Friday, May 19, 2017

Why It's Good to Take a Breather from Writing

The title sounds crazy, I know, but there's nothing wrong in chilling out every once in a while.

If you're routine is writing regularly then you know how it feels to get things out on time.  Making your publishing deadline is no easy task these days.  Life has become a lot harder, with more things to think about financially, just knowing you have a bit of security.

I try to stick to my day-to-day routine every week but it doesn't always work out that way.  Life gets in the way and things fall behind and don't get done.  But like everyone else I deal with it in my own particular way and push on.

The importance of having that time out from writing can't really be measured.  Every time you sit down to write your thoughts need to be fresh.  If you're starting to feel burnt out, then you know you have a problem.  If you have that nagging feeling that you're just too tired and can't be bothered.  Then its time to take stock of your situation.

Stand back and take note of how many things you're juggling in your life.  We all juggle too many balls sometimes, and we just need to let go.

If you really want to be a writer you have to work out a routine that works for you and gives you enough rest time to recoup your thoughts.

Simple truth is you need a good work, life balance.  You should be writing because you enjoy it not as a necessity.  If you're passionate about you don't need any kind of motivation.

Take it in your stride.

I'd love to hear your comments about your writing routine.

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

Monday, May 15, 2017

What is the Difference Between a Blog Post and an Article?

I learnt a valuable lesson recently, there is a difference between an article and a blog post.  I always assumed they were both the same thing.  It turns out I had my facts wrong.

Here are the 6 differences between articles and blog posts:

1.  Voice

When blogs were originally created they were written in the first person i.e. "I" or "me" because they were written as a daily journal.

Articles are usually written using "you" and "your", "them" and "they", in the third voice.  They don't express any individual or personality but always have an authoritative tone.

2.  Duration

Usually an article will be between 5000-1000 words where as a blog post about 300-500 words.  People prefer to skim through blog posts, but spend more time reading an article.

3.  Approach

Articles are factual documents rather than someones opinion.  They're always backed up with facts and statistics.  A blog post is usually an opinion or thought, backed up by statistical information and facts.

4.  Pitch

When you read an article you feel like you're being taught something from an authoritative figure.  When you read a blog post it's like speaking to a close friend.

5.  Production

Articles are usually published about once or twice a week, just like they would be in a weekly paper or magazine.  Blog posts are kept up-to-date regularly, sometimes even daily depending on the blogger.  Articles aren't expected to be read as frequently.

6.  Crossover

This is where it can be a bit confusing, some bloggers will refer to their blog posts as articles even though they are filled with their own thoughts and opinions and written in the first person.  The key thing to understand about an article is that it should be technical and informative to the reader, unlike a blog post which is personal and conversational.

Friday, May 12, 2017

5 Best Writing Courses Online to Help You Become a Better Writer

I've picked out courses that will help you master the skill of writing, so that you can use it on your blogs, writing eBooks, even essays etc.

These courses are all video lectures so be sure to take plenty of notes to.

I hope you enjoy this list and that it's helpful to further your writing.

1.  Writing With Flair - How to Become an Exceptional Writer

Created by Shani Raja you can dramatically improve your writing quality within days, your blog posts and articles will look more professional and your writing will stand out from those of your peers, colleagues and competitors.

2. Writing With Impact - Writing That Persuades

Created by Dr Clare Lynch gain confidence as a blogger and writer, learn how to target words at your reader.  Discover how you can hook your audience from the outset for maximum persuasive power.  Help your reader to understand the world your way.  Find out how you can edit your work professionally so that you you mean exactly what you say.

3. Ninja Writing - The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

Created by Shani Raja, create spellbinding text and tap into the power of narrative, paragraphs, sentences and words.  Discover the secrets of top editors and transform yourself into a masterful writer in days.

4.  The Complete Freelancing Writing Course

Created by Philippa Davies, write for podcasts and identify opportunities for paid writing work. Discover how to write to influence and pitch effectively.  Find out how to coach yourself and become a better writer.  Write speeches, apps and presentations.

5.  Writing So Hot It Burns

Created by Joan Parisi Wilcox, master the skills of descriptiveness, accuracy and passion.  Create writing that jumps out of the page and learn how to develop the habit of reading as a writer.  Become an expert wordsmith and learn how to flex your writing muscles.

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

Monday, May 08, 2017

Why All Bloggers Should Learn How to Touch Type

I learnt how to touch type over 25 years ago, and haven't looked back since.  It wasn't long before I realised  just how valuable that skill would be when creating and typing out blog posts.

Why not bite the bullet and learn how to type properly.  You'll quickly find an increase in your productivity and success.

It seems like such an unpopular subject, but if you really want to take your blogging to another level...Learn Touch Typing!

Why Learning to Type is So Important for a Blogger

The simple truth is that the average person uses one or two fingers of each hand, managing 40-60 wpm (words per minute).  When you learn to touch type that speed increases to a speedy 60-100 wpm.

