Showing posts with label audio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label audio. Show all posts

Thursday, July 14

How to write a blog post

How to write a blog post


I’ve been away from blogging for a while so I sat down and, feeling rusty, thought about the characteristics of a good blog post. What do I look for as a reader? In the past, what advice has worked for me?

Of course, everyone’s different. The advice that works for me may not work for you; different strokes and all that. My hope is only that what I’ve written will help you discover something useful.

Perhaps you’ve heard this advice before:

First, tell the reader what you are going to say.
Second, say it.
Third, tell the reader what you said.

Simple, yes, but it can help one craft short, clear and engaging pieces of prose.

Part One: Tell the reader what you’re going to say


When I write, the first thing that comes to me is usually the post’s title. At the moment, a post about podcasting is rattling around my head, begging to be written. I’m going to call it something like:  Why Every Blogger Should Have a Podcast. One thing I love about the title is that it contains the subject of the post.

In this imaginary blog post I’d probably say something like this in the first paragraph:

I think every blogger should also be a podcaster because having a podcast can, first, introduce one’s work to more readers, second, introduce one’s work to different readers and, perhaps most importantly, earn money.  Maybe, in the beginning, it would only earn enough to cover the cost of the podcast, but plenty of podcasters who stuck with it earn their livings from podcasting.

There we have a statement of the subject of the post and, what’s more, the hook is clear: Podcasting can help you put your work in front of more readers and earn you some money while you’re at it.

Part Two: Say it


In some sense -- even though this is where the bulk of the work is done -- this is the easiest bit. You know what you want to say; now all you have to do is say it.

In my example, I have three points:

Every blogger should be a podcaster because …
A. It can introduce your work to more people, (expand your audience)
B. It can introduce your work to different kinds of people, (expand into a different audience)
C. It can help you become profitable.

All I have to do is expand these points. I could give examples my own experience, talk about the experiences of others, talk a bit about strategies (successful and otherwise) others have used, and so on.

Part Three: Summarize


Summaries can feel stilted. After all, you’ve told people what you were going to tell them, and then you told them … do you really need to tell them (again!) what you just told them?

The short answer: No. Especially if the post is short, an explicit summary can be redundant.

In a longer post try making the summary short and breezy. A conclusion that focuses on one strong point – or an action item – can help bring the entire article into focus.

A Tip: Be Informal


Imagine you’re chatting with someone over a cup of joe at your favorite watering hole. If you wouldn’t use formal phrases like, “In relation to …” or “please be advised that …” in conversation then don’t use them in the article. That’s what seems to work for me, at least.

An Apology


You have my deepest apologies for letting this blog lay inactive so long. There's a story behind it (isn't there always?). For now let me just say: Life happened. Life happened in the same way it happens to a melon when dropped off the 52nd story of a skyscraper.  That’s an exaggeration, of course! I’m fine now, duct tape does wonders. 

My new blogging schedule: I will post something every Monday and Thursday.

Are there any topics that especially interest you? If so, let me know! Leave a comment, email me (KarenWoodward (at) gmail (dot) com), or drop me a note on Twitter (https://twitter.com/woodwardkaren).

Talk to you Thursday, and good writing!





Thursday, May 24

Auxiliary Rights: To Keep or Not To Keep?


In her Thursday blog post Kris Rusch talks about when to be DIY and when not to be. If I've retained the audio writes to my book, I could record an audio version of it myself or I could hire someone to do it for me, perhaps through a place like audible.com (I would either pay the voice artist a flat fee or a percentage of whatever royalties I make on the audiobook).

Here is the checklist Kris Rusch uses to decide whether to seek help with an auxiliary rights project or whether to go it alone:
A. What are the contract terms?

B. When does the license expire?

C. When will I realistically get to this project?

D. Can this company do things that I cannot do?

E. Is this company asking too much in rights, limitations of my ability to write, or in lost revenue to negate the benefits of doing business with this company?

F. Is there a way out of the deal if the company does not keep up its side of the bargain? (So many publishing contracts are one-sided and only favor the publisher.)

G. Will I regret this decision in the morning? (In other words, don’t get pressured into accepting; any time anyone pressures you, you should walk away.)

H. Who does this deal benefit the most? Me? My agent? The publisher? If the answer is the agent or the publisher, then run. If the answer is two-fold—it benefits me and the publisher equally—then the deal is fine. (Not three-fold; remember, agents work for you, and should get paid from your end of the deal. They should never make more money on a deal than you do—although that often happens in both foreign rights deals and in Hollywood deals.)

If you like the offer and it benefits you for where you are right now, then take the deal. If you feel any qualms, do not, and wait for the time when you can do whatever it is yourself—or wait until you get a better offer.
The Business Rusch: Time and the Writer
Making an audio book is something I've been interested in for a while; it would be great to attend Kris and Dean's Audio Workshop in November. Kris used to train radio announcers how to read and speak and they'll also cover the technical aspects of recording. For more information, click here: Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, Workshops. You'll have to scroll down the page a bit.

Related Reading:
- Milton Bagby talks about recording an audiobook

Photo credit: AVS Audio Editor

"Auxiliary Rights: To Keep or Not To Keep?" copyright© 2012 by Karen Woodward.