MailChimp Moves to Single Opt-In: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been wondering what Mailchimp’s Single Opt-In is all about and whether to go with it or keep your double opt-in, I’ve found the article for you. Kirsten Oliphant has the scoop:

Single Opt-In: Essentially when someone enters their email into your form and clicks “I Want It What Way!” (because “Subscribe” is so 2011), they are automatically subscribed. Right then and there. The end.

Double Opt-In: When someone enters their email into your form and clicks “Send Me All The Things!”, they will receive an email asking them to confirm. If they do not click, they will not get an email from you. They are not, in fact, a subscriber.

Legally Opted

Single opt-in is not legal all over the world. (True story.) The un-apt-ly named CAN-SPAM Act (which says you CANNOT, in fact, spam people) doesn’t care about opt-ins, surprisingly. You can single opt-in all day long legally in the USA and many other countries.

Just not Germany.

I’m sure there are others, but Germany has super strict laws on privacy. So if someone from Germany signs up through your single opt-in form, you’ve broken their laws.

Are you really going to be hunted down or fined? Probably not.

But do you want to be breaking international laws when you send emails? Um…probably not.

KEEP READING THROUGH TO THE ORIGINAL HERE

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Let’s Talk Education

That’s right, Rachel is giving me the keys to the house (I hope she has coffee??!). My topic of discussion is on the education of blacks in America and how reading and literature came to be such an important part of the learning process in the transition from slavery to freedom.

When: Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Where: Rachel Poli’s Blog @ http://www.rachelpoli.com

Reminder: You can find all my Guest Blog posts and upcoming features under the Media Page!

>> https://thepbsblog.com/author-interviews-guest-blog-posts/ <<

Confidence and Writing Discipline

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The most important factor in a writer’s life, at least in my opinion, is not mere talent. Neither is it some mysterious entity floating in the air called luck. It is not how much you blog or how less you blog. It is not how much money you spend or how little money you spend. It is not even your profound research and marketing skills. These elements surely help, but the greatest difference and perhaps the most unique too, between writing and other careers is a writer’s level of discipline and confidence. To keep writing, I often find that I must maintain a proper balance of each of them. Believing enough in your ability to write and having a consistent writing practice is often the difference between aspiring authors and published authors. Of course, it does not stop here but it is a step in the right direction.

The advice we hear from like-minded bloggers, agents, editors, or just authors, in general, have always, and perhaps will continue to be, our focus on writing. Because engaging in any activity of whatever sort on a daily basis naturally makes one more familiar with it, we will always hear how important it is to write and to keep writing. While this is good advice, I think that for many writers finding the time to write and sketching out a daily routine is not always easy and this is often underestimated  by those who are not writers or those who consider writing to involve less work than other careers.

“Self-discipline, what many call will-power, refers to the ability to persist at difficult or unpleasant tasks until they are completed. People who possess high self-discipline are able to overcome reluctance to begin tasks and stay on track despite distractions. Those with low self-discipline procrastinate and show poor follow-through, often failing to complete tasks even tasks they want very much to complete.” – Wikipedia

When a writer transitions from the workplace to fulfill a writing career, his initial challenge will be to maintain a certain level of self-discipline. For years he has not had to create his own time sheets, develop his own projects, and schedule his own lunch breaks. All of this has been done for him by the corporation in which he has worked for. It is now that, as a full-time writer, he must put in the necessary time to ensure a proper work day, rest, and vacation time.

He must dig deep into his resourceful mind and find the inspiration to write, in some way, daily. If he is not writing, then he must attempt to focus that energy in the direction of reading, social media marketing, offline marketing, and public speaking events to keep in line with the workflow. As we can see, the full-time writer has a lot to do and it is not always easy finding the discipline to get it done.

Sometimes it is just so hard finding the time. What I have come to invest in, however, is my purpose. As long as I remember my purpose and invest in that it is usually enough to keep me moving. This is because discipline works hand in hand with motivation and drive. It is that ingrained, determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need. It is the answer to the question, “Why do you write?” This answer is different for each of us but the result is the same. If every full-time writer kept his primary goal, the answer to the question of why he or she must write, always at the forefront of his mind it can undoubtedly become the catalyst to a more disciplined writing life and as a result more material.

Yet, in all of this, a writer must still believe in his ability to write and speak this into existence.

There’s a lot of criticism out there for writers. It is enough to keep us full for a lifetime. Not only in its relation to the backlash geared at Self-Publishers, but many people also do not see entrepreneurship, specifically writing, as being a “real job”. For this reason, confidence is necessary to be an apart of this movement. It is not to think more highly of yourself than you should think, (*caution: recipe for disaster*) since there is a power greater than you. But confidence is the state of feeling certain about something.

