blogging tips, Blogs / Life, Contests

Going Live! You Won’t Want to Miss This!

 

Hey Everyone!

I am really excited to announce that on September 3rd, I will be going LIVE on Facebook to talk “All About Blogging” AND to announce the winner of the End of Summer Poetry Contest.

And all of you are invited to join me!

Invitations

During this LiveVideo, I will be accepting any question from any viewer about blogging or writing or publishing. However, to help make this run smoother, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below between now and then so that I have a base to start with. I’m actually a little nervous/excited about going live again (the first time I was completely inexperienced) and I would appreciate your support on that day.

In the hopes that this video will not be unavailable to those in school, I will be hosting the video on September 3rd @4pm PST.

At the end of my LiveStream, I will announce the winner of our End of Summer Poetry Contest (which, let me tell you, it is really heating up! We have got some amazing competitors.)

Don’t forget to follow my facebook page so that you are able to watch on September 3rd:

https://www.facebook.com/KaylaAnnAuthor/

Be sure to leave your questions about blogging, writing, or publishing in the comments below!

Happy Writing Everyone!

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Mental Health & Blogging Statistics

A blog is a lot like a person and just like us, blogs go through their own hills and valleys. That’s right, I’m talking about your stats.

Have you ever noticed how your stats seem to climb crazy high some days and other days, there is barely a distinguishable stump? Here is my advice to bloggers:

Don’t Obsess Over Your Stats.

A lot of bloggers measure their success based on how many people viewed, liked, commented on, or reblogged their posts. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is awesome and encouraging but if you base the success of your blog on the success of your stats you are going to fail.

Yes, good stats often reflect a good blog, but over-analyzing them can lead to self-doubt, a sense of never being good enough, and inability to post due to a fear that it will not garner enough of a reaction.

Stats are good for information but not as a goal.

Instead, use realistic goals for your blog and determine your purpose. Ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of my blog?
  • What do I want to achieve through my blog?
  • What part about blogging do I enjoy the most?

Instead of focusing on stats, focus on these three things instead for a healthier blogging experience!

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Schedule Ahead of Time

One of the biggest obstacles to blogging (I think) is consistently pushing through posts on a regular basis that contain great content. What I mean by this: it is hard to post every day, or even every other day, and on top of that, it is harder to post great blogs every time.

Let’s be honest, some days we just don’t feel very creative. We’re tired either physically or mentally or both and we just don’t have anything to say. We sit down at this blank screen and think, “wow I literally have nothing to say.” Indeed, there will be days when you simply cannot write, you can’t think, and you definitely cannot create a blog post. That will happen, so prepare for it and plan ahead!

Part of blogging is spontaneous creativity, the other part is planned posts.

You heard me, Planned Posts.

When you have great days where creativity is flowing, don’t stop after one post and do not (I repeat, do not) post multiple times a day. Instead keep creating and schedule them for in advance. For instance, this is the 7th blog post I have written today on May 31st (even though this post is not scheduled to publish until later in June). I now have my next week or so of blogging post planned out ahead of time so that I am not struggling the night before.

How do I come up with all these blog posts ideas?

Here is my strategy. Whenever I am out and about, or even when I am home, and I have an idea for a blog post, but I don’t have time to write it, I save that idea in my draft section. At times, I have up to 30 drafts just sitting there filled with ideas. So, on my good days, I go through those ideas. Some are no longer good (and never were), some need adjustment, and some I save for later.

Write in advance on your good days so that you don’t need to worry on your bad days.

*If you enjoyed today’s Writing Tip be sure to check out additional tips under the “Writing Tips” category on my home menu!

Happy Writing & Blogging Everyone!

Image result for plan it out gif

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips, Blogs / Life, Writing Tips

Requesting Feedback from Followers

Between the months of May – August, I am considering hiring myself out as a Blogging Mentor or a Writing Coach.

As my book will be in the publisher’s hands and I won’t be teaching during the summer, I will have very little to do except twiddle my fingers (and plan a wedding of course, ha!). If you know me at all, you know I want to be productive!

