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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Blogging, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Blogging Frequency and Lead Generation through Inbound Traffic

A new study shows evidence that there is a correlation between lead generation (through inbound traffic) and blogging frequency. I’ve written about this before, that blogging on a regular basis and as often as you can matters for at least three reasons: 1. Search engines love fresh content. If you’re offering content that is valuable to your audience, it will boost your search rankings. 2.

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2. Celebrating my Fourth Blog Anniversary…Then and Now…

May the Fourth be with You...
THEN:
ALL SYSTEMS GO! (First posted May 4th, 2011)

May the ‘Fourth’ Be With You!

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. After all, it is Luke Skywalker Day.

First, let me introduce myself—my name is Sharon Ledwith and I write young adult fiction. My genres include: time travel mysteries (kind of like a mesh of fantasy with a splash of sci-fi meets Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys), as well as paranormal stories where teens deal with psychic powers like psychometry, telekinesis, animal communication—stuff like that.

My intention of this blog is to:

#1 Get you to know me as a writer, and post my experiences as an indie publisher of eBooks.

#2 Introduce and showcase my stories and characters.

In a nutshell—market myself and promote my work.

That’s it really. You see, writing is all about the reader. My goal is to influence and empower today’s youth—the next generation—through the stories I create. I believe everyone is here at this time with a mission and a purpose, and every child has something to add to our evolutionary advancement. Children truly are the keys to our future. It is my hope to unlock this portent.

NOW:
Wow! To be honest, I was so afraid when I started blogging and putting myself out in cyber-space. Reading my first post over again, I realize that I’ve come a long way in my writing journey. Back in 2011, I didn’t have a publisher and was still querying agents and publishers. This blog and my Facebook account was the beginning of my online presence, and I really felt like a fish out of water. But I kept blogging and posting on Facebook. I learned to share interesting and helpful posts for other authors as a way of connection. I figured out what works for me and what doesn’t—still an ongoing process, I must admit! And I continue to work on my author brand and platform through blogging and networking with other authors, readers, publishers, and bloggers.

I’ve also gotten better with time. Go figure. My intention has changed a lot since that first blog post. I’m much more confident and tech savvy then I was. Now I’m a published author, and represented by a literary agency. I’ve also learned to adapt to my environment, and go with the flow through the ups and downs of the publishing industry. So what have I learned in the last four years? In grand Oprah-like fashion, I’d like to share with you what I know for sure:

·         I’ve realized that I do NOT want to be an indie publisher, but rather be part of a publishing company. I’m more of a team player and had to figure that out for myself. I like having the support of a publisher behind me. Plus I didn’t have to look for, and invest in an editor, cover artist, and book formatter.
·         I’d rather write blogs that uplift or help authors and readers.
·         I love showcasing middle grade and young adult authors and their books and/or series on my blog for readers to find.
·         I enjoy doing Goodreads Giveaways. I’ve connected with so many readers this way!
·         Book blog tours are exhausting. I’ve learned to delegate blog tours to the professionals whenever possible!
·         Trying to fit into other authors’ shoes is painful and unproductive. Stand in your truth.
·         I can only be one place at a time. Too many social media accounts = too many distractions and not enough writing time. I decided to stick with Facebook, get on Twitter, join Google+ and Goodreads, and occasionally share on LinkedIn. That’s it!
·         I blog every Monday. I used to do it twice a week, but couldn’t keep up. I’ve learned being consistent keeps you out there and creates an audience.
·         I’ve learned to develop a positive mental attitude. Trust me, a PMA will keep you afloat on the days you just want to throw in the towel.
·         I’ve learned from other authors. Success leaves clues. Follow the clues.
·         Finally, I’ve learned that writing is both a business and a passion. It requires wearing two different hats. You need to juggle these hats if you want to be a successful author.


Where the Magic Happens...
I still believe writing is all about the reader. And I still hope to influence, uplift, and empower through my books. My personal motto is: I write to make people’s lives better, create something of value to make them smile. May the fourth be with you, everyone! Cheers! 

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3. Want to write for TWT?

We're expanding our co-author team to include another one (or two) classroom teacher voices. If you're interested, please fill out the form contained in this post by Friday, May 15th.

