Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2019

BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 31 July 2019 – GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY – CREATING AN ACTIVE AND SUCCESSFUL BLOG – KRISTENA MEARS – GIVEAWAY WINNER

BLOGWORDS – GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY – CREATING AN ACTIVE AND SUCCESSFUL BLOG – KRISTENA MEARS – GIVEAWAY WINNER

“Maybe you have to know the darkness to truly appreciate the light.”Madeleine L’Engle

 

“God whispers to our hearts and our hearts whisper back in stories.” – Karen Ball

 

 

WINNER! WINNER!

 

Congratulations to

LES M.

Kristena will be in touch with you to send your gift!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995.  She lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years.  Her characters face many of these same demons. They encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?”

For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, Mason’s stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. “I know, I write from experience.”

 

Ms. Mason is a Christian and writes from a Christian world view, but some of her characters are not believers and therefore do not abide by the Bible and the guidelines for life that we take for granted. Her books contain some mild swear language in a few places—and demonstrate the difference when the grace of God prevails.

 

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Author.Robin.E.Mason/

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://www.instagram.com/robinemason212/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-e-mason-a323b142/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

GIVEAWAY

Robin is offering an e-copy of one of her books, winner’s choice.

 

“There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky. And you ask, What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” —Erin Hanson

 

 

#Blogwords, Guest Post and Giveaway, Creating an Active and Successful Blog, Giveaway Winner, #WINNER

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 30 July 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – REFUGE AT PINE LAKE by ROSE CHANDLER JOHNSON

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – REFUGE AT PINE LAKE by ROSE CHANDLER JOHNSON

Review tour with Singing Librarian Books Tours.

 

THE BLURB

Robin Lancaster, a twenty-six-year-old former kindergarten teacher, has her summer and her life all figured out. She’s ready to be on her own, writing and illustrating her children’s stories at her family’s beloved lake house. Once there, she intends to rekindle a romance with Caleb Jackson, the area’s top hunting and fishing guide, and bag him for herself. Complications arise from the start when Robin finds out her mother has rented the lake house to a man they know nothing about.

Matthew McLaughlin, forty-year-old widowed university professor and author from California, shows up at Pine Lake in crisis. A sabbatical might be his only hope to save much more than his career. He needs a place of refuge. Sharing the lake house with a lighthearted young woman and her dog is the last thing on his mind.

Caleb Jackson has his own plans. He’s used to things going his way, but a man staying in Robin’s house presents unforeseen challenges. When paths unavoidably entangle for these three, hearts are on the line.

 

THE AUTHOR

 

Rose Chandler Johnson’s award-winning devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments released in July 2013. Her devotions, poems, short stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications over the years. My Father’ House is Rose’s first novel. Rose has lived near Augusta, GA for the last thirty-two years. For the last twenty plus years, Rose has been a French and English teacher. Currently she is an adjunct English instructor at a technical college. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their growing families. Another devotional is in the works and another Southern lit novel, coming March 2019.

 

 

MY REVIEW

Delicious prose wrapped this reader from the first pages. I was drawn to Robin (and not just because of her name!) because she’s an artist and a writer, and because she has an overbearing mother. While I admire her tenacity, I wanted to throttle her for her obstinate attraction to the wrong guy!

Though not for the same reasons, I felt Matthew’s crushed spirit, his lack of motivation. And though I’ve not been there, I understood his resentment at his friend’s intervention.

The setting was vivid, the telling captivating, and I felt as though I was right in the scenes, a silent witness to the secrets and twists in this story.

Ms. Johnson peeled back this story, bit by bit and layer at a time, as both Robin and Matt worked through their issues, and faced the future—and grappled with their growing attraction to each other—and kept this reader turning page after page.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Refuge at Pine Lake, Rose Chandler Johnson, Singing Librarian Books Tours

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Monday 29 July 2019 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – DAVID RAWLINGS

 

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – DAVID RAWLINGS

 

What is the best option for an international author – traditional or indie?

 

When I started this writing journey, one of my first considerations was not what to write or how to write it. It was this: which path will I go down? Do it myself or follow a more traditional route? But ultimately, how am I going to get this story out to readers and share it with the world?

