Three More Liebster Awards? I’m Not A Newbie Anymore!

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I am pleased to announce three more Liebster Awards have been given to me. It’s been a while since I have received an Award of any kind, and so I’m grateful to Jeri Walker-Bickett (a writer friend) for bestowing this award upon me. Funny, crazy, quirky Cee Lee also gave me this award. Connor Rickett, another freelance writer I know, also gave me this award – damn him! I shouldn’t have accepted it, but he’s one of a kind. (Aren’t we all?) 😉 Read this post to see what I mean. You’ll die laughing. 😀 Read More

The Liebster Award: The Official Rules + My First Blog Award and a Few Personal Secrets Revealed

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The Liebster Award – General Info and Rules

Most bloggers, at some point, have heard of or received the Liebster award, unless you are a newbie! From the extensive searches I have conducted in my attempts to learn about this award, I have visited a bunch of blogs and gleaned the following information:

  • This award exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.
  • It has German origins – the word “liebster” has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, sweetheart and boyfriend (really?)
  • It follows similar principles as a chain letter, in the sense that it should be passed forward to a certain number of people.
  • It can be misconstrued, depending upon your personal views, as either something wonderful (who doesn’t like awards?) or as an annoyance (a chain letter that involves work).
  • The choice lies within each of us to ACCEPT it, and continue PAYING IT FORWARD or to refuse to accept it, thereby STOPPING or INTERRUPTING the chain. However, if you stop the chain, you are only hurting yourself (keep reading for benefits you will have)!
  • Personal views play an important part in our choice to participate. Some people have refused to accept it and have made attempts to “break the chain”. There have been many people who have been nominated, yet refused to accept it, and now their blogs have been abandoned.
  • Variations have been made over time to the “rules”.
  • Marketing plays a role in accepting this award, as other bloggers are promoted. (This is not a bad thing, however, since people should help others!)
  • Other awards are a part of the whole “meme“. These include “One Lovely Blog Award”, the “Sunshine Blog Award” and the “Versatile Writer Award”.

It is said that the Liebster award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere. In the digital world of the internet, this seems like a nice gesture, in my opinion! Read More

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Why Blogging can be a Ridiculous Waste of Time

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I often get asked, “Do you make money from blogging?”

This is a tricky question, because I actually make money as a result of blogging. Sure, I earn some money through affiliate sales and AdSense… and The Essence of Blogging (+ How to Earn Money Online) lists the other ways I have expanded my income sources. I now have 9+ revenue streams! 🙂

But…

No one pays me for creating blog posts for my own sites.

No one pays me for promoting them, either.

However, if I DIDN’T blog, no one would know who the heck I was!

They wouldn’t learn about my freelancing writing and editing services.

Nor would they know I’m an independently published author who has another website where I talk about my books, and all other things, including poetry, book review, and true stories about my life.

Nor would they know I help others become authors too.

Blogging is a way to get your content in front of the right people.

So is guest posting! 😉

Is Blogging A Complete Waste of Time?

Some people think blogging is a ridiculous waste of time. I’m not kidding.

The truth is: IT CAN BE.

Or, at least, it can feel that way… sometimes. There is A LOT TO BLOGGING. Read 5 Things New Bloggers Need to Know.

It’s no secret that there are many pros and cons to blogging. After we look a the benefits, we’ll look at some of the pitfalls. Read More

Blog Awards: What are your views?

This is a picture of a stick man I created who I like to call Gimpy. He's frustrated because he doesn't know what is going on! He's trying to comment on my blog, but can't.

What are your views on blogging awards? Do you think they serve a purpose? Have you ever received any?

Please see the end of this post for a few other questions I have for you . . .  and please weigh in!

(Note: This was first published as a page on this site. I’ve deleted the page and am republishing it as a post instead, because I’m still proud of my “newbie” accomplishments from last year!)

Awards for l’il ol‘ me?

Wording Well used to be called Lorraine Reguly’s Life (back when I was a newbie blogger). Lorraine Reguly’s Life received many awards. I’m proud of them all, too! 🙂

What awards are for

Awards seem to be mainly for “new” bloggers, don’t they? Newbies are recognized in the blogosphere through them. Awards provide recognition and inspiration. They are like a pat on the back from an older sibling or parent. They also help you connect with other bloggers, and even offer a new blogger a few backlinks.

What else are awards for? Read More

Getting Back to Basics with This Darn Blog

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It has come to my attention – actually, it’s always been in the back of my mind – that my new website is not that great.

I agree.

Are you surprised?

Don’t be.

Remember, I’m still a fairly new blogger; even though I have been doing this blogging thing for over a year now, I have only been a website owner for a mere few months!

Truthfully, it’s exhausting, sometimes, too.

Boring, Basic, Blogging Responsibilities

Before I tell you of my plan for getting back to the basics of blogging on this darn blog, I want to point out that there is a lot of boring work involved in maintaining a website. I don’t like these basic responsibilities, I didn’t expect them, and I didn’t think they would annoy me so much when I asked these numerous questions about moving websites.

