Thursday, April 19, 2012

April Platform Challenge: Day 19

For today's task, write a new blog post. Include a call to action (for instance, encourage readers to sign up for your e-mail feed or to share the post with others by using your share buttons) and link to it on your social networks. Also, don't forget to think SEO.


Consistency is your ticket to success.

One of the top rules of finding success with online tools is applying consistency. While it's definitely a great thing if you share a blog post more than once a week, I think it's imperative that you post AT LEAST once a week. The main reason? It builds trust with your readers that you'll have something to share regularly and gives them a reason to visit regularly.

So today's task is not about making things complicated; it's just about keeping it real.

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How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself.

In the webinar How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself, super freelance writer I.J. Schecter teaches writers how to avoid the most common social media pitfalls, how to respond to others strategically, how to get work for yourself by talking about others, and more.

Click to continue.

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Need to catch up or re-visit earlier challenge tasks? Here are the most recent:

86 comments:

Anne Kimball said...

I had today's post "in the can" since the w/e. I wrote about my experience meeting Jill Smokler (Scary Mommy blog author) over the w/e. Since Jill is featuring a post of mine on her blog next week on 4/26, my "call to action" was to encourage my readers to go check out her blog Scary Mommy.com that day and to share the post around.

As far as frequency of posts, I used to post pretty erratically on my old blog, sometimes going a month or more w/o updating it.

But then I kind of got into it ( I had to do SOMETHING to get away from the laundry!), and now I post every day. I have found having a schedule really helps me with this. The schedule I keep is:
M - Mirth Monday - something funny like a cartoon, or some quotes from a comedian.
T - Adoption Tues - adoption issues
W - Wordless Weds - a photo or artwork from me or one of my kids
Th - random musings
F - Farm Friday - anything related to my life on a farm.
S - random
S - Sunday Social - a family member or pet is introduced (with 8 in the family and 3 - 4 dozen critters, I'm still working on this feature a year later with no repeats).

Jennifer said...

Unless I fall off the rails, which I do, I post Mon-Wed-Fri. I'm on schedule this week, so I'll post today's challenge tomorrow. I'll see if I can do SEO without it rubbing me the wrong way.

I finally got share buttons, though they're not quite working the way I want them to; still tinkering there.

Anne - having theme days are definitely good ways to stay on track. I do Wordless Wednesday too.

Misky said...

I post several times a week, often daily, on both of my blogs. So 'tick' on that requirement. A call to action post, eh? Okay, I'll have to think about that one.

Lauren Miller said...

I'm working on trying to post Mon-Wed-Friday if I can.

On Mondays, I've started a short series on discussing classic American literature pieces (2x a month) and I may branch that out to include modern flash fiction. I'm not sure if this'll be a permanent series or not.

Wednesdays I try to post something writing-related, like a short story, or past work I've done, or progress in my writing for the week.

Fridays I participate in Twitter's #FridayReads hashtag and post books I've read and reviewed. My 2012 goal is to read/review 52 books this year.

So for today's challenge, I'll post a book review tomorrow with a call-to-action to follow on my Twitter feed. Thanks Robert!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Anne, that is exactly how I order my blog--with general themes for each day of the week.

Your post doesn't have to be a call to action, Misky. Just include a call to action at the end of the post. For instance, I usually have a message asking people to sign up for e-mail updates and connect with me online.

Jennifer and Lauren, I think I started off once a week, moved to three days per week, and this year I've been getting close to daily. More important than the frequency though is the consistency. Keep it up!

bolton carley said...

Done. I always post at least once a week.

This time around, I had to say my last words about Dick Clark but with a side of humor.

Kelly Williamson said...

I'm on it! I think I'll try to include pictures today from my trip down Memory Lane yesterday! Thinking about SEO's, too.

Donna said...

I post daily and have since I started my blog. I'm amazed that God has blessed me each day with something to write.

My call to action isn't about signing up to receive my blog, but it is what God is calling people to do with their lives. I don't know if this counts, but it is what my blog is about.

Donna

Mary Bauer said...

I post on a regular schedule also. I knew with a full time teaching job that I could manage four days a week. I wrote two posts last night and scheduled them.
I find using SEO like using a thesaurus. I know what I want to say, I need to choose certain words.
I plan to write another post or two today.

Joseph Lalonde said...

So far all of my posts have contained a call to action to participate in my comment section.

It seems to work well and I get quite a bit of conversation going. Lots of posts receive over 10 unique commenters and I think that says something for how new and small my readership has been.

