Blogging for Writers

One of the fundamental pieces of an author platform is your blog. It increases your visibility, helps develop and audience for your work, and gives your another opportunity to flex your writing muscles. This section shows you how to make the most of your blog with every post your write.

Top 10 Blogging Tips: How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book

If you’d like to quickly amass content for a book—without the pressure of actually having to work on one—consider blogging a book. Blogging is a fast and simple way to generate a body of targeted content and build your platform, which are key components of landing a book deal in today’s competitive marketplace. When...

The Fact-Check Checklist

You interviewed your sources for an article, wrote it up and turned it in. Done? Not yet. Often you need to provide backup info for the publication’s fact checkers, and requirements for doing so vary. With that in mind, here’s a checklist to keep even the toughest fact checkers happy—and to pave the way...

How to Keep Some Privacy When Using Social Media

In an age when both working and aspiring writers are expected to be “out there” more than ever before, privacy has become a luxury unaffordable to those of us not named Stephen King or Dan Brown. Sure, writers have always had to be visible at book signings and the like, but your role at...

10 Ways Writers Lose Blog Traffic and Alienate Readers

As a food and travel writer, I rely on my blog as my lifeline. It helps me connect with my readers and is a wonderful platform to make my voice heard. But it didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of work to learn how to keep my online presence interesting, fresh and inviting....

5 Excellent Tips for Platform Building

This past weekend, I had the honor of keynoting the Writers' League of Texas Agents Conference in Austin. During that weekend, I also had the opportunity to hear some wonderful advice from other publishing experts. Here's some excellent online marketing advice I heard. All are direct quotes unless in brackets.

Get Started With Your Own Website or Blog

If you’re serious about your career as an author, you need a website. And the sooner you get one going, the better. Why? The most important reason: There’s a learning curve. You don’t want to be scrambling to put together a site when your book releases, or when you have an agent’s interest, or...

10 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Blog From Hackers

Today’s guest post is from Triona Guidry, a computer consultant and freelance writer in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Her blog offers tech support for Windows and Mac, security alerts, and advice on blogs and social media. — Writers depend on blogs to promote their work, interact with readers, and attract the attention of...

Are Online Images Fair Game to Use On Your Blog?

Q: Recently someone informed me that I violated copyright [by posting] one of his cartoons on my blog. I apologized and removed the image. Now I’m worried about other images I’ve used. My blog is simply to connect with other writers and I don’t make any money from it. What are the rules for...

How to Leave Meaningful Blog Comments

As readership on your site or blog grows, you’ll have to figure out a strategy for dealing with unproductive comments. There are 3 categories of “unproductive”: Straightforward spam. This is the stuff you automatically delete, or preferably filter out using a plug-in like Akismet. Trolls. These are people who say inflammatory or off-topic things,...

How to Meaningfully Grow Traffic to Your Site/Blog

It’s a problem that every new blog or website faces in its early days—or every day (!): How to get readers (also called traffic). There are a few well-worn pieces of advice in this area, such as: Comment on other people’s blogs. Virtually all comment systems ask you to leave your name and site...

You Don't Have to Blog, Tweet, or Be on Facebook

I’m often giving many reasons for writers to start a blog, be on Twitter, or use Facebook. But the truth is, you don’t have to do any of these things to get published or to sell books. (Sidenote: You’ll often hear stories of bestselling authors who don’t use social media, but that’s not what...

MASTER Recap of 2011 Writer's Digest Conference

This post is a collection of: Best tweets from the 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference Links to official live blog posts of selected sessions Best recaps of the event by attendees & presenters BEST TWITTER TIPS BY CATEGORYSearch #wdc11 to view all tweets from the event. (Pictured above: Me hunched over at WDC11, tweeting, alongside...

How to Find a Direct Line to Your Readers

On tap today we have a Q&A with author and independent publisher Patricia V. Davis, who will be a featured speaker at the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC. I first met Patricia at a Writer’s Digest event, before her first book was released. Since then, her publishing career has steadily grown, culminating in the...

My Best Posts From 2010

Here’s the very best advice I offered here at NO RULES in 2010. This can serve as a handy guide, or share this link with writers who might be new to NO RULES. (What a good Christmas gift, right?) Above: my cat Zelda. She approves of this list. Plus I don’t think I posted...

Online Marketing Works If You Have the Long View

These days, it seems like everyone has become a big skeptic of social networking’s effectiveness—or even believes that cultivating a site or blog can harm or stall a writer’s career. In the following post, I explain why I think authors aren’t getting the results they want (or why they fail in their efforts): The...

Should You Hire Someone to Design Your Website?

In publishing, we often say how critical it is to hire a professional editor if you plan to self-publish. Or we say how valuable a professional publicist or PR person can be. As someone who isn’t trained as a designer (but who has worked with many designers over the years, and knows the benefit...

Back to Basics: A Writer's 101 Guide to Blogging

On Thursday at 1p EDT, I’m presenting a live, online class, “Build Your Author Platform Through Blogging.” In preparation for that, I’m gathering my favorite resources and 101 articles that are helpful for anyone in getting started—and posting them here for everyone to enjoy. First, a few blogging principles: Provide consistently great content and...

A Time of Immense Change—For You, For Me, For Everyone

Today was my first full day of orientation as a professor teaching e-media at the University of Cincinnati-CCM. (The CCM Village is pictured above—at a very early hour!) Overwhelming doesn’t quite begin to describe the experience. But I know with each day, it will get easier. And as I gain experience and grow more...

Newest Opportunities to Hear Me Speak

Lots of cool things happening to update you about (pictured above: a candid shot of me speaking at Midwest Writers in July 2010!). Last week I was a guest speaker on a live teleseminar on memoir, with the NAMW. If you missed it, you can still sign up to get an e-mail announcement when...

New Tools: Create a Book From Your Site or Blog Content

This post is part of a series, New Tools for Entrepreneurial Writers, which overviews specific tools ripe with opportunity for creative & entrepreneurial writers. The only limit is your imagination! (If you’re the creator of a new software or online tool & would like it featured, contact me.) Anthologize is a free software that...