Which features do you like best about my blog?

Hello everyone,

Now and then I ask for your opinions and advice about this blog. Since it’s start-up last August I’ve introduced a number of features to the blog and/or website. Individually and collectively these take time to maintain so it helps me to know how well these features are being received.

With Kathy Temean’s help I’ve posted voting boxes similar to the ones you see at the end of each month when you vote for your favorite poets. But these boxes give you a chance to vote for your top three favorite feature on my site.

Here’s how it works. You see below the same box three times and you can vote three times. In the first box, vote for your number one favorite. In the second box, vote for your second choice. In the third box, vote for your thired choice. This way I’ll get a better sense of how each feature ranks among those of you who take the time to cast ballots.

I hope you will make free use of the comment sections to add your thoughts and suggestions. As I’ve said before, my goal was and is to bring you a blog that’s worth your time to visit and/or participate in. Your thoughts are important to me.

Thanks for your help. I’ll leave these boxes up for a week to give you plenty of time to consider your selections.
David

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Kathy Temean today

rubberman

Today it’s my pleasure to bring you Kathy Temean.

Kathy’s advice about blogging will help anyone who is in the “business” or ever wanted to be.

Read on!

I don’t offer any advice on writing here, today. Anyone who is interested in writing related tips, can visit my
writing and illustrating blog at http://www.kathytemean.wordpress.com

What I do offer is some advice on marketing yourself. You don’t have to be a published author, illustrator or a known personality to start building a reputation and begin connecting with people on the Internet. Just the fact you are here reading David’s blog, means you are someone who should consider joining the social media explosion.

If you write, illustrate, dabble in photography, have something to show off or just have something to say, then you should think about promoting yourself with a blog.
Two years ago, I would have said, why would you want to torture yourself with a blog? But now with Twitter, I have changed my mind. Twitter has changed everything. By spending only a few minutes a day on Twitter you can drive people to your blog, that would never have found
you before.

You might ask why I didn’t start off by directing you towards having a website? Well, I started with blogs, because they are free, easy to use and you don’t need a web designer to have one. If you don’t have something to sell or promote, then starting out with a blog is an easy way to get your name out there and a quick entry into Social Media.

Here are some things to consider:

1. Decide what you can blog about and how often you will blog. Don’t start blogging unless you are committed to blogging on a schedule.

2. Pick a topic. You may be good at knitting, skiing, rock climbing, raising children, training pets – the list goes on and on. Now decide who you see as your target audience – kids, parents, seniors, women, men, etc. What ever you do, just don’t make it about what you did during the day, because no one cares – unless you are a celebrity.

3. Once you have decided on how many times a week you want to blog, stick to it. The worst thing you can do is start blogging, build an audience and then lose them by dropping the ball.

4. Once you have decided on the what, the when, and the look, then you need to set up an RSS Feed and give your visitors the option to sign up for automatic e-mails.

5. Encourage visitors to respond to your posts by asking questions.

6. Always respond to a person when they leave you a comment.

7. Visit other blogs and leave comments. This will help build traffic.

8. Twitter three or four times a week about something on your blog. Since you can only use 140 characters, counting spaces, it should only take you a minute to do this.

9. The other three or four times a week when you are not tweeting, go to Twitter and re-tweet something you find from someone else. This will help get your name out there. Re-tweeting is only a matter of hitting a button.

10. Always use tags when you blog. Tags help search engines and feeds pick up your blog and distribute your posts around the Internet (You can find them on your blog’s dashboard).

Tip:  Remember to put a limit on your social media writing.  You still want your creative writing to be part of your plan.

Kathy, thank you for this and for everything else you do for me.

David

While we have everyone’s attention, I’m reprinting here some good advice to writers that Kathy recently added under comments. I think these tips are well worth sharing here. DH

David,

I love these mini lessons on how to approach a new poem or story – keep them coming.

Since I do not know how many people on this blog are published, I thought I should point out to the group, you do not have to apply for a formal copyright for the poems you write. As soon as you write something, it is automatically copyrighted.If you do spend the money to copyright your work, it will only hinder a publisher when they want to publish your writing. Most new writers don’t know that, so it is kind of a “newbie red flag” if they tell a publisher they have a copyright on their work. 

Will you run into poems or stories that sound similar to your writing?  Yes, but that probably will happen even if you never put your writing out for the public to read.

If you see something someone else has written that you think is good and would like to post on your blog, then send them a note letting them know and ask if you can post it.  If they are smart, they will say, “Yes.”

Marketing is a very important thing and getting your name out there and associated with good writing is a great marketing plan. 

Kathy

BULLETIN: Tomorrow I hope everyone will join us in a discussion of children’s poetry. The whole day is dedicated to the subject so share your thoughts and read what others have to say.

DH