Creating an Impressive Reputation Even if You’re Self-Published

It has long been a practice for publishers to provide all-out support to writers they sign up. Included in this support is helping create and establish an impressive reputation befitting of the hype that seeks to be created for greater public interest on the published work. A lot of writers will definitely never get a crack in this kind of opportunity.  With the advent of self-publication, many opportunities have been opened. Today, just about anyone can publish his or her work online but not everyone will be able to impress.

Image Source

So how does one create an impressive reputation without the backing of traditional and well-oiled publishers?

Offer a Solid Foundation

One of the more easily accessed ways of self-publishing is through blogs. Blogs provide an excellent venue for developing writing skills while being able to gauge the reaction of the public. Before you embark on writing that book you have been dreaming of, extensive practice in the use of your preferred language is highly advisable. You can even offer a guest blogging service  to test the waters even more. The acceptance of your work in reputable blogs is a good sign that you are on the right track.

Offer Quality

Those who seek to be self-published writers should not lower their standards of quality just because there is no publisher approval being sought. Self-publishing requires even more care in producing written work. Self-published authors usually wear all the hats in relation to the task. The one task though that should still be given to another person is editing the work. No author can efficiently edit his own work. Mistakes in blogs are easily corrected when spotted. Authors will probably will have to live with mistakes on printed books forever. As for e-books, a mistake not spotted early enough can drastically affect a writer’s reputation. First impressions really do matter. It is much easier to create a new image than to refurbish a tarnished image. The services of a professional editor is worth the price if you want professional results.

Offer Professionalism

Self-published authors should come out as professional as traditionally-published writers, if not more. The fact that you are probably a one man team, acting as the writer, agent, marketer, and publisher, is enough to earn respect, when done right. It can easily go the other way however, if you do not play your cards right. Resist mediocrity and laxity and earn your reputation by defining who you are.

How Lawyers are Utilizing Blogs Today

Many law firms today have established their own blogs separate from their main websites. Reports have confirmed that they now recognize the essence of a blog in being able to attract more clients and build their credibility both online and offline.

A 2012 survey done by Greentarget, a communications firm, showed that in-house attorneys do trust blogs and that they even read blogs authored by lawyers or firms more than they read blogs by the real journalists. It was also found that more than half of the respondents believe a blog will influence clients in deciding the law firm to hire.

Legal-Blogging

In that same year, the survey noted an increase in the number of blogs published by law firms. Some 68 of the top 100 firms are confirmed to be publishing a total of 272 blogs which is a 74 percent increase from the 2010 figure. [Read more…]

Blog Directory Submission: Quality Vs Quantity

In the matter of blog directory submission, which do you think should be the primary consideration? Should it be quality or quantity? Let us consider both scenarios.

Quantity

The first thing that comes to mind when we speak of quantity is the more the better, right? If we are to apply this in the context of blog directory submission, this would mean submitting our blogs to all the blog directories that would accept them. This might score some points in exposure but is it the kind of exposure that we want?

That is a question we often have to answer every time we take or do something for the sake of having as many as we can. Is it really worth the time and the effort? In simple terms, do we think our blog’s inclusion in the listing of a particular blog directory would really give any benefit to our blog?

Quality

On the other hand, when we speak of quality, it is implied that we choose the blog directory to submit to. In choosing, there will be standards and criteria to consider to determine which ones would make it to our list of preferred directories. We decide depending on what we want to achieve with our blogs.

The most popular blog directories are expected choices because of their influence. Now whether or not such influence will translate to every blog listed in it is a different story altogether. On thing is clear, blog owners cannot simply rely on the quality of the blog directory but rather provide attention to the quality of the blogs as well. Quality can also pertain to the other blogs listed in the directory. Are they of the standard in which you wish to be identified with?

Quality vs. Quantity

Quantity may prove its value for short term goals like widening exposure but even this is not assured. Quality tend to prove its worth for long-term goals since real results seldom happen overnight. A blog is developed and grows, with blog directory listing forming only one component.

In the end, it boils down to personal decisions. Blog owners will have to determine the formula that works for their blog. Quality has always been associated with what is good and excellent. Excellent work, excellent choices, excellent decisions – all coming together to produce excellent blogs.

