The 2023 OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: COMING SOON
Friday, March 10, 2017
A to Z as Marketing
When I did my first Blogging from A to Z April Challenge in 2010 I had no idea that my simple stunt would still be going strong seven years later. At the time I was merely trying to gain attention to my few month old blog and acquire new followers. After my announcement on Saturday March 26th, 2010 of my intention to blog from A to Z starting the following Friday, there was an immediate response from my few readers that they'd be willing to join me for the month of blogging. In a matter of five days nearly one hundred bloggers from around the world had signed up to join me. Most of those lasted through that first month of A to Z. The success of that first April indicated to me that we had something with great potential on our hands.
From the outset, one of my primary impressions was that the A to Z Challenge was to a great extent about marketing. I was trying to "sell" my blog to a wider audience in order to reach more readers. At the same time, I was building a community of other bloggers who desired a similar goal. The concept worked. I gained followers as did the other participants. But not only did we build that participant community, the event attracted an even larger number of observer readers, many who joined us for the event in subsequent years. A to Z was a blogging phenomenon with a generally favorable reputation.
Looking at the A to Z Challenge from a writer's perspective, this April event can be a great tool as well as a learning experience. Marketing instills fear in the hearts of many writers or anyone else who relies on reaching out to the public. It's something most of us have to accept whether we are in business or merely trying to get others on board with whatever we might want to interest them in accepting from us. Marketing your own products is a necessity that doesn't have to be something to dread. Rather than a chore, make the marketing a fun challenge. If you can get your potential audience invested in what you are doing, you can get more publicity and more importantly, sales. Writing takes creativity, but so does fun marketing. The process of selling your story is a new story where you and your book are the main characters and the marketing plan is the plot. Believe in your writing enough so that others might be inspired to help you promote it. Successful marketing requires innovative strategic thinking.
Using my own experience with the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, you can find ideas that might assist you in developing your own personal brand and your marketing plan. Many writers with blogs have used the Challenge as a way to promote themselves and their books. Maybe the results will seem inconsequential at first, but remember that the content on your blog becomes part of your résumé in a sense. A to Z builds content and helps develop writing skills. In the course of the many past Challenges, a number of books have actually been published based on the posts written in April. The April Challenge can be a boon to writers as well as others in many ways.
If you're a blogger and have never tried the A to Z Challenge, I encourage you to give it a shot in 2017. Participate well; finish strong and I can almost guarantee that you'll feel good about your achievement. But even better, you will accomplish a marketing feat for your blog that may make business marketing in general much easier and provide you new ways to look at marketing. You don't know until you try.
Have you ever thought of the A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing? Have you yourself used the Challenge as a marketing tool for yourself? What ideas can you think of in order to use A to Z as a marketing tool?
Monday, January 20, 2014
A to Z: It's About the Numbers (A "What Works" Post)
I'm going to fill you in on a secret about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Actually it's not really that much of a secret since I've told the story many times in many ways. Though the Challenge hides under the guise of letters, it's really about numbers.
The whole reason I started the Challenge was because I was celebrating having reached 200 followers. I was celebrating my increase in followers by playing with 26 letters. The result was more followers for me and more for those who participated with me. And so it has gone in each successive year.
This year's Challenge will be the fifth year. Not bad for a blogfest that started off relatively small. Now thousands of bloggers and non-bloggers alike are aware of this annual April event. Many of you are proud veterans of the Challenge. Some are wary of participating. Some may be scratching their heads and wondering how a blog event like the A to Z Challenge can be of any use to a blogger.
Sure, we've had our detractors--takes too much time, sucks up the blogosphere during April, didn't really help me gain readers. I won't go into any of these at this time. I'm sure these will be covered in the weeks to come on this blog. I'd prefer to look at the positives rather than the negatives, whether it be this Alphabet Challenge or anything else in life. Talk about sucking up energy! Negativity will do it just about every time.
So back to the numbers game. Maybe it's about amassing greater numbers of followers, more readers, more comments, more posts, higher SEO ranking--you name it, A to Z can do it. You can't just sign on though and expect magic to happen. There is work involved and that means numbers that you add into the effort. The more blogs you visit, more bloggers you follow, and the more comments you leave then the more numbers you get in return. It's just blogging, except it's like blogging on steroids. Hyper blogging.
You can argue the subject of numbers all you want, but you can also question your motivation for blogging. The fact is that numbers make a difference.
Have you ever seen a successful advertising campaign done with just one TV or radio ad? Money is poured into media campaigns in order to inundate the airwaves with repetitive commercials. Numbers. We get logos and mottos emblazoned into our brains because we see or hear them over and over.
Marketing and promotion is a numbers game. That's the way the whole thing is effective.
Same with your blog, the product you're trying to promote, or your personal brand. You've got to get out there and make yourself seen and heard. Let's face it, 26 posts on your blog will be more likely to garner attention than one or four or whatever lesser number you're dealing with. Don't skimp on quality. Quantity isn't everything, but on the other hand practice aims for perfection. If you post more, you may become a better blogger.
I'll listen to your arguments against the numbers in the comments. I've done so innumerable times in the past. I doubt whether anyone will ever convince me otherwise. Numbers count.
A to Z is about fun, expression, personal challenge, interaction, networking, and so many other things. The Challenge can also be a valuable part of a participant's promotional strategy in blogging. Think of why you blog and how the April Challenge can fulfill your needs as a blogger.
Yeah, it's about the letters, but it's also about the numbers.
Do you think numbers are important in a promotional campaign? How hard do you try to build up following in the A to Z Challenge? What do you think is the key to blogging success?
