10 ways to Reuse and Repurpose your Content

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reduce and reuse content

I remember when writing web content meant writing quality content, free of errors and with topics and titles which readers would enjoy. Of course you had to learn some writing skills for Search Engine Optimization, because that was back in the dark ages without the popularity of the many social media channels we enjoy sharing on content on now. But now there is so much more to writing web content, whether it’s for your own blog, a business blog or as a freelance writer. Does that mean your content you wrote in the past is obsolete? It doesn’t have to! There are many things you can do to bring your evergreen content back to life.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Well not exactly, but with the advent of sites like Pinterest and Instagram, as well as other social media channels becoming image intensive it is more important than ever before to include an image in your content. Not only does it make sharing your content more inviting but gets the attention of the reader, as well as makes it more appealing to the eye as you battle against getting the attention with so much other content out there.  You can use your own original images, images available in the public domain or released for use by the public or create your own graphic using sites like Picmonkey or Canva or tools like Photoshop. Whatever you do, (I’m sure you already know this) don’t use someone else’s image, unless you have asked permission and obtained it.

Other ways to incorporate images include creating an infographic, slideshow, podcase or video to accompany the evergreen content.

 

Update your images “content.” Can you turn the image into a graphic which shows off your content? For example 25 Christmas Gifts for Dad, you may have made a collage for. Now can you add the words to the image making it instantly possible for the reader to know what your collage is for? Also make sure your image now has a title, alt text and description. This makes it easier for search engines to pick up not only the content but the image too and show it in the search results. Your image and content now may rank higher and it is definitely easier to find. Without the information it is drowning in competition.

Share and share alike.  Since you first created your content you may have joined new social media media channels or for example created new boards on Pinterest.  Re-share your content on your social media channels, especially that seasonal content. Add it to new boards on Pinterest. Share it with links and new images on your other social media channels. Add it to share threads. You may be surprised how your bring new life – and page views to old content again.

Give old content an SEO boost.  Maybe you didn’t know about SEO when you first published your evergreen content. Maybe you didn’t have a really cool plug in to tell you what you are doing right and wrong. Maybe it just seemed like too much effort to go back and designate keywords for each post. Don’t do it for each post, do it for the evergreen content first as well as seasonal as each season comes around.

Make a list and check it twice. Break your list down into individual post and take your individual posts and create a list. Do you have say 15 great slow cooker recipes individually posted on your site? Do a list or round up (15 Chicken Slow Cooker Recipes). You can also work with other bloggers and make your list grow by adding in some links to their recipes – and hopefully they will return the favor.  The advantages of link list and round-ups? Linkback value, as well as new purpose for old content. Now it can be shared/syndicated and breath new life into old posts.

Update and evaluate. Does your evergreen content need a little dust off? Updated stats or information? Has a recent news article or announcement happened about that topic/brand/business which could be incorporated into the content? Could bullets, headlines or even titles get changed?

Dig it up.  Incorporate older content in your newsletter.

Form relationships between new and previously published content. Have you ever really looked at news articles? Have you noticed the “related content” or “you may also like?”  Link back to other content on your site which is related or there are also several plug ins you can use so that previously published content is noted in new posts.

Create an FAQ page.  Start with an FAQ page and then link to the content to answer the questions. Start with a sentence or so then link back to the content which offers more assistance or advice.

Create an e-book. Pull out all those DIY tips, crafts, recipes, tutorials and experiences. Start working on that book you always hoped to write. If you are going to use it in an ebook make sure you have all your I’s dotted and T’s crossed with additional images, information and research. Now you have another avenue for making money or as an incentive for joining your email list.

work smarter not harder

Why Repurpose and Reuse Your Content

There are several advantages to breathing new life to already published content.

