Books

Recommended Reading: Corporate Blogging for Dummies

Posted by | Books, Marketing, Services, Social Media, Websites, Writing and Editing | No Comments
So, you want to start a blog and use it to gain customers and raise awareness of your products and services. Everyone tells you it's the thing to do. But how do you blog successfully? I recommend reading "Corporate Blogging for Dummies", by Douglass Karr and Chantelle Flannery. Then get some help from myself and my social media expert colleagues to get yours underway. This book will help you choose a blogging platform (including of course the wonderful WordPress which I highly recommend), and guide you through developing a strategy for your blog. Because what you post on your blog - or indeed your website or any social media platform - is in the public domain, you'll have legalities to consider such as copyrights and ownership, especially if you use material taken from another website. This book will tell you all the CYA (Cover Your Ass) stuff you'll need to know. The authors share best practice tips, as well as the all important What Not To Do. The book features successful corporate blogs as examples you can learn from. Best of all, at my bookshop prices start from around $16 (exc shipping). With the Aussie dollar almost at parity with the US$, that's fantastic; even with shipping included it's cheaper than buying it in Australia. So go forth - buy! Part of a successful blog is the look and feel of the site it's on, and that's where I can help you (as well as with actual content if you need help writing). If your blog is a standalone site rather than part of your corporate site, I can match your corporate look and feel so you have consistent branding across your sites. Contact me about getting your blog up and running as part of your social media strategy.

Switching off – reducing the ‘technology overload’

Posted by | Books, Lifestyle | No Comments
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, and yes it does, but I've noticed when chatting to people that more and more of us have trouble 'switching off'. Not just turning our phones and computers off, but mentally tearing ourselves away from our work. With smartphones and tablet computers such as iPads becoming more commonplace, it's hard to separate work time from our own time, particularly for small business owners who work in service-related industries. Georgina Laidlaw has an excellent article here which has some ideas for those of us whose brain is still working on work stuff long after working hours are over. Getting out and going for a walk works for me, particularly now in springtime when I can let my mind wander over the sun on my back, or the scent of flowers like jasmine and wisteria, which always bring back a memory of childhood; comforting, carefree. Books do it for me too. When I want to have some technology-free time I often head for something written or set in the first half of the twentieth century. Yes, a time when computers and mobile phones weren't part of our lives. A slower time, to slow my mind down and make me relax. E. F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia books are favourites and I re-read them annually. Likewise mysteries from detective fiction's Golden Age: Josephine Tey (Brat Farrar is a longtime favourite)  and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple are marvellous antidotes - Murder at the Vicarage, anyone? Last weekend I bought two very battered Girl's Own Annuals at Rozelle Markets. It cost me $10 for the pair of them. One book was missing its rear cover and the other had its covers and spine but they weren't attached to the book. I had an enjoyable hour last night rebinding them and making a new rear cover. Purists might say I'm lessening their value but in the condition the covers were in I doubt each one is worth more than a fiver anyway. They make fascinating reading, a snapshot of British middle-class life in the early 1920s; articles by worthy ladies, fiction that never features more than a chaste kiss between lovers, chocolate-box village photographs and wonderful line drawings of the current fashions. Now I look forward to switching off in the evenings and delving into a world of bachelor girls, camisoles, good wives and a day in the life of a prima donna. How do you switch off? Answers on a postcard please (or leave a comment below).