So I am consider working as a Blogging Mentor or a Writing Coach, but I’m trying to determine if the interest is really there or not. Here is a brief summary of what each is:

A Blogging Mentor – “Reaching 1,000 Followers in 6 Months”

  • Primarily directed at first-time bloggers or for those with under 150 followers. For a one time payment of $25, I will come alongside a first time blogger and
    • Help them set-up their blogging website (appearance)
    • Help categorize their menu bar and ease of navigation (Organization
    • Direct them in Necessary Blog pages (About Me, Contact, Etc.)
    • Help them discover their blog identity
    • Give them one-on-one advice on how to increase their blogging potential
    • Offer tips and tricks on how to garner followers
    • Be available for questions and concerns in the following weeks of setting up their blog

 

A Writing Coach – “Writing a Book Publishers Want to Sell”

  • Directed toward all aspiring writers of fiction, non-fiction, etc.
    • As a personal writing coach, I will become your go-to BETA reader.
    • We will explore the ins-and-outs of your book, expanding and improving where necessary
    • We will decide and stick to writing goals
    • While I am not an Editing Coach, I will be able to help with re-occuring grammar issues that distract from the novel
    • Offer Personal encouragement and advice
    • Tips and Tricks on how to speak to publishing houses
    • Cost depends on word count at approximately $.07cents per word (a 75,000 word novel would cost approximately $5,000)
    • Authors do not have to do the whole book, they can try one chapter and see if my feedback is useful! (A 1,000 word chapter would be approx. $70)
    • I would offer different packages.

 

These are the two positions I am considering offering over the summer months. What do you guys think? Are the prices reasonable for my expertise? Would anyone be interested?

blogging tips, College Writing Tips, Writing Tips

College, Writing, & Blogging Tip: Where is your significance?

Hey Everyone!

Today’s tip is a short one, and really, I hope it is more thought-provoking than answer-providing.

When you start to write, what is your significance? Not sure what I’m asking. Let me make it simple. Let me ask you this.

Why?

“Why what, Kayla?” You might be asking.

Why do write? Why are you writing about your particular topic? In other words, where is your significance?

Now yes, of course, you can just write for fun! Many of us do, but writing is almost-always better when you have a purpose. So consider asking yourself this:

  • What is my purpose for writing this piece? Is it simply to entertain others? And if it is, how am I entertaining? It is meant to move others, to cause a particular reaction? Or is it more about me? Is it a way for me to release my own emotions, to confront my own demons? Every piece of writing is different and so every piece of writing will have a different purpose.
  • A blog post, a piece of fiction, and an essay are all written for various reasons with different expected outcomes. Make sure that you take the time to decide your “why” before you write!

I would love to hear back from you in the comments! Where is your significance when you write? Do you think that there has to be one?

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Organize Your Menu Bar

Today, let’s talk about your blog site.

There are tons of tutorials out there on how to change the physical appearances of your blog, and there are tons of reasons out there why you should. I encourage you to spend some time in your Reader or using the tutorials provided by WordPress to improve the physicality of your blog. The way your blog looks should reflect you and what your blog talks about.

However, that is not what today’s tip is about.

Today, I am suggesting that you take a look at your menu bar. This can look different depending on what style you choose for your blog layout. However, with every blog layout there is some kind of menu drop-down bar. It is beyond my understanding why some bloggers only have “Home,” “About Me,” and “Contact” within their menu when they have been blogging for over a year and have hundreds of posts.

If you have more than a handful of posts that deal with different subjects then you need to be categorizing them (using the “Categories & Tags” menu on the right side of the screen when you create a post) and creating a sub-menu for that category on your main page.

Check out WordPress’s tutorial on how to organize your Menu!

***If you enjoyed today’s blogging tip be sure to stop by my main menu and click the tab “Writing Tips” for more!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Re-Use Old Content

Now, before you get all…

Image result for gasp gif

Take a second to hear me out.