I think I'll toss out another call to action and request people to signup to my newsletter on tomorrows blog. Let's see how that goes!

Gerry said...

I posted a new entry last night, but I'm afraid it doesn't have a clear "call to action," so maybe it doesn't count. It is linked to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, so please go have a look and maybe consider what I have to say about developing fictional characters a call to action . . . Or maybe I'll go back and revise it and re-post. Here it is:"Consider the Two-headed Coneflower: Character and Oddity" at http://bit.ly/HTLROV.

I also have a new short story out today--"Pieces" at Prime Number magazine: http://bit.ly/IRcH3I. Please check that out, too! (Shameless self-promotion!)

Melanie Cole said...

I also post on a regular schedule. I put a blog post up every other day, so I'll be writing my blog post and posting it tomorrow. I'll make sure to keep SEO in mind and have a call to action at the end. Thanks!

Gerry said...

Re what Joseph said: It would be easy to ask for comments on the post I described above. I'll go back and do that. Thanks, Joseph.

Pat Walsh said...

Yesterday's task got me thinking about SEO to the point that I went back to my most recent previous blog post and changed the title and added several relevant keywords that I had missed.

For today's assignment I had two potential topics in mind - one a nifty piece about writing, the other an entirely unrelated personal post that arose from my daily walk in the park near my home. The first would provide all sorts of opportunities to show off my new found SEO prowess, and would be directly relevant to our group exploration of platform building, etc.

So of course, I ended up writing the second one!

But as I finished it, and sat here wondering what exactly it has to do with my platform, I realized that the basic approach to building an audience and interacting in a positive way with my readers, with all the little things that you've suggested we do to strengthen those connections, can be applied to pretty much anything I write.

So here's what I've accomplished in the process of taking today's post from 'writing exercise' to 'share-ready':

- I've written a piece that demonstrates my writing ability and provides a glimpse of my personality;

- I've included a relevant photo to reinforce the tone of the piece and to increase its visual appeal;

- I've added several keywords from yesterday's list, even though I initially thought that I wouldn't find any that were suitable to this particular topic;

- I've included an inviting action item that reiterates the main point of the piece and asks for readers' reaction to the dilemma that is discussed;

- I've included links to several previous posts that are similar in nature.

And of course, I've posted links to this piece at my social networking sites.

For any of my fellow Platform Builders who I might have missed in the process, the piece is called "The First Warm Day of Spring," available now at my blog, at:

http://mediaintercept.blogspot.com/2012/04/first-warm-day-of-spring.html

… and for me, Day 19 is done…

Julia Tomiak said...

Ok, I'll add "call to action" to my proofreading checklist. :) This task is almost done!

Monique Liddle said...

Done. My main keywords so far are pain, multiple scersosis, facial pain, trigeminal neuralgia, and then secondary ones. I've been doing the call to actions for each post and giving people many options to subscribe to my blog. And also SEO.

E.B.Pike said...

Done. I included a flash fiction contest on my blog this week!

Beth Stilborn said...

I'm participating in the A to Z challenge this month, so I'm already bombarding my readers with daily posts, that have been pre-scheduled.

I'm looking forward to getting back to "normal" blogging, three times a week, and when May rolls around and I'm doing that, I will be considering my titles and keywords carefully with thought of SEO, as well as including calls to action. That will have to do.

On an SEO note, I get many google alerts for different search terms, and I noticed that yesterday, for one term related to children's literature, my blog post was first in the list, even above the "official" site for that topic. I must be doing something right!

Elissa Field said...

Done. I did this challenge yesterday, and yesterday's today. :)

I wrote a blog about why I think Twitter is so valuable for writers (on the heels of one earlier in the week, giving my 5 best tips), and ended it with a call to action that encouraged discussion of different social media, with links to connect with me at 4 of them. SEO for the article was Twitter and writers. Both blogs about twitter have drawn more hits than other blogs, so clearly that's a popular topic. I also followed another staple rule, to share the wealth, including mentions and links to 3 writers I've engaged with.

Good luck with it today, everyone!

Sarah Negovetich said...

After yesterday's SEO review it was nice to get a challenge day with something nice and easy.:)

Veronica Roth said...

Although I write and sell magazine articles I’m primarily a photographer. I do editorial photos for magazines plus stock agencies, but many of those images I can’t put on the blog because they are proprietary. Also, I cannot repurpose an article until it has been published. If I don’t have an image or series of images to share I find it really hard to get inspired to write a post. Maybe my thoughts should be more towards photographing something every day for blog purposes. Creating fiction for Sophie Storm and artistic content for Media Tala has also slipped because of work. So much to catch up on!!!

