Reading is Dangerous · 25 March 2017

Reading is dangerous. It expands our minds. It gives us new ideas. It might even make us think.

I have been blogging since 2006 and officially started my own website in 2007. And even though one of my friends and faithful readers says he hopes that I can get up to the status of mediocre some day, I would still like to have a few more readers. (My old bit was that I had more imaginary readers than real readers. It might still be true.) Which brings me to my own reading.

I read a book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. It sounds like a book about boxing, but it is about marketing and social media. Now I am the first to admit that I am not a marketer or social media junkie. But I need to be. At least I need to be a marketer. And to be a marketer these days, you need to be plugged into social media.

As much as I love seeing my family and friends on Facebook, I did not start using social media to reconnect. Nor even to be a voyeur. Those are both great aspects about Facebook, but I mostly wanted to connect with readers. Some of who are family and friends. (I hope my family and friends are not unfriending me now.) I figured that all I had to do was post links to my blog on Facebook and real readers would just start flocking to my site. But alas, I seem to be reaching the same people over and over again.

Not that I am complaining. I am grateful that I have faithful readers. I am happy that I have over three hundred followers on Facebook. I would just like to have more.

Which is where Gary Vaynerchuk comes in.

I really enjoyed Vaynerchuk’s book, Crush It. I read it long ago and thought it particularly relevant at the time. It was about using the internet to increase revenue in business. And it helped me think about monetizing my own websites. I have not by any means crushed it, but I have been more consistent in pursuing my writing passion.

Now it is time for more. But it is difficult for me to get plugged in.

Maybe it is that I am a bit more Japanese that my wife thinks I am. All the bravado and posturing and bragging that I do at home in front of family is just an act. I really try to be humble. (Probably because I am still trying to attain the lofty goal of mediocre.) And being humble is not what social media is about. Social media is all about the self.

Okay. Not completely. But social media is all about pointing to me. Which is something I find hard to do.

I have not found it easier after I finished Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. But in the very beginning of the book, I found a nugget I can use. Vaynerchuk says that marketing on social media is all about telling a compelling story. And what is a writer if not a story teller. A raconteur. The only question I had to ask myself was what stories I need to tell to get people to come to my product.

But before that, I had to ask myself, “What is my product?”

As a blogger, my product is just my ideas. My stories. But as a writer, I have books and screenplays. I have lyrics and songs. All I want to do is for people to read my stuff and tell other people about it. Which I guess means that I need to be more active on social media. I need to tell the story about my stories. I need to point people to my content. And when they get there, I need to get them to buy my books and recommend those books to others who will buy my books and recommend them to others who will buy… You get the idea.

According to Vaynerchuk, part of what I need to do is to tell my story on social media.

Well, I am not sure I am cut out for social media marketing, but I am going to try it. It could be dangerous. It is certainly uncharted waters for me. But I am going to try to get more readers. And apparently, that means I need to do more social media. I know I am not ready for that. But I know I need to do it because of the new ideas I am reading.

Reading really is dangerous. For me and for me on social media.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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