 

All writers face that decision – some early in the piece, some later when one option hasn’t worked out.  But for me, there was another wrinkle to complicate things. I’m an Australian writer, looking longingly at a marketplace in America, where I feel compelled to launch my story.

 

This raised the question – which is better for a writer hoping to break into an international market? There are a number of considerations that I went through to find the answer for me, and I thought I’d raise them here for you if you’re wondering about the best path for you to take.

 

So, what are the pros and cons of indie publishing v traditional publishing if you’re an international author? There is no “one size fits all” – you need to identify the best fit you

 

Considerations: Indie publishing

  • Getting into the market is hard enough, getting into a marketplace that is far removed from your own location is even harder. Indie publishing removes that – it gives you the chance to publish anyway, and notify this new market that you’re around.

BUT …

  • When you’re removed from the marketplace, you probably don’t have any presence that you can trade on. This will take time to build
  • If you’re marketing, you have control over what you do. (You have to – there is no-one else to do it ). And you’re not limited to other’s timings or their priorities.

BUT …

  • You’re now drawing from your own resources – time and money. It’s worth considering both, but particularly the time element. We tend to focus on the money side of things easily, but your time is also finite. What can you afford to take time to invest in?

 

Considerations: Traditional publishing

  • If you are removed from a marketplace, a traditional publisher will help you break into it faster. If you don’t have contacts in that market, you’ll need time to build up your profile. While it will still take time with a traditional publisher, it will help speed things up.

BUT …

  • It’s hard. You don’t need me to tell you that, but you’re now in the mix with all other aspiring authors who are trying to get in front of a traditional publisher as well.
  • A traditional publisher will allow you to work with a team of people who will partner with you as you develop your novel.

BUT …

  • You will need to get used to working remotely, and not talking to them easily on the phone or even in face-to-face meetings. You can’t just drop in, or seek support and comfort over a coffee. My publisher is in Nashville, and there is a 14.5 hour time difference. So scheduling meetings requires a constant thinking across a handful of time zones. And all of my emails from them come in overnight. That might not sound much, but it can slow things down and change the way you work.

 

So which way did I go? In the end, I pursued a traditional path, pitching agents and publishers with an award-nominated manuscript. It took a while – see above – but I’m now with the Steve Laube Agency, and my debut novel – The Baggage Handler – was published in March by 2019.

 

That’s not to say traditional is better. It was for me in the early stages of my fiction career, but it’s important to evaluate the best option for you, considering all that’s required so that your fiction writing journey isn’t just productive, but also enjoyable.

 

 

 

 

David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father-of-three who loves humor and a clever turn-of-phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.

 

His debut novel, The Baggage Handler, is available from a range of book stories and online via http://books2read.com/baggage.

 

His second novel, The Camera Never Lies, will be available from December 3.

 

www.davidrawlings.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/DavidRawlingsAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/davidrawlingsauthor/

https://twitter.com/DavidJRawlings

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, David Rawlings

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Saturday 27 July 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – AFTER A FASHION by JEN TURANO

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – AFTER A FASHION by JEN TURANO

                                                                             

THE BLURB

Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can’t make her fashionable. She’ll never truly fit into Oliver’s world, but just as she’s ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

 

THE AUTHOR

 

Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/  or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com  She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW

Oh! the quirkiness of this story!! I adore reading Ms. Turano’s books for the snarky and sparkling dialogue, and the witty and loveable characters.

A quirky story is, entertaining characters are, this story is cute and entertaining.

Harriet Peabody was a spunky lady, a survivor in a string of cruelties life had dealt her. Behavior and attitude not conforming to the social norms of the day, Harriet landed herself in one predicament after another.

Oliver Addleshaw (love these names!) was intent on business, and besting Cornelius Vanderbilt in amassing wealth.

Thrown together by quirky circumstances, Harriet and Oliver have no intention of crossing paths again. Ms. Turano tosses more quirky situations, throwing them together in one twist after another.

