Indie Authors: Should You Bow to Search Engine Demands?

IMG_0206My sincere apologies for this post coming out again, but my WordPress feed just stopped working, so promotion through Triberr and my blog just died. Some readers are accepting my RSS, others aren’t and I have no idea why. This post is being sent out again as I am desperately trying to fix the system myself. Feedburner appears to be working… Fingers crossed.

If it breaks again, ALL posts will cease until it is fixed and Support An Author Month will be moved from May to June. Please stick with me, I am working on it… despite the fact that I am supposed to be on holidays…

Hell hath no fury like technology.

Cate

 

There are many bloggers out there who still don’t know what SEO is. That is and isn’t a good thing. SEO is Search Engine Optimisation and for best practice, it is supposed to have a very large say in how you write book titles, web pages and blog posts. (There is an infographic explaining it at the base of this page.) A great idea? Yes, if kept in balance. There is one major worry with getting too carried away with it: you stop writing as yourself and allow yourself to be told what to do by a robot. Think about it…

Digital computations determine how easy it is for us to have our books found on Amazon, our Page posts read on Facebook, our web site or blog found on Google… They are awfully frustrating and if you want to claw your way to the top of the pile, you have to work – hard! You must sprinkle your keywords through your post, use meta tags on web pages, sprinkle matching keywords through your web pages, tweet, status update, Like, Plus 1, retweet, share and comment until your fingers fall off and your brain goes numb.

I did this asiduously throughout 2013 and got to the end of September and simply burnt out! I wasn’t tired of blogging, writing and people. It was those robotic demands that did me in. So I spent far less time on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. After reading a massive, endless stream of SEO and social media how-to posts, I came to the conclusion that as writers, we are possibly far better off writing in the attic, away from the computer and all this “wonderfully good advice.” Any available time I had in my week, was spent assuaging the gods of rank. So I quit! I’ve noticed that since I began to pull back in September, my visit stats and book sales didn’t drop much. They are growing.

1238999_450639671718505_835016741_nSo here is how I am now surviving online. I hope it inspires you and if you have further suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

  1. I will automate as many blog posts and shares as I can, so I can take time to see the sunshine and not be spending hours manually on social media. “I’m sorry Hal, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
  2. I will not read any more SEO and social media how-to posts or books: instead I will be myself and stay tapped into my innate creativity identity.
  3. I will not get trapped in worrying about my statistics. If I get 2 Likes on a post and someone was inspired: I aced it! That is my main goal: encourage, equip, empower. Not rack up fat numbers.
  4. I will write the blog posts which are close to my heart, regardless of what posts pull in the greatest number of readers.
  5. I will market my books with titles that make sense to the content of the book and are not used elsewhere. I will not calculate words on what sells.

In business, if something does not pull in sales, you stop doing it. Yet online, many of us tend to jump feet first into the latest and greatest next thing, perhaps in the hope it will propel us to stardom? That doesn’t work. It simply chews away more of our time and sanity.

It is all about sanity. If I have to mutiny against binary calculations, the numbers game and everyone’s marvellous advice, then I will. Join me… your creative soul is worth more than this.


If you want to know more about SEO, check this infographic from nerdyface.com

SEO_IG


REBLOGS WELCOMED

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This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2013 and adapted in 2014. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

#Search Engine Optimisation for #Indie Authors: How Far Should You Go?

There are many bloggers out there who still don’t know what SEO is. That is and isn’t a good thing. SEO is Search Engine Optimisation and for best practice, it is supposed to have a very large say in how you write book titles, web pages and blog posts. (There is an infographic explaining it at the base of this page.) A great idea? Yes, if kept in balance. There is one major worry with getting too carried away with it: you stop writing as yourself and allow yourself to be told what to do by a robot. Think about it…

Digital computations determine how easy it is for us to have our books found on Amazon, our Page posts read on Facebook, our web site or blog found on Google… They are awfully frustrating and if you want to claw your way to the top of the pile, you have to work – hard! You must sprinkle your keywords through your post, use meta tags on web pages, sprinkle matching keywords through your web pages, tweet, status update, Like, Plus 1, retweet, share and comment until your fingers fall off and your brain goes numb.

I did this asiduously throughout 2013 and got to the end of September and simply burnt out! I wasn’t tired of blogging, writing and people. It was those robotic demands that did me in. So I spent far less time on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. After reading a massive, endless stream of SEO and social media how-to posts, I came to the conclusion that as writers, we are possibly far better off writing in the attic, away from the computer and all this “wonderfully good advice.” Any available time I had in my week, was spent assuaging the gods of rank. So I quit! I’ve noticed that since I began to pull back in September, my visit stats and book sales didn’t drop much. They are growing.

