Tag Archives: blogging

Writing Journal 13: Closing Programs, and Blogging Preparation

Writing Journal 13:  Closing Programs, and Blogging Preparation

My writing journal for Sunday, August 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novella: clustering and outlining

Up at 5AM as usual. Yawning after a late night with student phone coaching.

So, just 1,000 words of fiction this morning. I spent an hour doing cluster diagrams and creating a full outline of the novella. Now that I know the characters, the outline is easy to create.

If you’re a pantser, I encourage you to outline, even if you only outline a few scenes ahead. Fiction is all about emotion. Think about the emotional journey your characters — and readers — will take.

They start in one emotional space, and end in another. You need to show that journey, in scenes. Dig underneath the surface emotions. If your character is sad, what lies underneath that sadness? What images appear in your character’s mind?

You can do a lot of digging in your next draft(s). However, if you think about what you’re doing in your first draft, you’re laying the foundations of a strong book.

Consider your character’s flaws, too. I wrote about character flaws here.

Next, on to nonfiction, another 2, 500 words. I mark the areas in which I need to do research with XXXs.

Email, and Honey’s breakfast.

No time to walk today.

Writing programs closing — 5 close on August 30

We’ve got many writing programs, so we’re withdrawing all those programs we’re not actively promoting.

I chose the programs which will close on August 30, and wrote a short blog post for the freelance writing blog.

Time for my own breakfast, while reviewing student exercises. Lots of email messages, and lots of updates on Trello. I set up boards for students on Trello, because it eliminates the fuss of email.

I downloaded Folia yesterday. It might become more useful than Trello. Here’s a review of Folia on TNW.

I’ve started using it, and hope that I’ll be able to use it for writing courses.

Next, I need to create a couple of short videos for students, so that takes us up to lunchtime. It’s Sunday, so lots of things to do, and no more writing time until late afternoon.

Sunday blogging; drafts and more drafts

It’s Sunday, so it’s blog preparation time. I sort through all the blog post ideas in Evernote, and create draft posts for my own and clients’ blogs.

I didn’t get a chance to read through the third novella last night. I got caught up in reading students’ projects, then phone coaching. Finally, I was just too tired.

I still need to sort out the meta data for the novella, and edit the first two novellas, adding links to the others in the back matter.

I’ve done my daily review, and totted up the word counts, so they’re done, and I’m done for the day too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 7: Fiction, Blogging and Coaching

Writing Journal 7: Fiction, Blogging and Coaching

My writing journal for Monday, August 18, 2014. All the entries are here.

Today promises to be a busy day. Lots to write, and a couple of phone coaching sessions at the end of the day.

Fiction and nonfiction: ending one project, and starting another

Up at 5AM, as usual. Wrote 1200 words of the novella this morning. Just another couple of scenes to write. I went over the first couple of chapters this morning, and had to stop myself reading. I’ll create a MOBI file of the novel tomorrow, so that I can read it when I’m away from my work computer.

Then I drew the first cluster diagram for the next novella in this series – there’s a theme for the series, and I want my subconscious mind to start thinking about this new book as I wrap up the current one..

Whenever I reach the mid point of a project, I’m eager to get the project done. With only two novellas to complete, I’m well past the midpoint on this project. The next two stories will be shorter. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

After a quick email message to my fiction client, I start on the new nonfiction book for the series I’ve ghostwritten for a client.

This client hasn’t commissioned me to write any more books in the series, however I know that he wants me to write several more.

So last night, while thinking about the rest of this year, and 2015, I decided that this will be the last book I ghostwrite for him. If he offers me a commission for the next book, I’ll set him up with someone else to  complete the series.

I’m committed to making 2014 the final year I take on so many ghostwriting projects.

Last year, I had every intention of cutting back on my ghostwriting commissions. However, long writing experience has trained me to grab great projects when I can. So I kept grabbing, which is fine. However, it means that I’m doing much too much “work done for hire”. The fees for the ghostwritten materials are excellent. When I see authors like Russell Blake building wonderful careers, I know that I should be focusing on my own fiction and nonfiction.

