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To All Who Enter And Read This Blog

Hello and welcome,

This is my own personal blog, filled with my own personal views on life, love, loss, and everything in between. It’s a hodgepodge of randomness. This particular blog discusses my own personal views on a variety of topics. Things that are meaningful to me. I love to read, so you’ll find posts pertaining to books. I love to help Indie authors promote their books, so you’ll find book tour stops, author interviews, book blitzes and other events. I’m fed up with our government and our self-absorbed politicians, so you’ll find some posts about that as well. I also get irritated with people I know in “real” life, so once in a while I’ll bellyache about that. In other words, I tap in to a wide variety of information when writing my blog posts.

I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read my blog, post comments, subscribe and basically takes an interest in what I have to say. I welcome all questions and comments.

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Why You Need A Blog – Blogging for fun and profit

So you have a blog and happily post as often as you possibly can. You write about things that are important to you. You share funny stories about your children, spouse, co-workers, neighbors. Maybe you even use your blog as a way to let off some steam. Unhappy with the customer service you’ve received at your local superstore? Write about it. Your boss is a jerk? Write about him (leaving out his or her name of course). Your husband constantly leaves the toilet seat up or hogs the remote? Share all the irritating details on your blog. There are literally millions of blogs out there in cyberspace so why shouldn’t you be joining in on the blogging fun?

There are many reasons why you should consider starting a blog. Many free blog sites exist so there’s no financial commitment to make. Register, choose a theme and begin posting. It’s as easy as that. As mentioned above, blogging is a good way to share your life with others. Families set up blogs where each member has a chance to post updates to let relatives near and far know what’s going on in their lives. Include photos and videos and it’s almost like being there with your loved ones. If you’re looking to change careers or are currently out of work you should consider creating a blog. Include a resume page and links to relevant accomplishments and you can advertise yourself via your blog easily with one click. This is definitely an overlooked free marketing strategy for job seekers.

Do you have a business website? If the answer is yes, you should absolutely include a blog on your site. Write articles and how-to’s related to your business field and your customers will appreciate the added information. Let’s say you own a tree trimming business and you have a business website. You can write articles about types of trees to plant, the best time to trim and prune, known diseases prevalent in certain varieties of trees, how to start a leaf compost bin, and on and on. Inviting readers to leave comments and questions gives you the opportunity to put in a good word for your company.

Blogs can be money makers all on their own. Most, if not all, free blogging sites do not allow advertising on blogs. But if you purchase your own domain you can include money-making ads on your blog. There are numerous pay-per-click and affiliate programs available online. By placing company ads on your blog you make money when a visitor to your site clicks on an ad and/or buys a product from the company. You most likely will not get rich doing this but you get paid for doing very little and that’s a pretty good thing. If you have several ads going on each page of your blog you up the ante that much more.

In order to make money from advertising on your blog you need to bring visitors to your site. Submitting your blog to search engines is key. An often overlooked method to bring visitors to your site is to write articles. There are many article network sites where you can submit articles on literally any topic. Your information, including your website address, appears with the article and that translates to free advertising for your site. I will go into more detail on this technique in future articles.

Blogging can be fun, an expressive outlet, a marketing tool and a money maker. Once you start blogging you’ll begin to look at things in an entirely different light. News reports, radio programs, even a trip to the grocery store can all be fodder for your blog writing. Keeping a small notebook and pen with you at all times helps you remember little tidbits of everyday life than can be written about later. Happy blogging!

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My Words And Thoughts Are My Own And I Refuse To Censor Them.

I write about a variety of subjects. My posts center around many aspects of my life, observations and issues that effect me both directly and indirectly. Some of my posts address issues in my own life and I’m aware of the fact that what I write may be offensive or upsetting to people, whether they know me personally or not. So, in that case, what should I do? Avoid a post because someone might think it’s written about them?  I look at my blog as an online diary. While some of my words might be considered personal, sending my words out into cyberspace isn’t exactly confidential. I still consider it part of me and my thoughts and ideas. If others are interested in what I have to say, fine. If not, that’s fine too.

One of my recent posts seems to have caught the attention of someone I know personally. I honestly wasn’t speaking specifically of anyone in particular. This person obviously saw himself in my post. I could make the argument that it was a post written generally speaking, but why should I? My words and thoughts belong to me. At first I was taken back and immediately had the urge to apologize. But then I became somewhat annoyed. How self-centered it is to assume a post is specially written about someone. How dare someone put me in the position of having to explain and defend myself?

I’ve decided that if my more personal posts are taken to heart, then fine. So be it. I can’t change or control the thoughts of others. I’ve also decided that I’ll continue writing about my life and those who are in it for better or worse. Afterall, I did write several pretty scathing posts about a looney bird I had the misfortune to nanny for recently. If she regularly surfs the internet and happens to be trolling for other unsuspecting, potential nannies she might very well stumble upon my post about her. I would actually welcome the opportunity to allow her to see herself through my eyes. My words are my own and I’ll continue to put them out on the world-wide-web.

Stop Stealing My Pictures!

Many of my posts have pictures included. Mostly as headers. My pictures are either photos I’ve personally taken or pictures I get from free photo/graphics sites. All photos on my blog either directly link to the site I’ve downloaded them from, or have the original site’s name placed prominently on the photo.

