About Shirley

Shirley Corder is an author who writes to inspire and encourage. She has a passion for helping other writers and cancer survivors.

Facts or Fiction? Post 4 in the Pro-Blogger Challenge. #writebravely

This entry is part 8 of the series Build a Better Blog

facts

Hello again all you wonderful bloggers!

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. So a special welcome to the other members of my sub-tribe. Hi guys!  This is the 4th post in this challenge.

We’re working through the alphabet as we look at ways to build a better blog. Today we come to F for

Facts or Fiction

Here is a less than commonly known fact: Tweet it if you will.

Blogs can be fact OR fiction. Just make sure your reader knows which. #writetribeproblogger #writebravely Click To Tweet

Here is a list of tips or suggestions. You won’t be able (or want) to use them all, but maybe one or two will spark a flame of creativity in you!

First, we’ll look at the more common type of blog: the one based on FACTS, in other words, non-fiction.

  • Write on a Nonfiction Topic and the Facts you use will increase your Authority.

    This applies to individual posts, or to dedicated blogs. I have a blog dedicated to encouraging and inspiring those going through the cancer valley. It is called Rise and Soar, and all the posts are on some aspect of cancer. How am I qualified to do this? I am a cancer survivor (20 years but who’s counting?). I am also a retired Registered Nurse (RN). And I’m a pastor’s wife. (Also retired – not as his wife, but Rob has retired from full-time ministry. Although at times I wonder, he does so much preaching at away churches I expect our own minister to welcome him as a visitor!)  Yet because I blog on the topic, I am amazed at the variety of questions I am asked. read more

Eager Enthusiasm

This entry is part 7 of the series Build a Better Blog

enthusiasm

Hello again all you enthusiastic bloggers!

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. So a special welcome to the other members of my sub-tribe. Hi guys!  This is the 2nd post in this challenge.

We’re working through the alphabet as we look at ways to build a better blog. Today we come to E for

EAGER ENTHUSIASM.

If we want to turn our blogs into a site people will want to visit, we need to be enthusiastic. Enthusiastic, not just for the first few posts (easy to do) but enthusiastic when the going gets tough. (Like in an A to Z challenge when you reach the Q’s, the X’s and the Zs!)

So here are a few suggestions that may help.

  • Hang on to that enthusiasm you had in the beginning!

    That isn’t easy. You start with great enthusiasm, but after the first few posts you begin to wonder why you’re spending all the time writing something hardly anyone seems to read. For that reason, it’s great if you start to collect followers. Then you feel as if there’s a reason for writing. You also know someone will miss you if you fail to turn up!

  • Don’t judge your success by the number of comments you receive!

    One thing I’ve realised is that where people may read, they are slow to comment. So don’t judge the success of your blog by the number of comments you get. Then you will soon give up. Check how many people visit your posts on average, then go all out to increase that number. Also follow the suggestion in an earlier blog and ask for a response to your topic.

read more

Dogged Determination

This entry is part 6 of the series Build a Better Blog

Today we look at D as we seek to Build a Better Blog.

D is for DOGGED DETERMINATION

No person who has been blogging for any length of time will tell you blogging is easy. Some posts just flow. Other times they seem to run into a blocked dam. You wonder why on earth you ever thought you could blog regularly. So here are some suggestions to help you cope when these times arrive.

Determine to make your blog a success. 

It doesn’t matter what type of writing you’re doing. Whether you write poetry or comic strips, novels or technical manuals, if you’re going to write, you need to be determined to succeed. That includes blogging.
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C is for Creative Content – Build a Blog

This entry is part 5 of the series Build a Better Blog

Today we reach C as we seek to Build a Bettter Blog.

C is for CREATIVE CONTENT

  • Choose a theme you know will interest your reader

    ….and that is in line with your blog. For example, there would be no point in me writing a series of favorite recipes. Visitors to my blog do not come looking for those. It doesn’t matter how good then recipes may be, they don’t fit the reason why people come to my site.

