One of the hardest things about writing is that it inevitably
leads you to bare some small part of your soul to the world. This is
particularly true of fiction as the world you create is wholly your own. If
someone doesn’t like your characters, then they don’t like the characters you created. Similarly, if they have a
problem with the politics, or the themes of your work, then again, they have a
problem with your politics, and your themes. This is quite different from
other types of writing where more
often than not you will be working to a set of guidelines that may constrain
your work, for in this case, the work you produce is all down to you, and there
is simply no place to hide.
This challenge becomes even more difficult when it comes to
self-publishing. Unlike regular publishing, where you might have an editor and
production team working with you to oversee the process, when it comes to
self-publishing, the power is wholly in your hands. This can be a remarkably
liberating step, and certainly has a number of advantages; however, it can also
pose great challenges when it comes to marketing and self-promotion. On the one
hand, naturally, you want to sell your work, and put it out there, but at the
same time, there is a sense that absolutely everything to do rests on your shoulders,
and if someone doesn’t like it, then it’s completely down to you.
It’s quite the trend in academia these days to set up a series of ‘conference accounts’ on social media to promote said conference and bring together all related materials. However, these accounts are rarely (if ever) worthwhile and can actually detract from what should be your primary marketing goal; namely to promote the work of the wider organisation to which your conference is attached. Continue reading
I’ve been blogging again! This time on Hey Millennials, where I’ve shared some of my top tips on how to promote your work via Twitter. My tips include:
- Don’t forget the value of face-to-face.
- Consider your audience.
- Quality counts.
- Target your messages.
- Build your network.
Read the full blog.
I’ve been involved in higher education for some time now – both as a student and an employee – and still to this day it surprises me just how obsessed some people are with posters.
And by posters here I don’t mean posters to stick on the wall; no, rather I mean posters to send out by email or for users to download from social media or a website. Got a conference coming up? Make a poster and send it to your mailing lists. Got an event? Make a poster and upload it to your blog.
But the thing is, pdf posters just aren’t made for digital media. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Posters are not SEO-friendly. Their content is not searchable online.
- Errors are difficult to correct. If you have a change of date or change of venue, you can’t just go out and edit all the posters you’ve already sent out into the ether.
- Posters are not mobile-friendly. Large files are slow to download and impact on a user’s data allowance. They also don’t make for easy reading on a mobile device.
- Posters can be time-consuming to create. They are not an efficient means of communication and can often be overlooked by a time-starved audience.
Blogs are everywhere these days. In the world of academia you almost can’t move for the sheer number of blogs popping up all over the place. From academic departments to research centres, reading groups and individuals, there more blogs out there than any sane person could hope to follow.
So why should you bother writing one? Do you need to write one? Can you get by without one?
To blog or not to blog…
There seems to be a trend in academia at the moment where many people feel compelled to start a blog because it’s the ‘done thing’ without really stopping to think about why they are blogging, or even if they should be blogging at all. Just because other people are doing it, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you, or even your department. In some cases, it’s far better not to blog than risk the potential damage a poorly run blog could cause to you and your reputation.