1238999_450639671718505_835016741_nSo here is how I am now surviving online. I hope it inspires you and if you have further suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

  1. I will automate as many blog posts and shares as I can, so I can take time to see the sunshine and not be spending hours manually on social media. “I’m sorry Hal, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
  2. I will not read any more SEO and social media how-to posts or books: instead I will be myself and stay tapped into my innate creativity identity.
  3. I will not get trapped in worrying about my statistics. If I get 2 Likes on a post and someone was inspired: I aced it! That is my main goal: encourage, equip, empower. Not rack up fat numbers.
  4. I will write the blog posts which are close to my heart, regardless of what posts pull in the greatest number of readers.
  5. I will market my books with titles that make sense to the content of the book and are not used elsewhere. I will not calculate words on what sells.

In business, if something does not pull in sales, you stop doing it. Yet online, many of us tend to jump feet first into the latest and greatest next thing, perhaps in the hope it will propel us to stardom? That doesn’t work. It simply chews away more of our time and sanity.

It is all about sanity. If I have to mutiny against binary calculations, the numbers game and everyone’s marvellous advice, then I will. Join me… your creative soul is worth more than this.


If you want to know more about SEO, check this infographic from nerdyface.com

SEO_IG


REBLOGS WELCOMED

IMG_0204Note from Cate: this post was published last year under a different title, but there was a technical glitch and it never got proper promotion. As it received great comments from those who did read it, I have updated, improved and published it again.

This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2013 and adapted in 2014. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

TRUTH BOMB: Sometimes (okay, lots of times) I Want To Quit

Cate Russell-Cole:

We have all been there… thanks Myndi for giving us reasons NOT to quit.

(Yes, I know I am on holidays, but this was too good not to log in and share!)

Originally posted on Myndi Shafer:

quitterLately I’ve been asking myself this question:

What would happen if I were to quit writing?

I think every writer gets to this point eventually (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). The new shiny has worn off. The over-the-moon-I’m-so-in-love-with-what-I’m-doing feeling goes away. Inspiration dries up to nothing more than a brittle bag of bones that if you shake together real hard might amount to a paragraph or two. And we’re not talking Hemingwayesqe brilliance that makes up for the scant word-count. We’re talking shaky drivel that makes I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGR look like soul-stealing genius.  

And so I ask myself, what would happen if I were to quit?

Life would immediately become simpler. I wouldn’t have to structure my days so intensely. Family time wouldn’t feel so urgent because writing wouldn’t be putting any demands on our schedule. I could cook and clean and play when I want…

View original 523 more words

#Romance University for Writers: A Gold Class #Writing Site

Printhttp://romanceuniversity.org

Purpose: Dedicated to helping writers establish and advance their careers, introducing readers to a variety of authors, and delving into the ever-inscrutable male mind.

Monday: Crafting Your Career
Most writers begin writing because they love the process–using just the right word, crafting the perfect sentence, giving life to imaginary people. However satisfying the writing process, many writers begin to want more. The want people to read about and love those imaginary folks. Okay–they want people to pay to read about those imaginary folks. Join us each Monday at RU where we’ll discuss the business of writing or career topic. Visiting Professors (guest bloggers) often stop by the school to offer advice.

Wednesday: Anatomy of the Mind
This is the day we explore every facet of writing, reading, and men.

Friday: Chaos Theory of Writing
On Fridays, RU Faculty along with industry professionals and established authors will focus on the elements of manuscript writing. Tips to help you hone your craft and write a damn fine book. After all, it will be your writing that will catch (and retain) the interest of a lucky agent or editor.We’ll tap into our own experiences, share what’s working and what isn’t as we chase our dreams of becoming published authors. We’ll also discuss advice from our favorite writing reference books and websites. So join us each Friday to experience the chaos of writing.”

Gold class sites

Sanity Saving Blogging Resources

Be UniqueLife flies by at an insane pace… I constantly miss or have to dash past blog posts I want to and need to read. In case you missed it, here are the resources I shared during Blog Taming Month in February. A few extras are thrown in, just because I can… Happy scribing and remember, forget the musts, the have-tos and the myriad of experts. Your best success comes by being yourself!

