Thursday, October 19, 2017

Can You Write 500 Words a Day?

Sounds easy, right?

And then you could easily convert those words into a print book on Amazon’s CreateSpace platform as well. I have to tell you I sell more of my Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook in print version these days than I do on Kindle and the price difference is significant.  We’re talking $.99 on Kindle versus $6.49 in print. (Note: not a huge royalty difference since print is so expensive for them to process but still … my print books are floating around in people’s kitchens!)

The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook has 13,531 words. It contains 35 recipes, 13 dessert recipes, and a large chapter on meal planning.

My point is that you have still come to the right place because quite often you can rework your parenting magazine articles and turn them into some sort of compilation. You could work with another author/writer to make a book of parenting essays that is humorous or honest or even sad.

Common sense says: don't take your article word for word and plop it into an e-book. Also, make sure that you are still giving quality to the reader. You definitely want to do at least 10,000 words to make it an e-book on Kindle and a little more to be in print to have it a decent size to have a spine.

P.S. This post is just over 500 words and I dictated it while walking to a convenience store! If I can dictate 500 words in minutes while multitasking (not a huge fan of multitasking anymore but walking and writing I can get on board with), you can do it while commuting to work each day, while breastfeeding your child, maybe even while making dinner. Did you know on the iPhone headphones the microphone is very close to your face so you don’t have to hold the phone up to your mouth? Hands-free dictation rocks.

17 Tips to Get More Blog Traffic (updated and growing!)

So I've been trolling some blogs and want to give some tips. These are some recent changes I've made on a few of my own blogs that seem to have made a difference:

  1. Head to LinkWithin and sign up. This is how I get those boxes below each post that suggest other pages readers might want to view. This is a great way to get people to explore your blog and other posts they might like. More page views = more ad money sometimes.
  2. When you're ready, apply at BlogHer to get some ads, which don't pay by clicks, but by page views.
  3. Have tabs along the top of your blog. If you can't figure out how to do this, just ask me and I'll post the html code I use for Blogger in a special blog post for everyone.
  4. Go to AddThis and sign up. I have seen my posts tweeted and shared a ton since I did this and put it at the top of my blogs. Also, it makes it easy for YOU to quickly tweet any post from the past you might want to direct readers to again. AddThis sends you a weekly update on your viral lift and shows how just one share can lead to so many clicks.
  5. Make sure you have a Twitter account, and link it everywhere! To gain followers, FOLLOW!
  6. Have a Facebook page dedicated to your site, be it a blog or a business or whatever. Sign up for Networked Blogs.
  7. I was sending out my entire blog posts to email subscribers but have changed that so now they get a few lines only. I am a bloggy tease, it is true, but I get more traffic because my email subs now have to come to the blog to see the post ... and are more likely to comment and stick around a while.
  8. Oh, and I like to put the popular posts down the side, as well. I like to personally see what people are checking out so I can give them more of the same. 
  9. Get a Google+ account. When I make updates to posts I have the option of sending the post out to all my Google+ people, which are often different from my other social media contacts.
  10. Make sure you are on LinkedIn. Connect accounts so your Twitter posts post on your LinkedIn wall, etc.
  11. If you are a writer, make sure your site is showing up in your byline on any articles you write.
  12. Sign up at Feedburner. I did this a long time ago, but didn't have it set up correctly and was missing out on tons of traffic somehow (don't ask me how it works, just that you can get a widget to see how many people are checking out your site using a feed). Make sure you check out the "Optimize" and "Publicize" tabs and activate all you can!
  13. Grab yourself a Facebook Like button for your site so people can Like from afar. You can do that here.
  14. Don't try to be someone you are not. Be yourself, and that may take you a little time to put into practice. It took me almost FOUR YEARS to start seeing decent traffic.
  15. Hit some blog hops, and make sure you are also checking out other blogs. You can't just sit back and wait for everyone to come to you but never visit another person!
  16. Get a Hootsuite account (free version) and schedule some love for your posts so they are not rotting. You know you have some great content that is old and needs some new social media life. And maybe a new graphic as well?
  17. Get something like CommentLuv so comments link back to a person's email and website. It's also cool to be able to reply to a specific comment instead of across-the-board like you currently have to do on Facebook.
  18. Hop on and start answering questions people have ... answer in part and then send them to a blog post you have written on the topic :)
More to come as I figure this out the hard way!!!!! Please sign up for an email subscription so you'll be one of the first to know when my books come out on ways to make money from home!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Nifty 15 by Honoree Corder and My 100 Days Chart

I have a new writer girl crush and her name is Honoree Corder. You can check out The Nifty 15: Write Your Book in Just 15 Minutes a Day here and then I suggest you also follow her on Amazon so you always know when she comes out with something new. While I'm driving home from taking my teens to jobs and countless activities, I am also reading/listening to her Prosperity for Writers and You Must Write a Book.

