How do authors balance the discipline of writing with the rest of their life? The Brew & Ink crew discuss the different ways that we try to stay consistent with writing with jobs, families, and more.
Then it’s time for the throw down! Katie drew the genre of Fairy Tale and Britt (MB) Mooney Legends, and both had to use the title “Strongbow.” Listen to their flash fiction stories and then go to our website or here on our FB page to vote for your favorite!
In this episode:
How do you stay consistent with your writing?
How do you prioritize time to write in the midst of family and other responsibilities?
Why is the balance of writing and the rest of your life important?
When we think of our writing goals, we often focus on what we actually have no control over.
“I want to be a bestselling author.”
“I want to be published with Harper Collins.”
“I want to sign contracts with this agency.”
Those are great dreams and I hope they all come true for us, but honestly, we have no control over what someone else offers us in terms of representation or contracts. We also have no control over our readers purchasing our books. What we can do, however, is set goals based on what we can control:
“I’m going to do x, y, and z marketing strategies to sell a huge number of books.”
“I’m going to send a proposal to Harper Collins.” (Check submission guidelines — this is just an example!)
“I’m going to query this agent.”
Attack your Goals the SMART Way
The SMART method assures that your goals are actually things you can accomplish.
Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant, Realistic Time-based (deadline)
There needs to be room for WOW, so make sure to hold on to your hopes and dreams!
We had several guests pop in and share their writing projects and goals, and I know I found encouragement (and some great ideas) from what they said! Below the replay you’ll find our guests’ goals and some of the action items they’re using. Enjoy!
Our Awesome Guests
Have a book published at the end of the year.
Randy segments his day into four different ways: edit, write/rewrite, learn, and plot in a room with no electronics and transcribes them into snowflake. Also writes 1500 words every week to a mentor who critiques it and sends it back.
(1) Working on a book launch with SCWI.
(2) Either start a new series or continue with her current one.
Market to the parents. Homeschool groups. Maybe write some curriculum.
(1) finish writing devotions
(2) editing novel
(3) finish writing proposal
Breaking her day down into 15 minutes and trying to get stuff done; continually editing
Working on four different projects “Serial Launch Program;” Has been a paid writer for over 10 years. Get the writing done.
Three different guest writing opportunities. Stop calling her work a “project” — spending an hour and a half working with seniors telling their stories. It will be a training program. Been approached by a geriatric center to implement throughout West Virginia. Scheduled out the implementation for individuals, putting it on Udemy, and finishing the system for the facility.
(1) Protect time.
(2) Write a specific letter to a specific person a week.
(3) Main writing goal: have first drafts of book 3 and 4 in my series done.
(1) Practice saying “no” and choose to do things that are in his gift-set and relying on his congregation to use their gift set. Through the end of the year, not pick up the stuff he’s let go of during the sabbatical. Have margin.
(2) From Lori Roeleveld’s class at Blue Ridge – Write letters of encouragement to younger people in your congregation – and let them be the best writing you do. It blesses someone directly.
(3) Book launch tonight to sign books. Indie publishing. Goal is four books, so will write the next two books together and publish within 4-6 weeks together.
When you spend valuable time crafting a blog or article, it should continue to be read long after you publish it. Most of us have tons of great content hiding in the depths of our blogs. It’s time to let it resurface and breathe the fresh air. If you repurpose your blog content, you can keep your writing fresh and in front of your readers.
It’s super fun to read a great book and then immediately watch the movie…something I did with Gone Girl, Twilight, Hunger Games, and the Hobbit. It’s also equally frustrating with the movie turns out to not live up to par.
In today’s Writer’s Chat, we discuss which stories are better as books, as movies, and which did a great job all the way around!
Today’s Writers Chat was amazing – and we only scratched the surface inside the world of Google Analytics and SEO. Our special guest is Doug Motel, an award-winning writer and SEO and website coach.
Below the Blab replay, you’ll find Bethany’s notes from the episode. If they don’t make sense (ha!) make sure to leave a comment so we can clarify! Although, we definitely recommend watching the replay so you can learn from Doug himself!
1. You Have to Set it Up
Google gives you free tools, but you have to drop the info on the site so they can talk back and forth.
There is a Google Analytics Plugin you can use, but you can also get the code from Google and put in the website coding.
2. Get the Code
Have a gmail account. (Google hosted).
Google “Google Analytics” and create the account.
From the home page, Admin >
3. Put it before the Closing Body Tag.
Note: Control + U pops up HTML.
Pretty soon near the top, you’ll see the [body] that’s the browser talking to all the things. “The body of the web page is coming.” The closing body tag is near the end of that. [/body]
In WordPress: Appearance > Editor > Footer
The footer is at the bottom. You’ll see the “/body” which indicates it’s the end of the body section. Take the code and paste it in before the “/body” and save. It will drop the secret code into every page that has a footer.
[Tweet ““You won’t turn into a pillar of salt if you look at the HTML!” – @SiteOptimized #WritersChat #SEO”]
Will break it down to percentages – visitors coming from organic search
See the keywords – are people typing in things that brought them to you and discovered you.
Other sites linking to yours.
This needs to be high!
Don’t want all the traffic coming from this. These people already know you.
Questions & Best Practices for Using Google Analytics and SEO
1. How do I find the analytics on my specific posts?
Behavior > Overview
Can put a time frame in here – perimeters (In the last year, what was my most popular blog?) It will default to a month view, but you can limit it, even checking only Christmas day, if you want. You can also see if traffic is coming from your blog or from Facebook.
2. What else can I tell from Google Analytics?
Several things, but we mention in this episode that you can see which keywords were used, or if a blogger linked to it.
3. A Tip for Great Search Engine Optimization: Put your keywords in the title tag of the website. [Title] in the first ten lines.
This is the #1 way to talk to Google – but what usually ends up in the title are the words “blog” and “about,” which are the default. Change the title tag so that Google sees it. Yoast calls it the “snippet.”
Keep it to 70 characters (not any longer). You’re already ranking for overall brand, so for example, Bethany’s post (If you Want to Date my Son…) use keywords “christian parenting” — or do a keyword discovery (Google Adwords for the keyword tool) — or “parenting Christian boys.”
4. What is a bounce rate?
The bounce rate shows the number of people who come to your site and leave immediately.
A “good” bounce rate depends on industry and business, but for a goal – shoot for no greater than 30%.
5. Where do I find my site’s bounce rate?
It’s on the first page – in Google Analytics.
6. Tip: “Linking Out” on your Blog
It’s great to post outgoing links in your blog, but make sure you’re linking out to credible resources. Google likes it when we give great resources with established audiences. Just linking to your friends makes Google think you’re reciprocal linking – no value. #GoogleFootsie
LAST MINUTE TIPS
[Tweet “If you have a sense of play and fun with this “game of Google,” you’ll move forward faster.” – @SiteOptimized”]
Use the Webmaster Tool, also called “Search Console.”
Doug created “Draw Talk Write” to help nonfiction authors draw out their mind maps. You can get a first draft done super fast.
If you find that you have dead links in a guest post, you can go back to those blogs and give them an updated link.
[reminder]We will definitely have Doug back with us. If you have questions about SEO or any of the notes didn’t make sense, let us know in the comments.[/reminder]