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4. Write, Share, Give

Reminder: Our TWT family is expanding. If you are interested in sharing your love for writing workshop, working with kids and inspiring others through your teaching we hope to hear from you. Here… Continue reading

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5. Accepting Guest Posts and Third-Party Links

I get lots of queries asking if I allow guest posts. Guest blogging is a powerful content marketing strategy. Accepting guest posts is a great way to make connections and increase visibility. But, when I get a query that asks if I accept guest posts, I automatically know the blogger didn’t do her research. I have a page specifically titled, “Guest Posts” in my menu bar. If the blogger was

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6. 4 Basic SEO Blogging Tips to Generate Visibility and Website Traffic

SEO is an acronym for ‘search engine optimization.’ It’s the marketing strategy that allows the search engines, such as Google, to find your website and its content. Being aware of these strategies is essential to having the search engines not only find your site, but to also categorize and index your content. This is how your content is made available to online searchers. This strategy is

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7. Expanding Our Team

Are you interested in joining the TWT Co-Author Team?

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8. Integrate your Social Media and Blog Posts Comments - Must-Know Tips

I read lots of posts from high-quality marketing sites. Doing so, I get lots and lots of information and ideas. When I’m in a rush, I save the link to an article I want to read and go to it when I have time. Well, I just went to an article at Social Media Examiner (SME) titled, “7 Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Social Media Shares” (1) and I have to say it was one of those “Oh Wow” moments.

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9. The Kidtastic Giveaway

More April surprises have arrived.  We have joined forces with some other great children’s book authors for a big giveaway.  During April 5th – April 9th you can download the kindle version of our book, The Pig Princess from Amazon for FREE.

Pig cover

And since we think pigs rule we want to let you know about Scott Gordon’s children’s book, Pigtastic which is also FREE on Amazon during this period.

Pigtastic

We saved the best for last.  You can enter to win a 3DS XL and a game of your choice.

ENTER HERE.: a Rafflecopter giveaway


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10. How We Live Now

By Candy Gourlay Last week, my friend Nick Cross waxed nostalgic over on the SCBWI Blog Network, looking up the early days of long time bloggers like me. It was fun checking out those early versions of ourselves that we presented to the outside world. For example: Sarah McIntyre, then an art student, posted just four times in May 2004 with brief captions like this: Today, of course, Sarah

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11. April Vacation

We're taking a week off from blogging to catch our breath after the SOLSC (aka: our version of an ultra marathon!).

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12. Using Images in Your Content Marketing is a Sure Way to Boost Engagement

Images are similar to colors in that they can evoke emotions and even actions. In an interesting article on eight types of images, at CopyBlogger, the author explains how each type has its own psychological influences.(1) Before the types listed in the article are divulged, it’s important to know why images are so important. According to Web Marketing Group, “Ninety percent of information that

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13. NESCBWI: Marketing Your Brand

Oh, Look! Suddenly I Can Add Captions!
Yesterday I attended a New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' program, Marketing Your Brand. Jen Malone was the program leader.

Now Jen's first book, At Your Service,  was published just last year, though she has several others under contract and coming out soon. What she brings to the table when it comes to marketing is that she is the former New England Head of Publicity and Promotions for 20th Century Fox and Miramax Films and has sixteen years of experience teaching film marketing at Boston University. 

This was a very good program. I try not to go into too much detail regarding events like this, because the content is the presenter's. But I feel comfortable discussing workload and blogging.

Workload

 

You cannot exaggerate how hard many children's and YA authors are working at promoting, the time they are spending going to events, planning presentations, traveling, contacting people, all on their own dime. They may hold jobs of one kind or another and have families. It is just huge. And then they need to be writing their next books.

 

Sigh. I happened to be reading Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki today. Suzuki says, "The driver knows how much load the ox can carry, and he keeps the ox from being overloaded. You know your way and your state of mind. Do not carry too much!" It seemed appropriate.

Blogging

 

The feeling among the people in attendance yesterday was that blogging is a bit yesterday as far as "Authors must blog!" is concerned.  Some authors in that room were vocal about disliking blogging. What does that mean for long-time writer/bloggers like myself?

I'm thinkin' good news.

The Internet began to buckle under the weight of all the blogs that were created by writers from, say, 2006/7 to date. The pool of blog readers couldn't absorb them all, so many of us saw our readership drop and drop. If writers no longer feel compelled to blog, that could mean more readers for the rest of us.

