Twilight writer’s website

Yesterday, I wrote a post on Celebrity Tweets, and talked about how Twitter allows us to get up close and personal with celebrities, as they send Tweets on their way to gala events, or when they are sunbathing at the beach. 

Today, my post will be on how authors today are using new media to share their insights with the world, on their works.

Now, I remember the days when I was studying my literature texts, and was trying to think up what the author might have been thinking or referring to when he wrote something, and there was really no way of knowing what that was exactly. You could at best provide an interpretation of the text, and read others’ interpretation of the work. You could read about the writer’s life and times and from there, arrive at some understanding of his work. 

And if a writer wanted to explain his work to you, he would publish another book, or write an article in a journal or newspaper. In fact, not many writers did that, as an important aspect of literary criticism necessitates dealing with the unknown – the very point was to make intelligent guesses and conjecture about what the writer might have meant. 

Now, things are different.

Case in point – author of the famous Twilight series of books, Stephenie Meyer has her very own website. In the website, amongst other things, she gives the story behind Twilight, and explains how she came to write the books and how she got started, and she explains her choice of characters. Not uncharacteristic of our times, when every writer is looking for a blockbuster hit (very much helped by a movie deal or TV series), her inspiration for the book seems very much based on a potential movie deal.

Of course, this does away with the whole romantic notion of the reclusive writer. It does away with the speculation of readers – was it based on her life? What Edward Cullen based on a past love?

There’s even an FAQ page where she addresses common questions posed by readers.

But then again, you have to admit that the immediacy of the writer is a draw – that reader and viewers are able to have such close access to the writer is a big draw indeed. Meyer is indeed a writer of the times, and is still contemporary.

If only Shakespeare had a website!

Or if Shakespeare could use Twitter, no guesses what his tweets would be:

To tweet or not to tweet; that is the question.

Beware the tweets of March.

What’s in a name? That which we call a tweet by any other name would smell as sweet.

Brevity is the soul of tweet.

 

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Getting into celebrities’ heads via Celebrity Tweets

I know that I have said this before – new media gives people a new voice.

There are so many new channels to choose from and one can be heard loud and clear – on blogs, personal websites, Youtube, Facebook and of course, the relatively new and currently very hot kid on the block, Twitter.

Sending Tweets now seems to be the  de rigueur move by celebrities, going by what you see on sites such as what else, CelebrityTweet. Here, you can follow your favourite celebrities’ tweets and gain some  hmm. .. insight into their lives and thoughts – what they like, what they don’t like, what they are doing, etc. It’s a voyeur’s dream come true and definite essential tool!

Now, we are all pretty familiar with aplusk  aka Ashton Kutcher’s tweets. I mean, the guy tweets seems to tweet for a living! Just a couple of hours ago, aplusk was mulling over his summer tan. How else could one have known that? How else except through Twitter can you learn about the siginificance of the tan in aplusk’s life? Or get some perhaps useful advice:

apluskNever tell someone they can’t do something they dream of doing. Never!!! http://bit.ly/OUr3w

Time Magazine even has an online article about Ashton and Demi Moore’s Tweets – who needs reality TV when you have reality Tweets?

Well, when I mentioned that Ashton seems to tweet for a living, I may not be far off the mark. Celebrity tweets are the new marketing tools that help the stars keep in touch with their fans, and keep them in the public sphere.

Britney Spears has even turned hers into a marketing tool:

Tickets for the 2nd North American leg of Britney’s tour go on sale tomorrow. Info on tickets and VIP packages at http://britneyspears.com
Updated 4 days ago via web Permalink
Britney Spears
Yes! This is the real Britney Spears! We’ve got updates from her team, her website and yes, even Britney herself!
from Los Angeles, CA
1906637 followers
http://twitpic.com/7e33i – Check out the view from the front door of my hotel in London. I am truly blessed to have fans like you. Lov …
Updated 8 days ago via TwitPic Permalink

Now, of course, not only do the usual celebrities send Tweets. Do you know that you can also follow Al Gore’s tweets! And Barack Obama’s tweets!

Sweet!

Back to blogging basics

I came across this really useful post that serves as a good reminder about the essentials of blogging, ie, good content, so I’m going to reproduce the info here, from Ted Demopoulos:

Content, GREAT content, is the basis of long term success online.

Sure, you can produce mediocre stuff and then using some of the search engine and linking strategies we’ve discussed, see some success – but chances are it’ll be short term success.

