Monday, February 28, 2011

Where I've Been Writing: Content Sites

Just because I haven't been posting much on this blog lately doesn't mean that I haven't been writing. I've had a number of different places where I've invested my time and words, so I decided to share them with you this week.

Xomba

I discovered Xomba.com a year and a half ago. This content site seemed friendlier than most, and I enjoyed the freedom to write about almost anything. Sites like eHow and Bukisa had either more restrictions or were more difficult to use.

I posted to the site a lot in fall 2009, but gradually stopped using it. In fall 2010, I noticed my earnings had increased dramatically. It took me a while to realize they were from my Xomba referrals. Seeing the earning potential, I came back to the site, just in time for them to discontinue their referral program.

They've changed a lot of rules lately - increasing word counts and banning promotional material. Their new goal is to become more of a writing community. I'm unsure what the changes will bring as far as people actually reading articles on the site, but it's still my default location for posting new articles.

The articles I've written vary widely, as you can see for yourself:

How to Become a Book Reviewer

The Value of a Backup

How to Get Ready for Last-Minute Guests

Just Dance Overview


WebAnswers

I've dabbled occasionally on question and answer sites like Yahoo! Answers and Mahalo, but I never found one where I wanted to stick around like I do with WebAnswers.com. Most Q&A sites penalize or restrict asking questions, while rewarding answers. WebAnswers rewards both, and on top of that, rewards users who regularly give high-quality answers with additional impressions.

There is a huge breadth of categories of questions to ask and answer. While the freedom the site offers does allow for a few spammy questions to crop up (10 slightly different questions about Facebook mobile asked in the same hour, for instance), they soon disappear as hundreds of new questions to answer arrive every day.

I've answered a few as varied as:

What's a Bronx cheer?

What characters are in all six Star Wars movies?

Why does my Adsense RPM go down?


Question about Book Publishing


Next time, I'll tell you about the one place where I've focused most of my writing efforts over the past six months.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review Links

One of the first things I want to work on as I come back to this blog is cleaning up the sidebar. I have FAR too many links on it. Some I do want to still have access to, but they don't need to be in my sidebar.

One of the longest lists is my review links. Most (if not all) of these reviews were for Christian Book Previews, and written 3 years ago or longer. Some of these reviews were quoted in press releases, on back covers, and inside the first few pages of sequels. It's an impressive tribute to my early days of reviewing, but they were so far down on the sidebar, I doubt that they got any traffic. So I'm listing them here in a post and removing them from my sidebar. That way, I have record of them still, and if I want to refer others to them later, all I will need to do is link to this post.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

An Apology

I'm sorry, little blog.

Sorry that I've all but ignored you over the past few years. You've been faithfully sitting on the web since June 2004, yet over time I've forgotten that you were the one who helped me dip my toes into cyberspace.

You introduced me to how my words could reach thousands of people across the globe. You taught me how to rant politely, to vent without offending, and when I shouldn't worry about stepping on a few toes.

You helped me meet other writers, and graciously became my public face to them. You showed me how to jazz you up with links, pictures, and block quotes. You let me practice my rudimentary HTML skills on your sidebar, with unlimited previews and an undo button.

When other blogs updated to the snazzy new layout, with widgets, you didn't care that I left you in template mode. Or kept the same blue header that you'd had from the beginning.

When I deserted you for months on end while I pursued other writing projects, you didn't mind. You were even fine when I started other blogs and focused on them instead of you.

You never complained when I reduced the bulk of your posts to book tours, even if many of the tour posts matched those on other sites. You simply enjoyed whenever I had time to jot down a few original thoughts within them.

Through it all you remained steady, bringing in traffic from search engines to posts written long ago, ignoring dead links in your sidebar, and dreaming about the days of old.

Well, dream no longer, little blog. I have returned. I am determined to reclaim the past and breathe new life into your well-worn coding. It is time . . . to blog again!

And I know, if I fail you once more, you will still be there for me - my ever faithful blog.

Thank you for being you, and for letting me be me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Save The Date
Thomas Nelson (February 1, 2011)
by
Jenny B. Jones




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



I write Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. My novels include the Katie Parker Production series and So Not Happening. I would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere I think I read you’re not supposed to lie.



When I’m not typing my heart out (or checking email), I teach at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.



My students are constantly telling me how my teaching changes their lives and turned them away from drugs, gangs, and C-SPAN.



Okay, that’s not exactly true.



Some facts that are true include:



I've always been refined!



A. I got my camera confiscated by big boys with guns at the American Embassy in Europe this past summer. O la la!



B. I once worked in a seed mill office and cleaned out mice on a regular basis. Ew.



C. I’m a former drama teacher.



D. I didn’t pass my drivers test the first time. Or the second…



E. I attract stray animals like a magnet.



F. I used to assemble and test paint ball guns for a local factory...



Since my current job leaves me with very little free time, I believe in spending my spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits such as:



-watching E!

-updating my status on Facebook

-catching Will Ferrell on YouTube and

-writing my name in the dust on my furniture



I’d love to hear about you, so drop me a note. Or check me out on Facebook.





ABOUT THE BOOK



You’re invited to the engagement of the most unlikely couple of the year.

When the funding for Lucy’s non-profit job is pulled, she is determined to find out why. Enter Alex Sinclair, former professional football star and heir of Sinclair Enterprises—the primary donor to Lucy’s Saving Grace organization. Alex Sinclair has it all . . . except for the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Both Lucy and Alex have something the other wants. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancĂ©e in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn’t quite what he seems, Lucy finds her heart – and her future – on the line.



Save the Date is a spunky romance that will have readers laughing out loud as this dubious pair try to save their careers, their dreams . . . and maybe even a date.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Save The Date, go HERE