I laughed and I gasped and I cheered them on to the final twist and the last page.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I purchased this book, and offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Saturday, #TRD, Book Review, After a Fashion, Jen Turano

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Thursday 25 July 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – DAVID CORBETT – GIVEAWAY WINNER

manly man blitz - giveaway winner banner

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – DAVID CORBETT – GIVEAWAY WINNER

 

“What can you learn from a murderer? How one moment of your life can change it for the worst forever. How some mistakes can’t be corrected.”

66138_605388326154603_454977933_n

 

“What I discover as I’m writing a given scene or chapter is that the first couple of drafts only descend so far into the emotional, dramatic, and experiential truth of the situation. I sometimes describe the process as working out a preliminary sketch then gradually, slowly, layering on the color.”

 

WINNER! WINNER!

 

Congratulations to

TRACY URSCHLER

and

JODI HASSELL

David will be in touch with you to send your gift!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Corbett is the award-winning author of the writing guides The Art of Character (“A writer’s bible” – Elizabeth Brundage) and The Compass of Character, which Writer’s Digest will publish in October 2019.  He has published six novels, including 2018’s The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday, nominated for the Lefty Award for Best Historical Mystery. His short fiction has been selected twice for Best American Mystery Stories, and his non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Narrative, Bright Ideas, and Writer’s Digest, where he is a contributing editor. He has taught at the UCLA Writer’s Program, Litreactor, Book Passage, and at writing conferences across North America and Mexico, and is a monthly contributor to Writer Unboxed, an award-winning blog dedicated to the craft and business of fiction.

 

http://www.davidcorbett.com/

https://www.amazon.com/David-Corbett/e/B001HD3GQY?

https://writerunboxed.com/

https://www.facebook.com/David-Corbett-157804457579661/

https://twitter.com/DavidCorbett_CA

https://www.instagram.com/davidroguedogcorbett/

 

“Those of us who have made major changes in our lives can most likely point to a moment when death or mortality made an indelible, inescapable impression on how we thought about ourselves and our lives. Basically, we found ourselves saying, “I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to be this person anymore… whether you rise up or give up, it’s your choice.”

 

GIVEAWAY

51eYkZrZFrL._SY346_

David is offering a print copy of The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday to two winners.

 

…what makes a journey truly memorable is defined largely if not entirely by what happens that wasn’t or couldn’t be planned.

071819 - david corbett - book images

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, David Corbett, Giveaway Winner, #WINNER

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Thursday 25 July 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ NEWS ANCHOR INTERVIEW – MICHAEL COGDILL

CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ NEWS ANCHOR INTERVIEW – MICHAEL COGDILL

“Throwing a bash for the written word.”

 

“Even the dark isn’t darkness to Thee. The night is bright as the day.”

Please join me in giving a feathered welcome to Michael Cogdill.

 

FAST FAVES

Cookout—chicken or brats  BRATS

Dogs or Cats  DOGS

Eggs or Pancakes EGGS

Fishing or hunting  FISHING

Vacation: mountains or beach  BEACH

 

rem:  Hullo, Michael. Welcome to my little nest. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

MICHAEL:  I’m a small-town boy, raised by working class parents in Weaverville, NC.  I live in Greenville, SC now, at the base of the mountains that were my family’s home.

rem:  Beautiful country up there. My mom was a North Carolina gal. Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

MICHAEL:  I love a good boat and the feel of water.  I adore hot weather.  I’m a pretty serious weight trainer.

rem:  I love a boat and the water—not so sure about hot weather, though! LOL Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

MICHAEL:  Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Loved by me for its sense of surrender and wait upon God.

rem:  A lifeline to cling to when going through difficult times. What is your favourite quotation and why?

MICHAEL:  So many come to mind.  One of my favorites is thich nhat hanh — “We are to love so that those we love feel free.”

rem:  I love that quote—it is the essence of Who God is, and who we are to strive to be.  What’s the most random thing in your car or on your desk?

MICHAEL:  Macha green tea

rem:  This tells me two things—your desk is quite tidy, and you are a healthy eater! If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would you choose?

MICHAEL:  Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird

 

rem:  You are the third person to choose a character from To Kill a Mockingbird!! Somebody tryin’ to tell me somethin’?  When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

MICHAEL:  A sense of wonder is essential.  Turgid carrying on is a deal breaker.

rem:  Oh yes, a sense of wonder is magical—it’s what transports the reader into the story! What are you reading right now?

