Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Borrowing Credibility = Intelligent, Instant Marketing for Newbie Writers

“Damn, guys, I met Stephen King at a conference last week and you would be surprised what he told me about the tricks he used to get published for the first time!”

This statement will perk up your listeners’ ears and they will hang on and pay more attention to every word you say after that opening statement — simply because you are paraphrasing a credible source and not just spouting your own words (even though your own words may be just as knowledgeable and accurate on the subject matter).

And, you don’t have to meet credible, renowned personalities in-person — you can read their advice and teachings in articles and quote them as well.

Borrowing credibility lends instant marketing value to your content. A simple but powerful concept that is often overlooked or not appreciated and therefore not strategically applied.

More insight provided by Al Bargen from Wordpreneur dot com:


The Single Fastest Way to Build Credibility as a Virtually Unknown Writer

Okay, so you feel that practically nobody knows who you are. How do you expect people to read your book or blog post and believe what you’re saying? That’s a question we get a lot at my site, and people want to know how to become a credible source of information when they haven’t yet built a name for themselves.

The problem isn’t that these people (you?) are not credible sources of information. They’re usually just as credible as the first guy at the head of the popularity contest. But therein lies the problem. Credibility isn’t so much about being able to know what you’re talking about. It has much more to do with being the more popular source of information out there.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing as most people who become well-known as great sources of information are also people who know their stuff really well. It only becomes a problem for you, even though you know your material like the back of your hand, if you’re not exactly well-known on the Net yet.

The good thing is there is one tried-and-true method of building your credibility in a flash. Just borrow credibility from people you know other people trust. Those are the experts in their field who have credentials to follow their names. Sure, there are people with PhDs and there are people with multimillion dollar businesses behind them. They’re great sources of information. But we’re also talking about academics, bloggers and book authors who spend a long time deeply immersed in their fields.

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Publishing, Writing and the Super Bowl

Well, the super bowl is under way! I have been watching much of the pre-game festivities and would like to take advantage of a small teaching moment.

All interested in publishing and writing should look at this huge media event as a learning lab…and it’s FREE! Pay close attention to the writing and production of the great commercials that surface with the super bowl presentation.

The great writing, camera work and special effects on the E-Trade Baby ad and the Michael Douglas narrative on the history of the two “blue collar” teams and their relationship and values to our own country’s growth, through good and bad times, were edgy, sharp and great examples of good writing and production values. 

Whoa!!! Green Bay just scored another touchdown!!! So far the odd makers are on course.

Anyway, good people, keep your eyes peeled on the rest of the advertisement writing and any production dialogue at halftime…You just might learn something new.

Now BACK TO THE GAME!…After all, it is the main event…


Advertorials Pump Life Into Print

Marketing diguised as editorial or legitimate content is finding more receptive publishers who need the money to survive. But, these marketing advertorials should be clearly identified as commercials so as not to fool the naive and gullible.

Advertisers love this venue and are gaining more freedom of advertising control when they throw in the dollars. So, readers, as the old adage goes: “Believe nothing you read and only half of what you see!”

A few of these type of advertising models are springing up and getting around the accepted norm of clearly marking them with “advertising tags”. One example given in the following article by Matt Kinsman, Executive Editor of Folio magazine, is Worth magazine:

Advertorials Give New Life to Print
But not labeling them as such is a mistake.
By Matt Kinsman 12/01/2009

Advertorials—the original “paid content”—are no stranger to magazines (FOLIO: does it too. See an example here.) Marketing that looks like content is always attractive to advertisers and as publishers agonize over plummeting print revenue and clients starting to do their own branded Webinars/events/lead gen, advertorials are a way to lure them back and maybe even hit budget for the first time this year.

Reader’s Digest’s Taste of Home recently said it will produce custom editorial columns that are more “synergistic” with advertisers’ promotional goals. Taste of Home created custom in-book sections that feature branded recipe cards for client Jimmy Dean that run next to the magazine’s own recipe cards section. According to RDA’s Taste of Home and Home & Garden Media Group vp and publisher Lora Gier, these sections are clearly marked as advertising and all advertroasial sections are “new pages” that don’t take away from existing editorial pages.

“The conversations we have are very strategic versus just discussing demographics and rates,” Gier told FOLIO:. “We are winning exclusive business through these partnerships.”

Advertorials Without the “Advertising” Tag

However, other publishers are pushing the boundaries of advertorials. A recent RIA Biz article gave a comprehensive look at a new advertorial program from Worth magazine, which was acquired by Sandow Media in 2008.

Worth charges financial advisors $2,495 per month or about $30,000 per year (the minimum commitment) to receive two-page profiles in six issues, free reprints, magazine subscriptions worth up to $11,000 for the advisor’s clients and a hard cover book with advisor profiles.

The article quotes Worth publisher Patrick Williams as saying, “Fifty-one million of assets under management just for the first issue. People say print media is dead but I have $51 million that says they are wrong.” [It’s funny how marketers’ complaints about print seem to disappear when they get to control the message.]

