Growing Your Bouncing Baby Blog

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At the August Wordsowers meeting our guest speaker, the wonderfully funny and encouraging Kelly Klepfer, shared her insights on co-authoring and platform building.

I started hammering away on platform construction last September, so I’m eager to incorporate her blueprints into my building plan, especially my blog.
The blogging rule of thumb is “narrow your focus to broaden your audience.” I haven’t nailed that down, but Michael Bunker has. He writes Amish science-fiction. Seriously. Talk about a narrow focus.
After the meeting I asked author Angela D. Meyer, “How do I narrow my focus?”
She replied, “What’s your passion?”
Hmm. Family time? Reading? Gardening? Organizing? Dancing? Hiking?
I relish all those things, but my true passion is to let people know that, despite our blunders, God is crazy in love with us.
Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net

I want my blog to encourage people. To give them hope.
And that focus is WAY too wide, like using a redwood for a toothpick.

So I looked back to an older post Angela and I co-authored. By “co-authored” I mean I answered a few questions, and she did all the work.
Here are a few highlights of her blog-honing advice.

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In a March post Angela stressed:

Know your mission/purpose. Write a mission statement, or create a tag line. Reveal the purpose behind your writing in one sentence.
For example, Angela’s tagline, “Stories of surrender, transformation, and hope,” reflects how she uses her writing to encourage women in their faith walk.

Know your audience. When you have a specific audience in mind, it is easier to get personal with them. Ask yourself:

            What is their age range?  Their gender? Their interests?
                         What life issue/problem are you going to help them solve/answer?

Know yourself. You are the heartbeat of your writing. It’s how you shine through and stand out from everyone else. People are attracted to YOU, not just the WHAT you write.

           What is your personality? Your passion?
                            What is your writing style? Don’t try to be someone else.
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Great advice Angela.

Now on to

Jeanie’s Super-Secret Newbie No-No’s

Photo courtesy of graur razvan ionut @ freedigitalphotos.net
To recap what we’ve learned so far:
Week 1- Exclamation marks scream, “Newbie!”
Week 2- Annihilate Adverbs.
Week 3- Eradicate empty words. Really just skip them. I’m very serious.
Week 4- Use “invisible” words: said, ask, answer, and reply.
This week-
Stop run-on sentences that keep going and going until the readers wish you would throw in a period or a comma or even an exclamation point or anything to stop the sentence before their eyes permanently cross and it’s especially bad if the sentence is being read out loud because someone might pass out from lack of oxygen trying to get to the end of it and even if they don’t by the time they get to the end they won’t remember what the beginning of the sentence was about.

 

Courtesy of renjith Krishnan @ freedigitalphotos.jpg
Most new writers don’t realize that Gertrude the Crossing Guard freelances for editors between shifts. When run-on sentences overrun your submissions, editors dispatch Gertrude to roadblock your verbal traffic jam. Use punctuation marks to stay up to speed.
Since we all need to move forward, my Current Lofty Goal (AKA something I need to do, but put off) is create a tagline, which was also last month’s lofty goal. I thought “Truth Through Fiction” was perfect. So did about 100,000,000 other authors who already use it.

What’s your tagline, and how did you create it? I’d love to know…even though I might get so jealous of your amazing wit I send Gertrude to wreak havoc on your keyboard.

Sometimes when I write my blog I feel like I’m calling into an empty, echoing canyon. “Hello? Does anybody hear me?”

Have you experienced that?
If so, don’t lose heart. We at Wordsowers want to help. Connect with us here or on our Facebook page.
Jeanie Jacobson

Jeanie Jacobson

Jeanie Jacobson is on the leadership team of Wordsowers Christian Writers Group. Her book, Fast Fixes for the Christian Packrat, is available on Amazon. She’s also published in “Focus on the Family”and “LIVE” magazines, many Chicken Soup for the Soul releases, and Bethany House compilations. Jeanie teaches workshops geared toward helping new writers, and is working on a Christian-slanted YA fantasy novel. Connect with her at jeaniejacobson.com
Jeanie Jacobson

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