Last week, we featured authors who have been successful with blogs during our Profitable Social Media radio show.

I liked the methods used by DJ Heckes to create her book and asked her to submit here story here for all to read.


by DJ Heckes

image I have spent a lot of time reading articles related to marketing, leadership, and economic outlooks and in doing so posted comments with great feedback along the way. I dabbled around in Blog writing in 2007 and 2008 but was not consistent. By mid 2008 I decided to get serious and test my writing ability. I have always been passionate about writing but wanted to be sure I had relevant and original content to write about for others to learn from.

In mid 2008 that is what I did. I sat down and listened to the audiences out in the cyber world through Blogs, Articles, research, and face to face customers an what I heard was that business owners and marketers were starving for knowledge to keep a competitive edge in this hyper competitive environment we all work in.

I researched the most popular topics and selected areas where I felt I had some expertise, which included how to thrive in a downturn economy, and various marketing initiatives that were proven successful in using through my own company as CEO of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts.

By the end of 2008, I had written several Blogs and found the Top 50 Article Posting Sites and selected a few to test out my Blogs for becoming published articles. Yes, it happened! All of a sudden I was getting link building and link backs with references to my Blogs! This was exciting. I then sat down in December 2008 and created an outline from the Blogs I had started for my new book to write in 2009. Once the outline was finished with relevant leadership and marketing information, I began my journey to become an author and starting January 2, 2009 I went to my office and started spending EVERY Saturday writing unless I had a planned trip or a family commitment to be at. Through this discipline I was able to focus topic by topic and took some of the prewritten Blogs and rewrote them and turned them into actual Chapters. I started first with identifying What makes a good leader. To me, being a good leader is easy, but being a great leader would equate to becoming a “Winston Churchill” type leader.

image Over the next seven months I had become so disciplined and enjoyed writing that I completed my first manuscript draft by July 22nd. I had also been using Social Media (LinkedIn mostly) to reach out to my connections I had built to find a publishing company. Throughout this process, it only took me 72 hours to get some great feedback from the first reach out touch point in social media. I received connections to Authors to interview, publishing companies to interview and spent the next few days making phone calls and person to person conversations. I found four publishing companies and one that had turned me down as my demographic audience was the small business owner. Wow, what a trip this was! I actually enjoyed the conversations with two authors that gave me their stories of how they published their books.

Throughout the interview process, I was ready to send my manuscript off to two to three of the publishing companies. Two publishing companies accepted the book and then I realized the timing that was going to take place with going with a publishing company. I had some book content that could be outdated in a year if I were not careful in selecting the right place to publish my book and timing was everything to me.

I then decided to self publish as that was what many authors had told me was best. You control the timing and the content. Yeah!!!

After I had a copyrighter go through my book and work with me, I was ready to turn the book over to the editing team at the Self Publishing Company (Create Space). Ok, this is when I realized I am really NOT a left brain thinker w hen it comes to the details of Word’s “track changes.” I thought this would put me over the edge in completing the two edit stages with line by line editing throughout the 208 pages written for the book submission.

The editing process was completed by mid October! Next was the technical design process as I wanted control of the book cover and design. After all, I own a company with two talented graphic designers who really wanted to help out with the creative. The technical design was much more fun than the track changes!

By late November I submitted the book again and it was accepted by December 24, 2009! Christmas was wonderful knowing that I had accomplished my dream to be an author but most of all an author for such a well needed book with relevant content for the small business sector.

The book has been available through Amazon.

There are many articles, blogs, and newsletters that offer advice for what business owners should and should not do to grow their businesses in tough economic times. We seem to come across a trend article or tips piece at least once every day. We sift through all the hottest trends in recession and stalled marketing tactics and the rash of strategic opinion articles to come up with our own suggestions of what we should “do” or “not do.”

To make a long story short, Blogging is another valuable resource to build your credibility online. Become the expert through delivering fresh, targeted content. This will attract inbound links and relationship building if you deliver relevant information that can be of value to the person reading the blog. Once you have determined a great way to deliver a blog to the audience of a chosen target market, step it up by posting articles on public sites. Try writing twenty-five tips and publish the article online. There are many sources to publish articles online, but the information MUST be original content and not duplicate content. Write white pages or papers and post them online with links to draw attention to these resource tools. Win an award lately? Write a press release and post all the information online. A good reason to write articles is to increase visibility, establish authority, develop inbound links, and broaden the spectrum of prospects. This enables companies to reach people that may not otherwise be reachable in a particular market. Overall, it is about increasing awareness of your company brand, product, or service.

Once you are comfortable with writing articles, try publishing them. Some popular platforms we use to publish many articles are listed in my book to help you get started to become the author inside you, whether it be Blog writing, Article writing or writing a book!

DJ Heckes, owner and EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts and named 2009 Top Performing CEO in New Mexico, is actively involved in the New Mexico local community and is on the National Board for American Marketing Association and the local board for Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance, in addition to being a member of NAWBO and many other statewide and national organizations.