10 TIPS FOR THE CASUAL (or not so casual) BLOGGER

10 TIPS FOR THE CASUAL (or not so casual) BLOGGER

I thought I would do a Blogging Tips post today. This is for both the casual and the blogger who wants to take that next step. Both types can use these tips. Many of these are basic and some are what I’ve picked up along the way. I hope you find something useful.

10 TIPS FOR THE CASUAL (or not so casual) BLOGGER image

I. CREATE CONTENT PEOPLE WANT TO READ

  1. You may have a target audience you would like to reach.
    • Do some looking around to see what other similar blogs as yours are doing and have had success with. Don’t copy them, but take the idea, put your spin on it. With all original content. This should then spark other ideas.
    • When reading or watching whatever type of media is your preference, consider the topics being discussed for posts on your blog.
    • When reading a novel there may be something that gives you an idea for a post. This has happened to me several times with tips on how to write.
    • If you are a writer, then do posts about writing. A poet? Poetry. A carpenter? Carpentry. Baker? Baking.

II. CREATE POSTS THAT ARE LISTS

  1. A numbered list like ‘Ten Ways to Paint Your Nails Without a Nail Polish Brush’ will get you visitors/traffic/hits. I don’t mean traffic just for the day or week you post it, but also off and on for weeks and months to come. I have posts from 6 years ago that still get visits.
  2. Images are a hit or miss now. The pros of blogging and Social Media are saying fewer people want to see your images. If you think about it, it makes sense. I would say most people want a quick and easy-to-read list of information. If they need to scroll down past one image after another, they might leave the page and not visit you again. But if the images are relevant, include them. The list might be ‘The Greatest Album Covers of the 80s’, which would need images.

III. HOW TO POSTS

  1. You can do a post on a popular topic you know about that. Or you can create one about something on-trend right now. But if you see it’s popular, you’re too late, but give it a shot, anyway. Do a post on something you like. It won’t hurt your blog. And if it’s a real dud, that’s what delete is for. Go to a site like Google Trends to see what’s happening now if that’s what you’re looking for.
  2. If you choose something outside of your comfort zone, make certain you have your facts right. But I suggest you stick to what you know and what your blog is about unless it’s about random topics. Then I suppose you can go for it.

IV. CREATE A PROFESSIONAL AND QUALITY POST

  1. After I determine what kind of post I want to do, I spend time with it. For a haiku, a poem of three lines of seventeen syllables, I could spend three minutes, three hours, or longer. I want it to be just as I want it. Sometimes I’ll ignore this rule, rarely, but I do so to keep myself writing. And posting forces me to write. If I’m writing a post about thirteen types of ghosts in cultures around the world, that’ll take a while, because I don’t like to copy another person’s post. I may use part of it for inspiration, and then go off and hunt down more information that I want to use that differs, so mine is unique, or as unique as one can get on the internet.
  2. If I write my poetry, it can be weird, but for poetry that’s okay. It’s a creative art form to let the crazy out sometimes. It’s the healthiest way you can do so.
  3. But when I put out a post like this or a How-To post, I want to make sure it looks and reads as what I call casual-professional. The tone may be casual, but when you look at the structure, the grammar, and the spelling, I want it professional.
  4. If you have Word, go into the settings of the Editor or what most of us call the Spellcheck and customize what you want it to check for.
    •  Or you can use Grammarly.com which is free and has options to check your Word documents and even your post in your WordPress.com Posts editor.
    • There are others, such as ProWritingAid.com/Free, which is like Grammarly. I like the reports you can check out. I may do a post on the sites I’ve found. Both services limit what you can do with the free versions, but they’ve been working for me just fine.
    • I’ve noticed my writing has improved. I recognize the problems as I’m typing, not only punctuation but diction, grammar, and sentence structure, just to name a few. Do I always use the suggestions of a site? No, because sometimes it’s in the dialogue of a book I’m writing. Dialogue does not always stick to the rules. If it did, it would make for a somewhat boring and mechanical tone, but sometimes I might want that.

V. CREATE AN ATTENTION GETTING TITLE

  1. Clickbait? Yes, but in a positive way.
    •  Use the keyword that people are looking for, then build your title around that. Keep it as compact as you can, meaning use as few words as you can, but still let the people know what the post is about, maybe even why to choose your post over someone else’s.
    • Making it unique is including that one descriptive word that you feel stands out about your post.
  2. Don’t do the bait and switch and have barely a mention of what’s in the title. This is self-explanatory.
  3. Don’t have a post that has nothing at all to do with the title.
  4. Have you ever clicked on a great title and ended up reading about two or three paragraphs and been like, ‘This is a lying sack of burning garbage from the backside of a dog?’ Me too. Don’t do that. You’ll lose your regular and faithful visitors that way, not just those first-time visitors.

VI. CHOOSE A FORM OF ENGAGEMENT WITH OTHERS

  1. Reply to comments on your posts but keep it positive. Don’t argue. You can disagree but keep it professional. I’ve had to do this.
  2. Visit other blogs.
    • Engage with the blogger in the comments of a post you like.
    • Engage with other bloggers that make a great comment.
    • While on another blog, never argue or be negative. Always be positive.
    • Only like, comment, or engage in any way, if you truly like the blog and the blogger. And that brings me to the next point.

VII. NEVER FAKE IT

  1. It’s so easy to spot the fakes. You can tell by the words and tone. I can’t explain it, but you’ll figure it out.
  2. Whenever you comment, type what you mean with the words that come to mind. Look at them after you type, and you can always change a word here or there that will make you seem smarter than your thoughts might say on their own. Or that conveys your comment in more precise wording.

VIII. DON’T SWEAT IT

  1. At one time I was doing just about everything to drive the traffic up higher and higher on my blog, but it became too much.
  2. Unless you have an unbelievable amount of energy and organizational skills and commitment, you’ll burn out.
  3. Blog burnout is one of the worst feelings. You want to create posts. You have ideas. But you just can’t write put them in post form.
  4. If you keep writing and you’re doing the other things, then people will visit, it may be slower than on some other blogs, but do what you do and just let whatever happen… happen. Unless you’re looking to be more than a casual blogger.

IX. SOCIAL MEDIA

  1. This will surprise you to hear, and there will be some who might comment and completely disagree with me, but Social Media, at least Twitter, isn’t quite what it once was. I”m not saying to ignore tweeting your post. I’m just saying you need to cultivate relationships and make friends. Somehow create a connection where a reader wants to come back for more. I, fortunately, made friends before I all but abandoned my blog for a long time. Those friends kept the blog alive until I was able to return not to long ago.
  2. If you can find a good group on Twitter to be a part of that will help a lot to make Social Media work for you. Or you can grow a group of TRUE SM FOLLOWERS and by ‘TRUE SM FOLLOWERS’, I mean don’t do the follow-for-follow or the follow back trains. I did that recently as an experiment. Then I stopped.
    • Each week I’ve seen double digits in the number of unfollows. I still have new people following me without me being required to do anything in return, but often the unfollows are higher, but it’s evening out as of the original writing of this post.
    • To find out how many are following or unfollowing, you might try one of the SM hub sites, like TweepsMap.com. It tries to get you to install a browser extension, but I haven’t. I get an email report on how many new followers and unfollowers I had for the week.
    • I knew what the results of the experiment would be, but I wanted to speak about it from experience, which is what I mostly do when I do Blogging Tips or How To posts. Before the experiment, I was gaining followers at a steady pace each week, just not massive increases. But they were TRUE increases and in my area of interests, the literary types mostly, but not always.
  3. Try all the various Social Media possibilities, then monitor your stats each week. If you look at the Referrers section, you can see where most of the clicks are coming from. It’s not bulletproof, but it’s good enough for me.
  4. I would suggest doing some posts through Instagram and note to check your profile for the link you want them to click on. Have a good image, maybe even a very short few seconds telling people to click the link in your profile/bio.
  5. I’ll give you an example. For my basic broadcast to other outlets than my blog, including Social Media, on Monday of the week of this post, my usual biggest day, I received one visitor who clicked on a social media link, and that was a Facebook link. Other bloggers will vary based on how much time and effort they’ve put into whichever SM they are getting those referrers from.
  6. But keep trying until you find your people. I know I’m not a big magnate for Social Media responses. I haven’t ventured into Reddit much, but I’ll try that out to include in a future tips post.
  7. I’ll finish this section off with something I just checked, from back when I was heavily involved in blogging. Back then I was working the blog about eighteen hours a day. And I was doing number I, II, V from above a lot. Outside of my challenges, my next three biggest posts that year were
    1. 10 Tips list
    2. A very Attention-Getting and Timely Titled post
    3. A How-To post.
    4. My referrers that year ranked as #1 Search Engines (11 of them), #2 WordPress.com Reader, #3 Twitter, and #4 Yahoo mail. The Search Engines and WP Reader accounted for 85% of the referrers that year. Twitter was 10% a lot of this percentage came from blog shares that were extremely popular at the time. Every Sunday had this one that would trend in the top 10 on Twitter, and Monday there was another one. But as you can see, Twitter is a different animal than it once was.

