Ever Wonder What Happens to your Old Reviews?

I found this online tonight while looking for myself online. I looked up my married name which I didn’t keep for very long. But, I had forgotten I published using it. It was very nice to find my review of this book saved on the author’s site, no less!

myoldreview

 

I don’t know what my original headline would have been. I am quite sure I did save all my old content from the HerCorner site so it will be reposted on this site somewhere. But, here is the text form of the review for those who can’t see the image I took as a screenshot above.

Laura Tripp, hercorner.com
The hardest part of being a freelance writer is finding the courage to put your neck on the line. First, when you open yourself up to write, whether its fiction, non-fiction or a letter to your best friend, you have to open up about yourself to bring life to the writing. Secondly, writers need the courage to publish their writing. If you keep it in a box under your bed, safe from the world, its less scary but you are also stifling your voice. As a writer your voice is a treasure to share. Its a shame to keep it locked away, silent.

That’s why I bought the book The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes. The purpose of the book is to encourage writers to reach out past their fears. However, the first half of the book describes the fears of other, already famous writers. Although these are stories of success meant to encourage its not really that helpful. I came looking for ways to help myself. That’s when I read far enough to get to the second half of the book. Its here the real advice and suggestions start.

One of my favourites is writing before you’re ready. Just start, don’t wait for everything to fall into place surprise yourself into writing. This is something that does work for me. How about using your fear. All that energy generated by your fear of failure, fear of being exposed as a fraud, etc., take it and use it as energy for writing. Get yourself charged up and then pick up a pen, turn on the computer and pour it all out into words. This is something that would take a little mental work but it could work. Could you write in your car, while waiting for your kids at the dentist, in the middle of a packed shopping mall or while sipping a coffee after dinner at your kitchen table. A change of place could bring you a change of pace if you’re feeling trapped by your surroundings, your mood or your fears.

Many other suggestions come up in the book. Each writer needs to read it to find what works for them and which appeals to them personally. There is a lot here for writers of all genres, personalities and skill levels. Here and there are writing tips, for the actual writing. I found this a good experience but I never really found what I was looking for on a personal level. I think my answers might be in a different book, one that covers self-esteem a little deeper. But its a good start at figuring myself out as a writer and it did make me feel inspired to write, create and most of all get my stuff published.

Blogging 101: Say Your Name

Capture

I haven’t re-named any of my sites but I have gone through and put more thought (and some humour) into giving them new bylines. I can’t promise they will still be the same a month from now. But here they are today:

herebedragonswreckyratbird

diycreativeblogging

greenlivhistory

asciiartist

 

wordgrrls

Today’s challenge:

You set your blog’s address when you registered at WordPress.com, but your blog’s title — what readers see on your site when they visit — can be changed at any time. Today, let’s make sure you love yours.

Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline.
Why?

The title is the first thing most readers will see.
Your title and tagline work with elements like like your address and theme to give visitors context and help them decide to stick around.
Your title doesn’t need to be the same as your blog’s URL — there’s no need to call it “maryjanesmith922.” Your title should reflect you.

A title is typically only a few words, so consider adding a tagline — a phrase that appears under your title and helps flesh it out. Think “Burger King: Have It Your Way,” or The Daily Post: The Art and Craft of Blogging.” Look at the post your wrote yesterday. Why are you here? Let us know in your tagline.

Here are the details on editing your title and tagline, along with some accumulated wisdom from other WordPress bloggers. Here’s one of our favorite nuggets of advice:

Try listing adjectives that describe your personality, and play around with the words until you can tweak them into a name that’s catchy but uniquely “you.” Puns always work well. Start with certain common phrases, songs, and literary titles, and then mix the words up. Or use your own name in a clever way.
She’s a Maineiac
If you’re already thrilled with your title or you want to do more, feel free to publish a post, too! Let readers know what inspired your title and tagline, or, If you need want writing inspiration, take a look at today’s prompt.

The Art of Comment Spam

This is a comment sent to one of the sites I write for:

Excellent article. I am experiencing a few of these issues as well..

Would you accept this comment or moderate it (delete it/ mark as spam)?

Less experienced blog publishers would tend to accept and publish this comment. I did not. Why?

It’s generic. It helps if you know the post this was left for was about a cartoon collection called “Love Is…”. So, yes, there are issues, romantic issues, life issues and dating issues. But, the actual post was more about cartoons and collectibles than issues. Does that help you decide to keep or reject the comment (above)?

