taken awhile to bring graphic novels to eBook format but many people are thrilled by it.

A lot of authors are intimidated by the digital self-publishing process. What advice can you give for those not technologically savvy?

To me, formatting an eBook is like math. And ‘Hello, writer here!’ So I hire someone amazing to format my books for me. It’s not that expensive and it’s always done correctly. Other authors I know are deeply involved in the formatting of their books and know every symbol and code (again, math). If it’s worth learning to you, learn it. If it’s not, pay someone. Bottom line: make sure your product looks the best it possibly can or you will hear about it.

You have a very strong personal brand. Can you talk a little bit about how that developed and why having such a definitive identity online is important for authors?

Yes, the Queen of Snark, BadRedhead, et al. Branding is key for any author. When I first started writing my Mancode pieces, there seemed to be, oh I don’t know, a somewhat snarky tone to them? People really responded to that and someone (I honestly don’t remember who) nicknamed me the Queen of Snark and it stuck. As anyone in social media or personal branding will tell you, if it ain’t broke…yea, that.

How has social media and blogging played a role in your success on Amazon?

I initially used Facebook like many do, to connect with family and friends. It was in 2010 that I discovered Twitter and learned the ins and outs and how it can be used to promote your brand effectively that I realized the impact it could have on my author platform. I really got into learning Twitter – all the different applications, analytics, ratios – and became the Collective’s resident expert, teaching free webinars monthly and helping thousands of tweeps online every month. Tip: remember content (no links). Twitter is social, social media is social. Link after link? #notsocial

The connection of Twitter to your blog is critical. Always have your Twitter button prominently displayed. People read left to right, top to bottom, so make it visible! Top right placement is best. If we have to search, we won’t find it, give up and you’ve just lost us as a follower. If we can’t RT (retweet) your posts, we become frustrated. You’ve written great content and now we can’t share it? Ack. And join Triberr! It’s the ultimate connection between Twitter and blogging. Your reach will increase dramatically.

As for my personal success, I participating in numerous blog tours, promotions, and did multiple guest posts connected to my blog and others where the sell links always lead back to Amazon. I’ve also been an early adapter of the Amazon KDP Select program. Absolutely, for me, the best move I’ve ever made, career-wise.

Your books have ranked #1 on Amazon in multiple categories. What’s your top tip for an author who wants to replicate that success but are brand new to digital publishing?

Realize your first book isn’t going to be your moneymaker. It’s your name maker. Pricing it above $2.99 will only upset readers and it won’t sell. If you’re in this to make money, think again. If you want to put out a quality product, make your name, and hopefully have people read your story, great. Pay for ads, pulse price at 99cents, do blog tours, work your social media constantly, be nice to people, give away without expectation to receive, and if you don’t know how to do something, hire someone who does.

All while writing your next book.

You are your own boss in digital publishing. Work hard, work smart. It won’t happen quickly (it took me nine months to hit #1 with my first book remember) but only a month with my second. My favorite quote is from my quietly brilliant genius writer friend who came up with the title A Walk In the Snark:

What is the best way to promote your book? Write another.
~ Ryne Douglas Pearson, screenwriter of KNOWING

If you could do it again – go back in time and self-publish your first book again – what would you do differently?

Well, the dreaded deadlines of course. Yea, yea, I know. (Hey, you asked.)

Many people think that just because you’re self-publishing you don’t have deadlines to meet but that’s completely untrue. I had a high-exposure blog tour to enter, my editor had another project to finish, and my formatter was about to throw my job out the window. So if I could have taken another month to add or remove an essay, would I? Perhaps. I did take greater care with the second book, removing those time constraints, other people’s desires and pressures to “get the book done already!” and it was a much more pleasant process.

I’m working on my next book in a similar manner – I don’t believe I need to publish a book every month or so which seems to be popular among many indie writers. I’m not criticizing in any way – it’s important to build up their backlist, absolutely. I’m simply not that prolific!

My next book will be out before summer and I’m quite comfortable with that schedule. I still have a social media consulting business to run, and I’m a wife and mom. My brain is always on, but at some point, even the redhead needs to rest!

