Friday, March 22, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Blog User Friendly

It's now become easier than ever to create a simple website, with so many digital resources available.  In this post we're going to consider five different ways you can bring out the best in your website, using a little technical and marketing know-how, plus some user psychology.

1. Your Website Content is Essential

A large part of growing your readership is understanding the importance of internet marketing.  Hence the phrase  'Content is King', from a title Bill Gates wrote on an essay, and placed on his Microsoft website.  It simply means that the content you write should be your top priority, because it will boost your SEO and help build up links with higher authority sites.

Website take a while to properly mature, but as long as you continue writing, and letting people know where you can be found, your links will start being shared.

Optimising your SEO, is a good place to start, allowing your site to be properly indexed by Google.  Using keywords in your blog posts will help your readers find the information or product/service they need, and will do no harm to your site authority and ranking.

2. Create Blog Content that's Easy-to-Read

We now know how important blog content is, and that it determines how successful your website is going to be.  How you present your content is also significant.  We live in a fast world, and people like to be able to skim over the information they need.  This requires capturing their attention with 'punchy' tag-lines, before you get into the heavier stuff.

The reason people will keep coming back to your website is because they know they can get the information they require.  This can be achieved by creating content that's easy-to-read and digestable. 

3. Incorporate Links in the Right Places

An integral part of website design is knowing where to place links, which help guide your users to particularly important areas of your blog.  You may have a variety of different links on your website, including, affiliate, links to social media, or links to your favourite bloggers.

These links make your website both informative and easy to navigate.

4. Organise Your Content

Make it easy for your readers to access the information they need, by simple menus they can access.  A simple example of this would a simple search bar at the top of the page, that allows your user to put in a search word or phrase.  Or by incorporating a pages bar at the top of the page.

5. Aesthetics Should be Never be Forgotten

If you're blog isn't appealing to the eyes, then great content and cool links won't be enough to keep your users returning.

You can find a wide range of graphic design solutions available.  Incorporating text and photo collage in social media marketing is a great way to maximise these resources, in the same way photo editors can enable you to resize and edit your images, providing you with striking graphic and display options.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

How to Pick a Domain Name

The Business of Choosing a Domain Name

A good place to start is to think about the mix of letters and numbers that will make up your domain name.

Keep your focus on one URL for the moment, before you choose anymore for your blog or business websites.

When You're Purchasing One URL

Easy to recall URLs make the best domain names.

With Social media feeds that seem neverending, 80,000,000 blogs being published a month, and people regularly overloaded with information, things can seem a bit overpowering.

That's why your domain name needs to be memorable, and know that you can easily be found by simply typing it in to any search engine.

Keep it Simple

One of the most simple domain names to use, is your own name.  There are plenty of well-known bloggers who've done that, and gone with the gold standard of

When you're talking to fellow bloggers online, it's easier for them to recall your name, than have to think about what your domain name might be.

Before signing up for a domain think about the direction you want to take with your blog or business.  It's easier to change your blog content and design when you use your own name in your personal brand.

If you've already started looking into using your name, and found it to be a popular choice.  No problem! Here are some alternatives to think about:

  • Use your nickname
  • Use your name and what you do (
Choosing Your Business Name and Domain

You may find it more difficult to match your business name with your domain name, particularly if it's a popular choice.

Here are some ideas to help you pick a suitable business and domain name:

  1. Include your own name in the business name (MinnieWriter)
  2. Use a synonym
  3. Use a different language
  4. Use appropriate industry jargon
  5. Put dashes between your first and last name
  6. Add "the" before your business name
  7. Use a different extension, instead of .com, try .tech or .shop.
  8. Use power words and descriptive adjectives

Find Out Here if Your Url is Available

Bluehost is one of the leading webhost's online today, use this domain checker to look-up which domain names are available now:

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Why Social Media is Essential for Writers

If you're an unknown writer, social media can seem like a blessing.

But at times, also a curse.  Social media marketing is the perfect way to gain coverage for your work as a writer, and it's free!

Many new writers wanting to get published, eagerly throw themselves into the process of learning how to harness Facebook, Twitter and their own blog to them noticed.

