Category Archives: Writing

Background to writing

Why Authors Blog

On Twitter today @womewritersnet wrote:

‘This week we’ve been tweeting about how to enable our writing to reach a wider audience and has been recommended. Does anyone have experience of hosting guest blog posts or writing them? Can shared posts help to reach new audiences? Tell us your experiences.’

…and so here’s my response as to why I blog:

I enjoy honing my skills in writing small articles

Even if I’m not in a writing fiction mode, due to time and other commitments, writing a blog is a great way of writing to an audience. It has to be of a professional nature and so it’s a discipline too. Always re read and revise before pressing publish though ~ I’ve had a couple of ‘ouch’ moments on looking back, so it’s best to save it for later if you run out of time.

A Blog Reaches unexpected audiences ~ it is two way traffic

My blog is a channel through which the most unexpected people find me. I’ve had emails from folks who have done a casual search and read about the background to my writing. Each is enthusiastic to tell me such wonderful things~ like the man who was the last Lighthouse Keeper on Les Casquets. So many of these people over the years often go on to being my readers too.

It increases your rating on search engines

I really don’t understand the technicalities of it all but I do know that the more you blog, the more you have guests on your post, or reblog interesting posts, and the more you are a guest on another blog the higher your profile. I’m sure you have tried search for your name on Google. I reached the top in searches for ‘Diana Jackson’ for a quite a while when I was totally committed to social media. I have lapsed rather due to time constraints, but it is worth the effort in the few months around launching something new.

If you write a guest post on an established blog you are bound to reach a wider audience

Though my blog is established I have lapsed of late in writing regularly. There are really good blogs out there which accept guest posts. It is best to write new material, but don’t despair ~ you can reblog it on your own platform a few months later for greater reach. It should also have the knock on affect that readers of your guest post will click on a link to your book and own blog too.

The WordPress family is great

It’s worth taking time to read other people’s blogs and like them, if you do. We need to support each other here.

Writer’s Karma

I’m a great believer in Karma. You write a review of someone else’s book or take the trouble to get to know them and you feel less isolated. The writing community is a supportive one, if you find the right channels.

You don’t always have huge ratings

Your stats can be disappointing at times. The highest number of people to read my blog in one day was just under 200 and sometimes it is only a handful, but I try not to be too disheartened. Often my posts are read months or years later through search engines ~ that’s why your categories and tags are vital. If a post says ‘uncategorized’, the writer has missed a wonderful opportunity to be found with the best key words. My best rating was for a post, ‘You can’t snuggle in bed with a Kindle’ years ago. Now I do just that from time to time, although I still prefer a real book if given the choice.

Finally

As a writer returning to the fold, as it were, it is not easy getting back into the habit of blogging and, yes, it can take up valuable time, but for writers with an Indie press, who have not got the huge arm of a major publisher behind them, it is a valuable tool for getting out there and noticed.

Who knows what surprises you might have!

Do tell me about them and share if you can…

 

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Filed under Blogs, Book reading, Marketing your novel, Writing

Nellie Rault was murdered 100 years ago ~ An Inspiration

Back coverMNATThe unsolved murder of a Jersey lass, Nellie Rault, one hundred years ago, inspired my first murder mystery, Murder Now and Then.

viewbook.at/MurderNowandThen

Here is Nellie Rault’s full story compiled and carefully researched by Liz Walton from the Great War Channel Island Study Group.

The mystery also inspired the Luton Paranormal Society to investigate it! (you may have to scroll down through the paragraphs.)

In honour of Nellie Rault, whom I renamed Lucille Vardon in my purely fictional novel, I have brought  out an updated version of ‘Murder, Now and Then’ this summer. (revised due to the fact that I wrote the original in 2013 and predicted the future to 2019, some of which has and some has not come to pass.)

Here’s the new cover in celebration of the relaunch:

3d.jpg

Mind you, there are actually farms where cows are milked by robots as and when they choose to be milked. I’ve seen them!

Also, and just as exciting, in the autumn I will be launching my new novel, another mystery loosely set in Bedfordshire, although the actual location is fictional this time but it visits Scotland too. (couldn’t resist it) Watch this space!

Meanwhile The Healing Paths of Fife was all about relocation and renewal, but it also touched on how I coped with a barren time as far as my creativity and my writing life was concerned. As my personal life found new meaning and stability, my writing life floundered.

viewbook.at/TheHealingPathsofFife

This fantasy memoir ends as I began to find a balance and a greater wholeness as the ink from my pen began to flow once more.

(just noticed a new review on amazon.co.uk ~ very grateful!)

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Writing effective blog posts ~ I suggest you ‘Do as I say and not as I do’

As I was trying to be organised and think through a plan for blog posts for the next month I realised how haphazard I’d been of late, for various reasons and have vowed to try to do better. I’m sure if I were more disciplined I would follow the following:

  1. Write regularly so that your readers get to know you and look forward to your posts. Personally I admit that I’ve been distracted from writing my blogs, from Twitter and from Facebook in the past couple of years. Firstly real life got in the way as we settled into our move to Fife. Then I was spooked by talk of problems of security with Social Media. (could do better)
  2. Be consistent ~ if your readers want to read about the background to writing, or wish to follow a travel journal, browse comments about health or even the best wines, then they search for it.  A blogger needs to find what interests them and share it in the best possible way ~ prose, poetry, photos, diagrams, lists …. (I’m afraid I’ve failed on this one too. My posts are, at present, spasmodic to say the least and flit from subject to subject as the mood takes me.)
  3. Make your themes within your topic clear ~ Using tabs carefully, which helps you to be found on a search engine too incidentally, you can cover a few themes -categories – within your umbrella topic, but your readers should be able to find them easily. (Oh dear ~ I rather like my cloud of many themes to the right hand side of the screen, but with hindsight it would have been best to plan my posts better and restrict the number of categories.)
  4. Use Tabs and Categories ~ always remember to set up these pesky little details. They appear at the bottom of your post and help the reader to find your posts when searching within WordPress but also on Google. (Hooray ~ Yes, I nearly always remember to do this now.)
  5. Always proof read carefully before clicking the final ‘publish’ button. (I hold my hand up here as I sometimes look back on posts and, though I’ve read it through a couple of times, pesky errors have crept in unbidden.) It also helps to schedule the post in a couple of days in advance, giving you time to revisit meanwhile and scrutinise it with fresh eyes.
  6. Not too long ~( I think I’m OK with this one.)
  7. Do your research carefully ~ (yes I’m fairly good at that too)

I’m sure there are many more, but now I’ve remembered that planning and being organised is the key I will attempt to get back on track.

My next post will be to complete a=the long awaited end to a series I began a few months ago ~ A Virtual Walk Along the Fife Coastal Path ~ I will finally write about the last walk (for me) to St Andrews. After that I’ll let you know.

Happy blogging!

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