X. TAKE IT EASY

  1. If you are like I am now, you want to create excellent posts that you think people will like, post them, and don’t worry about what happens next. Don’t worry about negative comments on your post. You can even deactivate the comments entirely, but that causes some limitations at the time in engagements with the good people. ‘Negative comments’ is my polite way of saying savage beasts who create a diatribe of spittle covered screens. Your friends might give a constructive suggestion, like with your poetry. One did so for one of my recent poems, but they did it in the right way.
  2. If you create a weekly challenge, make certain to visit the participants’ entries. If you like it, then click like, if you don’t then don’t.
  3. Honesty. If nothing else, post and be honest. Don’t lie just to keep them coming back to your challenge.

 

Check out these other posts for more tips:

5 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience. This one has some of the same information but a lot of different as well.

How to Survive the Blog Life. This is a good one for new bloggers, as well as veterans who are starting to feel weary. 10 things I’ve realized over time that can make you lose heart or lose your mind while blogging.

1 Key to Help People Find Your Blog.  Most of us know what Gravatar is but not everyone is using it to their greatest advantage.

 © 2020 Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

18 Gmail settings that will change how you think about your inbox

Just a link to a great article for those of you that have a gmail account. Even how to increase the undo send number of seconds you have to 30 instead of 5.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40583060/18-gmail-settings-that-will-change-how-you-think-about-your-inbox

My Space Got Hijacked.

When I decided to take a little break that turned into an over one-year break from active blogging, I intended to reenergize mentally and emotionally. I’m a blogger that started this adventure without boundaries in place. What that means is I was open to everyone who seemed to need help. And I got plenty of people showing up.

Of course, I kind of asked for it because I seriously put myself out there with my personal struggles. I shared history and current factors that led me to where I am now, or rather where I was then. But I made a mistake by shutting down entirely during my break and distanced myself from my blogging friends.

Amazingly I don’t think that I forever pushed some very important people away. Since my post last week, I’ve received comments and messages welcoming me back and some ‘you were missed’ sentiments. That was a big relief. Now I just need to become active visiting around the neighborhood without becoming addicted again.

One of the things that made this blog be anything that it might be is poetry. I never wrote poetry with maybe the exception of a handful years ago and then I started a blog. As I roamed around followers’ blogs I found poetry. It was then I decide I would give it a try and it became the biggest outlet for a lot of things going on inside of me. Shortly after learning what a haiku was I started a monthly haiku challenge. It’s been going ever week without fail since with week 200 coming up shortly. I even kept it going through a hospital stay and a tornado where I ended up evacuating my home to travel to a hotel for safety. That last one happened twice.

I’m an amateur at best when it comes to the rhymes and all of that, but I do think I ended up a nice level before I stopped cold turkey. Why do I bring this up?

Now I am finding it a struggle to do what was once my favorite thing to do on my blog. It’s as great lesson in even if you have a talent for something that if you don’t keep practicing you can lose it. I also stopped writing fiction and for an author with a book available on Amazon that hurts so deep I can’t even describe it.

I get an idea to write a piece of poetry or a story and before I can even pick up a pen or get my laptop going something clicks inside of me and the engine shuts down. Now as I attempt to get back into those good habits I once have I’m going to need to break with the old ones I’ve developed and that is the biggest piece of advice I can give anyone that is a creative.

You need to pick a creative space that is dedicated to your art, no matter what that art may be. Don’t allow any sedentary activity into that space. Why? You get an idea and then you go to that spot or you head to hop on your bed with your laptop and what happens? What happens is your body and mind slip into the habit that takes place most often in that space. You won’t even realize that is what’s happening.

For the longest time my bed was my writing space because it was the only place in the house that I could use, but I did an excellent job of writing and filling my days and evenings with creativity. Then during the break my little space in the house, I called my own, became a place for watching movies, reading books, taking naps, and simply resting while Fibro Flares did their thing.

Now I am rewiring my mind and body to be back to the olden days of blogging and writing books. Writing these posts each week are what you might call baby steps. I don’t advise forcing yourself into a creative space all at once. If you do you will end up so frustrated, you might just give up entirely.

So, if you are suffering from a decrease in blog output or other creative endeavors, see if you’ve hijacked your creative space for other things … then hijack it back, but in a nice and easy way.

See y’all next week.

Getting into a habit is a B*@#$!

4 years? Yep, that’s how long I’ve been running this blog as of today. I’ve learned a lot during that time. I’ve gone through phases of being this person or that person in Blogland as I call it. Or did I used to call It bBogworld? Maybe now I’ll stat calling it the Blogiverse. Yeah, I like that. Anyway, I at one time was writing multiple articles a day about how to blog, poetry, writing, and anything else I could think of. Then I hit the wall. I made a mistake and didn’t even know it until way too late.

The mistake I made? I took a break from blogging except for my weekly haiku challenge. Even the challenge was a challenge to get out each week. Sometimes it would be 7:45 AM and the haiku is supposed to go out at 8 AM and I am barely able to find the energy or will to get the laptop and log in.

At first, I took a break to unplug for a while. I wanted to experience a bit of what normal people did. I wanted to watch at TV show, take a nap. I even wanted to work on writing my next book. Up to that break I had a daily habit of not only writing my blog but also being creative in working on book ideas. Then I developed new habits.

One habit was a good one, I read books. But then that turned in to an obsession almost, an addiction. Last year I read over 300 books. Now I can barely read a book. I start one and within a couple of chapters I already see where things are going, and I stop and then move on to the next book.

Oh, and then there were the naps. But then I have Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, so I just end up sleeping whenever and often don’t sleep for a couple of days at a time.

Then there is the manic binge watching. I have this addictive nature, it runs in the males in my family, it’s why I don’t touch alcohol. Once I watch the first episode of something then I must see them all. Or if there is a genre of film, I just gotta see whatever else I can find in that genre or by that movie star.

Now here I am a year or so later and I’m trying to develop that writing habit again and thus find my friends once more. I did a little reading about developing habits and some of it is a bit daunting.  According to actual scientific studies it took people in the studies anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to create their desired habit. Now some habits are easier to achieve, and people are all different regarding ability, strength of will and determination, but it really is realistic to expect a habit to take anywhere from 2 to 8 months to create a habit. So, if you are as couch potato and you want to run an hour every morning before work, well look forward to a long haul but just realize that it’s normal to take a while AND if you skip a day you don’t have to start the months over again.

So here I am on day one of my new habit, or should I say old habit? I tried to do this last year, but I bombed. I chose to simply do a haiku in response to my challenge, just 3 little lines of poetry, and I couldn’t do it. Now I have no idea where to start except to write SOMETHING at least once each week.

I’ve put this out there to let all you newer bloggers and perhaps even some of my veteran friends know the dangers of taking that break. If you do take a break, set a time to start back up and stick to it.

The one good thing I realized after my break from blogging is … YOU CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT BLOGGING! So all you addicts out there, just remember, the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. I did, and now here I am better and more sedate than ever.

See y’all next time.

How to do a Ping Back.

 

What does a Ping Back mean?

For our purposes a Ping is when one website speaks to another website.

How does that conversation take place?

You take the URL from one Blog Post and place within the content of the Blog Post of the other website and make sure it is active/live/working.

What ways can you do a Ping Back?

  1. Make the actual URL active within the post.
  2. Place the URL within a word of a sentence of the content of the post.
  3. Place the URL within an Image of the post.

WordPress Ping Backs Image

Numbers 1 and 2 are done the same way.

  1. You highlight whatever it is that you want the reader to click on in order to go to the other post.
  2. You then click on the Insert/edit link Icon.
  3. You place the URL within the Paste URL or type to search field of the pop up box.
  4. You then click the blue box with the white arrow within it.
  5. You are done.
  6. Extra-If you want your link to open in new tab click the Gear next to the blue box with the white arrow and check the box that says Open link in new tab then click Add Link. (Why do this? You don’t really want people to leave your site. So if the link opens in a new tab, they still have your site up and you have a good chance of the reader checking out other things on your site.)

