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Book Review: What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting

Book Review: What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting
What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting

    A Ted Demopoulos book published by Kaplan Publishing, 2007, 211 pages. Nonfiction, General Business, Blogging and Podcasting.

    Ted Demopoulos has had a long and distinguished career in the business community. He has advised such companies as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola. He has an extensive speaking background in and is a sought after guest at business and technology focused events.

    Well, enough with the flattery and on with the review.

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    If you are in the market for a “how to” manual for blogging basics full of technical data, html and design code, this isn’t the book for you.

    However, if you are interested in a broader perspective collected form the folks who are “in the trenches” and doing it, you have just found you rally point.

    Demopoulos goes to great pains to look at the broad spectrum of “bloggers” out there. There are insights from folks like Seth Godin who have an established track record of success as well as folks like me who are fairly new to the world of blogging.

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    Demopoulos breaks the book down into eight major groupings and then seeks out input from people who are currently at every stage of success in these groupings.

    Part 1 covers the basics of what a blog is. What you discover is that what a blog is depends on who you are. If you are a business representative, a blog is a way to get you warm fuzzy side out to the public. If you are self reflective and relationship oriented, a blog is a way to share and communicate in a whole new way. If you are a writer, a blog is a way to stay in touch with your audience on a day to day basis.

    In part 4 Demopoulos examines some of the techniques for monetizing a blog. This is my favorite part of the book. I particularly the brilliant start up piece on page 90 on how to get the best from your AdSense advertisements (this is a completely self serving plug for the section I contributed to the book. No, I have no shame).

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    It is also worth mentioning that this particular section, number 50 of 101 pieces, is exactly in the middle of the sections. A mere coincidence? Ha, I think not (in fact, I think coincidence is exactly what it was).

    At this point, I am taking particular interest in the section entitled “Promoting Your Blog And Tracking Statistics.” Like may of you, I am at the stage where I have done a fair job of establishing the identity of my blog but have a chink in my armor when it comes to promotion. There is even a section by the self proclaimed “Blog Traffic King” Yaro Starak who took his blog from 0 to 1000 visitors a day in 6 months.

    Other portions of the book have content from folks like Seth Godin on various and sundry aspects of blogging.

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    If you only budget 20 buckskins for books on blogging this year, you won’t go wrong investing in this one.

    The downside? The mans name is really hard to spell!

    What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting: Real-Life Advice from 101 People Who Successfully Leverage the Power of the Blogosphere

    Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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