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7 Tips for Building Your Online Platform

Written by Jassica Atha | March 19, 2015

Authors today are expected to carry more and more weight in marketing and publicity. In the digital age, much of it can be accomplished online, which can be both easier and harder. There are many free options, but there is also a lot of competition. With so many options and market saturation, the prospect of building an online platform can be intimidating. Here are a few tips for those just staring out:

  1. One good social media account is better than five bad ones. Find something you like and stick to it, whether it’s blogging or Facebook. If you can enjoy it, it will be easier to keep up. Do you like taking pictures? Instagram. Do you like crafts? Pinterest. Do you like short and sweet? Twitter. Longer form? Tumblr. The list can go on and on. But you don’t have to.
  2. Interaction is important.Shouting into the chaotic masses can make anyone feel isolated and their efforts futile. Think about your audience. What do you like? What does your audience like? Chances are that they will overlap. Find those conversations and participate.
  3. Don’t spam. Do not just ask people to check out your book over and over. Direct self-promotion should not be a majority of what you do. You don’t want to beg, you want to be memorable in a positive way.
  4. Keep your site and postings current and regular. This is important for SEO and making yourself visible online. You don’t want your page to look abandoned. You don’t have to post so often that it feels like a chore. Don’t post so seldom that it feels like an after thought. Make a schedule or make it habit.
  5. Keep your site and postings relevant. People need to know your brand and what type of content you offer. All of your topics should relate somehow back to you and your writing. If you are selling cookbooks, you probably shouldn’t post about finance.
  6. Building your online platform is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t happen overnight. Keep realistic expectations. Use this time at the beginning to try different things and to find what works for you.
  7. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We’re all human and we mess up sometimes. As long as you’re respectful, people will generally be forgiving.

Bio: Jessica Atha is a writer, publishing professional, freelancer, and avid reader. She received summa cum laude in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has published several articles and a couple of short stories in magazines and literary journals. She currently works in a small publishing house in Arizona.www.JessicaAtha.com

Source: http://www.authorspublish.com/7-tips-for-building-your-online-platform/

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SEO and Your Blog

Great info!

The Daily Post

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post for the WordPress.com blog about how SEO works on WordPress.com, and today I’d like to discuss this here on The Daily Post. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to things you can do to increase how high your site ranks in the search results of Google and other search engines.

SEO is a hot topic around the blogosphere, and you’ve likely heard a lot about it. Much often repeated SEO advice is untrustworthy and some of it is just plain bad.

The good news is if you have a site on WordPress.com we take care of the vast majority of the technical side of SEO for you. The only thing you really need to do for great SEO is write!

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Did Robert Durst confess on purpose?

On March 16 2015, the top story of the day was about the arrest of Robert Durst, real estate heir. I hadn’t heard of Mr Durst before that breaking news and so was just learning the details surrounding the documentary from which his off-air confession prompted his eventual arrest for murder.

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 17, 2015, file photo, Robert Durst is transported from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to the Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in New Orleans. The whispered words of Durst recorded in an unguarded moment in a bathroom could come back to haunt him - or help him - as he faces a murder charge. A possible move by prosecutors to introduce the incriminating material from a six-part documentary on his strange life and connection to three killings could back fire as interview footage did in the Michael Jackson molestation trial and the Robert Blake murder case.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE – In this Tuesday, March 17, 2015, file photo, Robert Durst is transported from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to the Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in New Orleans. The whispered words of Durst recorded in an unguarded moment in a bathroom could come back to haunt him – or help him – as he faces a murder charge. A possible move by prosecutors to introduce the incriminating material from a six-part documentary on his strange life and connection to three killings could back fire as interview footage did in the Michael Jackson molestation trial and the Robert Blake murder case. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

When I finally got to see a picture of him, and realized he was 71 years old, I immediately concluded that he must be tired of running, hiding and he was ready to rest! He’s been a suspect in the murder of his friend, Susan Berman, for 15 years as well as the disappearance of wife for approximately 33 years, and acquitted of murdering his neighbor in 2001, and now his own words have both caused his arrest and set his conscience free.

“What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course,”

My mind then went to a somewhat dark place, “What if he’s suicidal? What if he plans to just end his life to escape trial, sentencing and be done with it?” I guess others were thinking the same thing too, since I later learned he was put on suicide watch.

robert durst on suicide watch
Robert Durst on suicide watch: Yahoo Images (today.com)

As the case continues to unfold, all I want is closure for the families whose loved ones he stole. I don’t want him to get off easy, I want him to face his crimes and pay! I hope privilege doesn’t give him a free pass, for all lives are precious and it is only the Creator who should say when a life must begin and eventually end!

Ironically, these charges may lead him down the road to the death penalty. So this question now troubles me, is the death penalty an authority we are empowered to carry out? After all, we didn’t create life, we are simply the vessels through which the Almighty Creator allowed us to populate the earth, and His 6th Commandment states “We should not kill “(Exodus 20:11). So how then do these grieving families get justice? And how do we as a society discourage lawlessness?

