Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

There are almost as many people creating companies that offer resources to writers as there are writers jumping into the self publishing frenzy.  There are a lot of hungry fish out there and everyone seems to be chasing those dollar-sign shaped fish hooks.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to be careful to pick a company that can be counted on to deliver some bang for your bucks.  Personally, I have no intention of paying anyone to either publish my writing or to promote it.  I don’t even enter contests if they have an entry fee.

There are lots of these companies, however, that offer free advice or tools that I am perfectly willing to take advantage of and pass on here.  I found the site below when doing some research on freelance rates that has several free offerings you might want to check out.  I’m sure they are hoping you will like their generosity enough to inquire into their paid services, but please know that I am not advocating for them.  If you are interested in what they have to offer, go for it.  Or just take the freebies and go on your way.  Your choice.

We hope you find these FREE writing resources useful for the writing you do. Check back with us often to see what other writing freebies we’ve come up with lately.

via Writing Freebies | No 2 Pen Writing and Communications.

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I’m reinstating Twitter Tuesdays–here’s the first installment for your edutainment.

A few weeks ago Chris Brogan published a list of the 100 blog topics that he wished people would cover. One of them was, “How Twitter Improved My Blog,” and I accepted the challenge to write something along these lines. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter, you can read “The Tao of Twitter,” “Newbies Guide to Twitter,” or “Ode to Twitter.”) Here is my answer to Chris’s request.

Book Marketing Group News | LinkedIn.

As if I don’t have enough excuses to keep me from working on the second Jo Sullivan novel, I’ve decided to sign up with the web community below and see what they’re all about.  Want to check them out?

iHubbub is a social community for remote, virtual, freelance and home workers as well as business start-ups, sharing perspectives and lifestyle choices. It is the place for the home working world to hang out!

1. The destination of choice for relevant information for home workers, business start-ups, and work life blend.

2. The most comprehensive Market Square for remote working jobs as well as basic services from within our community.

3. iHubbub is social networking for flexible home workers, freelance consultants, home and remote workers – an exciting new social networking site for the new world of work.

4. To create a Cosmopolitan Directory of home businesses, virtual companies, freelance consultants and remote or mobile workers and home workers across the globe who support each others challenges, share skills and experience and celebrate new opportunities.

via About iHubbub | iHubbub, The Home Business Network.

Claiming your blog through Technorati allows you to use Technorati services to increase your blog’s visibility.

To begin claiming your blog, you will first need to go to Technorati.com and sign up for an account.

via Technorati « Support — WordPress.com.

I have to say I’m a little confused about whether I need to do anything special to tag and ping my WordPress blogs to maximize site traffic (See last entered post for more info on tags and pings.)

Some of the research I did made it sound like when you post a blog on WordPress, they already send out tags (and/or pings?) to the search engines. But I did find the WordPress support page above which gives instructions on how to claim your blog through Technorati, so maybe whatever WordPress does, it’s not the same thing.

So I have followed the steps they gave me, but unfortunately, as of this writing, have not been able to complete the process. Technorati has apparently changed their process somewhat because instead of getting the prompts shown in the link above, I got the one below which simply says they will get in touch with me to complete my claim.

So I will wait to hear from them and then keep an eye on my stats and report back here as to whether anything seems to have changed. Hopefully by this time next week, I will see some results.

If you’ve just heard the phrase ‘Tag and Ping’ and are scratching your head in puzzlement – this article may be worth your time. Not that Tag and Ping is some magic marketing formula that will deliver untold riches. It won’t.

It is just one more marketing tool professional online marketers are using to give their site or sites a competitive edge over their competition. It will help put your site on the Internet map and if done right, Tag and Ping will deliver plenty of very targeted traffic to your sales pages. It will boost your rankings and increase your sales.

via How To Use Simple Tag And Ping Marketing Techniques(To Boost Your Site’s Ranking, Traffic And Sales) : Bosmol – Social Media & Web 2.0 Internet Marketing News : iamcitygirl.geek : Portfoli.

Tag and Ping is not some new pinball game (does anyone even play pinball these days?) nor are they the names of my neighbor’s Chinese Crested puppies.  Tag and Ping is a marketing technique that is part of a phenomenon I have only recently become aware of called SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

According to Wikipedia (anyone else remember something called an “encyclopedia?”  Sigh.  Those were the days.) SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via “natural” or un-paid search results.  Sounds great, right?  So how do I do that?