Plenty of writer's use social media to market their books and writing, and have become really successful.

Unfortunately using social media, isn't all plain saling, it can take quite a number of years before any fruit is seen from the labout put in. And much of that time is spent on social media, which can take away precious time from writing.

So is social media really worth the time spent on it, for struggling writers out there?

Here are some social media tips to consider before you think about giving up on social media:

Use the platforms that you feel you get the most out of.  You can use platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest to post your links and blog images to regularly.  With a simple schedule and a social media management platform such as Buffer, you an take the pain out of tweeting or pinning. 

Don't overextend yourself too much.  You may not be a full-time writer, having little time when it comes to being active on social media.  On the other hand writing could be your full-time job, and you still don't have enough hours in the day to fit in your time on social media.  Balance is required when using social media, allowing you plenty of time to get the most important job done, your writing.

Decide on your long term goal.  What is your end game?  Do you want to sell your books?  Or may be you want to become an authority figure in your chosen niche online.  Deciding on your goal will help you divide up your time, and become more efficient on social media.

Is Social Media Compulsory for Writers?

I think good writing should be the main priority of any writer, then social media.  You can't promote your work these days without it!

There will be plenty of writers who disagree with me, and who quite happily  get by without social media, but unfortunately for many of us, social media is a lifeline to our audience, and future readers.  What it boils down to:

Writers need to Write

If your internet was down and you couldn't get on any of your social media accounts, sure it would be hard, for a little while. 

Writing is at the heart of what you do, and if you're not on social media, you should be thinking about your next story or idea for a blog post.

I spend my allotted time on social media, six days a week.  And the rest of the time I devote to my writing, and maintaing my blog. I don't feel the need to be on every platfrom The pressure to be on every platform isn't there for me.  At the end of the day you need to do what you feel is comfortable and what you're able to do on social media, to move yourself foward as a writer.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is "just write".

I'd love to hear your thoughts about social media, in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Friday, March 15, 2019

10 Email Ideas to Keep Your Subscribers Interested

Should you send your subscribers a regular newsletter?  Or should let the opportunity pass you by?

To some bloggers creating a newsletter is help, not a hindrance.

Are you using your newsletter to your advantage, and that of your audience?

What I mean is, are you sending out beneficial information about your blog that your readers want to read?

Why You Should Send Regular Newsletter's to Your Subscribers

Newsletter's are part of forming an online relationship with your readers.  Even if  have only a couple of subscribers.  Everyone one of those subscribers has signed up because they're interested in you and what you do.

Some bloggers write a regular newsletter's every week, others prefer once a month, or when they have a new product, or book to sell.

Check out these 10 newsletter ideas:

1. Begin with a Series of Welcoming Newsletter's

If you've used a freebie to draw in subscribers, start building a relationship with them through some simple emails.  Check out these examples below:

  • Say hi, and tell them a little bit about yourself.
  • Ask a question or send out a survey.
  • Send them another freebie in your next newsletter.

2. Tell Your Readers About Your Recent or Past Blog Posts

Many people sign up to a blog just to receive information about recent blog posts.  People love to read new information, plus it's a great way to convert traffic.

3. Tell Your Readers About Some Neat Tips 'N Tricks

Newsletters are great for providing additional information to your subscribers, such as tips 'n tricks. 

4. Get More Traffic to Your Older Blog Posts

You can mention, and link up your older and more popular posts to repurpose your old content.

5. Send Out Invitations for Free Webinars, Podcasts and Events Your Involved In

Many bloggers use these as part of a sales funnel to invite their subscribers to join.

6. Create Surveys and Ask Your Subscribers Questions

Build a relationship with your audience by asking questions.  The more you understand your audience, the bigger it will grow.

7. Tell Them Your Stories

Stories are a great medium to draw your audience in, and more importantly, get to know the real you.

Tell them about your writing failures, how you fixed a problem with your blog, or how you got to where you are today, and where it all started for you.

8. Send Your Subscribers Curated Content that You Would Recommend Reading

Give them a list of posts you read recently in your chosen niche.  This gives you the opportunity to give credit to some of your favourite bloggers.