That's what I'm hoping, anyway.

The caption under the picture of Jen Malone? The capacity to caption appeared out of the blue. Computer Guy is mystified.

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14. 10 Ways to Grow a Blog by Susan Gourley...

Thanks Sharon for having me as a guest on your blog. I’d like to share ideas that have worked for me in growing my blog audience. I’m not an expert, but these things have worked for me.

10 Ways to Grow a Blog

1.      Follow a variety of blogs, not just other writers. It will expose your name to an entirely different audience
2.      Always provide links to help others find some interesting content.
3.      Return comments. If some comments on your blog, visit theirs in return. They were interested in you so show you feel the same way.
4.      Keep your posts short. Most bloggers are looking for quick, interesting posts. They will skim your long post and not really get the point you were trying to make.
5.      Do more than shout, ‘buy my books.’ That leaves them no reason to comment or come back for the next post.
6.      Be yourself so people actually get to know you. If they know you, hopefully, they will like you. I’ve made some true friends through blogging.
7.      Add pictures to your posts. Book covers, the snow-covered tree, your cat or dog, make it a little bit personal.
8.      Host guest on your blog and hope their friends follow them to your blog. (Thanks, Sharon).
9.      Promote your posts on other media such as Twitter and Facebook.
10.  Participate in blog hops. I’m administrator in two big blog hops. Insecure Writer’s Support Group had been around for more than three years. We blog the first Wednesday of every month and share our woes, successes and offer support and advise. The even bigger blog hop I help run is the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Last year over 2,000 bloggers participated. For 26 days in April, we post blogs where the content starts with a letter of the alphabet. Letter A on April first, you get the picture. I highly recommend both.

These are a few ideas that have helped me. Can you add a few more ideas in your comment? Any blog hops you recommend.

Susan Gourley writes high fantasy and also writes science fiction romance as Susan Kelley. She is the author of the bestselling science fiction romance series, The Warriors of Gaviron and The Recon Marines series. Her latest release is The Warrior and the Governor. You can find her at Susan Says or follow her on Twitter and like her page on Facebook.

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15. Edging back to blogging

posted by Neil Gaiman
I really am out of the habit of blogging, aren't I? Some of it's from travelling too much, and most of it is probably from using Twitter and Facebook in places and ways that I would have blogged in the past.

Last year's social media sabbatical was really pleasant and rewarding, though, and I'm thinking about doing another, longer one, at the end of this year. Which will probably mean I'll return to blogging again then.

I'm writing this from a hotel in Dublin, where I was today receiving the James Joyce Award. Now off to the UK, where I'll be delivering the Douglas Adams memorial lecture, as a benefit for Save the Rhinos. (Almost all tickets are gone. A few VIP tickets are up on ebay.) The Lecture is called Immortality and Douglas Adams. I know that. Now I just have to write it.

A new book is out: it's called Trigger Warning: Short Stories and Disturbances.

I learned when Smoke and Mirrors came out what people say in reviews of short story collections, and learned it again when Fragile Things came out, a decade later. The reviews say "A good collection of stories, let down by (the weak stories) and redeemed by (the strong stories)" But nobody ever seems to agree on what the weak and the strong stories are, so I never feel I have learned very much from the reviews, but am always happy that people found stories that they did like in there.

So that's what most of the reviews say.

Then there's Frank Cottrell Boyce writing in the New Statesman, about Trigger Warning, short stories, what they are and how we read them, and it's an essay I'd love even if I weren't in there:

It is interesting that Saint Columba makes an appearance. Columba began his exile on Iona in penance for his part in the 6th-century Battle of the Book, a conflict that had its origin in his secret copying of Saint Finnian’s psalter: a kind of medieval illegal download. The subsequent ruling – “To every cow its calf, to every book its copy” – marks an important moment in the history of books. Were they beautiful, magical objects, to be carried into battle as charms (as the psalter was)? Or were they a means to disseminate information? Should their magic stay locked inside or should it be shared? Trigger Warning seems to grow out of a similar rift – the alternating currents of struggle and synergy that flow between the page and the electronic media.

