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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blogs: Slogs or Jogs??

Blog: a slog or a jog??
Today I am talking to Lou Belcher who divides her time between writing and editing with a bit of art thrown in.  Lately she has established herself in the blogging world as founder and editor of Florida Book News (http://www.floridabooknews.com )and Brevard Art News (http://www.brevardartnews.com/ ) as well as several other highly followed blogs.  (A “follower” is someone who regularly receives and reads a specific blog.)

Lou, just what is a “blog”?
                “Blog” is short for web log; a shared on-line journal of sorts that can be updated daily with information, pictures, videos etc.  It is intended for the general (or niche specific) public.  One of the great things is that blogs are interactive; they allow comments to be made by visitors and the author to answer or react to them quickly.
How have blogs settled into today’s media mix?
                Blogs are used for many purposes.  Some people have them to show family pictures to relatives.  Organizations use blogs to keep in touch with their members.  Artists and writers use them to update the public about their work.  Most hobby areas, professions, news sources and businesses have numerous blogs related to them where people exchange information and ideas.  It allows one individual to network worldwide.
So, to publicize anything now is more complex?
                Not necessarily, if you know how blogs fit into the system they are one more tool.  Some folks still rely only on print media for publicity which is ok, but it is only part of the picture today.  Using the social media takes perseverance and diversity.  For example, I not only have the two blogs mentioned above but I have Facebook accounts as well as Twitter accounts for each one of them.  You need to use all of the venues, cover your bases, to reach everyone.
What is the #1 mistake publicity-seekers make?
                I receive many, many press releases and the chief mistake I see is not knowing how to write a good press release.  Members of the media will be much more apt to put your release in their publication if it covers the why, how, when and where of the topic.  You’d be surprised at the information folks leave out!
Give me 2 tips for reaching the public with the news of my latest, greatest art opening.
#1 Think of a catchy way to present the news so it will engage the reader immediately.
#2 Include a photo or two with the release to draw attention to it.

You authored two books this year (Ready, Set, Tweet: A Speedy Guide to Twitter, and The Zen of Max, both available on Amazon.com), what’s your next endeavor?
I’m having such a great time with my Max book that I am writing a sequel to it from Max’s point of view.  The working title is My Tenth Life.  Did I mention to you that Max also has a blog with lots of cat and dog followers? (Here) And I am also working on a book about the writing process…some advice and guidance for writers.  It’s a busy year.
Ask Lou questions or comment on the blog by clicking on Cindy's blog.
Contact Lou Belcher at lou@loubelcher.com; and check out her website at http://www.loubelcher.com

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