My answer: Life in prison with Solitary confinement so his conscience can be his punishment. He should not be allowed to commit suicide so as to take the easy road out, but made to think long and hard of his evil doings. The problem is keeping him alive will cost money! Taxpayers shouldn’t be made to pay for this, but his earnings — the very earnings that allowed him to live free and comfortably all these years.

Needless to say, only time will tell how all this unfolds — another crime story for the history books! Sickening and sad…


Contents written: March 16 2015. Edited: March 22, 2015  |  Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises


Short Stories, Uncategorized

I asked for a raise but got a pay-cut instead!

pay-cut

For the approval of a creation lies in the hands of the Creator alone. No other can truly speak to its worth quite the same way.

https://mrsmariposa2014.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/confessions-of-an-avid-approval-seeker/

You see, every three years I raise my rates in order to keep my business afloat so as not to be seeing red at every turn. But inevitably, this rate increase usually causes a huge upset in my cash flow as some clients cancel service because they don’t have the budget to keep up. I am usually not too surprised by this because it is these same clients who cause me to operate at a loss in the first place. They usually want/request more work than everyone else but are too cheap to pay the rates to go along with it or can’t afford to do so. In short, they don’t see or appreciate the true value of the service my employees and I provide (the ones who appreciate us never complain and are happy to pay extra to ensure we never leave).

As the new rates took effect March 1st, one such client, unappreciative of our true value, sought it best to use an incident from almost 2 yrs ago (an employee did something rather stupid which caused a lot of grief to both the client and our company) as the reason for canceling service which I thought was rather odd. Was it her pride that didn’t allow her to give the real reason for cancelling — lack of finances? Or was she a threat that needed to be eliminated now before she became malicious later on citing said incident from 2 years ago as her reason? To be honest, I don’t know, only she and God really know the truth. But I am glad I got to see her true nature now.

To rectify the issue back then, I offered her a refund (which she declined to accept), filed a police report (she did and I gave the employees relevant info), terminated the employee and continued to provide the best possible service we could given the circumstances. We granted favors that were not necessarily part of our job description, but weren’t terribly inconvenient to carry out — anything we could think of. The fact that she would wait almost 2 years, all the while referring other clients, laughing and talking normally every time we were there as if nothing happened, to say she expected us to do MORE  and that I should have INSISTED she take the offer by not charging her for subsequent visits, is what gets me! Such people scare the crap out of me and I stay far far away when I am aware of their true nature.

Delegation was a foreign term to me and it was a daily struggle to relinquish control to others and even to God! It is for this reason that I spent many years operating my business alone (no employees) for the simple fact that I was notorious about quality control. (Control freak? Yes. OCD? Yes. Therapy needed? Yes — I am in session NOW since writing IS my therapy). But when I decided to hire help as maternity leave was imminent, above said client supported my decision wholeheartedly (at least so it seemed at the time) and said she understood that there was a lot to do and she would not mind if I kept on an assistant even after maternity leave. I was thrilled at the prospects of growing my business, but nervous to the core because I knew I had set the bar very high and an assistant would dilute the quality somewhat.

Nevertheless, I tried and tried to develop a formula to make ANY assistant successful like other franchise operations do with a set way of doing things, e.g Mc Donalds, but ultimately the one failing point wasn’t the formula but the integrity of the employee. I was doomed to fail just on that one factor alone since my job was so personal-data-personal-space sensitive!

Over the years, employees have come and gone, and I’ve seen the financial rewards remain steady when I was the only one — no dilution. And with that knowledge I am now faced with the enormous decision of whether to keep things as is with the employees that remain or scale back once again to the army of one — just me. I am also flirting with the idea of a completely different career altogether, one that offers human contact, but with a safety bubble of sorts in place, kind of like blogging — interacting with people but from a distance.

Not knowing a person’s true intentions, and having been burned many times because I gave people the benefit of the doubt only to have them prove me very wrong, is where my mistrust comes from. Inherently, I believe in second chances, as so many second chances have been given to me by others who genuinely care and ultimately by my heavenly Father. So for this reason, I strive to be more like HIM, but human nature is unpredictable, and with that knowledge I have often been heard repeating the phrase, “I will like you more if I saw you less”. Sad, yes I know, but my quest to find genuine friends/companions has always left me with a mild distaste for human contact when bonds made were eventually broken due to the hidden agendas of others, forcing me to keep my distance as a form of self-preservation.

It is not until you appreciate your own value or self-worth then others around you will understand they need to meet your set standards or move on. Allowing others in with different values/standards will do one of two things: force you to lower yours or force them to raise theirs. Playing the waiting game to see which ultimately happens is dangerous unless you both know going in that there is mutual need for growth in a specific direction –up!

My mom once told me that I am way too picky and if I wanted to find a mate I must lower my standards a bit. I thought back then that since she’s my mom she, more than anyone, would know what’s best for me, so I took her advice and in the end saw negative results. I have since learned to take ALL her advice with a grain of salt, as they say, since she and I see and do things very VERY differently.