I'm pleased that most readers seem to enjoy most of Trigger Warning, especially pleased and relieved that "Black Dog", the second of the American Gods stories of Shadow in the UK, seems to be well-received. I'm nervously caracoling towards the next novel, and suspect I'll start it in a few months, when the current giant jobs are done...

Amanda and I went to Sarasota to see my 97 year old cousin Helen, and seeing we were there and it was Valentine's Day, we did an event at the beautiful historic Tampa Theatre. This, at the end of a VERY long evening, is me singing "I Google You".



And the beautiful P. Craig Russell limited edition print we did for it is up for sale at Neverwear:

Ah. That was my return to blogging and it wasn't funny at all, was it? Bugger.





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16. 100 things I wouldn’t know

In honor of my 100th blog post, I want to share 100 things I wouldn’t know if I’d never become a children’s writer.

Collage by Vicky Lorencen

Collage by Vicky Lorencen

  1. Follow submission guidelines like you are assembling a nuclear warhead. No fudging.
  2. Trends are to be watched, not followed.
  3. Focus on what you’re doing well. Do more of that.
  4. A synopsis is as much for your benefit as it is the editor’s.
  5. Writing is reductive. Writing should be like a sale at the GAP–it should always be 20% off. (Mo Willems)
  6. Waiting for opportunities is fiddle faddle. Create them.
  7. Don’t ask too much of a first chapter. It’s an invitation to the reader and an opportunity to assure her you can be trusted. (Andrew Karre)
  8. Query letters are the most important and least read letter you’ll ever write.
  9. Show a character’s feelings through reactions.
  10. Just about everybody struggles with jealousy. I am jealous of those who don’t.
  11. Picture books are an art form unto themselves.
  12. Query letters need to sound like your real voice, not a superficial marketing pitch.
  13. Joining a critique group can be a game changer.
  14. Having a social media presence is important, but don’t let it infringe on your writing time.
  15. Always send thank you notes.
  16. Scene = Time + Place + One Change (Candace Fleming)
  17. Having beautiful file folders makes revision more funner. More fun, that is.
  18. Do not bother with Goodreads.
  19. Use index cards to map out scenes in a novel.
  20. For novels, ask–what is the job of this chapter?
  21. Facebook can really mess with your head.
  22. Follow-up with queries and submissions. You did the sending after all.
  23. Keep in touch with the editors, agents and participants you meet at conferences.
  24. Small workshops are often more worthwhile than big conferences.
  25. Back up your files and back up your back up files.
  26. Write what you know.
  27. Write what you wish you knew.
  28. Look for the seeds to resolving your story’s conflict within the story itself.
  29. Characters have been alive a long time before they introduced themselves to you.
  30. Writing costs money, time and energy. It’s worth it.
  31. If you feel stuck in your genre of choice, shake things up by writing in a different one.
  32. Everybody wants to quit at some point.
  33. Giving back doubles the investment you’ve made in your own writing.
  34. The journey to publication is not a race.
  35. Take thank you notes with you to conferences so you can thank people right away.
  36. Identifying (and eradicating) your crutch words can help to tighten your writing. Find/replace is your friend.
  37. Print out your entire novel in 8 pt. font, highlight the “solid” parts, then spread it out to see where the plot sags. (Thanks, Darcy Pattison)
  38. One carry-on bag is really all you need.
  39. Characters must undergo an inner and outer journey.
  40. Resist the urge to hide during conferences.
  41. Talk about your dreams and ambitions.
  42. Having a blog is fun work.
  43. You don’t have to start a novel with a big bang. Let the reader get to know the character before the inciting incident.
  44. Flying solo isn’t heroic. It’s nonsense.
  45. In a query letter, use quotes from the book to show character. (Christy Ottaviano)
  46. Your first idea is not unique. Twist it.
  47. Accept critiques with grace.
  48. Give critiques with humility.
  49. An editor’s job is to help clarify what your book is about.
  50. When you read, read like a writer.
  51. Give the same amount of care to world building/setting as you do to creating characters.
  52. A good cup of tea can fix a lot of things.
  53. Progress is the difference between finding time to write and making time to write.
  54. We write to re-write. And then to re-write what we re-wrote.
  55. Editors and agents are people too.
  56. Writing is an act of revelation. (Cynthia Leitich Smith)
  57. Use Find & Replace to weed out those just so very, very, very useless words.
  58. Your family may never grasp that staring off in space in part of the writing process.