When you're blogging you're always looking up information on Google being able to type out a particular subject or phrase you're interested in takes half the time if you can type it out properly.  The quicker you can manage to type, the quicker you can get through your blog posts and move on with your daily routine, which makes you more productive and lets you:

✶Finish and complete tasks more easily

✶Achieve more a limited time

✶Complete more assignments in a month

✶More free time to think of new ideas

✶Try out alternatives

Its certainly true using a mouse quickly also helps but think about how often you use your keyboard when you're online.  You'll be surprised how fast your brain can work and when your fingers can't type fast enough.

What is Touch Typing?

Don't think that touch typing is anything extraordinary, just a very simple process.  This is how it works.

You start by placing your hands on the middle row, on the letters a s d f and j k l. Using your thumb on the space bar, your eyes are on the screen and in your fingertips.  When you start learning you memorise each key position.  With practise your body (physical memory) remembers which key to hit.

With a bit of practise it starts to become second nature, and a very satisfying way to work.  You're not constantly looking down at the keyboard and you start to pick up on typing errors and correct them instantly.

The beauty of touch typing is that it allows your mind to be on other things, such as a novel you may be writing or a blog post.

What's the Catch of Learning Touch Typing?

You have to be open to learning a new of typing and be able to stop doing it the old way.  Yes, it will be a little slower for a couple of months, but think of the long term benefits.  These out way that short learning period and become invaluable as a blogger.

How to Learn Touch Typing

You need to commit to learning to type properly, and then its practise, practise, practise.

There are a number of ways of learning:

I learned at college, but you can do it in your home on your laptop or on your pc.

✶You can buy a book from Amazon and Touch Type in Ten Lessons

✶Use a software program such as Learn to Touch Type 

✶Join a course on Udemy and Learn to Type

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

Friday, May 05, 2017

My 8 Favourite Blogs About Blogging 2017

When I surf the internet I'm always on the look out for blogs about blogging to quench my blogging thirst.  I must read hundreds of blogs without realising it.  Of course most of those I can do without. But I always bookmark my favourite articles.

I've showcased 8 of my favourites below:

1. Problogger

Started back in 2002 Problogger is one of many blogs written by Darren Rowse.  This guy really knows his stuff.  If you're not sure about where to start or what to write about, I recommend you start reading some of the articles about blog content, making money etc.

2. Seedtime (Christian Personal Finance)

Seedtime was started by Bob Lotich about 10 years ago.  He helps people in debt and also helps those wanting to start their own blog or business online.

3. Helplogger

A handy go-to blog if I get stuck on anything full of tips on blog design, widgets, SEO and making money online.

4. The Minamilists

Started by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus to help people live more meaningful lives with less through their website.  They help you with all kinds things like productivity, which is handy when you want to make your life a little simpler, or create a clean workspace.

5. Copyblogger

Started in 2006 Copyblogger has been ahead of the game helping bloggers create killer content.

6. shoutmeloud

Harsh Agrawal started his blog as a passion now its helping bloggers globally.  Discover how to manage a blog, SEO, social media and make money online.

7. smartblogger

Jon Morry is the author of Smart Blogger back in 2012.  He teaches people about blogging and writing.

Pat Flynn teaches you proven strategies for running your blog as an online business and optimizing it for passive income.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Making Money By Writing Free eBooks

I came across an article recently that really made me think.  When I first started self-publishing I knew that you couldn't insert affiliate links into your eBook then sell it on Amazon or Smashwords. But giving your eBook away for free that's a different thing altogether, you have that extra freedom to put in whatever you want and give it away on any website that allows it.  (Within reason of course)

I'm going to show you how to do this and also how to get your blog name out there and gain some traffic along the way.

1. Choose a Subject 

An obvious starting point, would be to research and see what subject's are the most popular.  Your eBook doesn't need to be very long, about seven or eight chapters.  It's even easier if you have a hobby or an interest in something, then you know the kind of audience to aim your free eBook at.

Once you start writing your eBook you can start looking into affiliate programs.

2. Pick a Suitable Affiliate Program

There are a number of ways you can do this.  You could use specific programs like the Rakuten Affiliate Network, as I mentioned in a previous blog post.  They have educational courses from Udemy you can use to link into to your eBook.

You could try Googling the subject matter you're writing about and add "affiliate programs" and see which companies pop up.  Clickbank is a well-known affiliate program to use, and has a good reputation.

3. Create an eBook

If you've been reading about something recently or have an interest in a particular subject that's a good place to start.  You could also bring together a book of free articles adding recommendations with affiliate links for appropriate products along with an introduction.

You can create your own word document then convert it into a PDF using a free converter online.  You'll find that some people don't like advertising, but if you make you're advertising relevant you won't have many complaints.  Plus the eBook is free and you could remind you readers of this.

4. How to Give Your eBook Way For Free

So this is where you have to get creative.  How do you give away your eBook for free?
Here are a few ways to do it:
  • Email copies to everyone you know
  • Include a download link on your blog
  • Link to Your Download Page on Twitter or Facebook
  • Sign up to free eBook websites and give it away
  • Put it on Google Drive
  • Upload your eBook file to your own server and make it public
  • Upload your file on other web based file sharing such as docstoc and scribd
Find your audience and get your eBook into the hands of readers most passionate about what you've written about.

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