Susan Scott said...

I completed my blog on gardenofedenblog.com and have twittered it. Unsure how to make those links though. Will try the linkedin one .. and if I get brave enough will do the FB link. As always I enjoy the comments.

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

Did this for the first time yesterday with two of my blogs, and I am on the road today, so please give me a pass and let that count! Just kidding (not about the posts). I still have another blog I should do this on. Later, MUCH later today.

De said...

Done.

Dana Dampier said...

Done!
http://dana-mycrazylife.blogspot.com/2012/04/owning-night.html

Erika D. said...

Just checking at lunchtime and seeing that my a.m. post here didn't take, so I guess I'll say "done" again.

This time, I even managed to include a call to action. And I'll do something similar with this comment. Today is Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), and today's Practicing Writing post addresses how my book of short stories helps support Holocaust survivors. If you read only one of the posts I mention in the comments here this month, please read this one. Thank you.

And yes, I agree with everyone who finds themed posts to provide a helpful structure. That's how I can post on Practicing Writing 5X/week.

Still working on the SEO, though....

Erika D. said...

And the CORRECT link is http://www.erikadreifus.com/2012/04/thursdays-work-in-progress-remembrance-day/. Knew I should have previewed it!

Gail Kushner said...

Utopia on Earth? That is the subject of today's blog post. I wrote about what two psychics told me about upcoming changes on Earth. Then, I sent it to Facebook (which didn't quite work because it won't send it to my fan page) and to Twitter. I also suggested that my readers share it with their networks.

Done. :)

www.MyPsychicSearch.com/id72.html

Brooke Ryter said...

Done...yesterday! And will be doing again tomorrow!

Lauri Meyers said...

I had a nightmare when I was a corporate profit forecaster where umbrellas were falling on me. At first I was swatting them away, but then the pattern changed. I woke up yelling "Inconsistency is Problematic!" I still can't hear the word consistency without some panic and a good laugh.

De said...

Frequent updates are easy for me, because mine is a poetry blog and I'm writing like a mad woman this month. Even on a normal week, I write to 2-5 prompts, which means frequent blogposts. I've not mastered the art of the call to action yet, but will be incorporating this more and more.

I am still stumped about yesterday's application, regarding Wordpress. Is "key words" the same as "tags?" And if not, how do I find out about key words on Wordpress? Or do you just mean I should be including certain words in my poems/posts (or maybe comments section after poems?) to be sure the post comes up in a search engine? Can someone please enlighten me on all of this? No response to yesterday's questions for Robert...

J. B. Everett said...

I post pretty regularly. I'm sort of confounded by yesterday's assignment. I'm not sure how SEO, tags, keywords, etc. work.

Lynn said...

Done.

Rowanwolf said...

Thanks for the challenge Robert. Now here's mine for all of you. My sister-in-law challenged us to tell ONE OTHER PERSON the story of her daughter with pediatric cancer. Here it is on my blog: http://bit.ly/HLHiSh

Now there's a call to action for you. (i think)

Susan P said...

I update my personal blog fairly regularly because I use it to keep track of my writing process. Today I tried a more formal entry - passing on some of the main techniques I use for creating suspense. http://dumpygrace.blogspot.ca/2012/04/tips-for-writing-suspense.html

I also remembered to put links on various other sites. It will be interesting to see if the straightforward title results in more hits.

Nicole said...

Hey Nicole here. Done.
Until tomorrow.

Gail Kushner said...

I was reading the Books page on the Huffington Post and decided to make a comment. I had to join their network and, lo and behold, I joined another Social Media site without realizing it. I thought I was just posting a comment, but now it's tracking my "friends," etc.

Social Media . . . it's everywhere . . .

Claudette Young said...

I've done the assignment for today. I did a new post on my Calliope blog since Claudsy's Blog is maintaining the PA presence with its poetry.

Today's post on Calliope was the 5 new steps that I've created for myself to keep myself motivated and on task through my writing day. I began these steps when this challenge began and they've been working very well for me.

There are days when they get scrambled in precedence simply because of outside factors, but they get done somewhere in the day, plus a few others.

My blog is set to automatically tweet and post to FB. I still have to take the time to get it on the others as well.

Thanks, Robert, for helping to get me back in line.

Joy Weese Moll said...

A trip to the Art Museum inspired my post today: Photo Review: Library by Andreas Gursky. It includes stunning photos for book lovers!