I’ve been writing since age ten, and blogging helped me find my way back to my calling. I don’t think I ever could have dreamed people would be reading my books or interviews. I’m grateful for the help people have given me and inspired every day by ideas and words I can’t wait to write.

As long as I have coffee. And Nutella is nice, too.

Thanks for such great advice and information about self-publishing, Rachel! Readers, in addition to checking out her blog and the books listed above, you can also check out Dollars & Sense: The Definitive Guide To Self-Publishing Success, which Rachel cowrote with Carolyn McCray and Amber Scott.

Seven WordPress Hacks for Bloggers

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There are tons of awesome blogging platforms to consider, but WordPress is definitely one of the most popular content management systems out there – and with good reason. It’s easy to use and easy to customize, even if you’re a beginner.

But as you begin to use it more and more, you start learning little tricks. I’ve stumbled upon some fantastic time-savers that make me almost want to scream, “WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS SOONER?!?!”

So I’m going to tell you these things, and I apologize for not telling you sooner! Experiences users, hopefully you still find a gem or two in here, and please leave your own favorite hack with a comment below!

1. Expand to Fullscreen for Easier Typing

Let’s start out with a simple tip, but one I didn’t realize was an option until well into my blogging career. It can be annoying to type a post in such a small box. First and foremost, if you scroll to the bottom of the left-hand sidebar when signed into your blog and editing a post, you’ll see “collapse menu.” Click on this text to get rid of that sidebar (don’t worry – you can easily get it back). It’s instantly a little more space. But an even better option is WordPress’ Fullscreen Mode.

There are actually two fullscreen modes. If you click the button that looks like a, square with arrows pointing at the corners (see picture), you’ll get a full screen mode with limited button options for easy, quick typing. If you press Alt+Shift+G you’ll get a version with the full bar of buttons for easier formatting. Both are great, especially if you’re working with a lot of pictures or block quotes.

2. Use Windows Live Writer for Formatting

How your final post looks will depend on the WordPress theme you’re using. You can continuously preview using WordPress itself, but that can be a little tedious, especially if you’re working with pictures and trying to get things to line up just right. Instead, download a desktop client to make formatting easy. I use Windows Live Writer (Mac fans, help me out with a comparable version?), which I like because I can sync it with all the blogs I have. As long as you keep it updated, you can use the WYSIWYG editor to add posts and see what they’ll look like on your blog when published. Adding pictures and videos is super easy.

Sometimes, you have to do some major updates that will cause you blog to look crummy for a few hours. Rather than scaring users away, download and install a plugin like Maintenance Mode and your readers will get a simple message that you’re working on your blog at the moment. I like this plugin specifically because you can even choose to include a countdown clock that will tell users when you get back. No coding knowledge necessary!

There are other maintenance mode plugins out there; this is just the one I like to use on my personal blog. Of course, you can also manually point code your site to give users a maintenance message, but who has the time/knowledge/ambition to do that? This makes it super easy!

4. Use Zemanta for Easy Linking

Finding links can take time, but it makes your posts more valuable to readers. For example, in the previous tip, I linked to the plugin page so you could easily find it. Otherwise, you would have probably had to search for it, and there would be no guarantee that you’d find the plugin I was talking about. Zemanta totally takes the hassle out of linking. This plugin gives you a list of potential in-text links you can add, which updates as you type. In addition, it gives you a list of related articles based on your post, which you can update as you type. You just link on their recommendations to add links as you see fit. Super easy! You can even choose to create a profile and tell Zemanta the blogs you like most so it will draw links from those sites when possible.

5. Prevent Images from Being Too Wide

If you’re working with images, it can sometimes be annoying to remember the max width they can be to fit on your blog. I have a lot of trouble with this one since I blog on multiple sites, all using different themes. If your image is too wide, it will either cut off or overlap onto your sidebar, depending on the them you’re using. Both look pretty bad.

