PBS Blog Schedule 2019

Before you abandon your blogs to turn up tonight (tee hee), I’d like to introduce our schedule for this year. First, I’d like to thank and welcome our newbies and our die-hard supporters, the people who like our every post and share on social media. You guys are awesome and I do not take your contributions to the growth of The PBS Blog for granted. If you are new to this blog, please be sure to take this time to look around and familiarize yourself with the place. There are four years worth of material here to help you get to know me better and my writing.

Bloggers and Blogging

If you are not sure how the blog works or if you are thinking of starting a blog of your own, I invite you to visit the Blog Tips page HERE where I have archived my tips on blogging. I highly recommend you skim through them if you are new to the WordPress platform and are thinking to start a blog of your own (new writers, blogging is a great way to connect with readers!)

Writers and Writing

If you are a writer (especially an Independent writer) and you are looking for encouragement, resources or a better understanding of writing from an Independent/Self-Publishing perspective, I invite you to visit the Writer Tips and Resources page HERE where I have archived my tips on all things writerly and links to resources from others (particularly those more knowledgeable in the field.)

Book Reviews

I will publish reviews of books I’ve read to this blog again. I have not been as consistent as I was in 2017 (because of amazon‘s constantly changing review policies and my constantly changing schedule) but I am back on it dagone it. You can view my new policy here. (Does not apply to books I read on my own for leisure, just review requests.)

Segments

2018 has been a year of self-reflection, self-understanding and focus. This means that I intentionally focused on myself. Not in a selfish way but in a way where I can better understand me in order to help you. Long story short, in 2019 I will be refocusing on my services to others, armed with the fresh revelations that have come from getting to know myself better. I want to do more for aspiring authors, new bloggers, writers and the like. I am excited and motivated with the drive and desire to serve.

Now, let’s get to the point so you can get out of here.

2019 Schedule

While I have segments going on throughout the week to keep this blog afloat, this is not a niche blog. Meaning, I do not just post about one thing. Do know this schedule does not include any random, off topic posting I may do when I just feel like writing.

 

Everything starts back up next week, 1/7 – 1/11

Monday

Introduce Yourself Author Interviews – I will keep Mondays open for author interviews. To learn more about how to get featured on this blog, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday

No Whining Wednesday – No Whining Wednesday will continue with quotes and empowering notes that help to keep you from whining, criticizing, or complaining! Learn more about NWW HERE  (scroll down for the archived articles or follow the No Whining Wednesday tag).

Thursday

Throwback Thursday – I miss how we used to jam ya’ll! Throwback Thursday will be in full swing next week. Throwback Thursday is when I post old school music videos to the blog. I have 3 categories so everyone gets a lil something something from it.

1. Throwback Jams (old school music the 80s on back)

2. 90s Throwback Jams (jams from the 90s, obviously)

3. and Early 2000 Jams (music from the early 2000’s)

Friday

Black History Fun Fact Friday – Throwback Thursday Jams and Black History Fun Facts are the most popular on this blog so they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Black History Fun Facts will return in full swing. (I have written tons of Black History articles on this blog that should keep you busy reading if you are new to PBS. CLICK HERE.) I noticed we dragged a bit in 2018 so I need to step it up in 2019. There’s been a lot of talk about The Year of Return (1619-2019 makes 400-years for Blacks in the America’s per captivity) I may just start the year off talking about that.

Poetry

Not included is poetry because I don’t have a special day for this. I will continue to publish poetry pretty much whenever I feel like it. If you would like listen to my poems, subscribe to my YouTube Channel HERE. I also host an Annual Poetry Contest, founded in 2017. We have had two amazingly talented winners so far and some outstanding runner-ups and it’s almost time to get things started for our 3rd Annual Contest!