Working for you can feel like a blessing and a curse. There is so much to do, so much to strive for and (wait for it) so much failure. But if you believe in that aged old saying, “hard work pays off”, you will allow self-discipline and experience to train you into the professional you need to become.

One of the greatest ways to maintain just enough confidence to get the work done but  at the same time maintain just enough humility is to be of help to others as best and as often as you can. What you do always comes back. How you treat others will almost certainly reflect how you yourself are treated. It’s not always about you, and yet your personal goals are still important.

So there’s a balance between our level of discipline–which will get the work done–and our level of confidence, which will keep us going when a project has failed to meet the goal. In the words of Kevin Nance, “failure curdles into something else… I go down into that failed place, and I think, ‘I’m going to take a look at that failure and make something of it”.

Why Authors Need To Know About Book Sales Cycles

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Very insightful article. I’ll also add:

Release your books strategically. Launch those books during high reading cycles (Around Holidays, Black History Month if you’re a Black Lit / Historical Author, Weekends, and Summer).
Real Life Example: I released The Road to Freedom in February for two reasons:

Black History Month – My book is a work of Historical Fiction, Black History, and deals with identity and nationality.

Target Audience – My Target Audience were going to be in Atlanta for a Black History Stage Play. That’s when I decided to release it at The Metropolitan Library in ATL.

*Steps off soapbox*

Now to the expert lol:

Article Excerpt:

“A book is a product. Just like with most products there is a sales cycle on a year-to-year basis. Readers are still buying books in the same cycle as they always have. Just on a different medium.”

Keep Reading:

http://www.livewritethrive.com/2016/05/26/why-authors-need-to-know-about-book-sales-cycles/

Ultimate Guide: How To Write A Series

Excellent Article on whether or not you should turn your masterpiece into a series. I definitely think it’s something you’ll notice right away though. I knew before I finished Stella that it was going to be a Trilogy. I mean like, before I’d written the books.

Excerpt:

The word ‘series’ conjures up different emotions in different writers. Some might grin at the thought of spending multiple books exploring the world and story they’ve created. Others might rub their hands together at the potentially lucrative benefits of a long-running series. And still more might simply cry in horror, ‘A series? Writing one book is hard enough!’

No matter which of these camps you fall into, there’s no questioning the fact that the series as a literary concept is here to stay.

From Arthur Conan Doyle, Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie to J. K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett and Patricia Cornwell, writers of all genres and styles have made the series work for them.

So how can you do the same? KEEP READING

Re-Spinning Posts: How You Can Self-Evaluate Your Blog

OK so you know that post you wrote last year that only got 3 likes and 2 views? Come on, we’ve ALL been there.

If you are new to this blog (Welcome! Waves) you may notice that I re-spin a lot of my posts. I expect anywhere from 50-100 new followers each month, which means a lot of new faces have not seen older posts, especially those that have really proven to be valuable. I try to re-spin my poetry at least once every year for this reason. I also re-spin posts I’d like to get more exposure. New faces also mean new perspectives.

Re-spinning posts is basically when you re-post a previously posted post (feel like I’m over writing the word post here). When this happens, the post shows up at the top of the reader and it also reaches the inboxes of new  e-mail followers who may not have been around when you first published it. < Please re-read last sentence.

I didn’t start off re-spinning (I still believe you have to be blogging for at least next to a year to build up material before re-spinning so it doesn’t get stale). In fact, I didn’t even know what it was. I remember the days I engaged in conversations with other bloggers about it, trying to understand it. After a year or ten months or so of blogging I decided why not? And I started re-posting previous posts just to test the waters. While I am still learning, so far, one of the main advantages I have noticed about re-spins is being able to self-evaluate my blogs content:

Self-Evaluation

What I have come to understand about blogging is this: There is no one method to doing it “correctly”. There are so many different elements that may make a blog “successful”. Sometimes people have tons of followers but not many views meaning only a handful of those thousands of followers are actually tuning in (Reminds me of social media in general, where numbers can be deceiving. Out of 4,000 Twitter followers, for instance, how many of them are actually valuable followers? Meaning, how many of them, for a business account, can actually provide insight and leverage to that business verses how many of them are family and friends?) Some people have lots of viewers but only a handful of followers. Some people get lots of commentary coming in along the comments section (what’s up with my alliteration today actually?) but not many likes on the posts. Content and social interaction also play a role, time of day, I can go on and on. This is why Blogging Confidence is important because there’s no one way to do it. The more confident you are in your blog and writing in general the more others will connect with you. Lots of followers or lots of viewers can mean nothing or it can mean everything depending on how you look at it.

