Social Media Tips & Blog

Why You Should Avoid Digital Sharecropping

In the bad old days, some folks were trapped in a poverty-inducing cycle, farming land they could never own. Rich landowners allowed ("allowed" !) tenant farmers to work the land in exchange for a share of the crop. The rich landowner, simply because he owned the land, received a share of the crops as well.

The sharecropper could never make enough to buy the land. The system was designed to keep the rich rich and the poor poor.

Eleven times a week I hear questions about "the best blogging platform." And I read recommendations of, not only various free blogging tools, but even folks who consider their Facebook page or other social media presence to be their online marketing.

If you don't own the land, you're sharecropping, building someone else's empire.

… more … "Why You Should Avoid Digital Sharecropping"

Where Should You Be Selling Your Books?

When I was a kid my brothers and I played a board game called Risk. The goal was to conquer the world. This is our goal as writers, so it's a good analogy, right?

The board was a map of the world. Each player started on one continent with a number of armies. Rolls of the die determined the outcomes of battles, introducing a certain element of chance, but good strategy usually triumphed.

One concept my younger brother never grasped was that one big army defending his borders was stronger than 3 or 4 small ones. But he liked spreading things out, so he'd have 4 armies each in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia rather than putting all 12 in Mexico.

Our older brother would come down through Texas with 6 armies and blow through like Santa Ana. Or whoever would have been blowing from the north.

Like Butter Spread Over Too Much Toast

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Introducing Joel D Canfield

( . . . and that's the last time I'll refer to myself in the third person . . . )

The invisible man breaks his silence at last.

About three years ago Sue's virtual assistant service completed the transition to a social media support service for nonfiction authors. For the decade before that, I focused on our two other businesses: Spinhead Web Design and Someday Box Indie Publishing. For the past 3 years those businesses have been allowed to languish while I focused on my fiction writing.

I've always been in the background here at Chief Virtual Officer Ausoma. As we tighten our focus and create specialty packages to bring in new business (hint hint) we've agreed it's time for me to get out of the shadows and speak up. You've probably noticed a change in the tone of the blog of late; now that we have bylines, you'll note that there are two voices, Sue's staid and sensible voice, and my quirky ramblings. Quirky, as in, my business title (for this week at least) is CBR—Curmudgeon in the Back Room. We've acted like an old married couple since long before we were an old married couple. It's our thing, I guess.

… more … "Introducing Joel D Canfield"

Personal: Trust Trumps All

Our last post was about making sure your newsletter is relevant, and before that, the effect of ensuring it's anticipated. The final post in this short series is about how being personal trumps them both.

When a stranger interrupts, it's offensive, annoying.

When a close friend interrupts, it's probably just conversation. We do it all the time. Sure, in some settings we're careful to be more formal, to listen politely until the other person is done speaking, to use active listening and all those cool techniques for really connecting.

But if you and I are chatting about music and you start raving about Eric Clapton and I butt in with "Clapton has gotten boring; have you heard Steve Winwood play guitar lately?" that's just conversation — friends talk over each other and interrupt and generally treat conversation like a rugby scrum.

And we love it. … more … "Personal: Trust Trumps All"

If It Is Relevant They Will Read

Our last post was about making sure your newsletter is anticipated. Today: what happens when it's relevant.

If your favorite show is interrupted so Bob can yell at you about his low low life-insurance prices, you'll resent it. (Maybe you'll just numbly endure, but we'll call that "resentment" for now.)

If your favorite show is interrupted so the National Weather Service can alert you to a life-threatening situation hovering over your rooftop, you won't resent it, you'll appreciate it.
http://www.freeimages.com/photo/bad-weather-1398005
It wasn't personal.

It wasn't anticipated.

When the level of relevance reaches 100% personal and anticipated can drop to zero and the message will still be appreciated.

… more … "If It Is Relevant They Will Read"