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                      W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 11:03           12,278 subscribers         February 3, 2011
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: Happy Birthday to Us, by Moira Allen
THE INQUIRING WRITER: What We're Not Doing, by Dawn Copeman 
FEATURE:  To Blog, or Not To Blog, By Moira Allen
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers - Getting to Work...Finally! 
by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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* Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing.


Happy Birthday to Us!
Specifically, happy TENTH birthday to us!  As of February,
Writing-World.com is ten years old. (That's 70 in dot.com years!) 
To those readers who have been with us for the entire decade: THANK
YOU!  And for those of you who have only recently joined us: THANK

Ten years ago, I never imagined I'd be composing our tenth
anniversary editorial.  But then, ten years ago there were a lot of
things I never imagined (including blogs, Twitter, Facebook and
texting, to name a few).  So cue the flashing lights and spooky
music as we travel back in time to... when it all began!

It began with a simple question, asked by my husband: "Who's Number
Two?"  At the time, the undisputed #1 website for writers was
Inkspot, managed by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.  I'd been writing for
Inkspot for several years, and had become the managing editor of
the Inklings newsletter.  Then (cue more ominous music) Inkspot was
"acquired" by Xlibris. Back then, acquiring "dot.coms" was THE
thing to do -- whether or not you had any idea what to do with
them.  Such was the fate of Inkspot.  For a few months, money
flowed like water -- until Random House, which then owned a major
share of Xlibris, noticed that it seemed to be flowing down the
drain.  Toward the end of 2000, we knew that cuts were coming, and
I was fairly certain I'd be one of them.

Hence my husband's question -- what would I do when I was no longer
part of Inkspot?  I decided to set about creating a site that
might, at least, be a close second.  Fast-forward past several
months of site-design, business planning, and writing, to February
2001.  Cuts were coming, we'd been told -- but imagine our surprise
(and the shock that rippled through the online writing community)
when we learned that Inkspot ITSELF was to be cut.  Shut down,
eliminated, expunged from the web in the blink of an electron. 
Would the last person to leave please turn off the lights?

Well, Debbie did a wee bit more than that.  Besides turning out the
lights, she quietly put up a redirect page on Inkspot, referring
readers to Writing-World.com.  Many of Inkspot's contributors were
willing to move their content to the new site -- and thousands of
Inkspot's readers followed.  From those thousands, we're now
approaching two million annual visitors.  

I like to think that Writing-World.com has carved out its own niche
on the Web, its own unique identity.  But I also like to think
that, through its pages, something of the spirit of Inkspot lives
on as well.  It wouldn't have happened without Inkspot, without
Debbie, and without all our friends and supporters. And I hope that
spirit will continue to live on through our 20th-anniversary
editorial, and beyond!

Birthdays Mean Gifts...
A birthday isn't a birthday without presents, and we have some to
give away!  Allworth Press has generously offered to give away five
copies of each of my new books: Starting Your Career as a Freelance
Writer (the second edition of which just came out at the end of
January), and The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals
(the second edition of which came out last September).  Starting
Your Career as a Freelance Writer, BTW, has a lovely new section on
commercial freelancing by Dawn Copeman.  

If you'd like a chance to win a free book, just send me an e-mail
with either "Drawing: Queries" or "Drawing: Freelance" in the
subject line.  (Feel free to enter for both books, but please send
only one e-mail, as I will eliminate duplicate entries.)  Don't
bother to include a message, as I won't read it; I'll simply be
dumping the e-mails into a file for the drawing.  You can find out
more about both books on the index page at 

Happy Birthday to You!

-- Moira Allen, Editor


CHILDREN'S WRITERS: Read by over 1,000 children's book and magazine
editors, this monthly newsletter can be your own personal source of
editors' wants and needs,market tips, and professional insights.  
Get 2 FREE issues to start. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AE281


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THE INQUIRING WRITER:  What We're Not Doing 
By Dawn Copeman

Last month I asked you what you weren't going to do in 2011.  Well,
it seems that many of you have decided you're not going to spend
precious writing time replying to me!

We had one response last month and that came from Shaunna
Privratsky.  She wrote: "I resolve to NOT rely on others to further
my writing career.  I can't make editors accept my work, increase
my pay or hand me assignments.  Instead, I will concentrate on
making my writing better, writing more and refining my market
research better."

I can relate to that, Shaunna.