For other participants be sure to visit the sites of the What Works... hosts:
Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out
Yolanda Renee at Defending the Pen
Jeremy Hawkins at Being Retro
Alex J. Cavanaugh at Alex J. Cavanaugh
Monday, December 16, 2013
What Works...Online Marketing Symposium
Do you ever wonder why some books become bestsellers while others can barely be given away? Why some businesses succeed and others fail?
How does a blog post or a YouTube video manage to go viral? What does it take to reach celebrity status? Why does a person who is less intelligent than you are become the teacher's favorite and make better grades with less work?
Is it a matter of luck or is there some magic formula for success?
Would you like to know what works and what doesn't?
Well, now maybe we can latch on to some of the secrets and tricks that make success happen or what we might want to avoid. We want you to tell us your stories of success (or not so successful) as we present the blogging event that will help us learn.
The first ever "Online Marketing Symposium!"
A blogfest with information you can use.
The event happens on Monday January 20, 2014.
On event day you tell us about a marketing idea that you've used and what worked or didn't work. Your post could describe a campaign that succeeded in a big or small way or one that failed drastically. Tell us about a business campaign, an organizational event, a fundraiser – anything where a bit of promotion was necessary!
The What Works.. Marketing Symposium is not limited to authors but also to anyone in a business that has a promotional aspect – online or otherwise!
Posts can be informational, statistical, a personal experience account, or a funny marketing story. Experience gained from a promotional effort in one area can have applications in other efforts in which we are involved so anything goes as long as promotion or marketing methodology has been involved.
The ultimate goal is to learn.
Remember – no book – no problem. Marketing and promotion principles apply to your blog, your business, any dream, or project, because we all want to win people over.
This information exchange is more than just a "blogfest"!
It's an online forum where ideas are shared and success for all is the goal.
Does the thought of marketing and promotion scare you or turn you cold? Fear no more—let's learn together.
It's possible the blogging community can help you make that next project a viral success orthat next book a best seller!
Join our first ever Online Marketing Symposium
Monday January 20, 2014
sign up below:
Monday, November 11, 2013
A thru Z? The Possibilities Are Limitless!
|Infinity Room (Photo credit: pixeljones)|
How will you be using A to Z to your best advantage?
From that first year in 2010 I realized the potential of an event like the April Challenge. It was a great way to meet new bloggers and add to followers to ones own blog. Now after four Challenges we've seen the endless possibilities that A to Z has to offer. Each year brings talented bloggers with innovative ideas to try as well as tried and true methods of improving content generation, reaching out to community, and bettering oneself as a blogger.
Among the ongoing A to Z community and the A to Z alumni, proudly displaying A to Z badges and other identifiers is a mark of achievement. A to Z has become a blogging institution of integrity.
How has A to Z helped you? How can you make the Challenge serve your needs?
These are some questions we'll be exploring in the next coming months. If you've given up on the April Challenge or have considered not doing it again in 2014, think again. You may be overlooking some important potentials offered by the A to Z Challenge.
Want to Start a Blogging Wildfire?
Please check out my Monday November 11 post at Tossing It Out. You don't have to read the entire thing, but scroll down to the last section. I'm planting some seeds of thought that I hope to start sowing more extensively in the next couple of weeks.
Or if you'd rather just skip the Tossing It Out post and visit the post that started my thinking, then go to the post by Yolanda Renée at A Faraway View. This post might make you think. But this post is only a starting point for something else. Something that will come later. Be sure to leave Yolanda a comment about her post so we know that you were there.
How has the A to Z Challenge helped you? Are you looking for more readers on your blog? Do you think there is any tried and true formula for increasing blog followers or subscribers who actually come back to read your posts?
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now!
I’ve been involved in the publishing industry for almost ten years and taught publishing and promoting seminars for over five years. They are my favorite seminars - I get so fired up when I speak in front of a room of hopeful writers! After years of attendees asking for a book, not to mention my husband prodding me to write one, I finally wrote one. And today, I can finally say - yes, I have a book!
HOW TO PUBLISH AND PROMOTE YOUR BOOK NOW!
By L. Diane Wolfe
Publishing and promoting made simple!
Have you always dreamed of publishing a book but didn’t know where to begin? This book walks you through the steps of identifying markets, budgeting, building an online presence, and generating publicity. Get the whole story on:
• Traditional publishing
• Print and e-book setup, formatting, and distribution
• Finding your target audience
• Generating reviews and media interest
• Networking and developing an online presence
• Promotional materials and appearances
Uncover your ideal publishing path and numerous marketing options before you begin. Writing is your dream. Give it the best chance for success!
Publishing/Marketing, 214 pages, Dancing Lemur Press LLC
$14.95 Trade paperback ISBN 978-0-9827139-5-2
$4.99 Ebook ISBN 978-0-9827139-9-0
Purchase here: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Amazon Kindle Available soon for all e-readers.
“She gives an unbiased take on the advantages and disadvantages of traditional publishing and self-publishing and publishing paths that combine the two… It's the perfect book for those who want an overview to begin the decision-making process.”
- Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning series of how-to books for writers
“A must-read for writers planning on self-publishing or any writer who wants the ultimate how-to on promoting. Tons of links, advice, and how-to, whether you're going for print or e-publication.”
- Helen Ginger, author of Angel Sometimes
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association and a motivational speaker. She’s conducted seminars on book publishing and promoting for five years and assisted writers through several author services. Her other titles include “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK!” which ties her goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together, and a YA series, “The Circle of Friends.” Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains a dozen websites & blogs, and contributes to several other sites and newsletters.
Spunky’s sites: Blog, Website, Twitter, Facebook, and Deviant Art
And today I am giving away one autographed copy and some cool swag at my blog, so please visit Spunk On A Stick’s Tips!
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