While there is no one way to do it, re-spinning posts in my opinion has become a great tool in self-evaluating the quality of content on this blog.

The Process

You have to understand that in your mind the post is nothing short of brilliant. You put your whole foot and every other body part in it. The fact that everyone else didn’t understand your brilliance is beyond you. But, if you really want to see if others are benefiting from your writing (besides yourself), here’s what I do to self-evaluate:

WP Admin > Posts > All Posts

I search through my posts, picking and choosing a certain category. Let’s say poetry. I find a poem that didn’t get much attention. “Hmmm”, I think to myself. “Why?”

I click on edit and look at a few things. Can I rephrase how this was written? Is the photo taking away from the post? (Which it sometimes can). What about those tags? I have come to discover some poor tagging habits in my past! Sometimes the tag just didn’t make any sense and had nothing to do with the price of tea in China. And what about structure? Could it have been formatted differently? (I’m totally in love with the “Justified” paragraph formatting! Everything is lined up and it just looks super neat).

Edit

Before I re-spin a post I edit something about it. This isn’t to say grammatically or the content necessarily but something else about it. The tags for instance is an example of what I usually edit. Rotating the tags also grabs the attention of people who  blog under certain tags and have therefore never seen your post before. After rotating the tags I make sure everything in the content is spelled correctly and makes sense (at least to me). I also make sure the post is in the appropriate category. (If its a poem don’t put it in articles, put it in poetry! If you write poetry and you don’t have a poetry category– unless all you write is poetry– make one now and make sure all poetry is in its own category. This will increase its visibility when people search “poetry” or “spoken word”) Bam, we’re ready. I schedule it to post again.

NOTE: When re-spinning successful posts (lots of views/likes) I wouldn’t edit it too much. It was successful for a reason. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Observation

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This is an important part of the process. If a post that got poor attention before now blows up I know that it wasn’t the content itself, it was just how I published it. Maybe I used five tags instead of fifteen or perhaps it had too many typos. However, if the post still gets poor attention its not that I’m a bad writer, it’s just that the blogging world obviously does not get how brilliant I really am.

Seriously though, if the post is still not attracting attention then you know its time to check the actual content of the post. I have found that it’s not the words themselves, but it is how the words are presented. I have re-spun lots of posts that were poorly written and re-written again. In this process, I have noticed that the re-written article, with slightly different wording, did better than its ancestor.

Why is this Picture Frame Empty? #MayChallengeRepostDay5

When I logged into my WordPress account, I had other plans for what to post today. I was not looking for writing prompts or post ideas. However, when I saw Felicia’s Writing Prompt: “Why is this picture frame empty?” I knew then what my purpose for logging on was. This prompt is an excellent way to spark a thoughtful conversation and for those of you who know me, or rather my writing style, you know that if there is one thing I enjoy, it is thoughtful conversations. So, why is this picture frame empty?

empty-frame

In life we tend to severely underestimate the power of choice. If you ask someone why their life turned out the way that it did, they are most certainly going to give you the details. These details may range from a number of things: upbringing, childhood, circumstances, racism, discrimination, abuse, neglect, the list goes on and on. Interestingly enough, rarely will you hear:

“I am where I am in my life because I chose to be here.”

The picture frame is only empty if you want it to be. If you see nothing, then that is what exists. This happens a lot in life. Every day we are only capable of seeing what it is we want to see, and sometimes this makes it difficult to embrace the necessary changes we need to grow or to even recognize the palpable. What is obvious from our perspective is the only thing that exists, but we cannot see the other side of it. If I bang my hand hard against the table you will feel it move. Even if you can’t see me, you will feel the effects of me hitting the table. The question is: Do you limit your perspective to that which you can only see, feel, taste, and touch physically? Or will you consider that something made the table move? It’s all about the decisions and the choices that we make.

While I can give you a million reasons why I can or cannot do a certain thing, one truth remains: Each and every individual is where he or she is because he or she chose to be there. When we start taking this kind of responsibility over our lives, we will be in a better position in every respect. We undergo changes every day. The only problem with change is that everyone wishes to change his circumstances but never his mind. When we each start to self-examine ourselves and start to take accountability for our life and the things that are happening in it, only then will we be better able to see what really lies ahead.

Why is the picture frame empty?

It depends on what you choose to see. Maybe it’s not a picture frame at all. Maybe it’s a mirror.