It is an art (in a way) to create a generic comment in hopes of getting it posted. The goal is to have your link accepted (the one you add to your comment with your name and email). If you get enough links accepted then they show up as published (accepted) comments and this helps sell those links as viable/ non-spam links to Google and so on.

Anyway, the part of that I find interesting at the moment is the art of writing a generic comment – appearing to sincerely comment while actually saying nothing. Have you heard of double speak?

Come up with a few truly great examples of generic comments a blogger could be fooled into accepting as real, sincere comments. Remember to keep it just generic enough that you can get away with posting the same comment everywhere, on any kind of post.

How to Write a Good Newsletter

We used to make zines with typed and photocopied pages. Those were the old days, before desktop publishing, computers and the whole concept of publishing on the Internet. Now, people are creating email newsletters to promote their online services and businesses. In between are the old, real newsletters which can still be created, written, planned, published and distributed to make money in the real (offline) world.

Consider making money with a real newsletter, in real print (not on the Internet).

Consider how many online newsletters you have actually read lately compared to the actual print newsletter which you pick up while you are out somewhere and likely read during some of your offline down time. I read the same print newsletter every month. It’s distributed through the family restaurant where I like to have a leisurely breakfast out a few times a month. I watch for the latest newsletter there. It’s sponsored by local businesses (it makes money by publishing their ads) and the content is light and simple. If the same content were on a website I would pass it by. But, when I’m just sitting there, enjoying a slow pace, that newsletter gets read and I enjoy it.

The print newsletter is not dead, it’s just a little rusty, dusty and over looked.

Make money writing a print newsletter you can distribute in your local community. Once you have a basic product (the newsletter) get paid advertising to make money from it all.

Open Source (Free) Graphics Editors

Desktop Publishing Software

The Business Plan

Start by looking at what sort of newsletter already exists in your area. You can get ideas from them and decide how you will compete with them. What could you bring that would get new readers, bring new information and attract local businesses to advertise in your newsletter?

Talk to local businesses and see who would be interested in in advertising and what kind of money they would consider fair and reasonable. It would be a good plan to approach them with a mock up of your print newsletter and a distribution plan. This way you will be ready to answer (at least some of) their questions.

Printing and Distributing the Newsletter

You need to find a local printer. Try offering free ad space in exchange for a discount on the cost of printing the newsletter. But, don’t choose a printer based on price alone. You want someone who can print the newsletter on time, without printing errors. One thing you can do is ask about left over paper stock from other jobs they have printed. You could get a bargain on paper someone else ordered and then didn’t use.

Printers can fold and/ or staple newsletters for you but that is an extra cost. Consider doing your own folding – at least until you are making money and can afford to spend on a few nice extras.

Is your newsletter being distributed in store fronts or mailed out? Options for distribution need to be considered based on cost, effectiveness and how well you can track the issues you put out versus how many were read by people. You need to know this for your advertisers. They want to know their ads are being seen.

Passive distribution means you leave your newsletter in public areas where people will pick it up. Active distribution means you have to know who you are sending your newsletter to, you will need to create and build up a mailing list of subscribers. If you use active distribution you can also consider having paying subscribers versus free subscriptions. People might pay for a subscription to a print newsletter if the content were valuable to them in particular. A general sort of newsletter isn’t likely to find a lot of people interested in paid subscriptions.

Read More

How to Write a Christmas Newsletter

Publishing a Hyper Local Print Newsletter

Small publishing and distributing a print newsletter with ads, to make some money. Could you do it? Would you do it? Is a small community newsletter/ newspaper a good idea for a home based business, for you?

Articlesbase: What Does it take to Publish a Community Magazine?

Newspapers Canada FAQ

Chron: How do Free Community Papers Make Money?

AZCentral: How do Free Community Papers Make Money?

eHow: How to Create Fliers for Free – a bit of desktop publishing using non-traditional software.

How to Publish a Small Newspaper

Tools Needed to Start a Newspaper Business

How to Start a Newspaper

How to Make Money with a Local Newspaper

How to Start a Small Newspaper Business

Do You Have a Posting System?

