Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Why I’m Still Blogging (and You Should too)

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

“As an acquisitions editor, you should not be blogging,” one of my long-term writer friends told me in 2008. I worked inside a well-known publisher and she believed a blog was a complete waste of my time.  I was an early adapter to the blogging trend.  I ignored her advice and I’m still blogging for many different reasons. Isn’t blogging out of step? Many writers are still blogging regularly including my long-term friend, Jerry B. Jenkins, who has been on the New York Times list 21 times. We talk about blogging some in this Master Class interview (follow the link). In this article I will help you understand why you should be blogging too.

Pick Your Audience and Focus for Every Entry

Before you post your first blog article, you need to determine your audience or readers. Just like no book is for everyone, no blog is for every reader. You can’t be all things to all readers and the focus of your blog will be critical to drawing returning readers. For example, my blog is called The Writing Life because each entry (now over 1,600 of them) are focused on various aspects of my life in publishing. I tell personal stories, point out resources and things that I’m learning. It is not just books but magazine and other aspects of the publishing business. My focus is broad enough to allow a great deal of variety. It never grows old to me (so I abandon my blog—which many people do) and I have an endless supply of material. These aspects are foundational and critical when you start blogging. Also determine how frequently you can post. If you post once a month, that pace is too infrequent for drawing readers. If you post daily, the pace may be too consuming—and you will possibly give up. I decided to blog once a week and I post on the same day every week.  Throughout each week, I have numerous ideas and I keep track of these ideas (develop your own system to capture them) and they become articles.

Some people organize a team of contributors on a topic and rotate article. Others (like me) post my own blog articles. 

Multiple Reasons to Blog 

From my view, there are multiple reasons to regularly blog:

Consistency. Blogging is an easy way to build a consistent writing habit. You can also mentor and help many others with your blog entries.

Platform and influence. Literary agents and publishers are looking for writers (despite their form rejection letters). Your blog is part of your platform, a way to show your writing skills and influence others.

A place to store your various ideas. Articles for my blog are made quickly and random topics. A number of years ago, I took those random entries and organized them into a book. Within publishing we call this process a Blook. My Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams originally started as blog entries.

A place to repurpose my ideas. When I need a blog article for someone else, I often turn to my blog with a wealth of material. In a short amount of time I can repurpose and rewrite a blog entry for these needs.

A way to make money. It’s not my first reason to blog but I make money from my blog. Through blogging, I’ve found authors that publish through Morgan James. I’ve made affiliate income from my blog and much more. I’ve even got a risk-free eBook called The 31 Day Guide to Blogging for Bucks (follow the link) for more insights on this topic.

Practical Lessons for Your Blog

Here are several practical lessons I’ve learned for your blog

--Get a header or look to your blog which people will recognize when they go to it. It doesn’t have to be complicated but should be distinctly your look. You can use a template or get help from someone at but do invest this energy into the appearance.

--Add a search tool into your blog. I picked up mine from google but look for a simple HTML addition that you can add to help your readers. For The Writing Life, my search tool is in the right hand column (scroll down to find it). I use this search tool often when I’m looking for something among my many entries.

--Always include a royalty-free image with each blog entry. You can’t use just any image you find but should get it from a royalty-free source (check this link for some resources). The image gives others an easy way to pass on your articles and give you additional readers.

--Add a subscription tool to your blog. I use Feedblitz and have about 500 people who receive any update to my blog through their email. Use this link to subscribe to my blog.

--Add a ClickToTweet for every entry. There are other tools but I use ClickToTweet and from monitoring my social media, I know a number of people use this tool. Follow this link to learn how to install it.  Make it easy for people to share your articles.

A key part of the writing life is a word I don’t really like but actively do: discipline or the discipline of consistently writing. A blog is an important part of this process for me.


Are blogs still relevant? This prolific writer and editor tells why he is stillblogging (and you should too). Get the details here. (ClickToTweet)


W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Get Terry’s newest book, 10 Publishing Myths for only $10, free shipping and bonuses worth over $200. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Unique Holidays: Don't See Anything You Like? Create Your Own

Writers and authors need to always be marketing! That means, developing a platform, such as a blog, podcast, or video series, and spending time on social media. So many places ... but how do we find new things to post? 

News, interviews, trivia, lists posts, and essays make for great content. But one of the best places to spark creative ideas is holiday calendars. Yes, traditional holidays work too. But I am a fan of creating content around unique holidays, like those found on

For instance, for writers, there's National Tell A Story Day on April 27, National Punctuation Day is September 24, and National Novel Writing Month is November. There's actually a whole list of writer holidays

Plus, there's The Nibble for food holidays, to identify special days that relate to your books and/or business, and Positively Woof's Pet Holiday Calendar for those with a pet ... or pet-centric themes in the life or businesses.

Once you find your holiday ...

