Blogs / Life

SPRING BREAK WEEK-LONG BLOG PARTY

Hey Everyone and Happy Spring Break!

Any other teachers or students out there exhausted by this semester and so grateful for a week off?

Unlike my normal blog parties that only last a weekend, this blog party will be lasting ALL. WEEK. LONG! That’s right! ALL WEEK! I’m hoping to meet some new bloggers and expand my blogging community!

Let’s celebrate Spring Break Week the way true bloggers do!

(Indoors and avoiding direct sunlight).

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For those of you who are not aware what a blog party is let me break it down. Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another.

Here are some simple rules:

  1. First off, everyone is welcome to participate in this Blog Party (even if you do not currently follow me, although I would LOVE it if you did!) -> If you are a new follower of my blog, say hi and let me know so that I remember to drop by your blog and check you out.
  2. Leave a Comment and a Link! Say hi and tell us who you are and what your blog is about. Feel free to leave a link connecting back to your blog’s home page or to your favorite or most recent blog post! (Post this only once please.)
  3. Mix and Mingle! This is where the party begins. I am blessed to have nearly 2,000 followers and this is a great opportunity for many of my friends to meet each other. You guys are amazing and I think a lot of you would enjoy meeting and following one another.
  4. Remember, you never have to follow anyone just because they follow you. However, it is good manners to always return a page visit for a page visit. Did someone stop by your blog, like or leave a comment? Do the same for them! It only takes a minute.
  5. Don’t forget to REBLOG! Spread the fun by encouraging your own followers to join in the party! This is the best way to attract new bloggers by spreading the word.
  6. Lastly, please do not comment “I just followed your blog, please follow back!” or anything similar. You will be booted from the party. Follow the blogs you honestly like, don’t play the “follow game.”

As we are celebrating spring break, feel free to share with the group what you plan on doing this Spring Break! Will you be grading papers like me? Will you finally sit down and write that book that you’ve been working on for years? Or will you actually go outside and maybe even hit the beach?

The possibilities are endless!

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Can anyone spot the “blogger” on Spring Break in this picture?

This Blog Party will be held and moderated exclusively March 18th – 22nd so don’t miss out! Invite your friends and share with your blogging community!

 

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Blogs / Life

New Year, New Blogging Schedule

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe that we have officially left 2018 behind and are no fully drawn into 2019?

Now I’m not the kind of person who looks at the New Year as something magical. Nothing really changes at the stroke of midnight. We don’t magically become better people who will hit the gym more and the carbs less. We don’t automatically become best selling authors over night. Our problems don’t just vanish into thin air. Sometimes people look at the New Years Eve/New Year’s midnight as some mystical power to start over. The truth is, it isn’t.

That’s because we can start over at any time. Which is partly the reason why I am posting this on January 2nd instead of January 1st (even though to most my New Year post would make more logical sense to come on New Years Day). New Years Day is not physically magical, it is a mental reminder and that’s what I love about New Years. Perhaps this year will be just as wonderful or as devastating as the last, we can’t know for certain. But what we do know is this:

New Year’s Day represents a fresh start.

For the most part anyway. After all, we are still the same people as we were forty-eight hours ago with the same hopes, dreams, fears, and sins. But we always have a chance to start doing better, to start improving ourselves. This, of course, leads to the idea of New Year’s resolutions.

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Don’t we all, Kirk?

Most of you know all about New Year’s resolutions, I’m sure. And I’m not here to down on them, there’s nothing wrong with setting yourself a goal. The problem with New Year’s resolutions comes when we set impossible goals and then feel like failures when we cannot meet them. So this year, be kinder to yourself and set realistic resolutions.

Here are some of my resolutions for 2019:

  • Be a better, kinder, and more patient professor (and person in general)
  • Finish Planning and Celebrate my Wedding without worrying if it’s “perfect”
  • Finish my book with the same excitement with which I began
    • Sell 100 copies! (Hey, it could happen :D)
  • Visit my Papa and remind him what he means to me.
  • Take advantage of the moments I have with the people I love.
  • Be kinder to myself and stop demanding more than I can give.

I am going to address that last resolution immediately by reducing the amount of blog posts that I demand from myself every week.

Currently, I publish a post every weekday (Monday-Friday), which is five times a week. Beginning immediately, I will be posting every Monday/Wednesday/Friday, which is three times a week.

I believe that by reducing the amount of times I am posting, I will not feel the need to put up sub par work. Instead, this will give me ample time to create posts with detailed content.

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Don’t worry though, I’m not going anywhere! While I plan to only be posting on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, that does not mean that I will only be active on those days. I still plan to pop in and check out as many of your blogs as possible.

Thanks for checking in and reading this blog update, I hope that you all will continue to stop by and check out the new blog posts.

So, what about you? Do you have any New Year Resolutions?

Happy Writing Everyone!

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Reposting Content

Now, before you get all…

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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.

Blogs / Life, Writing Tips

Crash Course in Blogging 101

To any First Time Bloggers (or any bloggers looking for help on their site or gaining new followers),

When trying to set up your blog and gain followers, do you ever feel like this?

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Creating a new website can be frustrating as you navigate themes and customization options, but it does not have to be.

Finding blogs worth following and gaining followers in return can sometimes feel like the eternal mystery, but it does not have to be.

In my 5-day course, you and I will work together to tackle these enigmas and make your blog something special! In six months, I reached 1,000 followers and let me support that statement with this, “It was not easy and it was a LOT of hard work!”