9. Give Your Readers a Heads Up on Your Social Networks

Chances are you're already on at least one or two of the big social networking channels.  Tell your subscribers about where they can reach you, and how they can contact you through these channels.

You'll soon start seeing some growth on your social media platforms.

10. Tell Your Subscribers About Your Thoughts for the Future

Sharing future plans with your followers shows you want to keep on growing, and want them to follow you on your journey.

Don't be discouraged, remember you'll never please everyone, and you'll always have a close knit community of followers that will stay with you, even when times are tough, eagerly anticipating any newsletters that come their way.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

10 Literary Inspired T-Shirts for Writers

I've put together some of the best designed t-shirts available online for all booklovers.  A way of expressing that your love of books, but also a sophisticated way of showing your favourite author.

Attitudes, characters, as well as interests are expressed in t-shirts, and only the ones that are literary not literal have been chosen.

All suggested t-shirts below come with a description and sizes available.

10 Cool Literary Inspired T-Shirts for Writers

Egar Allan Poe Women's 3/4 sleeve top.  A multicoloured women's 3/4 sleeve  with a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe. The producer guarantees the graphics won't fade or peel after washing.

Available in sizes S - XX-L on Amazon from $29.99

Women's Oscar Wilde All Art is Quite Useless t-shirt, quote t-shirt.

Available in sizes S - 2-XL on Amazon from $27.99 

Sherlock Holmes Women's short-sleeved t-shirt.  This is a simple distressed look graphic print of Sherlock Homes.

Available in sizes S - XL on Amazon from $28.00 

Women's Pride and Prejudice Light Weight Fleece.  Taken from an iconic design of Jane Austens's Pride and Prejudice, printed on a soft blended fleece.

Available in sizes S - L on Amazon $45.00 

Unisex Moby Dick t-shirt.  An original design taken from the classic bookcover by Herman Melville.

Available in sizes X-S - XX-L on Amazon $15.00 


Women's Girl on Fire t-shirt.  Featuring unique artwork inspired by the Hunger Games.

Available in XL on Amazon from $21.38 

Men's I Demand a Trial by Combat t-shirt.  The perfect gift for any Game of Thrones fan.

Available in M on Amazon $19.99

Women's To Kill a Mockingbird inspired vest.  Inspired by one of the greatest ever works of American fiction.

Available in sizes S - XX-L, in Navy or Black on Amazon $27.99

Men's Mr King Presents Pennywise hooded fleece.  Inspired by Stephen King's It this ultra comfortable fleece will keep any Stephen King fan warm.

Available in sizes M - XX-L on Amazon from $49.99

Women's Alice in Wonderland themed t-shirt.  This Alice in Wonderland t-shirt is inspired by the Madhatter's tea party.

Available in sizes X-S - XXX-L on Amazon from $28.00

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Emergence of Social Media in the World Today

Social media has taken up an essential part of most people's time.  Used to find old friends, or even
family, catch up on current events, and it even entertains us.

Worldwide, social media is used by 2.6 billion users.  Way back in 2005, this wasn't always the case, the world hadn't quite caught on to what it was.

Taking  a deeper look into the turbulent history of social media will help us better understand how the world has drastically changed, and is still changing around us.

The Definition of Social Media

What exactly do we mean when we put the words social and media together?  A quick Google search reveals the following definition of social media:

Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

From the above definition two things are projected from this definition:

1. Social media is a form of online communication, or without the internet there would be no social media.

2. Social media survives on content generated by it's users.  Only social networking sites and not usual blogs are included in social media. 

Social media can come under the umbrella of various platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and even GMail.  There are many more websites that offer social networking, once you start delving into how users connect around the world on social media.

A Peek at How Social Media Started

History likes to look at the start of social media, starting at Samuel Morse's first telegraph in the 19th century.  This was sent in 1844 between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

By the original definition of social media, this form of communication doesn't make the grade as a form of communication.  The telegram wasn't part of a larger community or collective, and the communication didn't take place online.  Social media really starts in the 70s at the birth of the internet.

The Expansion of the Internet

Roots were formed in the 60s and 70s when public and private organisations wanted a way to communicate with each other.  It wasn't until the 1980s when personal computers became a part of everyday life that the stage was set for social media.

