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Charles Dickens was a Master of Social Media

charles_dickensCharles Dickens is one of our favorite authors. We have the original version of A Christmas Carol all set to record.




georgeI took a Philosophy in Literature course when I was in college. I was so excited to see A Christmas Carol on our reading list. The ironic thing was that the professor kind of reminded me of Reginald Owen, the guy who played Scrooge in that first version.



marylynnWe learned an interesting tidbit the last time we watched it – Lionel Barrymore was originally slated to play Scrooge but he was in poor health. So they called in Reginald Owen at the last minute. Lionel Barrymore was incredible, but it’s hard for me to imagine anyone other than Reginald Owen as Scrooge.


In our newsletter last week, we shared the rags to riches to rags to riches story of Charles Dickens. While we were researching him, we discovered something that startled us:

Charles Dickens was a master of social media!

He released his content chapter by chapter.

Depending on the publication, the next chapter would be released each week or each month. Of course, it wasn’t digital. But just like many bloggers today, he published frequently.

He repurposed his content.
He took his serialized content and published the complete book. The same people who had read his books, chapter by chapter, paid for the convenience of having it all put together for them. 

Many of the successful bloggers today are getting book deals. It’s the Dickens model!

Build a community of followers and then give them what they want, how they want it.

He listened to his community.
Dickens often waited to hear his readers’ comments before he wrote the next chapter of a book. He often gained insight from them that made his books more interesting.

He diversified his income.
A little over halfway through his career, Dickens started doing public readings of his books. They were incredibly popular. He loved the theater so he thoroughly enjoyed the time he spent in front of his fans.

Here’s something that we found really surprising. He made a lot of money from his books, but Dickens made most of his money from public appearances.

Charles Dickens was a model social media entrepreneur. When it came to the social media of his day, he was a bigg success!

Thanks so much for checking in with us today.

Next time, we’ll discuss how drumming up a gift can lead to bigg success. Please join us! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Victorian Web



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(Image by tibchris,CC 2.0)