For an Image.

You click the image and then repeat steps 2-5 above.

Why do a Ping Back in the first place?

The Ping Back will appear in the comments of the Post of the other site, letting the owner as well as any other readers aware that you have participated or made some type of comment regarding the post. This will encourage Traffic to your blog.

I ask for people to do a Ping Back in the various challenges I host on my blog. Some blogs receive hundreds of extra visits each year because of doing Ping Backs.

There are URLs that won’t send a real Ping Back to the original Blog.

If you were to use the URL of my Blog’s Home Page or the Category Page of one of my challenges, the reader of your post would be able to click the link and visit me, but I would not receive a Ping Back. If you think about it, it makes sense. There isn’t a comments section on a Category Page nor a normal Home Page.

Much Respect

Ronovan

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2016

WordPress Post Editor Changes.

“There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus

With that being said, you may have noticed the changes in your WordPress Post Editor.

Let’s look at the two obvious ones.

First up, Text Color.

Font Color ImageI like it. Now I can see the colors more easily. There were a lot of shades before, which some may have enjoyed. Sure I did too, but now we have the added option of the next thing.

Custom Color

Custom Font Color ImageYou can change the numbers or click in the rainbow like color bar and then use your cursor to move around within the color box to find just the shade you like. We may have fewer shades preset but now we have so much more available to us.

Next up is the one that freaked me out at first. Yes, I got freaked out. Okay, I didn’t but it was weird for a moment.

Link Insert

link insert image

When you clink on the Link Icon up in the tool bar of the Post Editor, you now get that lovely little URL Box you see at the bottom of the image. When you are inserting a URL link in your post, like you might do with my Haiku Challenge, you highlight the words and click the Link Icon and then click the little left facing right angled arrow next to the URL box, it’s called Apply. You see it above in a blue box with a white arrow. A little round spoke gear looking thing is just to the right of it.

But you might need to insert a URL into a word or into an image. That’s what we look at next.

The Gear Box

Link Gear Box WordPress ImageThis isn’t all that complicated. It’s just an expanded version of what we had before. You get to this by clicking that little spoke like gear next to the Apply arrow I mentioned before. I like this because you get to see a list of recent posts you may want to link to, and it has that nice Search box as well.

Hope this helps someone. If you have any questions, leave them below in the comments, or fill out the comment form.

Remember to CLICK IT and GET IT. for a FREE copy of my debut novel.

Debut Novel Free image

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@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2016

New Additions to my Site!

Have you seen the two new additions to my blog?

Check out the first image in the sidebar to the right. It’s my facebook like widget. Ronovan Writes fb like imageYou don’t even have to leave the site, visit facebook, or anything but click ‘Like’ in the image to actually LIKE my facebook page. Awesome, right?

Below that you’ll see an image you can click to get my debut novel for free in an eBook format. By clicking the image you go to the CLICK IT and GET IT page. freeFill out the form and I’ll send you a personal email with the eBook format of your choice, well one of the choices I have available in the form.

Hate clicking the image? Click the CLICK IT and GET IT tab above us and you’ll end up at the same place.

Two years and counting.

What does two years of blogging get you?

I guess that all depends on what you’re looking at. Some might look at numbers, and I did out of curiosity. I was going to post them here but thought that a bit mundane.

Looking at views and then thinking how many likes you get on the same posts can be very telling. I’ve never been fooled by it. I know 50 likes doesn’t mean 50 views. It means about 30 views and the other 20 are mixed between people just clicking like in the WP Reader or on my Home Page. It doesn’t bother me either way. I stopped caring about likes a long time ago. I just share what I have and go on my merry little way.

Again, what does two years of blogging get you?

2-year-bloggiversary

Friends from all over the world.

A network of people for my Book Review site that I never would have thought of if not for this blog.

A published book that is receiving great reviews. (And you can get for free by signing up for my newsletter.

And finally I got a better version of me.

Before beginning this blog I was in a bad place in regards to health and mind. Now I’m still in a bad place health wise, but my mind is not so depressed as it was before. I realize I can do something on my own schedule which is whenever I have the energy. You may have noticed I apparently don’t have that much energy lately.

I want to thank all of you that are my friends. You know who you are. I thank all those who visit my blog each week and enjoy what they find here.

Much Respect

Ronovan

This opportunity expires at the end of 4/30/2016 EST, New York Time.

Click the Image.

free

HOW TO Indent in your blog posts.

         As some of you may have noticed, I have begun a new feature here on RW called Ask Ronovan. You can ask anything. Normally I wait a couple of weeks and put out the answers on a Sunday with the next Ask Ronovan post. However, a question was asked I believe needs answering now. Do you wonder how to indent in your blogs?

         Here is the request:

Name or Identifying Name (Think something like “What’s Cooking in Columbia”.): Ann V. Friend

Website (Not required.): http://afriendforever54.wordpress.com

Your Question for Ronovan: Hi Ronovan

Can you point me in the write direction for html code to align my acrostic poem below?

Can’t align in WordPress.

 
         I’m not including the poem here but I’ll create one that will do much the same.

we go to Look at the view
because beauty is sO rare and few
i haVe never giVen you your due
today I give my hEart to you

         Obviously the word here is LOVE but the letters are not lining up. Let’s see what I can do. If you’ve been paying attention, you realize I am able to help Ann.

         What Ann is asking is how to indent like we do in Word. Here in WordPress and other blog platforms, everything is aligned left to be flush with the left hand side of the content area. I’ve been indenting during this article so far. In fact I am using one of my favorite pieces of HTML script. I’ll type the characters out separately since I am typing in the TEXT tab of the POST EDITOR. If I did the script all together, you wouldn’t see it.

& n b s p ;

         You see 6 characters above. Delete the spaces between the characters and then put the combined script before the first character of your sentence. For example, here in this paragraph as well as the ones earlier, I used 9 of these to create this many spaces.

         Let’s try making the poem I wrote line up properly.

                   we go to Look at the view
 because beauty is sO rare and few
        i haVe never giVen you your due
     today I give my hEart to you

          It works. The best thing to do in order to check you are lining up correctly is to use your preview button and check it out. REMEMBER with HTML if you switch to the VISUAL TAB during the creation of the post, you lose your script and have to start over. Until you hit PUBLISH, you will lose your script if you switch over. That’s why I typed the code above with spaces. I’m in the TEXT TAB.
co
         You can also use this SCRIPT inside of a sentence. Sometimes I’ve wanted to have things space just a touch bit different in a sentence. It’s like the POST EDITOR wants things to line up a certain way and hates me. Well, you can place the code like so a n d have it do what you like. Now that may look just like a normal space, but how often have you seen something you do and it just won’t take the normal space bar space? Well, use the script and it’ll work.

HTML Indent Script Image.
Ann, I hope this helps.

Much Respect,
Ronovan

Check out my novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling.
Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling Review Image.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2016

Easy HTML for Return to Top links and More!

Have you noticed when visiting some of my challenges how you can click a word and skip around the page? I call those Page Jumps or Skips. I’ve written articles here on how to do several different kinds, but today I’ll show you two bits of HTML code you can use to do several things. Believe me when I say this is a lot simpler than you may think, or it may look at first. No, I didn’t learn this in a school. If I did I probably would know some proper names for things. I’m a lay person about this stuff and try to give it to you in simple English, while using some proper jargon.

One fun thing you can do with what I’m going to do is this. I want you to click on the following words. Go to Comments. Then scroll back up here or hit your back button.

A QUICK HELLO FROM HTML

What’s HTML? It means Hyper-Text Markup Language. Glad you asked? Make more sense to you now? Me neither. How about “a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.” I got that from Google when I typed in HTML definition.

HTML doesn’t use normal words. If it did it wouldn’t be Code. Yay, us, right? Boo! Hiss! Actually, it can be fun when you know not to be afraid of it. Practice in a post and if you mess it up, so what? You don’t have to hit PUBLISH.

Let me give you an example of HTML language.

HREF means hypertext reference. Basically for us it means it helps create a hyperlink to something when combined with other information. For example, if I wanted to put a link to Amazon for my book here, and then went to look at the Code in the TEXT tab in my POST EDITOR in WordPress, I would see href=”http://www.amazon.com/AMBER-WAKE-Gabriel-Falling-Adventures-eboo, at least that’s the beginning of it. Notice the href at the beginning. That’s HTML.