  1. Work smarter not harder. You have already written quality content. There’s no reason for it to slide to the bottom of your blog simply because the day changes.
  2. Helps to avoid burnout and writer’s block. Take the opportunity in front of you to do something new with your content and then take some time off.
  3. It is good for SEO.
  4. Reach a new audience.
  5. Reinforces your expertise with your existing audience.
  6. Allows you the opportunity to rework your content, making it stronger than before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perfecting your post before you publish: The ultimate blogging checklist

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blogging checklist

Whether you are an experienced blogger with many years behind you blogging or a brand new blogger a blogger checklist can help you make sure that you do more than dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s before you hit that publish button.

Creating Your Content

  • Research your topic thoroughly.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a parenting tip, article or product review. It doesn’t matter if it’s an “editorial” piece of content on something you saw in the news. Make sure you know all sides of the content you are going to write and be ready to provide sources for them too. Sure, there are plenty of times that you are just writing your own thoughts, but it doesn’t hurt to know what else is out there as you share your experiences with a topic.
  • Draft your content. Now is the time to get it organized, think about transitions and of course concentrate on your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Know what your most common mistakes are and look for them.
  • Have clear and concise content. Break things up with an ad, image or other graphic (like a tweet this) or quote so that content isn’t too long (unlike this list- see I’m not following that checklist item today).
  • Create a call to action. This may be to encourage your reader to leave a comment and share their own experiences, directions to by tickets or another method of follow up like an ad for the product you mentioned.
  • SAVE FREQUENTLY! It doesn’t matter if you are drafting in a document program like WORD or if you are drafting in our blog, be sure to hit SAVE DRAFT after each change.
  • Can you use a header, or other breaks in the content? the <h2> before content and </h2> after creates a visible break as well as adds to your SEO. Use it well.
  • Do you need list or bullets to break up your content into more manageable pieces?
  • Include any sources or links you need to in order to support the content.
  • Final draft. Now that your content is clear, concise and error free put your final draft into place.

Headline and Titles

  • This is where I like to create my headline. Sometimes I just need the content to be completed before I know how to do the headline. Other times I already know what the headline/title will be. It should be catchy, thought provoking and clear. It should be between 40 and 69 characters.
  • Decide if you are going to use a hashtag in your title. It is helpful and something I’ve started doing for some content but not all.
  • Edit your pictures. Are you using just the pictures you have taken? Do they need some cropping, straightening or formatting? What size are your pictures? Are they visible. While bigger may be better 640×640 usually works quite well on most blogs. It all depends on your design and spacing.
  • Add your image to your media library. Be sure to create a title, caption, alt text and description. You can skip the caption if you like, but adding the alt text and description can help with your placement in search engines as well as search engine results.

image in post

  • Consider this .. .would a pinnable graphic be more useful or should you let the pictures share the story.
  • Connect to other content of a similar type. This can be done through a plug in or you can insert a line of text with anything from “related content” or “for more on this topic,” then link to your complimentary topic.
  • Create social media content. You can even take that Tweet or Instagram post and embed it into your content so that it is easy for your audience to share.  I don’t do this often, but when I do I like the results. I admit I should do it more frequently.
  • Mark your categories on your content.
  • Mark your tags on your content.

categories and tags

  • Set a featured image. This will be the one most likely to be pulled when content is shared or pinned. However not always. If you have a slider it will be the image which appears on your featured content slider.

SEO Settings

  • Complete your SEO settings – this can include a title, excerpt, meta description (133-160 characters) and any changes you may want to make to no-follow links. It depends on your SEO settings tool. Many find that Yoast is one of the easiest for them to use because the tool tells you with red, yellow and green as well as a list after you check what you are missing or could do better.
  • Is your main keyword in your title, header, meta description, excerpt and content. On content make sure it’s no more than 4.0% . Some experts say only 2.5%.
  • Do all your outbound links open in a new tab? No need to direct traffic away from your site.  And yes, there’s a plug in for that, or you can pick and choose as your create your links.
  • Do these links need to be no-follow or can they be do-follow.

seo settings

  • Schedule or Publish
  • Promote on social media channels. Not all channels work for all content.
  • Use your hashtags.
  • On your editorial calendar  set additional days to share again. This is especially important with seasonal content.