There are quite a few articles out there that explain how to do that better than me.  For one, click on the link posted in the quote above.  If you prefer a video explanation CLICK HERE to get to one.  Or else join me WordPress Wednesday later this week when I report on my own experience in tagging and pinging this blog and my www.paintedblacknovel.com site using information I found on the WordPresse support forum.

It will be interesting to see if tagging and pinging is as much fun as it sounds like it should be.

Facebook Pages are important for a few reasons. They’ve been showing up high in search engine positions. Also, you can get unlimited “fans” for your Facebook Page, unlike the limit of 5,000 friends that your regular Facebook Profile is capped at. They’re visible to search engines and visitors, too. It’s almost like a social networking mailing list that you can reach out to at any time!

via How to Create A Facebook Page.

Next week I am going to be meeting with my publisher to talk about the cover for Painted Black (Yay!) and also how we want to promote on Facebook.  I’m hoping he knows a lot more about that than I do.  I did figure out how to create a Facebook page for my book, but then I looked at it and said “what now?”

The Squidoo article quoted above does a great job telling you how to create a Facebook page.  It also gives some tips as to how to promote your page and other info on how Facebook pages work.  But basically, if I’m reading correctly, what you do with the page once you’ve created it, is–you guessed it–post stuff.

So like, what’s the big deal about that?  Isn’t that what a web page is for, or a blog like the one I created for my novel paintedblacknovel.com? And what the heck am I supposed to post on it anyway?

I guess the idea is that the more places you promote your book the better, even if they seem repetitive or redundant.  After all, there are people on Facebook who may never see my webpage.  And people who find my webpage might not be Facebook members.  (Oh, you can close your mouth now.  I don’t think Facebook has quite taken control of the universe yet.)

So my biggest question is what kind of things should I be posting on these various sites–Facebook, blog, webpage?  What works?  Only a publicist knows for sure. Or maybe a publisher.  I guess I’ll find out next week after I meet with New Libri Press.  Then I pass the skinny on to you guys.

As a companion to Twitter Tuesdays I’ve decided to create WordPress Wednesdays. WordPress is really easy to use. All you really have to do is sign up, select your template and post your thoughts. But there are also so many ways to individualize your blog to make you stand out in a crowd, and when you’re hoping to draw in an audience, standing out is a good thing, as long as you’re not in your jammies in the middle of the interstate.

One way to personalize is to use Widgets. Now I seem to remember the word widget first being used in the cartoon the Jetsons when I was a kid. Didn’t George work at a widget factory? I used to always think of it as a made up word with no specific meaning, kind of like thingamabob or doohickey. Maybe it was always a legitimate word, but if so, I’m pretty sure it did not have the meaning it does today.

A widget in general is a control tool, often associated with an app (application). All the sections you see along the left side of the page here are there because I told WordPress to place a widget there of one kind or another. Most widgets WordPress offers are fairly easy to understand. A text widget lets you place text, an image widget lets you post an image, a link widget lets you post web links, etc.

But a few of them I’d never heard of (making me the same as someone 100 years ago if asked about widgets).

The first one I looked into is called an Akismet widget. A quick search tells me if I put this on by blog sidebar it will show how many spam comments got posted to my site. Simple, right, except I’m left to wonder why would I want everyone to see how much spam my site generates. Kind of like wearing a sign that says “I have Cooties.”

The next one I looked at had much more promise.  it’s called Box.net file sharing. You have to create an account at the Box.net site, but it’s free and you can easily do it from within the WordPress widget itself.  You click on the “go get some HTML code” in the link sown on the left and it takes you to their website where you can create an account or log in, and then grab the code you  need to set your widget up.

The idea behind the widget is to be able to share files with anyone who visits your blog.  I’m sure this could make some people very uneasy, but I could see it coming in handy if you had a restricted blog that only registered users were allowed to access.  For a writer, it could be a great place to share free samples of your writing, or perhaps even your whole book.

You can link any document type, it seems like.  Your reader just needs to have a program that can open the file.  You can change the size of the widget and even choose to have your files shown in list or icon format.  You can delete files, add more and  rename them right from your WordPress blog.

If you want to see how it works, scroll down to bottom of my page here and look to the left.  I uploaded three image files and the first chapter of my novel Teach Your Children Well.  Teach is the prequel to my novel Painted Black which will be published by New Libri Press.  I’m thinking of releasing Teach as a self published ebook to serve as a promotional tool and introduction to my Jo Sullivan suspense novel series.  So download the chapter if you want, and then leave a comment and tell me if you think maybe I should give that a shot.