Tag Archives: marketing

On Marketing Behind a Mask

I  love interviewing authors. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do. This week’s interview on YouTube is one that I’m really excited to share with you. I spoke to Ken the author behind a few different pen names. The one that you may have heard of is Helena Hann-Basquiat. We discussed the drawbacks of having a totally immersive pen name, why he decided on the big reveal, and how that worked out within his writing community. If you’re a writer interested in having a pen name, I do suggest watching this video, and learning a bit more about this aspect of writing under a pseudonym.


Aloha y’all!

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Filed under Book Chat

10 Tips Rock Pinterest and Boost Your Blog Traffic


I’ve got a problem, but it’s one that can help my blog and my friends’ blogs.

How does Pinterest help a blogger to promote his work? Pinterest is that addiction that takes you away with the simple concept of pinboards. Pinning dreamy things, lovely things, frightening things, tasty things, inspirational ideas and of course adorable kittens. But so what? Pinterest is one of the biggest social media networks. All you really need is a cute pic or a video and you can pin it. How can that help increase your blog traffic? Here’s my tips to you:

  1. Make a cool meme that goes with your blog post. Pin that ish. When someone clicks on the pin, read that great caption you wrote and (hopefully) go back to your blog.
  2. On that meme mentioned above, put some type of identifier: your web site, twitter handle, whatevs. If the person digs it, maybe s/he will try to cyberstalk you a lil bit.
  3. Start a pin group: You can create groups and invite folks for pinning. I created one for Almost Heaven West Virginia. I’m also involved in one for Hawaii and one with fellow bloggers called Blogging and Social Media. It’s a cool way to see some new stuff, meet new people and learn some things.
  4. It would bring you up more in the Google search, so make sure your About Me section is pretty killer. It’ll pop up in the search.
  5. You don’t have to pin everything. Pin your best stuff. I’m a pretty crappy photography, but occasionally I make something that looks really sweet. Pinned.
  6. Give a shout out to your fellow bloggers. Pin their stuff too.
  7. Connect your Pinterest to your Facebook and/or Twitter. That’ll get people moving from your Facebook to your Pinterest, and gives you another opportunity to interact with your people. (Personally, I think it works better with Facebook than Twitter, but I’ve got no numbers on this.)
  8. Have you made a sweet infographic for a blog post? By all means, pin that. Oh and make sure that you add either your blog name, twitter name, or whatever on there. You want people to be able to find your site if so inclined, right?
  9.  Hey do you want to know what’s been pinned from your blog? http://pinterest.com/source/[YOURBLOG.COM] If I wanted to see what’s been pinned from here by whom it would be: http://pinterest.com/source/penpaperpad.com. (I think I learned this months ago from a member of the Bloppy Bloggers fb group. I can’t remember who posted it, so I’m giving a general shoutout to the group. Thanks guys!)
  10. Interact on there. You can follow interesting boards, or you can everything someone posts. Like things and post comments. You don’t necessarily have to be as interactive as other sites, but a little bit can go a long way.

Caution: Pinterest is a magical vortex where time ceases to exist. You’ll emerge wondering why your plants are so dry and your children are so hungry. Set a time limit. I have to push away from Pinterest sometimes, so I can do other things like look at pics of cute kitties on the internet and text folks.

Do you have any tips that work for you and Pinterest? 

Aloha ya’ll


Filed under Social Media

Q is for Query letter: A to Z blogging challenge


Q is for Query

You may be asking yourself, “What is a query letter?” A query letter is kind of like sending a message to someone new on an online dating site. You craft a message to this new person telling him/her about yourself, trying to seem like your authentic self without seeming too creepy or freaking the other person out. Applying this professionally: You’re trying to tell this person about yourself without appearing too pushy, arrogant or unqualified.

Here’s five tips for crafting a query that will get you that first date (Oh, you thought I was done with that metaphor. Nope, we’re riding it until the wheels fall off. )

Tip 1: Do Research: When you’re first looking at a personals ad, you start by, well, reading it. You want to see if you have anything in common. The same method goes for sending letters to perspective magazines, publishers, editors, agents, etc whom you would send a query letter. Is this a match? Do your research. Look at their publications. Google has made the life of the writer easier. Then there’s also trade magazines, and reference books like Writer’s Market, can give you info. If your work won’t match their needs, don’t waste their time or yours.

Tip2: Personalize the letter: I’m not saying reveal all your personal business. Do you send out a stock message for your personal ads? If so, stop it, and don’t send out stock query letters either. Your research should have uncovered, who you needed to address your letter.  You should also mention in your letter why your work would be a great fit with them, just like in a personals message you tell the person why you’d make a great match. *FYI: If you can’t find a person’s name via the internets, but you find a number-call the number. Ask who to send a query to about your particular topic. Taking this simple extra step will make your letter stand out. Plus, you may find they do not accept unsolicited queries, which again will save you time.*

Tip 3: Write a hook: Your letter to that potential special someone should start with something designed to perk their interest. You have to imagine the person is receiving tons of messages. How can you make yours stand out? With your query letter concentrate on selling your product. Snag her interest. Make him want to keep reading.

Tip 4: Tell them what you wantWhen you’re writing to someone on Match.com, OKCupid or wherever you tell that person what you’re trying to do. Are you hoping to eventually go on a date? Do you want to try chatting online? Are you just looking for a hookup? You tell the person, and hopefully by the research you’ve done, you know you have these similar intentions. In your query letter be specific with your intentions.

Tip 5: Make every word countIf it’s not going to potentially get that date, don’t mention it. Remember this is you trying to woo that person for the first time. Don’t waste your precious space telling the person you’re writing your query to that you know they don’t have a lot of time, or submitting article links to things you’ve written, but aren’t pertinent to the current topic. Make sure to tell them your market. (If you don’t know what market you work goes to, find out.) Choose your words thoughtfully.

Tip 6: Follow directions: Some people post they don’t respond to someone who doesn’t have a picture, or they don’t respond to someone who doesn’t have fully completed ad. So make sure you have what they want. In a query, they may want your entire manuscript, or just a couple chapters (entire article v summary, you get the point). They may not ask you to supply anything, but you can offer it.

These six tips aren’t the end-all, be-all of query letter writing, but it will get you on your way!

Do you have any tips or tricks you have learned about sending queries? If so, leave them in the comments below. And feel free to share this post.


Filed under freelance writing