However, Worth isn’t labeling profiles as “advertising” but includes a sentence in the preamble of the profile section indicating they are paid for.

I’m all for vendor content and realize publishers (and editors) need to work more closely with advertisers but I don’t agree with advertorials that are anything less than clearly marked.

In 2006, FOLIO: did a cover story on the rise of Schofield Media Group, a publisher which at the time had grown to 10 magazines in the U.K., 14 in the U.S. and $40 million in revenue, thanks to a model that includes selling editorial case studies.

At the time, then Penton Media group publisher Terri Mollison said of Schofield’s model, “How can any market derive what key trends or ‘hot companies’ are worth reading about when the only criteria to select those companies is which vendors and distributors who are willing to pony up money to have accolades written about them?”

I wonder how many publishers are willing to take that same stand today.


Have Publishers Lost the Capacity for Long-Term Planning?

In the panic to survive month to month, many publishers have lost the calmness for long-term planning for lasting growth.

“If you want to save your company, think beyond the next quarter or loan payment.” A special treatise today by Joe Pulizzi from Folio magazine:

Joe Pulizzi is founder of Junta42, an online lead generation/matching service for custom publishers. Joe is also co-author of Get Content Get Customers, considered the handbook for content marketing

Just a few years ago, all the talk was about implementing the three-legged stool strategy. Dubbed “the holy grail,” a publisher that offered advertisers a robust print, online and in-person solution, packaged together, would win.

The three legs of the stool…the answer to our problems. Publishers with the necessary resources developed the three-legged stool. Others tried new launches.

And now, after many publishers have struggled to make the stool model work, customers are spending their money elsewhere. Who knew there were plenty of other stool legs?

And then there was lead generation. Webinars. Podcasts. Virtual Trade Shows. And now social media. As Ted Bahr so eloquently stated at the Niche Magazine Conference just last April, “beware the fad of the year.”

The Next Big Idea
In FOLIO:’s “Big Idea” article in August, the lead paragraph states, “We all know that the top strategic priority this year isn’t really ‘online,’ or ‘lead gen’ or ‘events,’ it’s flat-out survival. Planning for the future now means the next fiscal quarter, not the next five years.”

This is exactly the problem. We are focused on short-term tactics, not strategy. We are focused on next month’s financials, not how to sustain and build the business for the long-term. A business does not prosper and grow because it can make the next quarter’s financial goals. It survives because it has a long-term vision, plan and strategy that engages all of its employees and resources in building great companies…in winning.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term
Peter Drucker, the great management guru, saw this coming when organizations started to focus less on the customer and more on where the CFO was looking. Corporations (publishers) were now to be managed exclusively to “maximize shareholder’s value.”

“This will not work,” Drucker said. “It forces the corporation to be managed for the shortest term. But that means damaging, if not destroying, the wealth-producing capacity of the business. It means decline, and fairly swift decline. Long-term results cannot be achieved by piling short-term results on short-term results. They should be achieved by balancing short-term and long-term needs and objectives.”

And boy, have we seen decline. And the spiral continues. The more revenue decline, the more focus on short term thinking (exclusively).

Correcting the Course
Changing from a short-term to a balanced short/long-term focus is really hard to do. Here are a few areas that will help you get there.

1. Sales Training. Yes, sales training. This is one of the reasons why publishers like Watt seem to be a step ahead. They have a passion for educating their salespeople, not so they understand how to pitch a product (which is important), but what questions to ask so that they can be better consultants, and form better relationships with their customers. The “advertising space rep” of the past is simply not equipped to succeed in this new, highly complex and varied communication world.

2. Expand the T&E budget. Now, more than ever, we need to see our customers face-to-face. It’s almost impossible to develop a relationship with customers as publishers without seeing them in person. If we want to understand where customers are going, and thus where business is heading, get face time with customers on their turf. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper now than it was at this time last year. When was the last time any of us heard of a publishing CEO visiting his key customers and asking how they were planning for the future?

3. Marketing. What, publishers actually marketing outside their own products? Unheard of in most media companies, but more important than ever, especially when there’s more competition than ever. If your customers are going to see you as their trusted marketing provider you need to be communicating with more than your sales rep. An easy start is a consistent (at least monthly) e-newsletter from your reps to your customers. Tell them how to grow their business, how to market smarter…and they’ll reward you with more business. Practice what you are preaching to your customers.


I Sold Second Copy Of My Story! (Faint, Faint)

Filed under: free book marketing on-line,internet marketing,marketing — gator1965 @ 9:03 am

My 9th grade teacher bought a copy of my short memoir story on 1st August 2009. My second sale in a week and a half. I thank her very much for her contribution to my quest for learning and trying totally free internet marketing.

This is a slow process presently; hopefully I can break some kind of a “code” during my quest that will allow sales to pick up! I, and I’m sure many of you, are bombarded by tons of “buy-my-‘Book Blaster System’-and-sell-a-million-books-in-30-days!” However, my research finds 99.9% of these offers are just scams.

Stay tuned for more updates in my experiment in free internet marketing. I wish all my readers a happy and uplifting week!

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