When To Pay, When Not to Pay: Domain Names

Since I’m on this great self-pub journey with absolutely no savings or income to utilize, there’s a constant struggle to gauge what is a worthwhile expense and what isn’t. How much can I really afford to pay on this book cover? Since I can only muster up so much cash, should I do it myself and pour all of that into source files or hire someone else with more skills but higher rates for everything? Can I afford a line editor? Ads?

All of those questions and more swirl around in my head every day. If I’m struggling with these questions, probably someone else out there is struggling just as hard, confused and frustrated by the wealth of information urging indie authors to SPEND HERE. Welcome then, to the “When To Pay, When Not To Pay” series on Blargle Splect outlining some of the places I’ve decided to invest my limited financial resources and why. Continue reading

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Blog Pussycat, Blog, Blog!

Hey there bloggers, writers, the crickets that I’m going to go ahead and pretend is the sound of an expectant audience hanging on my every word, blogging is difficult. Not so much figuring out what you have to say and then saying it, a basic level fencepost gossip can do as much. No, it’s the silence that gets you. The assumed lack of interest in the crowd you’re speaking to. It’s the void and the echoing emptiness that shuts a thousand blogging souls down into silence once more.

Here’s the thing, do it anyway. Talk into the void. It’s working.

When I first started blogging, for the now defunct Celebrities.com with near limitless resources at my disposal, at first I was terrified. What if I unintentionally told a lie (happens all the time with celebrity gossip) that pissed off the artist? What if I stepped on a few fan’s toes and they sent me hate mail for months? What if – no one was reading it at all? Continue reading

Tags, Categories & Why You Should Use Them!

Today I’m going to be helpful and explain what tags and categories are and why you should be using them on your blogs. Any blogs, all blogs, for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY AND GOOD IN THE WORLD USE THEM!

*pant pant*

You see, tags and categories do you and your readers a valuable service. Ever been to a blog that had all kinds of useful information that you wanted to read up on, as well as tons of other content that you really just didn’t have the time for? Adding categories to your blog posts (and then adding a category widget to the sidebar) makes it a lot easier for readers to find exactly what they’re looking for On Your Blog.

For example over at Sarah a.k.a. Legion I use categories to highlight each character, so that fans of a particular character can just click on the relevant category and get all of their posts together. Here, I don’t use many categories – which makes the blog a Lot harder to search through in order to find posts on a particular topic. You’d have to scroll through all of the pages scanning titles and content and most people just aren’t that dedicated.

Tags on the other hand, aren’t as much for your readers as they are for You. Tags are metadata that help search engine spiders find and correctly archive your site for query – but they’re also useful in your dashboard in order to help you find specific topics within categories. You should use the most relevant tags for each post, but try not to use too many or a spider might consider the tags worthless and your post spam.

How to decide what is a category or tag worthy is up to you. It helps if you have a concrete grasp on what your blog is about as I did when constructing Sarah a.k.a. Legion, I knew from day 1 that it would feature serial fiction from various different characters over time – so having categories for each character was an obvious choice. Blargle Splect on the other hand was my sandbox where I threw a bunch of blather and saw what stuck – so it only had a handful or general, nonspecific, less useful categories at first. I’ve since changed that.

It’s better to start using categories early on, then have to go back and add them later. It’s still possible to go back in and add categories later, it’s just a little bit more of a pain in the ass that way, same with tags. So use them early, use them as well as you are able, and your readers and search engine ratings will thank you!

Y. K. Greene