    So ask the question:
    Why do people come to my site? What will interest them?

C is for Creative Content - Build a Better Blog #blogging Click To Tweet

 

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B is for Blog a Book – Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 4 of the series Build a Better Blog

We’re continuing to work through the alphabet, looking for ways to Build a Better Blog. Posted so far:

Today, we look at B. 

B is for BLOG A BOOK

You can use your blog to write a book. After all, what’s the difference between reading a series on a blog, or reading a book online?

  • Start with a strong introduction

If you were writing a book, your first chapter would introduce the subject (or the main characters) and build a sense of expectancy for the reader. You need to make them WANT to read on.
read more

A is for Awareness Alert – Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 3 of the series Build a Better Blog

We’re working through the alphabet looking at ways to Build a Better Blog. The previous post was an Introduction to the Series. Today we begin with A. 

A is for AWARENESS ALERT

  • People need to be aware of you

As writers, we’re always hearing of the importance of “branding”, or making it clear what type of writer you are. Readers need to know about you, about your brand, and what you’re doing. Blogging does that for you. It gets you out there, sharing your brand, without consciously having to think about it.

  • Others need to know about your posts.

There is no point in blogging in a vacuum. If you’re a writer, the more people who know about you, the better. If you’re writing for family and friends, they need to know when, where and how to keep up to date with your posts. There are a number of ways to help your readers be aware of your posts, and we’ll look at them over the next month. read more

Build a Better Blog – Introduction to Series

This entry is part 2 of the series Build a Better Blog

How popular are blogs?

Did you know there are more than 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet? (That is according to statistics in 2013!)

And somewhere a new blog is born every 30 seconds?

Blogging is clearly worthwhile!

Introduction

This is the introduction to a series in which I will share how you can build a better blog, one that people will reach those for whom it’s written, and one that you will enjoy creating.

You don't have to be a writer to blog. New series on blogging begins today. Click To Tweet
  • If you are a writer, there are many reasons why you should be blogging, and we’ll cover those in the next few weeks.
  • If you’re not a writer, what better way to keep in touch with your friends and family?

The term, BLOG, is a contracted word from WEB LOG. That’s all it is. A log, diary, journal, whatever you want to call it, which you publish on the web.

What better way to get known and further your writing dreams?

But . . .

It doesn’t have to be public. If you’re doing it to keep the family informed,
you can restrict it to members of the family or to your group of friends.

Building a Better Blog A to Z

This series was originally done as part of an A to Z challenge, which I love as it forces me to think out of the box. So each post will contain ideas that will encourage and inspire you as you look at your own blog. I will give you a week to read it and put the ideas into practice before I post the next one. Sign up to receive notification of the next post, so you don’t miss it.

I’d love you to leave a comment or question at the end of each post. If you include a URL in your comment, I will get back to you.

Coming next: Awareness Alert!

Introduction to Build a Better Blog. Start reading today. Click To Tweet

Please Note:

I plan to turn this into an eBook when I’m finished, so is there anything I haven’t covered under the various headings? When you read, please comment if you think of anything I should include. Thank you!

These posts were originally posted as part of the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Because I’m re-posting them with updates, I have reverted the originals to draft. I apologize if this causes any problems with missing links, but all the posts WILL repeat – on an approximately weekly basis.

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THEME REVEAL Build a Better Blog – A-Z Challenge

This entry is part 1 of the series Build a Better Blog

How popular are blogs?

Did you know there are more than 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet? (That is according to statistics in 2013!)

 And somewhere a new blog is born every 30 seconds?

Blogging is clearly worthwhile!

Throughout the month of April, 2017, I’m going to share how you can build a better blog, one that people will reach those for whom it’s written, and one that you will enjoy creating.

  • If you are a writer, there are many reasons why you should be blogging, and we’ll cover those in the next few weeks.
  • If you’re not a writer, what better way to keep in touch with your friends and family?

read more

Instagram and What I Learned This Week

instagram-logoWhen I used to hear about a new form of Social Media, I would jump in headfirst. The result is I belong to things I know nothing about and I don’t have time to learn.

