Happy New Year 2019

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

– Edith Lovejoy Pierce


I want to thank you!

All Readers, Followers, Friends, Writers, Authors, Family, and the ones who found ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ by accident – thank you all for being a part of my writing adventure and make the journey a fun and entertaining one!

Wishing you and your loved ones a year that’s promising, exciting, inspiring and full of fun!

Happy New Year everyone!

Just In Case You’re A Blogger Running Out Of Ideas

Jenn Hanson-dePaula presents us 100 new blogging ideas on ‘Mixtus Media’. Thank you Jenn! We really appreciate your efforts!


One of our most popular blog posts from the past few years was called 50 Blog Topics for Fiction Writers. I had a conversation with a fiction writer who said, “I write fiction – why would I need a blog? What on earth would I write about?”

That conversation inspired the blog post. And from the response that we got, it was a question that many fiction writers were asking as well.

For years I’ve heard from publishers, agents, and authors that they didn’t think blogs were necessary for fiction writers. I 100% disagree.

Blogs provide three important benefits for authors:

1) Value. A blog, podcast, video blog – whatever medium you want to use – is still the best way to show readers (and potential new readers) the author’s writing style, and it provides a long-form medium (relative to social media posts) to develop deeper interest and intrigue into their new book.

2) Traffic. A blog is the best way to drive traffic from social media back to the author’s website, which makes them, their book, and online presence more visible by helping with search engine rankings and social algorithms.

3) Connection. We don’t want readers to stay on social media – we want to drive them to the author’s website. A blog is the best way to deepen the connection between an author and their readers.

The purpose of a blog isn’t for a writer to talk about themselves. The purpose of a blog is to provide content that speaks to their ideal reader.

If you’re a fiction writer and you haven’t seen success with your blog, I would like to pose a question:

Are you using your blog as a means of promotion or to connect with your ideal readers?
If you want your blog, social media, book marketing, and so on to work, you have to come at it from the perspective of your ideal reader.

To read the 100 new topics for fiction writers to get you going, go to:

100 NEW Blog Topics for Fiction Writers

How to Create Evergreen Blog Content

Suzie Speaks tells us how to create evergreen blog content. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

Suzie Speaks

How to create evergreen blog content

There are two types of content that I usually post on my blog:

Daily Experiences – things I see and do, journal-type notes, general thoughts etc. These posts are generally just for fun – I write them for enjoyment and they keep within the original purpose that the blog was intended for: therapy. I don’t pay much attention to SEO, keywords or images as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date. Essentially, non-evergreen content that has an expiration date.

Evergreen Content – posts that will be generally relevant over long periods of time and aren’t necessarily specific to my own life. Within these I am much more focused on keywords and SEO techniques, I spend a much longer period of time crafting beautiful and pinnable images and I make sure…

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FOMO Bloggers: Why You’re Harming Your Own Blog

‘Suzie Speaks’ provides us with a post about blogging and what we bloggers should concentrate on. I’m impressed by this post and I’m convinced I’m not the only one!

Suzie Speaks

FOMO Bloggers: how the fear of missing out can actually be hurting you and your blog!Ethel has written a post. It’s a great post and it’s receiving lots of positive feedback. Janey wants lots of positive feedback too. Janey copies the post, changes a few words around, adds in a few extra ideas and publishes it as her ‘brand new, completely original post’ in all of the 232 Facebook groups that she’s a member of. Nobody will notice, right?

In the last week I’ve read two articles that I immediately connected with. The first, a completely fabulous post by Kate Toon – 19 Things NOT to Do in a Facebook Group – which hilariously highlighted just some of the silliness that I witness daily, and the second by Elena Peters – What’s Up With the Fast Blogging? – a short set of thoughts on the misconceptions of overnight blogging success and the desperation of bloggers to achieve it. They’re both completely different posts, but they…

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Smoke and Mirrors: How to Avoid Hating Your Blog in 2018

Suziespeaks has published an enormously important and useful post on how to avoid hating your blog in 2018. Thank you so much for all your advice!

Suzie Speaks

Blogging tips

A new year always begins with the same pattern in the blogging world. My emails, reader and social media feeds become filled with targets for the next twelve months and an influx of New Year’s Resolution bloggers will start to appear in the comment section on my blog or across various Facebook groups.

The next few weeks will be filled with an overwhelming amount of conflicting information and I can pretty much guarantee that most will disappear as quickly as they arrived. For some, the novelty of having a blog wears off pretty quickly. For others, there’s a disappointing realisation that thousands of views can’t be achieved simply by pressing the publish button.

However, for the ones that stick it out, it can become a minefield of self-doubt and, at times, a huge knock to their confidence in their writing abilities.

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Blogger Prompt Chain

Do you remember, September 9, 2017 I published a blog post which was supposed to be the start of a ‘Blogger Prompt Chain’. Today I discovered Rachel Poli, one of the invited writers, has taken the chance to publish an amazing letter to her sister. Please read it on her blog – and I’m enthusiastic that the chain has been started. Thank you, Rachel, you rock!!

Rachel Poli

Blogger Prompt Chain

I was tagged by the lovely A.J. Alexander to do this Blogger Prompt Chain, which she created. The idea is to create a “chain” of stories written by writers and bloggers all over.

I think this is a wonderful idea and I was more than happen to be invited to participate.

Rules:

1. Pick one of the five given writing prompts (picked from here)
2. Set up the Blogger Prompt Chain banner and publish your story under the banner.
3. After your story, continue the chain by forwarding an invitation to five bloggers or writers. (In case a writer doesn’t have a blog, guest posts can be offered)
4. Don’t forget to link the writers to your blog and back to the one who invited you.
5. Publish the five writing prompts and rules!

Prompts:

a) The End of The Bucket List
Write a story about a character who…

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How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging: Part Three

Not too long ago I re-blogged Suzie Speaks’ bullet journal for blogging posts one and two. Of course number three can’t go missing now!

Suzie Speaks

Over the last few days I have posted Part One: Materials and Ideas and Part Two: Spread Layout of my How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging series in which I gave hints and tips on materials available, content ideas and set up and layout of spreads. The final instalment of this is decoration and design – something that I enjoy immensely. It isn’t for everyone and isn’t actually necessary at all, but one of the many exciting things about creating your own Bullet Journal is that it can be personalised according to your own preferences and available time. These can be as simple or as complicated as you like. For me, if a spread that I’m working on looks nice, I’m more inclined to use it and therefore inspired to make more.

Remember: they don’t have to be super complicated or something that causes stress levels to rise…

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Blogger Prompt Chain

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Today I was reading about ‘Writing Prompts.’ I think we, as writers, know what they are. I was looking for something to blog about and thought maybe I’d find a prompt that can help me.

And all of a sudden I had an idea. I thought, why not inviting other writers, share these writing prompts with them and invite them to participate in kind of a ‘story collection’ under this one banner “Blogger Prompt Chain.”

I don’t want to make it too complicated. I don’t know if it even works, but I think it might be worth a try. I’m sure, some of the invited writers and bloggers won’t have the time to participate or don’t like the idea, and the chain might meet a dead end. But I would be curious how many like it.

What do you think, are you in?

(And I’m not going to be angry about any writer or blogger who’d like to accept the challenge without invitation. Just let me know so I can read your story, please!)

 

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Rules:

1. Pick one of the five given writing prompts (picked from here)
2. Set up the Blogger Prompt Chain banner and publish your story under the banner.
3. After your story, continue the chain by forwarding an invitation to five bloggers or writers. (In case a writer doesn’t have a blog, guest posts can be offered)
4. Don’t forget to link the writers to your blog and back to the one who invited you.
5. Publish the five writing prompts and rules!

Prompts:

a) The End of The Bucket List
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.

b) Get Out of the Car With Your Hands Up
You’re driving to your favorite city when you’re stopped by a police officer. Sure, you were going a few miles over the speed limit, so you’re not overly surprised. But you are surprised when the police officer gets to your car and screams, “Get out of your car with your hands up!” This leads to an unexpected night for you. Write this scene

c) Hiring a New Villain
Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you’ve put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain’s resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.

d) At The End of The Rainbow
You and a friend have decided to try and follow a rainbow to see if the end holds a pot of gold. But when you finally reach the end, you find something much more valuable than a pot of gold—and it changes your life. Write this scene.

e) The Letter All Writers Should Write
Write a letter to a person who supported your writing career, whether that be a friend, a family member, a teacher (even one that supported you at a very young age before you knew that it would blossom into a writing career), an author you’ve never met but have been inspired by his or her writing. Do you thank them? Do you blame them? Take the letter in any direction you want.

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My choice: “The Letter All Writers Should Write”

Dear Sister,

I think it’s time you get this letter from me. I have been thinking about it for a long time, but I always feared I would forget something or be unable to express my feelings the way they should be expressed when it comes to you. And that’s why I’d like to start in our childhood.

Remember these times when we were sitting on the ground between the upstairs shower and my little bedroom in our pajamas, and you listened to the stories I told you? I know, it was a long time ago, but I still remember some of these stories, and I blush thinking about it. But I knew and know until now that you will never repeat one of them, that’s why I don’t need to worry.

A few years later, when I felt like writing, started with that one children’s story and poems you read them with interest and told me when you liked or disliked them.

It was you, years later, who recommended me to re-start writing, when I sank into depression, and it was you who encouraged me to go on and not stop until my stories were told.

Remember when I told you, that this one book I wrote ‘doesn’t feel right’? You advised me to set it aside until I’m ready to pick it up again and then decide what I’d do with it.

No matter what happened with us and where our path took us – you always were there for me, encouraging me, helping me, supporting me, advising me and no matter when I call I know you always take time.

I am very, very proud to have you as my sister and not ‘only’ a sister, but also my very best friend!
I love you!

Yours forever

AJ

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The five writers/bloggers I would like to invite to follow the ‘Blogger Prompt Chain’ are the following:

 

  1. Author Rachel Poli
  2. Author Renee Scattergood
  3. Author Joy Lennick
  4. Author Kitt Crescendo
  5. Writer Sharon K. Connell

 

Thank you for participating. 🙂

How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging: Part Two

And of course, where there’s a part one – a part two isn’t too far. Thank you, Suzie Speaks for your great advice on proper planning!

Suzie Speaks

In my previous post I gavehints and tips about starting a Bullet Journal for bloggers, with advice about materials that can be used.

This post is about setting up pages – or SPREADS as they are known in the Bullet Journal community.

Before I even started, I worked out what I needed to help with my blogging activities each month.

A monthly overview (1 page)
A weekly calendar that would incorporate my To Do lists (4-5 pages)
Blog post ideas and earnings (1 page)
A daily checklist with a list of blogging tasks and stat tracker for the month that would incorporate clients social media trackers too (1 page)

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