Technically Heroic – An Author’s Adventure Has Been Deemed Versatile!

Well, here’s something I didn’t see coming – I’ve been nominated for (and thus given) the Versatile Blogger Award by Lisa Taylor!  My thanks to Lisa, who runs a very cool blog called Writer’s Block Party, made up of book reviews and author interviews from many different genres, giving authors a place to potentially reach new readers (by the way, look for my author interview on Lisa’s blog in early April)

This thoughtful award has the following rules:

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy. (done)
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it. (also done)
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Okay, what can I say about myself?  Let’s see here: Continue reading

On Google and Record Traffic

traffic spike

The traffic spike in consideration

How does one attract traffic to one’s blog?  While writing my recent Joomla! 2.5 tutorial, I noticed that my traffic was dramatically climbing.  It started on the weekend, and Sunday through Tuesday were all record-breaking days (new busiest day each day)!  Not only that, but a Google search for ‘joomla 2.5 on mamp’ listed a link to this blog 2nd and 3rd down from the top!  So, what would bring readers to this (sort of) small blog?

There are all kinds of businesses out there offering ‘SEO’ (Search Engine Optimization) services, where you pay to get better traffic ‘naturally’, but I achieved natural high rankings without even trying!  And I did this by subconsciously following almost all of the SEO tips on the web – high keyword count and correct tagging.

Continue reading

4 easy ways to build content and a following on your blog

Great post with very true points!

The Indie Book Writers Blog | Self Publishing | Get Published

One of the best ways to build an audience for your book or books is build a following on a blog. Yet when I speak to many authors about creating a blog, they are often hesitant because of the amount of writing and work they believe is involved. While it does take some work to have a blog, there are some things you can do to make the whole process easier and enjoyable. Remember, the reason for having a blog is to build an audience for the topic you are passionate about and while you can write about it your self, there are other things you can do to gather content around the topic that will be relevant to your audience. Here are some ways to do that you may find helpful.

  1. Write a series and make a number of different posts over time. Once you find a topic that…

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AdSense – Yet Another Google Tool

I think I’ll skip the end-of-year look back and jump right into things here.  Today’s topic: Google AdSense.

Most of you have probably heard of AdSense, the polar opposite of Google AdWords.  In brief, AdSense allows you to put textual ads or image ads on your website by simply adding a few lines of code.  Google then feeds your website ads from advertisers who compete in AdWords fashion for publication.  People click their ads, and you get paid.  All you’ve got to do is put the code where you want it – and wait for Google’s approval of your site.  That’s the catch.

A simple web search will turn up all kinds of people complaining that Google took forever to approve their accounts.  Google says:

Once you’ve submitted your AdSense application and verified your email address, it typically takes 2-3 days for our specialists to complete the review. However, depending on the volume of applications we receive, it may take a week or longer. 

It’s been three weeks since I signed up, and they still haven’t approved me.  I’m not sure what the delay is, and I’ll have to look into it, but it seems strange that Google’s taking so long to work with me.  What I’m wondering now, if any of you or someone you know have used AdSense, is what your/their experience has been with AdSense’s approval system.  If you’ve got something you can share, please do!  Comments, as usual, are welcome.  My experience with Google AdSense is far from over, and I’ll be back on the subject when more develops.

Registering Copyright Licenses

When publishing your work on, you will be asked if you want to select a copyright license.  You’re given a list of ten or so licenses to choose from, and now you’re thinking, ‘what’s this madness?’

If you are really concerned with people stealing your work, then I’ll make the decision easier for you: the first choice on the list, a standard copyright license will probably be the best match.  It’s really not that hard to register (disclaimer: I have not personally tried this method, so please don’t consider any of this legal advice).


Now, does not require any kind of registration code when it comes time to put in copyright information during the publishing process, which means you could just put in the year and your name and you’d be good (again, this is not legal advice!).  Here’s an article which I found quite helpful in understanding the copyrighting process.

Basically what you have to do is download and print a form, fill it out, then send it in to the Library of Congress with 2 copies of your finished book (here we’re implying that you’re printing your book.  I’m not sure yet how you would submit 2 ebook copies and a form to obtain a copyright for that ebook).  There’s more information on on the process.


If you decide to go for a standard copyright license, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost.  If you have already published your book, then it will cost whatever you pay to get 2 copies of your own work, the $45 filing fee, and postage.  You then send out your package, wait for a while for confirmation(your copyright takes effect as soon as the package arrives at the Library of Congress), and then you’ve got your books legally protected and (bonus!) in the Library of Congress.  Then you can take a trip to Washington D.C. and try to find your work!

Hopefully this answers some of your questions concerning copyrighting.  If you have any remarks or questions please feel free to comment!

What does it take to get published?

Whether you’ve just finished writing, or have had your manuscript lying around for years, it is now easier than ever to publish your writing for the world to read.  And the best part?  You can do it on almost no budget at all!

Ebooks Everywhere

In today’s society, the Ebook is becoming increasingly popular.  Ebook reading devices such as the Kindle and the Nook are becoming more and more advanced, introducing capabilities similar to Apple’s iPad, which also reads Ebooks.  However, one does not need a special device to read an Ebook.  Free downloads and plug-ins allow users on virtually any computer to read and enjoy Ebooks.  All of this means that by simply publishing your writing as an Ebook, you can reach millions of readers all over the world.  This is where online publishers like come in. as an Ebook Publisher

While is not the only online publisher out there, it’s the one I’ve personally used and had good results with.  Here’s how it works:

  • You create a FREE online account at
  • You start a new project for your writing, following the given directions to create your Ebook and submit it for distribution
  • You wait for iBookstore and approval

You are published now for Apple devices, Nooks, and on for pretty much everything else.  The only thing missing now is…

Kindle Publishing

Getting published for the Kindle is just as easy as  You go to and create an account.  Then you upload your document and cover art, set your distribution options and price, then submit and wait.  The process is quite simple, and it doesn’t take very long at all to get your book published for Kindle. for physical publishing

Okay, people all over the world can read your books on their electronic devices.  But what if someone wants a hard copy?  There are still people out there who would rather hold a physical book in their hand and read it, and since you want to reach as many people as possible, your next move would be to get your book published as a hard copy.  This used to be a lot more difficult and costly, but with sites like, you can do it for practically nothing.  The steps are pretty much the same as Ebook publishing.  You upload your document, create a cover using Lulu’s cover creation wizard, set your price and distribution, and you’re published!  Now, if you want your book available on as a hard copy as well as for Kindle, Lulu will handle this for you for FREE.  You must, however, order a proof copy of your book before submitting it for distribution.  This should only cost you for shipping, as will send you a discount code which will cover the production costs of your book.  This kind of publishing is called Print-On-Demand, where your book is only printed whenever someone orders it, and I believe it is the most cost-efficient way to published in the physical world.

Published for practically nothing

My experience with has been a good one.  I spent no more than $4.00 to get my book published on Kindles, Nooks, iPads, iPhones, PCs and Macs, and as hard copies (you can see my results at my website).  With a combination of digital and Print-On-Demand publishing, you can get your book out in the world on any kind of budget.  I hope that by sharing my experience that you will take the initiative on publishing your works.  Try it out, and tell me what you think!  If you have any questions or anything to add, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  I look forward to hearing your story!

Google AdWords: Text vs. Image

Say you’re looking to start an AdWords campaign. AdWords gives you the option to create both text-based ads and image-based ads. Which ones work best? While results may vary per situation, here’s what I found through experience: (based off of my Wed-Sat Technically Heroic Promotion Week results)

Images place higher than text

When it comes to Cost-Per-Click (CPC) advertising, your ads will compete with others in their category, and the resulting placement rating varies, with 1 being the highest.  Ad placement ratings are in part decided by competition, budget, and keywords.  Overall, during the campaign, the two graphical ads placed higher (1) than the three textual ads (2.7-3.8).

Text gets more impressions

An impression is when your ad is actually displayed on a website, and the frequency is often determined by the keywords you choose and the keyword content of the ad itself.  In my opinion, the fact that you can include keywords in text ads is what gives text-based ads the advantage.  My results show that my top two textual ads got over 44,600 impressions, while my two image ads combined got over 29,300 impressions.

Images get more clicks

Here’s my theory: People see a text ad, and think ‘Dull, black and white’ and maybe ‘sounds interesting.’  Then people see a good-looking image ad and think ‘Wow, that looks cool!  I’ll check it out (click).’  My proof?  My best image ad got twice as many clicks as my best text ad.  The theory doesn’t seem so far-fetched, does it?


Text ads vs. Image ads, which wins? Image ads. While they may not get quite as many impressions as text ads, they still get plenty and on relevant sites, leading to a higher click-through rate, implying that those who click an image ad are more likely to purchase what you’re selling.  But don’t just take my word for it!  Try it yourself and see what results you get, then let me know what you think!

Some Results from ‘Technically Heroic’ Promotion Week

No, I did not spend a week promoting this blog!  I’m talking about my book, ‘Technically Heroic.’  Last week I launched my first Google Adwords campaign, launching 3 textual ads and 2 graphic banners, all promoting my book and linking back to  I’ll tell you now that watching your site hit over 50 hits in one day for the first time is a fantastic experience.

On the right, you’ll see a screenshot from my Google Analytics results map.  The average dot represents one visit to in general.  As you can see, while most of my visits came from the area of Washington State,  I received visits from all over the U.S. and some from Canada.  This part was especially fascinating to watch develop.  Thanks to my Adwords campaign, people from all over the U.S. visited my site.

From my Adwords campaign, I learned that the two graphic banner ads I was running had better click-through rates than the three textual ads.  Now whether or not that was because the graphic ads were running for only half the week, due to the approval process, I’m not sure, but the discovery has prompted me to create more graphic ads, and in different sizes and shapes (these I will soon use in a second focused ad campaign).

In conclusion, the Google Adwords campaign accomplished its goal, in that it drew people’s eyes to my site.  I ran an experiment and obtained results to play with.

Oh yes, and did I mention I didn’t pay a thing for the campaign?  $100 free credit, courtesy of Google.  Not bad, not bad at all.