In other words, you’re using it every day when you publish a post.

INSIDE THE POST EDITOR

There are two tabs in the POST EDITOR. One tab is the VISUAL tab, which is how it looks on the actual site when published. This is the simple way of doing things and you can just use the TOOLBAR to change Text Color, Text and Image Alignments, and general things like that without doing any altering.

The other is the TEXT tab where all the HTML happens. All that Text Color changing and all you do in the VISUAL tab, well the HTML part of that can be found in the TEXT tab. In the TEXT tab you can change spacing between paragraphs a bit more, and do some other things as well, which is why I’m writing this in the first place.

One thing to remember is that when you do these scripts, make sure not to switch back and forth between the VISUAL and TEXT tabs. You will lose your newly added scripts. I click on SAVE DRAFT often if it is a large project. If you are curious how it is looking, click on PREVIEW.

So far so easy.

THINGS TO NOTE AS WE MOVE FORWARD

You will see COLOR CODING, BOLD FACE, and LARGE FONTS as we continue. All of these are for differentiating information. There is no need for different colors, bold, italics, large fonts, or anything other than plain text when doing HTML.

For today:

RED-Means you don’t change that in the script.

GREEN-Means you can change it. Most likely you will to meet your purposes. Usually these are real words, such as what a Reader will click on to jump to another part of the page, or it may be the Destination one reaches after clicking. A Destination can be a word within a sentence, or even a Heading for a Category, Paragraph, or any other thing you want it to be.

PINK/PURPLEIs used for the symbols ><. When you see those in that formation, it means you can type words between them and those words will be seen in the actual published post while the rest of the Code is invisible and takes up no space at all. The words between the >< will be shown in GREEN below. See above for what GREEN means.

You’ve seen all of this at work before.

You’ve seen Return to Top in an article before, right? Did you see >< on either side of those words? Did it look like >Return to Top<?

No it didn’t. That’s because the >< is part of the long script and thus is invisible and as far as the visible post is concerned, doesn’t exist. All you saw was what I’m referring to as the GREEN part between the ><. >Return to Top<

All good?

I’M GOING TO START WITH THE GO TO CODE. (At least I call it that.)

Go To/Return to Top Code-When the Reader clicks on it, it takes the Reader where they want to go. If you participate in my challenges you will see something that says click HERE to skip to the Prompt. The word HERE replaces the words Return to Top in the code below. That’s how useful the two codes are I’m going to show you.

Remember, in the code below the RED parts you leave alone, and the GREEN you change.

<a href=”#Top>Return to Top</a>

So we have the href which is saying “I’m creating a link.” Then we have the #Top which is the Destination for the link, like Amazon was the destination for my book link I used earlier. Finally we have the words the Readers will see. What will the link look like to the Reader?

Return to Top

You can put anything for people to see between the ><. Just like you can use anything for the Destination or ANCHOR CODE. It doesn’t have to be #Top. What gave that away? Oh yeah, the fact Top is GREEN.

If you have problems with colors at all, the first line below is the Red, the Second is the Pink/Purple, and the third is the Green.

<a href=”#                                     /a>

                               >                          <

                     Top    Return to Top

HERE IS WHAT I CALL THE ANCHOR CODE or DESTINATION CODE:

This is what you need in order to make the Go To Code work. If you don’t have the Anchor Code, then the Go To Code has no Destination to go to.

Remember, in the code below the RED parts you leave alone, and the GREEN you change. Keeping in mind the idea of the Return to Top you see in articles, again this one should make a lot of sense.

<a id=”Top></a>

The Top here matches the Top in the Go To Code and they MUST match. The only difference is the # in the Go To Code.

By placing this piece of code at the very top of your post, before all other content and then the Go To Code anywhere else, even multiple times at various places, you are set for the Return to Top operation.

That’s right, you only need this one Anchor Code when doing a Return to Top operation. You can then use the same Go To Code in the previous section over and over again throughout the post, after every paragraph if you needed to for some reason.

Still easy? Hope you said yes.

If that’s all you want to know about what I call In-Page Jumps/Skips then you can click Like at the bottom, share the post, reblog it, and follow my blog for other great articles. If you want more to do with these two pieces of script that’s cool and useful, keep reading.


So you’re still here? You glutton for punishment you.

Things to do with the two pieces of Script/Code are very simple. Just keep in mind those things you can change can be changed to be anything, and the parts between the >< can be seen by the Reader.

OTHER USES FOR THE CODES

Let’s see this in a format like my Haiku Challenge Review. I’ll did a very short version here with the code typed in VISUAL first. Then I will do a section where the code is typed in TEXT.

<a id=”Top></a>

Welcome to the Haiku Challenge Review. This week we had over 60 participants join in and share their offerings. Talk about different takes. I’m just glad I stopped picking winners.

Click on the Category below to go to the section.

<a href=”#Life>Life</a>

<a href=”#Romance>Romance</a>

<a href=”#Wisdom>Wisdom</a>

(Assume an image is here)

<a id=”Top>Life</a>

Poet A of Number 1 Blog.

Poet B of Number 2 Blog.

<a href=”#Top>Return to Top</a>

<a id=”Top>Romance</a>

Poet C of Number 3 Blog.

Poet D of Number 4 Blog.

<a href=”#Top>Return to Top</a>

<a id=”Top>Wisdom</a>

Poet E of Number 5 Blog.

Poet F of Number 6 Blog.

<a href=”#Top>Return to Top</a>

Welcome to the Haiku Challenge Review. This week we had over 60 participants join in and share their offerings. Talk about different takes. I’m just glad I stopped picking winners.

Click on the Category below to go to the section.
Life
Romance
Wisdom
(Assume an image is here)

Life
Poet A of Number 1 Blog.
Poet B of Number 2 Blog.
Return to Top

Romance
Poet C of Number 3 Blog.
Poet D of Number 4 Blog.
Return to Top

Wisdom
Poet E of Number 5 Blog.
Poet F of Number 6 Blog.
Return to Top

That’s it for this week. See you tomorrow with a brand new set of words to use!

Much Respect

Ronovan

To see how this works in the Haiku Challenge Review I’ve mentioned, click HERE to go to one of my Haiku Challenge Reviews.

If you are clear about everything, skip to the bottom, click Like, share the article, reblog it and follow my blog for more great posts like this.
HTML Script Image


Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling Available on Amazon.

Amber Wake Gabriel Falling Book Quote Image

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2016

 

5 WAYS TO GROW YOUR BLOG AUDIENCE.

I’ll be sharing how to set things up to attract attention with a post and what to do with it once you’ve attracted readers. Okay, so I don’t make money from blogging, but to me, the Readers are friends and encourage me to continue writing. How do you think the amnesiac finished a book and has it on Amazon? I was in limbo before I started blogging and found the community here.

5 Ways to Grow Blog Audience

YOU NEED TO GRAB THE ATTENTION OF THE CASUAL READER (CR).

If you’ve been blogging a while and look around for how to bring people to your blog, then you’ve seen tips about catchy Post Titles. Yep, this is the big one for getting people to click on your post, to begin with.

  • Don’t lie or bait and switch. In other words, your title should be true about the post. If not, people won’t come back.
  • How do you create that attention grabber title? I’ll give you the three that work the best.
    • Use numbers if doing something like quotes.
    • Use the old ‘How to” if you are going to share a tip or advice.
    • Or use “What do you do …”

Do these work? Here are my top 10 most ‘Liked’ posts.

Anything I mentioned above stands out to you on that list? The question is, did I use those methods on purpose or not? The truth? I did it with only one, and that one I did use the numbering the way the tips I’ve read said to. I used 18 instead of using numbers such as 5, 10, 15, 20, and so on. What you see though is, that attention grabbers work. However, grabbing them doesn’t mean you keep them coming back.

YOU NEED TO KEEP THE CR’S ATTENTION.

To turn a visitor into a regular reader of your blog:

  • Follow through on what your title promised.
  • Make your post visually and mentally stimulating.
    • Get the readers eyes moving.
    • Mix up your post with Images scattered about and not always centered or all in a column along one side of the post.
    • Don’t have too many font sizes or colors. That gets annoying. If a list, like a list of quotes, perhaps alternate two colors, with odd being one color and even being the other.

