Link of the Week – Morguefile

October 25, 2016

Being a blogger and writer of a newsletter, among many other creative hats, I find that I’m often in need of stock photos. No doubt I’m not alone. There are loads of great sites out there that offer both free and paid royalty free pics—Depositphotos, Dreamstime, CreativeCommons, iStock, Bigstock, to name just a few.

Here’s another to add to the list—Morguefile.  http://www.morguefile.com/

Morguefile is “a community-based free photo site, and all photos found in the Morguefile archive are free for you to download and re-use in your work, be it commercial or not. The photos have been contributed by a wide range of creatives from around the world, ranging from amateur photo hobbyists to professionals.”

For those who like to take pictures, Morguefile also offers a daily photo challenge called #Quest. Check it out! http://www.morguefile.com/quest/1

 


Triberr – An Author’s Quick Guide

October 17, 2012

Song of the Day: Unity by Shinedown

(This post originally appeared October 5, 2012 on The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog.)

So what is this Triberr people keep talking about? How does it work, and, more importantly, do I have to dress in animal pelts and coif my hair with chicken bones if I join?

Let’s break down Triberr into easy digestible chunks, shall we.

First, what exactly is Triberr? In short, Triberr is a reach multiplier. Huh? What does that mean? Triberr is a community of bloggers who also double has pimps, or marketing tools. These bloggers band together in tribes and share blog posts. When one tribe member posts a blog, the blog is tweeted through Twitter by all the other tribe members.

What is a tribe? No, it’s not drinking the Kool-aid. Tribes are collaborative groups of bloggers that often have a commonality. In our case, that might be writers and reviewers. Groups might consist of cliques for a more narrow target market, such as authors who write historical, erotica, thriller, etc. Tribe mates in these classification specific units share quality, relevant content and networking, and often provide guest posting opportunities.

How does it work? Triberr easily manages this through the RSS feeds (every blog had one). Triberr automagically imports blog posts into the tribal stream (much like a Twitter stream or Facebook wall) which is shared by all tribe mates. Tribe mates then share these posts with their Twitter followers, either manually or automatically.

I’ll give you an example. Say I write a fascinating post on Caribbean pirates. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume I have 10 tribe mates. My one post is tweeted 10 times. Now think about how many Twitter followers each of my mates might have. Also think about how many people integrate their Twitter accounts with other social media networks like Facebook. The number of possible exposure grows exponentially. And what if you belong to more than one tribe? Whoa! Now that’s driving traffic to your site.

Let’s one-up that. Every tribe mate can reblog your post. Reblogging through Triberr offers extra incentives. Let’s go back to my pirate post. Tribe mate Johnny thinks my post is pretty awesome. He reblogs it on his blog, putting my article in front of a new audience. Any comments made to the post on Johnny’s blog will show up on mine as well. And if tribe mate Orlando also reblogs  my post to his site, any comments made there will appear on both mine and Johnny’s blog.  In other words there is no loss of engagement.  This is good for all involved. It’s like guest posting. Less work and more interactions. Wow. I’m all over that!

Triberr is a community of engagement, and it’s growing. There are forums called bonfires for tribe members to ask questions, get tech support, network, and more.

Tribe members also collect bones. No Triberr is not conducting secret cannibalistic rituals. Bones are the equivalent to currency. Bones are earned through activity on the site and they are spent on benefits to bloggers and to creating more tribes.

But why use Triberr? Here’s the important part. When invited to join Triberr, you become a part of an instant community. Not only are you connecting with like-minded bloggers, you are expanding your potential readership sweep. It’s share and share alike. Your post gets distributed. Tribe mates are sharing good relevant content to their followers. And followers are exposed to you. Your blog traffic grows. For authors, pffsh, it’s a no brainer.

Triberr is always improving, too. Soon the network will be integrating social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Can you just imagine the potential reach? Get your ooga mooga primitive groove on and check it out.

