Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Category: blogging

The Sunshine Blogger Award Forces Me to Answer Some Personal Questions

Talented author and fellow blogger, Pat Wahler, who graciously comments on most of my posts (THANK YOU, PAT! BLOGGERS LOVE COMMENTS! ), nominated me for a Sunshine Award and assigned questions for pondering. The game goes like this:

  • Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you, Pat.)
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate other bloggers for the award. (Cackles evilly.)
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated them.
  • Hope they don’t block you, link to your blog in a nice post, where they answer these 10 questions. (I’ve made it 10 questions as that seems reasonable)

1. What do you love most about blogging/writing?

I think it’s an outlet for me. I always feel better after blogging and/or working on my novel. I love readers, but even if I don’t have any, I still feel better to get these words running around in my brain out. It’s an added bonus when someone says my words helped them.

2. Name a place you’ve never been but would love to visit and why?

Europe. Well, I feel like I really need to get out of the country and experience life.

3. Describe your favorite snack.

Chips and dips. Almost any. Chips and dips.

4. What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?

This is so hard for me because currently as a single mother, I see a lot of kids’ movies and/or watch 1 or 2 episodes of some Netflix or Hulu show. So, I recently saw A Wrinkle in Time, and I really did enjoy it.

5. What is your favorite season and why?

I love summer. I love doing summer stuff like swimming and long walks at night and snow cone stands with Katie. And it is much less stressful than the school year in the mornings.

6. Do you believe in ghosts?

I’ve always wanted to see a ghost but I never have. So I’m not sure about this…

7. What advice do you give but don’t take yourself?

Pat said, “Limit your time on social media. It’s a time suck.” That is a great one, Pat, which I also don’t follow.  🙂 I would say, “Stop worrying about the little things so much.” I am a worry-wart.

8. If you had to choose one favorite color, what would it be?

Yellow! Bright and sunny and beautiful.

9. When is the last time you laughed?

With Katie a few minutes ago when I was trying to convince her that she was the mommy and I was the kid–she could do the chores and I could play. 🙂

10. Do you prefer a tablet or actual book while reading?

Actual book reading. I just can’t get into the Kindle, even though I’ve tried several times.

 

Phew! Okay, now I’m nominating three bloggers:

 

Amy Willoughby Burle who has a new book out so check her out! THE LEMONADE YEAR!

Amy Harke Moore at “A Rural Girl Writes”. This blog is so good. Her latest post is on perfectionism. Check it out if you haven’t.

Kathryn Schleich at  Inspiring Women Authors to Find Their Passion and Live It. Kathryn is a great writer with a great message.

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5 Different Ways to Make Money Online

I think as writers we assume that everyone realizes they can make money by selling things online from their websites or by finding freelance jobs online. But I don’t think people in other professions think of it as often. When this contributed article came across my inbox, I thought it had some good ways to make money online. So here it is: 

If you’ve seen that there are a range of different ways to make some money online, you may be wondering if it’s really possible. Because if it’s really that easy, why isn’t everyone doing it? Well, that’s a good question. Although nothing is ever really easy, per se, if you’re in a financial slump and you want to be able to change your life, you can definitely do that by doing something online. Because it doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult for you. While a lot of the ways that you can make money will take time and effort, they’re often incredibly worth it. Because making money online can top up your existing income, or even replace it. So let’s take a look at some of the standout options.

Selling Products

One of the most classic ways of making money online is to sell products. You don’t have to have an offline shop, or even have been in the business of sales before; that’s the beauty of doing this online. You can really learn along the way. You might like to setup an Amazon shop selling products or even do something on eBay or Etsy. Whether you sell items you’ve made or source items to sell yourself, this can be a great venture if you’re willing to put the work in to set it up. You could also look to sell on your own site in the future, too.

Affiliate Marketing

Up next, there’s affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a way that you can earn money by recommending products and brands. To do this, you will need a website or blog on a certain topic or a range of topics. You’ll then share specific links that are given to you by the affiliates. If your site visitors go on to make a purchase through that link, you will earn a set percentage of the sale. It can be a simple way, once set up, to generate a stream of income.

Blogging

From here, there’s blogging itself. And yes, you can make money through affiliate marketing as a blogger, but it’s not your only option. Instead, you can generate income from advertising, sponsorship, advetorials, contributed articles, and even your own product sales. So this could be an idea that takes you a step above affiliate marketing alone.

Investing

Then, there’s always investing. A lot of the time, people think that this is something that only financial experts can do. But that’s not the case. You just need to read up, using things like stash review, on the best ways to do it. Then, with a bit of knowledge, you can start off on your own investing venture.

Freelancing

If you have a particular skill, such as writing or graphic design, you could then look to sell that on a freelance basis. Sometimes, this could be something you do alongside your day job, or something that you move into full time. You could even consider consulting in this kind of format, too.

Have you made money online? Do you have any tips to share?

 

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Unofficial Writing Week: Let’s Look at Blog Posts

If you’re a writer, most likely you have a blog OR will have to write a blog post for someone else for promotional purposes.

I did a series on WOW! Women On Writing a few months back about tips for writing good blog posts. Here are some excerpts and links to the rest of the articles, if you are interested.

ALSO, if you haven’t had the chance to enter to win one of Claire Gem’s supernatural novels or her new writer’s help book, The Road to Publication, you can enter on this post until the end of the weekend.

Post 1:

3 Tips to Title Your Blog Post and Draw Readers In:

You’ve heard time and again from articles, blog posts, and conference speakers that titles do matter, and you’ve probably spent countless hours coming up with titles for your prose. Here’s another point to consider about titles: the titles of your blog posts DO MATTER too. I feel like they are even more important than for an article or book, especially if you are tweeting and Facebook posting about your blog to draw more traffic. I have been WOW!’s social media manager for years as well as blogging for the Muffin. I also have my own blog and have done guest posts on several sites around the blogosphere. Your title needs to tell readers what you’re writing about–cute and clever doesn’t work well for a blog post. Here are three tips to help you create a good title to draw readers to your blog and keep them coming back:  1. Put a number in your title (if that works for your post):

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by orangeacid (Flickr.com)

Post 2:

How to Write the First Paragraph of Your Blog Post: 

Blog posts are important when used as marketing tools, freelance income, and editorial expression. To reach your audience online, connect with them, and get them to read an entire blog post, you have to begin with an opening that either gets right to the point (like this one), makes them laugh out loud (not like this one), or reaches them on an emotional level. This is not much different from what you’ve learned about article writing. However, with a blog post, you have a fewer number of words to catch your readers’ attention because they’re probably in skimming mode, until something catches their eye. (Have you seen the way people scroll through social media apps on their phones at top speed?)  Here are some beginnings that work well and why:

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Post 3:

4 Ways to Close a Blog Post:

On the last day of 2016, it’s only appropriate that I close my series on blogging …with blog post endings. WOW!’s executive editor Angela said in a recent comment that she sometimes had difficulty with blog endings; and it seems if a person covers beginnings, she should also cover endings. So here we are saying good-bye to 2016 and discussing how to say good-bye to your blog post readers, too.  1. A Question If you want to see a good example of ending a post with a question, then please see just about any post on the Muffin written by Crystal Otto.

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