Branding Your Blog Using Instagram Photos

There are many ways of creating a specific brand for your blog which you can call your own. More than the name of the blog, there will be other features in your blog that will help differentiate it from the rest. There are just some reminders in going about it.

Choose Photos that Truly Represent Your Blog

instagram5

 

Image Source

When it comes to branding a blog, it would be of paramount importance to use images that will help you project yourself through your blog or project your blog as you want it to. Can readers expect carefree posts from you? Will you be touching on nature?  A single image can project in an instant what it would normally take many words to describe suitably.

Choose Images Close to the Heart

instagram6a

Image Source

Can readers expect your posts to be very personal and close to home? Will your writing be realistic? Will they be something readers will be able to relate to?

Choose Images that Call Attention

instagram7

 Image Source

Choose images that calls attention to itself first and then to your blog the next. There is a reason why it s a common marketing effort to associate a symbol, a word, a phrase, or an image to a product and that reason is called the recall factor. This is to ensure the automatic association of these representations with a product or company.

There are so many things you can do with your blog through Instagram, check out insta challenges for ideas.

 

3 Essential Considerations for Online Publishers

These days, anyone can be an online publisher. That is not to say, however, that anyone can be successful as an online publisher. The tools are there. The costs are (relatively) low. The path to success, however, is not open to everyone.
publishing-online1
That’s a dose of reality for you. Now, for a bit of good news: while success is not inherent in online publishing, with a little hard work and application of knowledge, you can still get where you want to go in this realm.

If you’re new to the world of online publishing, here are three essential considerations that will propel you on the road to success. [Read more…]

Finding Ways to Publish Your Own Book

Not a few writers or aspiring writers want their written work published. Who wouldn’t want to see the fruits of their labor seen and hopefully appreciated by the public? It is but a natural desire. So what are the ways of having a book published?

pratham books

Image Source

The Traditional Way

The traditional way of publishing a book has always been limiting since the decision to publish would depend on publishers. Authors will have to find an agent who will essentially act as the go-between. This would necessitate going through an established industry procedure which has an end goal of having the book published for public readership.

This option when agreed upon by the author and the publisher confers upon the latter the right to publish while providing the former the advantage of being paid royalties from the sales. Since it would be the publisher who will be shouldering the expenses for publishing, the usually rigorous process that has to be undergone by the author to have his work published is readily understandable. However, there is another option available for authors which is to self-publish.

Self-Publishing

Self-publishing or the option to publish a book or any written work minus the traditional publishers’ route has many variations. The author can choose to shoulder the expenses for publishing while retaining ownership of the book and the right to receive profits from it. It can also be a half-half deal wherein an established publisher and the author agrees to pay their respective portions for the expenses in publishing the book. There are other options in between but one thing is clear. Self-publication requires that an author has ready funds to finance the book publication or at least have access to actual financing.

There is one option for authors who have exceptional material in their hands but have been effectively blocked by lack of funding. There is a platform called the Kickstarter which aims to bring together innovative creators of projects related to art, comics, dance, design, fashion, film and video, food, games, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater and possible financial backers for projects. For authors, the publishing category should be of special significance.

Getting that Funding

The primary obstacle to hurdle here is the creation of a worthwhile project which can be seen by financial backers in the same light. There are no strict criteria except perhaps for having the potential to be appreciated by the public. One of the more successful publishing proposals submitted to Kickstarter in terms of obtaining financing goals is the “To Be or Not to Be: That is the Adventure” Project. It basically makes use of the title’s ready association to Shakespeare and then mixes it up a bit to become a choosable-path adventure.

The more interesting part of projects like this is that successful proposals will most likely result to published works. The public will have the chance to buy Kickstarter products through various outlets including Kickstarter store of ForeverGeek for example. In more ways than one, having a book published through Kickstarter provides advantages to the author.

fgkslogo_sidebar

Content Tactics to Boost Your Website Growth

Planning your content and producing them regularly are keys to a website that’s easily seen and searched on the internet. No matter the trend, quality content is still the most essential consideration that publishers need to focus on.

It’s time to check on your content strategies to ensure that you gain traffic moving towards the end of 2013. By doing this at this point, you can also be sure your site will do well when the new year comes.

