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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Writing for Online Communal Publishers

13 Jun

If you’re just getting started as a writer and want to get your feet wet with minimal cost, communal publishing can be the answer.

This is the first in a series of detail articles which look more closely at the various means of publishing your work as a writer. The kick-off article gave a long list of these methods with a brief overview of each.  Starting with this article we take a peek at the chapter in Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where to Publish Your Work that covers each topic in great detail.

What is a Communal On-Line Publisher?

collage of notes for communal publishing

Courtesy microform.co.uk

Most communal online publishers operate like enormous blogs with thousands of users.  Non-members can read the articles and search by topic or author.  Most offer writers a free account and encourage you to write often.  The best of these offer community support through discussion forums where writers share tips and review one another’s work.  Some also offer writing contests.  Some of these even offer cash prizes, though most are for bragging rights; but bragging rights are good too!  Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

Kind Words for this Blog

12 Jun

I was poking around in my Amazon.com listings and found these reviews of this blog — which is available as a Kindle subscription.  These comments warmed my heart and I thought I’d share them here and say “thank you” to all.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

blog review 5 stars Like a readers corner store; always something handy or tasty. February 17, 2013
By Rickythewiz

Allan’s a great writer, to start with. he really knows how to put a good piece of writing together and how to polish it up.  His blog is a reader’s corner store with shelf after shelf of handy, tasty and useful stuff and if you go in for just one thing you generally come out with a basket full of good stuff; ideas, thoughts, advice, laughs and good directions to some other great reading material.  Highly recommended.  If you don’t read any other blog, you should always read Allan’s blog.

 

blog review 5 stars The writing life February 9, 2013
By sandmeistress

Allan Douglas knows everything anyone needs to know about telling a story–creating scenes, suspense, great characters.  His blog is wonderful, always entertaining and profound, and always fun to read no matter what he’s writing about!  True slice-of-life stories that ring true!

 

blog review 5 stars Essential Tool for the Aspiring Writer February 8, 2013
By Susie

If you are an aspiring writer sifting through the thousands of blogs and websites about writing, the path to publication, and life as a freelance writer, look no further.  Allan Douglas’ articles on the writing life are exactly what you are looking for. Through carefully crafted tales about the real life experiences of a freelance writer, Allan Douglas captivates his audience while providing excellent examples of what good writing is all about.
Susan Warren Utley
Editor, Haunted Waters Press

 

Speak Up, Stand Out, Build Your Audience

24 May
Original Pub Date: January 2, 2012: Webupon.com

speak out commentMany of the expert book marketing folks have touted the benefits to authors of running a blog.  On a blog you can offer excerpts from your book, talk about your characters, offer insights into your life and personality, even plug your books, all with the intent of piquing the curiosity of your target audience so they will want to buy your books.  But to do that, people must actually come to your blog and read it.

A blog, or a web site, is like a box of brochures in that they can be effective advertising tools if disbursed but if left sitting in the back of a closet, they are useless to you.  Handing out your digital brochures can be done in a number of ways.

  • Put the URL on every print piece of advertising you produce; from business cards to your books.
  • Add the URL to your e-mail tagline.
  • Add it to all your social media accounts.
  • Comment on other people’s blogs and fill in the URL field.

It is this last one that I want to talk about today.  Commenting on other blogs that are related to yours or attract the same readers that you want to reach is a good way to introduce yourself to a new group of people.  But to do it effectively requires some research and some thought.    Read the rest of this entry »

 

SEO for Blogs, Love It, Hate It, Use It.

29 Apr

seo, search engine optomizationI’ve been writing professionally, at least part time, for a very long time: around 3 decades.  More recently I started blogging.  Needless to say, I’ve been writing longer than I’ve been blogging.  In fact I’ve been writing longer than blogs have existed.  Therefore I learned to write according to the old school conventions, which placed making a written work entertaining to the reader above making it popular with a search engine.

