What can you blog about? Seasonal topics

small_2493066577In this article we look at business blog ideas based on seasonal topics and how to use them in a more interesting way.

Some seasonal aspects are obvious – Holiday Season gifts … winter checks for your car … time to submit your tax return … etc. But there are more subtle uses for the seasons when it comes to choices for business blog ideas. [Read more…]

Write a book or write a blog – or both

Sometimes an idea for a book might work better as a blog – which eventually can become a book (or more) as well. The two can work symbiotically for a classic win-win exercise … here’s how.

I was working with a group of writers the other day and one of them was discussing his ideas for a nonfiction memoir (book.) After a short time it became obvious that his concept was not just one book, but potentially three or four. To try to shoehorn that many angles into one book would have created a rather messy mishmash, and both my fellow author-tutor and I agreed that it wouldn’t work.

The poor guy looked a bit disappointed until I told him that his material would be perfect for a blog. Being an older man he wasn’t familiar with how that could work, but once we had explained it he went away with the URL for WordPress and a gleam in his eyes.

This is nothing new, of course. I’m sure you’ve heard of a number of books that started out as blogs. In fact in the USA they now have an annual awards process for blogs that became books called “The Blooker Prize,” with “blooks” being the ensuing hybrid.

One such “blook” even went on to become a “flook” starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams – a movie of the journal called “Julie and Julia” by Julie Powell, the true story of how and why she made every single recipe in the late Julia Childs’ cook book.

However it’s not always a matter of lifting a selection of blog posts straight into book format. Editing obviously is needed, and you may want to adjust content, too, once you have seen how it works in your blog.

Although Julie Powell’s “blook”was mainly singular and linear in nature, where I think the blog-rather-than-book-to-begin-with approach is especially useful, is for anyone who – like the man at the writing workshop – has more than one stream to the message they want to share. Here are some examples:

Memoir/autobiography

**Your poverty-stricken childhood in India

**Your career as an engineer in daunting circumstances

**Your success at overcoming depression

How-to book

**Organic vegetables and green growing

**The best way to plan and run an organic vegetable plot

**Recipes for delicious organic vegetarian cuisine

Modern history

**The allied armed forces’ activities in northern Europe during WW2

**The effect of the Nazi occupation on the local population in northern Europe

**The “warbrides” who went to North America after WW2

**How the influence of WW2 affected the “baby boomer” generation

As you know, a blog offers you the option not only to publish chunks of information in short, easily digestible posts, but also it lets you choose between making those posts linear or non-linear in content. You can even post consecutively about utterly different aspects of your theme, if you want to, then file them into categories which a blog supports easily.

Print books certainly can’t offer that kind of versatility and even eBooks, Kindle and the others aren’t anything like as flexible.

The other useful aspect of a blog is that it’s interactive – readers can comment on your posts and your ultimate book text grows and evolves organically. You will learn much more about your target audience this way than with pretty well any other type of research.

Your blog and book, properly configured and promoted, not only complement each other, but also help sell each other.

Much as you may think people won’t want to buy your material in book form if they can read it (or similar) for free online, it doesn’t work that way. Once you develop your book it will reach a slightly different or at least adjacent audience, for starters, and in any case people who may only dip in and out of a blog now and again will appreciate having everything together in one print or electronic volume.

Then, of course, the fact that you have gone into more than one stream of your material on your blog, you effectively will have laid the foundations of more than one book. Whether you actually go on to create more than one book will depend on how each stream of information is received by readers; a blog is a superb market testing tool.

What are your views? What experience do you have of blogs versus books? Please comment!

Blog or book, get writing brilliantly:

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“How To Write Winning Non-fiction”…all you need to know to write a good non-fiction book and get it published

Small business: why you need a (simple) blogging strategy

I can’t help but lose my rag when I see other people’s articles or blog posts describing these hideously complex blogging strategies without pointing out that they only apply to large brands and corporations.

Small business - sensible blogging strategy

To think that small businesses should waste time on preparing complex schedules and editorial calendars and style guides and other stuff is just laughable. And it’s probably the fastest and most effective way to put small businesses off the whole notion of blogging, just because some “guru” wants to big up the process to show off what an expert they are. [Read more…]

Looking for work? Write a blog and get ahead

It’s not only students who can up their chances of getting a job on graduation by writing a blog. If you’re out of work – whatever the reason – writing a blog is a no-cost way of getting the edge on others going after the jobs you want.

htwb-blogging-2016-2

OK, if you’re not fussy what you do as long as it earns you a decent wage, blogging about factory work or labouring or supermarket till work may not be very helpful. But wait a minute.

You don’t need to blog about a business to get noticed in the job market

So your job skills may not immediately mark you out as a star.

Now – what about your hobbies and interests? [Read more…]

Writers and voice recognition software: deadly enemies or best friends?

Having had a fierce hatred for voice recognition software for years, I was finally calmed down by the charming and erudite Neil Sleight at a business networking do recently. He told me to stop spitting fur and feathers about it because today, there is voice recognition software that actually works. I asked Neil to tell us more. Here he is… 

Writers and voice recognition software: deadly enemies or best friends?

All you need to do is to dictate your work and as you speak, you will see your words appear in your document on the screen in front of you.

If you regularly create documents using Microsoft Word or send and receive emails, you may have considered using voice recognition software, or may even have tried it in the past.

If this is so, you may have found that it wasn’t transcribing your speech accurately and was more trouble than it was worth.

However all this has now changed dramatically … [Read more…]

My new recruitment business: how should I promote it?

Here’s another question from the inbox: how to promote, market and write about a brand new early years (Kindergarten) education recruitment business. Like most crossovers between professionals and the commercial world, care has to be taken to make sure any promotion is squeaky clean.

My new recruitment business: how should I promote it?

You might also like to blog about early years/Kindergarten education issues within the localities in which you operate.

This lady started off with what I reckoned was somewhat the wrong approach … [Read more…]

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