By Eric Dontigney
Kristen Lamb’s Blog
Kristen Lamb is the author of We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media (which I highly recommend), a book specifically on the subject of platform building. Many of her blog posts focus on this issue as well. She covers or brings in guest bloggers to cover issues as seemingly minor as the proper use of hashtags on Twitter to the importance of a well maintained authors blog. Want to know how to get the most out of LinkedIn? She’s got a post about it. Interested in author branding, she talks about that here. She also branches out into other areas, such as the pitfalls of belonging to critique groups, success in writing, and even the technical aspect of writing, such her post on the structure of a bestseller. What makes her blog so very readable, however, may be that she deploys humor like a tactical weapon, using it to soften some of the tougher to take advice and lighten up topics that might otherwise be angst-ridden.
Jeff Goins Writer
Jeff Goins’ blog is an odd confluence of inspiration, practical advice, and love of craft. One of the more impressive things about his blog is that he posts most days, which is an inspiration and indictment in its own right. I’m lucky if I blog once a week. On the practical front, he offers posts like this especially insightful one on influencing people, in which he singles out the “secret” as…wait for it…asking people to do things. I kid you not. The kicker is that he knows of which he speaks. Goins got none other than Seth Godin to endorse his ebook by, yep, asking Godin to do it. On the craft front, you’ll see posts on everything from word choice to reducing the amount of clutter in your workspace and your writing. Where Goins really shines, I think, is on the inspiration front. He writes about dreams and wonder and authenticity. I found this post about lessons we can learn as writers from Martin Luther King, Jr. to be especially compelling.
Neil Gaiman’s Journal
This is a case of learning vicariously. Neil Gaiman may use social media better than almost any other writer out there. He blogs with admirable consistency, given the sheer volume of demands on his time, and he regularly integrates video, audio clips, and photography into these posts. Part of what seems to make Gaiman’s blog, in particular, and his social media use, generally, so successful is that he appears to have mastered the art of balanced disclosure. He recently blogged about the TED Talk his wife, Amanda Palmer, gave about The Art of Asking. In it, he admits to feeling a bit jealous and left out for a while. Who hasn’t felt that way when someone close to us has a BIG THING going on? It’s little tidbits like that help him to transcend that odd barrier between the Neil Gaiman the brand and a person we want to know more about. If you’ve ever wondered how to better connect with your audience, go learn vicariously from Neil.
Eric can also be found writing profusely on his own blog at: http://www.samuelbranch.info/blog