It’s an easy fix. I learned this one from WPHacks. You have to go into the code, but don’t be scared! It’s easy; I promise! Under “appearance” on the left-hand dashboard sidebar, you want to click on editor and find your theme’s .css file (probably the one that comes up by default. Then, just follow the instructions here to add a snippet of code. That’s it! If you can handle copy/pasting, you can do this one. Once you change the max to fit whatever your theme’s max width is, you won’t have to deal with cut off or overlapping pictures ever again.

6. Install the Editorial Calendar Plugin

Recently, we added this plugin here on the BlogWorld blog and it has been a total game-changer for me! I like to stay organized and am a very visual person. The editorial calendar plugin gives me a way to see when posts are being updated, and for a multi-author blog, it allows you to understand when others are planning to publish so you can strategically plan out your content schedule. I also like that you can jot down ideas quickly using the calendar when you have a post idea, and the visual nature makes it easy to see where you’re faltering: Are you uploading too many posts about a specific topic? Are you updating enough? Is your content always bunched instead of spread out? You can also use the calendar to schedule your content easily. Love it.

7. Split Long Posts

Depending on your theme, long posts may or may not look good on your homepage. You can use the “more” tag to split the post after a few teaser paragraphs. It’s the little split button beside the link buttons on your tool bar (see picture) or you can just hit Alt+Shift+T.

By default, this will create a link that says “Continue Reading” or “Read More” or something of that sort, depending on the theme you use. Want to change the text? It’s pretty easy. It requires you to go into your code again, but don’t be scared! Under Appearance on your sidebar, click on editor and then find the index.php file (Main Index Template). Search for:

<?php the_content(‘Read more …’); ?>

If your blog by default has different text, the theme editors already changed it, so that’s what you should search for. In other words, if when you split the text and publish the post, it says on your site, “Click here for more…” you should search for:

<?php the_content(‘Click here for more…’); ?>

Search for whatever that text might be. Then, once you find that line in the code, you can change the text to read whatever you want.

It’s a great way to get more page views out of a single long post.

So there you have it, seven of my favorite WordPress hacks for bloggers. Now it’s your turn to tell us your favorite hacks and tips with a comment below!

BlogWorld Acquires TBEX Travel Blogger’s Conference

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BlogWorld is pleased to announce the acquisition of the world’s largest conference for travel bloggers, TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange). BlogWorld will take over all production and operations for TBEX events and use our experience to help TBEX and the travel blogging community grow. Travel bloggers can expect to see the same commitment to quality educational sessions and networking at TBEX events that BlogWorld has become known for, and TBEX will continue to be held at unique travel destination venues.

While this may seem like a surprise move for BlogWorld to some, it’s really a no brainer. In fact, the TBEX story shared some similarity to BlogWorld’s at its inception.

Kim Mance, TBEX’s founder explains, “When I first got into travel blogging, I was amazed by the friendliness of this community of people with a similar passion online. After a couple of years, I was dying to meet many of the bloggers I already ‘knew’ virtually, as well as be face-to-face with members of the industry I’d worked with. It turned out others felt the same…and an event was born, which doubled in size each year.”

Putting together a conference each year became a challenge for Kim, however. “As a writer with a love for new media, event planning was just never my strong point, and it became clear we needed to get some pros to come in and save the day with logistics and planning. To my delight, while looking at hiring event planners, I got a call from BlogWorld’s CEO, Rick, and we began to talk about TBEX instead being acquired and run by a group who could really help take the event to the next level. ”

“BlogWorld’s mission has always been to help all bloggers, podcasters and WebTV producers succeed and grow their businesses,” says Rick. “We approached Kim about making TBEX a part of the BlogWorld family because it is the largest and best travel blogging event in the world. We think it’s a perfect fit, and we think we can help TBEX continue on its amazing growth path here in the United States and around the world.”

So far the reaction among travel bloggers has been favorable. Mary Jo Manzanares, a travel blogger, flight attendant and Track Leader at BlogWorld L.A.’s Travel Track in 2011 sees it as a positive beginning, “Entrepreneurial spirit meets travel passion in this acquisition, and the result is a winning combination for travel bloggers. With BlogWorld we can be assured of a professionally run, top-notch event, providing us with unparalleled opportunities to learn, share, and grow. There are exciting times ahead of us.”