If you’re willing to work for it, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this 5-day course, we will address blogging issues such as: site identity, the physicality of your blog, blogging schedules, content, how to follow and be followed, and how to thrive in the blogging world. Additionally, I’ll still be around after this course to answer questions that may come your way not only as your Blogging Mentor but as a Blogging Friend.

For my services, I require a one time payment of $40 (approximately $8 a day, which means I’m offering my services for under minimum wage).

Tiffany from BeUTifLee gives the course 5 stars!

I enjoyed the course, learning more than when I started the blog. Kayla Ann is full of knowledge, don’t hesitate to ask any question, big or small. The course is fun, inviting, and creative. It all depends on your motivation and determination. As I always say, Creativity takes courage.

5-star2

If you are interested in this 5-day Crash Course in Blogging 101 with me, your go-to Blogging Mentor, head over to my home page. On my menu, you will see a tab that says “HOME.” Click that and in the drop-down menu, click “CONTACT.” Fill out that form to contact me about wanting to participate in this enlightening course.

Due to my schedule, I can only take on one client per week so keep that in mind! I only have a few openings left for this summer so don’t wait! I will get back to you within a few days at the latest with my next availability and further instructions.

I look forward to meeting and assisting new bloggers!

Disclaimer: This 5-day course is really designed for beginning bloggers (although veteran bloggers are welcome to apply for the course as well, though these will be more reminders than new insights).

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!

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©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 mentor

Blogging Mentor – Now Hiring

Please be advised this post is now obsolete. For an updated post on Crash Course for Blogging 101, please click on the link!

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********************************************************************

To any First Time Bloggers (or any bloggers looking for help on their site or gaining new followers),

When trying to set up your blog and gain followers, do you ever feel like this?

Creating a new website can be frustrating as you navigate themes and customization options, but it does not have to be.

Finding blogs worth following and gaining followers in return can sometimes feel like the eternal mystery, but it does not have to be.

In my one week course, you and I will work together to tackle these enigmas and make your blog something special! In six months, I reached 1,000 followers and let me support that statement with this, “It was not easy and it was a LOT of hard work!”

If you’re willing to work for it, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this one week course, we will address blogging issues such as: site identity, the physicality of your blog, blogging schedules, content, how to follow and be followed, and how to thrive in the blogging world. Additionally, I’ll still be around after this course to answer questions that may come your way not only as your Blogging Mentor but as a Blogging Friend.

For my services, I require a one time payment of $30 (approximately $4.20 a day, many people spend more than that on their daily coffee).

(For those who might be wondering why I rose the price from my suggested $25 to $30 –> I raised the price when I lengthened the course from 5 days to 7 days.)

Cup of coffee with a pile of coffee beans Free Photo

If you are interested in this one-week blogging course with me, your go-to Blogging Mentor, head over to my home page. On my menu, you will see a tab that says “HOME.” Click that and in the drop-down menu, click “CONTACT.” Fill out that form to contact me about wanting to participate in this seven-day course.

Due to my schedule, I can only take on one client per week so keep that in mind! I will get back to you within a few days at the latest with my next availability and further instructions.

I look forward to meeting and assisting new bloggers!

Disclaimer: This one-week course is really designed for beginning bloggers (although veteran bloggers are welcome to apply for the course as well, though these will be more reminders than new insights).

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.

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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!

Blogs / Life, Contests

1,000+ Followers & GIVEAWAY Winner!

You guys rock!

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I now officially have over 1,000 followers (including email subscribers) and it is all thanks to YOU!

You have encouraged me, supported me, and engaged with me on this wonderful journey of writing and blogging!

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Today, I am feeling beyond grateful to everyone who has made this a possibility. Particularly after the weekend I had, I am more grateful than ever to my fellow bloggers who offered their support and encouragement on my behalf!

Anyway, I really don’t want to come off like I’m giving a speech at the Oscars so I’ll wrap this up quick! But I really do want to say thank you to a list of bloggers who are constantly visiting my page, and overall, just being awesome and spectacular bloggers:

WaltPage, MissMWriter, TShaw, Eugenia, Ivor20, Chocotales, Raynotbradbury, NovusLectio, QuippishQuill, InAMessyWorld, BrendaDavisHarsham, Diana, Mia, Carly (MessageinStanza), E.MichaelHelms, HimanshiShukla, TheMuddledLass, SarahAl-Haddad, B.Aphorisms, A.E.Jorgensen, 364Life, DreamFilledLaughter, J.M. Galindo, Joseph Emerson, Castorblog, HistorianRuby, Sims, MatthewWinters, AshaSeth, LibbySommer, Anjalisk96, NOpiniontatedHead, BenWeaver, VeronicaLeigh, YesMoreBlogs, Yassy,  ThePrettyPoems, RobbieInspiration, DarnellCureton, Dale.Beck, DorindaDuclos Short-Prose-Fiction, JoytotheWorld, ByLuis, and more!

These are just a FEW of the awesome people I am surrounded by on WordPress but I really appreciate the way they continuously encourage me, repeatedly like my posts, and comment on my blogs! I highly encourage you to check out their blogs, just type in their names and be prepared for quality blogging!

A VERY HUGE THANK YOU!

Now, getting to the part you might be more interested in. Who won The Hunger Games Book-set Giveaway?

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Please give a Big Congratulations to:

Walt’s Writings!

I could not think of anyone more deserving of this prize then you Walt! You are constantly supporting my blog and extending your friendship! Your wisdom, kindness, love, and humor shine through all your poems! It’s a blessing to know you!

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:

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  • 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!

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