Monday, April 22, 2019

6 Useful Writing Prompts to Expand Your Creativity


Stimulate Your Creativity

All writers need a little push once in awhile.

From fiction writers to non-fiction writers alike they all use creative writing prompts to help form ideas.

It can be of real value to do a quick side-step, instead of diving straight into a writing piece.  Doing something totally off topic, and using warm-up exercises to get your creative juices flowing.

Many fiction writers turn to prompts for character development, or plot creation.  For non fiction writers it can be used as a technique or tool to improve their writing technique.


Expand Your Productivity

You can use writing prompts in a variety of ways:

  • By raising your output and inspiration, lowering your expectation on a project.
  • By making you more confident to write off the cuff.
  • By allowing you to stretch yourself, practice your writing techniques and styles without losing connection to your main project.
  • By enabling to put your thoughts directly onto the page, free of boundaries and border like you would when you write normally.
  • Unleash Your Full Writing Potential

Doing the above can be really difficult when you feel like your stuck in a rut, try these writing prompts, and kick-start your writing:

1. Create a Lesson

Pretend your going to tutor somebody, choose a subject, and write a short, concise lesson as if it were going into print tomorrow.


 Use this book for scripts, blogs, journals, or impressing potential clients.
 
2. Write 200 Words About Yourself

Use 200 words to define who you are.

Simply write 200 words about your life and who you are.

Choosing the right words will force you to make difficult choice about how to use those words.  Try doing this from a few different perspectives.

3. The 10 Steps... Challenge


...on how not to be mistaken for a car when you're out in the desert.

Writing non fiction doesn't need to be boring, or dull, you can be as imaginative as any fantasy writer.

Using a really crazy setting, like the one above, will help you to reach for new words and phrases, and really extend your writing skills.

4. Your Deepest Desire as a Writer

Use your end goal, the desire you want more than anything.

The really good stories come from the yearning and desire you hold deep inside.

Use the aspiration you cling to make your writing better.

5. Your Imaginary Journey

Create an imaginary journey in your mind and write about it.

You could use something mundane as your trip to the supermarket, or walk to the local park.  The subject matter doesn't matter, it's how you write about it that really counts.

Write about your own physical adventure, making it as compelling as you can.

6. Write a Lesson for a 10 Year Old

Pretend your writing a lesson for a 10 year old.

This technique will help you explain something to someone with little to no knowledge.  This will help you see the areas you miss when you're trying to write a blog post.

Finding Writing Skills You Thought You Never Had

Writing prompts allow you to go the extra mile, their useful when you really need inspiration, or fall foul of writers block

But aren't meant to be overused.

Remember to get what you need out of the prompt, then move on.


Friday, April 19, 2019

How to be a Successful Writer on Social Media


Social media is being used by thousands of writers around the world to promote their work, and hopefully get their face seen by a publisher.

Here are a 10 points to start you on your road to writing success with the help of social media.


How Writers Can Find Success on Social Media

1. Your writing should always take first place.  Without your writing you wouldn't have anything to promote, so make sure it's always first on your list.

2. Try all platforms, start with one, then another.  After you're comfortable with more than a couple, start looking into other networks, because you don't know how successful you'll be until you try.

3. Open your profiles up to the public, but make sure you only include the information you want people to know about yourself.


4. Customise and brand your social media platforms.  Create a consistent brand on all, including a bio, tagline, and let others know what you're about.

5. Be regular and consistent on all platforms, this means you need to post regularly (if you can).

6. Look for like-minded individuals like yourself, you can do this across all of your platforms by simply searching or clicking on social media buttons on sites. 

7. Along with your own blog posts, share other bloggers posts to, this is called content curation.  You may pick up some new followers along the way.

8. Share your work, and use these sites as a platform to share work you've had published including, free eBooks, paperback books, papers you've written.  This is your chance to showcase your work, and get as many people interested as possible.

9. Avoid the hard sell on social media, people will soon stop engaging with you. Instead use the 80/20 rule, 80% of your social media posts should inform, educate, and entertain your audience, while the other 20% should directly promote your own blog or business.

10. Tailor your approach according to the platform your using.  And always put your writing first.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Checklist for an Effective Social Media Profile


The first thing people see when they discover your page on social media is your profile.  That's why you need to make it memorable.

Here are a list of 12 points to make your profile stand-out from the crowd.

1. Look at the profiles of other people in your niche, and learn from them.

2. Make your impression good first-time around, show people what you stand for.

3. Get the basics right, and make your username the same as your blog, let your followers know who you are, and include links from your profile, to and from your blog.


4. Create the right tone on each platform, and use this across the board on all of your platforms.

5. Show people your credibility through books you've written, or awards you've won.

6. Let your personality shine through, and show people your life outside of work, make things light  and interesting.

7. Pick a good picture of yourself, and give your profile a human face.

8. Make sure you brand all of your social media platforms, most platforms allow you to do this.

9. Employ keywords and phrases, avoid lengthy dull descriptions, and focusing on your blog values and credentials.

10. Make your profile as interesting as possible, avoid ranting, and a long boring detailed history of your blog or company.

11. Update your profile regularly, include your successes, but make sure you post regular updates.

12. Make your profile a place for people to connect with you.


Friday, April 12, 2019

What You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest


Making money on Pinterest has become a key part of making money online for many writers.  As I've explained in previous chapters, social media can be one the main places to start an income stream.

Many social media user don't even have a blog.

To really make money it takes time and patience to master, but when you do you'll have the start of what will become a very worthwhile income stream for you and your business.