Micro-Blogging: An Idea to Experiment With

Blogging Survival: Get Ahead by Scheduling

Services Which Make Your Blog Easy to Follow

Surviving BIG Blogging Mistakes

Blog Sidebars: Easy Ways to Add Whatever You Want

Are Your Blogging Goals Slipping? Help to Get Focussed Using Planners and Organisers

Building Community Spirit in the Blogosphere

Is Your Blog Trapping You or Helping You Fly?

Savvy Blogging Cover Image 2If you want even more… and why wouldn’t you? All blog maintenance and promotion posts here on CommuniCATE can be accessed by this category link. Or you can save yourself the trouble and download the free .pdf ebook, which saves you scrolling and reading through all those posts online. This is the download link. It is safe, with no strings attached and comes from my web site.

Chapters Include:

  • Blog Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight
  • Get Yourself A Second Brain
  • Slack, Fake and Egocentric Followers: How to Pick Them!
  • Blog Post Promotion on Social Media: Instantly Hooking Reader Attention
  • Sometimes, It Just Goes Wrong: When to Ditch!
  • The Best Kept Editing Secret
  • 10% On Top: Being a More Efficient Writer
  • Professional, Effective Author Sites: The Problems With Using Blogs
  • Cleaning the Cobwebs Out of Blogs: Reader Engagement and Content Value
  • Guest Posting as Advertising: How To Be Professional and Be Asked Back
  • Your Individuality is Your Greatest Asset: Writing and Marketing as You
  • Faulty-Tasking
  • The Road to Success is Paved by Free-Sharing

Have fun!


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

How NOT to look like a total loser on #Twitter: Social Media Professionalism

2014-02-24_08-58-36There are services out there which are incredibly useful to have, particularly if you like proper stats on where you’re at. However, openly advertising that you use these services can make you look like a woeful failure if you don’t have a massive following. For example:

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That was one of the more cheery ones I saw this morning. 224 people walking away is a lot! I would be worrying if these were my stats.

I see numerous notices like this go through my stream every day. They are auto-generated. All services spit out these ads. If I use one, I go into Twitter fast and delete them. Plus, if I pay to subscribe to a service, I will remove all automatic options to have these services air my private laundry at their will.

I would never advocate not using these sites to clean up your following. They also removed dormant accounts and have many benefits. They are too good to ignore. Benefits include:

  • Finding inactive users and your unfollowers.
  • Finding relevant users to follow.
  • Keeping track of how your social media updates affect your follower/unfollower stats.
  • Checking the relationship between any accounts and doing a whole lot more (for a price on services this good).

I would recommend you never auto-follow anyone using them though: not only do automatic DMs mean I know you are insincere and have never seen me; you also follow every spammer out there, thinking you’ve got great stats when you’ve only got snake oil merchants and porn…

So be aware of who advertises what in your Twitter stream and how it makes you look. You won’t be sorry you did.

P.S. May I present to you the other side of the argument? Note that when you have many followers, this isn’t an issue but if you have a small number, the above still applies.

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This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

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Do You Write by Heart or Head? Technique Overload

Complexities that put me off my game.

Complexities that put me off my game.

When does studying the craft of writing stop you or inhibit your work? That is a question which some of us need to ask. Writing has become more than a plotter or pantser issue, it can come down to science vs your instincts as a bard.

I like to know I am doing things the right way. However, in branching back out into fiction, I am finding the more I read about what to include, the more nervous I am becoming with my writing. I look at images on Pinterest, like the one on the right, feeling bemused, hemmed in, inadequate and I am stunned into inaction by a fear of failure. What if the “right” way is not my way? Jane Austen wrote without all this!

Since I originally studied writing, main characters have become protagonists and there are also antagonists, contagonists, deuteragonists… what? Deuteragonists are the main secondary characters. Why can’t we just say that! How many aspiring authors are being scared away? I often get the feeling you I am being told to be perfect and write a specific way, rather than being allowed to just write down that story I need to tell.

There are things I need at the beginning: plot arcs, descriptions, body language, emotional reactions which are realistic, archetypes as a guideline and character profiles (such as the Enneagram); however, I need to begin to ignore many technical articles or stash them for later in the writing process.

