FreshVoice’s Great Content Map: Part 1

Mourn ye not the loss of those nasty, useless websites from the 1990s. We’ve moved past those early, unsophisticated days of Al Gore’s invention and today the Internet is an ecosphere teeming with intelligent design. Content that appears carelessly has a hard time competing against its highly-realized and sophisticated brethren; this is Darwinism at a literary level.

If you’re going to shout above that din, you can’t be merely a Wielder of Words, a Purveyor of Progress or a Thinker of Thoughts. You need to be a Crafter of Content!

What can we learn about capturing an audience’s hearts and minds by considering not just what words and sentences to use in which order, but how and where they appear on a page, and what appears around them?

When you get down to the bones of a great piece of contemporary content, everything is carefully sculpted and delicately connected. This is what I call the Content Map. It’s the architecture overlaying the actual words, like signposts on a journey, or finding clues on a treasure hunt. The Content Map provides direction and motivates the reader to continue.  Continue reading

6 Ways to Gloss Over Your Fear of Public Speaking

Public speaking IS totally terrifying.

Public speaking can be terrifying.

If you suffer from Glossophobia, there’s a chance you’d rather die than speak in public. The good news is, there are lots of ways to get around this common fear. There’s no need to listen to that nasty voice in your head screaming They’re all going to laugh at you! because no one actually wants to laugh at you. And overall, being a solid speaker and delivering a quality presentation is completely within your hands. One day, Grasshopper, you will be a top contender in the World Championships of Public Speaking! (Yes. That’s a thing. Some people actually love public speaking – and the key to their success is practice!)

These 6 steps will put you on the path to success. Continue reading

You wrote a book! …now what?!

Every 12 seconds, a new book is published (and 80% of statistics are made up on the spot). To be slightly outdated, but more accurate, in 2012 Bowker reported that there were 3,500 books published every day in the USA alone, and this figure doesn’t even include e-books. (I don’t math, so feel free to calculate the per-second volume in your own time!) Simply put: There is a ton of competition in the book marketplace. How can a new writer stand out with all this noise?

 

Is she your audience?

Is she your audience?

1) Define your audience. And no, your audience isn’t everyone from age zero-65, male & female. Get Stats Canada up in here and define your audience avatar: age, occupation, likes, dislikes, income, reading habits, preferred reading format (blogs, e-books, zines, print books). If you haven’t nailed your audience down this specifically, then your book will be, at best, a teardrop in the ocean. Everyone does NOT want to read your book – but someone does, so figure out who that someone is and go after them with a targeted approach: your marketing plan.

2) Get all Benjamin Franklin up in here! Old men (and women!) are always saying wise things like, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Your marketing plan should include pre-publication, launch, and post-publication activities. (If you just said, “Pffft! Marketing plan?! I don’t need no stinkin’ marketing plan!”, please take a moment to envision yourself taking all the money you spent on the creation of your book, putting it in a pile, and lighting it on fire.) Continue reading