Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Writing Prompts

If you're a writer, sometimes you feel that you can't go on.  You can't write.  You've run out of ideas, or the fact that you can't continue with the story because you don't where you're going.  I took a class once and the instructor said that he didn't believe in writer's block, that was no such thing.  You have a block because you are experiencing resistance.  Essentially, it's all in your head.  Thanks.  That helps a lot.  I'm already in my head to much.  So instead of thinking about it, the problem, don't.  I know it's easier said than done, but it's like being in yoga (not a big fan of it, but it's the best way I can explain) or if you're an actor think "Meisner".  Just sit there in be in the moment.  Deep breaths.  If it helps, focus on your breath.   

What helps too, is to try and write something else.  That's where writing prompts come in handy.  Here are few to distract yourself.

  1. Shh! Hear that?’ ‘I didn’t hear anything.’
  2. "Did you see the size of that weed?"
  3. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
  4. He'd have to find another way home.
  5. ‘I told him not to come back too!’
  6. His feet were already numb. He should have listened.

Here are some sites that have some links:
The One Minute Writer
Dragon Writing Prompts

Happy writing!

Monday, January 5, 2015

How to start a blog on Blogger

I have been harping to my younger sister for ages now that she needs to do something (like get a job).  She has a Tumblr account, but it's not doing much for her.  So when I called home for Christmas to check in, I gave her yet another one of my "big sister" speeches.  She is by all definitions a "Millenial" but not that motivated to use technology.  So I am making this for her.  She hates me right now for telling you all this, but it's all here for you, when you're ready PB.

Start building your Empire!

  1. Pick a blog name - one that you'll be able to live with when it goes viral.  I suggest blogger, because you can more bells and whistles to it.  It is also a part of the Google universe so you can do so much more with.  This will also be your new email address, so think of a "brand" name you want to create for yourself.  Also check that the domain is available.  Try these sites to see if your new name is being used NameChk, KnowEm, or Name Checklist

  2. Pick a basic template - again, we just need to get started.  So pick one of the Blogger options and settle in.  Once you've gotten a few blog posts under your belt, you can do a search on Etsy and find a blog template there for you.  Services range from the template, to others who will install it for you.  

  3. Set up Google Tools -  things like Analytics, Feedburner, Webmaster Tools, URL Shortener

  4. START WRITING.  Sure make your blog looks cute and all, but seriously, a million people are not reading it, so get over your bad self.  Make it good stuff, try your hardest, but know that you are still learning and some things will suck and it's OK.  It only gets better.
To think about:
  • Keep a blog roll of other people in your niche that you are following.
  • Use photos - your own are good, but borrow if you need to
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimization
  • Consider adding some Pages to the top of your blog.  About Me.  Contact. Resources
  • Add links to your social media links
Come back soon, I'll be posting some hints for my sister on how she can help promote her blog and connect with others.  My hope for her is she can learn from Cassie Ho's Blogilates empire.

Now get out there and start blogging.    Let me know what your blog is, I'd love to check it out!

Happy Writing!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Content Calendar

Content Calendar or Editorial Calendar is something else that people begin to think about around the beginning of the year, but you can really start it whenever you want.  It's really just a planning device that helps you plan out your content, so you don't have to feel overwhelmed and panicked.  Most calendars are just a spreadsheet, with the dates in rows and content in columns.  

Why do it?
You can plan your content around events that are important to your industry.
You can see where you'll need to find content to fill the gaps.
You will be ready and be able to publish on time.

What to include?
Start by listing all the holidays of the year.  This way if all else fails you can relate your content to a holiday.  You can also list events that are important to your industry.  For example, if you have a food blog, you can list the SuperBowl to plan out snacks, or the Oscars and find food related to that year's nominees.  

Frequency?
You should aim at posting at least once a week.  Which really means only 52 blog posts, that can be written ahead of time and you can schedule them once their written.  Technology is beautiful.  Once you decide how many times you'll post, be sure to keep consistent, so your readers will know when to look for your information.