MICHAEL:  So We Read On (An examination of the Great Gatsby and why it still matters.

 

rem:  So much depth to that story. T’would be fascinating to see what Ms. Corrigan has to share. Which came first (in your life): journalism or story telling?

MICHAEL:  Storytelling, which is the essence of fine, readable journalism

rem:  As a storyteller myself, I must say I agree wholeheartedly. How is journalism different to writing a novel?

MICHAEL:  A novel is a fantasy of the heart.  Journalism is a practice of the heart and mind.

rem:  My favorite genre is historical fiction, rather a weaving of the two perhaps. What do you like best about being a news anchor? What is the hardest?

MICHAEL:  I love to bring copy to life, especially in a caring way.  The hard part is the death of a child.

rem:  Michael, you have a gift with words, your copy (and FaceBook posts) are prose in action. I can’t imagine having to report the death of a child. What’s the most memorable story you’ve reported?

MICHAEL:  Susan Smith ties with the Emmanuel Nine

rem:  I remember that story, and how horrific it was at the time. Still is today. Do you have a tale or anecdote on your coworkers?

MICHAEL:  Not for public consumption.  lol

 

rem:  Ah! Faithful coworker you are! Or afraid perhaps a story on you would be told?? LOL Tell us about the delightful Miss Polly.

MICHAEL:  Miss Polly is not steel magnolia.  She’s a platinum mountain laurel – a survivor, a vital spirit who loves deeply, and who is a living joy.  She’s struggling with dementia, but remains a light to all who know her

rem:  I adore your posts about her, sharing her light with the rest of us. And I admire your devotion to her. How did your book, She-Rain, come about?

MICHAEL:  I started it as a way of digging out of his early grave my grandfather, Ernest Keyes.  He died of opium addiction well before I was born.  The tale took the arc of a love triangle that rises to meet the best of humanity, rather than descending into the darkness of betrayal.  It’s a fictional adventure in the truth of grace, human capacity for evil, goodness and hilarity.

rem:  Deep and profound, indeed. You have shared much, both on Facebook and on your blog, about your father. What can you tell us of his journey?

MICHAEL:  My dad was born in deep poverty.  He suffered terrible shame as a child and turned to alcohol to numb the wounds.  He ultimately hit a low bottom, grasped the grace of God, and became the most beautiful man I will ever know.

 

rem:  Poverty can wreak such devastation. As can alcohol, something I am familiar enough with. Do you have another book project?

MICHAEL:  Yes.  A novel, The Sinners of Honeysuckle Road, a Vietnam-era story of loss and reclamation.

rem:  Oh, I do look forward to that! What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

MICHAEL:  It’s human.  Everyone is flawed, yet worthy of love.

rem:  “God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” He makes us all worthy of His love. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

MICHAEL:  No human being is called to save or salvage a broken human being.  Enabling is death to both.  But mutuality of love is a miracle we get to live.

rem:  Oh, so very true. And so hard to stand against (enabling.)  So glad to have you here today, Michael. Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

 

“My television career has carried me into the wheelhouses of death.  And right there, in one of them, I found life.”

 

https://michaelcogdill.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WYFFNews4MichaelCogdill/

https://twitter.com/MichaelCogdill

 

 

… reminds me never to fear writing what makes us human, even the suffering.  Perhaps especially the suffering.  It reminds me the night is no match for the moon. The sun still shows.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Manly Man Blitz News Anchor Interview, Michael Cogdill

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 24 July 2019 – GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY – CREATING AN ACTIVE AND SUCCESSFUL BLOG – KRISTENA MEARS

guest post - blog feature banner

BLOGWORDS – GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY – CREATING AN ACTIVE AND SUCCESSFUL BLOG – KRISTENA MEARS

This post was written for Kristena Mears, and appears on her blog today at https://kristenamears.com/  Be sure to pop by her blog and say hullo!

Creating an Active and Successful Blog

 

Imagine yourself a small child watching an NFL game, dreaming of one day becoming one of the big burly players.

