If you have been following this series, you know Brinda Berry is the most savvy, giving, and fun techie-geek-writer-friend a person could have. Topping that, a print version of her YA Fantasy THE WAITING BOOTH will (fingers crossed) be released in time for holiday presents. In previous posts, she covered automating feeds between my web posts and other social media sites (Facebook and Twitter). At her recommendation, I added contact information to my site. Yeah, I know. (Duh, Gloria.)
I had planned regular Friday posts under the “handle” BETWEEN THE SHEETS of paper, and made one whole week in a row. Huey (my HP Laptop) spent quality time with the GEEK squad last week while I struggled to work on a loaner laptop. The series will resume this Friday.
Two other tasks remain from previous series: add CONTACT ME button and RSS feed.
Our goal for the series? Optimize my web presence; minimize the time required to build and maintain a professional presence. Thanks to Brinda, I do not have to read the picture book I purchased for WordPress. When I (or a guest) post a question, Brinda finds and posts a handy link with instructions. Did I say she’s AWESOME? Yes? Worth repeating.
And, now I turn the Hammock over to Brinda. I’ve got tardy assignments to complete. No nap for me today. Sigh.
SERIAL WEB PIMP BRINDA BERRY
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.
PIMP BY BLOG PRESENCE – PART THREE
by Brinda Berry
Thanks again to Gloria for having me on her terrific blog. As you may already know, Gloria and I have quickly become friends. It’s difficult not to be Gloria’s friend. She’s funny, down-to-earth, and helpful. She believes in promoting other writers. Last week, she sent out an email directing me to a post written by Sherry Isaac who was a guest on another blog. This is part of what makes blogging a great thing. I really enjoyed reading Sherry’s post, and she’s now introduced me to yet another great blog. Blogging is a two-way street. If you want others to visit your blog, you should also visit theirs. My recent participation in the 3rd Annual Platform Builders Campaign initiated by http://rachaelharrie.blogspot.com/ has certainly taught me that.
I’ve recently read several articles that claim there is no merit to blogging. Writers should focus on writing. I do see the point of not making it ALL ABOUT the blog. If you spend all your time on a blog, you’ll never write a book. Additionally, you can’t spend all your time reading other writers’ blogs. So, before you begin to BOO at me and throw fruit (throw candy my way if you must), I am going to suggest that Gloria determine how to MANAGE the time spent with her blog and other blogs.
WRITING YOUR BLOG:
1.BREVITY. Allow yourself to do SHORT posts. Regular posting is more important than a dissertation length post that may win the Nobel Prize in Literature. You are there to interact and engage and not saving up your words to write a book-length post. Use your phone camera to take quick pics to insert. A picture says a thousand words. I post this tip for myself as much as for you.
2. IDEAS. Keep an idea log and use it for posts. Gloria- I LOVED the Between the Sheets post that focused on your toe dilemma. It made me smile. It shows me that I’ll absolutely love your next novel because it will be funny and REAL. Real people have toe drama.
So, here is an example of how you can use your idea log: One day you see how your dogs interact and how similar they are to people. Topic to jot down? My Dog Is a Hoarder or My Dog Is Jerry Seinfield or …you get the picture.
1.GOOGLE READER. Some people bookmark their blogroll. Others actually insert those links into their own blog. I am going to share what I do and why I think it works. I may read 55+ blogs a week. Please note that I have given up television and have no idea what is going on with Dancing With the Stars. Google Reader is an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) reader. It organizes all your blogs into one place where you log in to read. When I am on my laptop, this is what I use. When I am on my iPad, this same subscription to Google Reader feeds my app called Flipboard. Flipboard displays all the same blog information but in a magazine style that I love. Click on the following video link to see my Google reader screen. http://screencast.com/t/W1EFKC54xF
2. Other Readers. Why do you need an RSS feed button on your blog? There are numerous other readers available and people like being able to use those to aggregate their “news” in one place. Let me show you how that works. http://screencast.com/t/U0FTqqcVVV
3. Paper.li Another service you can use on the web is Paper.li to deliver your blog news to you in a newspaper format. You can also use this for Twitter, Facebook, and other media news as well. It’s a free service and easy to use.
I hope these tips have been helpful. We plan to move on from blogs next week, and I didn’t feel right about leaving you bereft of a blog strategy. Most of all, please remember to HAVE FUN with blogging. If you aren’t having fun, we aren’t.
THANKS, BRINDA! And, if you’re reading this, thanks for visiting.
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.