Annual Poetry Contest Winner 2017

Annual Poetry Contest Winners 2018


The PBS Blog now contains affiliate links. This means should you purchase anything from these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to keep this blog up and running. I will never link to something I haven’t personally used or disliked so don‘t be shy, click on the book cover to this month‘s featured book (Michelle Obama‘s Becoming) in the sidebar and thank you for your support!

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The PBS Blog Podcast Ep 16: The Sky is Not the Limit

There is a popular saying “the sky is the limit.” It is used to display the belief that you can go high, as far up as the sky. I disagree with this saying because the sky is not the limit. There are elements beyond even the sky. You can stop at the sky or you can go above and beyond it. I want to use this as an example in today’s podcast for the potential for us to do great things without being limited. The sky is not the limit. You are.

Listen to “The Sky is Not the Limit” now on Soundcloud or iTunes

 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-573689310

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pbs-blog-podcast/id1344901312?mt=2

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pbsblogpodcast

IG: https://www.instagram.com/thepbsblog/

To follow my personal IG page @yecheilyah

It is already Yours

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The trial is the mask triumph wears until we are ready to receive what has always been ours. We live in a world where faith has lost its meaning, its vigor, its gloss. Woe to those who walk the Earth when faith has lost its shine. Who are we when faith has lost its power? Dare us to believe that something we cannot see is still ours. I dare you to believe that what you cannot see is still yours. What you cannot taste is still flavor. What you cannot hear is still music. We are far too busy chasing opportunities that aren’t ours to chase, forcing connections and misunderstanding the link between pain and growth. So we miscarry our blessings because of the labor pains. Too caught up in disappointment and heartache to endure the struggle long enough to find the strength. Too physical to see the spiritual. Too impatient to wait for what has not yet come. Too anxious to see that everything we are trying to be we already are and that everything we need, is already ours.

Characteristics of a Proverb 31 Woman

Proverbs 31:10-31

Image Credit Compliance: Designed by Freepik

Who does find a capable wife? For she is worth far more than rubies.

= Capable, Precious, Rare 

The heart of her husband shall trust her, and he has no lack of gain.

She shall do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.

= Kind, Trustworthy

She shall seek wool and flax, and with delight she works with her hands.

= Works Joyfully

She shall be as the ships of Tarshish, she brings in her food from afar.

= Goes the Extra Mile

She also rises while it is still night, and provides food for her household, and portions for her girls.

= Disciplined

She shall consider a field and buy it; from her profits she shall plant a vineyard.

= Enterprising, Sensible, Prudent w/ money

She shall gird herself with strength, and strengthen her arms.

= Energetic

She shall taste when her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out by night.

= Good Steward

She shall stretch out her hands to the distaff, and her hand shall hold the spindle.

= Diligent, Attentive

She shall extend her hand to the poor, and she shall reach out her hands to the needy.

= Generous, Compassionate

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is dressed in scarlet.

= Provident

She shall make tapestry for herself; she is dressed in fine linen and purple.

= Elegant

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

= Influential

She shall make fine linen and sell them, and shall give girdles for the merchants.

= Industrial, Hardworking

Strength and splendour are her garments, and she rejoices in time to come.

= Poised, Balanced

She shall open her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.

= Wise

She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.

= Manages Her Home

Her children shall rise up and call her blessed; her husband too, and he praises her.

= Praiseworthy

Many daughters have done nobly, but you have risen over them all.

= Distinguished

Loveliness is deceptive and prettiness is vain, a woman who fears Yah is to be praised.

= Yah Fearing

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

= Honorable

Are You Tracking?

Startup Stock Photo

One of the first mistakes I made when I started this blog and my author website is not monitoring the traffic coming into these sites. Even with all the advice from top bloggers on how much work went into blogging, I still thought blogging was just about posting and publishing. That is until it occurred to me that monitoring (and recognizing) growth is just as critical as growth itself.