So, what do you want to know about in 2011?  If you have an issue,
a question or even a flight of fancy to put to your fellow
Writing-World readers in 2011 then email it to me at

Now, ten years ago when Writing-World launched, I wasn't even a
writer.  I was the head of the modern languages department in a
secondary school in the UK and aiming for deputy headship.  Writing
never occurred to me as a career.  I was too busy with work and my
real career of teaching.  Then much to my husband's and my
surprise, we found out I was pregnant -- this after doctors had
told us we couldn't have children.  

I gave up my career at once to look after this beautiful gift from
God, and until 2004 I only had time for her. Then I decided to use
some of my free time, when she had a nap, to do something I'd done
as a child and as a teenager but not done for years -- write.  I
was incredibly fortunate in that one of the first writing sites I
discovered was Writing-World, and the excellent advice I found
there enabled me to quickly establish myself as a writer.  

What was your turning point?  Have you always burned with a
decision to write?  What were you doing ten years ago when
Writing-World launched?  Were you writing, teaching, driving? When
did you finally decide to be a writer and why?  Email me your
responses with the subject line "Inquiring Writer" to

Hopefully, I'll have more for you next time.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Dawn Copeman  


RUBERY BOOK AWARD: Calling all self published and independently 
published books. Three prizes! High profile authors as judges, 
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guaranteed to be read by a literary agent.



Sales of Ebooks Outstrips Sales of Physical Books
Recent figures from both Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble show that
far from declining, the sales of ebooks continue to outstrip sales
of physical books, even paperbacks.  For more on this story visit: 

James Bond and Sherlock Holmes to Get New Adventures
Anthony Horowitz, a children's author, has been chosen by the
family of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write new adventures starring
the Victorian Detective, whilst Jeffrey Deaver has set his new Bond
novel in the Middle East.  Both books are due to be published later
on this year. For more on this story visit: 

UK Retailers Slashed 600m from Book Prices in 2010
According to figures from Nielsen BookScan, retailers discounted an
average of 26.6% off the recommended retail prices of books, making
2010 the best year yet for book bargain hunters.  For more
information on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/6xlnqr9

NEW AGENCY: Best Wishes Literary Management
Seeks Fiction and Nonfiction Writers - No Reading Fees
Visit http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/jjamie663/
or email bestwishesliterary"at"yahoo.com


Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Write a poem, 30 lines
or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story, 5 pages max.
on any theme, single or double line spacing, neatly hand printed
or typed for a chance to win cash prizes. Visit
http://www.dreamquestone.com for details!



Our Local Table-Monadnock
A guide to the local food, farms and community of the Monadnock
Region of New Hampshire.  Pays 10 cents per word for features. 
Writers' guidelines online at:

GoNomad.com Seeks Travel Articles
GoNOMAD is always looking for talented, dedicated travel writers,
photographers and researchers to join our team. We welcome queries
and articles from professional travel writers and travelers with a
strong writing style and something unique to share with our
audience. We pay for articles that are high quality, informative
and provide useful guidance for a future traveler.

FictionDesk Calls for Submissions
At The Fiction Desk, we're committed to keeping the door open for
new writers, and we aim to source at least a third of the content
of our publications from unsolicited submissions. Submissions are
currently open for our quarterly anthology of new short fiction.
For detailed guidelines visit: 


ARE YOU A WRITER WITH A DAY JOB?  Do you steal moments late at 
night or on your lunch break to write?  Then The Nighttime 
Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time, by Joseph Bates, 
is the guide for you, with techniques, mini-lessons, exercises 
and worksheets to help you get that novel finished. From Writer's 
Digest Books. http://tinyurl.com/28zl756


FEATURE: To Blog Or Not To Blog
By Moira Allen

A recent article reported that there are now approximately 200
million blogs on the Internet.  Other estimates are a bit more
conservative, but still weigh in with numbers in the millions as of
the end of 2009.  With everyone and their dog, seemingly, rushing
to jump on the blog bandwagon, is this an avenue that you as a
writer should be exploring as well?

First, let's take a look at what a blog is -- and is not.  While
blogs can obviously come in many forms, the basic concept of a blog
is a "type" of web site (according to Wikipedia) that is regularly
updated by the host.  Typically, the most recent post will appear
at the top, with earlier posts beneath -- or in some cases archived
elsewhere on the site, with a list of archive topics appearing on
the main page.  Many blogs incorporate images, links to other sites
and blogs, and even video clips.  Finally, a blog often includes an
interactive component: An invitation to readers to respond to and
make comments upon the blog.  

