A Publishing Postgrad Update

Happy Sunday to you all! It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written a blog. I recently moved into a new flat with my boyfriend and it’s been hectic! However, I have cultivated the perfect writing spot in my new home: looking out of our big window and watching the world pass by with a big cup of coffee.

FullSizeRender

A lot has happened in the past few weeks, asides from moving into our new place, and I thought I would do a little summary blog touching on a couple of the updates in my #publishingpostgrad life.


A New Chapter: The Publishing Bureau

On Friday, I went to an interview in Glasgow for an internship at The Publishing Bureau. As with all interviews, I was incredibly nervous but I felt particularly anxious because I really wanted this job. Being a home bird from the west coast of Scotland, I’ve had my sights set on securing work in Glasgow for a while but I know that opportunities are rare compared with the likes of London, or even Edinburgh. When the job was advertised, I jumped at the chance to do the work that I love in my favourite city! Better still, the role is a great combination of my publishing degree and my work at a medical education company because a lot of the projects are scientific and technical. I was, of course, delighted to be offered the position on Friday afternoon with a start at the beginning of May. I’m really looking forward to it, especially because I’ll be doing a variety of work from design and layout to editorial and writing. Wish me luck!


Video Marketing: Linen Press Books

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m currently doing a remote placement with Linen Press Books, the only indie women’s press in the UK. I have been loving every minute and the best thing about this job is working with such talented women across the world. Lately, we’ve been working on a campaign for Avril Joy’s book Sometimes A River Songwhich is a finalist for the People’s Book Prize. I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and suggested we create ‘Author Confession’ videos similar to those that I edited for Scottish Book Trust (like this video with Sarah J Maas). With the help of my lovely filmmaker boyfriend, I edited together 9 videos for Avril and I’m over the moon with the end result. View them here.

First Come Into Being.png


The Final Countdown

The next two weeks mark the end of my second trimester studying MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University. They mark the end of classes, my job at Perceptive Med Ed and my time living in Edinburgh. I have loved living and studying in the capital city and have met some wonderful and talented individuals, who I hope I’ll be friends with for life. The next few weeks will be chaotic with deadlines – finishing my Burns poetry book and working on other bits of coursework – as well as starting my new internship. I am excited to move into the next phase of my career but I’ll be sad to see the end of this particular chapter. Plus, I still have that ominous dissertation to write!


Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more updates on my #publishingpostgrad life.

Online Marketing with Google’s #DigitalGarage

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen that I recently attended a couple of #DigitalGarage sessions ran by Google in Glasgow. These workshops are free to attend and are part of a larger project that Google is working on to get people feeling more confident about online marketing.

While I’m aware this is not specific to publishing, I do think it is really important for us publishers to stay up-to-date with the latest in digital marketing. I plan to use what I learned from these sessions with my own blog and for my social media internship over at Linen Press Books. In the meantime, I’ve summarised some of the key points from the #DigitalGarage below but I highly recommend checking it out for yourself.

marge gif.gif

 


What is #DigitalGarage?

“Free tutorials from Google on everything from your website to online marketing and beyond. Choose the topics you want to learn, or complete the whole online course for a certification from Google and IAB Europe.”

I attended live workshops but Google also offers free online training if there aren’t any workshops running near you. Sign up here and you can set goals, learn from experienced professionals, apply your knowledge, track your progress and stay motivated! If you are interested in a face-to-face lesson, then you can find out more about events (like the ones I attended) right  over here. They’re in Glasgow until the 31st March.

What did I learn?

  • You need to have a good website. Web platforms like Wix, Squarespace & WordPress make having a website easy and relatively inexpensive.
  • Don’t be obscure with your domain name. Indicate what you do and where you are. If you are a UK based publisher, make sure this is clear in your URL. 
  • Think about where you’re hosting your website. These things can cause delay in your ping rate and search engines will penalise slow hosting.

“Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.”

  • Consider the speed and user-friendliness of your website. Search your website on testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com to discover how friendly your website really is. I won a Google notepad for The Fourth Month’s pingback speed and it was only 65/100. Not only does this link give you feedback on your website’s user-friendliness but it gives you advice on how to improve it. Tips include optimising your images with a free image compressor.

screenshot-2017-03-05-16-38-39

What does a successful website look like?

  • Clear purpose and goals
  • Clear layout and navigation – no clutter, minimalist as possible.
  • Strong call to action – signpost, make it easy for the visitor.
  • Fast page loading time
  • Make mobile a priority – majority of users find you first on a mobile and remember most people won’t be seeing the desktop layout at all. Always consider mobile first.

Social Media

  • 38 million active social media users
  • 1 hour 29 minutes average daily use of social media via any device (but remember younger audience = higher usage).
  • People formulate an impression within 50 milliseconds of visiting your social media profile so think about your bio:
    • Keep it relevant & talk about your business
    • Keep it clear & consistent – say what you mean and stay relevant. Don’t promise them one thing and give them another.
    • Show you personality & have fun – people buy from people
  • Consider your audience! Remember who you’re selling to and research where they are. Fasted growing audience on Twitter is 65+! 

ang gif.gif

giphy.com

 

Optimising your website

  • Think about keyword analysis & research – what are people searching for? Set up a GoogleAdWord account and use Keyword Planner.
  • Optimise your web pages – use the right terms in the right places. Put keywords at the top of the page, on your web address, in your title and as near to the top as possible but don’t repeat the same word over and over again.
  • Check out google.co.uk/trends to find out what your customers are looking for. Know what to focus your attention on promoting and when. Use google analytics to find out where people are arriving and, importantly, where they’re leaving your site.
  • How are people finding it? Adword? Organic searches? Social media? Email campaign? 
  • Achieving goals? What are your visitors worth to you? Maximise the value of your visitors to your site.

Collect data > create goals > measure insights > take action

tyra gif.gif

giphy.com

 


This post was in no way endorsed by Google. I recommend checking out the #DigitalGarage for a basic understanding of using analytics and trends to improve your online presence.

Remember to keep up-to-date with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Changes

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies – Unknown


Change is scary but it doesn’t always have to be. When I first started studying publishing, we were told that publishers have to be leaders of change so I’ve tried to embrace the changes I’ve faced in the past six months rather than be lead by them. A new home, new friends, new chapters in my relationship and my career.

The reason I’m wittering on about the joys of change is because The Fourth Month is evolving. When I started blogging in Summer 2016 my focus was on three main areas: book reviews, vegetarian recipes and ethical lifestyle tips: shopping and wellbeing. I mostly started blogging because I had broken my leg and couldn’t get off the couch. However, I have become increasingly frustrated with the broadness of the categories and I find it difficult to sit down and write without real focus. For this reason, I decided to give my blog a niche.

But what niche? I have decided that The Fourth Month will now focus solely on the publishing industry and all things literary.

I have loved writing reviews of cruelty-free beauty products, talking about homeware and giving wellbeing tips. If you like this kind of content, please follow Turadh Magazine, a wellbeing magazine with a focus on ethical living and mindfulness, that I am working on with my classmates. I am really excited about the blogs we are writing over there and I can’t wait to show you the finished product. We’ll be vocally supporting a cruelty-free life and independent shopping just as The Fourth Month has done until now.

I hope I don’t lose too much support with this change. I think it’ll be a much more enjoyable reading experience for you all. I plan to blog weekly about the things I’m learning in my degree, my work experience and about the publishing industry; this should be interesting for any writers or wannabe publishers like me! I’ll continue writing book reviews but am moving towards ’round-up’ and ‘to-be-read list’ blogs instead of individual reviews.

Please let me know what you think about these changes on Twitter and stay updated on Instagram.