2 February 2010
I have lucked out. The shell of my blog has been created with a program called WordPress, by an entity – I’m not sure it’s a company – that seems to be an offshoot of the open source community. This means that the software is free, but it also means that the documentation is likely to be oriented towards techies and impenetrable to anybody else. Luckily, Sarah McHarry has written an online manual, also free, that is a masterpiece. So I was able to get my blog up and running in less than three hours. In fact, in retrospect, I think that, had I read McHarry’s tutorial, the blog part of my marketing efforts could have been a do-it-yourself project.
You can run your blog through WordPress, but there are a lot of advantages to having your own domain name, which I have obtained with Linda’s help. McHarry tells you how to do that by yourself in her second manual, which costs seven dollars. I think that’s an incredible bargain.
In any case, the first phase of my online marketing is in place. Visitors can get to my blog from my web site, and to my web site from my blog, but as I wanted, the two appear as two separate entities to the outside world.
The next phase is social networking (in the limited, online sense). I don’t exactly understand all the mechanics yet. The components include a “fan page” on Facebook, links from other blogs, and “tweets” – the 140-character-long messages produced by Twitter. In theory, there’s a way to automate your blog, or Twitter, or Facebook in such a way that a blog excerpt automatically gets tweeted out to all your followers. You get followers in the first place by adding a hyperlink at the bottom of your blog that allows people to start following you with only a couple of clicks. I looked today, and at the moment I have 17 followers.
But that’s not the point. The goal of tweeting is to generate a so-called viral effect. Because – and this is the key to Twitter as a marketing tool – your followers can retweet your message. There are equations for calculating potential results, based on populating modeling or simple exponential growth.
You can reach a lot of people this way. But, I ask myself once again, is this the proper focus for a novelist?
To be continued…
Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/magicmichael (Magicmichael is my twitter name.)
Read the first chapter of Fortuna right now at www.fortunathebook.com
Note: I’m using the blog format here to post a journal I have been keeping for some time. We will catch up to the present in a couple of weeks.