Yes, we know, we don’t do this for the numbers but we cannot neglect the fact that keeping an eye on the numbers is essential to any thriving business. Even if you don’t see your blog as a business per se we can all agree that numbers don’t lie and can play a bigger role in getting the blog to where we want it to be. I mean, we’ve already established that the blog follower number is not very reliable in terms of how the blog is really doing (it’s probably better to look at your blog views).

Traffic to your website is a major component to growing your audience online. Whether you’re trying to grow your blog, website, or email list, the best thing to start with is leveraging your traffic to grow these platforms.

Now, judge me not for being late to the party but I just started using Google Analytics this year. So, for those of you who are late like me, Google Analytics is the easiest way to track your site (aside from plugins). Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

What you want to do is go to https://www.google.com/analytics/ and create an account if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, go ahead and sign in. (You will need a Gmail account). It should look like this:

screenshot-228

If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to add the sites you would like to track.

Go to Admin > Account > Create New Account

Fill in all the details for creating an account and adding a site. You will also see a page where you need to check off boxes. I check them all just in case. The box looks like this:

screenshot-241

Once you’ve set up your account you can do one or two things. You can let it do it’s thing and return to check the stats (for those who cannot add plugins to the blog at this time) or you can add a plugin directly to your blog. Right now I am not using the plugin (not until after I upgrade next year) but it’s important to note that you don’t have to add the plugin to track your site.

To add the plugin, find your tracking code.

  • Select the Admin tab.
  • Select an account from the dropdown in the ACCOUNT column.
  • Select a property from the dropdown in the PROPERTY column.
  • Under PROPERTY, click Tracking Info > Tracking Code.

It looks like this:

screenshot-244

 

Then, install a plugin named – Google Analytics for WordPress.

Once you’ve installed and activated it, go to:

– Settings > Google Analytics > enter Tracking ID.

I want to stress again that you do not have to add the Tracking ID to your blog for this to work. You should if you can (I plan to real soon) but if you can’t you can still track. Just log into your Google Analytic site and monitor it because guess what? It’s already tracking. It started the moment you entered your site.

You’re In

Once you’re set up you should be able to see your stats for the sites you’re tracking already pulled up whenever you log in. You can track several things:

  • Number of visits per hour/day/month
  • Demographics
  • Countries
  • Referrals, resources

What you’re looking at below is a snippet of my stats for The PBS Blog from Nov. 12 – Dec. 12th. Once you’re logged in it should look something like this depending on what site you are looking at (you can add multiple websites).

screenshot-238

At the bottom of this graph are more stats. I want to give you an example how this can help you with your blog. Take a look at the returning and new visitor graph on the bottom right there.

According to Google Analytics for The PBS Blog, 97% of traffic coming from this blog is of returning visitors. This tells me two things:

  1. I am keeping my current followers engaged
  2. I have to work harder at acquiring new visitors

This means that for the coming year, I can set blog goals that will help me to improve in the area of acquiring new visitors.

Let’s look at something else (quickly):

If you look at the graph above, see the number under bounce rate? The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to the blog who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. According to my stats, my bounce rate is 7.25%. This is a huge help to me to make sure I am in fact keeping the subscribers I do have, engaged. Since my visitors are returning, it makes sense that my bounce rate is low, so everything matches sorta speak (if my visitors are returning I should not have a high bounce rate).

If possible, you want to keep this bounce rate as low as possible. A rising bounce rate is a sign that the blog is not attractive to visitors or something about it has made people leave after just viewing a page (or after just a couple pages). Maybe the site is too cluttered, the color is distracting or whatever.

So, go ahead and start 2017 off right. Set up your Google Analytics and track those websites. Don’t think “Well, why do I need to track? I don’t have a lot of followers.” Me either but that’s precisely the point. Tracking will show you the numbers you need to strategically apply changes and improvements and use organic traffic to grow your blog or email list for free.

