Ghost Writer Fades to Black

You just can’t ghost write your way into being a thought leader.

via Content Used to Be King. Now It’s the Joker.  | Scoop.it Blog.

This is an excellent quote and describes how I have been feeling about the blogging/ web writing and publishing I have been doing for the past year. I’ve listened to what people tell you Google wants. Well, Google is not king and Google does not read this or any other blog.

For now this site is on hiatus until I am ready to create my own content again. 

No more ghost writing.

Manage Your WordPress Tags with Strictly Auto Tags

First, download the Strictly Auto Tags plugin.

You can do a lot to get started with the free plugin on WordPress. But, if you really want to manage your tags better, and maintain them, the paid plugin gives extra features and options. Please donate, even if you use the free plugin. Plugin developers need love (and coffee) too.

Second, read this guide to using the plugin from Rob, the creator of the plugin (and a list of others which you can find on his site, Strictly Software).strictly auto tags

There are 2 main uses for it.

1. With Auto Discovery ON. This is where it is ideal for news sites as it will find new people, names, companies, institutions etc without using lookup lists. So if I got famous over night and an article was imported about me  I would be found without some other sites list being updated e.g 3rd party API’s (as the other tagging plugins use APIS to send data over and get tag suggestions back and would have to wait for my name to be added to the list). 

So for discovering new names e.g two or more capitalised words like Robert Reid or acronyms like CIA. Then the auto discovery is good for finding NEW possibilities for words to be used as tags.

2. You can always use it with Auto Discovery OFF. If you have a massive tag list you have built up already and just want to re-tag posts then that’s great. It will just use your existing tags as options. 

Obviously you can use it with both options on and see if it finds any new tags worth using. That is your choice.

Always use the example in the readme.txt as a test to ensure it works.

Always read the debugging steps in the readme.txt file to see if it is a bug or you not setting something up or expecting it to do something it isn’t set up to do.

Also if you write your own material I would always save as a draft first, see which tags it has put in, then remove those I don’t want, add those I do before publishing etc. The quality of the tags will always depend on what material you are writing about, stored existing tags that are in that article, and any new words the plugin can find.

I used Strictly Auto Tags, the free version, to re-tag my blog after removing every tag about 2 years ago. I had gotten frustrated with the clutter of tags which repeated each other in slightly different ways and it was a big mess when I wanted to tag a post and had too many options or nothing at all. Anyway, Strictly Auto Tags is great.

How I used the plugin on my own blog

Start by using Discovery to re-tag (especially if you are starting from scratch as I did). Then, go through and edit, revise, add, etc, the tag words which the plugin discovered and added for you. There will be a lot of them but I found none were too extreme or completely off the mark. Most I did delete or revise (making phrases one word or changing a word down to the singular rather than the plural). I kind of enjoyed working on all those tag words. I had forgotten so much about my own site and things I wrote about in the past. I made notes for future blog posts based on the tags discovered by Strictly Auto Tags.

Keep your tags working and sorted out by using the auto tags without Discovery on. Once your tags are set the plugin will tag your new posts with the existing tags. As Rob wrote, save your post to draft first and check which tags will be added. This is when you can edit them if you don’t want a tag or want to add a new tag.

Purchasing the full version for more features and to see what else I can do with my tags now that they are working so well again

Tagging was such a chore for me before that I am going to get the paid version of Rob’s Strictly Auto Tags plugin so I can run it with all the extra features and avoid the tagging problems which caused me to get rid of them all before. I did find tags to be a good thing and I do see that they add to traffic and the chance for my blog posts to be found. So, doing away with tags was a good experiment, but I’m bringing them back now. Very glad to have found a plugin to do a lot of the work for me. Sure, I could have ignored all the past posts and just started tagging from here, but that would bug me. I am a bit all or nothing in that way.

C is for Canada

ascii art canada

 

I may be the only one who gets the idea behind my design. But, here it is. I wanted to do something fresh because I started the A to Z Blogging Challenge to help get myself back on track. I used to post daily, then I got too many other sites and put that extra pressure on myself. Blogging became a chore and I lost track of the elements I really like about web publishing. One of them being creating my own images whether my own photos, hand drawn cartoons or ASCII art (like this).

It’s Not a Gift if I Have to Pay for It

As much as I like AVG (have used it for years) this kind of annoyed me this morning. It came as a pop up window when I turned the computer on. I don’t mind the pop up so much, because it is from them. I really don’t like the new marketing idea being pushed – that a coupon is a gift. A coupon is a sales tactic, it’s not a gift. A gift is something freely given.

You may argue the coupon was freely given and yes, it was. However the product is not being offered as a gift. It clearly reads “Get your gift now”. I’ve already got the coupon so what is the gift?

In this case the gift is AVG because they do have a freeware version which I rely on and am very happy with. If I were making more money than I’m paying out for the Internet and my writing and publishing, then I would consider supporting AVG and buying their premium version. However, that isn’t practical right now.

Anyway, what do you think when you see coupons offered as free gifts?

Zine Making

Have you ever put together a zine? Do you even know what a zine is?

