The Entertainer Blogger Award

About the Entertainer Blogger Award

A special thanks to Debbie Harris for nominating me for this Entertainer Award, along with many other entertaining and inspiring bloggers. I’m delighted to be part of this line-up! Deb writes an entertaining blog that covers adventure, travel and beautiful photography. Read her application for this award here, as it gives you some insight into the person behind the name!

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Link Parties and Why they are Good for Bloggers and Readers

Welcome!

Last week, I introduced you to S.African author, Dalene Raeburn. She wrote a guest post for me based on a chapter from her popular book, Dragons and Dirt. The title of the post was “Christmas Every Day.” She shared a concept that has struck a chord in a number of readers, and I intend to follow it up in 2018. So if you haven’t read it, make a note to go there as soon as you’ve read this week’s post. You really don’t want to miss either of these posts – or the next one, when I will introduce my theme for 2018 which I hope to see a number of you getting in on the challenge too.

Prior to introducing the theme, I invited Sue Loncaric to write a blog post for me on the topic, Link Parties. I know nothing about this topic, but I’m hoping to use it as part of my project. So welcome Sue! Thank you for being my guest today.

Talking about Link Parties

I was delighted when Shirley asked me to be a guest on her blog and write about Link Parties.

I currently co-host 2 weekly link parties – Over the Moon and Blogger’s Pit Stop – plus a monthly one which is just for Grandmothers. It is called the Blogging Grandmothers Link Party.

In January, my friend Leanne from Cresting the Hill and I will be starting a new link party – Midlife Share the Love Party. This will be a link up exclusively for Midlife Lifestyle bloggers. There are so many link parties out there for recipes, crafts and yummy mummies but not many for those of us who fall into the Midlife Lifestyle category. So we decided to set one up for ourselves!

I also participate in other link parties during the week or month which you can find over at my Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond blog. read more

Ten Ways to Make Your Blog Unique

This entry is part 9 of the series International English

Do you want your site to stand out in the noise of the Internet?

Do you want a unique blog or website?

So what is your goal?

Are you hoping to make it the best in your niche? Then I need to disillusion you.

Sorry.

You will never be the best. According to the stats at the time, in 2013  there were an estimated 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet. Yep, 152 million! And that was years ago. There are doubtless many many more today. And guess what. Many of them will be in your niche!

I’m sure you’re good, but that good?

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Zing and Zeal for Your Blog

This entry is part 28 of the series Build a Better Blog

Z is for zing and zealWe’ve come to the end of the Build a Better Blog alphabet, and today  we’re looking for that final touch. We have two words today.

Zing and Zeal!

First some definitions.

My dictionary describes zing as the activeness of an energetic personality.

It also suggests a brief high-pitched buzzing or humming like “the zing of the passing bullet”.

For those of us participating in the A to Z Challenge it would be appropriate to mention the zing of April as it sped past! But that’s not the sense we’re using in this closing post, but rather the activeness of an energetic personality.

Zeal according to my dictionary means  a feeling of strong eagerness, excessive fervor to do something or accomplish some end, and finally prompt willingness..

Face your blog with  a combination of zing and zeal and I guarantee it will take off!

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Twenty Tips to Create Tempting Titles

This entry is part 22 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.

Have you ever given a blog post (or a book!) a title which sucked? I have. And it shows up almost immediately in the stats. The title doesn’t appeal. So no-one wants to read the post / book.

It’s a common expression, you don’t sell a book by its cover (see K is for Kindle where I refute the idea) but I’d like to take that one step further. Not only does the picture on the cover (or at the top of your post) count, so does your title.

If the title doesn’t grab your potential readership, no one will read it.

It’s that simple. You need to create tempting titles that will draw readers to your blog.

Follow the suggestions in this series, whether you are an author, an entrepreneur or a family scribe, and you will build a better blog than you’ve ever imagined . . . but use an empty title and no one will come visiting.

I researched this topic before I started to write, and I was amazed to read some of the comments. For example:

‘On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.’ David Ogilvy on Writers Write.

“We spend an average of 30 minutes per title in search of the absolute best wording.” Content Marketing Institute

I sometimes deliberate over titles for 30–60 minutes before settling on one that works. And I often go back and change them. Jeff Goins read more

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

Quest for Quality

This entry is part 19 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.

Hi All.

I’m back with the next post on the A to Z Challenge, still looking at the theme, Build a Better Blog.  And today we’re reached one of the tough letters – Q:

But here we go with

Q is for Quest for Quality.

First a couple of questions.

Are people reading your blog?

Are you just wasting your time?

Here are a number of ways that will help you turn out quality posts that will persuade your readers to keep visiting and reading as you Build a Better Blog. 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

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