It is completely OKAY to re-use old content. You might have noticed lately that I have been re-sharing writing and blogging advice that I posted in the past.

Here’s why:

  • My Blog is Growing! (Which is awesome by the way) And that means that I have new followers.
  • New followers means that I have people currently following my blog and reading my posts who have not seen the old posts.
  • So, I share the old posts for two primary reasons:
    • So that my new followers will have access to writing and blogging tips previously published
    • And that my old followers will be reminded of writing and blogging tips they have previously read.

Not only is this beneficial for my followers, new or vintage, but it is helpful for me as well because it helps fill up my blogging schedule.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You should not, definitely not, spam your blog with old content. Do not repost the same blogs every week or every month in a never ending cycle. Your blog should consist primarily of new content with some old content thrown in.

Here is what I consider the golden ration when I post 10 times every two weeks:

8 new vs. 2 old

(In every two week span I normally re-share 1-2 posts per 10 blogs)

80% of my blogs are new, fresh, and exciting content while 20% is resharing previously published content for those who have not seen it or need the reminder.

Also, I hardly ever re-share movie reviews, contest results, etc. because no one needs to hear that twice. I only ever re-share writing tips, blogging tips, and maybe the occasional short story or poem.

What do you think about re-sharing previously posted content?

What is your golden ratio?

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips, Writing Tips

Social Media & Authors

Hey Everyone!

Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress (my primary author-outlets). There are other sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat that can also be used for an author’s page but because I am not as familiar with them, I will only be talking about the first three today.

Image result for social media gifs

Social media can be a huge help to promoting one’s own platform but it can also be very time-consuming. An author’s platform can be a confusing term to throw out there so if you need some background information check out Jane Friedman’s explanation of the phrase: author’s platform.

Social media can be helpful in promoting your platform in two primary ways, increasing your visibility and discovering your target audience. Jane Friedman explains each here:

  • “Visibility means: Where do you or your work regularly appear? How many people see it? How does it spread? Where does it spread? What communities are you a part of? Who do you influence? It’s typically not enough to say you have visibility. You have to show how and where you make an impact and give proof of engagement. This could be quantitative evidence (e.g., size of your e-mail newsletter list, website traffic, blog comments) or qualitative evidence (high-profile reviews, testimonials from A-listers in your genre).
  • Target audience means: You should be visible to the most receptive or appropriate audience for the work you’re trying to sell. For instance: If you have visibility, authority, and proven reach to orthodontists, that probably won’t be helpful if you’re writing a book meant to target to Fortune 500 companies.”

In my experience, WordPress has proven to be the best social media site for up-and-coming authors working to establish themselves in the world of writing. Your blog is the perfect place for you to develop your personality as a blogger and writer. It also helps you determine who is listening and what people want to hear. It is a great place to interact on a real level.

I believe that Facebook will prove to become more useful after an author is already established. Now, I’m not saying that if you are not an established author that you should not have an author’s page on facebook. I have one, even though I am still a year out from my first book’s, The Agency Games, publication date. I think it’s good to have and let it grow slowly. However, once my book is published, facebook will prove more useful for setting up Events like Book Releases and Signings. If you haven’t visited my facebook page and you would like to be kept up-to-date with my future events, please check it out here!

Lastly, Instagram is a great place for visibility. While I don’t expect to have any in-depth conversations like I do on WordPress on Instagram, it is a fun place to post visual interactions. I consider Instagram to show the every-day-life moments of an author. It helps to show the audience who this author is as a person. For me, Instagram displays my more whimsical side with photos of my various tea mugs alongside my Writing Tips. You can find my author’s Instagram on my home page or by searching @KaylaAnnAuthor.

Instagram is also great for taking polls! Speaking of, stop by my Instagram and take the polls if you have the time as I try to determine what social media sites authors find most helpful!