Many writers make a distinction between a "blog" and a "web site." 
Though it is possible to post your own blog under your own domain,
the majority of blogs are posted on sites dedicated to blogs (e.g.,
http://www.blogger.com).  Because the general idea of a blog is
that it be updated regularly (often several times a week, if not
daily), bloggers often refer to ordinary web sites as "static" --
though there is certainly no reason why one can't post new material
to a web site just as often as to a blog!  Many bloggers maintain
both blogs and web sites and cross-promote between them (e.g., a
writer may post a full-length article on a web site and then
promote the article in a shorter piece posted to the blog).  

While many bloggers will maintain that blog posts should be between
200 and 500 words at most, one will certainly find much longer
blogs on the web.  However, many bloggers feel that readers will
only read shorter posts -- and also feel that this requirement to
"keep it short" helps writers learn how to write tightly and

With 200 million blogs out there, who's actually blogging? 
Actually, several studies suggest that the total number of blogs
being tracked by sites like Technorati (which also operates one of
the most popular blog directories) is inflated, as it doesn't take
into account "dead" blogs (blogs that are no longer actively
maintained) or "splogs" (spam blogs).  A 2007 article in
BusinessWeek showed that of the 70 million blogs being tracked by
Technorati in that year, only 15.5 percent were actively maintained
(i.e., had been updated within the last 90 days).  Another study
indicated that 60 to 80 percent of blogs are abandoned within one
month, many after only a single post.  

As for who's blogging and why, an article by Caslon Analytics
points out that the vast majority of blogs are personal journals
aimed at "nanoaudiences" -- a small circle of family and friends. 
The Blogging Iceberg, a report by Perseus Development, shows that
teenagers create the majority of blogs; more than 90 percent are
created by people under age 30, and 50 percent of bloggers are
between the ages of 13 and 19.  Just over half the blogs in the
world are in English, and the U.S. seems to be responsible for most
of those; a 2006 survey showed that only 2 percent of UK Internet
users posted blogs and only 10 percent viewed blogs as often as
once a month.  

That still leaves a lot of blogs -- and a lot of writers who host
blogs.  Many writers host multiple blogs and post material to them
several times a week.  Should you be one of them?  Specifically,
will hosting a blog (or three) advance your freelance writing
career?  Will it, for example, attract more readers to your books? 
Help you earn writing assignments?  Assist you in marketing a
writing-related product or service?  Or, at the very least, make
you a better writer?  These were the questions I asked in a survey
of writers who run one or more blogs on a regular basis.

Why Blog?
The writers who responded to my survey blogged on a wide range of
topics -- health, cooking, homeschooling, current events, politics,
books, travel, etc.  Fewer than one third actually blogged about
writing, per se; those who did used their blogs to share tips,
markets, experiences, and insights into the writing life.  Two or
three reported that they used their blog as a personal journal, to
write (or "rant") about whatever they felt like at the time, but
this seemed to be the exception rather than the rule.

In fact, most respondents emphasized the importance of having a
solid, well thought-out reason for having a blog in the first
place.  "If you are going to blog, decide why you are doing it and
what your goals are," says Nanette Croce.  Jan Kozlowski concurs:
"Spend some time figuring out how you want to present yourself,
what the purpose of your blog is and who your audience will be." 
Alice Wisler advises, "Have some focus.  Provide interesting

Several writers launched blogs specifically to promote their
writing. Roberta Roberti uses her cooking blog to promote her
cookbooks and food-related writing.  UK author Helen Gazeley
writes, "I started partly because I thought I should know something
about blogging, partly because I could direct people to my writing,
partly with an idea that I might eventually hire myself out as a
professional blogger, and partly in the hope that the blog might
make some money."  Fiction writer Michael Bracken uses his blog to
chronicle his writing life and give writing advice; Jan Kozlowski's
"But She Keeps a Nice Lawn" promotes her horror writing. Carol
Alexander, who blogs on homesteading and homeschooling, hopes to
create an audience for books she plans to write on these topics. 
Alice Wisler expected to STOP blogging once her own book came out
and she developed a website, but, as she put it, "Surprise!"

"I have links to a selection of my print and online published
articles," says Anne Goldberg, who found it easier to set up a blog
than a web site.  "I always give a link to the blog when I write
queries.  I also decided to set one up in case I applied for
writing jobs."  Leslie Dinaberg uses her blog to enhance her weekly
slice-of-life/humor columns: "Either to promote them, to solicit
information from readers about topics of interest, or to write
about things I find compelling but that may not be quite right for
my columns."  Nanette Croce uses her blog to advertise her editing
business.  Ronica Stromberg uses a blog to share her experiences as
a children's writer.  "I had spoken at a conference for children's
writers, and several in the audience had expressed a desire... to
see what my day-to-day life as a children's author looks like.  My
blog is an attempt to meet that need.  I also visit schools
frequently as an author, and use my blog as a web site where
teachers, librarians and conference coordinators can learn more
about me, check out my credentials and the types of presentations I
do, and my publications."

Many respondents, however, chose to launch a blog not to promote
their writing, but to inform and entertain their readers. "I have
written two books that I promote on my blogs, but the purpose is
more to entertain and to form a community," says Keetha Mosley. 
Carol Alexander notes, "I try to make it a service-oriented blog...
a place to find out how to do things or encouragement to keep on
doing what we feel called to do when the going gets tough." 

Amy Minchak launched a blog "to discuss the books I was reading
that I wasn't doing reviews for.  It was a way for me to share my
passion for books and find new books by reaching out to other
bloggers.  The main reason behind my blog was to share book titles
and information."  Jan Kozlowski writes of her first blog, "I
wanted to provide information and links to our members about
children's writing."  Her next blog was launched "partially to
support my other freelance and fiction writing and partially to
have a place to share thoughts, information, and other things I
feel passionate about."  

Yet another reason to launch a blog was the freedom the venue
provides to publish whatever one wishes.  "I found I missed the
freedom of writing on subjects of my own choice, and not having to
wait for editors to choose to publish what I wrote," says Nanette
Croce.  Dory Adams was "getting frustrated with the slow process of
submitting work to literary journals, and I longed to connect with
readers rather than feel that I was writing alone in a vacuum." 
She uses her blog to get shorter essays "into the world of
readers," as does Vivian Unger, who sought "an outlet for my urge
to write personal essays without having to go through the tedium of
finding a publisher."

Leona Wisoker found blogging less threatening than seeking
"regular" publication.  "I hate writing articles, and wanted to
learn how.  The notion of submitting an article to a publisher
scares me silly, so I got around it by writing for myself.  And I
decided that since I'm writing all these articles for myself, I may
as well share them so that other writers can skip all the research
I went through... and posting on my own blog didn't scare me a bit,
so I started doing that.  I still need to learn to cut the word
count down, as I didn't realize that blog posts were only supposed
to be about two or three hundred words!  I moved all the really
long articles to my web site and tried to keep the blog stuff
short, and since then the hits--and the comments--have gone up

Speaking of Numbers...
If one's goal is to attract a following and reach out to readers,
how effective is a blog in achieving that goal? One problem with
blogging is that there are a wide range of methods of tracking
visitors -- including regular "followers," page views, subscribers
to RSS feeds, e-mail subscribers and more.  

Many respondents didn't track visitor rates at all.  Of those who
did, numbers varied from 9 page views per day to several hundred
page views per month.  One respondent reported three "official"
followers and 50 e-mail readers; another reported "four followers
and five other people who check it out from time to time."  Dory
Adams reported 200 hits per week; Leona Wisoker, 100 to 300 hits
per month; Nanette Croce, 800 to 1000 page views per month.  

Many respondents also took little or no action to promote their
blogs, which may account for the low volume of hits.  Others
recommended an array of promotional techniques, including:

*  Put links to your blog in your e-mail signature block
*  Post announcements of blog updates to your social networking
   profiles (e.g., LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook)
*  Send a Tweet to your Twitter following whenever you post to your
*  Put your blog URL on your business cards and other stationery
*  Add your blog to directories, such as Technorati
*  Post your blog to "blog carnivals"
*  Visit other blogs and leave comments with a link back to your own
*  Notify sites whenever you provide a link
*  Learn how to use "pings" and "pingbacks"
*  E-mail your writing friends and other contacts when you upload a

Several writers felt that the effort of promoting a blog wasn't
worthwhile, however.  "I wouldn't want to write for no one," says
Nanette Croce, "but as long as someone is reading, I don't care if
it's ten people or a thousand.  It's the ability to write about
subjects I enjoy that keeps me going."  Croce also points out that
"the time you spend promoting your blog could go directly into
promoting your work.  Unless you can really, really make your blog
stand out, it is hardly going to make a great promotion tool."