 

I’ll be honest. Some days I get all the checklist done. Other days I don’t, for whatever reason.  A great deal of what I do is from memory, and from practice. Sure I’ve been doing this for many years, and I’ve worked with many clients and other publications. But that doesn’t mean I always get it right and that’s where a checklist comes in handy. We forget things. We get in a hurry and we may make mistakes.

While this may be considered by some to be the ultimate blogger checklist it’s also much like a recipe. Sometimes a recipe includes an ingredient, which says “optional” and so should your checklist work. If one or more of these things suggested don’t work for you, your voice or your audience then you shouldn’t do them. But by having them on the checklist, it also may just provide you with the new idea, concept or boost you may need.

Free printable one page ultimate blogging checklist available in PDF

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11 Reasons why you need evergreen content

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evergreen content

Evergreen is described by Dictionary.com as “something that is evergreen, or enduringly fresh” and “retaining its relevance, popularity, usefulness, etc.; enduring.” I first encountered the concept of evergreen content in college while I was studying Journalism. Evergreen content is content, no matter where it is published, which remains of value to the reader. Some examples may be a recipe or potty training tips or a tutorial.  Other examples are your “About Me” page, interviews, resources and biographical information (e.g. 7 Do’s and Don’ts for those Doing In-Vitro Fertilizaion IVF). As a blogger or web content writer we may find it far too easy to concentrate on the “hot topic” of the day or the Google alerts or “trending” articles to spend much time thinking about evergreen content and why it’s important.  But we should.

Reasons Why You Need Evergreen Content

  1. You can continually attract traffic to your blog or website. For example, a recipe is something someone may be searching for and they come across yours.
  2. Evergreen content, when combined with your SEO tools can increase your placement and rankings. As more people find your content, the more you are seen to be a valuable resource.
  3. Use evergreen content to break up all those “sponsored” posts and “no follow” links which Google doesn’t like.
  4. Be seen as an expert on a topic or topics. For example if you continually share your delicious recipes you can be seen by your audience as an expert in the area of food.
  5. Make sales. By creating evergreen content you aren’t given up the opportunity to monetize your content. You can simply tailor your ads to fit that content. For example say you discuss winterizing your car. Insert affiliate ads which relate to the content, a video you created (with ads), or a free or for pay printable they can use to do their own car winterization.
  6. Brings people back to your “door.” Now that you have been seen by your readers and even brands as an expert they are more likely to a) come back for more, b) buy from your site or c) engage you in sponsorship or ambassadorship opportunities. My favorite emails from publicists say they have visited my site and actually points out specific content which they enjoyed – and which brought them to contact me.
  7. You get more backlinks with evergreen content. As you are researching information and find someone who looks like an expert don’t you link to them? Why not BE the expert and have people linking to you.
  8. Evergreen content drives traffic your way through being continually relevant and backlinks.
  9. You don’t have to delete it. Now, you may want to update it or make sure that the information is still accurate. Maybe you want to even go back and take a new picture or create a pinnable graphic for it to make it more marketable. Maybe you should revisit it to check the keywords. But you don’t have to start all over again.
  10. You always have something to share. Has it been a hard month? Has there been an illness in the family? Are their demands on your time which has made it difficult for you to write? Share your evergreen content with you audience and keep them coming back for more, even while you aren’t publishing more content.
  11. Evergreen content provides you the opportunity to explore your social sharing strategy. For example, Google+ and Pinterest has not always been around. (GASP – say it isn’t so!) So some of your content, like those great crafts, decorations, organization tips, or recipes – while they may be pinned — haven’t been pinned to your profile or account. This leaves you one more opportunity to share your content again.

Don’t underestimate the value and the power of evergreen content. People like reading it. People like sharing it. Some people may even learn from it. Others may be helped by it.

