From Blog to Book: One Skeptic’s Journey

This is a guest post from David Teems. He is a close, personal friend and the author of several books, including his most recent, Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God An English Voice. Be sure to check out his blog and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

I admit, when I hear someone suggest that you can take your blog posts and turn them into a book, I am skeptical. But when I really thought about it, for all my skepticism, and as much as it pains me to admit it, my first book, To Love Is Christ, came about just that way. Let me explain.

Bit and Bytes Becoming a Book - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/alengo, Image #18640372

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/alengo

On August 1, 2002 I made a vow to God. He and I weren’t on the best of terms at the time, and when I finally got fed up hearing myself complain, or filling my journal with more whine, I decided to do something dramatic. My strategy was both simple and logical. That morning I decided since the Scripture tells me that God is love, I would write every day for one year on that one subject, love. That was it. That was my strategy.

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

I originally wrote this post in May 2008. I have learned a lot since then. Twitter has also changed since then. I have updated this post to reflect both.

This post is a 20-minute guide to Twitter for non-techies. If you don’t know what Twitter is, start with my first post on the topic, Twitter-dee, Twitter-dum. If you still aren’t convinced it’s worth your time, then read my 12 Reasons to Start Twittering.

A Finger About to Click on the iPhone Twitter App - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ymgerman, Image #17221776

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ymgerman

Over the last few years, I have helped several friends and a few family members get setup on Twitter. I found myself explaining the basics over and over again, so I decided to write a simple, step-by-step guide.

13 Blog Post Ideas for Novelists

In case you are new here, I am a big advocate of blogging. I don’t know of a better way to build a platform than starting with a blog as your “homebase” and building from there. This is especially true for authors.

Row of Matches About to Catch Fire - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/JamesBrey, Image #8023692

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/JamesBrey

Occasionally, when I speak on the topic of social media, I get push-back from novelists. “Yes, a blog maybe great for non-fiction authors, but what about novelists? What can we write about?”

How to Write a Blog Post in 70 Minutes or Less

Blogging is an important part of my life. It the primary way I have built and communicate with my tribe. However, it is not the only thing I do. I’ll bet it’s not for you, either.

A Hand Holding a Stopwatch - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/slobo, Image #7465953

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/slobo

If you are like most bloggers, you are trying to squeeze it in between your job, your family, and a thousand other activities. It can be really tough to be consistent.

3 Blogging Experiments That Might Make You a Better Writer

This is a guest post by John Saddington. He is a professional blogger who loves sharing his blogging tips, tricks, tools, and practical teaching. He covers such topics as SEO, WordPress and making money with your blog. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Sometimes we need to stretch ourselves outside of our comfort zones in an effort to improve our writing. But it’s not natural to make yourself uncomfortable. No one willingly jumps out of box without a bit of helpful prodding or a direct challenge.

A Crazy Scientist Doing Experiments on Himself - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RichVintage, Image #16177705

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RichVintage

I’m here to help.

The Unproductive Writer’s Guide to Success

Martyn Chamberlin is a copywriter and web designer from Two Hour Blogger. Following him on Twitter may be the easiest thing you do today. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

There is something about the word productivity that makes every blogger blush deeply.

You turn on your computer, check your email and Facebook, and forget why you logged on. Forty minutes later you walk away feeling guilty and unproductive. It happens to you every single day.

A Writer's Desk - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MiquelMunill, Image #4792809

The Internet is inherently unproductive. Every aspect tries to consume your attention. Your friends want you to read their updates. Apple wants you to check out their latest gadget. Google wants you to click on as many search results as you can.

What Social Media Stats Should You Include in Your Book Proposal?

A few weeks ago, an author friend of mine was preparing a proposal for his new book. He called to ask me what social media stats he should include. In other words, what would be meaningful to prospective publishers? This is a great question.

Close-up of Graph - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Nikada, Image #6880980

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Nikada

Agents and publishers are looking for authors with meaningful platforms. Most look at specific social media stats as a proxy for this. These stats include those specifically related to blogging, Facebook, and Twitter.

How to Use Evernote as a Blogger

A few weeks ago, I started using Evernote as my primary “blogging workbench.” It is where I store blog post ideas, collect various post components, and then write the post itself. This has proven to be a robust solution that enables me to be working on several posts simultaneously.

My Evernote Blogging Workflow

I thought I would share my workflow with you. Yours will be different, I’m sure. But, hopefully, this will provide you with a few ideas.

Seven Steps to Writing a Successful Guest Post

This is a guest post by Jeff Goins. He is a writer and missions mobilizer. He lives in Nashville with his wife and dog. You can read his blog and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Although I’ve been blogging since 2005, I still feel like a newbie, sometimes. For years, I’ve wondered, “Why is nobody reading what I’m writing?” Maybe you’ve asked the same question.

Multiple Megaphones on a Pole - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/adventtr, Image #8233181

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/adventtr

I’m beginning to discover the answer. It has to do with community.

Tell Your Story, the Good and the Bad

This is a guest post by Geoff Talbot. He is a filmmaker, blogger, and dreamer. Geoff blogs at Seven Sentences. He is also active on Twitter and Facebook. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Using social networking to promote our ideas or to sell a product or a vision can be a dangerous thing. It is so easy to fall into the whale’s mouth and exaggerate, inflate, or cover over the broken image of who we really are. In our eagerness to impress and sell, we can easily stumble and fall.

A Distraught Businesswoman with Her Head in Her Hands - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DNY59, Image #15936915

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DNY59

While projecting a too-good-to-be-true image may produce short-terms gains, it results in long-term disappointment. Eventually we can’t hide the truth of who we are. There is too much information already out there. The truth is that most of these people are just like you and me.

Do You Have to Respond to Every Blog Comment?

As a blogger, I love getting comments. This is one major way in which blogging is different from all other forms of writing. You get near-instant feedback. This is tremendously gratifying, but it can also be a challenge to keep up with them.

A Dinner Party - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jentakespictures, Image #14874643

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jentakespictures

Over the last six months, I have seen my average number of comments per post double. This has been due, I think, to four reasons: