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Blog by Ron – Learning from Others

Learning from Others can be instructive and encouraging to you. I recently visited the website of another author who I not only admire but consider a friend. Her vision and imagination show up immediately upon her website. I was immediately attracted to two items on her home page.

It was her menu which had two particular tabs that interested me. The first was Events and Engagements, while the second was Previews and Offers.

I expected to see a calendar on her Events and Engagements page but was pleasantly surprised by the attractive layout of what I will call Diary. It was actually two columns, Engagements and Events. The way she laid it out was easy to read and follow.

But what really caught my attention was her Previews and Offers page. When you click on that page you get another page like the Events and Engagements, but with three columns. These were a Preview of an upcoming book, Excerpts from a previous book, and a Special Offers column. I was and am impressed. Ideas flooded my mind.

All of this brings up today’s topic: Learning from Others. This is a key principle to writing success. It is a principle that I practice with every post, every blog, and every vlog I create; namely, learn from others.

Is Learning from Others Stealing?

Yes, in a manner of speaking. But it is ok. This is not doing something illegal, frowned upon, or unethical. Rather it is a foundation of all learning. You learn from others such as teachers, coaches, and the like. Not only from what they teach, but what they do and how they do it.

I have a coach who regularly puts out content that encourages others to make use of his advice. I study him and copy some of his approaches. I put on my own spin, but it starts with his teaching an idea or concept.

Learning from Others Sounds Complicated.

If you mean trying to take someone else’s idea and exactly replicating it on your own website, then yes, it is complicated. But that is not what I am talking about. I said earlier that when I saw my friend’s website ideas flooded my mind. These were on how I might incorporate them into my website. Change the word ‘steal’ to ‘hitchhike’ and you might understand better. Her setup blends to her page perfectly, but might prove difficult on my website. The key is the concept.

For Example:

My friend has one page divided into three columns. Because I have a longer, more complicated menu, the page name would have to be changed. Secondly, I could create submenu pages, one for each item. This would better suit my design.

Whatever I choose to do, it all springs from what I saw on her page. She didn’t create that page for me to see, but it inspired me to think about how to do the same thing without messing with my current theme, etc.

If I do that then I have learned and applied.

What Does Learning from Others Mean Then?

It means you keep your eyes open. You never know when or what you are going to learn something new. Don’t assume you know everything. In a sense, all authors face the same problems. The difference is the who, what, where, when, and how of the problem. We may solve these problems differently, and that is where we can learn from one another just by observing.

Another Example of Learning from Others is:

My coach’s methodology. He often creates posts while driving. That is not something I would encourage you to do, but it inspired me.


Because it came across as personal and relaxed to me. Perhaps it was the fact that his attention was divided. But it was very relaxed and almost like sitting beside him and listening to what he was telling me.

I was impressed, but Could I Do That?

Probably not. Most likely I would end up in a accident. But the real question was could I create a post the is relaxed and personal. The answer is yes. What I did was set about searching for the right mix. I tried different backgrounds which worked somewhat and found their way into my posts. But it was the simple tool of a whiteboard that clicked. Here I can be more relaxed, do my teaching or coaching, and make the entire post more relaxed.

I may change my presentation in the future, but I received one of the nicest compliments I could have imagined when I got this comment, “I like your relaxed presentation.”

Will You Start Learning?

I hope you will.

I suggest you make it a practice that when you visit a website, any website, you look at it with a critical eye. Does it get its message across? What one thing does it do to connect with you? Can you learn something new?


R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at T&R Independent Books. Visit his Facebook page.

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Ron’s Blog – Going Blog to Vlog

Blog to Vlog is my subject today. I have been writing a blog for a long time now and enjoy doing it. But the time has come for a change. However, the change won’t be complete. Let me explain.

The Blog to Vlog will include the blog.

What this means is that I will have a Youtube Vlog (video blog) called ‘Becoming a Published Author is Fun’ that will be posted on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But I will also continue posting a blog that may or may not include a related YouTube Vlog. For instance, this Blog has a video attached that speaks on the same subject but with a different perspective.

This is probably the way I will go.

What is a Vlog?

Essentially it is a video blog. The way I plan to use it is to speak to a larger audience about subjects that will also be in the blog. But it won’t be the same content. For one thing, I will be using a whiteboard and will probably be teaching. In the Blog I will be writing out my content. It will be specifically aimed at writers, whereas the Vlog may be wider.

When Does the Blog to Vlog move take place?


Are There Other Changes related to Blog to Vlog?

In the Vlog there is an introduction and explanation of its future. As for the Blog it will probably be about 400 to 600 words. It will continue to be focused on writing with some publishing and marketing, but the Vlog will be more focused on publishing and marketing.

Won’t Going Blog to Vlog Be More Work?

Yes, but think I can manage it. The Vlog will be hosted on Youtube which means I can schedule the sessions. Of course, it will then provide me with the content direction I will need for the Blog.

Will This Be Like a Podcast?

No. Here are the differences between a Vlog and a Podcast.

  • The content of a podcast can be in video, audio, or both formats, whereas the content of a vlog can only be in video format.
  • You can change a vlog into a podcast, but you can’t change a podcast into a vlog.
  • Starting a podcast costs less compared to starting a vlog. However, I don’t expect any associated costs except for promotion.
  • Editing a podcast subsequently takes less time compared to editing a vlog.
  • Vlogs have a bigger audience compared to podcasts, so it is better to start a blend of both for maximum reach.

I have no plans to start a podcast. However, the Vlog will be in conjunction with this blog. Hopefully, they will often touch on the same subject but with a different perspective.

This blog is published by T&R Independent Books.