Takeaway – Grab you pen and paper and make a list of evergreen topics and content you currently have available to share. Also start brainstorming ideas for evergreen content you can write for the future.

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Top 10 benefits to bloggers of an editorial calendar

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editorial calendar

 

Have you every sat down at your computer and wondered “What am I going to write today?” Or complained about “writers/bloggers block?” Those two reasons and many others are why it is important to have an editorial calendar.

Reasons to have an editorial calendar

  1. Avoid writer’s block and brain blanks. Instead of staring at a blank page on your word processing program you will be looking at your editorial calendar which you carefully and thoughtfully created. It will provide you with the topic or the prompt you need for the day.
  2. Avoid missing deadlines. Bloggers have deadlines, and if we miss them we lose out on future jobs, earnings and yes, even make other bloggers look bad. Make sure that you do what you are doing what you say you are going to do and when with an editorial calendar.
  3. Use an editorial calendar to keep you “on topic” and focused. Do you have a Food Blog? Don’t be tempted to just jump on the most recent topic simply because it’s trending on Twitter or because you think it will gain you traffic, or worst of all to fill in the space because you haven’t written in a while.  This doesn’t mean you can’t go off topic – you know your audience best and there are things you may feel strongly about or important topics you want to share. If that is the case, then share them.
  4. An editorial calendar can not only keep you focused but let you know what is best received. As you check your analytics each month you may want to mark those items of content which are receiving the most traffic. Note where the traffic is coming from and what you did to make that happen. Once you know that you can repeat it.
  5. An editorial calendar helps you create quality and consistent content by spreading out not only the topics, but also your guests posts, sponsored content. We all want to earn a living, but let’s not forget that it’s important (especially to Google) to have content which is not sponsored, not to mention the value of link backs which can occur courtesy of guests posts.
  6. Do you have more than one contributor to your blog? An editorial calendar can help you with your collaboration, assignments, scheduling and delegating tasks.
  7. An editorial calendar can help you take a break! Bloggers are notorious for not taking a vacation. Even when they are on vacation there is still social media and content to create. Use an editorial calendar to plan ahead, create content in advance, gather the support of other bloggers and actually take a vacation when you go on vacation.
  8. Coordinate your content with your social media with an editorial calendar. It’s no secret we need to create our content on certain subjects far in advance, maybe even up to three months. But just because the content is on the blog doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to share it on social media. For example, while people may be getting excited about Christmas, your content may come up in a search but not necessarily be of interest on social media. Think about it, how often do you see a recipe or DIY on Facebook and think oh yeah that would be cool to try but then can never find it when you need it. It’s not a priority right then. But one week before Christmas it might be. use the calendar to help you integrate your social media with your content in the most effective way.
  9. An editorial calendar can help you just say no.  It’s hard to say no when something comes along that is exciting or interesting, but sometimes it just has to be done. But not always. An editorial calendar can tell you when you are over extended  and when you could move content to another date giving you openings for those interesting and often last minute opportunities which come your way.
  10. An editorial calendar is a one stop calendar shop.  Instead of writing down ideas here and there, as well as having one calendar for this and one for that your editorial calendar helps you have all your thoughts, events, opportunities and deadlines in one spot. You will know when to attend and event and when your content should be published for it, for example, all at one glance.

 

Editorial Calendar Resources

There are actually tons of editorial calendar resources out there. Some are free, some are for pay.  Some offer only the calendar, while others may also include social media, goals, as well as brainstorming or other calendar features. You can use electronic calendars, even something as simple at Google Calendar or you can use a more traditional type with pen and paper (I prefer pencil it makes it easier to adapt). But whatever you use – use what works for you!

Hubspot offers up this free editorial calendar template you can use in an Excel spreadsheet.  Or you can use anyone of these suggestions available on Amazon.com. Many bloggers have created their own forms, ask around and see what your blogging buddies are using and if it may work for you

An editorial calendar doesn’t have to be the Bloggers Bible. Be flexible, be creative and be yourself. Let the editorial calendar help you do that and be organized, as well as informed about your blog and your content.