YOU NEED TO PLAY THE NAME GAME

Sounds like I’m saying to spread gossip, right? No. What you need to do is make sure when you put an image in your post, you have filled in the Alt Text field for the image. Why? Do you notice that quite often people put images at the very topAlt Text Image in Media Library of a post? Have you ever noticed that I rarely put my images right at the very top? (WordPress has changed there Alt Text field to the top of the box since this image was captured. I’ll be updating it shortly._

There’s a reason I don’t. Search Engines crawl through your pages searching for key words a person is looking for. If you have an image taking up room at the top, and nothing in the Alt Text field, two things get messed up: the Search Engines may discover other more SEO friendly site pages and push you down the list during their hunt, and the other thing, nothing to do with Search Engines, is screen readers for the visually impaired don’t read that blank field and it throws them off a bit. Simply pick maybe the best five words to describe what the image is about in the context of the post. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It could be something like “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge Image”. Also, be certain to include what the post is about in the first paragraph as well as anywhere appropriate.

LINK TO RELATED CONTENT YOU ALREADY HAVE.

If people visit you looking for one topic, add a link at the end of your post to previous content of a similar nature the reader may find interesting. One thing you can do with the old post is to change the name of it to something catchier and more attention-grabbing for the reader to click on. The thing is, your content may be great, it’s just your title is bad. (See Blog Tip: Links to Blogs and Articles-How to and WHY to find out to link.)

YOU NEED TO INVITE READERS TO FOLLOW YOUR BLOG.

Make it easy for a visitor to click follow. You can:

  • Put a link to Bloglovin’ in your post and have people follow you that way. It’s not my preferred method but it is one.
  • You can also include your Twitter handle with a link included for people to follow you on Twitter. I do this. (Wonder how to add it? See Blog Tip: Links to Blogs and Articles-How to and WHY
  • You can also put a script in your post that when people click on it, they follow your blog. I do this.

I imagine you may be wondering what that script is I mentioned. Let’s see if I can put it in here and make it not work.

[ blog_subscription_form ]

Success! What you need to do is take all the bold you see and remove the space between the [ and the b and between the m and the ]. Place that in your post and it will appear as everything between my Book Cover below and my Twitter handle. There is no actual HTML scripting.

Check out 10 Tips to Make Blogging Enjoyable. Traps to Avoid or 18 Quotes to Inspire Writers, Bloggers–Everyone. You choose which your in the mood for today.

Much Respect

Ronovan



Click HERE to see my Historical Fiction novel on Amazon.

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@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2016

1 Key to Help People Find Your Blog.

I visit blogs.

I read comments.

In those comments I will find someone I am interested in checking their blog out. They may have made a great comment, or maybe I was doing a guest blog and they commented on my post. Maybe they just looked way out and interesting. You know the type I mean. The kind you just have to discover more about.

So what do you do?

You click their name or picture.

You end up nowhere. End of attempts. I actually do some extra work at times, but most of the time, that’s it. Click. Click. Boom. Game over.

Why is it game over?

I end up at the Gravatar.com site with their lovely image and there are no links to their blogs or social media. There is no way to find their blog.

Over the time I’ve been blogging, I have literally clicked on hundreds of people and ended up not finding a blog. All because a few clicks were not made.

When I sign into Gravatar.com and click My Profile at the top, I get a list of links on the right of things I can do.

One of those things is called ‘Websites’.

Once there I can click on the icon that’s labeled ‘Add Website’ or the one labeled ‘Add WordPress.com Site’ and simply add the URL and Title I want to appear. Once I click ‘Save’ people can then find me.

Right now, I have my three WordPress sites on there, my Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon Author Page. I did have a couple more, but I wanted the focus to be on those for now. Click HERE to see my Gravatar profile.

All very easy and in a simple place at the click of a picture.

For those who have a name different from their website title, which would be most people, this is the easiest way to make certain you are found. Not everyone can have a name like Ronovan. It does make for an easy to remember blog presence. I still have a secret disdain for the one who came up with it. Okay, maybe not so secret, but it’s starting to come in handy these days.

 

Please, do me a favor, want you? Add your website to your Gravatar.com. I would love to visit you.

Link your site to Gravatar.com Comic Image


 

Click HERE to get my Adventure novel on Amazon!

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@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2016

How to be a Great Guest Blogger by author @RonovanWrites!

Visit my guest post on Hugh’s blog. Some great advice in the comments as well. Seriously.

Hugh's Views & News  

Ronovan HesterWhen Hugh offered to host a day during my first ever Book Tour for the soon to be released Amber Wake-Gabriel Falling he said to write what I liked, or words something like that. The man puts too much trust in my, often times, maniacal hands. If any of you know me, you know I have written some strange things, with a sense of humor that only I understand. I’ll try to be a good boy today. I’ve stumbled and fumbled along this blogging road long enough, to have found my way to temporary sanity.

Knowing Hugh, and knowing his blog, the topic came to me immediately from the many possibilities.

How to be a Great Guest Blogger

How to be a Great Guest Blogger.

I’m here to promote my book, and I’m not going to lie about that. However, what I really want to do when guest blogging, is to make you, the reader, happy. I…

View original post 1,770 more words

5 Things I Take Away From 2015.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for this past year who made it possible for Ronovan Writes to be the success it has been. For a site that started out as a sort of therapy for myself to battle through a lot of issues, it has not only accomplished that, but much more.

I want to share a few things now.

Ronovan Writes 2015

#1

There will be a proper Haiku Review this week.

I’ve allowed pressures to interfere with properly treating those of you who diligently participate in the Haiku Challenge with proper respect. I know there may not be a great number of extra views that come from it, but everyone does receive a few each week and a great many receive at least double digit extra views because of it, and with my dropping the ball that means some of you miss out on those extra visits.

I may not always be able to promise witty reviews with humor or the nice divisions by category, but I’ll have a review out each week from now on unless medical reasons keep me from it. I’ve only missed one so far, last week. And that is eating away at me for breaking that string. I may do one for that week anyway.

#2

I want to share the stats all of you created this year. I haven’t done it, you have. I created a place for you to visit and share your work and in turn others wander through and meander on to your sites, and hopefully become new followers. And in return some of your readers find their way to me. It is much appreciated.

#3

Hugh of Hugh’s Views & News gives me partial credit for helping spread the word about his blog early on with an interview. I don’t know about that, his personality kind of does the trick. He would be a success regardless. Well, I would like to pick up on something I truly enjoyed doing way back then and interview some of you. If you would like, I’ll have a form below for your suggestions of who you would like to see me interview. You’ll notice an email is not required. You can give one if you like, but none is required for something like this.

#4

I want to thank all of you who have visited my new Author site and read the first chapter of my novel. The encouragement I’m getting is a blessing and much needed to calm the nerves. I think we all get nervous during big events in our lives. Doing this as a co-author experience is part of the stress I think, because that means I am either partly responsible for a success, or maybe the cause of someone’s lack of success. The kind words and those of you who have stated you love it and are going to purchase it has help calm me at times.  Thank you.

STATS-Year In Review

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 70,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Where did those people come from?

That’s 138 countries in all!
Most visitors came from The United States. United Kingdom & Australia were not far behind.

My Top Referrers?

#1-Search Engines
#2-WordPress Reader
#3-Twitter
#4-Yahoo.Mail
#5-WordPress Dashboard
#6-Widgets.Wp
#7-PrairieChat.com
#8-Facebook

I mention 8 of these because if I went by the report we received from WordPress, 3 of those on the list would not have been included with Facebook coming in 5th.

And my #1 Comment Maker of the Year?

Author Annette Rochelle Aben, poet, author, radio personality and encourager extraordinaire.



 

Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in February 14, 2016. He shares his life on his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

New Things are Happening on Ronovan Writes.

Depending on the order you read posts, you may already know part of what I’m about to tell you.

Some new things are happening here on Ronovan Writes.

#1 A New Writing Prompt Challenge called Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes.

Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes Challenge

You get a prompt on Friday and it’s due by 23:59 Wednesday. I’ll be attempting to do a review just like I do the Haiku Challenge, then I’ll post and tweet and G+.

#2 I’m looking to do FREE e-book anthologies and collections of those who agree to it of entries in the Haiku Challenge as well as the new Friday Fiction Challenge.  There’s a form to fill out to okay it, if no fill out, then everything is as usual. It’s like you and I didn’t even know the idea ever existed. There is a page for Friday Fiction up top with details and a form. The Haiku Challenge Guidelines page at the top has the form for the okay to include Haiku entries.

I look at the e-books as ways to put ourselves out there, some of us who might never do it otherwise, and friends and family get to see our work in a book.  This is also a way to learn some things about putting a book together. This is about quality, not just throwing something together. If I go forward with the ideas, I may be looking for some talents to be donated.

