I recently started a new blog about writing practice, First 50 Words. I struggled rather ineptly to announce it in circles that might be interested in writing practice. I’ve had almost no luck getting participation. Perhaps it’s unclear what I want readers to do. Perhaps no one is interested in tickling their creativity just a bit with the first 50 words on a random topic. Perhaps writing practice has gone out of style. For whatever reason, my PR efforts with this blog have failed so far.
I’m also midway through reading Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. This book takes a radically different look at how economic forces work. Especially interesting are observations about the Internet and the
everyone’s a publisher state of publishing today. Reading Freakonomics helps you drag your thinking out of its normal bounds in many ways and I recommend the book. The topic of incentives is key to economic behavior, according to Levitt and Dubner. I realize now that there is no incentive for anyone to contribute 50 words to my blog. Why participate? I haven’t given anyone a reason, an incentive, other than enjoying a creative jumpstart each day.
Now one of my favorite online pals who tried to help me with ideas for launching First 50 Words has provided a link to a fascinating article by David Meerman Scott, New Rules of PR. Scott’s article is long, but worth reading.
Back in the day, I was a journalism major and wrote many newspaper articles, including press releases. While those old-school rules of writing still apply, the rules for PR in the modern age have changed. Scott talks about things like using keyword rich copy, using searchable terms, including links in your article, posting your press release on your website, and other
new rules. You may already know some of this; these days it’s basic instinct to include links in your writing, for example. But it’s helpful to see it all spelled out in one place and you might learn some new techniques from it. I’m certainly going to take another look at how I publicize First 50 Words.