Things that freak me out when I am writing a new story for the first time:

  • Dos and Don’ts for the Last 10,000 words of your story.
  • What you should write and when : hook, plot point, response, mid point, attack, plot point, climax, resolution… complete nervous breakdown?
  • Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 5 (What if I don’t fit neatly into all that? Did I fail?)
  • 200,000,000 ways to say that, went, and or whatever, which makes me feel like I need to watch every word as it comes out.
  • Revealing secrets, pivotal information etc. for maximum impact on a very detailed, precise manner. (What if I don’t fit neatly into all that? I really stink at this, don’t I!)
  • The First Five Pages. A writer’s guide to staying out of the rejection pile. (That has to come with editing, you can’t get that right, straight off the bat!)
  • The most annoying type of story conflict / the most hated antagonist readers will throw the book down after reading etc.

You get the picture.

My answer: learn slowly as you go; be open to new ideas but don’t let them mash you into a one-size-fits-all, formatted cliché like a Hollywood blockbuster movie… You need to get that story down before you can start working on perfecting it.


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

#Blogging and Realistic Goals: Don’t Be Crushed by the Pressure

ROW80LogocopyIn 2012 I discovered A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80). One thing we all have in common with our writing is life sure does get in the way! It’s unavoidable and you just have to go with it. Even taking a day off to have fun can be necessary in our creative lives. The trick is, to do it without the guilt… and in people’s update posts, I frequently read an awful lot of guilt!

ROW80 shares the same blogging philosophy I have. “We are all different and we all have different demands on our time. Why should we all have the same goal? The simple answer is that we shouldn’t. If you want to be a writer, then you have to be able to roll with the punches and adapt to your changing circumstances. If that means changing your goals when your life blows up, so be it. ROW80 is the challenge that champions the marriage of writing and real life.” (The next round starts in early April.)

I like the emphasis on the goals being achievable. That is the secret ingredient to any goal. There must be flexibility and a sense of reality. However, despite how Kait Nolan has emphasized the easy-going nature of the challenge, I keep seeing writers listing masses of goals: far more than 80 days worth! NaNoWriMo is another example that concerns me in as far as mental and creative health are concerned. The word count allows for no days off for an entire month and a very high output. It’s too short and writers stress, particularly when they hit plot problems and again, real life gets in the way. Why we are so insistent on deliberately placing ourselves under high-achievement related stress?

sunriseThe happiest bloggers seem to be the ones who have three goals at the most. These goals aren’t back-breaking and they have a balanced attitude which accepts that some days they may fail; some days they may come close; some days they will achieve above and beyond and that is all good. The strategy which brings a cheer from me, is seeing writers list the rewards they will give themselves on achieving their goals. A small treat, some ‘me’ time, a fun activity which refreshes and pulls them away from their desk. It’s a great idea. I love it!

Reaching your goals and dreams by making small changes, seems to work the best for most people. Trying to revolutionize our entire lives in one effort leaves us tired and discouraged. Small changes are the ones that stick. They are less likely to fizzle into failures and regrets.

Go easy and be kind to yourself!

Work, family, finances, holidays, sickness and the occasional crisis will always be there to keep you away from putting words on paper. Your success as a writer depends as much on how you deal with that, as it does on how much output you have. As a writer there is a massive laundry list of demands you are supposed to meet to succeed, plus I know how easy it is to get enthusiastically carried away with everything you want to achieve. However, please do take the time to step back, reassess your direction and see if you need to cut back on your goals to maximize your creative energy. It is not a sign of failure to do that, it’s a sign of wisdom.


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All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. 

Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

The sunrise is a purchased istockphoto.com image licensed to me. You are not legally able to re-use it in any manner, neither may you adapt it without risking litigation from the source.

Controlling How Much of YOU Appears in Your Fiction

SlidingthroughyourfingersAs you write, you write out of your own experiences, no matter what the genre. It is a cliché but parts of you are always going to bleed through your keyboard to the reader. Your life is teaching you plot, characterization, behaviour traits and all the essentials needed to build a fully-formed, believable work of fiction… and that is good. However, you may not want your novel to be a kiss and tell where your subconscious has dobbed you in, through character personality traits, conflicts and experiences.

Consciousness is the key to control. If you have journaled about your feelings and experiences in life, you will discover themes and events which will enable you to identify what is too much you. Plus you’re building a resource you can use to craft a better story. It could be likened to a mini self-service and/or character psychology course. It’s a lot cheaper than taking your novel to a therapist!

The act of physically writing out something which has happened helps to clarify events, giving you a new perspective on how and why things happened as they did. It’s a great plot formation tool that will both inspire your fiction… and keep you off the page! You are creating your own privacy control options, enabling you to effectively edit out the parts that are too close to the way you think or act.