I’m resisting working on my own materials, and it’s frustrating.

When you meet resistance, ask yourself why

Resistance is always interesting for writers. I think I know what’s behind mine — fear, as always. When you accept commissions, you’re not risking anything. Enough musing on my psyche. Onward with the nonfiction project.

I write a short description of the project, and create chapter documents in Scrivener. Then I write an introduction of 600 words.

This is odd. Usually I complete a book, then write the introduction. Not to worry, I’ll go with it. Now I’ve started it, I want to get it done. I create a cluster diagram for the first chapter, and write some research questions.

Breakfast for Honey, and then for me. No walking today. It’s raining and windy. Yoga later.

Email and blogging

Julia’s arrived, so we have a coffee while going over this week’s projects. Then I work on blogging.

Next, a dip into social media, and more blogging, for the freelance writing blog.

And it’s lunch time. No time to go out to lunch, so Julia and I chat and read social media. It’s still raining.

I’ve got some administrative chores to get through, so I turn on Spotify and resist the temptation to poke myself in the eye with a sharp pencil. I resist doing essential housekeeping chores as long as I can. Very immature behavior. :-) I tell myself to stop complaining, turn on the timer, and stick it out for two sessions.

Two sessions done, and I stick with it for another session — that’s almost two hours. Once I get started, it’s easy to keep going. I know this, but procrastinate anyway.

Time to return phone calls.

Then ten minutes of yoga.

Authentic writing — project revision

I spend two timer sessions on this. I’ve removed a couple of the exercises, and added another couple.

Late afternoon, and I have two phone coaching sessions for which to prepare. I need to study a student questionnaire from a new personal coaching student, and prepare my ideas for another student’s book marketing project.

The phone coaching sessions go well. The students are enthusiastic, and so am I.

It’s late, so I do a quick review of the day. It’s been a busy and productive day – I broke the back of the administrative chores. My word count totals aren’t as high as I’d hoped, but tomorrow is another day. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 5: Writing and Planning

Writing Journal 5: Writing and Planning

My writing journal for Saturday, August 16, 2014. All the entries are here.

Fiction first, as always.

Up at 5AM to work on the novella. Only a couple of major scenes left. I do several cluster diagrams, thinking about the emotion in these scenes.

I make some revision notes about a couple of scenes I want to remove. Then I change my mind; the scenes stay. Maybe. I need to read the novella as I whole, before I decide, and look at the characters’ arcs.

Only managed 1,000 new words on it this morning, but I’m pleased with them. Getting the emotion right was essential, because the entire story leads up to these scenes.

A short break to catch up on email, then I complete a blog post I drafted yesterday for Fab Freelance Writing Blog. I add some material to draft posts on clients’ blogs too.

A quick browse through ReadKit, and Twitter. I tend to snatch a few minutes here and there for social media. It can be a time sink, but I always know how much I have on my schedule, so I don’t let it pull me in. I add the material I want to read to Pocket.

I enjoyed this article on empathy maps on CopyBlogger. I use cluster diagrams to get at the emotion in fiction and copywriting, but this gives me — and you — another tool.

The time’s flown past. Time for Honey’s breakfast, and my own. Then off for a walk.

Back again. I visit Trello, to leave messages for coaching students  and to check up on client projects due to start next week.

Then I spend a timer session planning.

How much planning do you do? Planning’s essential of course, and I try to plan at least three months ahead for short projects. For long projects, I plan a year ahead.  Evernote’s an excellent tool for planning, because you can create project notebooks, and link notes together.

Lunch, and shopping.

Lunch, then we do some shopping. Ugh. I prefer to confine my shopping to bookshops, but needs must.

OK. Back again. It’s late. I won’t get anything more done today. Do my daily review, and tot up the disappointing word counts. Remind myself it’s the weekend. The trouble is, I enjoy writing more than I enjoy other things, so it’s not like work to me. Tomorrow is another day. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 4: Fiction Choices, Pen Names and More

Writing Journal 4: Fiction Choices, Pen Names and More

 

My writing journal entry for August 15, 2014. You can find all the entries here.

Fiction, nonfiction … the end is in sight.

Wrote 1,600 words of my historical romance novella this morning, and the end is in sight. I’ve planned the final scenes too. And I’ve decided not to turn it into a serial, after all.

I’m sure you’re wondering: a serial? This was the client’s proposal.

Last night I had a call from the client who commissioned me to write the five historical romance novellas. He asked whether we could turn the current novella into a serialized novel — a partwork. I’d mentioned that the novella was running a little long, and that I was (almost) turning it into a novel. He said that his publishing company would be interested if I wanted to extend the novella. Could I turn it into a novel, and serialize it? They were prepared to commission a three-episode serial, and still wanted all five novellas.

I asked him to give me time to think about the story, and how I might do that. I read the novella, trying to read it as a reader might. Yes, I could turn it into a novel, and it would work — with effort — as a part-work.

Then this morning I decided against it, for one reason only: it’s almost done. I know myself. I’ve geared up for five novellas. Tinkering with this story would take at least two to three weeks. I’d lose the thread of the other two novellas. And it would cause havoc with deadlines.

I’d need to change the deadlines on other commissioned work, and that isn’t fair to clients. Reworking this story, at this stage, would only frustrate me.

So, as soon as I completed planning the final scenes of the novella, I sent the client an email message. I offered to create a proposal for a NEW serialized novel after all five novellas are complete. I wouldn’t be able to slot in the new project until early next year.

Writing tip: communicate with your clients — it leads to more work. I enjoy talking about writing, as you can tell. However, it’s often a struggle to convince my writing students that they need to communicate with clients. If I hadn’t told the client that the novella was running long, he wouldn’t have offered me the opportunity to do a serial.

Communicate often with your clients. They’re not aware of how you write, or what else you write. You’ll find that clients often have more work for you, if you share thoughts and ideas with them.

Nonfiction: almost done with the book.

I completed another 750 words of the nonfiction book, and there’s only the conclusion left to write. I’ve exported the remaining chapters from Scrivener to Word, and sent them off to the client. I’ll wait for their thoughts, before I do the revision and conclusion.

Next, breakfast for Honey and for me, and then a quick walk.

Email… 

Then the morning’s email. Julia’s compiled the material from the beta testers of the authentic writing program, so I need to look at that. With their insights incorporated, I can get the program finished, and perhaps even offer it next week.

I spend 40 minutes on email. Feedback for students, as well as quotes and responses to clients. I’m booked solid until the end of the year now. Julia’s got some “thank you for thinking of us, we’re fully booked” boilerplate she can send to new enquirers. We chat about this. She knows what I like to write, so if anything comes in that I really want to do, she’ll let me know.

We’ve got the Leap into Copywriting program coming up, and I’ve got a full order book of copywriting and ghostwriting too. This year has just zoomed past.

Writing fiction? Write your Christmas-themed stories NOW

A few months ago I outlined a series of Christmas-themed short stories and a novella that I want to get onto Amazon by the start of December. They’ll be published under a pen name. I’ve got three months to get them done, which is plenty of time, but I need to make a start now. Editing takes time, and so do revisions.

I’m in two minds about promotion for the short stories. I haven’t even created a website for the pen name yet. No time. :-) I’m inclined just to let promoting the name go until next year. I’ve published several long short stories under that pen name, but nothing else, so it’s pointless to promote, because there’s nothing to promote. The Christmas material will help to establish the name, but there’s still nothing to promote. That’s OK. It’s best to think longterm.

Maybe I’ll try the “Liliana Nirvana” strategy that Hugh Howey talked about. Or maybe not. I  haven’t decided. I’ll do more with that pen name next year, once I get all the ghostwriting commissions out of the way.

Next, work on the video script. I do another cluster diagram, which shakes something loose. I zoom through the script, and the slides. After a couple of hours, I leave it for Julia to proof and send off to the client. It’s a rush job, so I should be able to get it all done over the weekend, if I’m lucky.

