Best time to blog

In the recent past postings we have discussed the best way to blog (multiple postings per day, and why), and the best days to post (depends upon the goals for your blog), so now let’s discuss the “best time to blog.”

On a side note, did you know that if you repeat the title of your blog posting within the body of your posting surrounded by quotation marks you increase the chances of Google or Yahoo “scoring” your blog higher for that keyword term or phrase?

It becomes weighted even higher if you also link it somewhere… so, that’s just a little extra thing to consider today as we discuss the “best time to blog.”  (Although it’s better if the link actually goes somewhere relevant, but I didn’t have time to do that for this little example).

I don’t think I’m revealing anything shocking when I suggest the best time to blog is in the morning. But I’ll discuss WHY that is, and provide additional insight to that concept later today….  For instance, the “morning” for who, or where?  The world is big, and round, and the internet is worldwide. One man’s morning is another man’s night…

Blogging Advice for Writers

Another piece of advice I learned from this “Social Media Scientist” is that you should blog on specific days of the week according to what you hope to accomplish with your blog. For instance, if you are trying to generate comments, blogging on the weekends is shown to be statistically better since people have more time to comment, and there is less competition for their time.

On the other hand, if you are trying to generate click-thrus, blogging during the weekdays is better because people are more pressed for time, given their own responsibilities, and are therefore more likely to click-thru on a link you have in your post than comment on your blog.

Well, that’s a no-brainer for this blog, since I’ve already discussed the logistic reasons why I don’t have “commenting” enabled.  But for your own blog, the goal may be different…

Social Media Marketing

Starting in April I will attempt to follow some “social media scientist” advice I received from a webinar I attended recently.  The webinar was held by Dan Zarrella in which he discussed the science of timing as it relates to social media marketing, blogging, and emailing.   Over the next few posts I’ll share the advice and employ it with this blog.

The first change starting in April is the timing of the posts.  Up until now, I was scheduling these posts to go live in the afternoons. The main reason for this was to keep from “bumping” into the release times for the Outskirts Press blog postings, which usually go live in the mornings.    Why did I care?  Because our Twitter account tweets automatically when either blog is updated, and we attempt to spread those tweets throughout the day — as best as we can, at any rate. I’ve discussed the logistic difficulty of that in the past.

But many of those concepts have changed now, and I’ll discuss that next time…

What is the most important thing an author should do to promote a book?

Sorry for the delay in updating. I had a bit of a medical situation when I was in New York.

Speaking of New York, I participated in two panels for writers last weekend. One was on all things “social networking” related and another one covered the topic of book promotion.  On both panels, we (me and the other panelists) had the opportunity to answer questions from the audience.  To benefit those who were unable to attend, I’ll report on some of the information that was shared on the panels along with some of the questions we fielded (and the answers, of course).

At the book promotion panel, the first question we received was this – perhaps a bit paraphrased: “You’ve thrown a lot of information at us. It’s all a little overwhelming. If we only had the time/money/resources/interest in doing ONE of the things you suggested, what would you recommend doing first?”  

All three of the panelists and the moderator agreed upon the answer: You should have a website or a blog, not unlike this one.    Most blogs can effectively act as an author website as long as you’ve added a widget or some other form of functionality to sell your book from it.   Outside of that, as long as your book is sold on Amazon, your Amazon “sales page” can act as your website and accept book sales for you.  Amazon’s sales page also posts reviews of your book and can broadcast your blog if you have one — by setting that up through your Author Central account, which I’m positive I’ve blogged about in the past.

The good news is, between your Amazon sales page and or, it is relatively easy and free to get started on the right path toward book promotion.  The only cost is time.  Blogging takes commitment.  But it is also the one thing all the panelists agreed upon was the first most important thing you should do to promote a published book. Blog consistently, professionally, and respectfully. After all, you’re building your author platform, here.

I’ll talk about other things we covered on the panels in New York in future posts, along with more Facebook stuff as I promised.

Happy New Year

Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog. On January 1, 2010, I wrote this:

“What better day to launch a new endeavor than on New Year’s Day, when New Year’s Resolutions are top of mind?  One of my personal New Year’s Resolutions in 2010 is to get more involved in “social media” and find the time to participate more actively on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.”

