What is a blog? Not everyone agrees what constitutes a blog, so we are going to start with a definition. So I have an essential reason for exploring the meaning of blogging: the answer to keeping your fresh and fascinating, week after week, lies in how you define the gig.
Author Archives for kathwalters
With 16 years experience as an editor and senior journalist in the mainstream press, I have an established track record for creating great content -- stories, links, tweets, blogs -- quickly and efficiently across a wide range of industry sectors. I am an editor, journalist and content marketer.
Contact me to find out more: 0425 040 020
This is the first in a series of seven blogs that solves the single biggest problem facing bloggers. That problem is not, as you might expect, getting started. That problem is keeping going. Most of us can pump out a blog or two. Sadly, that is not going to serve you. In fact, it will do you more harm than good. People will look at your website, see you haven’t blogged for three months or three years, and wonder if you are still in the game!
Human beings are strange creatures: they crave security but, as soon as they have it, they become bored. They get married, then have an affair. They buy your book, desperate for answers to their problems, and then put it down after five minutes.
Every book is a storybook. That includes your business book. Yes, we can convince with data, but we connect with stories. Stories hook our hearts. A book without stories is a rant, a lecture or a plea. A book that is underpinned by stories is a powerful bird. On its mighty wings, we soar high above the problems we face and see the patterns, like fields of colour below us. Then we swoop down to look more closely at them on a guided tour.
Paragraphs are a grey area for many writers, especially those who grew up in the era when schools were experimenting with ways to teach grammar. Some ways were pretty whacky. Was the rule about new paragraphs to make one whenever we drew breath or was that when we stuck in a comma? The rules were not precise. Do paragraphs really matter? Can writing be persuasive even if the paragraphs are ill-formed and inconsistent? Of course, it can. Stories can engage our emotions, and ideas get us excited even when the grammar is wrong.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, is one of the best-known business books of all time, and one of the best known “list” book titles. Listicles are articles structured by numbers (five steps, three essentials, 101 things to do). They are hugely popular for obvious reasons (and some less obvious ones). Of course, a list breaks a big task into a bunch of small ones. We would all like to be highly effective (big goal) and we are thrilled to think all we have to do is master seven habits (small steps) to get there.
I wrote my first #book in third grade. My friend Caroline and I both did. We each folded a page from our exercise books, again and again, to make all the pages, trimmed the edges, and stapled the spine. Then we wrote teeny tiny stories. It was such #fun, and it reminds me of a lesson I learned long ago: I #write best when I have fun.
As a journalist, I learned a very important lesson: I couldn’t write a story if I hadn’t done the research. By ‘the research’ I mean that I had to do enough research to be sure of what I wanted to say. I might have a topic, like marketing to men. I’d start interviewing people on this topic, and gradually, the story would become clear. It might be that men are often overlooked by marketers, or that it’s pointless marketing to men because women do most of the buying. I had to keep on asking questions, checking out assumptions, until I was sure.
Reading a book should be like floating gently down a river towards an ocean of possibilities. To keep our reader receptive to our ideas, we want them to be ‘in the zone’, effortlessly connecting with what we say, and gliding from one idea to the next.
One of the most common questions I am asked by my clients is, ‘How do I get a book deal?’ or, ‘How can I get ‘traditional publishers’ to publish my book?’ Since I began my 90 Day Book program, I have helped a couple of authors to get global publishing deals with a traditional publishing house, which is pretty amazing since I’m an advocate of indie authors – the self-publishing model.