Lunch, blogging, then project reports and revisions.

Julia and I go out for lunch most Fridays, so we can discuss finishing up projects and upcoming work without too many distractions.

She goes back to work; I decide to spend an hour in the library, so I can draft blog posts for the coming weeks. I manage 1200 words, which is excellent. On my way back, I phone a couple of clients to let them know how their blogs are progressing.

As I mentioned above, if you’re a writer, you need to communicate with clients as much as you can. Not so often that you’re a nuisance, but enough to let them know what’s happening, and to give them input on their projects if they want it.

So, I go over what we’ve been doing this week  with students, and clients. Julia makes some notes for the reports; I catch up on phone calls.

(Yawn.) Afternoon slump. I reward myself for a productive day with some reading, just for entertainment. I always have a couple books on the go at once, so I choose to spend half an hour with Ian Rankin’s Saints of the Shadow Bible. I enjoy British crime fiction. My other current entertainment-read is R. D. Wingfield’s Frost at Christmas.

“Authentic writing” project feedback, and revisions.

I read the feedback that Julia’s compiled from the messages from the beta testers, and make notes for revisions.

It’s 5PM, and I’m done for the day. I do my daily review; good word counts. And that’s it for the work week. (Yes, I write on the weekends. Usually. :-))

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

My Writing Journal 3: Blog Posts, and Presentation

My Writing Journal 3: Blog Posts, and Presentation

 

Here’s my writing journal entry for the day. You can find all the entries here.

Writing journal entries…

Woke early, fiction and nonfiction again.

1,400 hundred words of my historical romance novella this morning, in just three timer sessions — AND got the next three scenes  planned. The end is in sight. The story’s running longer than I wanted, and I need to investigate the main character’s arc (I think it’s OK, but it needs tuning). Very pleased with how it’s going, but it’s running long, so I’ll need to trim some early scenes.

I’ve had lots of email queries about 5AM starts. You get used to them. I woke at 4.30 this morning, and tried to convince myself to get up, but I waited until 5. Here’s something that helps too. I’ve found that if I have more physical exercise during the day before, getting up early is easier. Which reminds me that I haven’t done any yoga in weeks. My back needs it.

On to the nonfiction book for the client. Two timed sessions, for 900 words. The end is in sight. I’ll try to do a little more on it later.

Email, and posts to Google+.

A quick run through email, with lots of messages from students, and messages about the size of video files, and questions about the closing of the programs which will be withdrawn on August 16.

To save time with emails, I wrote about the questions on Google+. Then spent 40 minutes responding to clients; rearranged some deadlines to meet client deadlines.

Honey and I have breakfast; then off for a quick walk.

A chat with Julia about some projects, and clients’ deadlines, and it’s time to complete a few draft blog posts I created in the library earlier this week.

Writing up draft blog posts, from notes in Evernote.

I complete the three blog posts for clients quickly, and then an article on the clustering pre-writing process for the freelance writing blog. I also published a post on my Just Write a Book Blog about common challenges with writing short stories.

Everything takes longer than you expect. I wanted to work on the Leap into Copywriting project, but I need to make some calls, and return some calls and texts.

I’ve got a meeting this afternoon, so I need to run through the presentation quickly. It’s my standard presentation, but a little rehearsal never hurts.

Lunch, and the presentation.

A quick lunch with a friend, to discuss the client’s nonfiction book I’ve almost completed. She’s handling the editing for me, and wants to discuss book marketing. She’s discovered self publishing, and is both thrilled and terrified. Her longterm goal is to start her own business.

Off to do the presentation. I enjoy driving, because I always seem to come up with ideas. I pull over to make some audio notes in Evernote.

We have a deal… :-)

Back in the office. The presentation went well, and we have a deal. I ask Julia to create the quote, and send them an invoice, an agreement, and the terms of service document. The project is for January, so I enter the dates into my calendar, and make some notes on the meeting.

I should work on the client’s nonfiction book, but I’m tired and need to refuel with coffee and a few minutes of relaxation. I’ve earned a little reading time too, so I open ReadKit to scan some blogs for half an hour.