Slide1

Or a little girl watching a live performance of The Nutcracker or Swan Lake, dreaming of one day becoming one of the lithe slender ladies dancing en pointe.

Slide2

Starting a blog doesn’t take more than a few clicks on your computer. Zippo, zammo, ENTER, blam! And you’ve got a blog.

 

Well, that’s how I did it anyway. Le sigh…

 

But like a child dreaming of a professional career, there was so much I didn’t know, and my first efforts were like a three year old Crayola drawing compared to Monet or Renoir.

Slide3

“I’ve been thrown in the deep end. Of a deep ocean. In a tidal wave. And all I want to do is write my stories. [Well, and get people to read ‘em… ] Write a bio, they say. What do you want to know? I write, that’s what I do.”

https://wp.me/s2j59i-drowning

 

That was my first authorly post on my blog. And man-o-man, did I ever feel like I was in over my head. WAY over my head.

 

But I did it. I started. And I learned as I went. I’ve seen comments here and there that blogs aren’t the *thing* they once were, and honestly have wondered if I should let mine go. But it’s MY place, versus the big social media sites. Although I spend most of my time on one of those, my blog is where I share and post the features—reviews, interviews, etc—of my choosing. My blog is about interacting, community, like a virtual family room or game night. Besides, there are plenty of blogs that are going strong and thriving.

 

First of all, what is a blog? It’s actually a contraction, as it were, of “web log.” Log being record or journal or register of some data or activity. And web, well, that’s the web of course, world wide web (the WWW of a URL address.)  Which brings me to my first point.

 

Select a Host Provider

Slide4

Your blog has to have a place to exist, to call home. This is where your blog will get your URL address, the www (dot) BLOGNAME (dot) com or net or org

There are probably countless venues out there, but at the suggestion of a friend, I chose WordPress, and I have been happy there. They have the option to upgrade to a paid service, which, of course, would offer more features, but for now I’m content with what I have. Here are a few others I’ve heard of:

 

  • Wix.
  • WordPress.
  • Weebly.
  • Blogger.

 

Choose a theme

Slide5

My first blog post in 2012 was actually an attempt at accountability, and nothing to do with writing. It floundered after one post.

Two years later, after I published my debut novel and realized I would need a blog, I revived it. I didn’t have a theme, though, other than, “Hey! World! Look at me!”

I was a novice author floundering for a foothold in an overwhelming industry. My theme developed over the course of time.

For all the years that I loathed my name, I am now quite fond of it, and play on that all.the.time. Thus the name of my blog, Robin’s Nest. (also my logo and publisher.) Family and family gatherings show up in my writing a LOT, and that is thematic to my blog as well—that’s the “nest” part.

There are blogs that are straight up all about the craft and art of writing. I follow several blogs that are reviewer blogs, and others that are, like mine, author blogs. Your blog should reflect what you’re about, whether writing or mountain climbing or running and jogging, or some other topic.

 

Choose a color scheme

Slide6

This sort of goes with theme. You want your blog to appear cohesive, and pleasing to look at. There are studies on what colors to use to convey the feel you want for your blog. Robin’s Nest, with trees and, well, nests, the colors come easy—browns and greens and robin’s egg blue. (I’m also an artist, and colors are instinctive to me.)

 

Introduce yourself

Slide7

Every blog needs a bio, whether you are blogging solo or in a group. There should be at least a snippet about you for your followers to know who you are and what you’re about.

Look at other blogs to get an idea of what to include. Your bio should contain your basics, and whatever is pertinent to your theme. Mention awards and honors you’ve won, or your expertise in your area. Include family members and your physical location.

Part of your bio should be a good head shot, professional if you can. Note about your profile pic: you should use the same or similar images across social media platforms. The reason for this is so that a potential follower can identify or recognize you if they look for you on Twitter or Instagram, etc.

Utilize the tools to add buttons so your blog followers can also follow you on your other social media platform, and identify if you belong or participate in groups or activities relevant to your theme.

 

Vision and Mission Statement

Another item that didn’t occur to me. And one I added well into my blogging days.

Your vision is just that—where do you see your blog in a year, five years, ten years?