1. Brainstorm Content Ideas
2. Write your text 
3. Gather images
4. Construct your posts
5. Release 
6. Rinse and repeat
7. Be sure to keep a content calendar to track all of your ideas
While there are menus of holiday possibilities everywhere, what happens when you can't find a holiday that meets your needs? Simple. Create your own. That's what I did!

Let's go back to National Novel Writing Month. As we approached November, I found myself wanting to commit to some sort of monthly challenge, but didn't have the time for NaNoWriMo. 

I asked myself what I wanted to do more of in November. The answer: Dance! And #DaEvDaNo - Dance Every Day in November - was born.

First, I checked Twitter to research the hashtag. I created an image. 
Then, I put up a post on LinkedIn and started Tweeting about it. 

When creating or tagging onto existing holidays, the trick is to keep things simple. You don't need to overcomplicate things to come up with amazing content! You just need to do it.

Looking for new ways to put yourself out there? Uplevel your creativity and share your spin on an existing celebration ... or create one of your own!

* * *

What's your ideal unique holiday? ANd how do you use it to support your business? Please share in the comments.

* * *

Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, Deb works with entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Book Marketing Your Way to Visibilty and Book Sales


I used to write a lot about book marketing and content marketing but a few years ago I gravitated more toward writing.

The thing is, while writing has a beginning, middle, and end, marketing and selling your book is never-ending … if you want to sell books.

This is why knowing about book marketing is crucial to every author.

When I read Neil Patel’s article on his content marketing formula, I knew I had to share it.

Before I dive in, let me explain these terms.

Book Marketing

This marketing strategy is ‘everything’ you do to bring visibility to your book and actually sell it.

While there are some authors who just want to have a book written and don’t really care about selling it, most authors want to sell their books.

This is especially true of authors who spend money to self-publish their books where costs can be from under $1000 to well over $1000.

A few of my clients have spent well over $10,000 for just ONE book.

Recouping the money invested in your book is a big deal to most.

And, it’s just as important if you’re traditionally published. Your publisher will definitely want you to help sell your book/s.

In fact, it you and another author both submitted great manuscripts to a publisher, a determining factor on who gets the contract could be who has a better book marketing platform.

So, here are a few elements to know about before and after your book is available for sale:

1. Create a book worthy of publishing and learn about pricing it effectively
2. Create and maintain an author website
3. Write articles and post them on your website’s blog
4. Be active on social media and share your blog posts and those of other users
5. Get an email list going and maintain it
6. Look into guest blogging and interviews
7. While doing all this and more, start on your next book

Once your book is available for sale, you’ll also need to get book reviews and create an Amazon Author Page.

Content Marketing

This strategy is about writing and sharing content to your specific target audience.

 According to Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

To clarify a bit, it’s about bringing visibility to you and your product/s through content (things you write and share, usually online). It’s about building a brand (what you want people to think of when they see your name or logo).

The marketing world is driven on content.

Below are a few strategies of content marketing:

1. Blogging
2. Video
3. Podcasts
4. Infographics
5. Sales pages on your website
6. Books

There are many other elements that go into these marketing strategies, but this should give you a basic understanding of both these terms.

And more importantly, it’s important to understand that pretty much everything you do to sell your book is a form of content marketing.

Now on to content marketing expert Neil Patel’s tips.

1. Optimize your headline.

Everything you write, whether a blog post or a description on social media, starts with a headline.

An example of this is the title of this article.

There are thousands and thousands of tidbits of information online, why would someone click on your bit of information?

The very first reason would be the headline. It’s what will initially grab the reader’s attention.

2. Add three internal links.

Internal links is when you link from one page on your website to another.

It allows you to bring the reader at your website to other of your website pages and/or blog posts through clickable links.

You can check out this article to learn more about internal or inbound links:

3. Share your content on social media.

Once you put up a blog post, use sharing tools, like Shareaholic and WP Social Sharing Plugins, and share it to your social networks.

4. Message everyone you link out to.

This tip pertains to external links also called outbound links. Links from your website (usually from your blog post) to other websites.

Patel recommends that you contact the site you’re linking out to and let them know that you’ve linked to their site from your blog post or webpage.

Ask the site to stop by and share the article.

5. Email blast your new blog posts.

Email your subscribers every time you post new content.

To learn the basics of email marketing, check out this article:
Email Marketing – 10 Top Reasons to BE Doing It

I know some of this may sound too complicated, but just knowing the basics will be of tremendous benefit to you.

So, give your book every chance at finding readers and making sales.

For a more in depth look at marketing your books, check out my WOW! Women on Writing eclass: Build Your Author-Writer Platform


Karen Cioffi
is an award-winning children’s author and successful children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and as well as an author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

You can follow Karen at:


5 Things that Stop Authors from Blogging ... And the Easy Fixes

Are you an author? Well, why aren't you blogging? 

Before I debunk the top-tier excuses for a lack of blog presence, let me cover the reasons why blogging is essential for authors.

Blogging is a great way to: 

1. Develop your Platform. Whether you hope to be published traditionally or self-publish, you need to develop your platform. A publisher will look at your online presence, along with the material for your book, while evaluating your potential.  And if you publish yourself, you need that web presence. 

2. Set Yourself Up as an Expert. You are an author. You know things. This is true for non-fiction and fiction, no matter what genre. Show that you know of what you speak via your blog.

3. Share the Work of Others. You can interview other authors, share news and articles from your peers. This is another way to add value ... and keep your readers coming back for more.

4. Communicate with Your Audience. When you have exciting news and upcoming events, a blog is one of the best ways to share the deets with your readers. Yes, you can and should post on social media. Just direct people back to your blog, as it;s the hub for everything that's going on in your author-life.

5. Develop Your Voice and/or Content. Test out material. Blog a book. Share ideas. Use your blog to tease upcoming content, while seeing what resonates with your audience. 

Now that you have all these great reasons to blog, I have to ask the question: So why not blog?

Here are some common excuses ... along with easy fixes.

1. No Time. If someone tells me they have no time to blog, I simply say, "Schedule the time. "  You can blog weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, twice a week. The solution to the time problem is to look at your schedule, see what is feasible, and do that. 

Only have an hour a week to blog. Write short posts (300 words). Have a little more time, batch your content (write a few posts ahead of time), so you can take a week off when you need to. Stop overthinking. Don't spend hours on a short post. Commit the time. And start blogging.

2. No Energy. This one is a little more challenging, but also has a simple solution: blog on subjects you are passionate about. When you work on things that excite you, you'll find the energy. Besides, the more you love what you blog about, the more it will ooze out of you and engage your readers.  

3. Too Expensive. There are plenty of low and no-cost blogging platforms. You can use Medium or LinkedIn Publisher for free. Yet that is blogging on a social media, and it's best to give your content its own platform. While Blogger and WordPress have free blog options, they will put and after your blog title, I believe it's worth the investment to upgrade to a more professional-looking custom URL. 

4. Not Enough/Too Many Ideas. Before you start your blog, take time for a little D*E*B Method introspection. Determine the Mission for your blog. What do you hope your blog accomplishes? What is your expertise? And how do they fit together in creating a mission for your blog? 

Next, Explore your Options. What can you write about? What types of posts, length, etc. Once you start brainstorming the ideas will keep flowing. As long as your ideas align with your mission, your blog will keep going in the right direction.

5. Who Cares What I Have to Say? You are an author. Your audience should care. Give your unique spin on your genre, topic, experience, etc. Engage your readers and they will keep coming back.

The bottom line is this... you need to blog. You owe it to yourself and your readers. So create the best home you can for your author blog!

* * *

So, what is your blog link? Why are - or aren't - you blogging? Please share your advice in the comments.

Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Write for One

Contributed by Colin Dunbar

There's the blank page.

Maybe you have an outline, and although you get going on your blog post, momentum slows down.

Here is an idea you can try, and see if it helps to keep your impetus going all the way to the end.

Do you find it easier to talk to one person rather than to a crowd? Do you find it easier to talk to someone you know rather than to a stranger?

Use the following idea when writing your blog posts (or any content.) You may find your writing becomes easier, and the quality cud even be better.

I have seven people I "talk to." These characters all have different personalities and experiences. What I'm writing about determines my choice of audience (i.e., one of the seven people). The seven personalities vary between stubborn and skeptical, while experiences vary from very experienced to very newbie.

Depending on the subject matter you're writing about, for example is it's complex or sensitive, you could have a photo of the photo near. It doesn't necessarily have to be a photo of a real person. By doing this it makes the "personal" part of writing just a little easier.

When I start writing my first draft, I actually start with a salutation, "Dear Gordon" for example, and then go on to explain what it is I want to "tell" Gordon about. Sometimes, I use his name throughout the article. And then when I go onto the second draft, I remove references to his name. Often there are very little changes needed, because just as I would use "you", when talking to the person, it's very close to ready. Occasionally, I may need to make some revisions (depending on the topic) but most of the time, there's very little I have to change.


Dear Sam, I've heard you struggle to keep your writing flow. I'd like to share an idea with you that you may want to try. Before you start writing, decide that you're actually going to write to one person. Choose someone you now, Sam, and then write your article or blog post directly to that one person. After your first draft, you can edit out any references to the person's name. etc., etc.

Also, depending upon what I'm writing about, I may use a voice recorder and narrate the article to "my person." This exercise sometimes has some funny bits because I have the person "talk back" to me.

Give this tip a try and see if it helps with your writing.

Colin Dunbar is a veteran technical writer with 40 years' experience. He offered a book design service for over 7 years, and is the author of How to Format Your Book in Word. He shares his vast knowledge at (


Where Does Your Story Really Start

So You Want to Write a Book - Now What?

Point-of-View and Children’s Storytelling

The Writing Details are Important

SEO for Authors Part9 – Duplicate Content

Some bloggers (book marketers) are under the misconception that having their article reprinted on another website is a problem. They fear Google will penalize them.