Then I watch the Adobe Audition CC video overview.  I’m using Audition to tidy up audio files, but I have no real idea what I’m doing. It may be time to reactive my lynda.com subscription.

More work on the video script, and nonfiction book.

Just one timer session on the video script. Can’t get into it today. I did a cluster diagram; need to let it gestate. Needs sparkle, and more emotion. I’m just not feeling it.

Worked on the client’s nonfiction book; another 600 words. The client sent a couple of messages; they’re happy with the chapters, so onward. :-)

5PM — enough for the day. Daily review done; word counts respectable. It’s time to close the office, and get ready for dinner with friends. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Coach: Instant Coaching (Time-Limited Offering)

writing coach

These days everyone from sports people to business people has a coach. Writers benefit from coaching too. A writing coach can help you with your writing challenges, whatever they may be.

I work with writers every day, and until August 3, you can try out coaching very quickly with our offering for “instant coaching.”

Your challenges: writing, selling your writing, marketing, or … ?

I discussed two of my writing students in yesterday’s article on less stress:

I’ve just been chatting with a writing student who thinks that his writing is going too slowly. He’s written the first draft of a nonfiction book, and is frustrated because he thinks he should be moving through the revision more quickly.

Sadly, he’s lost perspective. In the time we’ve been working together, not only has he planned and written an ebook, he’s planning another one. That’s huge progress.

Writing coaching can help

If you can articulate your challenge, coaching can help. Indeed coaching can prevent disaster. One of my students was ready to delete all the files related to a book she’d worked on for three years. I managed to convince her that such drastic action wasn’t necessary. She’s completed a proposal for her book, and we’re shopping it around literary agents.

Another student wanted to develop a money-making blog, but because there were so many large “authority” blogs in her niche, she’d was intimidated. She felt that her blog would struggle: how could she compete?

We decided that she wouldn’t try to compete. She’d be herself. She has a lot to offer, and all that was needed was for her to acknowledge that. I knew her story was impressive, and I could see her getting media interviews and attention. All she needed was someone to believe in her, and help her to develop a plan for her new blog.

Writing coaching helps you to gain perspective. It also offers solutions.

Our new Instant Coaching program is not only fast and powerful, it’s also guaranteed. Take advantage of the offering, it ends on August 3.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Make Money Blogging Sex

Make Money Blogging Sex

If you want to make money blogging, your subject matter is all-important. Most blogs are doomed on creation; no one cares about the blog’s topic. And if people do care, they don’t spend money on the topic.

I’ve been blogging for 15 years. My initial attempts at blogging failed. The blogs failed because the blogging scripts of the day were crap; this made blogging an adventurous experience. By “adventurous” I mean that entire blogs got mangled, posts vanished etc. Technology aside, there’s another reason my early blogs failed: I chose topics which interested me, rather than lots of people.

Tip: if you want to make money blogging, blog about things people care about, and spend money on.

Sex, Diets, and Money: Everyone Cares, So You’ll Get Traffic.

Many years ago, a magazine editor gave me this advice: “Write about sex, diets, and money, and you’ll make money.” She was 100 per cent right.

Here’s why you’ll make money if you blog about those three things: they’re primal. Check out the pyramid on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Sex, diets, and money are basic human physiological needs; they’re on the bottom two tiers of the pyramid.

Where does your blog’s topic fit? Are others blogging about your topic? Don’t be fazed if lots of other people are blogging about your topic – that’s a good sign. They’re making money, and so will you.

So, sex, diets, and money – in both broad and direct interpretation – work for you if your aim is to make money from your blog.

We’ll talk about diet blogs (I include food blogs in “diets”) and money blogs later. Let’s look at sex blogs today.

Sex Sells: You Can’t Go Wrong With a Sex Blog.

Sex sells everything, everywhere. Think you can’t write about sex? Think broadly. Then narrowly. How broadly can you think about sex? Consider: dating, romance, relationships, marriage, etc – and of course, the topic of sex itself.

blog topics

Then choose one of the broad areas and narrow it down. Ubersuggest is perfect for this.