However, don’t become paranoid about self-revelation:

“Let some of you come through. You’re obviously not writing a memoir here, but this book is still partly about you: the world you see, the way you think, the experiences you have with people. And trust me, readers are interested in who you are. So don’t be afraid to let bits and pieces of your personality and even life details seep into the text. It will breathe a lot of life into the book.” David Shenk

May I challenge you to get a journal and start to write about your life, your feelings and how you see the world. Look at how much may have slid through into your fictional work… and what comes out that you didn’t expect. It is a journey that will reward you in many ways.

For helpful information on journalling, go to Journal Chat with Dawn Herring, or Write for Life with Nathan Ohren.


REBLOGS WELCOMED

This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2014. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. 

Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

Think Outside Your Niche: Awesome Plot and Character Ideas

2013-12-02_15-04-37In addition to gaining more markets and outlets for our writing, exploring the sites of other genres can also turn up gold dust. Last year Damian Trasler wrote me an excellent post on the success he has had with switching to screenwriting. It inspired me to think outside of the confines I have placed myself in as a writer. There is more out there I can do, I simply need an open mind. 

When I was planning my blog posts for this year, I came across “The Script Lab” web site, and thanks to Damian, I stopped and had a good look around. It is exceptionally useful to all kinds of writers. I am encouraging you to go plunder it for your own needs.

hairymnstr_Coffee_Mug_1Some of their content includes:

  • Character and scene questionnaires to help you build backstory, develop personality traits etc.
  • Naming characters effectively to convey their role or personality.
  • Key moments and plot points in story structure (there are quite a few of these and they are great.)
  • Comparing movie plot breakdowns, which every writer can use.
  • Don’t miss their articles on the Triangle, the 100% Rule and the Three C’s!
  • Rules on Writing Heroes
  • Scene Types… and masses more!

Go raid it! http://thescriptlab.com/screenwriting-101/screenwriting

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheScriptLab

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheScriptLab

Their writing inspiration board on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thescriptlab/writing-inspiration/

REBLOGS WELCOMED

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This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Images in this post belong to The Script Lab and Open Clipart.com

Micro-Blogging: An Idea to Experiment With

In the 1930s, broadcast radio introduced an entirely new form of storytelling; today, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter are changing the scene again. Andrew Fitzgerald takes a look at the (aptly) short but fascinating history of new forms of creative experimentation in fiction and storytelling.

By the way, I’ve been struggling through a lengthy migraine. I am taking some recovery time off, so comments are switched off for this post. I’ll be back in a few days. Cheers everyone!


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Surviving BIG Blogging Mistakes

2014-02-14_09-23-58Sometimes we goof. We put up dead links, make spellling misteaks, or publicly make ourselves look as credible as Jar Jar Binks. “Yoosa should follow me now, okeeday?” *shudder* If you have made a grand faux pas, how do you recover?

That is the problem I have been pondering for the last week, as after placing too many promotional posts together, I have consistently lost 60% of my blog traffic. Damn! I wrote a reactive post, then thankfully had the sense to delete it. I realised that those who had walked away, would not be here to read my “ooops, my bad, I will ease up” rant. Instead, I have modified the posts to something much softer… but my ego hurts!

Recovery from a blooper will not come by force. The answer isn’t in storming out red-faced either. You have to “get back on the horse, unless you have to go to the hospital.” I am going to continue on as usual. The best blog posts are still pulling in “normal traffic,” so there is hope in that. Maybe my lost readers will forgive me? First, I have to forgive myself for being so dense! No matter how stats orientated we become, it is not the end of the world.

Maybe there are other reasons for a traffic drop I have not considered?

Maybe it’s not solely MY fault?

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Sally Jean, taken from Kristen's blog. Is there a chiropractor in the house?

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Sally Jean. Is there a chiropractor in the house?

If you are a sensitive, shy soul, as many of us writers are, when things go wrong, the first person we blame is ourselves. Life is a trial and error process. Creativity has hurdles we jump and get bruised on… and hurdles where we jump, then thrive off the elation of success. Growth comes from knowing there will be dark with the light and accepting that. Berating yourself won’t fix anything, you will just feel worse. Chalk it up as what doesn’t work and stay on that horse!

It comes down to patience, having the guts to try again and not just being greedy for success.

Speaking of success, Kristen Lamb’s blog has the most heartening post on author earnings and what will make you successful. It’s a must-read. In short, it takes patience, professionalism, quality online interaction and a backlist of work to set up a base on – and it occurs over multiple years, not fast. Remember: patience, patience, patience! When we are too eager to become an overnight success, we also become too eager to label ourselves as an instant failure.

