Tag Archives: promotion

Smile: Simple Giving to Favorite Charity

If you are a regular reader here, you know I serve as a foster care provider with Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue.  Being a charity, we are (always) raising funds to keep doing what we do.  We have a new way for you to help … and all you have to do is — SHOP!  You like shopping right?  Do you shop on Amazon.com?

Steele Away Home is an all-volunteer run 501(c)(3) and is now GuideStar accredited and registered with Amazon Smile.  If you select us as your beneficiary, Amazon will donate a percentage of THEIR profits from your purchase to us as your chosen charity. Continue reading Smile: Simple Giving to Favorite Charity

Pottery House Cafe’, An Engagement to Remember

Marie and I rarely eat out.  By rarely I mean almost never.  There’s no reason for it.  We have a fully functional kitchen that is well stocked with foodstuffs.  Marie is an excellent cook and enjoys practicing that art.  Most of the time.  Sometimes she’d rather not.  I am … capable, in the kitchen as well.  I take a turn at the cooking several times a week and neither of us has died.

One occasion when we do eat out is Christmas eve.  This is an annual celebration.  We’re celebrating the anniversary of my proposal of marriage to Marie and her acceptance (she did not need to ponder the proposal for long).

The original event occurred at the Pere Marquette Lodge  near Grafton Illinois.  It’s actually in a state park of the same name.  There is a wonderful, rustic dining hall there, and that’s where I popped the question and bribed her with a ring.

While we lived in the area, we would return to Pere Marquette every year on Christmas eve to celebrate that event.  When we moved away and could no longer get to the actual scene of the event, we found similar locations to stand-in for that lodge on this annual celebration. Continue reading Pottery House Cafe’, An Engagement to Remember

On Seeking Readers

A painter paints pictures hoping that others will see them. A musician plays for the ears of others. An actor or dancer performs for the benefit of an audience. Writers write to inform, inspire, or entertain readers. In each case, these artists are incomplete without their audience.

island_desertedEven print-book authors benefit from running a blog where their readers can learn more about the author and even interact. But a blog without readers is like a musician on a deserted island. If we write on a blog – especially if we are just starting out – how do we find an audience? Continue reading On Seeking Readers

Social Media Advertising Can Be Spooky

I know advertisers team up with social media platforms to track users and target social media advertising to those user’s specific needs.  Many have been the times that I’ve searched for something, and for days afterward versions of what I was looking for pop up in on-site ads and in the sidebar of Facebook.

One time my buddy was telling me in an email how relieved has was that he finally backed over his weird  mailbox and destroyed it.  He sent me a link to a store page for a box that was very similar.  I agreed, I’d be relieved to be rid of it too.  In this case I did not search; I used a direct link in an e-mail.  Still these Victorian mail boxes kept popping up all over the place.  I had to do a couple of searches for things I didn’t care about just to be rid of them!

Marie puts the annoyance of social media advertising to work for her.  When she wants a new pair of shoes or a skirt for work, she does a search and checks her favorite places.  If she can’t find what she wants, she stops looking and goes into Facebook.  More often than not, there: in the side bar, is just what she wanted.

But the ad I saw today really got my neck hair up on end:

social media advertisingThat is a photograph.  Does this advertiser have some utility that stamps a name on a stock photo and serves it up on Facebook?  How do they avoid stupid stuff like “Lopez, another Celtic legend”?  Can it be that it’s hooked into a database that actually makes a good guess at a name’s origin?  I had to know…

I see a lot of sweatshirt ads.  Most are stock designs that have something to do with being a writer, or supporting pit bulls, or bear an encouraging bible verse: these things I expect to see because they are broad spectrum interests as well as being things I talk about.  A lot of people would buy those.  But “Bittinger” shirts? Continue reading Social Media Advertising Can Be Spooky

SEO for Blogs, Love It, Hate It, Use It.

seo, search engine optomizationI’ve been writing professionally, at least part time, for a very long time: around 3 decades.  More recently I started blogging.  Needless to say, I’ve been writing longer than I’ve been blogging.  In fact I’ve been writing longer than blogs have existed.  Therefore I learned to write according to the old school conventions, which placed making a written work entertaining to the reader above making it popular with a search engine.

Of course search engines have not always been as persnickety as they are now.  Early on, search engines actually rewarded writers for using natural language and allowed them to include in the header of an article a whole string of keywords that related to the content of the article.  A keyword string for this article would have included, search engine, search, seo, blog, blogging, article, post, web, internet, optimize, optimization, keywords, and writing.  Search engines trusted writers to include a spectrum of words that were directly related to the article, even if not all of them appeared in the article.  But then the spammers came in and discovered that they could insert totally unrelated, hot topic keywords to give their page a boost.  If I were to include Miley Cyrus, twerking, and Justin Bieber, this page would become robot candy even though those words have nothing to do with what I’m writing about.  And so, the search engine strangulation began. Continue reading SEO for Blogs, Love It, Hate It, Use It.