In the image to the left, I searched Ubersuggest for “dating”.

Lots of ideas for blogs there. And lots of blogs already exist on some of those topics. Explore the topics. Make a list of ideas.

Of course, you can choose to blog directly about sex too, if you decide to create an adult content blog. Check out Kinkly’s Our Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2013.

Tip: if you choose to create a money-making blog in the adult content area, read your hosting company’s terms of service to make sure that they support adult content on blogs. If you’re not sure, ask them. You can also do a Google search for “hosting for adult blogs”.

Google’s free Blogger service will host adult content blogs, with some provisos:

Adult Content: We do allow adult content on Blogger, including images or videos that contain nudity or sexual activity. But, please mark your blog as ‘adult’ in your Blogger settings. Otherwise, we may put it behind a ‘mature content’ interstitial.

Read the entire Blogger Help page section, “Content Boundaries”, using the above link, if you choose to create your adult content blog on Blogger. You don’t want Google to nuke your new sex blog. :-)

Making Money From a Sex Blog: Find a Topic by Thinking Broadly.

What interest you? I write romance fiction. However, creating a romance blog doesn’t interest me. When you’re searching for a blog topic, look for something which interests you so much that you won’t get bored. Blogging is a marathon, but you can create a blog and then sell it later.

blog topics visual

Finding topics is easy. “Sex” is a very board topic. Ubersuggest can help. Enter terms, and see what you discover. I like the VisuWords Online Dictionary tool (image above) too.

So there we have it. You can make money blogging, as long as you choose a topic which not only fascinates you, but fascinates many other people too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

More Blog Content Ideas Than You’ll Ever Need

More Blog Content Ideas Than You'll Ever Need
More Blog Content Ideas Than You’ll Ever Need

You’re a blogger, so you’re constantly looking for blog content ideas.

If you’re like most of us however, when it comes to formats, you rely on the tried-and-true. Your favorites may include, as mine do: tip posts, reviews, customer and product information, and  the latest news in your industry and business.

It’s time to revitalize your content and your thinking. Russ Henneberry at Digital Marketer’s produced The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas, and it’s a doozy. You can download the PDF, or view the MindMeister mind map. I counted approximately 53 ideas.

New blogger? Share your insights

Russ has divided his post ideas into “how to blog” considerations, such as: “be useful, be human, and be generous. ”

If you’re a new business blogger, you’ll want to include some “be promotional” posts. Of course you want to talk about your company. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, that’s vital. Who will toot your horn if you won’t?

Primarily however, you’ll focus on your readers, and their needs. This can be a challenge. You need to put yourself into your customer’s, or client’s shoes, and consider how you can best help them. We discussed writing to build your brand, so look at the mind map, and consider posts you can schedule which help you to brand yourself.

Be wary of creating too many off-topic posts if you only post once a week. If you post several times a day, you can post whatever you like. I enjoy The Australian Newsagency Blog, because the blogger’s a prolific publisher, publishing several times a day.  If you’re as prolific as he is, no one will notice if you publish off-topic posts occasionally.

If you own an established blog, consider new blog post formats. Blogging is instant publishing; you have immense power to reach your audience. Take advantage of it.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Write to Sell and to Brand Yourself FAST

Want to build your brand? Consider this: Amazon gives you the opportunity to write to sell, and to build your brand at the same time.

Write to Sell and To Brand Yourself

Currently I’m working with a couple of clients who are writing short ebooks to build their brand. One is a personal trainer, and the other is a financial consultant.

Both have professions which involve a lot of education.  The trainer needs to teach his clients to improve their health with better nutrition and exercise, and the consultant needs to give his clients ways to improve their finances.

Their writing helps their work, and it will over time give them standing and credibility in their chosen fields.

What about you?

Could writing help you to build your brand?

Blogging is one way to build your brand, and for years, I’ve encouraged many of my clients to blog. However, a blog is a commitment. If you’re pressed for time, blogging may not be for you. Twitter or Instagram makes more sense: you can inform and teach your current clients, and find new ones, in seconds.