Of course search engines have not always been as persnickety as they are now.  Early on, search engines actually rewarded writers for using natural language and allowed them to include in the header of an article a whole string of keywords that related to the content of the article.  A keyword string for this article would have included, search engine, search, seo, blog, blogging, article, post, web, internet, optimize, optimization, keywords, and writing.  Search engines trusted writers to include a spectrum of words that were directly related to the article, even if not all of them appeared in the article.  But then the spammers came in and discovered that they could insert totally unrelated, hot topic keywords to give their page a boost.  If I were to include Miley Cyrus, twerking, and Justin Bieber, this page would become robot candy even though those words have nothing to do with what I’m writing about.  And so, the search engine strangulation began. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

Murdering My Children

29 Aug
Guillotine, blog, blogging, closing, cost, benefits

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

I recently closed down the Simple Life Prattle blog. This was a painful decision because it was always a fun blog to write and I loved the way it looked.  I must stress that I will continue to Prattle, I simply won’t be doing it on a blog of its own, but here on my personal/author blog.

I have been writing for as many as 6 blogs, plus my magazine articles, plus building web sites, plus working on two books, plus doing my garden and all the maintenance around our property, plus… well, you get the idea.  It was getting overwhelming.  Being overwhelmed was not why we moved to the mountains.  It’s time to simplify. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted in Uh-Oh!

 

Boosting Your Blog’s SEO in WordPress

30 Jan

SEO, blog, spiders, I’ve never cared much for all the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) machinations that many of the top bloggers say everyone must do to become really popular.  So I’m not going to talk about those.  There are some basic things that we should all do to grab a reasonable amount of search engine spider attention.  And if you want a really quick way to learn to improve your blogs SEO – and if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog – snag the WordPress SEO by Yoast plug-in and install it.  If you have a WordPress.com blog, it appears you can not use plugins at all.

Plug It In

No, no… don’t panic, it’s really easy to do.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

Creativity? Me?

14 Jan

disapproval, thumbs downRecently I’ve been asked by several author/bloggers to submit a guest post about creativity.  At first I balked because when it come to creativity I feel like a gnu among gazelles.  I “hang out” with a lot of novelists but  I am a non-fiction writer.  I’ve tried writing novels – three of them – they all made the rounds of agents without a nibble.  I write well, so I assumed I’m just not creative enough.

But a few people have been kind enough to help me change my mind (a little) on that.  OK, I’m not a novelist, but I’ve always tried to keep my non-fiction from being dry and boring.  My latest book has received some great reviews, I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award, the One Lovely Blog award and Mitchell Allen (one of the most creative bloggers I know) once told me, “You could make a trip to the Post Office entertaining”.  So I hot-glued some flashing Christmas tree lights to a colander, slipped it onto my head as a thinking cap and set to work.

First up was Stuart Nager, AKA The Born Storyteller.  I met Stuart on Twitter and we became friends and co-conspirators when we ended up huddled around the same bonfire on Triberr.  You can read my Guest Post, Creativity and Inspiration on his web site.  Also be sure to drop by his blog, Tale Spinning, to read his excellent short stories.  Stuart is, among other things, a Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Teacher, and Drama Coach.

Next was Sirius Press, Inc.’s Creative Flux blog.

Terre is co-author of The Four Orders, a four-book Sci-Fi/Thriller series that begins with life-altering discoveries and builds momentum towards our society’s self-actualization.  Terre is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator and has recently moved into the fields of Video and Motion Graphics. She holds a degree in History in Art with a minor in English and is a published Art Reviewer. We’ve been communication compadre’s for some time now as we help one another promote our books.

Please pop over and read Training Creativity; it’s a short post and I think you’ll find it entertaining.

I wrote the Mechanics of Creativity as a guest post for another blogger who invited me to guest, then dropped off the face of the Earth and hasn’t been heard from since. So I posted it here in order to keep it in the same timeline as the rest. This article is an analysis of how I came up with Training Creativity.

 

Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where (and how) to Publish

06 Jan

 

Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where to Sell Your Work - book imageWhy publish?

You have a desire to write; to make your thoughts and inspirations known to others. Perhaps you are knowledgeable and wish to share your expertise with others, passing what you know to another generation.  Maybe you are creative and enjoy entertaining others with stories of fiction.  Or perhaps you are insightful and like telling factual tales about places, people and events; helping others to understand.

Whatever your particular bend is, to share your work with others means acquiring a means of publication.  These days, publication comes in many forms, but some forms are better suited to different tastes, depending on your expectations.  Particularly the expectation of payment for your efforts. Read the rest of this entry »