A zine should be creative with art too. Maybe some fiction or cartoon drawings. Personal essays and rants and artistic commentary all belong in a wide variety of zines I have seen and admired.

If you were going to take on the experiment of publishing your own zine, what would you make it? Once you pull together a plan think of a great name for the zine.

You may never actually put together a zine but you could take an hour to imagine yourself as a trendy, arty, underground or indie publisher of a zine.

I’m Posting this with ScribeFire

ScribeFireI’ve tried ScribeFire before. I just didn’t stick with it long enough to find it useful. This time around I’m going to try to give it more time and patience for the learning and setting up process.

Do you use third party software for your online writing/ blogging or web site publishing? I avoid a lot of it. More stuff just makes things complicated and confusing – for me anyway. Keep it simple is one of my favourite mottos.

My first impression of ScribeFire this time around was not great. The site has no updates since 2011. That makes me suspect it is a project which faded out along the way. But, so far it seems to be working. I don’t see spellcheck popping up yet though. I know myself enough to know spellcheck has saved me from hundreds of typos. When spellcheck lights up I (usually) listen.

Why Do they Keep Saying Blogging is Dead?

Blogging isn’t dead. Blogging is publishing and publishing online is just beginning to evolve.Where can you take your own site once you get started? Never think you are stuck in one direction or theme or can not change your point of view or your voice as a writer online. If you have gone as far as you want to, take another direction and talk about something that works for you as you have evolved now. The web (Internet) is developing – there is no need for it to stagnate or die.

via Blogging Is Dead (Again) | Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Blog – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image.

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

Changing, Choosing and Deciding

I’ve been off kilter for a few months. I stopped writing here awhile but I know I don’t want to stop writing Word Grrls. Instead I need to change my focus, choose something that works better for me and decide what I can maintain as myself rather than trying to be what other people claim a blog or site should be. I’ve never liked following the pack. Likely trying to do just that has caused me to feel less creative, happy and fulfilled. Burnt out, in short. (I know that’s a sentence fragment, sometimes you just have to ignore a little rule to show the message. Communication isn’t an exact science.)

I don’t know quite where I am going. I will be working on finishing up a lot of post ideas which I have half started and floundering around in my draft posts. I like my current tagline. It says a lot about how I’m feeling about web publishing these days. But, it may change.

No promises – other than those I make to myself.

Lost My Writing Passion

Refresh your energy for writing your same old blogging project.

I have lost count of my freelance writing years but I know I started writing online in 1998, or 1997 if you count the personal online diary. Over this time I have had many highs and lows. There have been periods where I lost my passion, or the enthusiasm wore thin. It’s normal.

There will always be great energy and passion for a new project. As time goes on and you explore the ideas you wanted to explore the energy slows down and you begin to sink into the project. It’s not that you stop caring but you start using a different energy. You find yourself using a staying power sort of energy.

It’s a great time to refresh your enthusiasm. You might find something new, you might be impulsive and make a change or you might close down the project. If you really want to. But, that’s a shame when there are other options.

Look for inspiration in sites for writers.

Seven Ways to Love Blogging Again

You can find a new side interest, generate new ideas, combine ideas and so on until you have given your self a revamped project to work with. For instance a fashion blogger could write about lingerie instead of trying to fill the niche for all women’s fashion. Or, the same fashion blogger could include pet fashion which matches or compliments their owner’s fashion choices.

Change something of the administration and inner workings of your blog/ site. Try something other than Blogger or WordPress. (Did you even know there are other choices?)

Add a new element. Try building a web directory with your links instead of leaving them in the standard blogroll. Try Link Library, a free plugin which works with WordPress. There are other ways to create a directory of links but this is the best of those I have experimented with. Of course you can use the tags, labels and categories with your blog to create a directory within each post.

A web directory isn’t for everyone. Your strong point may be social networking and being social in general. Start doing more with Twitter, Facebook and look for forums and online groups in your niche or a related topic. Be social, get outside your box and bring new ideas and perspective back when you start writing your blog again.

Try a new blogging/ writing format. Become a content curator – link to great content you find in your niche, write enough to explain why you are linking to it and don’t forget to give credit to the original writer. This could even be a weekly thing, like a round up post. List links and posts you’ve read during the week as a weekend (or which ever day you choose) blog post.

Learn a new skill. Start drawing your own images to add as illustrations for your posts. Or try another art form like your own digital photos, ASCII art and all kinds of alter art such as collage. Anything you can turn into an image file and add to your blog will work.

Take a break, temporarily. Don’t write for a week, not even a list of post ideas. Hold out on yourself. This gives your passion time to rebuild.

My own experience as a lost, blocked and downtrodden writer.

I’ve been writing my current, main blog since 2004. It began as part of another site, now gone. I kept it going on my own. Having a schedule helps me with self-discipline. Though I was making weekly posts at first, I stepped up and went daily a couple of years ago. The schedule is good, the discipline is good too but… having a tighter posting schedule accelerates burnout.

So, in the years I’ve been publishing, editing and writing online I have had writer’s block and burnout more than a handful of times. I pull myself out each time. I will this time too. One or more of the ideas I’ve written about above worked for me. After all, I’m still here, writing, editing and publishing online.