A short ebook helps you to share your knowledge fast. It helps your current clients, attracts new clients, and helps you to make a side income  too.

You’re wondering, how short is SHORT?  Writers think in terms of word count, so I suggest 5,000 words. In page terms, this is around 20 pages. Of course, with ebooks, pages are irrelevant.

I’m helping the trainer to create a small library of ebooks. He’s not only aiming to help his clients, he wants to spread his message further. The consultant’s creating a single ebook, plus a print edition. He’s selling on Amazon, and he’ll be selling both digital and print versions from his website.

In branding, nothing beats writing a book to give you presence. These days, writing a book is easier than ever.

Yes, you can go the traditional publishing route, as some of my clients do. However, that presents challenges of its own. Many publishing houses have conglomerated or have disappeared over the past decade. Those that remain, want their authors to have a platform before they consider their proposal. If  you want to write a book to help you to build your brand, you have real challenges.

Publishing ebooks makes much more sense; particularly short ebooks. You can write your ebook yourself, or get help writing it, or you can hire someone to ghostwrite it for you. Either way, the entire project takes weeks, rather than months — or years, in the case of traditional publishing.

If you’re interested in writing to sell for any reason, check out Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories; the program includes coaching.

Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

5 Easy Blogging Tips to Help You to Blog on a Schedule

5 Easy Blogging Tips to Help You to Blog on a Schedule

Want to write lots of blog posts easily? You can. You just need a few tricks so that blogging is less a chore, and more fun.

I blog a LOT. Not only on my own blogs, but also for clients; blogging is a huge part of my writing week. It’s impossible to know whether I find blogging easy because I love it, or because I’ve managed to come up with lots of tricks over the years.

Let’s look at five easy blogging tips which will help you to blog consistently, and achieve your goals.

1. Collect Images to Inspire Your Creativity.

As I said in this post on outlining fiction:

Why start with an image? Because it’s less restrictive. It opens your imagination; words tend to close it.

When you’re looking for blog post ideas – and even if you already have ideas – images open up your creativity. And of course, these days, to promote your blog posts, you need strong images. (I’m finding that more and more of the traffic to blogs comes from social media sites like Pinterest and Twitter.)

blogging tip: collect images

Collect images you’ll use over the next month or two. Ideally, you’ll create two images per blog post. One an attention-getting image, and another to summarize the points in your blog post. Two images give you additional options for promotion.

2. Make a List of Topics to Cover Each Month.

Why are you blogging? You have goals for your business, and blogging can help you to meet your goals. Therefore, create a list of topics which tie in to whatever else you happen to be doing in your business.

Think about your customers too. What’s happening in their lives? Grab a calendar with national holidays.

3. Get Out of the Office: Brainstorm Blog Post Titles When You’re Relaxed.

You’re more creative when you’re relaxed. Get out of the office so that you can brainstorm some blog titles.

Consider: your goals for your blogging that week, the topics you want to cover, and the images you have – or that someone can create for you.

4. Batch-Write: Draft Five to Ten Posts.

Here’s why it’s so hard to start a blog post: inertia. Once you’ve written some quick notes under your blog titles, you’ve broken your inertia. When you get back to a post, your writing will be faster. It will improve too.

Jot lists and bullet points to get started on a post. You can refine and tidy up later, adding material. If you’re blogging on WordPress, try out the Drafts Dropdown plugin. Although it hasn’t been updated in a while, it works fine with current versions of WordPress.

5. Don’t Publish Immediately. Schedule.

Here’s the big secret to consistent publishing: drafting posts, and scheduling them. Once you’ve got a few posts drafted, and ready to polish, tackle them in batches again of two or three posts. Then schedule them to go out on the dates and times you choose.

Once you get into the habit of doing this, you’ll be able to relax. You’re no longer compelled to write because you need to publish today; you’ve got posts all lined up.

I hope these blogging tips help you to build your blog, and have fun doing it too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.