This comes from Founder Tips: Ali Luke Explains How You Can Become a Better Blogger By Becoming a Better Writer

My posting system looks like this:

  1. Come up with ideas. I try to get several at a time – I keep a list on my computer that I add to when I’ve got a few minutes to sit and brainstorm.
  2. Write an outline for the post. My outlines always have “introduction” at the start and “call to action” at the end. In the middle, I’ll have a few key points – these often become subheadings. If I’m planning a list post, I’ll brainstorm the items for the list and juggle them around to find the best order.
  3. Draft the post (following the outline). I try to do this in one sitting, so I don’t lose my train of thought. If I’m working on a really big post, though, I might do different sections on different days. When I’m drafting, I don’t worry too much about writing perfect sentences or using correct grammar: I can fix any problems in the editing stage.
  4. Edit the post. Quite often, I’ll leave a post for a few hours or even overnight so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes. I always find some things that I want to change – sentences to cut out or rewrite, for instance. This is a good chance to look out for typos, too.
  5. Publish and promote the post. It might seem a bit odd to include this in a writing system, but a big part of any sort of writing involves getting your message out to an audience. Personally, I don’t feel like my writing is complete until it has readers.

This is my system too. But I don’t put too much time into an outline. I start the draft and build the format as I go. Usually I’m working on the draft while I do the research, fact checking and formatting how the post will look.

E-Publishing

This was originally part of the Suite101 University ecourses. They are all being taken down from the site, sometime soon. I have preserved some because they are worth keeping. It seems a shame to lose something which has value and had so much effort put into it’s creation.

E-Publishing

By Dawn Whitmire

Introduction

“Catch the Wave — Become an E- Publisher”

Anyone with a computer will tell you e-commerce and e-publishing are definite waves of the future. More and more e-publishers are popping up over the Internet and it’s not surprising others want a piece of this pie. If you’ve thought about becoming an e-publisher, this course is for you. However, let’s be frank. This is not an easy job where you’ll make quick money overnight. E-publishing takes investment of your time and knowledge. You have to be willing to learn that which you do not know and to find someone who can teach you. If you’re reviewing this course introduction, the thought has crossed your mind or maybe you know someone who is interested in venturing into the wide world of e-publishing. Can we show you how? Absolutely. Can we make you a success? Absolutely … not. That will be up to you. Your success will depend upon your devotion to your task and your drive to succeed. We can give you the steps to take; we cannot infuse you with determination.

Read more

Do You Use WordPress Proofreader to your Advantage?

Are you making full use of all the proofreading features available with the newest version of WordPress?

If you put some time into understanding how the features work (mainly how to understand what they are suggesting to you) you can have an editor look over your post before you publish it to your site. This is something people should be taking advantage of. I didn’t know they had so much packed into it beyond spellcheck.

English Grammar and Style Options

The proofreader applies many of its grammar rules by default. These extra options find patterns of poor writing style:

  • Bias language may offend or alienate different groups of readers.
  • Clichés are overused phrases with little reader impact.
  • Complex phrases are words or phrases with simpler every-day alternatives.
  • Diacritical marks are accents and marks attached to letters in some nouns and words borrowed from other languages. This option helps restore these marks in your writing.
  • double negative is one negative phrase followed by another. The negatives cancel each other out, making the meaning hard to understand.
  • hidden verb is a verb made into a noun. These often need extra verbs to make sense.
  • Jargon phrases are foreign words and phrases that only make sense to certain people.
  • Passive voice obscures or omits the sentence subject. Frequent use of passive voice makes your writing hard to understand.
  • Phrases to avoid are wishy-washy or indecisive phrases.
  • Redundant phrases can be shortened by removing an unneeded word.

RIP Anne McCaffrey

I think writers need windows on a view to remind them that a whole world is out there, not the minutiae with which they might be dealing on a close scale.

I don’t often reread my own books, unless I am going into another in the series and need to refresh my mood when originating the concept.

A good story is a good story no matter who wrote it.

Because we build the worlds we wouldn’t mind living in. They contain scary things, problems, but also a sense of rightness that makes them alive and makes us want to live there.

That’s what writing is all about, after all, making others see what you have put down on the page and believing that it does, or could, exist and you want to go there.

I do outlines when I’m writing with someone, but they also need to have a certain amount of freedom.

The thing is, emotion – if it’s visibly felt by the writer – will go through all the processes it takes to publish a story and still hit the reader right in the gut. But you have to really mean it.

Anne McCaffrey Quotes

Anne McCaffrey.com

Send your Comment Spam to Ben

We Need Your Spam!
On July 30th, Spam Comment will publish its 200th post. This is great news – but unfortunately it also means we’ve run out of spam comments to publish. Therefore, we really, really need you to send us your comment spam!

Don’t just send us any old spam though – look for the particularly unique comments that would be fun to share. Include your name and blog URL and we’ll credit you for the link.

From time to time we’ll also award a free 125×125 ad, so you’ve really got nothing to lose by helping us out.