The ushering in of blogging platforms by the 1990s really kicked off the age of social media.  Once upon a time it seemed strange that anyone would be able to log on to the internet and tell the world about what they were feeling, doing or even thinking that day.  This enabled people to understand and see the significance of where they internet was going.

Early Social Media Sites

The first two social media sites, by using the definition above, were Six Degrees and Friendstar, which no longer exist, even though they played an integral part in starting the social media revolution.

Six Degrees

Regarded as the first socil media site, the Six Degrees website stated that everyone in the world was connected by no more than six degrees of separation.  Linked to the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon theory, which is totally irrelevant to the phenomenon.

Six Degrees was one of the founding pioneers of social media because it allowed people to create individual profiles and add friends to their network.  Launched in 1997 and peaked at around 3.5 million users.  Was bought out by Youthstream Media Networks in 1999 for a cool $125 million, but sadly closed down in 2001.


Friendster emerged in 2002, not unlike Six Degrees, allowing its users to save and make contacts as part of their networks.  Friendster allowed its users to share videos, messages, and photos with other users.  Enabling them to comment on other users profiles, as long as they were in the same network.

Friendster steadily grew, reaching over one hundred million.  By 2011 Friendster was rebranded as a social gaming site.  Keeping it relevant alongside it's main competitors like Yahoo and Google.

Unfortunately it was doomed to fail.  By 2015 all of its services were suspended, and by January of this year, 2019, it shut it's doors completely.

The Start of LinkedIn

Founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue and Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly, and Jean-Luc Valliant.  LinkedIn was one of the first ever social media sites.  Originally setup for professional people, enabling them to connect with old school contacts, and businesses.  This is still LinkedIn's sole purpose.  Ranking number #285 on the Alexa Ranking, and with more than 575 million registered users, it's still one of the most visited sites online today.

The Creation fo MySpace

One of the most popular and influential websites online, MySpace was launched in 2003, and quickly rose in the ranks to be one of the largest social media sites in the world.  Starting as a file storage platform, quickly transitioning into a social network, which gave rise to its huge popularity.

In 2005 many larger companies became interested in buying it, resulting in its sale to Rupert Murdoch, for $580 million.  Not long after, MySpace exceeded Google as the most visited website in the world.

The Fall of MySpace

MySpace was making around $800 million in revenue, but competitor Facebook started to expand its primary audience from college students to anyone, giving it universal appeal.  Myspace quickly went into decline by 2008, and was replaced by Facebook as the most visited website.

Many say that the on-site ads that generated revenue for MySpace were its downfall, these ads overloaded the website, and put many of its users off using it.

Bought out by Time Inc., and then again by the Meredith Corporation, it ranks #4,153 on the Alexa Ranking.

The Birth of Facebook

Founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollom, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes in 2004.  Created specifically as a social media site for Harvard students, quickly spreading across the Ivy League campasses.  Became available to anyone over the age of 13 in 2006. 

Rapidly growing and outstripping MySpace in 2008, ranked #3 on Alexa, quickly following Google and YouTube.

Going public in 2012 with a valuation of $104 billion, one of the highest IPO valuation's ever.  Generating a cool $40 billion a year in revenue, and thought to be one of the most important tech companies in the world to date.

With over 2.3 billion active users, growing consistently since its launch.  Reaches just under 30 percent of the world's population.

The Beginning of Twitter

Started by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in 2006.  Limits its users to only 140 characters per tweet, a policy that only ended in 2017, its character limits were doubled, and all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.  Was valued at $14.2 billion and went public in 2013.  Currently has 335 million active users worldwide.

The Start of Instagram

Launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.  Focusing mainly on videos, photos, and Instagram, grew quickly afters its launch.  Exceeding one million users in just two months.  There are currently 1 billion active users, making it the sixth most popular social media site in the world today.  Bought out by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.

The Rise of Snapchat

Started by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown in 2011.  With a distinctive feature of allowing users to send photos, that would quickly disappear after opening.

Snapchat offers its users the chance to post videos, photos, and stories, and save them for one day. With around 186 million users, very popular among young people.

