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Last week, I was thrilled to welcome Brinda Berry to my Hammock. This week, I’m nail-biting nervous about the tasks she planned for me. Last week, she tipped me out of my hammock and sent me skittering between blog and facebook and twitter to perform daring feats of connectivity. Our goal for the series? Optimize my web presence; minimize the time required to build and maintain a professional presence. Thanks to Brinda, when I publish this second post in our series, it will auto-feed to FACEBOOK and TWITTER. Thanks to Brinda, subscribers shot up, as did activity. Thanks to Brinda, I established a routine for weekly posts (“BETWEEN THE SHEETS of paper” each Friday). This week, I have to retrieve the picture book I purchased for WordPress in order to implement all she suggests. WordPress for Dummies was too complicated for me. It’s true.

And, now I turn the Hammock over to Brinda. I’ve got some WORDPRESS self-study to do.  


Brinda Berry is the author of The Waiting Booth, a YA fantasy published by Etopia Press. Currently working in higher education administration, she spends her days thinking of ways to improve education for college students. Brinda spends her nights devising exciting tales that involve teens who might be saving the world.

Brinda lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She has a BSE in English and French and a MEd in Learning Systems Technology. She’s terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality. Find Brinda :  FACEBOOK ,   TWITTER ,   WEBSITE/BLOG


by Brinda Berry

This is part of a continuing series where we discuss things that Gloria can do to improve her web presence. As a fellow author, I empathize with her since I am constantly looking for ways to improve my social media skills in this new decade of publishing.  We began last week on Gloria’s website and blog.

When I first looked at Gloria’s website, I was impressed. It looks professional. Then I searched for the things that would: (1) be important to her in publishing novels, (2) help her manage a blog and streamline her activity and (3) increase her readership.

Last week, I suggested that she should add some contact info, monitor her website traffic (analytics or stats), and automate publishing posts from WordPress to her Facebook and Twitter accounts.

This week, I’d like to add three more items for Gloria to consider:

1. No RSS feed. I am now getting her blog post by email subscription. There are other ways to read these posts and I PREFER to use my Google reader while on my
desktop. If I’m on my iPad, these Google Reader subscriptions feed my Flipboard
app which displays like a magazine. The point is this. I do NOT prefer email,
but I had no choice with Gloria’s blog. Other options are Networked Blogs from Facebook and Google Friend connect. For now, I’m going to ask Gloria to consider an RSS feed icon in addition to her email subscribe box.

2. Content theme. I know from Gloria that she deleted an older version of the blog, so I’m not sure what content looked like before I met her. For now, I’ll ask her to pick a “theme” that she will post about on a regular basis. You can have more than one. I post about my writing, author interviews and posts, technical issues, and random
stuff.  With a variety, I hope to interest more than one audience: other writers, friends, and readers. I want to direct you to someone who has a great schedule of various themes- Ciara Knight at www.ciaraknight.com. Ciara has a series of posts
called: Did I Notice Your Book, book reviews by a team of “Knights”, guest posts by fellow authors, and Q & A with publishers. She also does the random post about life and writing.

3. MOST IMPORTANT: Post regularly– at least once a week. I would advise 2-3 times per week, but I’ve been guilty of missing that goal.  It doesn’t have to be
anything lengthy. Also, the post might be something interactive where you
readers get to participate. Author Lynn Rush (lynnrush.wordpress.com) has a
series called Debate This where she asks some readers earth-shattering
questions like, “Coke vs. Pepsi” ; you would be amazed at the interaction via comments. BTW, if you are wondering….the answer is Coke.

DISCLAIMER: These are my opinions based on my personal experiences and what I learn from experts. She can always choose what she feels will work best for her. These posts will contain some nudges to do some technical things. If Gloria has NO CLUE on one of the above and needs help, she’ll respond to me that she needs help. If the
answer is complicated, I may to write a technical blog post on her blog or mine
at www.brindaberry.com/blog.html to explain.

I’d like to thank Gloria for having me on her blog. Have you ever seen those reality shows where they let the neighbor come in and decorate a room in a house? Yeah. This is more fun than that and maybe not as scary.

THANKS, BRINDA! I read ahead and set up my regular Friday posts (BETWEEN THE SHEETS of paper). Last week, my topic was getting past writer’s angst over writing a blog article. And, about toes. Big toes. Big toes with no nails. Left over from last week? I want to add that nifty contact button so readers (or NYT) can click once to send an email. That, plus the RSS feed are on my plate for this week. I would say today, but I have one niggling to-do. What was it? Oh, right! Write a book!

And, now it’s time for questions. Post them (as I plan to) as comments and Brinda will answer on-line. (Or, just say “HI” so we know you were here.) If the answer to any question is topic-length Brinda will let us know when and where to anticipate the blog response. CHIME in! Ask your questions. When you see mine, you’ll lose any fear you may have of asking a dumb question.