Andy Hayes, also known online as “That Travel Guy” concurs, “I’m excited about the TBEX announcement.” he said, “Blogworld has always been a place for online publishers of all kinds to come together to share ideas and innovations; this move will be a huge boon to the travel blogging industry.”

Beth Whitman, a travel blogger who attends both TBEX and BlogWorld also feels the acquisition is a good move. “The acquisition of TBEX by Blog World Expo makes perfect sense. This will give TBEX the chance to grow into a world class blogging event while increasing BWE’s reach deeper into a niche it is already working with. ” Beth adds, “I’m thrilled to see the marriage of these two great organizations – a large network of travel bloggers with a well-established event that can offer professional resources that will ultimately help this community grow their businesses. ”

Jennifer Miner, one of the industry’s most followed travel bloggers, and past speaker at both BlogWorld and TBEX said, “It’s wonderful news that Blog World has bought TBEX and will now run the annual travel bloggers’ conference. It’s not often that two companies I enjoy so greatly come together like this. As an organized person, I’ve often thought that TBEX could benefit from a more precise approach to conference-running. As a travel blogger, I’ve often thought that BlogWorld could benefit from, well, more travel bloggers! We’re a lively bunch, after all. The synergy of the two groups is exciting. We travel bloggers are about to see what it’s like to have an internationally respected, well-run, and important conference all our own. The new ownership ensures that travel bloggers and bloggers of other niches can learn from each other, enhance our professional skills, and continue to grow.”

BlogWorld will now take over regular operations of all TBEX accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and we’re already working on a plan for Pinterest. We look forward to spending time getting to know the TBEX community as we move forward to our first event as the new owners of TBEX. We hope all travel bloggers will join us June 15 – 17 in Keystone, CO, at the Keystone Resort & Convention Center.

“I think TBEX + BlogWorld is a win for everyone in the travel blogging community, many of whom are really looking to make this their full-time career if it isn’t already,” says Kim. “Having the preeminent and largest travel blogging conference in the world now run by event professionals passionate about new media is a perfect fit. It not only ups everyone’s visibility and credibility, but things will be run more smoothly, allowing attendees to really maximize all the learning and networking opportunities at the TBEX events. I’m excited.”

We’re excited too.

If You Aren’t Offending Anyone, This Will Be The Result…

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Photo via twob under the Creative Commons license.

Earlier today, a friend of mine posted a silly quote/picture on Facebook. I won’t repeat it here because it admittedly was a little risque, but it did make me giggle. And within an hour or so, ten people had liked it (keep in mind, she isn’t a blogger or social media person, just a typical user with 200 or so friends), so I guess it made others giggle too.

Then, one of her friends left a comment saying, “This really isn’t funny. Shame on you.” I’m paraphrasing, but the woman was clearly very offended. The original poster immediately responded with, “I’m so sorry! This just made me giggle and I have a long day! I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone, though!” Again, paraphrasing.

Was the picture a little offensive? Okay, maybe. But it was also hilarious.

Another story: I was surfing some blogs about *nerd alert* video games, as I often do, and I came across a strongly-worded post about whether or not one console is better than another. For those of you who aren’t gamers, this has been a hot debate for years upon years in the gaming industry – “hardcore” gamers are usually either fans of Microsoft (Xbox 360) or Sony (PlayStation). It’s a debate comparable to Mac versus PC.

The writer was extremely critical of Sony, as his console of choice is the Xbox 360. He made some really great points, but the content was also pretty offensive for Sony fans – and they weren’t shy about letting him know that in the comments. He definitely had supporters as well, but several commenters were upset about his piece.

Now, my friend on Facebook could spend her days posting nothing more than G-rated jokes and politically correct comments and the game blogger could write a post entitled, “Why Microsoft and Sony Consoles are Both Awesome,” but let’s face it…those things are a bore.

