My Goal for 2014

blazer-vector
Simple, Vector Blazer and Tie

Introducing: The Creativity 365 Challenge, 2014 Edition!

My goal for every day of this year is to create or finish something creative.  Be it a sketch, a painting, an illustration, a video, or a website, or be it a poem, a fan fiction, a blog post, or a novel, I will make something new and creative every day this year!  Much if this will end up here for you all to enjoy, alongside any helpful tutorials or whatnot I manage to whip up in my revival!

Consider this vector blazer icon my work for Day 1 of 365 – Jan. 1, 2014!

 

Created with Adobe Illustrator.

“Creating an Effective Battle Scene” By Epic Fantasy Author Janet Beasley

Writer's Block Party!

There I was, cruising through my manuscript. Words were flowing, the story was moving at a great pace. I had the map drawn which made every chapter richer with content. Then out of nowhere…bam! It was time for the battle.

Well, almost. I had written up to the battle scene and realized I knew nothing about flanking, ranking, and calling out orders. Boot-camp and military training hadn’t even entered my mind. Oh sure, I’ve watched the news, and seen the horrific things that are going on around the world when it comes to war and the weaponry used, but my epic fantasy world of Maycly had not been designed for machine guns, grenades, tanks, or other vehicles. As I thought about it for a little while longer it hit me like a ton of bricks – over half the characters had never even seen a battle or heard of one.

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Technically March Madness – 50th Post!

march traffic stats

Six-month monthly traffic report

March.  The month known for basketball brackets and the coming of Spring.  This March has been an amazing month for my blog here, and I want to take a moment here to thank all of the readers who visited my blog this month.  What happened this month that was so cool?  Well:

  • New busiest day milestone, with a high of 50 hits in a day!
  • New busiest week milestone, with a high of 179 hits in a week!
  • New busiest month, with over 500 views in one month!
  • Blog reaches and surpasses 1,000 total views!
  • Blog receives Versatile Blogger Award!
  • Blog reaches 20 total WordPress followers!

Maybe part of the reason I’m so excited about this is because I took a break from blogging in January, and as a result my monthly traffic suffered.  I started to rebuild in February, but traffic that month was still below December levels (December had been my highest month yet).  Then, in early March, I started the Joomla! tutorial series, which has brought me tons of traffic from all over the globe (I mentioned this in this post).  Now let me compare my December and March levels:

  • December Busiest Day: 18 Views
  • March Busiest Day: 50 Views
  • December Busiest Week: 47 Views
  • March Busiest Week: 179 Views (More than the entire month of December)
  • December Total Views: 181 Views
  • March Total Views: More Than 500 Views!!!!

Of course, where you have record traffic you will encounter record comment spam, but that is a small price to pay for fantastic traffic.

  • December Spam: 0
  • March Spam: 671

March has been awesome.  Who would’ve known, 6 months ago when I started, that it would become what it is?  While compared to other blogs these stats are somewhat minuscule, I feel that I’ve achieved something pretty cool in March 2012, and to celebrate I’m running a special promotion of my book!  Check it out before it’s too late!

How To Blog When You Have (Almost) No Ideas

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Trying To Blog - Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whether you’re starting a new blog or trying to keep up one you have, one question you’ll face sooner or later is, “what do I blog about now?”.  As I mentioned in my previous post, lately I have been short of ideas.  Then something occurred to me.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes having unfinished projects hanging around just bugs me.

recent drafts

Recent Drafts Bug Me

So when I see something like this ( —-> ) on my WordPress dashboard, I start to feel annoyed.  In the past when I’ve had unfinished drafts, the sight of those thoughts just waiting to be finished inspired me to actually write.  So how, when we have nothing to write about, can we break free of ‘blogger’s block’?

Here’s my idea:

  1. Brainstorm.  Think of stuff (maybe cool internet resources) you’re using at the moment.  Think of topics related to your favorite hobby or area of expertise.
  2. Write down your ideas in post titles (and just the post titles).  Save off your new posts and revisit them later.
  3. Start working on the ones that appeal to you most.  Or the time-sensitive ones.  Either way, now you have ideas!

I’m going to try this myself and see how it works.  If you decide to try this as well, I’m interested in hearing your results.  Comments are, as usual, welcome!

If you need more helpful blogging tips, I recommend visiting ProBlogger.net and checking out their fantastic content tips and ideas!

More Improving Your Writing!

I happened across these posts recently, and I believe that you may find them as interesting as I did.

10 Types of Killer Filler Content for Your Blog

Last week I ran an impromptu Ustream chat session with my Twitter followers on the theme of Blogger Productivity (to celebrate the launch of Blog Wise). It was an informal and fun session (you can view the hour-long recording of it here) but one of the recurring questions that came up was around the topic of posting rhythm and how to keep up regular posting when you may not have the time to post daily.

It’s a question I hear quite a bit. The pressure of posting daily, coupled with keeping the quality and usefulness of posts high, tips some bloggers over the edge—particularly those who write longer, deeper articles that take a great deal of thought and research to prepare.

Grammar Goofs

I came across an infographic this morning that I think all of my seventh graders should commit to memory! “15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly” was created by BlueGlass.com based on various posts found on the Copybloggerwebsite.

Characterizing Details

I’m doing some critiques for webinars right now (if you haven’t gotten yours back yet, be very patient…I have 90 days from the date of the deadline to get it back to you), and I would just love to put a moratorium on character descriptions that tell me nothing that’s necessary to my understanding. Let’s define a characterizing detail, shall we?

Enjoy!

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.

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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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