Writing Prompt 107
Write or modify your list of personal interests.
A list of personal interests is just a formal way of saying hobbies. Why do you suppose it’s important to identify, list, and briefly describe extracurricular interests that have absolutely no bearing on the professional work you do as a writer? Hmmm. Before I answer that, think about the bottom of a professional resume. Think about the bottom space in a LinkedIn profile. Notice any similarities?
Well…Common sense would dictate that professional things should remain professional without hinting at personal things. For the most part, that is true, but that also eliminates any aspect of humanity or distinction in an otherwise dry environment. The listing of personal interests or hobbies adds a certain flair of humanity. Having that list makes you more down-to-earth and approachable than having just straightforward facts.
Be careful with what you choose to list as your hobbies, though. Best to stay on the G-rated version of the fence. Listing sporting and artistic-types of interests are all good things to describe what you like to do outside of the office.
Amazingly, today marks 50 days left until nonfiction writers are challenged to produce an entire work of nonfiction in the month of November! For those of you not familiar with Nina Amir’s NaNonFiWriMo 2013 program, it is the clever alternative to the fiction version, NaNoWriMo.
Please consider leaving feedback directly on this prompt. Thank you so much!
Education – Quick Tips
In this new education section, I’d like to provide a quick tip to motivate nonfiction writers.
Write guest blog posts for others.
This is one smart piece of advice that many, many, many, many bloggers will tell you to do. Writer’s Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer has said it, Nina Amir has said it, and of course, all the big guns in social media like Darren Rowse, Mari Smith, and Jeff Goins have said it time and time again. There are many good, valid reasons why you should write guest blog posts for others. Let me break it down into one all-encompassing word that says it all – – exposure.
When you write guest blog posts for others, your particular ideas, points of view, and writing style are shared among different audiences, thus, giving you plenty of great exposure. Those different audiences are all eager readers who have likely never heard of you. If they read one blog post from you that they like, chances are pretty good that they will come back to your blog for more. This is called instant exposure. Guest blogging exposes you instantly to brand new audiences and gives you tremendous marketing opportunities that provide cost-effective returns on investment (ROIs)!
Marketing success in writing
Today’s feature is on blogger Danny Iny.
No discussion on guest blog posting would be complete without the master himself, Danny Iny from Firepole Marketing. Danny has a unique style about him. He has a constant, pleasing smile and the best sing-songy voice I’ve ever heard on a man. When you hear Danny speak, you might envision a Valley Boy (remember that 1980s expression?) that wants to go surfing, but it is that very intriguing personality that makes Danny and his blogging advice so memorable.
Danny recognizes how intimidating it is to consider writing guest blog posts for others. There is always a fear that what we have may not be accepted by others. However, Danny pushes through all of that and comes up with an interesting formula for writing guest blog posts. He refers to it as a “paint by number exercise.” By following certain rules, you end up filling the blanks and before you know it, the guest blog post is written. Rinse and repeat multiple times for different blog owners.
Nina Amir encourages nonfiction writers to adopt a similar exercise when writing full-length books. She suggests that writers begin the writing process by creating detailed TOCs or written outlines or mindmaps before writing a single word of prose. Her reasons are very similar to Danny’s – – the guide is the skeleton or structure that shapes the writing. It makes for a more precise, orderly book and helps the writer focus more attentively on the writing.
Personally, I do not agree with this style of writing, by creating a structure first and then filling in the gaps. However, the fact that I do not agree with it does not take away its validity and obvious success both for Danny Iny and especially for Nina Amir. Danny must be doing something right. In 2011, he wrote more than 80 guest blog posts and earned himself the title of Freddy Krueger of Blogging. Similarly, Nina Amir’s many guest blog posts have gained her widespread recognition for her many books, publications, and writer education opportunities.
(Yours truly has done okay, too! 2013 has been a huge year for me. Today marks my 107th completed published guest blog post here on Nina Amir’s website – Write Nonfiction in November. Phew. That’s a lot!)
Marketing success, non-writing
Here is our fifth feature on Artistic Toy Manufacturing Co. and the wild success of its custom plush and toys.
September 22, 2013 is right around the corner. For those of you into celebrities and current television show trends, you may be interested in knowing that the 65th annual Emmy award show will be televised.
As has been the custom for many years, swag bags full of rich, luxurious merchandise are given to all attendees of the major televised awards shows. Usually, things like electronics, jewelry, and other similar high-end merchandise is included in the swag bags. The retailers who participate in the swag bag do so as a marketing event for themselves. They’re not so much interested in the celebrities purchasing from them as they are in having the celebrities endorse or publicly promote their brands.
Artistic Toy alluded to its participation in this year’s Emmy swag bags. Hmmm. I wonder what cool and clever plush toy will emerge? Perhaps a toy statuette?