Stay faithful to your dreams.

Those of you who are in it for the long haul, are the ones who will succeed.


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This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Image is from my Bitstrips account.

Are Your Blogging Goals Slipping? Help to Get Focussed

BlogTamingMonthCommuniCATE2My blog goals for this year were simple: keep at it, alter content a little, stay organised. That last one is pure hell at times. Life gets in the way, I lose track of where I am up to… then the quality of the blog suffers and I lose readers. So what to do?

The simple answer is be realistic and get organised. I know I cannot keep up with blogging more than three times a week, so I stick to that unless a brilliant reblog is on hand. As for organised, Pinterest has become a great source of inspiration.

There are generous-hearted artists and bloggers out there who have put together 2014 organisers which help other bloggers: and have made them available free. There are many varieties and styles. Choose which best suits you and good luck.

The task lists are the ones I need!

P.S. Links are placed next to the post in case you print this post out.

-2014 Calendar 1Vintage Zest Planner and Free Blog Calendar. This is featured in the image above. http://www.vintagezest.com/2013/12/2014-planner-free-blog-calendar.html?m=1

Blog Maintenance Chart from the SITSGirls: http://www.thesitsgirls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Blog-Maintenance.pdf also make sure you read “10 Things to Let Go of on Your Blog in 2014:” it will relieve your anxiety! http://www.thesitsgirls.com/inspiration/10-things-let-go-2014/

“Home Made by Caroma” has great printable sheets, with year at a glance calendars, Ideas, Progress and Completed columns and great advice. http://homemadebycarmona.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/blog-post-organization.html

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Scraps of My Geek Life has a great Editorial Calendar. I like the colours, it makes it easier to see where you’re at. http://scrapsofmygeeklife.com/business-2/2014-editorial-calendar-template-free-download/

Living Lucurto has a free printable blog calendar which is very well planned. If you like soft blue with no fussy graphics, this is for you. http://www.livinglocurto.com/2010/03/free-printable-weekly-blog-calendar/

The Shabby Nest blog has great ideas and links to planners you can access free. http://shabbynest.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/blog-notebook-organizing-my-bloggy.html

Portland Bloggers win the prize for the best, but it will cost you a small amount to download via Paypal. They were overrun, and had to go to a different server. If nothing else, it shows what you need to put in a planner.

http://pdxbloggers.com/2013/01/freeprintableblogplanner/ 

The free printables in the blog planning package include:

  • Monthly Blog Post Planning Calendar— Each sheet has an open month calendar so that you can put the month and dates in. Each day on the calendar has popular social networking symbols with check boxes so that you can check off when you’ve promoted a post.
  • blogplannerlayoutWeekly Blog Post Planning Calendar— Some people prefer to plan out their blog posts in more detail and on a weekly basis. The weekly calendar also has social networking symbols. It also has an area for weekly blog maintenance and SEO planning prompts.
  • Events and Holidays— A list of events and holidays. This is not a comprehensive list by any means…
  • Blog Post Brainstorming Worksheet— A blog post planning sheet
  • Blog Collaboration Worksheet— A place to track collaborative projects and responsibilities.
  • Blog Resolutions Tracker— A place to write and track blog goals and resolutions
  • Finance Tracker— A place to record income and expenses
  • Affiliate Programs— A place to track affiliate programs
  • Sponsors— A place to track sponsors, payment, and responsibilities.
  • Stats & Analytics— A place to record your stats and analytics monthly

This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

And on the Nth Day, God Created a Writer

guest series logoWriting has never been hard for me. I loved English when in school and took every English elective there was available. Even Greek Mythology. I know, I’m probably not making many friends by making this statement. There are those out there who work very hard every day to learn how to write.

I applaud you and wish you tonnes of good luck.

God gave me the gift of writing. He probably looked down on me after He created me and said, “what the heck is she going to do with her life?”

Because He didn’t think I’d have a clue what to do, and He was right, He gave me the gift of writing. I thank Him every day.

  • I’m not physically fit.
  • I am not a mathematical genius.
  • I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler and a pencil.
  • I got a D in Home Economics.
  • Sports or games of any sort evade me.
  • I even got a degree in Computer Science and instead of programming I became a Technical Writer.

How about that?

2014-01-25_13-59-47I love to write. I love how to make words fit together to create sentences and then paragraphs and then stories. I adore creating stores. So much so, that I published nine novels and novellas.