  59. Writing will drive you to do otherwise loathsome tasks like cleaning the refrigerator (at your neighbor’s house because you’ve already cleaned yours. Oh, and organized your sock drawer. Twice.)
  60. Writing makes every life experience—from fixing a flat to flying in a helicopter–fodder for future writing.
  61. Disappointment is standard issue.
  62. You can always quit. No one is forcing you to write.
  63. Reading at open mic is a hoot. (I mean this.)
  64. Figure out a way to remember names (for when you go to conferences). You’re a word person. You can do this.
  65. There are two kinds of non-writing people—those who are in awe of you and those who think anyone can be a writer, especially for children. Don’t worry about either kind.
  66. Pretend to be confident. You may be a shy person, but that’s no one’s business but your own.
  67. Rejection sucks.
  68. There are three effective ways to make rejection suck less. I don’t know what those ways are.
  69. Readers bond with characters when we ask them to stretch. (Cynthia Leitich Smith)
  70. When you get stuck, stop. Move on to something new or take a nap. Let your mind wrestle with the knots a while before you go back.
  71. Writing is like wood carving. You go from larger to smaller, so don’t focus on details first.
  72. Most parents only get to name two, three, maybe four or so people. Writers get to name lots of people. Cool.
  73. Characters may push you. Let them.
  74. Grammar matters. At least know the rules before you snap them.
  75. Be respectful to everyone, even (and especially) on social media.
  76. Stories must balance between the specific and the universal.
  77. It’s important not to have a sense of preciousness with your work. (Shaun Tan)
  78. In writing, the author is the third wheel. You’re in the way. No one wants you there. You need to be invisible. (Mo Willems)
  79. Laughing at your own writing is a great feeling, so long as you were intending to be funny.
  80. A main character’s problem must feel organic to the story.Writers cannot emotionally protect themselves. (Coe Booth)
  81. It’s important to love my secondary characters as much as my main characters.
  82. Reinvention is the dark chocolate in the writer’s life. (Jane Yolen)
  83. Secondary characters can’t just exist to serve the main character’s story.
  84. Don’t let details overwhelm or derail a story.
  85. Before you begin drafting a novel, create character sketches by interviewing each character.
  86. Stay out of a character’s head as long as possible. (Andrew Karre)
  87. Invest in your friendships with other writers. It will always, always be worth it.
  88. Pay attention to what kids do, enjoy and worry about now. Some things never change, but not everything.
  89. No one wears a T-shirt with their favorite plot on it. Readers fall in love with characters.
  90. A writer’s validation has to come from what her work means to a reader and not from reviews or awards. (Ed Spicer)
  91. Reliable WiFi and a laptop with a light up keyboard are splendid things.
  92. Create a room in your own in your home (or at least a zone) that’s for writing only.
  93. The feel of book pitch needs to match the tone of the story.
  94. Something as ordinary as weather can be used to impact the mood of a story. [Cue the thunder-clap.]
  95. To learn about my characters, I need to ask where am “I” in my writing. (Coe Booth)
  96. You can write an entire novel without once using a semi-colon.
  97. Ultimately, the purpose of storytelling is to remind us of something ordinary or familiar. (Shaun Tan)
  98. Generally speaking, chocolate will not fill plot holes. But it can’t hurt to try.
  99. Brilliance strikes two seconds after you hit send on a submission.
  100. Everything takes longer than you think it will. Even reading lists.

The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis. ~ Umberto Eco


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17. Blogging- Does Anyone Read What You Write?

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) has an interesting article on blogging without getting the results you want. Without any one bother to read what you write. It explains that while there are tons of articles focused on how to write a quality article, there’s not much on distribution strategies. The article lists seven tips on creating and implementing a ‘smart’ distribution plan. The first

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18. Create and Publish an Optimized Blog Post to WordPress

I have a few Slideshare presentations under my belt now. Slideshare is a great way to create a 'video' without the 'video necessary' tech stuff. The way I create a Slideshare presentation is to first create a PowerPoint presentation. Once that's complete, I simply upload it to Slideshare. It's so easy and quick. My newest presentation is on creating and publishing a WordPress blog post. Since

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19. Content Marketing - Are Long Sentences in Your Blog Posts Good or Bad for Your Rankings?