So how did I do on my New Year’s Resolution to get more involved in “social media?”   I wish at the time I had thought to mention the number of Twitter followers and Facebook Fans we had back in Jan 2010, so I would be able to quantify the increase. Alas, I didn’t think to do that. But I can report growth and active participation in three of the major social networking channels (Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook), not to mention this blog.

For example, we implemented and improved our Outskirts Press channel on YouTube, and I wrote about that process through various blog posts when that process was underway. Also, thanks to various “social media marketing” endeavors, our Twitter followers have increased substantially in the past year, as have the number of people who “like” our Facebook page.  In fact, in the 4th quarter of 2010 we initiated a number of campaigns specifically meant to increase Facebook “fans,” including a holiday giveaway in December which increased our fan base by about 40%.  In that campaign we gave away two free Amazon Kindles. All that was necessary to participate in the free drawing was becoming a fan of ours at

Now, in January, we will try to build upon that success with a social networking/publishing experiment with our Facebook fans, and I’ll discuss that more next time. In the meantime, Happy New Year.

What is Adsensiphobia?

September has been a productive month on the social networking side of things, with the introduction of our branded channel on YouTube. It’s still underway, and elements are still being tweaked, but here it is as it stands currently, nonetheless:

The advantage of having a “branded” YouTube channel–as opposed to a “normal” YouTube channel– is that Google (the company that owns YouTube) provides some controls and filters to more precisely control how visitors and subscribers interact with your channel.  For example, you can turn “off” the advertisement that appears in the upper right hand corner.  It’s currently “on” for us because it apparently needs to be “on” in order to activate advertising “overlays” which we have in conjunction with sponsored YouTube videos;  and I’ll talk more about YouTube overlays and sponsored YouTube videos in a future post.

In addition to the controls and the additional graphic “skins” one can add to a branded YouTube channel, one of the other advantages is the ability to turn “off” that advertising. Why would someone want to turn off the advertising, or even care?  Well, when it’s an ad for Doritos, I don’t care so much. But when it’s an add for one of our competitors, it’s not so great.  This concern refers back to a posting I wrote a while ago, introducing a term I coined “Adsensiphobia.”

Adsensiphobia is experienced by marketing people when they are faced with the dilemma of directing potential customers to a website on which some of their competitors may be advertising (either via banner ads or contextual  text ads in a Google AdSense box).  Free PR distribution services are notorious for this, as are MySpace, YouTube, and many other “Web 2.0” websites.   I fear a day will come when Twitter decides it needs to monetize its traffic via AdSense, as well.  

Ultimately, however, altering your marketing initiatives due to adsensiphobia is self-defeating and, in the long run, pointless. Thanks to XML, even distributing your press release through paid distribution services like PRWeb doesn’t protect you, since some AdSense-specific websites exist solely to pick-up the XML feed from PRWeb AND display contextual AdSense links (which probably include links to your competitors).  If your book or company has proven to be profitable for AdSense advertisers, there is no getting around it; and by refraining from distributing to every possible outlet solely because of adsensiphobia, you are really only shooting yourself in the foot.

If you are marketing a company and experiencing adsensiphobia, ask yourself this… is it realistic to believe that your potential customers have never heard of your competitors?   People don’t drink Perrier because they are unaware of tap water. They drink Perrier because Perrier has established its value to its customers.  At the same time, does Perrier slap stickers for Evian on their trucks? No.

Scheduling social media blasts in advance

So if you’re not as famous as Ashton and Britney (and let’s face it, most of us aren’t), then automation and strategic scheduling are tactics you can employ to maximize your social networking strategy. I discussed automation previously. 

Scheduling it just what it sounds like — plotting the release schedule of blog postings, ping updates, and social comments, etc.  The idea behind scheduling is to spread out the content you are distributing so that something “new” is posted every couple of hours.  This is relatively easy if you’re the only one doing the posting. It becomes harder if you have to coordinate these efforts with other people or other departments.   

The automatic aggregation makes it even more difficult still. TweetDeck, Hoot Suite, Feed Burner,, and the like don’t all operate instantaneously.  They update in batches.  So for example,  Feed Burner distributes this blog via RSS to our Twitter feed, but there is a discrepancy between when this blog is posted “live” and when Feed Burner syndicates the feed to Twitter.   Normally, this discrepancy isn’t that big of a deal, but when you’re trying to schedule postings in advance, such a delay complicates matters even further.

While I realize strategically what would be optimal, actually accomplishing such a lofty goal as strategically scheduling social content is still mostly a pipe dream I have.  For example, if one watches our own Twitter feed, one often sees 3-4 tweets come in quick succession (within a matter of seconds or minutes) when it would be best to spread those out across several hours.  In fact the only true tactic I’ve successfully accomplished is by scheduling my own blog posts to go “live” in the afternoons.  This is because I know our other blogs and social activities often (though not always) take place in the morning.    In other words, it is important enough to me to play a role in what keeps me up at night, but not really important enough for me to mandate some schedule with other people/departments at Outskirts Press.

Even Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears can’t believe everything that is on the Internet

As I mentioned in the last post, Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears have almost 6 million Twitter followers each.  That is mostly due to their celebrity status. While they have both been passionate “tweeters” in the past, it’s not ONLY due to their consistency that they have so many followers. In fact, according to, Ashton Kutcher averages .6 tweets per day and Britney Spears averages 0 (yes, zero) tweets per day.  How accurate is this information?  Well, let’s see: also reports that Ashton has only 4.6 million followers (not the 5.8 million reported by Twitter) and Britney only has 75,000 followers (instead of the 5.9 million fans reported by Twitter).  Which source is more accurate?   

And that just goes to show, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.  Hmm… where have I mentioned that before?

How do Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears do it?

Ashton Kutcher has 5.8 million Twitter followers and appears to “tweet” a 140 character (or less) message 4-5 times a day at least.  Britney Spears has 5.9 Twitter followers even though she “tweets” what appears to be just about 4-5 times a week on average; and she even has help doing that.

Certainly being a big name celebrity doesn’t hurt, but what these two Twitter aficionados have demonstrated is that consistency with Twitter updates is one of the cornerstones to attracting followers.  That’s all well and good if you don’t already have a full-time job; but as most mere mortals soon discover– Twittering consistently and frequently can be a lot of work.

How do they do it?

Well, I can’t speak for them (having an entourage probably helps), but for the rest of us, it helps to rely on a little bit of automation and a little bit of strategy.  At least, that’s what we do at Outskirts Press to find the time to manage a somewhat realized “social networking footprint” while still devoting the majority of our time and resources toward efforts that benefit our clients the most (ie., producing award-winning books).

First let’s discuss the automation. We use three aggregators frequently:, Feed Burner, and Tweet Deck.   The first two are among the “tips” I discuss in detail in my upcoming book “0-60: Accelerating Your Online Marketing Efforts” and they also play a role in my upcoming presentation on the same topic at the Self Publishing Book Expo in New York on the first Saturday in October. allows you to broadcast a single message simultaneously to about 50 different social networking sites. It requires an up-front time investment to set-up those sites initially with a profile, password, username, etc.  But once those sites are set-up, allows you to “participate” on all of them relatively efficiently.   Of course, part of the advantage of Web 2.0 is that it is a “two way conversation” and that is where has its drawbacks. Sure, it is very efficient at initiating one way correspondence, perhaps too efficient, because those messages then require some manual participation to moderate and respond to the “two way conversation” that results.  Managing 50 social networking sites is beyond our company’s resources; perhaps your company is in a different place. So we pick and choose the channels we invest time and energy in.  Not coincidentally, they are the most “popular” channels like Twitter and Facebook, etc.

Feed Burner and TweetDeck offer similar time-saving social networking tools, albeit in a different capacity than  And that’s why we use all of them, rather than being able to rely on just one.

Automation and aggregation are only half the battle.  Strategizing and scheduling the composition and distribution of social networking messages is equally important and we will discuss that next time.