So when I noticed that more and more people were using Instagram, one which I haven’t signed up for yet, I decided to change my tactic. I would first learn whether I wanted to use it, and what I would gain by it.

I scheduled five questions to appear on my Facebook Author page throughout the week. Although the questions had plenty views not many answered, so I decided to put them out here in the hope that I get some more insight from you my readers.

Instagram_1So here we go:

Instagram: Do you use it?

This required a simple “Yes” or “No.” Four people said YES. and four gave definite  “No’s!” Two others dabble.

All I can see is this is a chance to show off your photographs and look at other people’s. Have I got this right? I’m an author, and I see an increasing number of authors using Instagram to promote their work—but I can’t see how that works.

That brings us to the next two questions:Instagram_2

Instagram: How do you use it? 

A. To share my posts
B. To encourage people to visit a link
C. It’s fun!

Instagram_3
D. It doesn’t take much time
E. It works well in conjunction with other Social Media
F. For connecting with family.

I received one response to A, B, C and D. One person commented that although it’s easy to share on multiple Social Media when posting a photo, it is not so easy to share another person’s post.

Moving on .Instagram_4 . . I asked

Instagram: If You Don’t Use It, Why Not?

A. I know nothing about it and don’t have time to learn.
B. It’s just one more social media challenge. I don’t have time for it.
C. I don’t have a good enough cellphone.

Two responses – both said B. Seeing that’s closest to how I feel, this doesn’t encourage me to go for it.

And on to the final question:

instagram_5

Instagram: What, For You, Is the Best or Worst Thing about Instagram?

No initial response. Then I received a comment from Wendy Marshall, a cyber friend, writer and editor: “Here’s something I just learned: you cannot post from a computer. I’m not sure if you can post from an Android device.”

That could definitely be a deal breaker for me. I have an Android smartphone, an Android tablet, and do most of my work, especially with pictures, on my desktop computer as I have two monitors.

The next day, Wendy posted again: “I did some more research and there is an app for android phones. As well there are bridging apps for computers.” This link takes you to the site of David Coleman, a photographer.

He offers three apps which work well to bridge your photos on your cellphone (mobile) with your computer. Here they are with a short excerpt from the site:

Uplet

“The simplest of these two is Uplet. It’s available in the Mac App Store and is only available for Mac.

“I’ve found it to be lightweight, easy to use, and to work as advertised. It doesn’t have any filters or advanced editing features, but that simplicity is a big part of its appeal.”

Grambler

Grambler takes a quite different approach. It’s more complicated, but it also offers a lot more features. There are versions for Mac and Windows.

“There are two parts to it, an app that you install on your computer and a web service. They work together in getting your photos from your desktop to posting on Instagram.”

Deskgram

“This is a desktop app for interacting with Instagram. There are versions for PC and Mac.

The reason I say “interacting” is that there are two versions that allow different things, although that’s not as clear as it could be.”

Thank you David Coleman! And thank you Wendy Marshall!

Now it’s over to you.

Please add one or more comments below about your experience of Instagram. How do you use it? Or if you don’t, why not? I think I’ve reached my personal verdict, but the jury is still out. Convince me—or confirm I’m right. Thank you!

Please Tweet one or more of these:

Here's what I found out about Instagram: http://tinyurl.com/koofeht Please add your thoughts. Thanks. Click To Tweet Instagram looks like fun, but is it good for authors? http://tinyurl.com/koofeht Click To Tweet I decided to find out about Instagram. Here's what I found. http://tinyurl.com/koofeht Click To Tweet

Miriam Part I ~ Devoted sister

Miriam Part I ~ The devoted sister

Meet Miriam, the devoted sister!

Most of us know about Miriam, the little girl who watched over her three-month-old brother as he sails in a basket boat on the crocodile-infested River Nile.

We've probably also heard the story of the Hebrew boy who grew up in an Egyptian palace. But during that time, what was happening to his sister, Miriam?

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