I want you to produce great content, content that will provide value online hopefully longterm to both your readers and you!

Now one aside. Just great content is not enough. People need to be able to find it. That’s where social media, viral content, sound link building strategies as we’ve discussed (click here and here for some info if you missed it), and more matter. That’s not our topic for today.

Now I don’t want you to great content that just you think is great. Your readers, current and future, must agree that it’s great stuff as well!

So what are the two types of killer content and how do you know if your readers will think it’s great?

The two types first:
1) “Flagship Content” – definitive articles on topics of widespread interest in your niche. This is your content, whether a blog post or regular article or ebook or whatever that people will link to, tell their friends about, read multiple times, etc.

2) “Narrow Niche Content” –  super focused articles and posts on topics that far fewer people care about, but that don’t have a lot of competition, meaning content about, online.

This can be researched using keyword tools, and a whole book could be written on the topic (does the term “Long Tail” sound familiar?). We’ll talk about this later.

Let’s talk about “Flagship Content.”

First some examples of Flagship Content:

My free ebook Effective Internet Presence, at www.EffectiveInternetPresence.com – 30,000 downloads can’t be wrong!

My Article on Striped Bass Flies The most popular page by far on my hobby fly fishing site.
(and incidentally, one of the most profitable).

It can be video too of course, like Rich’s video I mentioned I’m watching above.

Flagship Content – also known as Pillar Articles or Cornerstone Content, has a few characteristics.

1) There is a lot of interest in the topic!

Since presumably you are an expert or on your way to becoming one in the areas you write on, you should have some clues as to what topics would be perfect for pillar content.

For example, I’ve fly fished for two decades for striped bass and I KNEW that there would be widespread interest in an article on the flies you need to be successful.

2) Your content speaks authoritatively

I don’t say here are three good flies, I say these three are responsible for the vast majority of the fish I’ve caught over the past 20 years – they work,  period. Discussion welcome, other viewpoints OK, but these work for me and many others too!

3) It’s “Evergreen Content”

Evergreen content is content that is useful for a long period of time. I expect my striped bass fly article to be just as valuable in 20 years as it is today. And I expect it to be attracting readers for probably the rest of my lifetime if not longer.

If your content’s useful lifespan is short, it’s NOT what I consider to be flagship content. It may be great, but it’s a flash in the pan, (which isn’t necessarily bad – some types of info are very valuable for short periods of time and that’s cool, but we’re not discussing that here).

So how do you discover topics for flagship content development?  

  • What are people in your niche asking you about regularly?
  • What are common threads or topics of discussion?
  • Where is there a need for knowledge?
  • What do people really care about?

Some common types of flagship content include:

  • PDF formatted ebooks
  • “How to” Articles
  • “Special Reports” that have a high perceived (and hopefully real) value
  • Content that solves common problems (often “How To” as above)
  • Lists – “The top 10 . . .” type articles are always popular.
  • “Newbie” or beginner guides.
     

So, lets summarize: Flagship content is content lots of people value in your niche, whether it’s breeding champion pugs, competitive bowling, or endurance juggling.

It’s your niche, you’re part of your audience, so you should have some
insight!

Flagship content has no fixed form. It could be a blog post or blog series of posts, a PDF that readers download from your blog or Web site, or a video.

Flagship content will help:

  • Put you on the Internet map as a great resource
  • Build readership and fans
  • Get you links, which will build even more readership and fans
  • Provide these benefits for a looong time!

I’ve rambled on a long time, so we’ll continue later on “Narrow Niche Content.”

Here are two example to wet your appetite:

Probably not too many people looking for this information, but those looking may really care and just might find the articles mentioned above.

And actually, people do – everyday. More soon!

Wouldn’t it be great if you had killer Flagstone Content that brought you lots of links and readers, possibly forever, and well as some “Narrow Niche Content” – which as we’ll see can bring QUICK results
to beginning as well as established blogs and Web sites.

Demopoulos Associates
20 Tall Pines Road
Durham NH 03824 USA

As we are on the track of getting back to basics, here’s an interesting link sent by 2ton (who does an amazing job with the MiG Ayesa sites) on a Brief History of Social Media.

Now, with Twitter getting all hyped up, esp with the celeb tweets, I’ve caved in and started reading Ashton Kutcher’s tweets, well, at least I think it’s his Tweets as there are so many Ashton Kutchers on Twitter now. Can the real Ashton Kutcher please stand up!