If you aren’t offending anyone, the result is the above picture – a yawning audience.

Let’s make a few things clear. There’s good offensive and there’s bad offensive. Being “offensive” in the context I’m suggesting does not mean:

  • Being rude or being a jerk in any way
  • Being controversial for the sake of being controversial
  • Being snarky toward individuals or groups (i.e. attacking)

What it does mean is:

  • Posting your opinions even though you know some people will disagree
  • Recognizing humor, even stuff that makes you groan or blush
  • Not hiding behind “anonymous” but rather using your posts in conjunction with your name/brand

You don’t have to be in-your-face about it. You don’t have to be mean. Deb Ng is one of the most friendly, accommodating people I’ve ever met, but her blog posts on Kommein are often very opinionated and may offend or upset others. Pace and Kyeli at Connection Revolution are all about peaceful entrepreneurship, not aggressive snark, but I’m sure there are regularly readers turned off by their content.

There are a lot of in-your-face people out there as well of course. Johnny B. Truant. Ashley Ambirge. Elizabeth Potts Weinstein. Lots of other successful or up-and-coming bloggers. So yes, that’s one path to take on your honey-badger blogging journey. But the point is, you don’t have to be aggressive to be offensive. At least, not the good type of offensive.

In fact, I would go as far as saying the goal isn’t “to be offensive.” That word is a bit strong. The goal is to be thought-provoking, interesting, and original, knowing full well that there will be some people who will disagree and there might even be some people who are offended.

You cannot please everyone. And you shouldn’t try. If you write for everybody, your content will be too watered-down and boring for anybody. Write for “your people” – the people who are inspired by what you have to say, rather than writing to please everyone. The best content is always full of ideas and opinions we can discuss and debate.

Run Though This Checklist Every Six Months for a Rocking Blog

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Blogs have a little way of getting…off track, shall we say? I’ve started blogs with a very different picture in mind than what I have today. I’ve quit blogs that I previously felt passionate about because I lost the love. I’ve mentally kicked myself in the tushie for not making the time to make my million and one ideas come to life and seeing someone else capitalize on an idea I had a year ago.

So, I created the checklist I want to share with you all today. Run through this checklist every six months to get back on track and stay focused. No matter what your niche, we all need that reminder sometimes. All you have to do is answer these questions…and then, more importantly, TAKE ACTION to improve your blog.

My Blogging Future

  • Do I really still love my niche and the blog I’m creating or is it time to give it up to pursue other ventures? (I know, a toughie right out of the gate.)
  • What is my MAIN goal (making money, sharing information about a cause, promoting a business, etc.)? Is every post I write helping me achieve that goal?

Design and Function

  • Do I still love the overall design/theme of my blog or is it time for a change?
  • Are all the elements on my sidebar necessary?
  • Are there any elements I should add to my sidebar?
  • Is it easy for readers to share posts?
  • Is it easy for readers to find my contact information and social media profiles?
  • Are there any new plugins or widgets I should try?
  • Is there an easy-to-use mobile version of my site?

Search Engine Traffic

  • What terms do I want people to use to find my blog?
  • Have I answered questions that people in this niche naturally search for?
  • Where are there knowledge gaps that I can fill using keywords (great post on that here)?

Subscribers

  • Is it easy to subscribe to my blog via RSS and email?
  • Am I writing posts that interest long-time readers, not just posts that attract search traffic?
  • Do I reward my subscribers in any way (giveaways, promotions, deals on my own products, exclusive content)?
  • Do I remember to promote the best of the best products to my subscribers?

Social

  • Do I interact with people via social media every day?
  • Do I promote my posts well with social media?
  • Are my headlines captivating to people will click on links (headline advice here)?
  • Do my social interactions and broadcasts effectively build the brand I’m creating on my blog?

Linking

  • Am I doing enough internal linking?
  • Am I doing enough external linking?

Products

  • Could I compile some posts or write a short report/ebook/guide to give away to readers?
  • Is there an informational product I could create to sell on my blog?
  • Would it be a good idea for me to produce a podcast or video series?

