Is Your Ad in the Wrong Place?

You know what your blog is about, the theme/ topic you write about, the niche you stick to. Think about who you are writing for/ to (your readership). Your readers are looking for niche/ topical content when they come to your site. Do the ads on your site fit in?

Turn that around, consider the sites you run ads on or exchange links with. Do you run ads based on traffic and stats alone? Are you wasting your time and resources looking for readers in the wrong places?

Will the people who read that site see your ad and be interested in visiting you? What does your site have in common with the site your ad appears on?

You don’t have to stick to sites in your same genre or niche. However, running ads too far out of your niche like sports, financial or political sites if your site is about creative arts, selling your crafts, isn’t as effective as choosing other creative sites. Instead of a football fan site, try sites by writers, photographers or knitters. Look for inspirational or coaching sites if you write in a creative niche. People who create are always in search of fresh inspiration. Look for sites about using resources, saving money and being green in profitable ways if you run a site about business and related topics.

The site your ad runs in should compliment the niche of your own site. A blanket ad campaign will find some readers for you but you could run the same ad campaign with some focus on where they appear and get results focused on what you actually have to offer.

Half Sleeping Inspiration

Most of the time I only remember a dream for a few minutes once I wake up. A lot of the time I don’t think I even dream at all. But, the most unusual things are the thought splurges I have when my brain is coming awake. I think they are leftover traces of a dream. I can count on them always being unusual, off the wall and completely illogical. But, if I write them down, quickly, they are great inspiration for a real idea.

Keep a pen and paper by your bed and write down your first thoughts every morning. See what comes along for you. What inspiration you give yourself when you’re not quite awake.

Review: Creativity Now

Creativity Now: Get inspired, create ideas and make them happen now!

I bought this book last year. I wanted more creative ideas and inspiration. New things to try and build my own ideas from.

This book is a great way to get out of a rut, find a new idea, or a new spin on an old idea. If you want to start something new this book will give you many ways to get started, to look at things from a new direction and to think beyond the limits of your own mind.

One of the most creative things, that appealed to me on a personal level, was streetcombing.

“At the Creativity World Forum of 2008, Richard Stomp, innovation and strategy manager in the Netherlands, suggested that to be creative you should try ‘streetcombing’ – like beachcombing, but on the streets. … The very act of looking for interesting stuff to photograph causes a mind shift.”

Don’t stop to edit yourself, rethink what might be interesting to someone else, or wonder if you have the perfect shot. Use it as a time to explore your own mind, your interests and your creativity.

Creativity Now, by Jurgen Wolff.

Make a Visual Guide to your Character

Next time you have a stack of magazines you have read through or found somewhere, go on a treasure hunt. Look for photos of characters you could create/ write about. See if you could find the fashions they would wear. The destinations they would travel to on vacation. The way they would get rid of someone, assuming something drastic happened. Where would they build their home and what kind of home would it be?

Find as many pictures as you can to illustrate a character of your own design. Build up a collage of experiences for your character. Give yourself a visual guide to who they are and how they think. If you get stuck while writing it’s nice to have inspiration you can see right in front of you.

If you don’t have a character you are writing make the collage for yourself. What pictures can you find to illustrate your life experiences, your favourites and things you would like to do someday?

The Romantic Reality Challenge

Even if you’re a virgin you can write a real love scene. You’ve read the Harlequin, the romantic novel version, but how about a real love scene. He farts, she sneezes or gets the giggles. The sheet gets tangled or bunches up uncomfortably. The cat jumps on the bed. It’s not so easy to have romance in reality. Reality tends to assert itself at all the wrong moments.

Write a scene with two lovers who start out with a great plan but keep getting reality messing up the romance of their lovemaking.

Need more inspiration for chaos?

His toupee falls off into the bedsheets.
The phone rings, it’s her Mother leaving a long message, a really long message.
A rodent finds it’s way into the bedroom.
The cable repair person comes early, a day early.
Her earring gets caught in his mustache.
A spider spins it’s web down, down, down, getting closer and closer.
He has a really gross tattoo in an unusual area.
Things are going well until you hear someone talking under the bed.
You realize he’s got a video camera set up and has been filming the whole thing.
His watch gets caught in her hair.

I know you can come up with all kinds of disasters and minor annoyances to give romance a challenge.

Haiku for National Punctuation Day

National Punctuation Day is September 24th. This year they are looking for haikus with a literary theme. The site has several examples to give you added inspiration.

If you want to submit your haiku for the contest send your best 5-7-5 (syllables, that is) poetry to Jeff@NationalPunctuationDay.com.

Every culture
has spelling, letters and rhyme
in every land.

There’s my try at a literary haiku. Give it a try, don’t be shy.

Transitions Posted for Red Room

I made my first post to the weekly blog prompt at Red Room. The topic is transitions:

Transitions, the word makes me feel on edge, a little desperate. Too many moves from town to town and one country to another. Too many changes from one job to another. Too many people met and missed. I’d like some stability. Something I can count on to be steady and reliable.

I don’t mind change, I cope with it. I deal with it. But I’m not getting used to it. I’m both older and wiser due to change and transition. In that way it’s not a bad thing.

This month I will be starting a new job. I will be meeting a new set of co-workers. I will be getting to know the policies of a new company. New changes bring new ideas, new inspiration and new choices.

Transitions are the road signs along our road trip through life. We read the signs and then leave them behind until the next sign comes along. Each transition lasts a blink of an eye but has the lasting impact of forever.

You can find the weekly blogging prompt at Red Room and give it a few words yourself.

Revamping the Organized Clutter

I really need a day to turn off everything and just get organized again. Revamp my organized clutter. The clutter is taking over. I can see the dust bunnies peeking out from under my desk, waiting to make a grab for my toes. As messy as things are they are beginning to forget their place and lose their shyness. I’ve even got an old fashioned cobweb hanging down in one corner of the ceiling. When I run the ceiling fan I can see the cobweb blowing around. I keep meaning to get the broom and sweep it away, I just haven’t gotten that far yet.

I have a little filing cabinet. But it’s become a stash for things I need to sort through rather than a filing system for the things I need. I feel guilty. I feel like a hoarder in training. I feel like I’m going to find things I thought I had lost if I ever get this mountain sorted out and gone from the floor beside me.

I don’t know how people (some people) manage to stay tidy, organized and focused. It’s a skill I lack. I’m still trying to conquer the daily struggle to be self disciplined. I guess it’s part of that too. I need a fire sale, except I’m afraid I have too much to lose that I actually should be using. If all my ducks were in a row I’d be so much better, more effective, better organized and smarter too. My ducks just keep wandering around as if they will find a pond of water if they just keep looking.

I have enough common sense left to know the only way to tackle this is to actually get up to my elbows in it. To bring a garbage bag for expired coupons and other things past their due date. To pull out my file for clip art and snip those out from the morass. To type out the web sites that sounded interesting and see how many of them really are. To find anything personal, financial or legal in the stack of paper and put it aside before I dump the rest into the recycling box. There aren’t a lot of short cuts in tidying up your own clutter. Ignoring it for long periods of time just doesn’t work.

So much of this stuff is all part of some idea I had at some time. I get a lot of ideas. People who write (creative types in general) tend to get an onslaught of ideas or a trickle of inspiration. The problem is not to get yourself lost in the clutter that seems to build up so easily.