Keep in mind, if you don’t fill out a form then your entries in the challenges won’t be considered for the e-books, but you get in the reviews and everything just like normal.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

MAKE YOUR FONTS VISIBLE ON IMAGES.

You have a great piece of writing and a great photo to put it on. You put the words on the image and what happens? You can’t seem to find that happy color of font to show all of your words because a normal photo has a great number of colors in it. Even if your photo is the sky, you have shades of blue ranging from so pale a blue it looks white down to the dark blues to almost dusk. The answer? Overlay images.

A Note: All overlay images were found in the public domain. The actual photo of the building is mine.

Make Your Fonts Visible

One thing to know, this post is not that long, it’s mostly taken up with image examples.

How do you make it work and still see your image? You know you could put a block of color in the sky and put your text in. But that ruins what you’re going for.

Enter picmonkey.com.

I use picmonkey quite often in tandom with pixlr.com, a free photoshop like product online.

Below is a photo from the top of a parking deck on the campus of UGA. You can see the stadium lights to Sanford Stadium over the buildings in the distance. As you can see, my name doesn’t show very well across the building but very well in the sky.

UGA by Ronovan Hester

Below you see the menu inside of picmonkey.com after you have loaded your image. The thing to know first is to create the overlay image/shape you want to use and then type your text. You can then manipulate all you like and the text will be to the forefront. Of course you can always do it the other way around as sort of a see through a veil or curtain affect.

A-Points to the Overlay Icon in the shape of a butterfly. The overlay does exactly as it sounds, it overlays something on top of the image already showing. You can even pull in your own image to overlay on top of the image you first loaded.

B- For the purpose of what I want to do with this image and text I’ll chose the Geometric options.

UGA Picmonkey Overlay Demo

C-I am choosing the rectangular Geometric option because it actually can be manipulated to any height or width. The square, for example, will obviously adjust to remain a square.

UGA Picmonkey Geometric Demo

D-You are able to make the image height taller or shorter by placing your cursor on the point along the edge and dragging the edge down.

E-You are able to increase or decrease the width by doing the same as the above but along the side edges.

F-By placing your cursor over the small circle over the top of the box and then clicking and holding down your mouse you are then able to rotate or tilt the box however you like. Something to keep in mind is making the text and box lines parallel.

UGA Picmonkey Geometric Manipulaiton Demo

G-Here you see the Editing Box for the Geometric Overlay rectangle I used.

H-There are two boxes, one for the outline of the rectangle, and then below it is the inside of the box, the part we’re concerned with today. The box will start out as black, but you can click on the box signified by “H” here and choose a color. You may first want to use the part signified by the “I” first.

I-To make the box fade to transparent you increase the Fade. I left the color as black here and you can see the letters are still more visible as a whole than before.

J-You are able to do some different Overlay manipulation other than simple fading of a selected color by choosing the Blend Modes option. Simply select the different options within and see what they do. Some are very surprising.

UGA Picmonkey Demo

Below you see the final result with the box having been changed to the dark green of the trees in the background to the right of the building. I chose this color by clicking on the black box image, signified by the letter “H” above and choosing the eyedropper. I then clicked on the tree. I could have also let my cursor go over all the colors inside of that letter “H” box and the Faded Geometric rectangle would have changed colors as the cursor passed over each color.

UGA Faded Ronovan Hester Green Demo

And last we have the copyright in the sky with a red background of a box with the same blue lettering as above. Skies are difficult to have attractive lettering in and this will help you accomplish that. Something to consider with what I did here. I moved the box and text up and then tilted everything back to horizontal. Easy? Maybe for some, but what I did, to make certain the text and the box were in line with each other was drag them both to the bottom and line them up with the bottom edge of the screen. Then I moved them to the top.

UGA Ronovan Hester Sky Demo

You may pull in your own images as overlays by choosing the Your Own at the top of the Overlay options. Following are two examples. One is the UGA G, the image was found in the public domain. The photo is mine. It is followed by the same image with a curtain, found in the public domain, overlay over it.

UGA Image Ronovan Hester G

UGA G and Curtain Ronovan Hester

You may have a lot of fun with this feature. I did have to make the G and the Curtain fit the building image. To do that all I had did was take the corner of the image and drag it to increase the size. Try it, you’ll see how easy it is. The other Overlay image options do the same thing as the Geometric and Your Own.

When you save the image, remember to rename it to something other than the original name of the image. That way you keep your original image in its original form.

You are also able to use these techniques when creating book covers.

Enjoy!



Ronovan Hester is an author, with the debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com with the hope if inspiring others to overcome and continue on. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

Make the Most of Your Post.

Yesterday was #BeWoW day here on Ronovan Writes.

What does that #BeWoW mean? Be Writing on Wednesday to Be Wonderful on Wednesday and make the world a better place to visit. That means no negativity, inflammatory, or derogatory writing.

BeWoW Network Badge

A long time ago I began a focused effort to write positive posts of encouragement and inspiration. I used #BeWoW as the hashtag that day and thus was born #BeWoW day.

If you have something you’ve written, be that a poem, flash fiction, advice, or some other kind of post I haven’t mentioned and it isn’t something negative or derogatory then share by linking back to the #BeWoW post of that day here on Ronovan Writes or Pasting your link into the comments of that post, and use the #BeWoW hashtag on Twitter.

Are you liking the idea? Are you worried you’ll forget? I am thinking of going back to putting out my reminders on Tuesday with a possible Prompt to get the juices flowing, just like I used to do in the beginning.

If you don’t already participate in my Haiku Challenge, you could use that as your inspiration for something to write and all it would take is a poem three lines long and you might end up with a few more friends than before. (The Challenge has at least 40 Bloggers each week join in.)

Wednesday is a slow day for blogging. A great many people put a lot of energy into Mondays or Fridays. I wanted all that time ago when I thought of my positive posts  to have a way of helping to boost some traffic to blogs on Wednesdays. For me it’s not about how many Views I get, I like how many People show up. If I have 1 more person show up than did last Wednesday to my blog, I am a happy person, even if I have 20 fewer views.

Why am I doing this? No it’s not so I have more visitors to my blog. You can ask those who participate in my Haiku Challenge why I do that link share. It’s not for me. It’s a way for people to grow a community. The Haiku Challenge has done so great at community building I would like to see #BeWoW do the same.

Join in. And see you next Wednesday. I’ll be writing something about comfort food and using a quote from an Author to tie in with Colleen Chesebro’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday on SilverThreading.com. See, I do two in one that way.

And THAT is the secret to make the most out of your post. Sharing it, take advantage of communities that WANT to see your work you’re already doing anyway, and including multiple communities in one post. And make sure to give it time. A community doesn’t build in one week or even one month. It takes time, but it will grow.

We have a group page on facebook, just creator as this post was created. We truly want this to succeed and be something positive. Click here to go there. It’s a place to join and share links as well.

To paraphrase a famous movie life, “Link it, and they will come.”

NOTE: The #BeWoW badge above is transparent around the image itself.

Much Respect, Much Admiration, and Much Love
Ronovan

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

Plan for Success!

Did you read my 10 Tips to Make Blogging Enjoyable. Traps to Avoid? If not, it’s still there…waiting. Why do I mention it, other than hoping those of you that missed it go and read it? There is actually an 11th Tip. Unfortunately I didn’t think of it in the 11th hour, I thought of it after that. But that just means I get to write another Blogging Tip article.

Plan, Organize, Organize, oh and Organize!

We think we organize, but we don’t. We have some categories we click the little box next to for each post but we begin to write things and come up with random categories. Before we know it we have countless categories or we have posts in an existing handful that don’t make sense.

Organizing from the very beginning of blogging makes for a lot of great benefits.

  • Easier Reader Navigation
  • Better Reader Enjoyment
  • Easier SEO Results
  • Less Headache and Mess for You, The Blogger

This isn’t my first go around with an article about organization. My 3 Best Blogging Tips for a Successful Blog  was one year ago discussing menu structures, how to do drop down menus and create real PAGES and fake ‘pages’ as headings for drop down menu sections. Yep, step-by-step.

Now, if you’re new, the Category is basically like a folder you place a post in and you can then actually make a page in your menu using that category. You can look at my menu around my header image to see what I am talking about.

Mine looks simple, right? In reality, mine is a mess. I have over 1300 articles now, posts, poems, tips, videos, and whatever other random things I’ve come up with. I tell you that so you know when I talk about a need to organize I know from experience.

The problem? The mess?

I realized too late my system for organizing was not adequate. Why? There was no system. For someone who spent years organizing and mapping out things for Plan Your Blog for Successlocations around the country, I can’t stand the condition things are in. But the process of correcting all the mess is overwhelming. I’ll do it, slowly, but slowly is the key word.

If you are a veteran blogger, take a handful of minutes a day and do a page of your content in the Dashboard each day. No more than that. If you do more, you get tired of it, disgusted, and it becomes work. Blogging should be an enjoyable part of our lives, even if we do it as a job.

Now, I have great articles, and I’m not tying to be all boastful. People have truly enjoyed some of my work, but people can’t find those articles. I can’t sometimes unless I go into my Dashboard. (Sorry, Dashboard is blog-speak for where all of our tools and useful things are.)

So organization leads to easy Reader Site Navigation.

To organize your content you need to:

  • Look at what the post you’re doing is at its general level. Is it a Tip, a Writing Piece, Music. What is it? Now you have your Headings/Page Names.
  • What is the post specifically about? Is it a Love Poem, a SciFi story, or a Blogging Tip? Now you have your Categories.
  • Now, for Tags, you go into all the wide and varied things people might think of when looking at the post; Poem, Romance, Desire, Paris, Ocean. I only mention Tags because we are talking about naming of things. This has nothing to do with organization so much, but does in a way when people do a search of a word or you use a Tag Cloud. (For WordPress, don’t use more than 13 Tags or your post might not show up in the WordPress Reader.)

There are countless tips out there about how to organize and boost traffic by managing your content. Not long ago I met Janice Wald of MostlyBlogging.com. The topic of blogging seems to be something she is passionate about and seeks out things to know. As I wrote the article I thought it would be great to ask her for some articles she thought might be of use about the subject of blog organization. Here are some related articles from her site you MUST READ:

The first thing you need to read is; How to Build the Perfect Blog Even if You Don’t Know How This will give you a basic checklist to go through to make sure you have prepared a post worth posting and being read. What you post is your reputation, image, brand. You want to get it right from the beginning. Some readers will never come back if you are bad from the beginning.

Perhaps you are wanting to know if you are doing things right. You think you are but how do you find out? Well, teacher Janice has a report card for you to go by. How to Grade Your Blog  (By the way, I got an A.)

What is another form of organization? How do you know for sure you are doing a good job of it? The report card above won’t tell you if you are getting the results from your efforts. And really there are some less technical aspects that you need to look at. How to Get Loyal Visitors to Repeatedly Return to Your Blog Here you will find a real success  story from a real success blogger.

Now, one final thing from Janice I like is, How to Increase Blog Traffic with Content Curation. It’s not about organizing but how to get more out of those old posts you wrote that no one sees these days. No amount of organization will get all of your work seen. But if you know how to spread that content around, you can get results, maybe even better ones at times.

But not all success of a blog has to do with organization or spreading the word. I for one can vouch for that on some level. Sometimes a blog achieves success not by organization but by personality. My friend Hugh Roberts of Hugh’s Views & News focuses more on the personality and feel of blogging, a blog, and the blog life to be successful. Yes he does the organization but he likes to provide tips on a personal level. One popular article to check out  is, Is Your Blog As Friendly As You Think It Is? It is one of his most recent but high on his most popular post list.

From me you can check my Most Popular list at the bottom of the blog, currently. There are two that seem to get attention the most over time, How to Survive the Blog Life. and Blogging Personality: The Key to Success.

BONUS TIP!

While I was writing the above and reading old articles of mine another tip came to mind.

Leave Your Post to Marinate

We write a post and want it out NOW. Big problem with that is the ugly word TYPO. Nothing worse than doing a Writing Tip article and you have typos everywhere.

Let your article sit a few days, a week or more if you can. Then you come back and read it and you see the problems, and read it in the Preview window, like it would be on your blog, NOT in the Post Editor. Post Editor windows allow for easy skipping over words and even sentences. Our eyes are more accustomed to truly reading something on a Blog page as opposed to the Editor page.

(All images created by Ronovan unless otherwise noted.)

REBLOG, TWEET, FB it, or GOOGLE+ it. Share it however you like so all those linked get clicked.

Much Respect-Much Love

Ronovan



Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

Easy Connecting and Disconnecting: The Problems.

They come and go, sometimes without our even knowing it. The social connections, the tangible next door friend and the stranger a world away who friend in a click and are gone in another. Do people disconnect on a whim or is it for a real reason? What has the ease of Online Social Interaction and Easy Connecting and Disconnecting: The Problems.Disconnection done to us socially as a society and perhaps even morally?

Thinking about things like this puts a knot in my stomach I can’t get rid of until I sort it out through words. Admittedly when I have someone disappear from my social network of “friends” I don’t always ask why. I know the coming and going is a part of the world and of this modern way of forming connections. But sometimes I do wonder.

On Facebook you must deal with people you’ve allowed into your circle of reality. When those people decide to drop you, then you wonder what happened. There is no explanation and thus the knot in the stomach begins. And dropping is the feeling that one may feel.

“What did I do?”

That’s the question that comes to mind first. For me my online social connections are my lifeline. When I lose one it rattles me somewhat and I dwell a little bit.

For someone like me, when someone, especially a female, decides to no longer be a friend you then wonder that very question above. Then you wonder what has been said. I’m a pretty appropriate guy when it comes to online social communications. Maybe in the past I’ve had moments. You would have to ask that old me. Like the one from a few days ago. That’s about how far some of my memories go.

Those social contacts keep the memory lines open. A lot of people don’t realize it but for some of us we may visit various social platform profiles in a rotation to keep people familiar to us. For a memory problem sufferer it can be important. A disconnect can throw things haywire in a major way, especially for someone who is sensitive and has actual feelings.

What has easy detachment brought about in society?

For one there is a lack of working through a problem. A person now unfollows a person and the argument or discord is over. Or it is as far as the un-follower is concerned.

In the celebrity circles it’s an easy way to get publicity and start a celebrity feud to drive up public interest in yourself. Pick the popular flavor and attack them and people will then take notice of you if you have begun to slip in notoriety. VMA awards anybody?

But for the rest of us it is more than a platform. We may have thousands of “Friends” or “Followers” but we have a lot in the offline world, the online world may at times be like a phonebook of all our old and new friends. Facebook is like that for me.

With the not needing to finish a conversation, or work out a situation, society is slowly becoming less and less able to resolve conflicts to the needed end. They still float around and build up into a frenzy. You can look at society and see how things spread like wildfire but no one ever took the time in the very beginning to try to stop it from happening—they went straight into the fire.

When once we had the chance to think overnight and arrive at some common sense we now have people go off onto Twitter or Facebook and speak emotionally.

I mentioned morality.

The ease of online sharing of EVERYTHING with ANYBODY has brought about many problems, even its own show—Catfish. If you have one person you share something with because of distance, I get that. Some relationships are separated by miles because of many reasons. And I do believe there are cases where online capabilities has made for some relationships to stay close and survive instead of drift apart during times apart.

But online has given some this sense of power and invulnerability that one can say and do anything without repercussions. They carry that over into offline life and you can see in society how some things spread and get out of hand. When certain agencies need social media experts just to do their jobs properly I think we have a problem.

I am thankful for online social connection. But I do have problems at times with the Disconnectors. But I suppose we all do it at some point. It’s easier than facing someone and telling them whatever the problem is. If you ever get disconnected by me, put it down to a memory thing. I pretty much stay connected to everyone. Well, unless you are like an uber-jerk. You know who you are. Muahahahahaha.

(Um, that last part was a joke people. So stop thinking it was you I was talking about. Paranoid much?)

There of course is the idea of Ease of Social Connectivity leading to Societal Disconnect. That’s another topic my thoughts are circling around and I may discuss another time.

What do we do?

Keeping a protective barrier is one idea. By barrier I mean have emotional security checks in place people need to pass through before entering that real Easy Connecting and Disconnecting: The Problems.“Friend” circle. Not everyone will hang around but using our mind and not heart will protect that heart. Yes, I know…sometimes that heart is going to take over. And sometimes it will be correct. But with the majority, treat your heart and self like you would treat a child in your care and who you would allow them to be with. In other words, Guard Yourself by taking your time in who you let into your private circle of true friends and remember that social network is like social anything, it’s just an every now and then thing. Just like social drinking though, it can get you in trouble.