A number of respondents have sought to earn money from their blogs
using Google AdSense and Amazon.com associate programs, with
varying results.  Tiffany Jansen uses both, and "while they don't
pull in a significant amount of money, it is a nice little bonus! 
I would also like to open my blog to advertisers." Tom Botts
writes, "The only direct money I receive from blogging has been
Google AdSense.  It hasn't been all that lucrative, but that may be
because I don't have that many people following the blog, or those
that do just don't click on the ads."  Nanette Croce felt that
"Google AdSense is a big dud."  She uses Amazon.com Associates on
her book review blog, noting "It seemed like a natural, but that
has turned into a big zero as well."  

Other writers have been reluctant to attempt to "monetize" their
blogs for fear of alienating readers.  "I would like to eventually
incorporate some sort of advertising but would prefer it to be
minimal, since I myself find it distracting and don't want to
distract readers coming to the blog," says Amy Minchak.  "I also
don't want to look like my opinions are swayed by any form of
advertising revenue.  I don't know how others feel about this, but
if a blog is heavily promoting a book, author, etc., and I see ads,
I sometimes wonder.  With the new FTC rules, this is not supposed
to happen, or at least as a reader you are supposed to be told
whether or not money was involved, but it still crosses my mind."
(In 2010, the FTC imposed regulations requiring bloggers to
disclose whether they received any "compensation" for reviews of
products or books, including receipt of a free review copy or
product sample.)

Jan Kozlowski agrees.  "Frankly, I don't like reading blogs with
ads on them. They turn me completely off, so why risk others
feeling that way for the pennies you usually end up with?  I tend
to think of blogs as career support and a labor of love, not an
income stream."  Dory Adams also feels "it would be nice to be able
to earn some compensation for my time, but I don't want to clutter
up the design with ads.  It's extremely important to me that the
blog be visually appealing and that ads not detract from the images
on the posts.  For now, my purpose is to attract a loyal audience
and not blast them with ads."

Blogging vs. "Writing"
One downside of blogging cited by several writers was the amount of
time it consumed.  "I spend a minimum of two hours on each entry,
often longer," says Roberta Roberti.  "This involves not just
writing the blog, but research on the subject, copying and pasting
passages or quotes, and finding the right artwork."  She also finds
it time -- consuming to monitor for trojans and spammers.  Ronica
Stromberg notes, "It's work without a paycheck attached.  The time
spent on it might have been used to write a paid article or book." 
Leslie Dinaberg agrees: "Since I am a professional writer, it's
always tough to balance the things I get paid to do versus the
projects that are purely mine."

"Readers expect new material pretty frequently," says Tiffany
Jansen.  "A blog becomes your very own column, and as we all know,
columns are not easy to come by. Caring for your blog can become an
obsession.  I try to spend no more than 1-1/2 to 2 hours per day
blogging, through that doesn't always happen.  Another trick is to
use blog posts to direct traffic to your other writing.  For
example, as soon as a new article or interview of mine is
published, I write a blog post surrounding and linking to the newly
published material.  Those posts take about five minutes AND my new
article gets instant hits."

Ronica Stromberg and Leona Wisoker, however, have found ways to
make their blogs serve double duty.  "I often field questions from
beginning writers, and I can sometimes refer questioners to my blog
or web site for answers instead of having to respond with an
extensive e-mail every time," says Stromberg.  "I also don't blog
every day.  If I don't have anything particularly useful to say,
I'm not going to waste my time."  Wisoker writes "the same bit for
my bimonthly writer's group newsletter and the blog, with a few
modifications to suit the different audiences.  It saves me a ton
of time and effort."  Also, she notes, "committing to a biweekly
post forces me to settle for 'good enough' instead of perfection."

Herein lies one of the hidden benefits of blogging, according to
several writers.  Far from being a hindrance to their writing time
and careers, they feel that blogging has made them BETTER writers. 
"It's difficult to introduce a topic and come to a worthwhile point
in under 500 words," says Jack Dunigan.  "Blogging forces you to be
a tight writer and to edit brutally."  Maureen Anderson agrees: "It
takes discipline to come up with something as fun to read as it is
useful, and to do that four times a week."  Michael Bracken notes,
"Blogging has allowed me to more closely examine my own
productivity and methods of writing.  The need to post on a regular
basis... prevents me from slacking off."

Amy Minchak feels that blogging has improved her writing
discipline.  "I feel it has given me a reason to write because I
now have a schedule to follow.  In the past, I would put off
writing since it was only for me and no one else.  Now that I have
an audience, I have a reason and a want to sit down and put words
on paper."  Peter Buckton feels that "it is an ongoing process that
is good for my writing experience and practice.  The more I write,
the better I get at the craft.  The practice of writing for your
blog is a great writing discipline."  Pina Belperio feels her
writing has "greatly improved because I am writing on a weekly
basis."  Cathy Hall believes that blogging "can make you a better,
tighter writer, improving your skills in the long run.  And it will
make you a more disciplined writer, getting you in the habit of
writing regularly."

In short, as several respondents pointed out, blogging is writing. 
"It obviously isn't fiction writing," says Penny Ehrenkranz, "but
there have been times when my blog posts have sparked an idea for a
writing-related article."  Keetha Mosley feels that "blogging seems
to be a warm-up for writing on my novel and working on pieces for
the newsletter."  

Taking the Plunge
There may not be precisely 200 million blogs on the web -- but
there are enough to make it difficult for a new blog to stand out
amongst the crowd.  If you're considering launching a blog, here
are some tips to keep in mind before (and after) you begin:

"Don't do it because you feel you have to.  Only do it if you want
to."  --Nanette Croce
"Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to talk about.  I
don't think you should start a blog if you don't have a deep
interest in your topic.  Otherwise you'll be bored trying to find
things to write about, and it will show.  Also, let your
personality show.  I spent a few weeks blogging and felt like I was
missing something, and one day I realized what was missing was me. 
You need to let yourself show in your posts.  You don't have any
other way to draw people in.  All they see is your words.  You need
to make them count.  You need to make them interesting."  --Amy

"Don't forget the passion factor. Readers know when you're just
blogging to sell something, or to further your brand or for some
other asinine obligatory reason. Blogging is writing and the best
writing comes from the heart, not the head. Have fun and your
readers will too and reward you with their time, attention and
support." --Jan Kozlowski

"Make a list of topics you want to cover and write about ten posts
before you ever launch.  That way you know how much you can say in
300 words or less, you have some time to parcel out posts, you can
adjust based on audience reaction, and you're not panicking for
stuff to say over the first few weeks."  --Leona Wisoker

"Keep posts around 200-300 words.  People won't take time to read
anything longer.  Read everything you can online to educate
yourself about blogging, about building a blog, and about
attracting followers, before beginning. Post regularly.  You want
to keep your name in front of people." --Carol Alexander

"Make it easy to find.  Update it regularly; if you don't, people
will stop coming to it.  Make it visually interesting, but don't
overload the page too much.  Write well.  Just because it's a blog
doesn't mean it's OK to have bad spelling, incorrect grammar,
incomplete sentences and dumbed-down language.  People will assume
that if you write like that on your blog, you write like that
elsewhere.  And who wants to read bad writing?" --Roberta Roberti

"It's very important to remember that a blog is not going to make
you instantly famous.  Nor is it going to guarantee your success as
a writer.  Ever since Julie Powell got a publishing contract for
her blog (which then became a movie), writers think that all they
have to do is launch a blog and fans and publishers will come to
them.  That's not the way it works for most people.  You should
blog because you love the topic you're writing about.  Don't have
major expectations because you will be sorely disappointed."
--Roberta Roberti

"Don't post in haste, especially if you're in a bad mood when you
write something.  If there's any concern that what you're writing
might be offensive or might simply make you look like a dork, sleep
on it first.  You might go back and remove it later, but by then it
could already be cached, in which case it's there forever." 
--Carol Penn-Romine

"You have to keep it fun and remember that you're doing it for fun.
 If it becomes one more thing on your to-do list, that zaps all the
fun out of it.  Remember why you began to blog." -Keetha Mosley

"Remember, you run your blog; don't let the blog run you." --Dana

And that's perhaps the best advice of all.  A blog is a tool -- and
the purpose of a tool is to make it work for you, not the other way
around.  If a blog proves useful to your writing career, then by
all means use it.  But if you feel that it's getting in the way of
what you really want to do, let it go.  The world will survive
without it!

Tools for the Blogger
There are a host of tools online for the beginning blogger; here's
a sampling of some sites that can be helpful: 

An excellent overview of what blogs are, including definitions of
commonly used terms.

Starting a Blog
A variety of how-to articles on getting your blog set up.

Starting Your First Blog? 29 Tips, Tutorials and Resources for New

How to Make Money with a Blog
A good overview of blogging techniques in general, plus tips on how
to earn income through AdSense and affiliate programs.

Weblog Matrix
Compares the features of a variety of weblog tools, including
Blogger and Wordpress.

Seven Blogging Tools Reviewed

One of the most popular sites for developing and posting blogs.

Technorati Blog Directory
Search for blogs by category, and have your own blog listed in the


Copyright (c) 2011 by Moira Allen
Excerpted from "Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer," 2nd
Edition, 2011, from Allworth Press.

For more information on writing a blog, check out this article:


WORLDWIDE FREELANCE WRITER - You can download a free list of 
writing markets if you subscribe this week. Discover almost 
2,000 writing markets from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australasia. 


This is a free tool that helps you to find rhymes for your poetry. 
It offers a variety of rhyming options and is fun to play with. 

If you have to write a type of letter or document that you've never
done before, then this site is a goldmine. It covers all sorts of
letter writing and even resume writing and writing for the web.

This is a serious literature site where you can research writing
styles by movement or by author, learn more about each style, and
even submit work. 


WIN PRIZES AND GET PUBLISHED! Find out how to submit your stories,
poetry, articles and books to hundreds of writing contests in the
US and internationally. Newly updated for 2010, WRITING TO WIN
by Moira Allen is the one-stop resource you need for contests
and contest tips. Visit Writing-World.com's bookstore for details:


FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS:  Getting to Work... Finally!

By Aline Lechaye

Christmas and New Year are two great reasons not to write. 

Okay, they're actually more like great EXCUSES not to write. I've
found that it's easy to put off my writing when I'm busy with
family gatherings, gift-wrapping, and
just-enjoy-the-weather-and-hang-out moments. But now February's
rolled around, and I've run out of excuses to stay away from my
(dust-covered) computer. 

This free submission tracker from The Writer's Database is a great
way to organize your submissions and manuscripts. Add new markets
as you find them, add new manuscripts as you write them, and add
new submissions as you submit them! What could be simpler? You can
also add replies and comments from editors as you receive them. The
word count tracker works out how many words you wrote over a
specific period of time, and the "Browse shared markets" function
allows you to search through markets added by other writers using
the submission tracker. Sign up for a free account at 
http://www.writersdb.com/. After signing up, you can add the
submission tracker to your Google or Yahoo desktop as a widget --
go to the Tools/Downloads section at the bottom of the page to find
out how. 

Talking about organization, why not gather all your social networks
in one place with the help of Meebo? You can add your accounts from
MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger, Google Talk, Facebook, MySpace, and
many other sites. Keep in touch with all your friends and never
miss another message again! Sign up for your free account and get
started at http://www.meebo.com/.

If you're looking to submit fiction or poetry to a new market, you
might first want to get an idea of the response time and acceptance
rate. Look up the market at Duotrope Digest (
http://www.duotrope.com/index.aspx) to see how long it took, on
average, for the editors to get back to the writers, and what your
chances are of getting accepted. Duotrope Digest also offers an
online submissions tracker to writers who sign up for a free
account on their site (http://www.duotrope.com/subtracker.aspx).
Besides helping you keep track of your manuscripts and submissions,
you can also add the reading periods of a market to your deadline
calendar so that you'll know when a magazine is closed to
submissions. Best of all, the site lists details for over 3000
fiction and poetry markets. 

Looking for something new to read? Ruth Cox, of the blog "Ruthi
Reads" is compiling a list of book giveaways from all over the
internet on her BYGB (Book-Your-Giveaway-Book) Linky List. The
links are updated week to week, so only the giveaways that are
still running will show up on the list. Check the site for the
latest giveaways, or spread the word if you know of any bloggers
and authors looking to give away books! (

Download a free PDF copy of the first issue of GLO Adventurer -
Journey to India, a new kid magazine that focuses on the many
aspects of India. The first issue is titled The Bengal Tiger, and
is completely about, well, tigers. If you know of any kids who
might be interested, get them a free issue at 


Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye"at"gmail.com.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Aline Lechaye


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Upon the Breasts of Heaven, by Rick Zabel
A Nose for Hanky Panky, by Sharon Cook
The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals
(Second Edition), By Moira Allen

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Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.


on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
product, service or book title, visit


Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 

Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2011 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
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Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor