Thursday, December 10, 2009


Setting Up a Schedule for Daily Blogging

When you're starting a blog, you probably have the best intentions of blogging every day. And at first, blogging is so much fun! You share your opinions and thoughts on a subject you know about, you receive a few comments, and you're hooked. Then comes month three and four, and blogging has lost its newness. So, even though you've heard time and time again that when starting a blog, you should blog every day or on a regular schedule, it seems like it's not so important any more.

This happened to me with my blog, "Read These Books and Use Them." I just couldn't keep up with reviewing a children's or YA book a day AND providing activities for the book for parents and teachers. I knew my traffic wasn't good, and my blog wasn't what it could be.

So, I set up a daily blogging schedule (which is only five-days a week, M through F), and this helps me stay on track. It also keeps the repetition down and my excitement level up. I took each day of the week and made it a certain topic or theme. I have Maniac Mondays, which is like an opinion piece on the educational/homeschooling world today, and Tuesday Tales and Un-Forgettable Fridays--these are like my old format where I provide key information and activities about books for parents, teachers, and librarians. Finally, I made up Wacky Wednesdays and Timeless Thursdays. Wacky Wednesdays are where I provide some sort of lesson idea/plan for teachers, which could be a bit wacky and sometimes based on a book. Timeless Thursdays features an older book like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle that children still love and can learn from today.

I've seen blogs with certain days for giveaways, certain days for photos only--Wordless Wednesdays--. and certain days for interviews. You just have to look at the focus of your blog, brainstorm a little, and figure out some topics that you could stick to each day. This doesn't mean that you can't blog about something else on one of these set days if something really exciting happens. But in the morning when your brain might be a little foggy, you already have a start on what to blog about. Blogging every day helps build readership, gets your blog posted higher on the search engines, and provides monetizing opportunities. If you are interested in any of these but you are struggling, try a blog schedule in 2010.

Happy Blogging!
Margo Dill

photo by joyosity

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Sunday, October 26, 2008


Ten Tips for Choosing a Good Domain Name

If you're thinking of setting up a web site or blog, here are some tips to help you pick a good web address. -MP

Ten Tips for Choosing a Good Domain Name

by Tim North

What makes a good domain name? Well, it's a subjective issue, of
course, but here are ten tips to point you in the right

1. Good domain names are easily memorable and easily typed.
Generally this means keeping them short.

2. Hyphens should be avoided if possible. When I chose
BetterWritingSkills as a domain name, I deliberately didn't
include hyphens. I agree that it would have made it easier to
read (, but the problem is that it
is more difficult to *say*.

If someone asked me for my web address and I said
"better hyphen writing hyphen skills dot com" I certainly
wouldn't expect them to remember it.

The bottom line with hyphens is that most domains don't
include them. So, when you tell someone your domain, they'll
probably try typing it without any hyphens.

3. Use a plural form if this seems more natural. If you're
selling toy trains, I'd go with "" instead of

4. Domain name search programs can help you to choose variations
on a name. One such program is "Mozzle Std 2.30" which you
can download for free from this address:

Programs like this are a great help when you're trying to
think of a new domain name. (Mozzle's "Advanced Search"
feature is particularly useful.)

5. If you're marketing your products and services primarily to
users in a single country (other than the US) then seriously
consider using that country's top-level domain.

For example, if you're retailing products primarily to New
Zealanders then choose to end your domain with ".nz". In
Australia, use ".au" etc. This will help to identify your
site as a local one.

On the other hand, if you're marketing your products or
services globally (or if you're in the US), use ".com" as
your top-level domain.

6. Don't use words that are tough to spell. Similarly, don't use
words that are spelled differently in some countries. For
example, "" may confuse those of us in the
Antipodes who would probably expect "".

7. Ensure that there will be no trademark or other legal
problems with the domain name you choose.

8. Brand names (e.g. may be preferable to
generic names such as "". For many years, it was
assumed that generic names were hugely valuable. (Indeed
during the late 90s, some generic domain names were selling
for millions of dollars.)

These days, many analysts argue that a domain name that
features your brand name is more important. For example, if
you've invested time and effort building up your brand name
(Toyota, for example) you'd be better of using Toyota as your
domain name, rather than something generic like "GreatCars".

9. Avoid domain names that are too similar to existing ones. Not
only do you want avoid legal issues (tip 7), but you want
your brand to be distinct from that of your competitors.

10. Remember, you don't *own* your domain name. You're merely
renting it for a specified period. Don't let your domain name
expire, or your competitors may snatch it out from under you.

You'll find many more helpful tips like these in Tim North's
much applauded range of e-books. More information is available
on his web site, and all books come with a money-back guarantee.

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Monday, October 01, 2007


99 “Blopics”

Blogging is free spirited writing at times, but I don’t always have topics popping off the top of my mind. In light of slow times, I pulled together a list of blog topics. Hopefully, it will spark some ideas for anyone else lacking caffeinated creativity one day…

1. The journey of a woman writer
2. Balancing family/work/writing
3. Write about your latest writing project
4. How the change of seasons harm or help writing
5. The impact of specific blogs
6. How to feed a woman writer’s muse
7. The best place to find a new blog topic
8. Eavesdropping on public dialogue
9. How exercise boosts energy for writing
10. The funny side to writing with kids
11. The funny side to writing with pets/husbands
12. Compliment another writer’s work
13. Use a quote and apply it to writing
14. How to ramp up a short story
15. How to cut out useless words in flash fiction
16. Review a writing course or publication
17. Call for help with a writing piece
18. Whet readers’ appetites for a new book
19. Promote your or another writers’ works
20. Give expert advice for boosting the ego
21. Pay something forward to a writer friend
22. Offer another writer a huge compliment
23. Announce another “Going Green” biz
24. Announce online writers conference
25. Post a writer’s contest
26. Discuss your favorite genre/s
27. Post a mini-memoir for publicity
28. Practice creating neologisms
29. Rant about writing stress
30. Highlight a literary magazine
31. Tell us how to get published
32. Expound upon the writer’s dream life
33. Teach the difference between active and passive voice
34. Express your biggest writing wish
35. Give WOW! feedback, suggestions, comments
36. Share a new writer’s resource or gadget
37. Donate a post to someone new to blogging
38. Praise another editor, writer, publisher, agent
39. Share your favorite blog post with a link
40. Write a plea to a presidential candidate (Hillary)
41. Tell a tasteful writer’s joke
42. Men writers are from ____; women writers from ____
43. Provide SEO and marketing tips for writer sites
44. Write a list of 101 potential blog topics
45. Do a humorous study on the best chocolate for writers
46. Navigate the Internet’s best writer sites
47. Highlight self-publishing information
48. Discuss experience with traditional publishers
49. Share experience with online publishers
50. Buzz your successful contest win
51. Toot another writer’s horn in a contest
52. Apply an activity to writing
53. Close the gap between young & old writers
54. Interview an author
55. Interview an agent
56. Interview an editor
57. Interview a humor columnist
58. Tell us how to break into humor writing
59. Share a writer’s faux pas
60. Talk about the writer’s reputation
61. Talk about your goals as a writer/woman/mother/person
62. Give insight into a popular writing topic
63. Share your favorite writer’s software
64. Explain how to find a writer’s voice
65. Gift a story to a friend
66. Provide a list of fun anagrams
67. Provide a list of fun ambigrams
68. Share the first story you ever wrote
69. Define an exceedingly confusing word
70. Clarify a misunderstood writer
71. Weave a web of mystery
72. Create a scavenger hunt on your site for fans
73. Call for submissions from others
74. Post anonymously to a writer you admire
75. Be yourself and post to a writer you admire
76. List out the writer’s web awards others should seek
77. Ask for camaraderie from others to help with a problem
78. Write a haiku poem, limerick, sonnet, or other
79. Write a cheer to keep writers moving forward
80. Provide blog traffic tips to others
81. Share how you sabotage your own writing
82. Shine the spotlight on a writing guru
83. Flash a beam on a cause that needs our help
84. Advise writers what not to do on queries
85. Advise writers how to do a smashing cover letter
86. Share an illustrator’s experience
87. Double dog dare a writer to share an embarrassing experience
88. Give examples of awesome query hooks
89. Hook us with a fabulous introduction to blogging
90. Lift writers spirits with a list of quotes
91. Motivate others with a writing challenge
92. Explain creative nonfiction
93. Create a new genre and discuss it
94. Give a list of oxymorons
95. Share onomatopoeia terms
96. Describe how to capture life with sensory details
97. Discuss how to cope with rejection letters
98. Give tips for showing emotion in body language
99. Provide your own blopics (blog topics)

Please don't ask what each of these mean. They're open to interpretation for any blogger. Help yourself to the lot. If you find only one to dine on, then you're one up on me on a slow day. Enjoy!


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