 

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Rocktober Writing Prompts for October

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October writing prompts

 

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Well it is for bloggers, writers and content creators. The major holiday season is upon us and that means we could be busier than every before! Not only do we have our own holidays to plan for but often the work load becomes quite the harvest.  Some may find this time exciting, while others may find it hard to focus. Here are 31 writing prompts for October to help you along your way every day.

  1. It’s Adopt a Shelter Dog month – have you every adopted a shelter dog? Share your experience adopting a dog, from selection to training and special needs that come with it along with the special joys.
  2. Discuss how adopting a shelter dog helps the environment and saves a life. Without adoption many of these animals may be left in the cities to die, and often some of the illness they succumb to can be transferred to other animals. Without out adoption many of these dogs are “put down.”
  3. Interview a dog shelter and find out about their specific needs. Start up a pay it forward campaign and flex your social media muscle for good.
  4. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, share your experience getting a mammogram. Lead by example. Talk to experts in the field, local experts can be an amazing resource in spreading knowledge and information.
  5. Join up with breast cancer awareness opportunities, whether it’s a Twitter party, walk/run or other fund raising/awareness event.
  6. Cookie month – what better time to get those holiday cookie recipes perfected for everything from Halloween to Christmas.
  7. Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Have you been a victim of domestic violence? Do you feel you can share your story?
  8. Write a commentary on the high profile domestic violence going on recently. Could these stories help others?
  9. Compile a list of domestic violence resources available in your area.
  10. Support a local organization with a pay it forward event. Get other brands and blogs involved and make it a big one!
  11. It’s festival season here in Houston, is it where you live? We can celebrate anything from Octoberfest to Hot Sauce. Attend a local festival and share the food, culture, recipes, drink and music. Write a fashion blog? it’s the perfect way to tie in cultural fashion, make local connections and enjoy a day out with friends and family. After all, we have to experience it to write about it!
  12. Oct. 5th is World Teachers Day.  You know all those ideas you have for Teacher Appreciation Week? Now is a great time to bring out your archives and share those posts.
  13. Interview a teacher.
  14. What are some things teachers wish parents knew about teaching?
  15. October brings with it the harvest season. Now’s a great time to bring out some field trips to local farms – great for activities and events for many bloggers or even turn it into a field trip for homeschooling parents. What did the kids learn from the farm visit? What are some things you learned from it? How will it change how you view food? Or grocery shopping?
  16. This month is a great month to also bring out all the decorating posts you have for Halloween and Fall. Not only can you pull out great content from your archives but you can share the items you create this year for your home.
  17. FOOD! With more holidays comes more entertaining. Are you testing out a new recipe to serve at a holiday dinner or party? Write it down and take pictures as you go. After all, when it’s all done you may just have the dream delicious blog post you have always wanted.
  18. Think squash, pumpkin, apples, bananas, cranberries and nuts – when testing out new recipe ideas.
  19. Pumpking carving stencils – it’s not my strong suit but I know plenty of bloggers that do. Why not do a round up and share the blogger love. Inlinkz can help you do it quickly and easily with images too!
  20. Free printables – right now is a great time to show your creative side with printables for everything from getting your home organized to chore charts. Since school is back in session many families may be finding it hard to get back on track with the schedule.
  21. Ghosts and goblins, pumpkins and pies! Bring on the Halloween content – from recipes and decorations to tips for families with allergies or special needs.
  22. Columbus Day – this is were teachers and home schooling moms can really shine! I love doing fun learning activities with the kids and with the holiday we have a day at home. Do you have a great historical activity or game we could do together? How about local writers? Any great activities or events?
  23. Stop, drop and roll but that’s not all. Let’s talk Fire Safety Month – from camping to what to do if there is a fire in your home. Do you have an exit plan? Share it with your readers and let’s get the fire safety conversation heated up!
  24. National Pizza Month means you can work with your favorite pizza brands, restaurants or even share your homemade pizza recipes. Make it a pizza night and get the whole family involved! Host a pizza party where everyone creates their favorite pizza.
  25. National Poetry Day is Oct. 15. Try your hand at poetry.
  26. Are you a bloggers blogger? What projects are you working on right now? Are you growing a social media channel? Learning a new skill? Share your experiences with other bloggers as well as the resources that may help them grow.
  27. MONEY! Now is a great time to share some money saving tips – especially to get ready for the holidays. What are some ways you save money for Christmas or holiday travel? Do you have tried and true methods and tips? Don’t keep them to yourself share them with your readers.
  28. It’s a fabulous fall season! Do you have gardening tips? Maybe fabulous fall flowers to plant? Now it a great time to dress it up both inside and outside your home.
  29. With fall we have cooler temperatures. We may be spending more time inside – or even outside. What are some things you are doing this fall ? Bringing back family game or movie night?
  30. It’s soccer and football season in our household. Why not share how parents and guardians can set the stage for a successful sports season. What did you learn watching your children play sports? Did you volunteer? How can parents get involved?
  31. That also means football season for the adults too! What are some football game day recipes you love? Does your Sunday game day with friends and family really score? What do you do to make that possible?

