I read a lot of blogs. I follow nearly 300, and I check out new blogs all the time. If you follow me or you’ve left a comment on ARHtistic License or you’ve tweeted something that interested me, I’ve probably taken a look at your blog.
There are thousands of great blogs out there. And, sadly, there are thousands of terrible blogs out there.
How do you know if your blog is one of the bad ones? Here are some signs.
So, there you have it—my blogger pet peeves. If you recognize your blog above, it’s not too hard to improve it. Your readers will thank you—and you may attract some more!
Are there any other big blogging mistakes that I’ve missed? Share in the comments below.
Did you make a resolution to blog more frequently in 2018? Good for you! But if you are like me, sometimes you have no idea what to write about.
I get some of my best ideas when I’m away from my desk. If I don’t write them down, they fly away. I carry a little assignment pad in my purse so I can capture ideas on the go, and occasionally I’ll take a walk with my notebook and pen, because physically moving frees up my imagination.
In the meantime, it’s always good to have a few ideas in the bank. So here are 30 ideas, results of a recent brainstorming session. If you like these, feel free to use them. You may want to bookmark this page for future reference.
Do you have some ideas to share? List them in a comment below.
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On Thursday, I posted a guest article by literary agent Bob Hostetler. The first half of the article was about a 600-lb. woman whose doctor insisted she lose 30 pounds in a month before he would do weight-reduction surgery for her. The woman was frustrated by being forced to change her eating habits in advance; she thought she could begin her new regime after the surgery.
Hostetler compared that woman’s mindset with those of the budding authors he meets at writer’s conferences, who:
vowed that, post-contract, they would market themselves and their books via social media, blogs, website, speaking engagements, podcasts, interviews, and more. But when a panel of agents and editors suggested that a healthy platform comprised of such things can—and, almost always, must—come pre-contract, they expressed chagrin.
That got me to thinking—we can help each other with platform building. All writers and artists should have a website or at least a blog, along with social media (in addition to your social media that you use for friends and family). Have you set yours up yet? That should be one of your top priorities for 2018.
I’m often offered free copies of books in exchange for a review, but I am reluctant to take those offers. I already have a couple hundred books at home that I’m dying to read, and I usually write a short (or long) review of everything I read, which I post on ARHtistic License, Amazon, and Goodreads. If you want to send me a book, that’s fine, but it may take years before I get around to reading it. (However, review requests from paying publications are most welcome and will be accommodated in a timely fashion. Money talks.)
But I do like to publish a guest article every Thursday. I usually contact the authors of articles I find on the web and ask if I may repost them. I would love to post your article on ARHtistic License, preferably something you’ve already written that you would like to get more exposure. It would be helpful to me if it were related to your art or your creative process.
Or, I could interview you.
Or, I could include your comments in a panel article about a topic in which you have some expertise.
Also, I regularly submit guest posts to A Writer’s Path, and I wouldn’t mind submitting to your website, if you think my focus on the arts and the creative process are compatible with the theme of your website.
What do you think? Do any of these ideas appeal to you? You can comment below, and/or contact me through the “Contact ARHtistic License” form (click the link at the top of the page).
Happy New Year! Time to track our progress in the year past, and set our goals for the year to come.
I mentioned in my recent article about goal-setting that the smartest thing I did in 2017 was schedule all the tasks I wanted to do. Here is how it worked (changed slightly from what I thought on January 1 last year):
Here’s what worked and what didn’t:
I’m pleased that I made progress on most of my goals, even if I didn’t finish one of my big projects or secure an agent. For 2018 I’m planning on continuing as I had been, with the tweaks I’ve mentioned.
For the last two years, I’ve offered a challenge for readers to post their creative goals, record their progress, and share in the comments. The response has been mostly silence. So, this year, although I personally will take the time to reflect on my goals and progress at regular intervals, I won’t burden you by posting monthly updates.
I wish you the best possible 2018, full of inspiration and completed creative endeavors. Happy New Year!
When I set my goals for my blog for this year, I hoped I’d reach the 350-follower mark.
