Tag Archives: tips

More Content on My YouTube Channel: Booktubing

Right now, on my YouTube channel, I have some travel videos, immigration videos, and other videos related to Japan. Coming soon: Booktubing. What is Booktubing? It’s a part of YouTube dedicated to books and reading.

Here’s a video by Little Book Owl describing how to be a Booktuber.

Some things I plan to do with Booktubing are book reviews, discussing new books I’ve received, and more.

Since I’m relatively new to Booktubing, I don’t actually know who the best Booktubers are. Do you have any recommendations about who to follow? Let me know in the comments below.

I Have Joined Patreon

What is Patreon?

It’s a crowdfunding platform for artists and creators. Youtubers, authors, bloggers, webcomic creators, and artists are the most common kinds of content creators. The system allows a patron (a supporter) to pay a tip to the creator, whether it’s for each piece of art or video created, or it’s a monthly payment that they set themselves. It can be as low as $1 per month. But there are rewards for those who pay more. Think of Patreon as a way of thanking the creator for what they do.

Why did I join it?

It’s a way to help me support my family and pay the bills while allowing me to spend more time to writing and blogging. I also intend on creating videos. However, my main focus is on writing my book.

What will I do with the money?

Pay bills, depending on other income. It will also help me pay for editors and any other person I need to pay to make my books as professional as possible.

What do you get?

As a patron, you get to see behind the scenes videos and other information that only patrons can see. You’ll also get exclusive access to samples of my first draft as it becomes available, and likely monthly. There will also be other samples of my writing you’ll be able to see before it’s available to the public.

Where can I find it?

You can find my Patreon page right here!

I’m open to other suggestions for rewards or exclusive content for patrons. Let me know in the comments!

A Great Resource for Writers

I discovered a great blog today that I have to share with you. If you’re struggling with making your writing stand out with a variety of words and phrases, this is the place for you. Bryn Donovan has a very informative blog, as well as a book that just came out.

Going through her blog briefly, you’ll notice some of her more popular posts are Master Lists. Actually, her book is Master Lists for Writers. It looks very interesting, and after moving to Canada, I’m considering buying it. Looks like a good resource for livening up my writing.

But back to the Master Lists.  There are three that I’ve seen on the blog:

These are some long lists that are very useful. And these are just the first three sections of the book. There’s a lot more in the book, from what I’ve seen of the table of contents.

So, check out her blog. I’m following it now, and plan to check out more.

Who Has the WordPress Dashboard?

After looking at my sister’s WordPress account, and having heard from a couple other people, I’m a bit curious about this. Take a look at this picture.

wordpressadminIf you have WordPress, go My Sites and look at the left column. Do you have the WP Admin link? That’s where the red arrow is. This link leads to the Dashboard for your blog. It’s completely missing from my sister’s account and from some others I’ve heard from. I have it, though. In fact, I always use it. I never use any of the options below in this column shown in the image. There are so many menu options missing. Honestly, I don’t think I can fully utilise my blog without the Dashboard.

So, if you don’t have that link, here’s how to get to your Dashboard: type in your blog’s URL and add wp-admin/ after it. So, for example, it could be https: //yourblogurl.wordpress.com/wp-admin/

Give it a try, and let me know if it works. And just so you know, that’s where you can access the old editor, which is far more useful than the new one, if you ask me. Can’t stand the Beep Beep Boop editor.

My Take on This Whole Blogging Thing

I write this blog for many reasons. I’m sure everyone has their reasons, and not everyone is the same. But I think most people would like to have other people read their blogs and interact with them. How can we attract readers? Here are some ideas I have and what I’ve done.

Focus

Your blog should have a focus. Try not to be too broad in terms of topics. People looking for a certain topic will be more likely to stay and read more of your posts if you stay on topic.

What I’m doing is focusing on writing, books, and anything related to the genres I read and write in. I focus on science fiction and fantasy, so I will often post about writing in those genres, book reviews, worldbuilding, and so on. I write about science, as well. But this relates to science fiction and using science to make it more believable. I will also be writing a lot on geography, which goes hand-in-hand with worldbuilding. I want to understand the world I’ve created, so I’ll study our world and make mine more realistic. Consider it a big research project.

Reply to Comments

If you want to have people return to your blog regularly, make sure that you reply to their comments. They’ll see that you care about what they have to say, and they’ll want to engage with you on your blog more often.

I do this. I reply to every comment that I can. I’ve built a good group of regular commenters, and I thank them every month with Commentition. This month, I’ve had a slow month. My views are down, the comments are down. I’ve been slow at replying. I think there is a direct correlation. However, consider the fact that my sister was here for half of the month, and I was writing mostly shorter posts and haven’t had much time to reply regularly. My sister has gone back home, so things should return to normal now.

Post at Regular Times

It’s best to understand when your readers are online. Consider where they live, and what times they’ll most likely be online. Post at those times if possible. If not, then set your blog to post at those times for you. Use the scheduling feature. Your posts will be more visible, and they’ll come.

Most of my readers are in North America, so I tend to post around the evening and morning. Interestingly, the most popular time on my blog is in the morning, so I try post at those times. This post will be visible to everyone in the evening, though. But that’s fine, because that’s also a busy time.

Reply to Comments Part 2

Reply to your comments after you post. That way, those who come to read your comment will check and see if you’ve posted anything else.

Exactly what I try to do. In fact, after I post this, I’ll be replying to comments!

Comment Elsewhere

Don’t just comment on your blog, comment on other blogs. Comment on blogs that are popular. You’ll get greater exposure that way. And if the owner of that blog happens to like what you say, they will probably visit your blog, and who knows, maybe they’ll reblog something you post.

I try doing this, but it seems that I often don’t have time. I need to work on this myself.

So, does all of this work for me? It has worked quite well. That is, it works well when I stick with it. I don’t always do a good job at taking my own advice. Looking at my blog stats, I notice that this month is likely to be my worst month this year. But that’s because of my sister’s visit. Two years ago, I crossed the 1,000 view per month barrier. Why? Perhaps because of a post a day challenge I set for myself. I then decided to continue doing a post a day for 2014, and my numbers kept going up, eventually passing 2,000 views per month. Then for this year, I increased that to two posts a day, and I topped 3,000 views in January. I’ve repeated that a few times this year, and not one month has been below 2,000 views. I must be doing something right.

But there’s a problem. This year, I’ve stagnated. The views haven’t increased.  The comments have, though. I have far greater interaction on this blog than I ever have, which is wonderful. I’d like to get more readers, though. So what’s wrong? I think this goes back to commenting on other blogs. I’m not attracting those other bloggers. I don’t comment elsewhere regularly enough. This is something I must focus on, and it will be my big focus over the next few months.

Other things that definitely help are the following:

  • Use social media to plug your posts.
  • Provide a link to your blog in your signature on discussion forums.
  • Tag your posts with appropriate tags, but keep it under thirteen.
  • Invite comments on your posts by asking questions.
  • Do a weekly series that keeps readers coming back, and post them every week on the same day.
  • Provide links to websites you reference. This can help your search rankings.
  • Link to blogs, don’t reblog. If you like another person’s blog post, say something meaningful in a blog post about it, and link to the post. People often don’t like reading reblogs very much.
  • Use pictures in your posts. They’ll be more visible in your blog reader, as well as social media.
  • And finally, be yourself. I think if the post sounds more personable, then people will like it more and want to interact.

So, my question to you is this: What else would you recommend to help increase readership and interaction? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. And please share this post. Let’s get some great advice.

A Checklist For Authors

Simple things to do when writing a book. I like this list. It’s what authors should look at when they write a novel.

MLNewman

checklist

Hook readers with a strong first chapter.

Create a sympathetic character.

Give the character a strong central goal.

Obstruct the character’s goal with equally strong opposition.

Craft a strong plot with proper structure.

Do your research and get your facts straight.

Balance action and character with properly structured scene/sequel pairings.

Write realistic, entertaining dialogue.

Maintain a consistent point-of-view.

Create original and entertaining voices for narrating characters.

Tighten descriptions with more strong verbs and nouns and fewer modifiers.

Show more than you tell.

Dig deep for original ideas and turns of phrase.

Properly foreshadow your climax—without giving away any big reveals.

Build realistic and engaging settings.

Add meaningful subplots only.

Create a dynamic arc of growth for your character.

Add interesting minor characters who can power the plot forward.

Choose the right tone to enhance your plot and theme.

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