A MISSION STATEMENT is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. Definition found on Wikepedia

 

How often will you post

Slide8

This goes to your schedule and comfort level. I started with weekly-ish posts, but no thought or commitment to what or when.

One of the things that readers and followers look for, and that attracts new followers, is consistency. A weekly post is a good starting place, but whatever your comfort level is, be consistent with it.

I got overambitious and was trying to post a different feature each day. More on that later.

I didn’t know in the early days that I could schedule my posts in advance, and let me tell ya what a boon that was to discover!!

 

Scheduling

Slide9

In the early days I made notes for myself on whatever scrap of paper was handy. As my blog grew this became problematic; I lost slips of paper and missed a couple of interviews or reviews. #horrors

I do much better to do some things manually—like scheduling—and created an Excel spreadsheet (of all things) that serves as my calendar.

As with many things in my life, I have color coded aspects of my calendar, most notably each month is a different color. When I create a blog post doc (I work OFFline to create my blog posts, then upload them when they’re complete.) I notate it with a D (for Document), and once it’s uploaded and queued up to go live, I change that to a Q (for Queued up), to be replaced with a checkmark after it’s live. You’ll note that I also have doctor’s appointments listed as well; it helps me to have all.the.things noted in one.handy.place.

This is my system. Figure out what works for you and go with it.

 

Blog content

As an author, and besides my early “Hey, look at me posts,” I also posted a review for a book I had read. While the review was lovely, the post was meager and anemic!

I believe it was my second year blogging that I added interviews. It wasn’t as meager as the first review, but it was still pretty bland.

The following year, I added guest posts. That first year, I left the topic up to my guest blogger; I now choose a theme topic for each month. Along with the guest posts, I introduced my feature banner—a different banner for each feature on my blog; formatted the same but individual to each feature.

Slide10

Also consider the length of your posts. Some blogs keep their posts quite short, under 1000 words. Others I follow are clearly much longer. (My word count for this post is just over 2K.) If a post is interesting and engaging it will hold the reader’s attention. Images help with this as well. More on that later.

Look at your theme and your schedule, and decide what works best for you. You will want posts that engage your reader; it’s part of what keeps them coming back. You will also want content that gives the reader something of value.

It goes without saying, or at least is should go without saying—proofread and edit your post! As in reading any other published material, bad grammar and poor spelling speak of the author’s indifference or laziness.

NOTE: It’s a good idea to develop guidelines for guest posts. For me, at least, it makes the process easier than answering the same questions every time. Also, twice I had a guest blogger submit a post that was not the topic I asked for and was expecting. One blogger was defensive and said she didn’t have time to write a piece for me. (The post submitted was a) had been previously written and published elsewhere—which I have no problem with—and b) not only not on topic, but largely promoting one or more of this author’s books, which is also not a problem per se, but the post itself was not on topic.) The other off-topic author happily rewrote and resubmitted a piece on the topic requested.

 

Contests and Giveaways

Slide11

This goes hand in hand with content. And, of course, with a contest you have to have a prize to offer. With most of my giveaways, the prize offered comes from a guest blogger or an interviewee. It’s not a requirement of course, but I offer the option.

 

For the longest time I resisted offering giveaways, or used blog comments as giveaway entries; not sure why but Rafflecopter intimidated me. In truth, I found it quite easy to set up. (I ignore the HTML bit—that confuses me! LOL)

https://www.rafflecopter.com

 

Comments

It’s always exciting to me when I get comments on a blog post. I do my best to answer or reply to each comment. This boosts interaction, and encourages followers to participate—and come back to read new blog posts!

 

Share Buttons

A couple of the blogs I follow don’t have share buttons! Which means I can’t, well, share the post once I’ve read its wonderful goodness and wisdom. I can’t speak for other blog platforms, but I can’t imagine the option for share buttons not being available.

Sharing is one of the big things I do. Also known as networking, it helps build your blog and add to your followers.

 

Disclaimer and Giveaway Rules

These would be Disclosure Statement, GDPR Statement, FTC Regulations, and Privacy Statement. Another bit I was clueless about, but can save you much grief and headache if at any time there is a legal question.

There are generic statements available online; I downloaded these and tweaked them with my blog information.