I’m thrilled to say I made it a few days ago. It’s silly to set a goal that’s completely out of my control (relying solely on you, dear readers, to actually click the follow button), but I am gratified nonetheless. Thank you, all of you, for your kindness to me. I will try to deserve your readership by writing more of the kind of stuff you like to read. (Your suggestions are welcome! Share in the comments.) My readership goal for 2018 is 600. You can help me make that goal by sharing (through Facebook, Twitter, Google +, email, etc.) any of my posts that you think might interest your friends. Thanks!
My Top Ten Posts of 2017 (in terms of views). Have you seen all of these?
9. #DC339: In the Holiday Spirit This post, as well and #6, #4, #3 and #2, are responses to a Zentangle challenge. I’ve written before about challenges being a good way to find new readers for your blog (as well as more blogs for you read!) The zentanglers have surpassed even the photographers in their support of ARHtistic License. (My photochallenge posts have always made the top ten before now.)
8. How to Practice the Piano: Doh! Donányi My thoughts on a particularly difficult piano exercise book.
5. The Magic of Landscape Architecture About the transformation of our yard.
4. Inktober Day 24: A Composite One drawing, entered in three different challenges.
My biggest surprise is that three of my blog posts from last year had as many views in 2017 as my top three above did. They are: Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee, Ballet Feet, and Go Mobile.
One step I might take next year is to chose a new WordPress “theme” (it’s like a blog template). Even though last year I upgraded to a “premium” blogsite, I kept my free theme because I like it and I’m very comfortable with it. However, it doesn’t have the functionality of the premium themes. Switching up might also mean a huge learning curve for me. Any bloggers out there have a suggestion for me?
On New Year’s Day I’ll share my progress on my other writing, art, dance, and music goals, as well as sharing my creative goals for 2018. See you then!
If you’ve been blogging awhile, you’ve probably had days when you feel like giving up. It takes too much time, your readership is growing too slowly, you’re not sure if your blog really stands out. You feel like your work doesn’t matter.
But you’re not a quitter, so you decide to stick it out a little longer and try a fresh approach.
Check out the following suggestions for making your blog even better than it is now, with ideas from some of the best blogs on the web.
I’m assuming that if you’ve read this far, you’re a blogger. Did you find this article helpful? If so, please click the “like” button and share this post on your favorite social media. Do you have something to add? Please share in the comments below. Feel free to illustrate with a link to your blog.
Have you ever read something on the web that was so fascinating and well-written that you thought I know people who would love to read this? All the time, right? People forward interesting articles and pictures and videos and memes all the time through emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
Bloggers use this concept when they publish “round-up” articles, made up of links to online articles having to do with a specific topic. I’ve done it; I also share articles I find interesting, inspiring, or creative in my weekly Creative Juice posts.
A few months ago I discovered Flipboard, where users can compile “magazines” consisting of linked articles dealing with their favorite subjects. When you sign up for Flipboard, you can indicate your areas of interest, and related links will appear in your feed. So you can be a contributor and/or a consumer of the best content available on the web. It’s also a good way to put your own articles out there for a wider audience.
I currently have three magazines on Flipboard, on topics dear to my heart: Creativity Incubator, The Craft of Writing, and Lifelong Learner. I invite you to check them out. If they appeal to you, please follow them. I add to them every few days.
I’m sure there are other platforms besides Flipboard on which to curate content. Have you been using one we need to be aware of? Enquiring minds want to know—please share in the comments below.
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that if you are reading this, you’re interested in blogging, not just today, but for the long haul. Maybe you’re thinking about starting a blog. Or maybe you already have one and are wondering, I started this site, now what? I’m pretty sure I can post this week, but what about next week, and the week after?
We’ve got you covered. Here are eight ways long-term bloggers sustain their blogs not only through the first few weeks, but through the years.
Have you heard the expression “Dance like nobody’s watching”? It’s always been a favorite quote of mine, especially when I’m on a dance floor…
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Need an idea for your next creative endeavor? Whether you’re a blogger, a writer, an artist, or a little bit of everything, here are some terrific suggestions: