Independence Day for this blog….

Well friends, after much consideration, I’ve decided to stop the Saturday morning posts here at Pajama Marketing… set the blog free.

I’ve begun writing advice and marketing blog tips for Freelance-Zone.com, with frequent posts, and Pajama Marketing was intended to give writers an easy way to get into the writing routine with a fun tip or suggestion each week.

Since I started this blog, there are more and more blogs, social media distractions, and tweets galore – all taking your time and attention. So I’ll leave this up for a month or so, then produce an ebook based on the content. Those who’ve visited and boosted my traffic to over 2,000 visitors can email me and request the ebook for free. Send a note to Helen@releaseyourwriting.com.

New material, ideas, and inspiration will continue to appear at Freelance-Zone.com and on the Release Your Writing blog at releaseyourwriting.blogspot.com, I now create and manage so many blogs for clients that I’ll spend my Saturday mornings writing content for others, I appreciate your loyal following here, and look forward to seeing you online, and reading your blogs as always.

Happy Independence Day to all writers!

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Author Blogs

While websites seem like “home-base” for your online portfolio, more writers are moving to blogs.

First, they are free, with no hosting fee, and do not require a web designer.

They’re easier to update, through the blog software, and

Blogs have more fresh content, so they are more visible in search engines.

Interested in seeing more author blogs? Check out mediabistro.com, shewrites.com, and redroom.com for starters.

Here are a few to check out this morning:

http://www.shirleyshowalter.com/blog/

http://meghanward.com/blog/

http://www.smartauthorsites.com/authorsblog/2012/02/4-tips-for-building-a-successful-author-blog/

Keep learning… keep growing.

Eight apps for writers

 

Take a jog over to Release Your Writing’s blog today to enjoy eight productivity apps for writers, courtesy of my friends at onlineclasses.org.

Power Blogging times two

I am out at two workshops today, in Mundelein and Lake Zurich. The topic, Power Blogging, is my most-requested program this year.

As a writer, you know a blog is good for gaining exposure for your work, but there’s more:

A Blog is…

A public space to be seen, and to reach people
Regular writing exercise
A way to connect with people
A free tool to build a following
The basis for a platform to promote your work

In summary, a blog is easier than a web site, more focused than Facebook, and more tantalizing than Twitter.

Stay home in your PJs on a rainy Saturday, and blog today!

 

Lit Mag Love Contest from Writer’s Relief

I love reading literary magazines. The pleasure of a Saturday morning with time to relax and appreciate good reading, and the potential to inspire my own writing to new heights. If you want to expand your lit mag reading, Writer’s Relief has a fun way to begin:

f you subscribe to two literary journals, you can be entered to win free subscriptions to two more journals of your choice! Plus, if you tweet or post this contest, as I did, you could be selected as the bonus winner. Literary journals play an important role in the lives of writers. And even if you don’t enter, join me in supporting literary journals! Learn more: http://www.writersrelief.com/blog/2011/10/three-cheers-literary-journals/.

Do you Vlog?… video blog?

Video blogs are a cool tool for authors, You would create one to share a book trailer, create a self-produced author Q & A, or keep readers engaged with your work in process.

This technology is easier than ever with video capability right on your phone, so take it seriously if you want to raise your author profile online.

For basic training, tour Wikipedia’s database on vlogging here.

Want more exposure for your blog?

To get your blog in wider circulation, consider adding it to Networked Blogs for visibility in your Facebook community.

Sign up at networkedblogs.com and log in to Facebook from there. Your blog posts will appear on Facebook automatically. And, your networkedblog.com listing gives you even more exposure.

Like most of the author marketing strategies I share with you, it’s free.

Helen

SEO: Search enginge optimization in 3 easy steps

The way to get noticed online is to show up high in search engine rankings. The term “search engine optimization” (SEO) refers to the use of keywords and repetition to show up well in searches. That drives more traffic to your blog or site, and helps you connect with readers. SEO is big business, tracking click-thru rates and repeated visits to your blog.

There is no particular trick to writing SEO-friendly blog posts and you don’t need any special skill or software.

1. Good blog writing will give good SEO results. Use good descriptive words that will attract people interested in your topic.

2. Use good titles: That’s why the name of your blog is so important – just as is the name of particular post titles. You want titles to look compelling when people come across them in search results or in a blog list. Those inbound referrals from other blogs carry more weight, because of the exponential expansion of the links from multiple sites that link to each other.

3. Tune up your writing and make sure you use context-specific words in your posts for good visibility online. You have to read other blogs and do a few web searches within your topic to learn what keywords relate well to your topic.

TIP:  You can also set a Google Alert so if your name or your blog’s name shows up anywhere online, you’ll get notified via email. People who have an alert set for your topic, such as ‘adoption’ or ‘sustainable gardening’ will find your blog show up in search results, and be directed to you.

*****

A Writer’s Digest editor once wrote about my publishing blog at Release Your Writing. She said it was smart because the blog and the book both have the same name – a very specific and accurate way to tie visitors and web searches to my book.

Blog or Journal?

Is there more to gain by blogging on a Saturday morning, or on writing in your journal? Both give you a place to exercise your voice, and both are free-form exploration of thoughts. If you’re unsure about the value of blogging, keep in mind the content has to have value for the reader as well as for you, the writer.

That may be the key difference. Either way, you’re writing, which is fabulous. But writing for yourself, and writing to share your thoughts is, or should be, the deciding factor. My Saturday errands and grocery list wouldn’t be of interest to you, but my thoughts on a recent blog entry at Guide to Literary Agents are worth sharing with you. The new series there called “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far” by Lara Ehrlich is here.

Because it is a guest post on an agent’s blog, you too can gain visibility in the blogging world, and in front of agents, by writing blog posts there.  If you haven’t done so yet, spend some time this morning going over your ideas, and submit an email to the Guide to Literary Agents with your idea. We may be reading your work there next week. The blog, run by Writer’s Digest editor Chuck Sambuchino, offers rich resources, include a series on successful quieries here.  As with most good blogs, you’ll feel like you struck gold when you explore the depths of the Guide to Literary Agents blog in full.

Enjoy the journey,

Helen Gallagher

Blog strategies for fiction writers

Jane Friedman of Writer’s Digest is a power blogger, and has advice for fiction writers on whether there is a place for them among bloggers. Most blogs seem reality based, and succeed through good writing and information sharing.

How does a fiction writer create a ‘voice’ for a blog? Friedman suggests a fiction writer can serialize work, share information related to your book’s story, or write book reviews and articles to spur interest.

Last summer, I was a Curator of the Week at SheWrites.com recently and enjoyed viewing the members’ blogs. I chose three gems, and one, diary of a heretic.com, was a perfect example of what a fiction writer can do with a blog.  Author,  Kathleen Maher writes captivating short fiction.

Take a look, get inspired, and we hope to see you blogging here soon.

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