Posts

  • Can I interview anyone in the niche or another niche that would be valuable for readers?
  • Can I guest post on anyone’s blog to introduce myself to a new audience?
  • Can I approach anyone for a guest post that would be beneficial?
  • Am I a go-to resource in my niche for beginners and experienced readers alike?
  • Are my posts organized into categories and tagged well?
  • Would it make sense for me to start a weekly or monthly series on a certain topic?
  • Am I posting often enough (or too often)?
  • Are there old, irrelevant posts I should delete?

Answer these questions honestly and working to improve your blog based on your answers can help you stay on track. Are there questions you would add to this checklist? If so, leave them as comments!

23 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Blog to Book

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Blog to Book

If you combine all your blog posts after a year or so of blogging, they’d probably be the length of a book…so why not write a book? At least, that’s the mindset some bloggers have. When you’re niche blogging, you learn an incredible amount of information about a topic and are always on top of news stories in your industry, which definitely qualifies you to write in book (at least, in most cases). Combine that with your already-built-in audience of buyers – i.e., your blog readers – and you’re any publisher’s dream!

Right?

Well, maybe. Finding an agent/editor to take you on might still be a challenge. And you also have the option of self-publishing, a topic we’ve definitely covered before here at BlogWorld. But having a blog is without a doubt one of the routes you can take to becoming a published book author. The below brilliant bloggers can help you out with even more great advice!

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

From Blog to Book Deal: How 6 Authors Did It by Brenna Ehrlich

If they did it so can you! Well, at least, that’s the hope. In this post, Brenna talks to six different authors about the varied ways they landed book deals, how they drove traffic to their blogs, and more. The biggest take-away message from this post? Not everyone goes about the blog-to-book thing the same way! In this post, you can find out how popular bloggs like Ben Huh and Pam Slim landed book deals, but keep in mind that your own path might be a little different. From the post:

Ever since roughly 2005, publishers have been looking toward the Internet in order to find new fodder for the printed page, and this year, those literary folk found themselves flush with talent. Everything from Tweets to Twinkies served as inspiration for books, bridging the digital divide to bring your computer screen to your coffee table. So how did they do it? How did these weekend website warriors snag book deals?

After checking out the complete post at Mashable, you can find more from Brenna on her own site,  Stuff Hipsters Hate, or by following her on Twitter @brenna_e.

From Blogger to Book Author: The Four-Step Guide by Jeff Goins

As we’ve seen with the last post, bloggers can take make different routes to becoming published book authors. However, there are four main steps to getting published (for most people at least, and while following these steps doesn’t guarantee you J.K Rowling-like success, it does make it easier for you to get a book deal. In this guest post for Problogger, Jeff Goins talks about his publishing experiences and how you can replicate his success. Writes Jeff,

Recently, I signed a contract with a book publisher. I had always hoped to one day publish a book, but I never thought it would happen in a few months.

What made this possible? In a word: blogging.

After checking out the complete post, you can find more from Jeff at his blog Goins, Writer and on Twitter @jeffgoins.

Please Don’t Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why by Jane Friedman

With the success of so many bloggers becoming print authors, those with a dream of getting published are turning to blogs as a why to get a foot in the door. And that’s a great idea…but blogging pieces from your not-yet-published manuscript really isn’t the way to go about doing it. You can get a book deal if you start a blog, but in this post, Jane talks about why it is so important not to “blog your book” – writing a blog and writing a book are two very different animals. Almost all successful book authors who started as bloggers wrote nearly completely new material. Rehashing blog posts into a book just doesn’t work. From the post:

It seems almost silly to have to state it, but blogging (as a form of writing) holds tremendous merit on its own. Writers who ask, “Can I blog to get a book deal?” probably think of the blog as a lesser form of writing, merely a vehicle to something “better.” No. A blog has its own reasons for being, and blogs do not aspire to become books if they are truly written as blogs.

You can find more from Jane on Twitter @janefriedman.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about blog to book? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

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