Writers and entrepreneurs

Why, you might ask, am I spending so much time writing about choosing a theme for the blog? Isn’t this blog supposed to be about entrepreneurs, CEOs, writing, self-publishing? You know, interesting things? Yes, and it is…

Here’s one reason for the details: When I have less time to devote to the minutiae, I often advise a self-published writer or a CEO to simply “create your platform.”

And when they ask “How?” I answer “Start a blog.”

That’s short and to the point. WordPress even makes it easy. But for many people, that advice is not very helpful in its generality. Just because something is easy for one person doesn’t mean it is easy for other people and it certainly doesn’t mean they will do it “right.”   And that’s a good thing, because if everyone else knew what you knew and could do what you can do, you wouldn’t have anything of value to offer or sell.  The trick is taking your knowledge, infusing it with necessity, and then packaging it, and offering it to others, either for “free” as in the case of a blog, or for some amount of money as in the case of your book, product, service, or company.

When starting a blog and creating a platform, doing it “right” means taking into consideration all of the things I’ve been pontificating about for the past few posts, like branding, SEO, and here’s another one — consistent content. Blogging is like the antithesis of writing a book, which is perhaps one of the things that has always bothered me about blogging — blogs are not supposed to be succinct. If your blog is too succinct, you run out of things to say, and then your blog only lasts 5 months, like my last one did in 2005.

Although I should mention that any blog effort you make could always have a positive effect. Early in 2009 I received a call from a reporter from the New York Times who was writing an article about Kirkus Discoveries, and saw one of my blog postings about that very topic. He referred to it 4 years after I had written it, so the first few minutes of our phone conversation were interesting because, to him, I had just written it because he had just read it. Yet, for me, that posting was 4 years old in my mind. I barely remembered what he was talking about. Nevertheless, it led to an interview with the New York Times. Can’t beat that with a stick…

And that’s just one of many reasons why entrepreneurs and writers should have a blog. In fact, by and large, I’ll probably use the word “entrepreneur” and “writer” somewhat interchangeably. All self-publishing writers are, in essence, entrepreneurs. And, even though all entrepreneurs may not consider themselves authors, they should consider themselves writers. So even though I’m devoting a large portion of the beginning of this blog about inane details revolving around the selection of a blog theme, the AUDIENCE of this blog is entrepreneurs, self-publishing writers, CEOs, CMOs and other marketers (both b-2-b and b-2-c), people involved in any kind of start-up, and anyone else who would find value in improving their sales platform.

Platform. Is that a term I’ve used on this blog yet? It’s going to be a recurring topic. The cornerstone of nearly every speech and presentation I make involves creating and maintaining ones “platform” – the foundation upon which you build your career, whether you are a writer, a doctor, a speaker, or an entrepreneur. You need a platform and it needs to be branded.

And that takes us full-circle back to choosing a theme for this blog. I think I “spoke” too early with my last posting, because for some reason I though the “thinner” column of the “Contempt” theme was on the left-hand side, when in reality, it appears on the right-hand side. So far, it’s still the best theme (after Blix) that I’ve seen on WordPress, so I’ll add a few more widgets to the column and see how it holds up…