Articles tagged "blogging"

Blogging for Success

10 min read

If you didn’t know it already, being a self-published author is no easy task. Not only will you be producing all your own content, but you’ll also be promoting all that content. The independent author is a writer, editor, designer, and advertiser all in one. I imagine just thinking about it is overwhelming for many of you out there.

I won’t lie, it’s a lot of work. Day in and day out a lot of work. And it may not be work that offers significant financial rewards. But if you’re an author and you’re dedicated, there are a number of ways to promote yourself, share your work, and ultimately get more readers for your book. We’ve looked at a lot of methods in this blog, and last week I went into detail about some of the social media platforms that you can employ.

Social media alone isn’t enough though. Most importantly, you’ll need somewhere to point your social media audience – a location to buy your book and engage with your readers on a personal level. There are two primary means to achieve this: an author website and a blog. Today, we’ll look closer at the latter.

Continue Reading »

Guest Blog: Using imitation to learn writing skills

2 min read

Did you know that many famous writers improved their writing skills by copying the work of others? But even if you do not plan to become a professional writer, being able to write well is an important skill that you should have.

One of these writers is the well-known Robert Louis Stevenson who decided to copy word for word the great works of writers before him, so that he can learn how to really write. He read a passage twice and then tried to reproduce it from memory. It took a lot of work until he was able to read lengthy passages and reproduce them without a flaw.

How can copywork help you become a better writer?

Improving your style

Copywork will help you notice the differences in styles and their unique and subtle characteristics, which in time will become part of your own style.

Improving word choice and syntax

You will start noticing how great writers carefully chose and arranged words to achieve maximum impact. Whenever you feel that your writing starts getting a little boring, do copywork with the authors you admire to get better at streamlining your own.

 Improving paragraphs

One of the main problems I had was with organizing paragraphs and making the transition between them. Copywork gives you a view on how great authors organize their thoughts.

 Improving spelling, punctuation, and grammar

By copying the work of established writers, that has been rigorously proofread and edited, you will practice your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Improving memory and focus

If you adopt Stevenson’s method, you will definitely improve your memory and your focus. You need good cognitive strength to be able to read a whole paragraph and then write it from memory word for word. When I first tried doing this, it was a complete failure. Before my self-publishing career kicked in, started with one sentence and then slowly progressed.

How to Get Started

First, you have to choose a writer that you admire and whose style inspires you. I recommend you to choose authors from both fiction and non-fiction, so that you become familiar with both styles. Start copying them using a pen and paper not typing on your computer. Studies have shown that handwriting offers a multitude of benefits for your brain and overall health, also helping you think clearer and learn better.

I advise you to start with shorter passages or only one sentence and then slowly increase to longer pieces. If you start with long and complex paragraphs, you will burn out and become frustrated. You can start with aphorisms, scripture verses, and poems and then move to short stories and whole books.

The secret is to do this every day, just like journal writing. I usually do this in the morning, before I start my writing sessions.

Do not think that anyone can do copywork and that it’s just a waste of time. You will see its benefits only if you put in time and effort.


Kira Carr is wedded to her job as a freelance writer and blogger. She creates many amazing posts regarding helpful techniques & strategies for new bloggers and freelancers. This girl is a translator by education. She goes mad of reading American modern literature.

 

Blogging Your Way to Success

2 min read

Earlier this month we posted a blog with some advice about Facebook’s potential as a marketing tool. And make no mistake, Facebook will be your best friend when it comes to marketing your book. But Facebook only works if you have a continual stream of content to offer. Yes you can (and should) share coupons and the store links to your book from Lulu. And yes you can share a variety of industry news relevant to you and other authors like you.

That’s not enough though. Your readers and potential readers need to have an investment in you as a person. They need to get to know you and your work before they will open their wallets and buy your book.

A Blog is the perfect means to do this (and much more in the long term). An Author Blog is a direct link to you, a way to advertise, advocate for, and create a connection to your work. The people who follow your social media presence need a reason to come back to you. This is how you build a following, and how that following then goes to work for you by drawing in their friends to your network.

Best of all, blogs are easy to do. You can find a wealth of free blogging sites across the web, such as WordPress, Weebly, or Blogger. These platforms allow you to quickly and easily create and maintain a blog.