I could have written more, however I ended up with a silly disease. It wrecked my ability to create novels. I have four 4-inch binders full of story ideas. Maybe I should donate them to a writer I know who will use them. But, then, maybe they won’t see the same idea for a story that I did.

What is the disease, you ask?

**Bipolar Disorder. Not only that, but medication resistant Depression. Along with Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks, OCD, and PTSD, and XYZ. I threw in the last one just to fool you. There’s no disease titled, “XYZ,” but if there was, I’m sure I’d get it. (Links for more information and help with the disease are below.)

I give back to the world the only way I know how. To help other aspiring writers become authors. Great writers. I give so they can become more than they ever thought possible. I coach writers. I enjoy coaching writers for the fun of it. Although, getting paid is fun too!

I love to see them improve their writing skills and learn to write faster, and better, and stronger. I absolutely go into giggle spasms when a writing client taps into their own creativity and realizes they have what it takes to make it as a writer.

When I watch a timid, insecure writer become strong and confident, it makes me proud. I was a part of that change. I helped make it happen. And my awkward little caterpillar flies off into the world to become a beautiful writer.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? The circle of life. God created me, a writer. I help create authors from writers who never knew they had the ability inside them. And the circle continues.

I love writing. I hope you do as well.


2014-01-25_14-00-16Vicki M. Taylor is a writing coach for Your Writing Coach, at http://vmt-yourwritingcoach.blogspot.com

She is also an author and workshop presenter. She’s been writing for twenty-five years professionally, and for nearly fifty years as an amateur. She thanks God for her gift, and her grandmother for helping her discover it. She lives in Florida with her husband and pets: a dog and a parrot.

Follow Vicki on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google Plus

**For information on bipolar disorder, please go to: SANE Australia or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Your Writing Coach
This post is Copyright Vicki M Taylor 2014. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Vicki’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using his work if it is for a commercial venture. 

Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Vicki M Taylor is the attributed Author.

…The Traditional Publishing Empire…my part in its downfall… by Seumas Gallacher

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… over the past few years, the Richter-scale rattling of Ye Olde Traditionalist Publishing Empire has resulted from the confluence of several internet-related elements… the former, well-worn, convoluted trail from manuscript to bookstore shelves would have sat comfortably alongside the labours of Samson… each step of the authors’ obstacle course steeped in its own contrived ‘the-way-we-do-it-here’ rules… yer query letters to agents, each with distinctly unique submission regulations (even the WURD ‘submission’ has serf-like undertones)… and , if ye’re lucky, yeez get an answer within six months… let’s presume the Great God Agency smiles benevolently on yeez… yer manuscript crawls to the top of slush-pile number one, and the Agency undertakes to peddle yer wares…

next stage, the interminable round of the Princely Publishing Priories… enter slush-pile number two…notional Everests of offerings from gazillions of other quill-scrapers sit on purchasing executives’ desks… yeez win this bit of the Literary Lottery, and ye’re now a ‘house author’… done? …not on yer life… now the slalom of sub-editor, editor, proof reader, illustrator, cover page artist, marketing planners… in between, just to keep yeez from losing total interest in breathing, p’raps endless demands for re-writes… oh, what joy! (not)… comes now the Amazon Kindle Miracle… one of those wondrous ‘that’ll-never-catch-on’ fads, they said… panders only to the vanity-print brigade, they said… watch it crash and burn in a coupla months, they said… people will never switch from having a book in their hands they can touch, they said…

profileand d’yeez know what?… I was one of those stuck-in-the-mud ‘they said-ers’…this ol’ Jurassic swore never to be lulled/conned/hoodwinked into using one of those new-fangled Kindle thing-ys… fast forward to the present, and it’s all change… so what happened?… the Kindle and its cousin lookalikes came on the scene at the same time as the SOSYAL NETWURKIN, is what happened… enter Master Gallacher, stage right… the traditionalists’ staunchest supporter… now meta-morphed into a sexagenarian poster boy for the ePublishing universe…

there’s NUTHIN better than a real live example to show the doubters what yer talking about… show them me… I’m gonna claim my place in posterity for my part in the downfall of traditional publishing… I don’t want to give away too many spoilers just in case Martin Scorcese and Hollywood eventually look to do the blockbuster movie about it… but, as they say in the best court cases… the facts are straightforward enuff… the evidence is plain for all to see…