How Does Affiliate Marketing Work on Pinterest?

Pinterest users have been doing this since 2018, and most pinners have been getting great results.  With 200 million active users worldwide, the world's your oyster on Pinterest.

Here are three tips to get you start with your affiliate links on Pinterest:

1. Develop Pinterest Boards to Display Products

Branding your Pinterest boards will make you and your business look more professional, and it will give people the opportunity to see that you're serious without too much reading.

Once you've given your Pinterest profile a clear description, each board requires a relevant title and short description to let your followers know what they're looking at.

All the boards you create should include relevant pins on that particular subject, and if you have a blog, make sure you're regularly posting on Pinterest.  You want to become a resource for other like-minded bloggers.

Now that you've established your boards it's time to think about adding affiliate links.

2. Choose Appropriate Affiliate Products to Add to Your Boards

Once you've signed up to an affiliate program it shouldn't be too difficult to choose which board to pin your products to.

Pinning an affiliate link is much the same as normal pinning, with the added difference that your adding your description, affiliate link and disclosure.

Quick note: 

The FTC requires you disclose all your affiliate links on all social media platforms you're using.  You can do this by simply adding one of the following hashtags #Ad #affiliatelink #sponsored.

According to this article from Amazon Associates blog it is acceptable to pin Amazon affiliate links.

Related: 4 Great Reasons to Use Fotor for Blogging


Conclusion

If done properly affiliate marketing on social media can help grow your audience, and open up a doorway to extra revenue for your business.

Start out gradually using the tips above, and see what works best for you.  By testing the waters early you'll start to discover what your audience wants.

Tell me your thoughts on using affiliate links on Pinterest, and what experiences you've had so far.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

How to Generate Blog Post Ideas

(Blog post updated 10/04/2019)



How long does it take to form blog post idea?

Often ideas an just pop into your head and you don't get the chance to write your thoughts down properly.

Follow the 8 simple steps below to make an idea into a blog pot:

1. Make notes

Have a notebook and pen at hand, when you're out and about.  I've mentioned this is in a couple of other blog posts.  Scribble down ideas that pop into your head. 

Notebook and Pen
2. Look back on old notes

Yes even past notes you taken can help you think of new ideas. 


3. Fuse ideas together

Often a number of ideas will bring you to one conclusion, when you're thinking of new blog post ideas.

4. Early draft

Start writing your draft early, it may help to shake some things loose in your brain.  Once you start on one idea, your imagination will take hold, and do the rest for you.

5. Make a favourites list out of relevant blog posts from other bloggers

Favourites lists can be really handy, especially when you're all out of ideas.  By having a collection of posts at hand, you can run through them and take your ideas from there.

6. Get a second opinion

Run your post ideas over with family and friends to see if there's anything you may have missed.

7. Compose your final draft

After all of your thinking, note taking and drafts have been done, you can sit down and write your final draft, tweaking it if need be.  From one simple idea, you may have discovered a series of posts instead of just one.

8. Publish

You can sit back and relax, until your next articles need to be written.

Tell me your thoughts on blog post ideas in the comments below.


Monday, April 08, 2019

How to Properly Promote Affiliate Links on Twitter


Many bloggers are against affiliate marketing on social media, because it can often lead to followers leaving them.

However, if done in the right way, with the right attitude, can lead to a win win situation between the affiliate marketer and his/her followers.


If affiliate marketing is part of your revenue stream it's important for it to be done in the right way.

Here are some tips to take note of when you post affiliate links on Twitter.

Points to think about before you post affiliate links on Twitter

1. Are your products relevant?

Many people post links that have nothing to do with what they're actually write about, which isn't clever.  Posting links like this holds little water with your audience, and will potentially annoy your readers.  Always make sure the products you're promoting are relevant to your brand.

2.  Use links from products you've tried out

People often add affiliate links from products they've tested themselves.  Giving their own mini review through a Twitter post.  People like personal recommendations, and are more likely to use them if they've been recommended to them.

3. Use affiliate links to start a conversation

Affiliate links can be used as part of a conversation on Twitter, and can be slipped in at the appropriate time, with a small declaration that they are affiliate links.  The opposite of this particular tactic would be the use of 'cold calling' which can often be a put off.

4. Use affiliate links indirectly

This can be done through blog posts, and is less intrusive than an direct link tweet.  You can do this through product reviews and best of lists.

5. Post affiliate links judiciously

When it comes to posting affiliate links, there are many different thoughts and methods.  But the amount of times you post a link can matter to your audience.  People automatically switch off when they're bombarded with too many messages to buy all of the time.  Try the less is more approach, if you're already posting affiliate links, look at your analytics, that can be the key to knowing if you're posting too many links at a time.

If you're not posting any links at all on your Twitter feed, start gradually, by posting a one may be once a week to begin with.  You'll soon know if you're links are liked or not by your audience.

 6.  Understand what your audience wants

The best way to know if you're being successful with your affiliate links is to check your analytics and if you're making any money out of the links you're adding.  

7. Post affiliate links that are valuable to your followers

This goes right back to the point about being relevant.  It's surprising what you discover about your audience by what they purchase through Amazon.  There's no doubt that you'll get a lot of clicks, but conversions take time, and gaining trust from audience.

The End Game


I know a lot people won't agree with my opinion about affiliate marketing on Twitter, but I do think at the end of the day if you want to make money online you have to test all the avenues you can find.

It can take a while before your audience is trusting enough to start clicking and buying any of your affiliate products.  But by not trying you'll never know.

Let me know your thoughts on affiliate marketing on Twitter in the comments below.