Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Top Five Blogging Rules

Here are five simple blogging rules that I follow:

1. No music.  I don't have music playing on my blogs because whenever I visit a blog which plays music, I become agitated and usually click off immediately. This is because I'm usually playing music of my own when online and someone else's music interferes.  If you insist on having music on your blog, make it optional by installing a music button. Make sure your music button is easy to find and at the top of the page for quick access.

2. Have a front page profile picture.  You can have another picture or two on another page if you have an "about" page, but a head shot of some sort on your front page is a must.  Whenever I visit a blog, one of the first things I look for is a profile picture of the blog writer. I want to see who I'm reading!

3. Have a short front page bio.  Just a few lines about yourself will do.  Just like a profile pic, a short bio is another of the first things I look for when I visit a blog.

4. Link your links.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, all your links so that you are easy to find. Most sites have buttons that can be installed for this very purpose.

5. Have fun!  I realize blogging can be serious business, but your mood comes across to your readers, so have fun with your blogs and let that attitude shine through.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

As Amanda Hocking said......

"Ascend has ascended!"  Her newest book is here in the US, in bookstores today.

I recommend Ascend even if it's not in your genre of interest because it is selling and if you want to write for publication, you need to pay attention to what's selling.  This does not mean you have to abandon your own genre and write out of your comfort zone, it simply means further education for you, keeping on top of the market and learning from another writer.

Amanda was just like the rest of us, taking a writing class to see what she could learn about writing, overcoming obstacles to getting published and e-publishing.  You, too, can see success with your writing.  Even if buying her book is not in your budget, head to the bookstore and browse through a copy.

Way to go, Amanda!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Interest - It's up to YOU

I have a news flash for you writers out there.  The world is not automatically interested in your writing.  I know, I know, how can they not be?  But, it's true.  Any and all interest has to be generated - by YOU!  You are passionate about your writing.  Your family might be interested.  Your friends might show an interest for a while. But, you hold the passion, which becomes the key to getting published.  Generating interest in your writing is up to you.  Tips to generate interest:

  • Keep your passion strong.  The best way to keep your passion strong is to keep writing.
  • Talk it up.  Talk about what you've written to family, friends, colleagues, etc. Your passion will come through as you talk it up.  Most of us talk about what we are passionate about. Our writing is no exception to that truth.
  • Write often.  Blog often. Keep your writings out there, as fresh and new as you possibly can.
  • Link. Link. Link.  Every time you blog, link that blog to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Keep your writings front and center as much as you can by linking everything you write to everything else you do online. Be sure you are well connected and keep your name out there.
  • Keep your target audience in mind at all times.  Who are you writing to?  Picture them as you blog; hook them in with teasers by doing content writing, giving them snippets of what's to come, creating curiosity and interest one blog post at a time.
  • Read other blogs in your line of interest.  I often springboard off another blog or article I read. I recently did that with my Tuesday Theology blog in a post about motherhood, my first and most important job. I linked the original blog, which prompted my blog post, in a couple of places in my blog post so that it is more likely to be found in a search engine.
  • Learn SEO - Search Engine Optimization - techniques.  I will be spending time on this in my upcoming E-Publishing 101 class next month.  It's crucial, valuable information which can launch your writing into a larger audience pool.
These tips will get you started.
Happy Writing!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Consider Article Writing

Even if you are a novelist, consider writing articles.  Articles are quick, short and can be broadly disbursed to give you a wide exposure more quickly than a book.  Still write your books, but add articles to your portfolio. Some benefits of article writing include:

  • Articles can be used to introduce your books and other writings.
  • Articles are easily written.
  • You can cover a wide variety of topics in your articles.
  • Articles vary in size, giving the writer endless marketing possibilities.
  • You might be more likely to find an agent willing to take a chance on you if you've published a good number of articles.
  • Article writing expands your writing resume.
  • Article writing shows your full talent as a writer without a huge time commitment from the reader.
  • Articles can introduce you to a wider audience.
  • Articles are great promotional items.
Tonight is the first meeting of a new writer's group I'm facilitating. I hope to write an article about our first meeting and the group in general!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Writer's Groups

I teach my writing students to get to know other writers of all genres.  This is great advice, just as getting to know other small business owners will benefit a small business owner.  Based on this advice, and the requests of several of my students, I am starting a writer's group!  I am very excited to be a part of this idea and am happy to organize our meetings.

Benefits of a writer's group:

  • Helps writers expand their experience by talking with other writers
  • Helps us learn the processes that other writers go through in their efforts and learn new techniques
  • Helps us meet really awesome people with a common interest
  • Gives us a new focus by allowing our work to be viewed by new eyes
  • Motivates us to stay on focus
  • Gives us valuable opportunities to receive criticism from others, as well as opportunity to stretch our thinking through critiquing others
I suppose I could go on and on with benefits of a writer's group, but I'll keep this short.  A few of my personal goals in starting this writer's group include:
  • Meet other writers.
  • Keep in touch with writers I already know.
  • Keep in touch with my writing students.
  • Expand my own experience by learning from others
  • Expand my idea base to enhance my own writing
  • Avoid boxing my writing in
Here again, I could go on, but the group, itself, will be more of a forum. I have a feeling my experience, and hence my goals, will change and expand through the group as it grows, whether in number or content.

I am working on our meeting place and will keep all interested parties informed.  Our first meeting is Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00 PM - location to be announced.  If you are interested in attending, please email me at and I'll be sure to put your email on my notification list.

Happy writing!