Here's the review I left for this book, but please know that I am also planning on applying this to my article writing as well. Fifteen minutes a day carved out just for that purpose would yield an article every couple of weeks pretty easily. That could mean 12-24 articles for your stable of articles every year, depending on if you are writing quick regional parenting pieces or longer, national pieces that require queries. Every single year! You are not some flash in the pan writer ... you are in this for the long haul and you need to write every day to keep up the habit.

"Just the kick I needed. Yes, I already have a couple of books I have self-published and I did those in increments of whenever-the-baby-is-sleeping or early-in-the-morning until I couldn't think anymore. Lately I'm finding it harder to focus and needed a set amount of time to just sit and do it. And know that I had done it that day and that I didn't have to do anymore. But once I get started, it's like sex ... you get going and you want to keep going. I'm excited to see what happens with each of my projects in 100-day sets. I found a 100 days of school graphic/game that I printed out to color in each day that I do what I'm supposed to do. I'm actually coloring in every 15 minutes I do. I could do days or increments, either one works to make progress. I just like to see that I'm doing SOMETHING; otherwise it's easier to only do my proofreading work or find excuses to watch Scandal. Rock on, Honoree! Moving on to your next book and the next ... thank you!"

So instead of making my own thing from scratch, I Googled "100 Days Writing Chart" and came up with a 100 days of school chart! It printed a little grainy but it will work for my purposes. If I miss a day, I have to write for 15 extra the next day. I printed one out for each project. I'd love to have a full hour a day to work on 4 different projects because it's hard for me to focus on just one thing to completion, but we all work differently :-)

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Regional Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Write Timely Articles Parenting Magazine Editors Want to Purchase

As parenting magazine writers, we all need ideas for articles to write about all year long.

Do you feel like you have written everything you have to say on the topic of birthday parties or camp or holidays?

Need some inspiration because your brain has run dry?

Check out this site. Turns out there are not only those obvious and popular things we knew about like Valentine's Day in February, but also things that should be on our radar like Black History Month ... and did you know that February 20 is Love Your Pet Day? What a great time to whip out that piece about whether or not your kid should get a pet. Or maybe you sold it in December about getting a pet for Christmas and it just needs a little tweak and a re-send.

To me, this is writing idea GOLD. I am brainstorming like crazy because the regionals work a few months ahead. Some have their editorial calendar all laid out for the whole YEAR, but I get quite a few last-minute assignments, so it  never hurts to have some of these babies in your stable of articles.

Now get your butt in your seat and WRITE! Or, you can try what I do and dictate into your phone while you are driving or walking for exercise or waiting for kids to come out of something. At least get the ideas down and they will start ruminating in your head and turn into an article with a little research, maybe a human quote or two, and a lot of crafting and care.

I'm working on a companion workbook for this baby!

And when you're ready to send your piece to over 250 markets, just grab my book (7th edition on the way but if you get the 6th edition it's cheap now and you get access to the updates blog post here so I don't leave you out in the cold, writer friend!). You can get it on Kindle right this very second and dive on it, you can read it FREE on Kindle Unlimited (click below to try it out for free for 30 days), or you can get the print version (in 2 days if you have Prime!). Good luck to you!

Benefits of KU and why I have been a member for over a year:

Membership program offers special benefits for just $9.99 per month: *Unlimited reading from over 1 million ebooks *Unlimited listening to thousands of audiobooks *Read on any device

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Regional Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Time Management for Writers at Home

Tonight I was doing random household tasks and thinking about how much writing and proofreading work I still had to do. I thought about all the laundry, dishes, homeschooling, meals, phone calls, errands and details I handle or take care of every day and how often people are amazed that I can crank out articles and ebooks while (mostly) keeping my sanity, maintaining marriage and having a blast with my kids.

And it came to me.

We all have the same amount of time every day to with what we want/need to do.