I am still learning, still growing, still aspiring to be more, to be better, to be stronger, wiser, kinder, etc etc. But the one I have my eyes set on is Jesus for it is only in HIM that I can be all those things and without HIM I an nothing! He knows my worth for I am His creation — we all are — AND humanity would be in much better shape if we all focused our sights and aspirations on HIM!

Image Source: Yahoo images (www.bubble-jobs.co.uk)


Contents written: March 12 2015  |  Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises


Uncategorized

May cause weight gain

Doctor: Ma’am, I have great news! Your test results have revealed what’s been ailing you and we may have a solution.

Me: Okay doc, go on…

She explained the problem as thoroughly as possible then said, “You’d have to take hormones. It’s a pill you’ll take everyday and it provides two benefits: it will hopefully solve the problem over time and it’s also a contraceptive.”

Me: Okay, sounds good so far, but what are the side effects?

Doctor: Bloating, nausea, tenderness, and it may cause weight gain.

I slumped backward into the chair and all I could hear was my mind screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” You see, as I approach 41, I am fully aware that the body has to fight a lot harder to lose or maintain a desirable weight as we age. And unless you are genetically predisposed to be skinny/lean/slim, it’s tough! I am currently pretty active thanks to my job, my dog and my toddler, but I would someday (in the next year or two) like to have a profession that is less labor intensive in favor of one that is more mentally stimulating and free of roots by which I must be tethered. My ultimate goal is a writing career that can let me work from anywhere! But the downside to that is I would have to make more of an effort to stay fit, something I don’t have to do now since my job has that sort of built in.

I have always assumed I would take up running again – a long lost love which I miss dearly but was forced to give up since I’m stretched to the limit time-wise. But it scares me to think of gaining weight at a time when I’m trying so hard to lose or maintain my current numbers. So, then and there, as I lifted myself up from being slumped back into the chair in the doctor’s office, I agreed to try the recommended medication. I take it just before bed to alleviate the aforementioned side-effects plus the others not mentioned, which littered the medication’s information sheet. I must follow up in six months for re-evaluation at which point we will renew the prescription or try a different remedy if this one fails to produce the desired results.

I hate feeling like a guinea pig but what other options do I have? For the sake of my health and my sanity (due to bouts of tremendous pain) I must see this through!

As I move forward, I pray that God blesses me with health and strength so I can avoid being placed on any other medication which must be taken for long periods of time, since I firmly believe it is a lot less expensive to incorporate preventative measures early on than to implement remedies in hopes of a cure after the fact. So here’s to good health, for me and for you too. Cheers!

Image Source: Google Images (bodyecology.com)


Contents written: March 8, 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises


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Small Green Marble

Storyshucker

A massive purse sat propped open in her lap as I approached. From the seat beside her she moved a small pack of tissues, two pens, and a broken pencil to make room for me. I took my seat and gasped as something jabbed me in the left buttock.

“I think you forgot this.” I said, handing her the bristled end of a broken hair brush.

“Sorry!” she shook her head apologetically. “I wanted to clean out this old purse on the ride to work and I have thrown things everywhere.”

The bus continued its route while she continued her cleaning. She shuffled through hand-written notes, balled up scraps of paper, and checked and rechecked zippered compartments in the giant purse.

“Well look at this.” she said as she held up a small green marble. “I found it in the yard one day when I left the house and forgot…

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The Gift of TIME 

wpid-gift-of-time.png.pngI heard danger in his voice. I saw evil in his eyes. I hadn’t figured out the logistics of surviving with an infant, 2 teenagers a dog, and all the bills, but I wanted him gone! I asked him to walk out of my life and leave me alone. He said no! Instead he turned my life upside down and things haven’t been the same since…

That was 3 yrs ago. The anniversary of the tragic event draws nigh. I’d forgotten about it, sort of, being busy with the kids, taxes, chores, work and just making ends meet. But today, as I book appointments for my March work schedule, the note on my calendar popped up and took me back — Back to that horrible night when… when everything changed — when the monster in human form revealed his true identity. No more pretense, no more mincing words, no more camouflage, just pure evil!

I still can’t believe this is my life. The kind of stuff one sees on 48 Hour Mystery — yep it was that insane! Most times it feels like I’m having an out-of-body experience — taken from my sane, calm life and drop into some one else’s. But it’s real, all real and everyday is a struggle to find beauty and happiness amid the chaos — to leave those horrible events in the past and to find peace and joy even now.

So here’s to that Google pop-up reminder: from now on every time I see you I will remember that God won the battle for me that horrible night and I’m still here Living, Surviving,Thriving, and finding Happiness in Jesus name. In time your reminder will no longer be a place where I come to mourn the loss of my old life, my treasured possessions (now lost forever), or my home of 15 yrs, but to celebrate the birth of my new life — the second chance granted to me by the Almighty. In time, you will be nothing more than a passing thought, buried under wonderful memories I plan to create as long as I am blessed with life to do so. And perhaps, in time, I may come to view those horrible events as a blessing and not a curse.

Thank you Lord for your mercy and the gift of time to heal my wounds, and of course, for a second chance, amen.

[Contents written: March 2 2015. Edited: March 5 2015] [Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises]