Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let's Answer a Few Blogging Questions
Or...The Dragon addresses some items we didn't have time for at Saturday's workshop

We covered a lot of ground at the Gulf Coast Writer's Association blogging workshop Saturday. After the three-hour class, several folks had questions specific to their blogs to go over with me and we were lucky enough to discuss those before we had to leave the facility. Here are a few Q&As that folks had written down and turned in for me.

Don't forget to check out the post below with links to new blogs developed Saturday. We'd all appreciate visits and comments to help get some networking underway.

1. Bob Bair, e-mail me privately with your password and I'll help you get that template fixed. Something's happened!

2. If you discover that someone already has a blog with your blog's title/name, you might not want to pick something too similar to it. That person's marketing efforts have driven traffic to their URL. You would have to work twice as hard as you typically would to differentiate yourself from that existing/established blog. Go ahead and think of something else that still conveys your idea but gets away from the existing wording. For instance, there is already a Lakes Park Gardeners blog in existence. If you want to create something similar, maybe you could call yourselves horticulturists...maybe Lakes Park Flora? You get the idea.

3. How often you check or update your blog depends on how much time you have and what sort of schedule you want to get your visitors used to. Consistency and quality are key.

4. Many bloggers make money with their blogs by selling ad space. I advise caution in this area just because ads can clog up your page/template, making your site unsightly. When someone loads your blog for the first time, you don't want them to say "eew." Another way to make money is to sell posts. You write and post an article about someone or someone's product and they pay a set dollar amount for the service. (Remember our discussion of FTC rules and make sure you're up-front with your readership concerning payment for anything you're promoting on your site.) Writers will sometimes pay to place posts they've written on your blog. Typically, folks will only pay to appear on your site if you've developed a large following with active discussions. That's where our "traffic" talk comes in!

5. When typing the tags at the end of your blog post, remember to be in "Edit HTML" mode Also, you will always do this in the post window here in Blogger. Something I do to minimize the tags' appearance or their effect on visitors/readers is make them a size smaller than the rest of the text in my post. The simplest way to do this is to go into "Edit HTML," type up your tags, go back to "Compose" mode, highlight all that tag text, click on the "tT" icon in the toolbar and select "small" or "smallest." This is just my preference and not mandatory by any means.

If you have other questions, lob 'em at me. Friends in my blogging network visit here frequently and will be happy to chime in to help folks new to this excellent networking tool.

"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."
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