Now all you need to do is start adding content. Here’s some ideas for posting:

  1. Look at what’s trending on Twitter (by hashtag), Instagram, or Facebook and write an opinion piece about the topic at hand. Remember to use your researching skills to back up your argument. Anything that ties back to the topics your book(s) focus on are a plus.
  2. Come up with a weekly feature. For example, maybe every Wednesday you interview an author about writing or his/her process. Or on Tuesdays you post a photo of your work area and write about your progress. Whatever it is, be consistent.
  3. What have you read recently that you loved or hated? What is your favorite book of all time? Why do you prefer one specific genre over another? Or do you no longer read at all, and why?
  4. What challenges or fears have you faced in life and overcome? Inspirational writing is always popular.
  5. Make a top 10 list. From nail colors to the best advice on book cover concepts; do your research and show off what you’ve found. Again, if you can tie this back to the content of your book(s), all the better.
  6. As writers, we love words, but appreciate the other fine arts, too. Don’t shy away from putting up a video you found on YouTube or a photo of your favorite coffee shop, carnival ride, or pet. These small glimpses into your life will be appreciated by your readers.
  7. What do you want to accomplish over the next year and how will you get there? Tell your readers so they can root for you. And remember to talk about your progress now and again.
  8. Still not inspired? Check out these interactive prompts that will get your mind churning.

Providing a consistent stream of content, even small pieces, gives you fodder for social media sharing, allowing you to continually grow your presence.

Every blog follow, every Facebook like, is a potential reader. And each reader can then tell their friends and family, expanding your network and making your book more and more successful!

Turning Your Blog Into Your eBook

2 min read

One of the most frustrating truths of running a website is the ascendancy of new content. No matter how you lay out your website, more often than not, new content will take center stage, relegating older content to the recesses of your website, only reappearing when someone happens upon it through an internet search. It’s sad to see such good material get buried, and is clearly a limitation of the blog format.

But the blog isn’t the end of content, by any means. To get more mileage out of their content, bloggers have begun turning their webpages into eBooks. By turning old content into new profit, they also give some pieces that might deserve another look the chance to get one. This tactic helps bloggers advance their brand and provide offline consumption of their writing. Not only that, but bloggers already have access to a targeted audience (their site visitors) which makes publishing an eBook that much more viable. Besides the ever-present Tumblr-books (think cats doing funny things), some successful books have started out as blogs, including the basis for the film Julie & Julia.

EBooks also give a website the chance to showcase work around a specific theme or topic. If you run a cooking website, it might make sense to publish an eBook around Halloween that presents recipes for candy or other sweets. Or if you run a political website, an eBook that comes out highlighting your best writing about the upcoming election might also be a smart idea.

EBooks push the pause button on the lighting fast internet, and allow for reading to be more reflective and not reactive. Revisiting pieces before publishing them in an eBook, with updates of course, compels readers to get the eBook, and not just find the pieces on the blog itself. An eBook can also be a better way to engage contributors to the blog, who will see their writing published across multiple mediums, instead of flaming out quickly on the front page.

Turning a blog into an eBook gives old material new life, helps disseminate your content farther, and gives it an even better chance of earning money. What does a blogger have to lose?

Ready to start you own eBook?

Blogging Guide, Part 2: Ready, Set, Write!

3 min read

Click here for Blogging Guide, Part 1: Which Platform is Right…

So you finally did it. You have your own blog. Congrats!

Now what?

While the blank page can be intimidating, to face a blog post shouldn’t be. You’re responsible for shortish pieces on whatever strikes your fancy and, unlike in a novel – which requires believable dialog, a plot arc and a storya good blog post needs mostly personality.

Whether you’re sticking to one niche (e.g. the road to publication or writing tips for authors) or a number of subjects, the material you present must reveal you in some way. Without this your text will be bland, making it harder to forge a personal connection with your readers.

Connections, you’re asking? Who needs ’em?

Everyone. The Internet is a vast world and there are plenty of places for people to turn so here are 10 blog prompts to get you and your followers thinking:

1. Look at what’s trending on Twitter (by hashtag) and write an opinion piece about the topic at hand. Remember to use your researching skills to back up your argument.

Continue Reading »

Blogging Guide, Part 1: Which Platform is Right…

4 min read

(Click here for Blogging Guide, Part 2: Ready, Set, Write!)

Since the early 2000s the popularity of blogs has exploded, resulting in an increased number of hosts (or platforms) to choose from. Selecting which one to unleash your thoughts and observations on can be overwhelming—but hopefully not anymore.

This piece focuses on the top free blogging platforms—Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress. Each has a huge network with millions of bloggers, as well as a number of pros and cons, outlined below:

Blogger

Pros:

  • If you have a Gmail address you can open multiple blogs to tie into your blog account (should you, say, want to write about food and cars but not talk about them both on the same blog).
  • Blogger has an extensive Help Center that will walk you through setting up your blog and assist you with issues that may come up down the road.
  • Like Tumblr, the dashboard aggregates all of the new posts created by people you follow, which you can also import to your Google Reader should you prefer that format.
  • Continue Reading »

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)