Oh, and write a lot about a lot of things. That always helps. I mean who can socialize when they write all…the…time. I’m looking at you, and you know who you are.

Much Respect

Ronovan



Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

10 Tips to Make Blogging Enjoyable. Traps to Avoid.

Sometimes you start to blog, not having blog tips as warnings, you are all excited and you do things to your blog or that involves blogging that ultimately end up being traps that are like quicksand. They drag you down and deplete you of energy as you work to pull yourself out of what has happened.

What you do with your blog is ultimately up to you, because you want your blog to BE you. It represents part of you that you want to put out there.

Today I want to cover 10 things, traps if you will, that will cost you time, cause you weariness, and create misery. Knowing these things ahead of time might be able to save you. As a blogger now, you can maybe head these things off before they get out of hand. Or if you’re neck deep already, perhaps these 10 tips will give you a start on figuring out what has happened to you.10 blogging tips image#1 Sidebar Craziness or Widget Weary

Whichever you want to call it, those sidebars with all those widgets can have side effects you never thought of.

  1. So crowded no one can see what’s there.
  2. So many graphics it slows loading of the blog page down.
  3. Your page looks like an ad for everything, even though you’re not selling anything. Big turn off.

But does that mean sidebar widgets are bad? Of course not.

  1. If you’re advertising something, go for it, like authors want to get their books out there. But some advice to authors: Switch up those images and their order. Maybe even change the side of the screen your sidebar is on. Why? It makes return visitors look around for what might have changed.
  2. The same thing goes for book reviewers or people who have guests on their blogs.
  3. But if your blog is geared toward images, then widgets won’t make a difference.

Remember, graphics on a blog slow it down loading and slow loading may lead a reader to do one of two things.

  1. Leave because they clicked you on impulse.
  2. Leave because they think something is wrong with your page or their browser and then they’re gone.

One thing about your Widgets you may not realize is that many are never even clicked on. I moved my Widgets to my footer areas and I am still working on their order. But my main goal is to make them useful ones. Which ones do I think are most useful?

  1. Most Recent Posts
  2. Most Popular Posts
  3. About.me
  4. Follow me
  5. Search

Those are off the top of my head. Why am I not going to look for other Widgets? Because those are the ones I remember, which says a lot to me, and look for on other blogs. For some blogs the only way I can find their posts is by using their Most Recent Posts Widget.

#2 Image is Everything, or so your Blog says.

Yes, I am still on images. I try to go minimal with images in my post these days unless I’m just having a moment and decide to go crazy. We all do that at times. That’s fine. Images is a sometimes food. Wait, that’s cookies. I warn you, I’m very visual media oriented today. Weird quotes may show up at anytime. Forgive me in advance.

But regardless, keep in mind that many or most of your Widgets are never clicked on. I like the Most Recent Posts and perhaps the Favorite Posts Widgets. Of course you want a Follow Me Widget and a Search one. Notice these are not graphic intensive and are useful.

A tip about Images: Keep in mind how large your image is in reference to how much storage space it uses such as 250 kb or something like that. The larger the file, the more time it takes to load. Sometimes you need to use high definition image. But then there are times you can optimize your image size and still have great definition. Visit 5 Image Things to Know for SEO for more information about this.

#3 The “I want to be cool” blog moment.

We’ve all done it. Okay, so I’ve done it several times. We do these crazy color schemes and then the possible results begin.

  1. People are scared and run away, okay they click away.
  2. People can’t read because of the color scheme. Check out what color blind people can’t see. A tip here. If you have links make sure to underline them and possibly bold them to signify they are links. Most people understand underlined words signify a link is in those words.
  3. The look doesn’t match the content. By this I mean the feel you have created just doesn’t fit.

Your theme style, color and header need to match what you are promoting. Promoting? Yes, you are promoting your posts, as in you. Will my current theme, layout and everything work for what I am promoting? Maybe, maybe not. I experiment. That’s one thing those of us who for some odd reason think we can give blogging tips do, we are the experimenters. I even have a test blog where I play around with themes to see what they look like and can do.

#4 The Following Frenzy

Yes, we follow, follow and follow even more. For some it’s a trick to get followers and for some it’s a reflex in following people in return. What do you end up with?

  1. If you are WordPress then you have a Reader so full you can’t get through everything.
  2. You have so many “friends” you can’t make any FRIENDS.
  3. You get caught up in the needing to get more and more followers as the Following Frenzy engulfs you.

If you’ve fallen into Follower Frenzy spend 10 minutes each day cleaning up that Follow list. (I might actually take my own advice.) Also you can make sure to follow those ones you really do like by subscribing to their email notifications until you do clean up your list.

#5 I’m Gonna Be Better Than That Guy

Competition in blogging is a thing. You may experience it for a brief moment. Once you do believe me when I say that your readers will notice and some might get turned off. There was a time, prior to two years ago when I had a concussion that brought some reality to my world, when I was competitive. It worked for the big job I had way back when, but for life in general, blogging specifically, it just doesn’t work for me.

  1. Most bloggers are not here to, or at least don’t start out to, be some guru or god of blogdom. Sure, we all want to be read and be popular to some extent but in the beginning we all have that little bit of reality, until we begin to see followers happen and the comments and then we see someone else like our blog who is sort of competition.

They aren’t. You just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.

#6 No One Really Likes Me (Insert Frowny Face, Tear.)

We don’t get the views each day, the follows, the likes. We begin to think no one likes us. We visit blogs and we think how much better our posts are than those. We wonder why no one likes us.

  1. You’re new. Be patient.
  2. Veteran blogs sometimes put out content that is perhaps not as well done as their usual content. Why? Time. Goofiness for the day. Lack of inspiration after blogging for so long.

Don’t worry about them. Don’t WORRY about anyone, including yourself. Just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.

#7 But I HAVE to post because my readers will miss me.

Man, this is a tough one, for new and veteran bloggers alike at times. There is this sense of responsibility to our readers. We think they are just waiting for us to post something and if we don’t they may never visit again. Um, do you do that to blogs you follow? Chill dudes and dudettes. I’ve been in the hospital, been sick, had a laptop go down and people still find me, and they still return. Why? I think in part because I’ve built a community that have my blog in common and met through my blog. Did it happen overnight? Nope. It takes time. Patience. What do I do to build a community and keep readers?

Just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.

#8 Size Matters! BIGGER IS BETTER

We discover how to change the font size and we go crazy at first. It’s not a good thing. You should really only use a different sized font for a heading of a section/topic. Think of how I have been using font size in this article. I know sometimes we will use all sizes of fonts, but make that a rarity. Looking at a page full of every size of font imaginable gets eye weary. Also by using your font sizes in a uniform way throughout your articles, you somewhat train your regular readers to know what to expect. And you do need those section headings at time to break up long passages of text.

#9 My Writing Is Amazing and I am an Original and need not worry about standards.

Have you run across those blogs where the entire thing is one paragraph and about 700 words long? Punctuation is by accident? Capitalization happened because of auto-correct somewhere along the way? Do you know how many times I return to those “I am an Original”?

I’m not saying don’t do it that way. If that’s what you are wanting to do and are going for a certain atmosphere, go for it. Some make a success of it. But it takes a certain type of writing to make it work. For most blog readers, they want to click and be able to read and have a pleasant experience without having to figure out what in the world or how in the world they are reading.

#10 I have to write like this because they expect it.

No, I’m not referring to #9. This is about writing about certain topics or in certain styles. There may come a time in your time blogging that you no longer want to blog about whatever it is that got you started. You have two choices.

  1. Start another blog.
  2. Or just start writing what you want to on your current blog.

I’ve written about just about everything here on Ronovan Writes. But then I did choose a good title for the blog to be able to pull that off. I have hits and I have misses and misses and misses. I’m not trying to build a blogdom here.

I simply write what I feel like writing in that moment.

That is the greatest blogging tip you will ever get from anyone. That’s not a brag. That’s telling you like it is. If you write things you don’t care about you are faking it and faking it can be picked up on quickly by blog readers. Some people write about blog tips every day. That’s something they find fascinating. I couldn’t do that and keep it sounding real. Well I might, if I had broken this one down into one per day.

That’s it for me today. 10 things bloggers get trapped into at some point. 10 things to watch out for and avoid. Avoid those traps and you’ll have a pleasant blogging experience for a long time to come.

This article goes somewhat hand in hand with another of my articles I wrote sometime ago called How to Survive the Blog Life. It’s the number one article on my blog.

Much Respect-Much Love

Ronovan

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015