This is NOT true. And, this comes from expert advice.

But, first let’s understand what duplicate content is. It’s when the identical or near-duplicate content appears on more than one webpage.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s on your own website or whether you have a guest post on another website, or whether a scraper site steals your article and posts it.

Scraped content is when a site takes your content and posts it on their own site without permission. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about this, but you don’t have to worry about being penalized for it.

Allowing Reprints or Syndication of Your Blog Posts

According to Moz, Google understands syndication. What will possibly happen is the duplicate content (reprint) “will be filtered out of search results.”

I use guest posts on my site because it adds value to my readers. It brings a wider perspective and hopefully more information on a topic. So, I’m not concerned about it being in search results for the content.

On the flipside, I allow my articles to be reprinted because it broadens my visibility. The hosting site has its own readers and visitors who will possibly see my content for the first time.

This is a win-win for me and the hosting site. I broaden my marketing reach and the hosting site gets fresh content that will hopefully help its readers.

To further emphasis the myth of duplicate content, Neil Patel says:

Googlebot visits most sites every day. If it finds a copied version of something a week later on another site, it knows where the original appeared. Googlebot doesn’t get angry and penalize. It moves on. That’s pretty much all you need to know.

A huge percentage of the internet is duplicate content. Google knows this. They’ve been separating originals from copies since 1997, long before the phrase “duplicate content” became a buzzword in 2005.

Playing It Safe and Being Ethical

Syndication can be a valuable marketing tool and it’s definitely a legitimate strategy, but to play it safe and give credit where it’s due (for Google’s sake), always reference the original content link.

You might be saying, “But, I allow the author a tag or bio that links back to their website.”

While this may be true, it has nothing to do with Google.

You want to let Google know that the content you're reprinting originated from another webpage. Again, your blog post may not be put in the search results, but you’ll be playing the game right.

I try to always reference the original URL of a guest post I use. I say “try” because sometimes I’m in a rush and forget to do it even though it’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten. I do have to try harder.

What Google Says on the Matter

Did you know that Google has a page just about duplicate content. Below is what it says about allowing reprints or syndication of your content:

If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you'd prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.

If you have a question related to this post, just enter it in the comments. I’ll try my best to answer it.

To read the previous articles in this SEO for Authors series, go to:

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help with your author platform, check out Karen's e-classes through WOW:


Importance of Email Signatures

Reasons Why to Self-Publish Your Nonfiction Book

Book Marketing – To Give or Not To Give

SEO for Authors Part4 - LSI Keywords

We're on to Part 4 of the SEO for Authors Series. This part goes a bit deeper into using keywords.

Okay, I can hear you mumbling, "What the heck is LSI keywords? Aren't regular keywords enough?"

Before you start to bite your nails, LSI keywords sounds complicated but it’s NOT at all.

We’ll get to that in a second though.

First, let’s discuss why you’re blogging.

If you’re a blogger or content writer, who are you writing for?

If you answered the reader. You get the jackpot.

But, even if you think you’re writing for the reader, in the back of your mind you know you need to please the search engines also.

So, which is it?

Should you be writing for the reader of the search engines?

You’ve got to write for both, because if the search engines can’t quickly find, understand, and index your content they won’t be able to use it in their search results. This means the reader won’t get a chance to see your article.

Okay, this does create a bit of a dilemma, right?

Well, not really.

You can write powerful content that’s helpful to your reader while being search engine friendly. It’s a simple matter of using basic SEO techniques.

I’m guessing most of you reading this article know about keywords. And, you know they’re an important element that allows the search engines to find and index your content. It’s keywords that online searchers use for their search queries.

While your reader is your number one concern, appeasing Google comes in a close second.

But, there’s another little problem: 

Google doesn’t like you using the same keywords throughout your content. If you do this, Google will assume you’re doing it for ranking.

This doesn’t work. In fact, you could get a ‘slap on the hand’ for unethical SEO practices.

Instead, the power-blogger uses LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords.

Yep, another marketing acronym.

LSI keywords are simply synonyms for keywords. They can also be other words or phrases that are closely related to your ‘original’ keyword.

According to Web CEO, “LSI keywords are words and phrases that are semantically related to each other. They include not only synonyms or keywords with similar meanings. They are often keywords that are commonly found together.” (1)

Suppose your keyword is “book marketing.”

There are a number of topics that may fall under that keyword, such as:

- Author platform
- Book promotion
- Selling books
- Author website
- Book reviews
- Book signings

It’s the LSI keywords in your article that will allow Google to scan your content and better understand what it’s about. This in turn makes it easier for Google to index the content and use it as the results of a relevant search query . . .  as long as Google believes your content is quality.

An example of this strategy in action is my article:
Shaun the Sheep and Marketing with Animation

Shaun the Sheep is an animated kids’ movie with no words. I used it as the basis for an article on animation and marketing. While the title might be catchy to readers, it may have been a bit confusing for search engines.

But, the article itself has lots of LSI and other terminology that is search engine friendly and gives them the information they need to know exactly what the article is about and which search queries it’s relevant to.

Next time you’re writing a blog post or web copy, think of the LSI keywords you can use.

To find LSI keywords related to your primary keyword, check out this free tool:
LSI Graph

Along with finding those LSI words, your blog posts should be easy to read, understandable, and helpful for your audience.




Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. She is also an author/writer online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help getting your author platform off the ground or want to get it soaring, check out Karen’s 4-week, interactive, eclass through WOW! Women on Writing: Build Your Author/Writer Business


SEO for Authors Series Part1: The Basics

Keywords and Search Engines (What Every Author Should Know)

5 Good Reasons to Secure Your Site

SEO for Authors Part3 - Outbound Links in Your Blog Posts

Outbound or external links are clickable links you have on your website and in your blog posts that link to other websites.

And, it’s a good practice to use outbound links within your articles.

For instance:

Suppose I’m writing a post for Writers on the Move and it’s on self-publishing. I find a relevant article over at Kindlepreneur that will give my readers more information on the topic or reinforce what I’m saying.

#1 Doing it right by linking properly

There are a few ways to link to the Kindlepreneur article (I added yellow highlight to show which words or phrases would be hyperlinked):

1. I can use the keyword SELF-PUBLISHING as an anchor text. The word would be hyperlinked to the outbound article.

Example: Kindlepreneur has a great article on creating your own book publishing company if you’re self-publishing.

2. I can link to the article using the site’s name.

Example: There’s a great article over at Kindlepreneur that says . . .

3. I can include the URL and hyperlink it.

Example: There’s a great article over at Kindlepreneur ( that says . . .

4. I can create a MORE READING section at the end of the article and include the Kindlepreneur article title and link to it: How to Start a Book Publishing Company.

Which strategy is the most SEO effective?

Numbers 1 and 4 are the way to go. But if you had to choose between the two, go with #1.

The reason is it offers Keyword-Power that’s highly relevant to your article. Google and the other search engines like this practice.

Okay, that’s pretty easy. Use anchor text to link to outbound links whenever possible.

NOTE: If you notice, I hyperlinked in Example #2. This was a mistake, but since outbound links are involved, I'm leaving it as is. Moral to the story: don't do things in haste.

#2 Linking when using quotes

Suppose that in the article I’m also quoting from The Article Writing Doctor. I must give the URL to the article I’m quoting from.

There are a couple of ways to do this also:

1. Hyperlink a keyword within the quote, if applicable.

Example: “If you want to self-publish, you must edit your manuscript before moving forward.”

Since I already hyperlinked to Kindlepreneur using the keyword Self-Publishing, I wouldn’t want to use that word again as a hyperlink. So, I’d use Edit Your Manuscript.

2. Tag the quote and hyperlink the article title at the end of the article in a References section.

Example: “If you want to self-publish, you must edit your manuscript before moving forward.” (1)

Then at the bottom of the article you link to the article via the title:


(1) Self-Publishing – You’ve Got to Edit First

The benefit of using outbound links:

Using outbound links effectively produces two benefits:

It’s good to link to HIGH-RANKING sites. It reinforces what your site is about to Google. And, if the site you’re linking to pays attention to its Pings or Trackbacks, they’ll notice you linked to them.

So, you make Google happy which makes them like your site better and you get noticed by a high-ranking site.

This is all good.

Now, let’s move on to the Don’ts.

#1 Warning: Try to keep the visitor on your site

While outbound links within the body of your article can be good SEO, those links are taking the reader away from your website. So use them sparingly, especially if you manage your own site.

Suppose I had that Kindlepreneur outbound link in the first paragraph of my article. The reader sees it and clicks on it.

Off he goes – off of my site.

This does two things:

It drastically shortens the visit length of that reader and if he hops off too quick, you just added to your bounce rate.

Google tracks the length of time a visitor stays on your site. The longer the better.

Google also tracks if the visitor is there 5 seconds or less. This is considered a bounce and it’s terrible for your website ranking.

If you have a high bounce rate, Google will assume your site is very poor quality. It will assume your content isn't measuring up to your linkbait. This is not good.

So, be careful using outbound links within the body of your article. And, definitely limit the number of outbound links you use.

One way around this problem:

When you’re creating the outbound link, make sure it will open in a NEW WINDOW. This will keep the reader on your site while he’s reading the article at the other site.

#2 Don’t use too many outbound links.

Google has its hands in everything. It keeps track of your outbound links and inbound links (sites linking in to your site).

If you have a lot of outbound links compared to inbound links, Google will think it’s suspicious and black-hat (unethical) behavior. It could think you’re getting paid for those outbound links. 

You could get penalized. At the very least, you’ll lose ranking power.

#3 Warning – They’re distracting

If you’re article is littered with outbound links, they’re distracting to the reader. Even if they don’t click on them, they cause distraction.

#4 Don’t outbound link to the same URL more than once within your article.

This is considered suspicious activity.

#5 Warning – Broken links are a NO-NO

The more hyperlinks you have on your website, the more chance there is of having broken links. Google frowns upon broken links.

If you manage your own website, it can become burdensome having to check on whether your links are broken.

While WordPress has plugins to help with the process of checking for broken links, Blogger does NOT.

This means, if you have a Blogger site and want to check for them, you’ll have to go into every post and check the links.

As of the writing of this post, Writers on the Move has around 1500 blog posts. That’s a lot of checking.

Summing it up

As mentioned, using outbound links can be a useful SEO strategy. But, you generally don’t want to overdo it.

There are exceptions to this rule as when you have a resource page with links to valuable tools for your readers.

Or, you have a media page with links to all that’s going on with you.

Or, if you’re creating a blog post that offers links to say, The Best Writing Sites or Best Books of 2017, or other.

As with all guidelines, they’re guidelines and should be thought of when creating and posting your articles.


Pingbacks and trackbacks are very similar functions using different protocols/systems. Their purpose is to make a referenced site aware that it’s been referenced to by another blog/website, and allow that site to link back. Both the pingback and trackback go to the referenced website’s pending comments, awaiting approval or rejection.

Not all websites have this feature. If it does, you usually need to enable it.

Linkbait  is content (usually titles) designed to attract attention and encourage those viewing it to click on its hyperlink to the site.The purpose is to improve the site's position on the list of results returned by a search engine. But, if it's done unethically, if the title is a tease and doesn't provide what it promises, Google won't be happy and neither will the people who click on the link.

If you have any comments or questions, please put them in comments!


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. She is also an author/writer online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you'd like to learn more about building a powerful author platform, check out Build Your Author/Writer Platform.


SEO for Authors Part 2 – Keywords and Descriptions

Help for Second Edition Blues

Reasons Why to Self-Publish Your Nonfiction Book

How to Prepare & Promote a Facebook Live Broadcast

Last week, I did a freebie book day for Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog. I submitted it to several book sites, emailed people who I used as examples in my book, and sent it to a few different writer forums. I shared it on all of my social media profiles leading up to it, and inside different Facebook groups the day of my promotion.

As I prepared for giveaway day, I realized I wanted to do something a little bit different. So I also scheduled a Facebook Live, to talk about blogging and answer questions from my community. Video is hot right now, and gets a lot of visibility in the Facebook feed. I determined that the primary goal was to share information via video, the bonus (or by the way) was the book giveaway.

Here's a peek into the process and a checklist of how to prepare and promote a Live video broadcast.

1. Set a day, time, and topic for your Facebook Live.

2. Create an event for the broadcast through your business page, and schedule it.

3. Invite people who you know will attend. Also message good friends to give them a heads up and make sure you have a base audience at that time.

4. Post reminders in the event discussion the days leading up to the event.

5. Share on all of your social profiles, not just Facebook. Add graphics to make them stand out. Also, add the event to your newsletter and do an email blast.

6. Plan what you will say. Don't necessarily write a script. Instead, create an outline with key points you will cover.

7. If you are doing a live Q&A, source questions ahead of time, so you are sure to have something to talk about.

8. Set up and test your camera ahead of time. Set your audience to "Only Me" to run a test.

9. Message the people on your event that you will go Live on your Facebook business page. Then, go Live. And ave fun.

10. After the event, share the replay on your personal profile, write a blog post and embed it, and share on your platforms yet again.
Bonus:  Repeat ... when inspired or regularly.

Live video is a wonderful way to get who you are in front of your fans. When you film yourself, and interact with people in real time, it enables to form a connection. And as people get to know you, they are more likely to become your clients and customers. 

What do you think? Have you gone Live on Facebook? How have you promoted it?Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

* * *

Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group

She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages and host of the Guided Goals Podcast.

Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

PLR for Blogging and Content Marketing

PLR is an acronym for Private Label Rights. What this means is you buy content from a source and use it as your own.

The content you buy can be used for blog posts, articles, ebooks, video scripts, and so on. The pricing is usually minimal and it's a definite time saver.

I know many might be reluctant to buy content, but it's done all the time. And, until Sunday, you can try it for FREE. You can get an over 3,897 word ebook (report) with a cover image and interior images for free. The offer should be good through May 8th. Click the link to try it out:

Increase Your Focus for Better Productivity

Keep in mind you can break this report into bite size pieces, say blog posts. You can also use it as a great lead magnet (freebie for your subscriber list or other CTA). You can use it for multiple purposes.

I'm not an affiliate for this product or company. I got an email from the company (I use them) with this offer and thought it'd be a great way for those of you who were thinking about trying PLR to do so with spending a penny.

Yes, ListMagnets is also selling PLR that you can buy when you click on the link, but don't buy them. Just pick up the free report.

I use PLR occasionally, usually for reports. And, they're a great tool to have if you're too busy to write the content yourself. I think it's a very useful content marketing tool. I did get this freebie.

If you do try it, be sure to proof it before publishing it. This goes for any PLR you may buy.


The Social Media Marketing Smorgasborg
By-Pass Marketing and Book Selling
Series Writing - Chart the Details

Want to take your blogging up a notch or make it a freelance writing skill?

Check out:

Become a Power-Blogger and Content Writer in Just 4 Weeks


Blogging - Does Anyone Read What You Write? If Not, Why?

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) has an interesting article on blogging without getting the results you want. Without any one bothering to read what you write.

It explains that while there are tons of articles focused on how to write a quality article, there’s not much on distribution strategies.

The article lists seven tips on creating and implementing a ‘smart’ distribution plan.

The first on the list of tips is optimization.

In an analysis from, it demonstrates that “search alone makes up about 1/3 of sites’ overall traffic.”  And, Google made up most of that search traffic.

So it’s easy to see why optimization is first up. Optimization is about making your content reader and search engine friendly. The basics include a ‘grabbing’ headline, a dash of keywords, a killer description, anchor text, and external links.

Number two on the list is to keep it modular and cohesive.

HBR suggests creating “small bits of content, each with a targeted purpose, that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, a blog post can be excerpted to provide social media status updates, included in your e-mail newsletter, syndicated on LinkedIn, and more.”

To create that cohesive element, you need to plan out how to use the modules for a full reader experience.

Third upon the list is segmentation.

I’ve written about this strategy and so have the heavy-hitters. You email list is not a one-size-fits all. You need to divide you list into smaller, more focused groups.

Segmentation creates a more personalized reader experience and allows you to provide focused content and promote differently to each group.

Segmentation allows for better conversion.

To read the full article and get the other four tips, go to:
Why No One is Reading Your Marketing Content



When Writing is Not a Career
3 Tips to Help New Writers Build Confidence
Email Marketing – 10 Top Reasons to BE Doing It

Blog Review Checklist

While you prepare for the new year, here's one more to-do to add to your list. Review of your blog.

Ideally it's good to make changes to your website or blog as they happen. However, bloggers are busy. Inevitably something - or things - fall through the cracks. 

Here are ten things to check on your blog around the beginning of the year. 

1. Headshot. Did you change your look at all in the past year? Do you have stunning new pic? Has it been a while since you put a new headshot on your website? If you answered yes to any of these, it's time to update your headshot. 

2. Bio. Add any new jobs/clients, writing venues, and speaking engagements acquired.

3. Accolades. Incorporate any awards and accomplishments, as well. Also, if you are involved in any sort of philanthropy, include that too. 

4. Media. What sort of media coverage did you get last year for your book, product, services, or business? Do an online search to get links and/or embed codes for video clips to your site's Media page.

5. About Your Business Page. Add any new clients, awards, and accomplishments to your business' about page. While you're at it, check your contact page to make sure all that info is up-to-date, as well.

6. Products and Services. Did you release a new book this year? A new product or service? I'm guessing you added them at the time. But, just in case, check your product and services pages. Also, if you are increasing your rates, make that change too. Give current clients a few months notice (or grace period) or grandfather them into your new pricing.

7. Frequently Asked Questions. If you noticed any new frequent client questions, add them to your FAQ page. Don't have a an FAQ? Create one to add to your website.

8. The Look. Do you like how your website looks? Is it ready for a refresh? Review sites you like for inspiration, and determine what sorts of elements (navigation, sections) you want to incorporate into your blog in the new year.

9. Blog Schedule. As with your blog's look, also review your blog schedule. Do you have set posting days? (You should.) Are you keeping up with your schedule? Consistency is key. So, if you find posting twice a week is difficult, go down to once a week. If you have only been posting a few times a month, consider going weekly or twice a week. Determine what will work best with your schedule to set yourself up for success.

10. Copyright. Many blog themes will update the copyright year automatically. If it doesn't, make the change manually. It's one of those little things that shows your blog is current.

Note: After you update many of these items (#1-7), make the corresponding changes to your press kit, too.

Any blog needs to look professional, whether it's a showcase for writing, a consultancy, or a more traditional store or business. Investing a little time each year to review and refresh can make a huge difference.

What do you think? What else should you review and update each year on your blog? Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

* * *

Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages and host of the Guided Goals Podcast.

Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Writers on the Move Knows Why Blogging is Essential and is Looking for Members

By Karen Cioffi

In case you’re not familiar with Writers on the Move, we’re a writing and book marketing group utilizing content marketing to broaden our visibility and authority, and boost sales.

We have experienced writers and our content marketing strategy of choice is blogging.

The reason why we use blogging?

The marketing game is always changing, because of this, it’s important to keep up with marketing trends. One useful tool for this is Technorati’s Yearly Digital Influence Report.

