An interview with Gavin Heaton
Gavin, who presented on the who will be presenting at Creative Sydney next week in Sydney, Australia has been kind enough to answer a few questions about his new book: The Dial Up Guide to Blogging. By the way, I will wait in the pouring rain to get Social Judgement. Sounds incredible.
Who’s this book for?
The book is really aimed at individuals who have heard about blogging and wanted to give it a go. But where do you start? How do you choose a blog service? What about the technology? What should I write? All these are common questions and I cover the basics in an easily accessible way. Of course, this is also a great primer for the small business owner thinking about starting their own blog – and here’s a hint – don’t spend thousands!
What made you decide to write it?
I moved house about 18 months ago and could only get dialup access to the Internet. This transformed my thinking around blogging. I had to learn new tools and habits. I had to be more efficient and effective (and more patient). I also realised that people with dialup access are missing out on what is perhaps the greatest transformation of our time. I started writing the book as a way of thinking through the things I was learning. And then, recently, a few friends asked me to help them setup a website – so rather than doing it for them, I spent some time finishing off the book – and then gave them a copy. Saved me a bunch of time and helped them learn about the internet and become more committed and engaged with their own site.
Who is blogging for? Isn’t everything about Twitter now?
Blogging is still a fantastic way of publishing content. And while Twitter is a darling, it is really only an amplifier. After all, you might share ideas, thoughts etc on Twitter – but in essence, you are sharing links to websites. And blogging remains one of the easiest and most effective ways of building, maintaining and optimising a website.
Best lesson you’ve learn while blogging?
Online drives offline. It used to be the other way around. We used to use non-digital media to drive online interaction. But now, with 75% of Australian adults now using some form of social networking online, this has been reversed. And this interconnectedness is driving offline interactions. We move pretty quickly now from online interaction to offline experience. Brands that are able to tap into this phenomenon will find great value and opportunity.
Any other books in the pipeline you can tell us about?
I have a couple of chapters written about Social Judgement and the how this relates to branding and marketing. It has been a very popular section on my blog and I find it a useful way of building deep digital and engagement strategies from a customer perspective (rather than strategy as a competitive advantage). I keep thinking this would be a great book – but need to get through some more before pitching to publishers. I am also beginning to think about the next installment of Age of Conversation – which will need to take a new direction this year.
Heard enough? Then get a copy. Now. Or buy one for a friend. What you’ll find inside:
The book takes you through a series of steps that will make your life as a dialup blogger much easier:
- Chapter 1 — Knowing Your Objectives: Blogging is much harder work than it first appears. By asking yourself some serious questions you will be able to frame your blog in a way that is valuable to you as well as to your readers.
- Chapter 2 — Welcome to Your Domain: Looks at some of the basic elements of web domains — what you need to think about and how you go about getting a “domain” of your own.
- Chapter 3 — Setting Up Your Blog/Website: Helps you set up your website — either for free or for fee.
- Chapter 4 — Setting Up Your Social Web Identity: Looks at a variety of ways to create your social web identity, suggesting sites and tools that will make your dialup life easier
- Chapter 5 — Writing Your First Posts: Is about writing your first posts, establishing a publishing rhythm and finding “your voice”.
- Chapter 6 — Making Blogging Easier: Explains where you can find ideas for your ideas — that is, how you can find topics to write about, and some of the practicalities of blogging.
- Chapter 7 — Out and About in the Blogosphere: This last chapter looks at contributing to ongoing conversations and determining where best to direct your reading efforts.