Thank You

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Thank you for reading. Thank you for liking. Thank you for re-blogging and sharing across your social media. Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts with us. Your input is invaluable. Thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for dancing with me. Thank you for building with me. Thank you for supporting my work. Thank you for promoting my work. Thank you for following. Thank you for subscribing. Thank you for viewing. Thank you for your contribution to the growth of this blog. It has not gone unnoticed. I appreciate you.

Effective Re-blogging – Getting The Most Out of Them

It’s so easy to like and re-blog a post, but is there a way to do so effectively? Is there a way to get the most out of your re-blog?

First, why do you re-blog? I’ll go first. I re-blog because:

  • I really enjoyed the article / post. This means I found value in the post in some way
  • Not only did I enjoy the article / post but I think its worthy of being seen
  • Not only do I think it’s worthy of being seen, I think the original blog deserves the attention

My purpose of the re-blog is first to share valuable information with my readers. This is especially true if the post has something to do with something I’m passionate about: Scripture and Identity, History, Poetry, Self-Publishing, Blogging, or Writing in general. My secondary purpose of re-blogging is to give esteem to the person who took the time to produce content that is not only worth reading, but also worth sharing. For this reason, I believe it is important to make the most of the re-blog. If I am trying to help the writer to get attention, I have to make sure that they will actually get the attention. To do this, I make sure my re-blog include a couple things.

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  • Commentary

I think this is a very important thing in the world of Scams, Hackers, and Plagiarizers. When I prepare to re-blog a post, I think it’s important to add my own commentary to it. If I don’t have much to say, I quote something said in the article using quotations marks and ended with the author’s name. Why is this important? It gives others a sneak peek into what the article is  about. It’s also much more genuine, in my opinion, to the person who you’re re-blogging from. It shows you actually read the article and got something from it. When I re-blog, I want the person to know why I’m doing it. This also, as stated, helps others to ascertain what’s so special about the post. I think everyone should always add a little commentary to their re-blogs. Chances are the post is so good its been re-blogged dozens of times already. That said, I add commentary to let you know why it was so special to me personally knowing it will show up in your comments). People are also very sensitive. We have to keep in mind that not everyone wants their posts re-blogged (in which case they should have a disclaimer somewhere on their blog outlining this fact) or may be very suspicious as to why someone is doing so. It’s even more suspicious if your blog is only made up of re-blogs. I mean nothing against blogs made of re-blogs st all, but it is difficult to get to know you though as a person. What are your thoughts? Experiences? Insights? Every once in awhile, it may be a good idea (especially if you’re an author) to post something from scratch that represents your personal self. A list, a poem, a book excerpt. Something that is not re-shared or re-hashed so that we get to know you. No, quotes don’t count.

  • Tags

I also tag my re-blogs. This means that after I re-blog the post, I go into my WordPress dashboard and I add tags that are relevant to the article. I am also sure to tag it “re-blogs”. Even though it is obvious it’s a re-post, I think its important to my integrity that my readers know this is not my article but a re-blog from another blogger. This also sets my tags for re-blogs apart from my traditional tags. Re-blog tags will always have re-blog in there somewhere. Since tags help people to find your blog, this will also help people to find their way to the post. They’ll click on view more of this post and be led to the other person’s blog. Mission accomplished.

  • Re-blog no no’s

One thing I absolutely do not do is change the headline of a re-blogged post. Again, that transgresses my integrity and is crossing the thin line between sharing and plagiarizing. If the person headlines a post a certain way and I am sharing it, it is my duty to share it as is. I feel the same way about editing comments. I’m not sure why the ability to do so is even relevant. Why do we need to edit comments?? You can’t do that in real life! Imagine, “You suck. Wait, no, I take that back.” Lol.

The only reason I’ve edited a comment was when my main website changed from a time where I gave the person the other one. I edited it to the updated site just in case someone else came along later, I wouldn’t want them to have the wrong website. However, editing other peoples comments? That’s just wrong (and weird).

  • I Wish I Could

It was only recently that I understood that not everyone wants their posts re-blogged (Yes, it’s OK if you re-blog my posts! Credit me of course though). So, I wish I could disable comments for some of my re-blogs! Unless of course its my guest post from another blog. In that case, comment on! Does anyone know how to do that? Disable comments so that people will comment on the original page instead of your post? I think that helps the blogger gain more attention for their work and, most importantly, the credit they deserve.