So how do I fit it all in?
  1. Well, I start by making sure I get enough sleep so I am in premium condition. I don't try to get by on 6 hours when I know I need 8 to be a kind, functioning human being.
  2. I plan our meals in advance so I'm not scrambling at the last minute for something for us to eat. I try to double meals when I make them so I have another in the freezer for another time.
  3. I make a Work Sandwich. I do a chunk of my work in the morning when most of the kids are asleep, then fill up the Attention Tanks of my kids the rest of the day. At night when they are worn out and watching a movie, I flop down by them with my laptop and crank out another hour or so of work.
  4. I do things as fast as I can and try to focus on one task at a time. It's hard! But if I keep getting distracted, ADD-style, the job takes FOREVER!
  5. I keep a list in pencil of everything I need/want to do and put a number priority next to each thing up to only 10. As I finish something, I erase it. That leaves room for something else to fill its spot, but hopefully only after I've finished two more things!!!! Update: I use Pilot FriXion Clicker Retractable Erasable Gel Pens now and use a Moleskine Classic Notebook for a bullet journal!
  6. Oh, and of course I have the kids help out around the house. After all, I'm working to pay for gymnastics and other fun things, so they can certainly toss the dry laundry in a basket and bring it up to my bedroom, right?
I'd love to hear how you get it all done! Even if your kids are in school during the day while you work from home, I'm pretty sure you still have some challenges with keeping on task. How do you power through?

And speaking of SAVING TIME, I have saved you hours by compiling editor email addresses and popping them into this affordable book full of advice, tips and writer's guidelines.

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Regional Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Friday, September 1, 2017

How to Use HootSuite to Schedule Social Media for FREE!

It didn't take me long to figure out that social media was where a lot of my traffic was coming from for blogging and other writing. I used to write at Bubblews before they went defunct, where my pay was based on views, likes and comments, and I needed to get the word out about pieces I wrote or I didn't make much money. 

I knew I couldn't sit on Twitter or Facebook or other social media all day spamming my followers with message after message ... I don't want to alienate my readers!

Solution: HootSuite!

It's free! (unless you want the fancy version that gives you all the reports)

Here's what you do:

1. Go to HootSuite and sign up.

2. Add your FIVE social networks that you send info to the most. Options include Twitter, Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, WordPress. I have a little owl icon at the top of my toolbar in Chrome. I click on him and then choose up to five different places to send my post or message. I usually choose my Facebook fan page for The Kerrie Show for general items because I have that set up to also automatically tweet everything that hits there.

Sometimes I pick other places to send my message, like to my Homeschooling Mommybot Facebook fan page or to the fan page for THIS blog!

3. Find a post you want some love on.

4. Add an image if it doesn't already show up on the HootSuite box.

5. HootSuite shortens the link for you! Then you can tailor the message if you like.

6. Click on the calendar to schedule your message for whenever you want it to hit. I do love, however, the Auto Schedule option, which takes it out of your hands and spaces messages far enough apart so as to not spam your followers, plus it apparently sends messages at optimal times somehow.

Talk about making money while you sleep! You could schedule a bunch of tweets overnight for your worldwide fan base and wake up with a nice amount in your AdSense account or find that affiliate links have been clicked or, like used to happen for me, that your Bubblews amount increased incredibly!

If this post confounds you, just check on YouTube because there are how-to videos that show you step-by-step ways to set this up and use it.

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Regional Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

GIVEAWAY! Print Edition of "Make Money to Write About Your Kids" 6th Edition

It's time for a giveaway of a print copy of Make Money to Write About Your Kids: Get Published in Regional, National & Online Parenting & Family Magazines!!!!!! To be perfectly honest with you, I am purging my home because we are hoping to move sometime and I found a pristine copy of the book and wanted to give it away to someone who might love it!

If you blog or write, you need this book! If you like to make money, you need this book! If you want to work from home and be with your kids or write while on vacation or while traveling or on the go, you need this book!

There are 285 markets in this book and I add new ones in the Updates section of this site and make sure to update email addresses and pay information as well! Oh, and did I mention I am ACCESSIBLE?! Yep, you can find me on email or Facebook in my group Regional Parenting Magazine Writers if you want to ask me any questions about getting published!

And yes, the 7th edition is still in the works so make sure you check this UPDATES page if you get email bouncebacks :-)

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Regional Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!


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