Organic traffic is when someone stumbles upon your blog, likes what they see and subscribes without the aid of payment or coercing. It is traffic you get just from people searching the web, certain keywords, phrases,  or whatever they’re searching for and stumble upon your website (You can Google Organic Traffic for a more in depth definition). You didn’t go out and beg them and you didn’t pay for them. You earned them just by first providing valuable content and taking a few seconds to track.


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is a Blogger, Poet, and the YA, Historical Fiction author of eight books, most notably, The Stella Trilogy. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release spring, 2017. For updates on this project, sneak peek of chapters and the pending book cover release for this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

Talk Yourself into Achieving Your Goals

trainer3

Like many of you, I experience doubt, fear, and all the other emotions that can bring about stress and negativity. I am no different than you in these feelings. I am human and like you, I have emotions. Sometimes I am broken, undetermined, and lack confidence. However, I soon remember that this is not how I want to live my life. It is not that I am “happy go lucky” all the time, fake, or that I do not have feelings of despair, but that I have made the conscious decision not to give my energy over to such feelings. Of course, there are days when I am not consciously strong enough to make that kind of a decision, and that’s when prayer comes in.

So often I hear writers, bloggers, and friends complain about not being good enough without realizing how they’re speaking this into existence. If you truly don’t believe you have worth or value, then that is how it’s going to be. It’s not about being flawless (for we have all fallen short in some way or another) but what it is about is talking ourselves into achieving our goals instead of talking ourselves out of them.

Like learning, self-examination is not a one-time thing, but it is forever constant in our lives. One of the reasons self-reflection is so important is because we often deceive ourselves. Self-Deception means that you are not consciously aware of your true self. The person in the mirror is not reflective of what really exists. There are often two kinds of ways in which we deceive ourselves:

a. The part of self-deception that makes us look at ourselves and downplay everything about us because we know that we are flawed.

b. The part of self-deception where we know everything.

Both of these views are wrong.

Self-examination is not comparing ourselves to others or being mean to ourselves. It does not make it so dark that nothing new can grow. In this instance of Self-Deception we’re just too busy counting our mistakes and being “down and out” to make any real changes. It’s almost as if we want to be in that low place. Walking around carrying the burden of this dark cloud over our shoulders like its a responsibility, and brushing off any inkling of light that wishes to squeeze itself through.

The other one simply leaves no room for improvement. Self-examination is not self-exaltation.

It is possible that the way we perceive ourselves is flawed. If we think we know everything it is possible, then, that we are self-deceived. Likewise, if we believe that we know nothing, then it is possible that we are self-deceived, for everyone has a little bit of something in them. We all know in part and working together we become whole as we all bring something different to the table. No one knows everything, but everyone knows something.

When we have these low moments, we must talk ourselves into those changes we want to happen in our lives and implement a plan that will help us to reach these goals in a practical way. Again, it’s not about having it “all together”, it’s about changing your perspective on life itself and going from concept to execution. Words have power and they do not come back void. Instead of speaking negativity over your life and having a “woe is me” attitude, try being inspired. Try optimism. Try faith. Try something different, for insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. You already stressed yourself out about that today. Try something else.

So, your blog isn’t growing the way you want it to, what are you doing to change that? What practical steps are you taking to change what you don’t like? Or are you just complaining about it? So, you’re not where you want to be with your writing, or business, change it. Sit down and outline a plan. So, you don’t like the way your stomach looks right now, change it. Maybe you can’t run a mile starting out. You don’t have to. Run a block. Walk a block.

Anything you don’t like in your life can be changed but first you must change your perspective. In addition, there must be a willingness to be uncomfortable. Only when we are in that place can we really grow. For as the saying goes, “Comfort zones are beautiful places, but nothing ever grows there.” Yes, it’s going to be hard. Yes, it’s going to take persistence, and yes it’s going to take dedication but it begins first with the self-confirmation that yes, IT IS possible. We have to start using words like, “I can”, “I will” and “I will learn” instead of “I can’t”, and “I will never”. Don’t talk yourself out of achieving your goals. Talk yourself into them.