I don’t like having to deal with the crappy parts blogging brings, like checking my spam folder for comments that are actual comments and NOT spammy comments, constantly updating all of my plugins, trying to improve the speed of my site, fixing broken links (even a plugin doesn’t do the whole job), and. . . the list goes on and on.

It’s a hassle.

Then there’s the whole promotion of my site.

I don’t like being one of those people who use social media to get discovered. Marketing just isn’t my thing. But it’s all a part of blogging, regardless of who you are and what type of blog you have.

My main problems are that I want to be Superwoman, doing everything myself, and I don’t always know how to do it all. I’m not talking about time management issues here; rather, I’m talking about being the owner of a successful site that provides great content and makes money, too.

I haven’t even started with Adsense or Adwords or whatever the heck it’s called right now.

Instead, I have been learning about some of the new SEO (search engine optimization) methods and even some coding (!) to help me become a better blogger.

And now my head is filled with all sorts of geeky knowledge that has turned my brain to gobbledygook.

In recent months (basically, since moving to my own self-hosted site), I have found myself caring about things that never crossed my mind before. PageRank (PR) was not in my lexicon before I owned a computer! I also didn’t care about it, either, when I had a free blog, until my free blog somehow got rated as having a PR of 2. While this is not great, it’s not that bad, either, for someone blogging on a free platform!

The thing is, I’ve lost sight of why I began blogging to begin with. My recent contact and interview with The Productive Superdad made me reconsider my initial reasons, though.

The secret code?

I have even learned some HTML code! Even though I don’t truly understand how it all works, I have to admit that there are certain instances where knowing certain pieces of code comes in handy.
I can highlight text. (You can, too, with this tutorial!)

I can create boxes to put around the text.
I can change the colors of both the highlighted text and also the colors of the boxes, using hex code, and can combine them, too!

I can create page jumps (and did many in both this tutorial post I wrote as well as in my web hosting guide).

Coding, even though I don’t understand it, is not that hard to do if someone gives you the code to do it! I have to give a shout out Greg Narayan (from Dear Blogger) for providing me with such code. (Thanks, Greg!)

I even created an ebook, 20 Blog Post Must-Haves, which talks about the many different parts of a blog post. You can download it for free when you sign up for my newsletter – another thing I had to learn how to do! (I had to figure out how to make it easily accessible and downloadable!)

Back to Basics

But, getting back to the whole reason why I am writing this right now, and why I began blogging in the first place. . .

Why DID I start blogging?

Everyone has a different reason for creating a blog or a website, and my original reason, basically, was to create an author platform.

Essentially, this meant blogging, getting on social media and connecting with others and somehow obtaining a fan base. It’s kind of strange that I am expected to do all of this without even having a book written! (Yes, two are in the works. Still.)

Of course, I did write a book almost 20 years ago, called The Life and Love of Canadian Poetry: An Interpretative View, but I wrote this for a university course and never expected to make money from it. (If you want to see a video I made about this book, you can watch it here!)

Then I learned of The Writer’s Market – a book that lists just about every publisher there is, along with the types of books that each publishes. Generally, each year’s version is about two inches thick! Yikes. That’s a lot of information!

So far, I own three different volumes. Sigh. Heavy stuff! (Metaphorically AND literally!)

In the 2013 edition of The Writer’s Market, there is a lot of advice about what to do to increase your odds of getting published. I have now done a lot of what was suggested. I started a blog on WordPress, I joined several social media sites and spent months connecting with others and gaining a “following,” and then I even went a step further and got my own hosted website.

After I started blogging, I discovered many different things and got swept up in it all.

But I’ve veered off course from my original goal.

And now, some days, I don’t even want to turn on my computer!

This hurts my heart.

I don’t like feeling this way.

Blogging Basics

Q: How many bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: 100. 1 to change it, and 99 others to tell the first one how it could have been done better.

Giving people what they want is part of blogging. Any blogger will tell you that.

Recently, a discussion I had with Lois (a woman living part of my dream life by taking so many cruises and then blogging about them) revealed to me a few things she didn’t like about my new site.

One of these things was the comment form.

I thought that using the CommentLuv plugin would attract more comments from readers. Ironically, the opposite has happened. Granted, I have never gotten tons of comments on my blog posts like some bloggers I know do, but I did have a lot of interactions with many of my readers.

To rectify this problem, I have now disabled the plugin and am now using the default comment form that is a part of WordPress.

Hopefully, this will make commenting easier!

I have also chosen to moderate comments again so that I can be sure of what is getting posted on my site, and also so that I can ensure I respond to each and every one!

I’m also going to add a more personal touch to my posts and try not to be so serious and informative all the time. Just because I’m a teacher doesn’t mean I should be teaching you things all the time, does it?!?

Naturally, I will share things with you and will still respond to readers’ requests for specific posts – like I did when I wrote the post about how to get free social media buttons for your blog.

I want to help you, too, however I can.

Answering comments and connecting with others is one of my favorite parts of blogging. Some might say, “That’s what social media is for,” (and they are right) but so is writing in a personal blog!

So that’s my plan.

Now, tell me, does this sound good to you?

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P. S. Don’t forget to grab your free ebook: 20 Blog Post Must-Haves. A link will be sent to you once this form has been submitted!

 

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young / FreeDigitalPhotos.net