Yes, grasshopper, today we’re talking about marketing. But don’t think you can skip out because it’s marketing. It’s marketing having to do with writing. And I’ll try to be quick about it.
A few years ago, when I first started column writing, I willingly, happily gave my columns to a regional magazine. For free. I needed to learn the ropes, and fortunately for me, a local rope dangled right there in front of me. I learned quite a bit about deadline writing, fitting in the word count, and being funny whether I felt funny or not. So, it was all good.
After a year or so, a new publisher bought the magazine and I worked out a compensation deal for the column. It was all, um, good-er. And then I thought, as Webster is my dictionary, I’ll never write for free again!
Now, I can’t tell you what to do, grasshopper (though that is kinda the point here at WNTD), but making absolute statements is not such a good idea. Like when it comes to writing for free. Sometimes, I’ll write something for free. Because sometimes, I just want to lend a helping (writing) hand to a friend or colleague. But other times, I’ll consider WIIFM.
I didn’t know there was an actual acronym for “What’s in it for me?” but you learn something every day. I learned that tidbit when I read Jane Friedman’s spot-on post, “The Most Important Marketing Acronym: WIIFM.” She makes a few excellent points on marketing. And you might want to read the comments, too. You’ll find some excellent points among her readers’ views.
I know what you’re thinking, grasshopper. WIIFM has kind of a harsh ring to it. So maybe a new acronym, more polite-sounding, is needed (with the same sentiment). How about “PAPTDAFFYASMYCRTF.”
Hmmm. My next What Not To Do will be on Southerners and why we shouldn’t put them in charge of writing acronyms.
*Pleased As Punch To Do A Favor For You And Someday Maybe You Can Return The Favor
Sometime this week, I found an email in my Inbox from the Chicken Soup folks. But I just got around to reading it today. Perfect for Finding Something Friday!
Apparently, people just love nutty family stories. You know what I mean: those knee-slapping tales about your mom or dad or cousins or sister-in-law doing those weird and wacky things that made you want to slap them smack in the…um, well, someday you’ll laugh at those stories. Right now, other people will find them HI-larious. So, write them down, send them in to Chicken Soup, and make a bunch of money off Uncle Bob backing into your car so he wouldn’t hit a pregnant squirrel. You won’t make enough money to fix the car, but you can wave the check in Uncle Bob’s face. Oh, and act fast. Deadline is February 28th.
I also found out that on this day in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta. I got that factoid from the Atlanta History Center. Technically, I got that bit of info from a tweet, ’cause the Atlanta History Center is on Twitter. So, if you think Twitter is just 140 character lines about what’s for dinner, it’s time you checked out your museums, aquariums, news services, and even charities. Twitter’s amazing. And okay, a little bit weird and wacky.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that the photo of the Beneficent Mr. Hall that goes along with this post in no way is meant to imply that he is weird and wacky. I can’t help what you infer.
So, here’s the thing. It’s a new year, a new day, a new feature here at the Hall of Fame: the Thursday’s Three, where you’ll find three sites to check out on a particular topic. Most likely, the topic will be writing-related. But I’m not making any major promises here.
(If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m only adding this feature so that I can read this stuff myself. Because I have this other thing. I bookmark stuff I want to read, and then never actually, um, read it. On the other hand, I hang out here at the Hall of Fame all the time, making a nuisance of myself. Might as well do something constructive while I’m here.)
Three Links to Bang-up Blogging Stuff:
Retro Coolness’s Try Using Google Adsense to Help You Monetize Your Blog
Copyblogger’s The Best of Copyblogger 2009
Um, that’s pretty much all there is to Thursday’s Three. I’ve got a feeling it’ll help tremendously if we actually read this stuff.