Tag Archives: google reader

linkies you’ll love

Moonday Mania

practical links for authors

One of the best things about the internet is the amazing quantity of helpful posts available, but how do you find your posts? I personally have a few blogs I use Google Reader for, oh wait. Google is discontinuing it’s reader function, so I’m going to have to find some other way to list my favs all in one place. That’s kind of a relief because I feel like Google is taking over everything. Someday, when Amazon and Google merge, we’ll simply have everything run by “The Company”. Just like in the book Beauty Queens, by author Libba Bray. One of my must reads for anyone of any age over, hmmm, maybe thirteen? (Check out my blog George Orwell Meets Barbie HERE.) I did ask on FB and got a few suggestions, but I am open to any other suggestions of where I should move my RSS feed, so if you have any ideas feel free to let me know!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I have several blogs on writing that I regularly peruse to see what is going on in the writerly world and in particular the world as it relates to the changes in the publishing industry as it relates to ME! As that is the most important thing  in the world, right? Today I’m sharing a few articles that made the grade over the last few weeks.

The first one is entitled 10 Best Chrome Extensions on AuthorMedia.com, but it has some other favs of mine that are not actually things you need Chrome for. For instance, Dropbox. I love Dropbox. I use it daily. It is my ace in the hole as I try to save everything I write, share files, and worry about losing information on my laptop.  Check out this post to learn about a few other fun tricks to enhance your internet author experience.

Steve's Sundry and BooksThis past week there was a kerfuffle on writer boards everywhere as we debated the fairness of contracts.  As I’m signing my contract this week for my third Passion in Print release, Goldi and the Bear, this debate caught my attention. Luckily Passion in Print has a fellow author at the helm and her contracts are more than fair to authors, but I might someday sign with someone else and need to pay attention to some of these topics. One of the sites that I love to visit to get the skinny on self-publishing, the pitfalls of standard publishing, and some all around good advice is the website of author Dean Wesley Smith. This week he has a fantastic blog on revision clauses. Something we authors really need to pay attention to. It is shocking to me that in this day and age when authors have more choices than ever about publishing the publishers themselves are making a land grab for authors rights. These aren’t just issues for paranormal romance authors, or even just romance authors in general. Every reader and consumer of books should be interested when these things occur.Dean says it is no longer the gold rush for self-publishing, but we’re still living in the wild west when publishers try to keep your rights for downright forever.

And when you’re done being shocked at the changes in contracts and the nerve of some publishers you can hop on over to CJ Lyons website, No Rules, Just Write! I regularly check out CJ’s posts, why? Because she has made straddling the line between self-publishing and traditional publishing look easy. CJ does both, and is a fabulous success. And her advice on writing and the business of writing is always spot on. This post is about the difference between Tactics and Strategy and made me think, am I scrambling around trying to apply new tactics to my marketing, or am I using long term thoughtful strategy? You’ll have to read the post and think about your own career to decide where you are. I personally think it is a balance. You need both, but CJ is right, many authors just focus on the short term, how many sales can I get now, rather than the long term, where do I want to be in five years. What do you do?

Now you have a good idea of where my head has been over the last few weeks. Grappling with the loss of Google Reader, stunned at the short term tactics of the big publishers, and focused on re-vamping my own strategies. Where has your head been this month? Are you thinking short or long term? Are you checking out those contracts? And have you used any of those ten suggestions from Author Media? Once again, if you have an RSS solution to my Google Reader problem then leave a comment and let me know. I also would love to hear what you think about these thought provoking posts.funny face

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Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, writing craft

Easy Tips to Make Your Blog Outstanding

Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft of writing

Today I’m swinging in Gloria Richard’s Hammock as she interviews me, and reveals my secrets! Another opportunity to win a free copy of Little Red Riding Wolf. Check it out HERE!

As a recent blogger I’m always hungry for more, more, more information on how to make my blog outstanding. I read books like Kristen Lamb‘s We Are Not Alone, the Writer’s Guide to Social Media. And I follow experts on blogs like Brinda Berry on Gloria Richard’s Blog (HERE), and try to implement new techniques.

But even I, the brand spanking newbie, have stumbled upon a few things that other newbies, like myself, can use to fix their blogs in an instant.

Today’s tip is one that I have real trouble with, but I’m making it my goal to fix.

 Post early in the day

Free Stock Images - Businessman Clock Hands TimeI admit, I could do better at this.  I post somewhere around 6am my time. But that’s too late.  Why? Because 6am my time is 8am EST, and those people have already checked their computers and headed off to work. They missed my blog.

I only noticed this after I started using RSS to keep track of my blogs. I’m not sure everyone is aware of RSS, but once I discovered RSS I found that it was the easiest way for me to keep track of all my friends blogs. It works for me because my email box is so stuffed with Tweets and Yahoo Loop digests that I was losing everyone’s post announcements.

I have found that the RSS organizer I like best is Google Reader. It’s on a separate tab on my browser. Nothing comes in an email. I click on Google Reader and all my blogs that I follow are listed, if a blog’s name is highlighted then they have a new post. That’s it. No email.

Am I perfect at posting early?

No! I’m sure you’ve all noticed. I sometimes mess up my scheduling. I think I’m posting at a 06:00 and it turns out to be 18:00. And really I should be scheduling at 1:00am, not 6:00am. Right? Right. But this is a process and like all processes it takes time

You can still get emails even if you subscribe by RSS. Just subscribe through one of the other services, like normal, and you’ll still receive their emails. But if you subscribe only through Google Reader or another RSS service, no emails. That works for me. What works for you?

Back to our topic, now that I don’t get an announcement in my email. I have to go check. Which I do, at around 7am. My time. Not yours.

This means that my friends (and you know who you are!) who post on say Monday’s, but post late, don’t get seen until Tuesday. Why?

Because I’ve already looked at my RSS feed page at 7am and you hadn’t posted yet, so it didn’t say you were posting. And I don’t get the email. So on Tuesday morning, I see that you’ve posted.

Now this is not a big deal, most of my peeps don’t care if I’m there on Tuesday or Wednesday, and they know I love them even if I’m not particularly faithful about dropping by every post. Too many buddies and too many good posts! But it does mean sometimes that I miss out on giveaways, because I’m a day late and the contest is closed.

Once again, my friends aren’t worried about me. But they should be worried about readers like me. If you are using a contest to draw people to your blog, then you want them to feel good about coming to your blog. Not late, because they didn’t get the invite on time. Many times I’ve shown up to the blog to find out that the contest is closed. Luckily it’s not a big deal for me, but what about your other readers?

This can be frustrating for your visitors. Frustrated visitors means less visits.

How can you fix this?

You can run your contests for more than a day. I like that because it means you can get those last minute people, or people who don’t always have the time to check out their favorite blogs and so show up the next day. Everyone feels good.

But even better: by using the scheduling feature on your blog you can post at say, 1am. And that way, early birds, you catch more worms.Stock Photography - Blue Bird w/worm

Easy. More viewers, more people entering your giveaways, more satisfied customers.

Another benefit to scheduling your blog is that you don’t have to be there to post. You can be in say, Costa Rica on the beach, and your blog still posts. Love that!

How do you follow blogs? Do you have a stuffed email box, would RSS feed work better for you? Would you remember to check it every day? How about scheduling your posts? I know this is very easy on WordPress, what about your blog? As a blog reader, how do you feel when you show up late to the party?

And expect another hot blogging tip next Moonday Mania!

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by | March 12, 2012 · 1:05 am