Post Regularly

This important step cannot be overemphasized. If you want to attract a steady stream of visitors, adding blog posts on a regular basis is a must. [Read more…]

How Advertising Influences Our Spending Habits

Most people think they are in total control of their spending until they find themselves face to face with advertisements. You know, those subtle or even obvious persuasive arguments of why you simply have to buy this product and that? Yes, those messages that say that your life has less meaning and joy without the products and services they advertise. Even if you are not particularly fond of shopping, sooner or later there will be one advertisement that will weaken your resolve not to buy because someone says it is a good idea. This is especially so if there is a credit card tucked somewhere in your wallet which represents purchasing power.

The Influence of Advertising

The very reason why advertising exists is because it actually works. Whether positive or negative publicity, the interest generated by advertisements can still work both ways. There are some areas however where people would rather be safe about thus positive promotion almost always works. These would include food, family products, and financial products, to name a few. You wouldn’t want a credit card that comes with high interest rates and excessive fees for example, would you?

If you will rely on advertisements alone, you might just make the wrong choice. Advertisements, especially for products that need to project a positive image, will always put the product’s best foot forward. This is the reason why choices should go beyond what is readily seen through advertising. In the case of credit cards, you can always compare the features of credit cards that caught your attention before applying for one. Chris Mettler of Comparecards.com says: ” The information we need to make sound choices is out there online, we just need to use it.”. The same principle applies to the other decisions we need to make when faced with a barrage of advertisements representing possible choices.

How Advertising Affects Consumers

Because advertisements are made to sell a product or service, they are also made to create a need for them in consumers. There are only two reasons why people buy something. It is either they need it or they want it. Buying because of a need tends to justify the purchase and that is why most advertisements appeal to this side of consumers. Buying a “want” can appear very selfish thus advertisers usually have to convince consumers that their products and services are necessary. Other advertisements create the feeling of “being  entitled” . Most of us would like to believe that advertisements do not influence our decisions but we have to be aware that the most effective advertisements are those that made us feel we arrived at the decision by ourselves.

Japanese Venture Capitalist Firm Pivoting to South East Asian Startups

Innovation Weekend Winner

Japanese venture capitalist firm, Sunbridge Global Ventures, is aggressively moving into the South East Asian startup scene, which has exponential growth over the last couple of years.

Like many savvy incubator investors, Sunbridge Global has recognized the scene is to hot to miss out on. What is more, and unlike Japan in many sectors- it remains relatively unsaturated, as this excellent “opportunity map” from TechinAsia shows:

SE Asian opportunity map

Sunbridge Global is partnered by some of the biggest corporations in Japan, such as NTT, Kao, VEC and in the US with the likes of Amazon. Last week at the Innovation Weekend at Singapore, hosted by Sunbridge Global Ventures. The winner, StudyPact, and the runner-up Haystakt- both taking the new crowdfunding fad to new and unique levels. Both projects qualified for attendance, and a chance to pitch, at a Tokyo-based pitch contest in December of this year. Joining them will be the winners and runners-up from pitch contests in Boston, London and Osaka this year.

Sunbridge Global, along with many other established and up and coming venture capital firms in Japan- are evolving from being traditional VC types, to “incubators” who provide platforms and guidance to startup ventures. With their Jannovation Week in Silicon Valley, they are investing in companies all over the world, such as the US platform AnyRoad. It is surely a sign of the times that the new way of approaching investment in South East Asia, with many collaborations between Japanese and Chinese VCs and technology firms (such as LanguageCloud, which Sunbridge Global also invested in)- will not be overly influenced by the older generations still harboring grudges over events which happened over 75 years ago, such as the nanking massacre. The younger generations are not only tech savvy and forward looking, along with awareness that previous generations didn’t have (e.g: the environment, health, etc)- but they also recognize that socially aware entrepreneurship and staying connected to their fellow men and women around world, without censorship, is the best chance the world has for peace and prosperity for all.

    Is Growth in U.S. Home Values Slowing Down in 2014?

    homes

    Is the home sales industry joining the economic upswing? It’s tough to tell. Residential property values across the US increased by only 0.2 percent in January, and observers are predicting that growth will be even slower in the coming months.

    According to Zillow, the home value index is showing the smallest monthly increase since May of 2012. Experts attribute this to greater inventory. [Read more…]