I escaped from the career-currently-considered-worse-than-serial-murderingbanking… about five years ago… and started to write the first wee crime thriller masterpiece, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY… like all budding Lee Child-es, or that wee Rowlings lassie, I promptly sent it off to forty literary agents in London… and in perfect balance received back precisely forty rejection slips… then sumb’dy whispered the WURD, Kindle, in my ear… I knew not of what they spoke… so it was explained in monosyllables… and on to the eBook merry-go-round went the novel… at the same time, I read about another newbie self-publishing author, Rachel Abbott, who achieved 100,000 downloads with her maiden book, ONLY THE INNOCENT… she espoused taking a total business approach to the whole ten yards of writing… acknowledging that writing the stuff was merely the beginning of the enterprise… in any business yeez would expect to have a business plan, a budget, timeline targets, market and pricing strategies, and so on… now it was making sense to this refugee from the financial industry… and I dived in feet first…

the realization that the SOSYAL NETWURKIN provided the multiple access to markets was the first essential epiphany… thus began the decision-making phase about which of the many channels to WURK with… yeez can’t do all of them… so for me it was Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn… today and every day, I allocate budgeted time for each of these… developing, nurturing, and enjoying the relationships evolving constantly on there… and, most importantly, sumb’dy else outlined to me about eighteen months ago what a BLOG was… so I have one of those in the quiver, too, and lo and behold was voted Blogger of the Year last December… must be doing something right, but darned if I know what it is…

over these fabulous few years of growing from a bewildered new self-publisher, with NUTHIN in sales, I’ve grown into a bewildered not-so-new self-publisher, but the first novel, and its successor, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK have already done 70,000+ copies… a month ago, I stuck SAVAGE PAYBACK, the third title in what’s now the Jack Calder series, onto Mama Kindle, and so far, reports are doing very nicely, thank you, nurse… the bonus throughout all of this Magical Mystery Online Tour has been the discovery of the vast, generous, global, scribblers family… my direct connections during the BUILDING THE PLATFORM of links has grown from 200 to almost 14,000, many, many of whom are in regular communication… reciprocation is a key WURD for me in that regard… try to give back as much as possible, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… ReTweet for others… share their Facebook success stories… download some books from newcomers… and post reviews for them… honest reviews, coz any other kind are not helpful… and most of all… enjoy, enjoy, enjoy…

so, there yeez have it… when the Nobel Prizes for The Indie Mouse That Roared are being handed out in years to come, bear a thought for the part played in the early downfall of The Traditional Publishing Empire by a delusional old Scots scrivener locked away in his virtual candle-lit garret in Abu Dhabi… let them speak well of me…LUV YEEZ

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Seumas Gallacher was born in Clydeside, Govan in Glasgow and spent his formative teens in the idyllic Scottish Hebridean island of Mull. His career as a banker took him from Scotland to London for ten years and thence on a further twenty-five year global odyssey through Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in Asia. Along the way he metamorphed into a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver. He came to the United Arab Emirates for a month in 2004 and has remained in Abu Dhabi ever since.

A late discoverer of the joys of writing, his first two novels, The Violin Man’s Legacy and Vengeance Wears Black have sold more than 70,000 copies. The third in the Jack Calder series, Savage Payback was launched in late 2013.

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Seumas has become a strong proponent of the use of the social networking channels to reach and engage with a global readership market in the new age of self-publishing and eBooks. Seumas is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on how to develop productive online relationships. He was voted Blogger of the Year 2013.

Blog: http://seumasgallacher.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/seumasgallacher

AMAZON LINKS for SAVAGE PAYBACK
UK   http://amzn.to/1gTgJh0
US   http://amzn.to/16hKHci
Australia   http://www.amazon.com.au/SAVAGE-PAYBACK-Seumas-Gallacher-ebook/dp/B00G00GZEO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386418677&sr=1-2&keywords=seumas+gallacher

AMAZON LINKS for VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK
US   http://amzn.to/W59BB3
UK   http://amzn.to/13yV1YX
Australia   http://www.amazon.com.au/VENGEANCE-WEARS-BLACK-seumas-gallacher-ebook/dp/B008H45KJC/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386418742&sr=1-3&keywords=seumas+gallacher

AMAZON LINKS for THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY
UK   http://amzn.to/10wo0ha
US   http://amzn.to/10wnMXB
Australia  http://www.amazon.com.au/Violin-Mans-Legacy-seumas-gallacher-ebook/dp/B005D7JNCQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386418677&sr=1-1&keywords=seumas+gallacher


This article / blog post is Copyright Seumas Gallacher 2014. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Seumas’ prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using his work if it is for a commercial venture. 

Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Seumas Gallacher is the attributed Author.