 

Blog Decoration

Peruse other blogs. Get a feel for how each blogger designs / decorates their blog-home. I drew and painted the piece I use as my header. It’s the same artwork I use on Twitter and on my website. (www.robinemason.com) I also created a banner to use with each feature. Because of my affinity for color, each feature is a different color.

 

Images

Slide13

WHATEVER else you do, make certain you are not using photos and images that are copyrighted!!! HEADS UP—Google images are NOT free to use!!! I got nailed for an image that was, in fact, found in a “free to use” category on Bing.com. It had been “harvested” from a paid site and illegally posted on Bing. The owner contacted me, and by the grace of God was generous with me, asking only a small fee. I’ve heard horror stories of people using images and then being sued for ridiculous amounts.

I get my images from Pixabay—and rather than posting a generic disclaimer, I take the time to “watermark” the image with its URL. (Yes, it’s OCD of me, and not truly necessary but for me it’s worth the effort.)

There are other ROYALTY FREE stock image sites, and of course, if you take your own pics then no worries.

That said, don’t be shy about using images. It catches a reader’s attention, and adds color and vibrancy to your posts.

 

Headers, Hashtags and Labels

Slide14

Think of the header on each blog post as the engine, and hashtags as the caboose. A header should bolded and contain the date, title of your post, and author name (author of the post or if it’s a review, author of the book, or the interviewee.) I use all caps. This post, for instance, is:

BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 24 July 2019 – GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY – CREATING AN ACTIVE AND SUCCESSFUL BLOG – KRISTENA MEARS

Hashtags and labels still trip me up! LOL At the end of each of my posts, I list the labels for that post. I need to use hashtags more, too!

 

Blog Tutorials and Tools

Slide15

I’m not sure when I discovered a YouTube tutorial on WordPress. But it sure boosted my posts from the earlier skimpy little posts to what I have now. Search for tutorials for the Provider you choose to learn about the features available to you. This was one of the “thrown in the deep end” things that I was utterly clueless about in the early days. There are other tutorials I want to watch, other tools I want to learn about to make my blog stronger and better.

 

Now, go forth and blog! Then come back and tell me about it!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Slide16“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995.  She lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years.  Her characters face many of these same demons. They encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?”

For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, Mason’s stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. “I know, I write from experience.”

 

Ms. Mason is a Christian and writes from a Christian world view, but some of her characters are not believers and therefore do not abide by the Bible and the guidelines for life that we take for granted. Her books contain some mild swear language in a few places—and demonstrate the difference when the grace of God prevails.

 

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Author.Robin.E.Mason/

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://www.instagram.com/robinemason212/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-e-mason-a323b142/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

GIVEAWAY

Slide17

Robin is offering an e-copy of one of her books, winner’s choice.

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at 12:oo A.M. on Wednesday 24 July and end at 12:oo A.M  on Wednesday 31 July. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.

 

RAFFLECOPTER

ENTER HERE

 

 

Slide18

#Blogwords, Guest Post and Giveaway, Creating an Active and Successful Blog, Kristena Mears, Robin’s Nest

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

All-of-a-kind Mom

Just some thoughts from my daily life...

Angela K Couch

making history and fiction fall in love

R.M. Almeida

A Writer's Lament

Wholehearted Women

Come and let Jesus awaken the warrior within you!

Code Crispy Blog

Immerse~ Enlighten~ Inspire

Kayla Lowe

Christian romance author/Editor/Freelance writer

bookblogarama

a blog for books

The Tales of Missus P.

little adventures of me

lynnjsimpson.wordpress.com/

just a gal doing life, a step at a time, with hope, love and faith

Zoe M. McCarthy

Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites

Cover To Cover Cafe

Escaping Between The Covers Of A Great Read

Author Kari Trumbo

Swoony heroes and heartfelt romance

It's a Buzz World

The Crazy Story of our Life

Fiction Aficionado

The power of fiction, the beauty of words, and the God who made us to wield them for His glory.

Inspired by Life ... and Fiction

Novelists bound by the pen, sisterhood, & more

Simplified

Keeping Things Simple with Jesus

Wisdom for Living

Practical Wisdom Nuggets