I’ve been getting more involved in my website analytics lately. Due to this, I found an interesting ranking element I didn’t know about – sentence length. I know about sentence length in regard to writing for children, but had no idea it was a ranking element for your website. Apparently, long sentence reduce content clarity. This has me thinking and editing as I’m writing – adding more

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20. 10 Must-Know Tips on Creating a Search Engine Optimized Website

There needs to be at least 10 of me to keep up with all the great information online. I just read an infographic from QuickSprout.com on structuring a search engine optimized website. Having been affected by both Google Penguin and Panda, I look out for SEO strategies from reliable sources. So, here’s a breakdown of Neil Patel’s post: 1. Your URL matters. I’ve known this for a while, but

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21. To Blog or Not to Blog...Is Anyone Reading?


The awesome co-hosts for the December 3 posting of the IWSG will be T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins!


"To Blog or Not to Blog...Is Anyone Reading?" 

by Donna McDine

With another year coming to a rapid end and reflecting on 2014 and that I've been blogging since 2007, it's mind-boggling to me seven years have flown by since my first blog post and three months since I've joined #IWSG. Yikes, where has the time gone!

From early on in my writing career I have read about the importance of building one's platform through various methods with blogging being an essential part of those efforts. The central focus of my blog is the children's publishing world, whether it be about my journey or that of my colleagues. 

Overall, I am Snoopy dance
pleased with my traffic stats...averaging 475-625 visitors per day, but I'm always disappointed on the lack of comments. 



I am in awe of fellow bloggers who achieve high comment numbers and often wonder how they do it. 




I know one of the key parts is commenting on other blogs, which I need to get back into the groove of doing. As of late, I've been focusing more on my W-I-P than surfing blogs and commenting. It's definitely a balance I'm striving for, but without finishing my W-I-P what's the point of blogging in the first place?

If you visited and read this far, I'd like your advice on how to engage and promote one's blog. 

Be sure to leave your blog URL so I can visit and comment at your blog. 

Thanks a bunch for visiting and hopefully commenting. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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22. Get Traffic to Your Website with Inbound Marketing - New eClass

It’ll soon be a new year and with that I’ll be offering a NEW online marketing e-class through WOW! Women on Writing. As valued readers and visitors to this website, I want to keep you in the loop. Just like the marketing arena is ever changing, so are my classes. The reason is to keep up with all those changes. Beginning January 5, 2015, I’m offering a new 4-week e-class: GET TRAFFIC TO

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23. Calling oral history bloggers – again!

Last April, we asked you to help us out with ideas for the Oral History Review’s blog. We got some great responses, and now we’re back to beg for more! We want to use our social media platforms to encourage discussion within the broad community oral historians, from professional historians to hobbyists. Part of encouraging that discussion is asking you all to contribute your thoughts and experiences.

retro microphone Whether you have a follow up to your presentation at the Oral History Association Annual Meeting, a new project you want to share, an essay on your experiences doing oral history, or something completely different, we’d love to hear from you.

We are currently looking for posts between 500-800 words or 15-20 minutes of audio or video. These are rough guidelines, however, so we are open to negotiation in terms of media and format. We should also stress that while we welcome posts that showcase a particular project, we can’t serve as landing page for anyone’s kickstarter.

Please direct any questions, pitches or submissions to the social media coordinator, Andrew Shaffer, at ohreview[at]gmail[dot]com. You can also message us on Twitter (@oralhistreview) or Facebook.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Image credits: (1) A row of colorful telephones stands in Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong train station. Photo by Mark Fischer. CC BY-SA 2.0 via fischerfotos Flickr. (2) Retro Microphone. © Kohlerphoto via iStockphoto.

The post Calling oral history bloggers – again! appeared first on OUPblog.

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24. Winter Recess

The six of us will be celebrating holidays, recharging our batteries, and coming up with more posts to share with this incredible community of teachers and writers for the next two weeks. In the meantime, we have lots to keep you going over winter break.