There’s thousands of more prompts but you are most likely ready to go do some writing of your own and not reading mine! Ready, set, WRITE!

 

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Writer’s Digest 83rd Annual Writing Competition Awaits Your Entry

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Writer’s Digest is one of the foremost publications for writers of all stripes and each year, it sponsors a writing competition with excellent prizes and recognition awarded to the winners. This year marks the 83rd occasion of the Annual Writing Competition and all are welcome to enter.

WD83AnComp_600px

How to Enter

 Entry into the contest is simple enough. You just register your work at Writer’s Digest online and pay a small entrance fee per submission. The early bird fee (good through May 5, 2014) is $25 for the first manuscript and $20 for each additional entry submitted during the same transaction. For poems, the fee is 15 for the first entry and $10 for each additional poem submitted during the same transaction. After the early bird deadline, the fees will increase to $30 for the first manuscript and $25 for each additional entry; for poems, $20 for the first entry and $15 for each additional poem submitted during the same transaction.

Available Categories

Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition includes a wide range of categories:

  • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Magazine Feature Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Stage Play
  • Television/Movie Script
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

Participants are encouraged to enter in as many categories as they wish and to enter before the early bird deadline to keep entry fees to a minimum.

 Winning is Everything

 What do you get if you win? Winners will be selected in each of the above categories and will get to see their name displayed in the 83rd Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection. In addition, winners will receive:  

  • An announcement of the winner on the cover of Writer’s Digest (On subscriber issues only)
  • A 30-minute Platform Strategy Consultation with Chuck Sambuchino, author of multiple books.
  • A one year subscription to Writer’s Digest eBooks
  • Get national exposure for your work
  • One on one attention with four editors or agents
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
 And if you are selected as the Grand Prize winner, you will receive all of the above plus:
  •  $3,000 in cash!

Runners up will enjoy some smaller but still significant cash prizes and other goodies:

First place will receive $1,000 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Second place will receive $500 cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Third place will receive $250 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Fourth place will receive $100 in cash and $50 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Fifth place will receive $50 in cash and $50 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Sixth through Tenth place winners will receive $25 in cash.

In addition, All winners will also receive:

Get Started Today

 If you’ve always wanted to submit your writing work in a contest, few are larger and more prestigious than the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. Click here to find out more and enter your material today!

 

Copyright 2014, Bryan Carey

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Free Kindle books for bloggers, business, writers and WAHM

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Looking for books on working at home, starting your successful business, writing, publishing, getting and keeping jobs and social media?  Today I found several free Kindle books to help you with each of those topics.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which are used to support my site, business and family. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.  

