How To Learn A New Tool

I work with so many people who are trying to learn a new tool, such as a new social media platform, but are filled with uncertainty as to if it will benefit them, how to get started, and determining if they have enough time for it.

So today, I just wanted to share my process for learning a new tool, by showing you how I am approaching adding a compressor to my audio mix.

The video I referenced that helped me with the DBX 166xl compressor so much is this one.

Thanks!
-Dan

Want to Raise Your Profile Online? Interview People

Do you want to raise your profile online, growing your audience, building strong relationships with those “influencers” you hear so much about, and developing content that will continually drive more people to your website? I thought so.

Today, I want to talk about one simple strategy to do just that. Okay, here it is: interview people.

That’s it. So simple, yet so powerful. Why? Well let me show you an example…

I spent the past two years building my company, We Grow Media. I have worked plenty of 7 day weeks, plenty of long days, and have put more passion, thought, and work into this than anything else I have ever created. So, let’s see what happens when you search for “we grow media” in Google:

 

Even with all of my effort, two other people have ranked well for my company name just by posting interviews with me. This means that when someone looks up We Grow Media, their websites come up as relevant sources – encouraging people to venture over.

The first “interview” link above is a video interview that Joel Friedlander did with me for his website TheBookDesigner.com. The second interview is one I did with Arielle Eckstut that she reposted on her website TheBookDoctors.com. Each is a simple interview format that used Skype to record the video, and YouTube to host it.

So what is the benefit of all this? There’s quite a few actually:

  • SEO value – as illustrated above, simply by posting an interview, Joel and Arielle now rank well for my company name. As I work tirelessly to build We Grow Media, they benefit more and more by those who many try to find my site, and end up on theirs. I think that is awesome  – something that benefits everyone involved.
  • Exposure to new audience – when you interview someone, they tend to tell their friends about it. Doing so exposes you to their audience in a positive and personal manner.
  • Backlinks from social media and other websites – as the interviewee shares links to your site on social media, their own blog, and elsewhere, this builds valuable backlinks to your website from a variety of relevant sources.
  • Be seen as a topic expert – by interviewing topic experts, you are viewed as a topic expert. Are you writing a childrens book? Interview other writers who have been down that road; interview librarians who constantly work with kids and parents and books; interview illustrators; interview teachers; interview readers!
  • Learn how to interview well – this is a skill that will pay off again and again. It helps out in small conversations (eg: meeting your favorite authors) or in larger ways (being interviewed on television.)
  • Unending source of content – tired of thinking of new content to post to your blog or website? Interviews provide fresh content that didn’t require you to write it from start to finish.

But there is so much more value here beyond just “marketing” stuff. You get to promote the work of others. This is your way to be a part of a community that truly gives back. I am happy that Joel and Arielle may get more traffic because of me. Each are passionate and smart about the publishing world, something I have such respect for.

By bringing others into your blog or website, you share new perspectives. This benefits your audience in so many ways. Would you go to a conference where only one person spoke for 2 days in a row? Most of the time, you go because you will hear from a dozen or two qualified people – and know you will walk away with a variety of perspectives and experiences.

But perhaps the biggest reason to interview others is because of the relationships you build. I like long-form interviews, 30 minutes or 60 minutes. When you speak to someone for that long, you fall into a rhythm, you explore a variety of topics, you get to know each other. That is so powerful not just because it is a professional connection, but because this is someone who shares a passion for the same thing you do.

If you want to learn exactly how I do video interviews, check out this article I wrote: How to Record and Online Video Interview.

Thanks!

-Dan

 

 

 

Announcing A New Online Course: “Digital Content Strategy” (Partnering With Mediabistro!)

I’m excited to announce that I will be teaching for Mediabistro! Starting in late February, I will teach a 4-week online course: DIGITAL CONTENT STRATEGY. A brief description:

“An effective content strategist is part editor, part marketer, part business analyst. With knowledge of the principles of content strategy, you can adeptly use audience data to drive creative decisions and build a revenue model that sustains a digital media business. ”

“This course will help you define and expand your audience by creating a roadmap for your editorial content that integrates with larger business goals. This strategy will consider brand identity, audience habits, cultural trends, and revenue initiatives.”

Registration is $350. Full details can be found here.

I’m thrilled to be working with Mediabistro, and expanding the number of online courses I am teaching. I also teach two courses for Writer’s Digest (Blogging 101 and Social Media 101), as well as Build Your Author Platform through this site.

I have added a few more speaking events to the 2012 calendar. Here is where I will be this year:

More is in the works, I feel so fortunate to work with so many wonderful individuals and organizations.

Thanks.

-Dan

 

Photo Recap of Digital Book World, 2012

I just got back from Digital Book World, which directly followed Writer’s Digest Conference (photo recap here) at the Sheraton in New York City.

Welcome!
Digital Book World

I ran a workshop on the first day, 3 hours focused on Content Strategy ROI:
Digital Book World

(photo by Ron Hogan)

The conference was packed, I believe more than 1200 attendees:
Digital Book World

One of the panels looking at what publishers can learn from the romance market:
Digital Book World

Even with great programming and sessions, the best parts of the conference can still happen in hallways like this, meeting up with old friends and making new ones:
Digital Book World

1,500 boxed lunches:
Digital Book World

One of my favorite panels, where Simon Lipskar of Writers House lead a discussion on the changing author/publisher relationship:
Digital Book World

The hottest commodity in the venue: electrical outlets:
Digital Book World

I really enjoyed the event. You can find an in-depth recap here:

Thanks so much to F+W Media for putting on such a great event!
-Dan

Photo Recap of Writer’s Digest Conference, 2012

I just finished an incredible couple of days mingling with writers at Writer’s Digest Conference, 2012.

As usual, the event takes place in New York City, home of tall buildings:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

The calm before the storm:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

A first look at the crowd, about 400 writers in attendance:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

The keynote by A.J. Jacobs, sharing his amusing experiences writing about his life:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

A common appearance: laptops, iPads, and mobile phones, all taking notes:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

We got a bit of snow on Saturday, but nothing like what we received during the 2011 conference:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

And there were moments of sunshine:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

My session at the event: “Becoming an Author Entrepreneur”
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Me speaking:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

George Davis covers Christina Katz session:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

James Scott Bell’s session on craft was literally standing room only:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Lunch:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Some authors were selling and signing their wares. I picked up Barry Eisler’s book, as well as Christina Katz’:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Christina Katz signing her book:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Barry Eisler gave the keynote on Saturday, a very honest look at not just his views on publishing, but the revenue streams that support it:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

The crowd around Barry after his talk:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

The lineup for the Pitch Slam, where authors get something like 3 minutes to pitch agents with their book idea:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Agents waiting for writers:

Writers Digest Conference 2012

The floodgates are unleashed:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

And the lineups begin:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

My wife and son joined me at the venue. He is not yet writing:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

A night on the town with friends from the publishing world. New York lights even make slush look romantic:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Writer’s Digests’ own Phil Sexton introduce a panel I was on called “Hardcore Author Marketing”
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Kate Travers answering a question from the audience:
Writers Digest Conference 2012

Overall, a really great event. Thank you so much to the organizers, speakers, and everyone who attended!