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25. Your 2015 Blogging Roadmap

Blogging for Writers by Robin HoughtonThinking of starting a blog in 2015 to build your writer platform and gain a readership for your work? All the best journeys start with a bit of planning. Even if you’re not one for planning and would rather dive in right away, bear with me! In this exclusive excerpt from Blogging for Writers, Robin Houghton asks six crucial questions about your blogging goals, audience, and plan. Be honest with the answers as you write them down—they’ll serve as good reminders and motivators later on. When you’re finished, you’ll have the beginnings of a blogging roadmap that will assist you throughout 2015 and beyond.

1. Why do you want a blog?

What appeals to you about blogging? Is it something you can see yourself getting into, enjoying, and looking forward to doing? What do you want to get out of it? Promotion? Community? Sales?

It’s important to have goals for your blog, and those goals should be linked to your goals as a writer. All the same, the more open you are to seeing the fun in blogging, the more likely you are to stick with it and have it work for you.

2. Who do you want to read it? 

An interesting question, and linked closely to your blogging goals. It’s no good saying, “I want the whole world to read it!” Of course there are ways to go viral or hijack an audience, but the most successful bloggers are in it for the long term and are interested in becoming notable rather than notorious.

So, who is your audience? Your readers and fans (actual or potential)? Your peers? Industry influencers? Prospective publishers, agents, editors, gatekeepers? Perhaps, if you write for children, it’s the parents of your readers. Perhaps you write for two different markets with very different readers. The reason for this question is to get you thinking about what your blog will be about, what it will look like, the tone of voice you will adopt, and so on.

3. What are you prepared to put into it? 

Sorry to sound harsh, but the vast majority of blogs are abandoned within the first year. Don’t let that be yours! You can blog for free, but there will be costs associated with it—some financial, but mostly in terms of your time and effort.

Do your research—check out other writers’ blogs, especially (but not exclusively) those in your genre or niche. Look at the top industry blogs and websites—the annual Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers is a great place to start. Not only will you draw inspiration from them, but by subscribing to other blogs you’re starting the process of connecting with the blogosphere. It’s never too soon to start commenting, sharing, and engaging with other bloggers. When your blog is up and running, it’s just as important to keep engaging with others as well as nurturing your own blog community.

4. What’s your blogging persona?

A blog is unmediated—it’s you talking directly to people—so it’s worth thinking about your “persona,” or the face you present to your blog readers and anyone else who may come across your blog. Here are some considerations:

  • Professional vs. Personal: Let’s say you are approaching blogging primarily as a business tool—for example, your goals might be to network with influential industry people, demonstrate your authority/ability/talent, or promote yourself to an audience of readers or potential readers. In this situation, you are presenting yourself and your work as a brand, and your blog will reflect that, both in how it looks and in the nature of its content. But this is a blog, not your author publicity page. Take advantage of that and inject your personality into it, too.
  • Transparency and Consistency: Will you talk about both your successes and your failures? Not everyone wants to lay themselves bare by mentioning rejections, spats, loss of motivation, or other negative aspects of their writing life. Others revel in it and find visitor numbers and comments increase when their blog posts are at their most raw and honest.

5. What will you name your blog? 

What will your blog be called? An obvious choice might be your name, writer name, or something that incorporates your name, such as “Seth’s Blog” or “Neil Gaiman’s Journal.”

You might prefer your blog’s name to say something about the content, or its purpose, so that it’s separate from your name. This could work well if it’s not your only blog, or if you’ve already got a website with your name associated with it and the blog is in addition to that, or if you are planning to have regular guest bloggers or contributors.

Your blog’s given name or title doesn’t necessarily have to be its domain name (the address that appears in the browser bar). You may choose to register your writer name as your domain name, then call your blog something different. As a rule, you should try to register both your writer name and your blog name (if different) as domain names, even if you’re not sure you will use them right away.

6. What blogging platform will you use? 

A blog platform refers to the software that powers a blog. You could think of it as the underlying construction, like a house—is it timber-framed or brick-built? Once the house is built, you may not be able to tell. Most blog platforms do pretty much the same job. But it’s worth understanding the key differences—the choices you make at this stage will affect what you can do with your blog further down the line, so it’s worth taking the time.

The most popular blogging platforms are WordPress and Blogger, and Blogging for Writers goes into both of these in depth. Do your research and make a decision based on your needs, comfort level, and personal preferences.

BloggingPlan

Blogging for Writers by Robin Houghton is available here.


Rachel Randall is the managing editor for Writer’s Digest Books.

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