Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday Blog Writing – Workshop Tips

October 1, 2020
mandyevebarnett


I hosted a virtual workshop last Saturday for the Words in the Park event. It was fun to utilize Zoom so that participants from far and wide could join me. As the workshop was free, I thought I would share the bare bones of the workshop. Hopefully, it will give you some helpful information in creating a blog of your own.

There are numerous blogging sites but these tips cover the basics for you to start.

The number of blogs available on the internet is mind boggling – every topic you can imagine is covered. Whether factual, diarized, crafting, a myriad of interests or informational, you can find several postings about things you are interested in or want to know about. 

So why should you blog? Or indeed why not!

The first and most important question is – why do you want to blog in the first place.

There is a huge range of reasons to blog but maybe the best idea is to ask yourself if any of the following relate to you.

 1. To create something you are proud of

2. Challenge yourself

3. Strengthen your knowledge on a particular subject

4. Meet others with similar interests

5. Help other people in a specific field or topic

6. Gain confidence

7. To improve your writing ability

8. To learn new skills

Once you decide on starting a blog there are several key elements you need to decide on.

  • Name Your Blog

This may seem easy – however, you need to search what names are already in existence, will the name reflect the topic OR theme you will be writing about. Is it a personal blog, a business blog, or a specific interest blog? Does the blog name read OK when it’s in a domain URL format?

Later you may want to purchase your own domain name so consider how it will look.

  • Define Your Target Audience

For an author, this will be readers in your genre, for business people, it is who wants/needs your services. Will you mentor? Cover aspects of health, travel, personal training, or something else?

  • Tone Of Your Blog

What tone or voice will the writing reflect? Strictly business or more personal/friendly?

  • Reason For Your Blog

Will you be building your brand around your blog name or the other way around? Is the blog part of a website or standalone? What do you want to achieve with your blog? Choose one area you have the most expertise or interest in. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself straight out of the gate. Your passion about the subject will bring about the following benefits:

  1. You’re more likely to put the time and effort into your blog to make it shine.
  2. You’re less likely to abandon your blog in the future.
  3. You’re less likely to run out of ideas.
  4. It shows through in your writing, and your readers can feel that. This, in turn, will lead to a larger following.

Tips for Writing A Blog

 Understand your audience

 Write for yourself first

 Build you

 Love your existing readers/followers/clients

 Focus on building an amazing call-to-action

 Be consistent

 Give away your knowledge

 Be true to your voice

 Give it time

Write catchy headlines

Be Yourself

Keep it short

 Positives to blogging:  

1. You’ll gain confidence.

2. It’s a form of diary.

3. Blogging is great writing experience.

4. There is potential financial gain if that is your future goal.

5. The blogging community is great.

6. It allows potential for self growth.

7. It allows development of technological skills.

8. It gives people a creative outlet.

9. Blogging is the current way to market a business or product.

10. And it creates opportunities. Whether in the form of friendships, financial gain or self-growth.

Key Elements for a Blog Post

Make sure to include images in every post. A block of text is seldom read. (Attention spans are very short). Rule of thumb is to use one every 300 words or so.

Format your blog post – longer text should be divided with headers and sub-headers

Use bulleted and numbered lists

Bold and italicize key points

Use short paragraphs – 3-5 lines to prevent ‘skimming’ by your reader

Stick to a theme

Don’t wing your content. Make a plan and schedule your posts.

I either write several blog posts at a time and then schedule them or create a draft when an idea pops into my head.

Genres of Literature – Article Writing

May 21, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Article-Writing

An article is a written work published either in a print or electronic form. It can propagate news, research results, academic analysis, or debate. These articles are published within a magazine, which is a collection of written articles. At its root, the word “magazine” refers to a collection or storage location. 

Magazine writers are essentially journalists. They find, research and write stories that interest readers in line with the particular magazines genre they are submitting to, so it does vary greatly from the kinds of journalistic articles written for newspapers. 

Articles follow a format with a headline, a byline, a a lead and the body or running text and finally the conclusion. There are various categories of articles:

  • Academic paper – an article published in an academic journal. These articles give their writers status within their particular academic field, by the frequency they are cited by authors of other articles and how many articles the writer has published.
  • Essay – a piece of writing that gives the author’s own argument.

  • Scientific paper – an article published in a scientific journal.  
  • Blog – blog article subjects are as diverse as the writers creating them from magazine type content to personal journal to refined subject matter.
  • Encyclopedia article – is primarily a division of content.
  • Marketing article – content designed to draw the reader to a commercial website or product.
  • Usenet article – a message written in the style of e-mail and posted to an open moderated or unmoderated Usenet newsgroup.
  • Spoken article – a audio recording, commonly known as a podcast. 
  • Listicle – an article where the primary content is a list. These are most popular on blogs.
  • Portrait – portrait of a person.

I was recently approached to publish an article I wrote. The first link is live now. The second will publish the article in the next few weeks.

https://betterafter50.com/2018/05/a-parent-passing/

https://www.50shadesofage.com/

Articles can cover a multitude of subjects and there is always a ‘place’ for your views and thoughts, should you want to submit content.

Why not share where you have had articles published?

 

That Feeling Of Being In Limbo…A Writing Malaise

November 13, 2015
mandyevebarnett


directionless

We all feel directionless from time to time, whether it is work related boredom, a relationship stagnating or our writing process requires refreshing. We suffer the emotion and frustration in different ways depending on its source.

As for a writing malaise there are tools to get us back on track. We can employ the multitude of writing prompts available via the internet, whether they are pictures, sentences or random words to spark our imagination. There are word games we can purchase as well. And of course there are the numerous ‘filed’ ideas on our computer or notebooks that can be read through and reworked. Or we can explore the outside world for inspiration. Even the experience of quietly sitting in a cafe, library or other public place and people watching can spark a new idea or story.

Another ‘trick’ is to rewrite or create a story but change your usual genre or even the gender of the main character. A different perspective harnesses our creativity and ensures enthusiasm in writing again.

My current malaise is more overload than a lack of inspiration. With freelance clients, reviewing a friends new novel and a manuscript progressing tantalizingly slowly on top of ‘normal’ life, work, chores, family etc. etc. I feel discouraged coupled with anxiousness at what needs to be done and the apathy I am feeling. I need a break from the ‘norm’ to refresh and renew.

What methods have you used to ‘refresh’ your Muse?

Awake the God Thoth again!

thoth 1thoth 2

A Paid Advertising Opportunity Taken…2nd July

July 2, 2015
mandyevebarnett


Book cover

As we juggle writing time, home and social life and book events, it is not just our personal commitment that requires organization but deciding on how effective we can make each aspect. With social media we can blast our books onto the internet but a single post soon disappears into the abyss. Book signings, author readings and book fairs are usually a more effective mode of advertising ourselves and our books. A chance to converse with our readers gives them a real insight into the backstory of the narrative and a sense of the author too. A website is a great way to keep readers informed on upcoming events and publication dates but also gives us an opportunity to reveal how we write, why we write and how the story was created. Character interviews, excerpts and sneak peeks of current projects tempt our readership.

All these options are positive venues for advertising but we also have the opportunity to use selected publications too. I recently decided to spend a nominal fee on an advert in a children’s magazine. It is issued monthly and has a great readership. With download or print options available my advert has the potential to be seen repeatedly and this was a good part of my decision to pay for the advert.I will certainly be repeating this exercise later in the year.

Take a look and see if Five Star Publications can help you. My advert is on page 33 – The Spring Reading Guide.

http://www.fivestarpublications.net/storymonsters

storymonsters_ink

What paid advertising do you use?

How was your experience?

Would you repeat it?

Do you have any tips on where to advertise?

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