Now, I haven’t read any of these books yet, I’m sharing them with you as fast as I find them.  They stand out to me because of the topics, reviews they may already have and well of course because they are FREE, at least for the time being.

However, if you are reading this post and they are no longer available for free on the Kindle that is not unusual! You know how quickly prices and available can change on Amazon, so grab them while you can.

    

Key word here – START! Even with experience and know how HAVING a successful blot takes time.

How To Write A Novel: How To Write A Blockbuster Novel That Will Sell-How To Make Money Writing And Finance Your Work (How To Write A Novel, How To Write … To Write Short Stories, Creative Writing,)

    

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Blogger, Writer and Small Business Conference Schedule 2014

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There are many advantages to going to workshops and conferences pertaining to writing, blogging, small business ownership and social media.   Conferences can make you connections, help you with networking efforts, teach you new skills, help you brush up on skills and knowledge you already have and of course there is the fun of the travel!

While not a comprehensive list, here are many of the conferences going on across the country for writers, bloggers, small businesses, women in small business and social media interests.  Feel free to add to the list in your comments.

Note- normally I wouldn’t just do links  like this but would put them inside the content but in this case it may help since there are SO many of them to choose from.

Conferences and Workshops for 2014

WordCamp schedule for all cities throughout the year –> http://www.central.wordcamp.org

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER


What have been some of the most productive conferences you have attended?  Which one(s) do you plan on attending in 2014?

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10 tips for writing good reviews

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Image By: Emily Conwell on Flickr

Many bloggers are involved in providing reviews of a variety of services and products.   They like finding the latest and greatest or not so greatest products and sharing information about them.   But they also wonder, what should be in a review?  What facts are interesting and what do my readers need to know?

Several years of writing reviews have taught me a thing or two about sharing reviews about products and services.  I’d like to share with you what I have learned.

1) Talk about the product.  What is it, what does it do and how do you use it.

2) Include your personal experience with the product or service. Did you take the sidewalk chalk to the park and use it?  Did you watch your children using it?  Did other people (friends or family) use the product or service and share with you their thoughts?

3) Include pictures whenever possible.  Sometimes you don’t want to include your family photos and that’s okay, but a picture or video can help your readers understand exactly how the product works and how you used it.

4)  What did you like about the product or service?  What didn’t you like?  What could the manufacturer do to make it better?  Manufacturers and producers do listen to what consumers have to say.

5) Bullets and bold headings are good.  They break down information into easily read segments. Considering using those for features, amenities, attractions, etc.

6) Know your product.  What words are people using to search for this particular product?  Be sure to use the product name and the word review in your “headline.”   For a fast and easy shortcut head to the Google search engine and type in the product name. Auto search will pull up about 8-10 different phrases that are among the most popular searches using that word or phrase.  Can any of those be worked into you review, title, headline or tag.

7) “Tag lines” such as “Speeding off to find another deodorant”  about Speed Stick deodorant that I didn’t have a great experience with are a good way to end or begin your review.

8)  Use good grammar, spelling and punctuation.  If you want your review to be taken seriously, good writing is important.

9)  Express yourself.  Use your personality.  Your readers are used to seeing YOU on the blog so remember your product review is you and the product, not just you.

10)  Is there another review available online that would help your readers and supplement your review?  Maybe even from official sources like Consumer Reports or other magazines?  Be sure to link to those and attribute any quotes properly.

Want to see some samples that have been well received?   Check out our reviews on Money Saving Parent.

Last, but not least, when sharing your review of a product be sure to give credit where credit is due and ALWAYS be honest!  Many companies offer press quality images, be sure to check their home page for press releases and images and follow all instructions for giving credit for those images and appropriate use.   An honest review, that may not praise the company can only help the manufacturer and your readers in making decisions about their money and where they want to spend it.

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