Who Needs Another Blogging Platform?

Who needs another blogging platform? No one, if you believe that current platforms are perfect. After 15 years of blogging, and after trying just about every platform — I know that no platform is PERFECT.

Each and every platform is either too simple (not enough functionality) or too complex. And no, I’m not looking at WordPress when I say “too complex.” WordPress is perfect for what it does; it’s my favorite platform, but I’m not enraptured when it comes to usability. If you just want to write a quick post, it’s challenging. You know that you’re not going to be done and dusted in under ten minutes.

Perfection in a blogging platform is impossible

That doesn’t mean that developers should stop trying. As bloggers, we should encourage developers. Not with nitty-picky “I want this” or “Gimme that” demands. Rather, encourage developers to envision a platform that’s not only robust, but is also a pleasure to use.

If I were looking for developers with vision, I’d start with the Realmac Software people. When I switched from PCs to Macs in 2005, while still actively writing for PC magazines, I was nervous. Was I insane? Why oh why…? I talked myself out of buying a Mac for months. Then I did. Then I discovered apps like RapidWeaver (from Realmac Software), and Curio. Then Scrivener. And my switch to Macs enhanced both my productivity and creativity.

Realmac are launching a new blogging platform

When I heard about this Indiegogo campaign for Typed.com, I had to contribute, of course.

I couldn’t be more eager to see what Realmac deliver. I love blogging, and when people who’ve delivered inspired apps like RapidWeaver and Clear promise a new blogging platform, I know we’ve got a treat in store.

The campaign is doing amazingly well. It just started a couple of days ago, and is already well over its goal, with 24 days to go.

Blogging’s a challenge: inspired tools inspire you

I’m a software addict. I used to feel bad about this. It seems frivolous. On the other hand, if you buy an app which makes your work easier and more fun, and you’re more productive, there’s nothing frivolous about that. It’s common sense.

I can’t wait to blog on Typed. It’s something to look forward to. If you love blogging too — or even if you dislike it, but need to do it — remember Typed. If it becomes as popular as I suspect it will, you may be using Typed before too long.

 

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Ebook Writing and Selling Strategy: What Did Your Readers Love?

Survey Your Readers

Writing and selling ebooks is a booming industry. If you’re a business person, nothing helps your credibility as much as writing a book. And of course, if you’re a writer, self-publishing means you get to keep the profits.

The publishing industry is changing fast. If you’re a self-publisher, you may feel intimidated that traditional “big publishing” is moving into your humble sphere. Don’t be. You’re much more nimble, and innovative, than they are.

I’ve been working with committed self-publishers in our ebook mastery workshop. We focus on building your readership from your very first book. It’s essential.

Build your readership (platform) and survey your readers

Cherish your readers. You’ll grow your platform one reader at a time. Here’s a strategy which will work for you, even if you only have five readers — survey them.

Ask them what worked for them in the ebook. What did they enjoy most? What didn’t they enjoy? What else would they like to read? What are their favorite genres?

Your readers will help you to develop your next ebook, and your next.

They can function as beta readers, so that your ebooks improve. You can even survey them on cover design.

You don’t have to survey them formally. (Although you can do, PollDaddy is very useful for this.) You can simply ask questions.

The last page of your ebook sells the next one

The last page of your ebook is your last chance to connect with your readers… However, it doesn’t have to be.

Set up a webpage (or use a Facebook or Google+ page). Then add to the final page of your ebook: “Join me at___(your URL.)”

When your readers land on that page, don’t overwhelm them. Ask them to subscribe to your mailing list, to be informed of your next book, as well as for updates to the ebooks they’ve purchased.

Over time, your readership will grow. Link to your webpage from GoodReads, and other read communities to which you belong.

Your readers are gold. Treat them as if they’re the most important people in the world. They deserve it.

The End for Posterous: Download Your Blogs Now

Posterous Backup

If you’ve got a Posterous blog, or blogs, you need to grab them now; Posterous is closing down on April 30.

Full instructions are on the page; they’re easy. You just click the Backup bottom, and you receive a link to your zipped blog archive.

If you want to move your posts to WordPress, here’s how.

I haven’t received my Zip file yet; I doubt I’ll be moving the entire blog to one of my WordPress sites, but I will be retrieving useful material.

So — go on, grab your zip now, before your blog(s) vanish forever. :-)

Tumblr’s Pretty (And There’s Nothing Wrong With That)

Tumblr Archives

I’ve been playing with my new Tumblr blog for a few weeks now. Here’s what I like about the Tumblr blogging tool:

* It’s pretty

* It’s easy to use

* It handles graphics like a dream

* The archives look great ( see the above image — why can’t WordPress’s archives look like this?)

I’m impressed with the archives. They’re readable. You can see exactly what each post contains. Run your mouse over a snippet, and you’ll see how many posts you created on that particular day.

As I said in a previous post, I think image marketing was the big news of 2012, and I think it will stay big in 2013.

The major blogging platform WordPress is becoming more image-friendly too, and apparently WordPress will be stripped down in future versions. The most recent version, 3.5:

If you’ve been around WordPress a while, the most dramatic new change you’ll notice is a completely re-imagined flow for uploading photos and creating galleries. Media has long been a friction point and we’ve listened hard and given a lot of thought into crafting this new system. 3.5 includes a new default theme, Twenty Twelve, which has a very clean mobile-first responsive design and works fantastic as a base for a CMS site.

So, images in WordPress are now easier to manage, and if you check out the Twenty Twelve theme, it’s a blank slate… WordPress is starting to feel a lot like Tumblr. It will be interesting to see what the 2013 versions of WordPress bring. My guess is that WordPress is aiming for a more minimalist environment. This is a good thing; WordPress sites will look good on all devices, and you’ll be able to update your site on a device too, if the backend is stripped down.

Tumblr for business?

I’ve been asked about Tumblr for business websites.

Tumblr offers some business-friendly options:

… such as monitoring and analyzing traffic to your Tumblr blog with Google Analytics. Also, you can apply a custom domain name to a Tumblr blog, meaning you can use Tumblr as the primary website or blog for your business. Using a custom domain name can improve the search visibility of your Tumblr blog.

If you want to use Tumblr as a business blog, why not? We’re all time-poor these days. When you use Tumblr, you’ll be able to blog, even if you think you have “no time” to blog.

I’m enjoying Tumblr hugely; it might be just the thing for your business.