If Your Blog Was a Resume

I am re-posting this article from some time ago. Quick reason why: So I went to this fabulous blog party yesterday right, and there was one common thread: We couldn’t follow each other! On more than one occasion there was an issue with someone’s follow button (including mine!) and other critical buttons in its relation to networking.

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If your blog was a resume, will I be able to contact you for a job?

I follow a lot of blogs through the WordPress reader that I would like to follow by way of my email because it’s easier for me to keep in touch. I manage the blogs I follow by regulating my settings. Some blogs I adjust to get emails every day and instantly. Some I have set for a few times a week, and some I purposely just follow through the reader.

I don’t consider myself an expert blogger so take this with a grain of salt, but perhaps it will be beneficial to make sure your Follow This Blog button is visible. I have come to really enjoy smaller blogs. There is something genuine about a blog with fewer followers. However, I soon discover why there is not much support. I enjoy the post but I can’t find a follow button. There is also one page. It is the about page. I click on the about page. There is nothing there. I don’t know what this blog is about and I can’t follow it to receive the next post. I leave. I may never return.

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I suppose we are all writing publicly for a reason. There is really no such thing as a private blog. If you really wanted to write privately you’d just buy a journal. Instead you started a blog on the World Wide Web so it means you are looking for some kind of attention. That said, the best way to meet people is when you expose things about yourself others can relate to. It can be anything from your favorite food to your humor to your family photos. The point I’m making is give us something. Give us a reason to care. If there’s not even a follow button you cannot expect people to follow you.

(Its Okay to admit you want people to follow your blog. This isn’t arrogance or narcissism. You’re not saying “worship me,” you are just looking for support to help improve your writing or expose yourself as an author or whatever the reason you are blogging. We all know by now that not everyone who follows your blog is really following your blog, this is not about that. This is about helping those who do really want to support you, to do so):

  • Go into your dashboard
  • Go to WP Admin
  • Appearance > Widgets

Here, you’ll see lots of widgets you can use to spice up your sidebar. You can place them anywhere you want on your blog.

There are two kinds of follow buttons. I use both but the one you really want to have is the one that says “Add an email follow button to allow people to follow your blog”. This is the one that will allow people to follow you through their emails. This means that every time you publish a post they will get it in their emails. This is better than if they followed the reader because even when they are not logged in they can still have access to your blog (If they get tired of your emails, they can even adjust their settings so they only get post alerts from you at certain times). This will increase visibility, likes, comments, and overall interaction with your blog. Click and drag this button to the sidebar section. Go back and view your site so you can see how it looks. Preferably, you want your follow button somewhere we can see it easily. Try not to have it at the bottom of the blog because some of us are lazy and don’t want to scroll down that far. The ideal place is actually as close to the top as possible and in your sidebar. (Quick Note: Mine doesn’t say Follow This Blog. It says Subscribe to this Blog. Either one is fine).

Next, add some pages.

Go to Pages > Add a Page

Pages are designed to permanently store information. So a contact page or an about page is a good way to use pages. If you already have an about page, put something on it. It is also a good idea to make sure your stream of posts aren’t infinite. Again, we are lazy with goldfish attention spans, don’t make it difficult.

  • Go To WP Admin > Settings > Reading
  • Blog Pages Show At Most (Add the number you want. Limit it to less than forever)
  • For Each Article In Feed > Click Show Summary so that when people scroll through your blog they see a summary of the post without going on….you guessed it, forever.

Also, decorate the place a little bit. Play with WordPress many themes and colors to fit your style and personality. Whatever you do, get creative. We may just stick around a bit longer than usual.


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Historical Fiction Without the Famous

Great advice on writing Historical Fiction.

A Writer of History

I had the pleasure of being included on a panel at the HNS Denver conference that took place from June 26 to 28, 2015. The panel topic was Recreating the Past: Historical Fiction Without the Famous. My co-presenters were Jenny Quinlan of Historical Editorial and Let The Read Books and Beatriz Williams, author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant and other novels. Jenny explored the contribution stories with fictional historical characters can make and why we so enjoy reading about them. Beatriz brought the marketing perspective, explaining how agents and editors look at fiction without the famous.

My role was to discuss relevant reader data and provide a writer’s perspective on creating fictional characters.

First the data about readers.

Readers characters and settingsIn the 2015 survey, 84% of readers selected ‘fictional characters within a backdrop of great historical events’. This is reflected in the favourite titles mentioned by readers where only 23% of favourite fiction mentioned concerns famous…

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