Kingsleys Facebook Award Ceremony

Facebook logoAs is noted on our Canine Rescue page we use Facebook pages to promote our foster dogs. The idea is to build interest in adopting these deserving animals before they leave us.

Until recently the process was that we get them healed and work on any behavioral and training issues, then send them off via Rolling Rescue to a rescue or shelter or foster home in an area where adoption is more likely and they work on finding the dogs permanent homes. We follow along on those web sites and hope our furbabies find homes soon. Sometimes it takes a while.

The first two that we created Facebook pages for were adopted while still in our care, so when we took them to ride The Bus we were not sending them off on an uncertain venture, but directly to their forever home. This made for a much happier end to our involvement in their lives! Continue reading Kingsleys Facebook Award Ceremony

Review Building an Author Platform that can Launch Anything: a Social Media Minibook.

author, platform, marketing, promotion, sales, networkingBuilding an Author Platform that can Launch Anything: a Social Media Minibook, by Toby Neal, is a concise yet information packed mini-book that gives straight-forward advice for authors on how to build an author platform (writer-speak for a system of marketing and promotional tools) that will build readership and excitement for both the author and their book.  The end result: sales!

Book Description:

Effective steps to building an author platform that can take advantage of free programs and launch any book into visibility and better sales.

Self published or not, today’s authors have to develop their own “platform” for reaching book buyers. This power-packed booklet contains tips based on author Toby Neal’s sales and psychology background and experience with her bestselling crime novel, Blood Orchids. These secrets maximize social media to build an author platform that can bring fast, wide-ranging visibility and increased sales to any book.   Continue reading Review Building an Author Platform that can Launch Anything: a Social Media Minibook.

Wander, Putter, and Create!

Today I am delighted to have as my guest, best-selling novelist Toby Neal.  In this guest-post she shares some thoughts and insights on the creative process and we introduce her latest book.  Please make her welcome…

clouds, dreaming, createWhat is the creative process?

Different for everyone, sure. For me, it’s connected to daydreaming, and then making and doing stuff.

Yeah, real scientific.

Mulling, wandering, chewing a bit of grass as I kick a pebble on my walk with my (small/fuzzy/ridiculous) dogs, I think of a new scene.

Tilting my head to spot a flamenco dancer in the shape of a cloud. I take an Istagram pic of it (find me at tobyneal0)!

Chasing the aforementioned dogs away from a mysterious dirt patch in the middle of the ball field just the size of a body, I see a future crime scene for my novel. Continue reading Wander, Putter, and Create!

Sneak Peek and Cover Art: xoxoxo

xoxoxo is Bethany Lopez’s second book in her Contemporary Young Adult series, Stories about Melissa. The first book was Ta Ta for Now!. xoxoxo will be released on March 2nd, 2012.

Synopsis

art, cover, book YA, romanceMelissa has learned a lot since her freshman year began, but it isn’t over yet! Her world is about to change again with the birth of her new sibling, and she has to figure out how she will adjust to being the eldest of five kids. She, Jess, and Jimmy are inseparable, and she is having a fantastic time although she can’t help but miss Brian as she tries to learn how to deal with his relationship with Layla. Everything seems to be happening at once and that is when she is introduced to Ben Campbell, a senior at Dearborn High, who becomes an interesting distraction as he helps her deal with the new developments in her life.

About Bethany Lopez

Author, Bethany Lopez, xoxoxox, Ta Ta For Now!Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult novel. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her first novel through Amazon with CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing. Ta Ta for Now! is also now available through Smashwords at Barnes and Noble.com, on the Nook and the Sony eReader. Her second novella in the series, xoxoxo, will be release on March 2, 2012.
Contact/Purchase Info:

Boosting Your Blog’s SEO in WordPress

SEO, blog, spiders, I’ve never cared much for all the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) machinations that many of the top bloggers say everyone must do to become really popular.  So I’m not going to talk about those.  There are some basic things that we should all do to grab a reasonable amount of search engine spider attention.  And if you want a really quick way to learn to improve your blogs SEO – and if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog – snag the WordPress SEO by Yoast plug-in and install it.  If you have a WordPress.com blog, it appears you can not use plugins at all.

Plug It In

No, no… don’t panic, it’s really easy to do.  Continue reading Boosting Your Blog’s SEO in WordPress