Social Media in the Current Climate

Social media's history is pretty short, making it no more exciting or influential.  It does, however, play an integral part in the lives of most people around the world.  With a swiftly growing audience, is set to reach over 3 billion users by 2021.

Currently dominated by a small handful of companies, history teaches us that times change.  New technologies are being discovered, and peoples tastes change.  Leaving a landscape of new and emerging platforms for the next generation of users.

Let me know of your experience of social media in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Friday, March 08, 2019

10 Simple Typesetting Rules for Writers

What is Typesetting?

Typesetting is a means of arranging the type, or process the data for text to be printed.

For any beginner self-publisher this information can be really intimidating, especially if you're aiming to create a book that's both elegant and readable.

The definitive guide to using typography in visual communication from the printed page to the computer screen.

This blog post is about the simple rules of typesetting, along with rules and tips for beginners.

Discover 25 of the basic rules of typesetting:

1. You don't need elaborate fonts.

Keep it simple, especially if you don't have the experience.

2. Toss aside Comic Sans

Pretend like you never saw it.

3. Use Default Fonts

Default fonts aren't dull, using Times New Roman can make your text look more readable.

4. Don't combine more than two fonts.

You don't want a mixture of fonts, this will make your book look like a patchwork quilt.  Two is enough.

5. Blend only contrasting fonts.

Blending familiar fonts looks messy.

6. Make your x-height familiar

The x-height is the distance between the baseline of a line of type and tops of the main body of lower case letters.  Make sure you pick typefaces with similar heights when mixing.

7. What your font size should be.

11 to 12 points is enough for a standard size book.

8. Select the best line length.

Best length is considered to be 50-60 characters. 

9. Choose suitable linespacing.

Pick 1.5 lines option, this is suitable for most books.

10. Choose correct paragraph settings.

Fictional books require a small indent at the beginning of each paragraph.  Non-fiction books use blog paragraphs rather than indents.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Why Reading is Valuable for a Writer

Do you ever take the time to sit down and read?

When I say read, I mean anything from a book to a newspaper.

Do you even have a reading habit?

Why Writers Need to Read

I always try to read something even if it's just a newspaper.  In this digital age, I think we've lost to the art of sitting down and reading a book.  Life has become so fast that we don't bother to take the time we should to read. I'm as guilty as anyone for not reading enough.

When you're writing you'll find it even harder to write blog posts if you're not challenging yourself with some form of reading material.

Why All Good Writers Read

You need to read if you want to be a good writer.  You'll gain a greater appreciation and understanding of  the art of language and the way it has been created.

Inspiration for many writers, comes from reading other great writers work.

See below 10 books every writer should read:

1. Classic Science Fiction: War of the Worlds By H.G. Wells

2. War: War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy

3. Romance: Persuasion By Jane Austen

4. Classic Fantasy:  The Mysterious Island By Jules Verne

5. Science Fiction: Ready Player One By Ernest Cline

6. Classic Fantasy:  The Complete Folk and Fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm By Wilhelm Grimm and Jacob Grimm

7. Adventure: The Count of Monte Cristo By Alexandre Dumas

8. Literary: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society By Mary Ann Shaffer

9. Young Adult: The Book Thief By Markus Zusak

10. Mystery: The A. B. C. Murders  By Agatha Christie

What Reading Does for Your Writing

People love reading to find out the ending of a story, but you don't always need to think that way about reading a book.  You can read to garner fresh ideas, discover new words, or just to know why you started writing in the first place.

Here are some points to consider when you read:

Reading Sparks Inspiration

Reading is the source of energy you should get most of your ideas from.

Reading Enlightens Your Pathway

You get a greater understanding about what you're writing about when you know the possibilities of language, and where it can take you.

Ask yourself the next time you're reading a book, what was the writer trying to say when they wrote this book?

Reading Helps You Appreciate Other Authors

You don't need to know a writer to appreciate their work, reading helps you understand their struggles and tribulations, and helps bond all writers together.

All it takes

Start by taking 15 mins a day to read something, whether it be a book, newspaper, or magazine and startt your reading habit today!

Tell me your thoughts in the comments below on how long you spend reading, or books you've read this year.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.