Regarding Research

This entry is part 20 of the series Build a Better Blog

Today we’re still working through the alphabet with the A to Z Challenge. We’re going to look at a fun topic which will work for any blogger, whether you are an author, an entrepreneur, or a family member. We’re continuing with Build a Better Blog and today we’re going to look at

R is for Regarding Research.

If you’re an author, I don’t need to tell you how much research you need to do to be sure you have your facts correct or to find inspiration for building your countries or characters.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there are so many places you can go for ideas to work on your craft or hobby. And if you’re doing a family blog, you can look for background to significant locations, or look up genealogy sites for family history.

So how do we go about it? read more

Plan with Purpose

This entry is part 18 of the series Build a Better Blog


Welcome to the next letter in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

We’ve now reached P as we work through the alphabet so . . .
P is Planning with Purpose. 

Hopefully by now you have a clear picture of the purpose of your blog. Briefly, to remind you of this, answer these questions:

  1. Why have I started this blog?
  2. Who do I hope is reading the blog?
  3. What do I hope to achieve through this blog?
  4. When (how often) am I posting to the blog? (Remember the importance of writing on a regular basis, even if it’s only once a month.)
  5. How much time do I have to spend on writing the posts for the blog?

That done, you now remember your purpose for the blog.
So how can we plan to see that we’re meeting these criteria? read more

Ongoing Opportunities in Blogging

This entry is part 17 of the series Build a Better Blog

Welcome back to our series on how to Build a Better Blog. As part of the A to Z Challenge we have reached the letter O.

O is for Ongoing Opportunities.

Blogs are in themselves great opportunities as well as they create opportunities to reach out to the community.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is a list in no particular order of opportunities in relation to blogs. read more

Nuggets and Newsletters

This entry is part 16 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Today we are continuing with the A to Z Blogging Challenge as we look at a topic which is as relevant for the writer as it is for the mom who wants to keep in touch with her far-flung family, or perhaps build a heritage to pass on to her children when they are old enough to be interested in their family roots.

The same principles apply whether you are looking to build your blog as a writer or you are writing a family blog. You want to draw people in to your material, to hold their interest, and to be topical. So

N is for Nuggets and Newsletters.

Here are a number of suggestions for getting a good email newsletter that will stand on its own as well as drawing readers (or family members) to your blog material as well. read more

Marketing Methods

This entry is part 15 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Today we’re moving on with our ways to build a better blog, and we’ve reached the letter M. So here we go: .

M is for Marketing Methods.

“But surely,” some of you may be saying, “I don’t need to market my writing? This is a blog, not a book!”

Well,  it may be “only” a blog, but it’s still taken you time to think about the topic and write the text. Perhaps you’ve spent time, maybe a long time, searching for suitable images. Why have you gone to all this bother, if you don’t want anyone to read what you’ve written? So  yes, of course you need to market your blog. And, you writers  out there, most of these ideas will also help you when you’re marketing your books. So let’s get started. read more

Live and Learn

This entry is part 14 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

I’m continuing with the A to Z Blogging Challenge and today we look at the letter L.

L is for Live and Learn.

Writing blog posts about topics we know can be fun, but I have also found another great value. Blogging is an ideal way to learn more about a topic. Here are some suggestions I hope you’ll find helpful. read more

K is for Kindle and KDP

This entry is part 13 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

I’m continuing with the A to Z Blogging Challenge and today we look at the letter K. To me, K can only stand for one thing, and that’s

K is for Kindle. 

Before looking at the topic of writing for Kindle, I would like to make one observation. Before either of us owned a Kindle, a friend and I signed up for a Kindle account, and downloaded the Kindle app for our computers. We could then “buy” all the freebies that appealed to us, as well as a few other books which were on special and we didn’t want to miss them. Some months later, we both received gifts of Kindle e-readers. Immediately we registered them, our entire library of e-books was available to us on our machines. Amazing! I have no idea how this works, but it does. So if you don’t have a Kindle, don’t miss out on the opportunity. Download the appropriate app today – Free!

Although, for me, K goes further.

K is for Kindle and KDP.

K is for Kindle and KDP. #atozchallenge. Have you published with them? Click To Tweet

I love writing, and several years ago the main-line publishers, Revell/Baker published my book, Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer. It was a great experience, and I grew tremendously as a writer as a result of the process. However, I also found a number of major problems.

Problems in traditional publication.

  • I had limited say-so over the cover (although I absolutely love the cover they did produce).
    Strength Renewed
  • The title of the book was changed (from Rise and Soar over the Valley of Cancer) despite having a website titled Rise and Soar.
    • The interesting thing was that I feel their book cover suited my original title far more than it did their choice of Strength Renewed.What do you think? Rise and Soar? Or Strength Renewed?
  • I am not able to offer specials, giveaways, or free copies – unless I pay for them myself first. (They gave me a generous supply of free books and giveaways right at the beginning, but that was a few years ago and no longer applies.)
  • I have no control over the price. The e-books today cost more than the print copies! Why on earth?
  • There was a wait of three years between the book being accepted and finally coming out in print.
  • I got little or no warning when they ran specials on the book, which meant I wasn’t able to muster enthusiasm for the special.
  • Because I live in South Africa, it took a trip to the USA to attend the Florida Writers’ Conference for me to meet up with an editor who was interested in my book.
  • There is the need to write a polished Book Proposal and Query letter, and in most cases send this out again and again and again. read more

Joy of Journaling

This entry is part 12 of the series Build a Better Blog

We’re still busy with the A to Z Challenge, following the theme, Build a Better Blog. Today, we’ve reached the letter J and so I thought we’d look at the

Joys of Journaling.

I used to think a journal was a daily account of everything I had done during the day. This meant several things, none of them good.

  • I had to write it at night so I knew what had happened during the day.
  • I had to list everything relevant that had happened and some days that took a long time.
  • I had to find time to do both.
  • I ran out of enthusiasm . . . fast!
  • I gave up.Then I discovered the world of blogging, and I realised I could journal while blogging. So here are some suggestions of how to Build a Better Blog by journaling.

read more

Interesting Images

This entry is part 11 of the series Build a Better Blog

I’m still busy with the #atozchallenge. We’re looking at the theme, Build a Better Blog. Today’s letter is I, and we’re looking at I is for INTERESTING IMAGES

A picture is worth 1,000 words,

said Fred R. Barnard, an advertising manager in the early 1900’s.

Now, over 1,000 years later, this is probably even more relevant. Especially in the world of blogs and websites, As stated in previous posts, the general practice in reading blogs is for the reader to skim over the words, scanning for points of interest. So how important it is to use a picture or image that will give him 1,000 words at a glance! Here are some points to help you.

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.
read more