According to their latest report, which is based on “over 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers, and 150 top brand marketers,” blogs are now heavy hitters with consumers. Blogs are regarded as trustworthy, they are popular, and they wield influence over consumer buying decision making.”

Another important finding of this study is that over 50 percent of consumers feel that smaller communities offer more influence. Even new sites were trusted over social networks.

From this study it would seem that people like connecting with other people, not crowds. They like the personal relationship, the kind of one-on-one relationship of the blogger that social networks don’t necessarily offer.

Why blog with Writers on the Move (WOTM)?

Anyone can blog, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get the visibility and traffic needed to get positive results. Well, WOTM has been around since 2008 and we’ve continued to grow and thrive for 8 years now.

The reason?

We keep track of current marketing trends and use them in our marketing strategies.

Doing this has given us a steady stream of monthly visitors and engagement. We often get notifications from AddThis and StumbleUpon that ‘we’ve got a spike in our website traffic.’ As a blogger, this is one of the results you want to see happen.

The purpose of this article?

We have three openings for new members in our group.

Each member in the group posts one article, once a month on an assigned day to the WOTM website. The posting day remains the same each month.

The benefits to members?

Visibility, authority, and being part of a group with seasoned writers and marketers.

So, if you’re a new writer or seasoned writer and want to take advantage of this opportunity, please let me know.

You can email me at:
kcioffiventrice –at—

Please put “WOTM Member” in the Subject box.


10 Goals for Your Blog
5 Tips for Creating a Powerful Bio
Tips on Polishing Your Novel
How to Catch an Acquisition Editor's Attention

10 Goals for Your Blog

The beginning of the year means a clean slate. Even if you fell off the blog-wagon sometime this year, you will be able to start anew in just a few short weeks. Here are 10 goals to set your blog up for success in 2016.

1. Stay on Theme. Most people use blogging to illustrate their expertise. However it’s easy to get off topic and sway from your focus. This year, make a goal to always blog in tune to your mission statement, theme or tag line. Don’t have a tag line? Write one. What short phrase describes your blog? Come up with about 20 ideas and pick the best one. Then, whenever you start to write a blog post, you can ask yourself if it fits your tag. If it does, perfect. If it doesn’t, figure out a way so it’s in-line with your blog or save it for a later writing project.

2. Blog Consistently. Decide on how often you want to post a new blog, and then stay on schedule. Pick one or two days a week. (Note they should be the same day or days.) Then stick to your schedule. Set up an expectation for your audience, so they know what days to come to your blog to read a new post. And don’t let them down.

3. Write Complete Content. All blog posts should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Make sure you adhere to some sort of structure and that your thoughts are complete, so the content you create is valuable and easy to understand. Don’t forget to add a call to action to comment or share at the end of each post.

4. Edit Posts. Nothing gives a hit to your credibility quite like spelling and grammatical errors. Before hitting publish, take a little time to review your posts. Run spell check, read it out loud, read it backwards (that’s a fun trick for finding errors). Or do all of the above. Properly edited posts look professional and are an awesome reflection on you!

5. Add Images. You probably already know that every post should have an image to illustrate your point and draw in readers. If you want, use a site like Canva or PicMonkey to create a custom image with your blog post title. You can use this at the top of your articles and to promote it on social media sites.

6. Categorize and Tag Content. Whenever you create content, put it in the relevant category on your blog – it’s an excellent way to keep your posts organized. Also, add tags (keywords) to make your article easy to find when people search.

7. Keep Ahead of Schedule. Notice I said “ahead of” not “on” schedule, though that’s important too. If you find you have some extra time, write a few blog posts in advance. Try to have articles that are due, ready to go a week in advance. That way you are not constantly struggling to make deadline. Plus, it will help with goal #2: Blog Consistently.

8. Share. Share each post on all your social networks. People can’t read your posts if they do not know about them.

9. Step It Up. You know that big interview you’ve been wanting to purse? Or that article you keep meaning to write, but put off because it’s “so much work”? How about your decision to start a podcast or do video interviews? Well, stop talking about it and start doing it. This is your year. Do what you can to add extra value, multimedia and/or oomph to your blog. You’ve reached goals 1 – 8. You’ve got this. Now, step it up!

10. Enjoy Your Blog. This is something I find myself saying regularly: Everything you work on should be at least a little bit (if not a lot) fun for you. If you are not enjoying the content you write, write something else. You can’t expect your audience to become invested in it … or in you as a writer … if you are not enthusiastic about your material. It’s your blog, you created it for a reason. Have fun with it!

Post your blog link in the comments, so we can all enjoy your writing too! Happy Blogging!

Note: I employed nearly all of these tactics in writing this post. Still working on #7: once a writer on deadline, always a writer on deadline ...

* * *
Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. 

She is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Active vs. Passive Writing: Energize Your Prose!

 by Suzanne Lieurance Ever feel like your stories and articles are a bit slow-paced and wordy?   If so, that’s probably because you’re using...