AMelodyGalloway said...

But Robert, today's not my day for posting on my writing blog. I do need to post to my company blog, but it will need to wait until after dinner. I'm still not feeling the SEO assignment, but it will fit better there than on melodypearson.com. At least, I have a clue who the audience is intended to be on madisonvilledesign.com.

So, later tonight and maybe I'll combine to two assignments together.

Jen McPeek said...

I did mine :) http://jenmcpeek.blogspot.com/2012/04/making-outlines-work-for-you.html

Elizabeth Saunders said...

I know I should be consistent, but my life is so inconsistent. I don't know how y'all do it. This week I had four jobs (one cancelled) and tonight I got home after 9pm after helping friends with a funeral (my day started at 8am). Every week is different.

But I need to do it! So, incoherent as my writing would be now, I'll start an outline so I can finish a post tomorrow.

hcfbutton said...

I've finally completed the task. I blogged on my professional site earlier this week so I posted tonight on my personal site. I incorporated the call to respond at the end, and tried to update for SEO optimization. Hopefully I did it right.

http://wp.me/p25iaU-7P

Claudia Karabaic Sargent said...

I did today's task, and need a focused hour or two to do SEO (which I've sort of been doing, but I want to try the tools you gave us). So I'll get to that tomorrow or Saturday.
Today was easy-peasy, and I already automatically link to all my social networking sites.
I did include a call to action (tell me your story) and asked for follows/email sign-ups at the end.

http://ckswarriorqueen.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/simply-be/

Laura Diane said...

DAY 19 DONE!!! I did it yesterday. My blog posts for adult children of aging parents can be found at www.startingthe dialogue.wordpress.com. I post on Wednesday and Sunday and try to always throw out a question or call to action. Of course, I've only been blogging for 2 weeks, but learning so much. Liked your blog today Robert Lee Brewer. Very appropriate!

Meg Miller said...

In process. Because my blog isn't ready just yet I can't say that I'm done. But I will be working on these tasks in a couple of months I enjoy reading you posts and the comments. I'm further along by working this challenge than if I were doing this alone.

Michelle said...

In honor of Earth Day on Sunday, today's post is focused on Earth Day tips and reducing our fingerprint. Here's the link (shortened of course!):

http://bit.ly/Jltdu9

Mary said...

Robert, thanks for writing your encouraging words. Even writers who are accustomed to most of these social networks can feel overwhelmed when adjusting to actually using them on a constant basis. I'm still enjoying the challenge and connecting on Twitter with other writers. I can't remember when I connected with so many people at one time that weren't relatives.

caryl said...

Will have to do this tomorrow! :(

Kyle Robinson said...

I moved up my Friday Blog post up to today, I usually post twice a week, once on Tuesday and Once on Friday so it is equal apart and keeps content fresh on given days. I'd love your thoughts, it's located

http://inthedemonshead.blogspot.com/2012/04/in-demons-head-15-in-know.html

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

Okay, done, but I couldn't post the blog because I belived – optimistically – I could manage my blogger blog from my iPad. Perhaps a more savvy user could, but not moi. Tomorrow I'll find the business center at the hotel and get it set up from there. Whew. Anyway, it is done.

Kendra Merritt said...

Done. Will be posted friday morning before the pikes peak writers conference.

MaryPf said...

In response to Pat Walsh, your choice to write about "the other" topic was the right one. Nice writing that turned compelling at about the point (3rd paragraph) that I usually stop reading and start scanning.

As for my blog: Why am I still writing when I could turn out a short version of a speech I gave tonight?

imunuri said...

Done.

Jo Ann J. A. Jordan said...

Done... I am posting every day anyway because of my creativity project. The reminder to include a call to action is timely though. I do not always remember this.

Romelle Broas said...

All of you seem to be great bloggers! I'm impressed. I, on the other hand, need to improve. I only have time to blog once a month. But this challenge has pushed me to my limits. I can't believe this will be my 3rd blog in a month! WooHOO!

Lara Britt said...

I started this blog when I started the contest. It is still finding its voice, but has been hitting some surprisingly high notes already. I was planning on posting 5x a week according to a theme for each day. Now thinking about posting a week's recap on the weekend which references past week and promos the coming one. Looking at stats a lot now to gauge how readers are interacting. This is my 1st week this system has been in use. Excited about the results, feedback & traffic. Couldn't have done it w/o all of you. Thx

Diane said...

done i posted on my public face book and a group of picture book writers site my call to action and got a couple of takers! yeah. thanks

Barbara Morrison said...