Triberr.com/

Any thoughts? Questions? Are you on Triberr and would like to share your experience? Let’s hear from you.

(This post originally appeared October 5, 2012 on The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog.)

 


Paying the TimeKeeper – Blogger’s Debt

July 27, 2011

Song of the Day: Paparazzi by Lady Gaga

So, let’s talk about author blogs. Commentaries, musings, chronicles, running narratives of a writer’s life, there are a bajillion out there. But are they effective in bringing in sales and new readers? Or are they another time sucking black hole?

The answer I’ve come up with – yes and no.

Blogs are great tools in developing a web presence, especially when following a few tips. Blogs should reflect the blogger’s personality, be entertaining, and offer something (education, advice, links, prizes, a good knee-slapping laugh, etc.) to readers.  Length can be whatever the blogger is comfortable with, but shorter is sometimes better, especially when blogging often. (Not today. Sorry.) The blogger should make every effort to reply to every commenter. Personal touches go a long way, showing the blogger is not a cold, unapproachable, one dimensional being.

There is no question blogs are important to writers, whether they write them or not. Commenting on blogs regularly is an easy way to gain name recognition. They (whoever ‘they’ are) say it takes seven times for a person to see a name before that name becomes recognizable. That’s what we want, right? To be recognizable? Okay, maybe we won’t walk outside and be blinded by dozens of paparazzi flash bulbs. But we do want people to remember us.

Let’s go back to my original question. Are blogs another chupacabra sucking us dry of our precious time?

A question to ask yourself is who is the target market for your blog? For many of us, our circles of followers are other authors. This is great because writers tend to form supportive, tight knit communities. And in this industry, we need to each other’s back. But how far will that go in terms of sales and readership? It goes back to becoming active in the blogosphere.

We want to expand from the bubble of friends. We want to draw in readers near AND far.

Many authors do blog tours. Any way you slice it, blog tours are time consuming. Consider the time spent looking for and corresponding with other bloggers for a guest spot. Also consider that the content posted will need to be fresh and unique for each site. Don’t forget the time spent replying to every commenter to your post.

If you have time for a blog tour, I say go for it. Got a couple of tips for you, too. Keep the blog tour to a manageable amount, be that 10, 25, or 50 stops. Offer prizes. People will likely ‘follow’ you (think Grateful Dead’s Deadheads) on your tour if they have a chance to win something. Have a boilerplate about yourself and your book’s information already prepared. The boilerplate can easily be copied and pasted into each blog written. Don’t just hit up all your writer buds for guest spots and interviews. There are endless blogging opportunities out there. Expand on blogs that have content you may be interested in. For example, if your book is about a dragon-slaying pastry chef who falls in love with a racecar-driving homicide detective. You might consider looking for blogs about Renaissance festivals, Nascar, baking, and law enforcement and write a blog relevant to those topics. And if you have a boilerplate at the end, you’ll be slipping in that PSA on your book, upcoming release, or YOU the future best-selling author.

Need help finding blogs to appear as a guest? You might try Myguestblogger.com to get you started. Or try Googling ‘guest blogging sites’ or ‘guest bloggers wanted *topic*’. There is also The Cheap, a blog for authors and readers who welcome guest bloggers. Then there is MuseTracks.  That’s right. Want to do a guest blog here, contact one of us!

If tours aren’t your cup of ale, you can still use these blog tips to your advantage and at your leisure. Keep at it regularly and you will likely pick up a few loyal followers. That translates to readers and sales.

Just as with keeping up with the Joneses (damn you Jones- shaking fists in frustration) on social media sites, it goes back to managing your time to fit in a couple of blogs a day/week to visit, comment, and write.

For me, I recognize that my plate is full. I don’t have the time to do a blog tour. I will gladly do interviews, and I always try to put a fun spin on each one. But I am human and I know I can’t do more at this moment.

What about you? Do you blog? Love it? Hate it? Any advice to share? Let’s hear from you!