Not long ago, promoting yourself consisted of face-to-face contacts and meetings, business cards, a great logo and business stationary to go along with it. While those connections still have a place, the tide has risen and entered into the blogoshphere. Those who are most successful are savvy users of all things in the social networking bag.
Margaret Andrews is a Sacramento blogger who co-founded Sacramento Bloggers. She has a deep passion for and experience with the social networking scene. Her book “Sticky Readers: How to Attract a Loyal Blog Audience by Writing More Better” is a must-read among bloggers. She and Nichole Beaudry, the other half of Sacramento Bloggers, are leaders in pushing the thoughts of how to be successful in this wide open arena.
Andrews started blogging in January 2005. Her ability to attract a large audience, and to stand at the head of the class, came about with consistent writing and a dedicated effort at finding out what works to attract those elusive and finicky online audiences. The blogosphere is a crowded place, and standing out in this crowd means staying current and interesting.
While blogging is a meaningful activity, the task of climbing up the rope to become a trusted blogger doesn’t stop there. Consolidating the knowledge gained from the blog into a book, and publishing it, certainly fits into the quiver of tools that makes one a leader in the field.
Andrews said that she left her full-time software engineering, technical writing, program managing gig in 2008. She did so to pursue writing, and blogging naturally falls in with writing these days.
When asked what she does in conjunction with her www.nannygoatsinpanties.com blogging, she offered this:
“I published a book called ‘Sticky Readers: How to Attract a Loyal Blog Audience by Writing More Better’ and have a blog related to that at www.stickyreaders.com. I have spoken at conferences, workshops, luncheons, library classes, etc. about blogging and content marketing. I’m also currently working on a homeschooling edition of ‘Sticky Readers’ for kids to explore creative writing through blogging. It will be structured with lesson plans and be written with family-friendly language.”
To continue the successful trajectory and remain established at the front of the blogging and publishing pack, she says that her blogging “showcases my writing and has translated into freelance writing opportunities.” She landed a writing job for a video game through her blogging skills. Andrews also wrote a tutorial on switching blogging platforms, referring her audience to her hosting provider, which has resulted in a bit of income from that provider.
She said this about becoming one of the leaders in the blog community: “I did things like garner votes for those Best Blogger Awards — like winning the KCRA A-List and CBS Most Valuable Blogger. After seeing too many boring blogs, I wrote Sticky Readers and began speaking to groups about blogging better. Nicole and I wondered why there was no local ‘blogging community’ and decided to start one ourselves.”
A bit of advice from Andrews: “If you find yourself asking ‘Why don’t they have a ___ blog,’ take the lead and do it yourself! It’s amazing what happens when you start something. This sounds broad, but it’s true. Build relationships online, and off, and contribute value and information to conversations.”
The path to being out in front, being a thought leader in your field — whatever that field is — is multi-faceted. Margaret Andrews certainly illustrates that point. Consistent, thought-provoking, humorous and up-to-date content all are embedded in the trip to the top. Throw in a bucketful of hard work and good writing. You may find yourself in the same spot.
Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. He retired from teaching after 36 years in 2010. He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.