What do you guys use for social media? Which do you think is the most productive and which is the least? Should I be incorporating additional social media sites?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy Writing!

blogging tips, Blogs / Life, Writing Tips

UPDATED: Victim of Stolen Content

First of all, thank you to all of my amazing, sincere, kind followers who reached out to me with their sympathy, their support, and their encouragement. You guys turned a really crappy event into a better day! Thank you so much!

Just to give you an update, the original blogger who stole my work contacted me and apologized for her actions. She admitted that she was wrong and took down the site with the copyrighted works. She has promised to never act that way again and asked me not to share her name. Because she owned up to her mistakes, I have no desire to further shame her, unless this happens again.

Let this just be a lesson to all of us to be careful about what we put up, to do our best to protect our intellectual property, and perhaps, to be more conscious about how our work is being duplicated.

Again, thank you so much for your support.

 

*****Original Post*****

As you know, I don’t usually post on the weekends.

However, after logging on today to congratulate the winner of my GiveAway, I realized something had gone wrong.

Another blogger, one of my long-time followers, had stolen my content that I had created and was posting in on their own site as if it were their own material. Needless to say, I am shocked, hurt, and yes, angry.

Here is my original post: Blogging Tip: Responding to Followers 

Here is Their post: Engaging with Followers (they deleted their site shortly after this blog was posted.)

 

See the similarities?

Basically, they just removed the GIF and my end signatures.

I have tried commenting on this post requesting that they give credit to my blog as the original poster. So far, no response.

I don’t mind people re-blogging my stuff, but I do mind when people steal my work and attempt to pass it off as their own.

It’s plagiarism, it’s copyright infringement, and it is just plain unethical.

 

I contacted WordPress and basically there is very little that I can do. I have reported their site but that is all I can do without giving out private information to WordPress and the other blogger. Needless to say, you will be seeing my Copyright Signature EVERYWHERE now and honestly, I’m considering pulling back on my writing tips and blogging tips.

Has anyone else dealt with this problem? How have you addressed it? Is there anything else I can do to protect my site, my work, my content from thieves?

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

blogging tips, Writing Tips

How to Conduct an Interview

We are writers, not reporters, and yet, the time may come when it is necessary for us to conduct an interview. Perhaps we need to speak to a war veteran about the reality of war, or perhaps we need to talk to a high school barista. By interviewing real-people with real-life experiences, we can add a level of authenticity to our narratives instead of filling pages with guess-work and speculations. Whatever your reason may be, if you have to conduct an interview, here are some suggestions.

Plan & Prepare for the Interview

  • While people may encourage you “to wing it” because it will be a more “natural” conversation, I highly suggest that you plan ahead. If you decided to just “wing it,” the conversation is more likely to be filled by awkward silences and might even lead to your interviewee thinking that they are wasting their time. So here are some ways to prepare:

Image result for gif interview awkward

  • Ask them ahead of time, don’t just spring it on them.
  • After deciding who you are interviewing, decided why. What is your primary reason for interviewing them, what is the thing you want to learn most about them.
    • Having considered your objections, make a list of questions. You do not have to use every question. If you ask one question and that leads into the next question not on your list but it’s where you want to go, then follow that line of questioning, but it’s good to have those questions there in case you hit a dead end.
    • Try to avoid questions that force a specific “yes” or “no,” “this” or “that” answer. Use open-ended question such as “why” and “how”

Interviewing your Guest

  • While you are obviously going to be asking questions, try not to dominate the conversation. Be a good listener. You are there to prompt the conversation, not to add in your own experiences or thoughts.
  • Be considerate. If you told your interviewee that you will be there for an hour, don’t go over, even if you have more questions without asking them if they are available. Most people have busy lives.

Not done yet…

  • Thank your subject both in person and either: a call, an email, or a hand-written note. They took time to help you with your questions so be kind.
  • Immediately after, go over your notes and spend some time reflecting on the interview. Expand on your notes and answers while the event is fresh in your memory.

So, get out there and get writing! Don’t know enough about your subject? Start Interviewing!

Happy Writing Everyone!

Image result for gif interview