I had an email from a colleague/friend last week asking me to write a blog on a subject that’s been on her mind, lately: Over-Promotion. She says, and I agree, that some professionals are giving more space in their newsletters and on their websites to self-promotion than to useful advice, information and resources. During our conversation, I chimed in expressing my disgust with regard to outside advertising in the newsletters I receive and some of the websites I visit.
Sure, those of us who go to the trouble of maintaining websites, writing blogs and publishing newsletters do so in order to PROMOTE our books and/or services. But when practically the entire newsletter, for instance, is filled with self-promotion—when you have to really search to find an informative article or good resources—it becomes a tad (or a lot) irritating. My friend and I have both stopped reading certain newsletters because they lack the value they once held for us. I’ve begun deleting one newsletter I used to find useful because of the amount of the increase in blatant advertising—both paid ads and promotion for the editor’s company, products and services.
Some blogs contain, in my opinion, way too much self-promotion. Just this morning, I received a nice email from someone asking if she could be a guest blogger for my blog. All she asked for in return was a link to her website. Well, it turns out that her website is nothing BUT self-promotion. There was nothing even remotely personal about it or useful or helpful. It was all advertisement. Of course, I turned her down.
What is a good balance for a newsletter? In my opinion:
• At least 75 percent solid information, resources, opinion pieces, etc. that help, guide, teach, inform and educate readers on your topic and related topics.
• 7 percent pure entertainment.
• 8 percent self-promotion.
• 10 percent advertising, if you need it in order to help fund your newsletter.
Please chime in with your ideas, suggestions, likes and dislikes. What are your favorite writing/publishing-related newsletters and magazines? What blog sites do you return to over and over again? Which ones contain way too much advertising and self-promotion? I’d love to write an in-depth piece on this topic. With your help, I can.
And keep in mind that one really does have to give away a LOT in order to attract the business they need to survive. In fact, sometimes it seems awfully lopsided for the author or editor who is trying to make it. You give, give, give with, seemingly, little in return. Like I told an audience Saturday, authors often feel as though they are hand-selling each and every book they sell.
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