Done. Won't post till Monday (my regular day).

Louise Behiel said...

I've been blogging twice a week for 4 months and I love it. it's going well. thanks

Rhonda Parrish said...

Done :)

I'm doing a month-long blogging challenge so I really love the 'Write a blog post' "assignments" because it feels super efficient ;)


~ Rhonda Parrish

Muddy said...

Done! : )

Skipperhammond@gmail.com said...

Not happy with it. This post won't win any repeat readers. But I done it!

Diana said...

Did call to action on my blog, but was sick and fell asleep instead of reporting in. ^_^

Blyth McManus said...

Done!

Khara House said...

Done--I did this one on the 19th with my post titled "you have the 'write' to write to writers", which encourages writers to take advantage of writers who publicly share their contact information to show appreciation and let the writers we love know that in the communal act of writing and reading and sharing we are all connected! There's also now a permanent "call to action" at the end of each post encouraging readers to connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and to sign up for email updates.

E. B. Pike said...

Polldaddy poll on my flash contest. :)

Marian O'Brien Paulo said...

I actually posted a new blog article on the 19th titled "Emperor of the World" about a book of poetry I'm working on about my adult son who has a chronic mental illness. Some of the poems are humorous, some more serious.

I did get reactions to it on my facebook page from of couple of my contacts there.

Kirra said...

Done finally but it won't go live till next Tuesday to keep up with my posting schedule. I did add the call to action. It's nice to have a reminder to do that because I tend to forget.

Stephanie Puckett said...

Oh! I've pleasantly surprised myself! I actually did this one on Day 19, lol!

AC Leming said...

Ok,I wrote it on 19 April then promptly misplaced it so
Rewrote & posted yesterday.

Robert, I've found that writing to the PAD prompts seems much easier (even writing two [or more] poems a day) than all my worrying over the Platform Challenge. It's like all my angst is focused on the Scarey things here & uncluttering (unbinding?) my unconscious mind. Of couse, I Also just came off a 4 month writing dry spell. :)

Rowanwolf said...

Robert - Just a crazy update. I wrote a post regarding my niece's cancer and National Ependymoma Awareness Day. Surprisingly, the folks who sponsored that day, the CERN Foundation, picked up my blog post on their FB news feed! I only found out about it because Campbell's mother was checking out the feed and saw her own daughter's picture! Just wow!

Jennifer said...

I have written my Wednesday post and it will go live tomorrow. I have been posting consistantly for nine months, three days a week. With your help I now have a check list that includes call to action and incorporating keywords. My posts are much better with your help. Thank you.

CERN Wife said...

Will I ever catch up with all these exercises? I finished Day 19 on Day 24, with a blog post entitled "The Romans and the Jews" on one part of my trip to Rome (at http://cernwife.blogspot.com). I used Twitter and Facebook to post links to my site, and I also put what I think are keywords in Bloggers' labels. So now it's on to Day 20...

Lynn Daue said...

I'm calling this one done because I wrote a post yesterday and tried to incorporate SEO. I've added a standard call to action, so ... yeah. And thanks for the easier one after the monster of Day 19.

Janann Giles said...

DOne - I have asked for comments on a specific item in the blog.

Rebecca Barray said...

Done... enough.

Kerry said...

Included a request for additional information in my last blog posting. I'll make it a goal to include a call-to-action each week.

Denise Stanley said...

Done

Claudine Jaboro said...

Done!

Kerry said...

My calls to action are generally just a question at the end of my blog, asking for my readers' opinion or preference. Sometimes I invite my visitors to share their experience that relates to my post. I haven't had too many remarks other than people encouraging me to keep doing what I'm doing. This isn't exactly what I'm looking for, so I am studying how to adjust my 'call to action' at the end of each post.

Paul Ellis said...

I'm finally on a roll again. Day 19 completed. http://bit.ly/JYoAZZ

Shirley is not my name said...

Done. With a call to continue encouraging each other. Did I already respond to this? (smh) and to visit me on FB, twitter and LI.
http://shirleyisnotmyname.blogspot.com/2012/04/challenge.html

allysonyj said...

Done

Monica Miller said...

Done. Calls to action include signing up for emails, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and share with friends using share buttons if you like the post.

http://monicamiller.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/that-which-satisfies/

Pennie De Witt said...

Well, I wrote this week's blog post before I read this assignment. I will repost it on FB later with a call to action. Thanks for the reminder to use those calls to action. Every little bit helps!