I realize people search for certain photos, and WordPress shows me what links have been clicked on on my blog. If the link is a photo it’ll show me that as well. People can also do a photo search which can lead them to my photos and drawings. So, I’m assuming some of my pictures are being downloaded. Now, of course I have no claim to any photos or graphics I’ve gotten from free sites, but I certainly have a claim to my own personal photos and drawings. I know I could very easily add a copywrite notice on my blog site, but, let’s face it, that’s still not going to stop someone from downloading my photos. How in the world would I ever know where my photos will end up being used? Unless I stumble upon one of my photos on one of the billions of websites out in cyberspace I’ll really never know if someone’s stolen one. And, yes, I call it stealing. I’ve taken those photos. Often those photos include members of my family. I don’t know where a picture of one of my children will end up. And what right does someone have to use my personal property for their own use? So stop stealing my pictures. Ahh. I feel much better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest. 🙂

***This post (and all others, including those not published here) can be read on my new blogging site, http://www.mylovesleftovers.com. Thanks for checking it out!

Burn Your Babies

Before I go any further I want to make it perfectly clear that the title of this blog is a harmless saying, perhaps not in the greatest of tastes, but it does have meaning. “Burning Your Babies” in this case refers to doing away with your previous posts when you want or need to purge. It’s actually a video/picture term that I’ve borrowed here to make a point.

How many of us have taken family or vacation photos and have saved every single one of them? You know the ones. Aunt Ida’s head is cut off, or you look just plain stupid, but you’ve taken these pictures of loved ones, had them developed and by golly you’re going to keep them. Even the headless ones. Now, when you think of it, what are you really going to do with these pictures? Put them in picture frames? In photo albums? Probably not. Most likely they’ll get stuffed inside a shoe box and turn yellow all because you don’t have the heart to throw them away. Or now, in the digital era, your hard drive gets overrun with duplicate and unwanted pictures. That’s prime hard drive space you could be freeing up.  How about videos where the family is smiling and waving obediently for hours on end and are about as interesting as watching paint dry? Well, this is the time to burn your babies.

So, now it comes to blog posts. You’ve written the next great American blog and you’re thoroughly proud of yourself. People will flock to your blog just to read your pearls of wisdom. You’ll have more hits than you’d ever imagined. But then you publish your masterpiece and no one reads your post once. It’s like giving a party and nobody shows up. But it’s so wonderful, you moan. I can’t get rid of it, you think. Ah, but you must. People begin to judge you by your posts. When and if you become a popular blogger people will check out your blog often and will read your newest posts. Be honest, if you’ve written something that hasn’t been read by a single reader then chances are it might not be as wonderful as you think (or you may not have used your tags wisely or to your best advantage).

There are times where I’ll go back over all my posts and look at some of my very first writings. I sigh and get ready to purge, but then suddenly an old post will stir up some hits. Interests come and go. Situations come and go. But alot of issues and subjects are timeless. Personally, I have never burned a single baby yet.  I can’t bring myself to do it. But I’m honest enough with myself to recognize that some posts aren’t exactly my best. For now I think I just might allow my babies to rest comfortably in my blog.  So I don’t exactly practice what I preach, but that’s okay too. To purge or not to purge is a personal decision. It’s the headless pictures of Aunt Ida that can hit the trash can.

I’m Sticking With WordPress.com

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Maybe it’s just me, but after searching the web for free blog hosting sites I have come to the conclusion that WordPress is the easiest site to use. I’ve tried blogging on other sites and find it frustrating and confusing. WordPress has so many easy to use features it makes blogging a breeze. As far as upgrades, they are so affordable compared to other blogging sites. I thought I’d expand my blogging options by writing elsewhere in addition to writing on WordPress, but I don’t think the frustration and aggravation is worth the effort. So, without having any monetary motives I’d say out of all the many blog hosting sites available, I’m sticking with WordPress.com. Just thought I’d share!

My Battle Against Writer’s Block

I usually choose to write about things that either directly concern me or are important to me in some way. Often, I’ll begin my post thinking I’ll go one way with it, but then it takes on a life of its own and decides where it will take me. But, once in awhile I’ll hit a wall and I find myself with a nasty case of writer’s block. I can almost always bring my temporary loss for words around by doing one of several things.

Doing image searches can often spark my creative juices. I’m not talking about stealing peoples photos off the internet. I hate when people do that to me. I’m talking more about just looking at photos or drawings and imagining what the artist was trying to get across with their image. Another option I choose is to find free image sites, use the photo in my post and then write a story or article from there.

Sometimes just a title will come to me. At the time, I have no idea what the actual post will be about, but the title will pop into my head. Saving it as a draft doesn’t commit me to writing about it. If I think I have a good idea for a post I’ll try to jot it down, but that’s not always possible. Unfortunately, my memory isn’t always so reliable and by the time I get in front of my computer my great idea is lost. But my drafts are always there waiting for my words of wisdom to expand upon.

Life experience is one of the easiest ways I get my writing imagination in gear. I live in a very small rural area and one might think life is boring and uneventful. But this just isn’t the case. Stories don’t have to be earth shattering. Small town news, issues, crime and people can be just as interesting as any story crafted from a big city perspective. I’ve gotten the most hits (over 600…but of course it’s not all about stats) on just one day when I wrote a series of stories about my adventure in nannyism. Small town bumpkin finds herself among the rich and snobby makes for an interesting story. And, unbelievably, every word was true. I didn’t have to embelish because the truth WAS really stranger than fiction.

So, those are just some of the simple ways I fight the battle against writer’s block. They’ve worked for me. And if all else fails I can always write about writing and writer’s block.