MASSIVE Book Giveaway!

So, as my latest book reaches it’s final stages prior publishing, I’m finally ready to let go of freelance writing and jump heart and soul into novel writing full-time. I’ve teetered on the edge, occasionally taking freelance gigs here and there, slowly weeding out my involvement in the business, and basically having a life outside of my work. But now I’m ready to say goodbye for good to the work of those 13 years of my life. And in that step, I’ve decided I’m ready to let go my shelves of freelance and copywriting books. Almost all of these books are in pristine, as-new, condition. And there are some real treasures here that will offer great wisdom, ideas, and advice to freelancers at any stage of their career.

I’m giving the books away, they’re free, but I do ask that you pay for the postage so that I’m not any more out of pocket for the books than their original purchase price. Especially since I can no longer claim it as a tax write-off from my freelancing income. I hope I can find some new homes for these books and that they help you continue to build your own freelance business.

  1. “Start & Run A Copywriting Business” 2nd edition by Steve Slaunwhite (With CD Rom)
  2. “The Copywriter’s Handbook: A step-by-step guide to writing copy that sells” 3rd edition by Robert W. Bly
  3. “Fearless Confessions: A writer’s guide to Memoir” by Sue William Silverman Autographed by the author
  4. “Make a real living as a Freelance Writer: How to win Top writing assignments” by Jenna Glatzer
  5. “$ix Figure Freelancing: The writer’s guide to making more money” by Kelly James-Enger
  6. “My so-called Freelance Life: How to survive and thrive as a creative professional for hire” by Michelle Goodman
  7. “The Well-Fed Writer: Financial self-sufficiency as a Freelance Writer in six months or less” by Peter Bowerman
  8. “Techniques of the $elling Writer” by Dwight V. Swain
  9. “Can I change your mind? The craft and art of persuasive writing” by Lindsay Camp
  10. “Courage & Craft: Writing your life into story” by Barbara Abercrombie
  11. “Starting your career as a freelance writer” by Moira Anderson Allen
  12. “The Wealthy Writer: How to earn a six-figure income as a freelance writer (no kidding!)” by Michael Meanwell
  13. “Expect Success” compiled by Dan Zadra (this book is a little gem about great customer service
  14. “The Professional Writing Guide: Writing well and knowing why” by Roslyn Petelin and Marsha Durham (this book is a little worn, I purchased it second hand and it has a name and some highlighting in the table of contents.)
  15. “Raising a Business: A woman’s no-nonsense guide to successfully growing a small business” by Sonia Williams

Wow, I just did the math on my purchase prices and it comes to over $300 AUD worth of books. And I’m giving them away for free. I must be nuts! lol But then, you, my readers have been good to me through the years too. We’ve shared a large part of my journey together. Some of you have become dear friends, others committed lurkers, and some of you are just discovering this site for the first time. It’s important for writers to stick together. Freelance writing is one of the few industries where we tend to help our competition rather than hinder them. We’re a synergistic community, and I know those who receive these books will gain something from the opportunity. That makes it worth every dime.

Now, remember, while the book itself is free I do ask that you pay for postage. I live in Australia so keep in mind International postage if you live elsewhere. Individually the books are pretty light and some are quite small. Postage shouldn’t be exorbitant, but I can’t give an estimate of the cost until I know where I’m sending each.

Also, to make it fair I’d prefer to have each book go to a different reader. If you’d really love more than one book give me a list in order of preference. If your second or third choice isn’t snatched up by someone else you can give it a home. Also, I do only have one copy of each so I need to work on a first come first served basis. Again, if you really love a particular book say so because the first person might decide postage is too much for their budget.

Ok! Who wants one?

Bread and Butter for Freelancers

Office SpaceWhen you need to earn from freelancing, you can’t always write about the things that really interest you personally. Clients give you topics that meet their current requirements, or ask you to come up with ideas for articles that relate to their activities and will draw traffic to their websites. Sometimes it’s the actual website content that you are writing, with very specific objectives for each page.

I recently had to turn out around 30 pages on the services of a legal firm. It was no joke doing the research and then trying to find different words for the pages of so many overlapping services, and I breathed a sigh of relief once it was done.

To relax and unwind after a day of that, I would write a haiku for the day. I’m getting quite a full haiku diary which I might one day turn into a book. I’m lucky in that, at my time of life, I don’t need to earn much, so I can usually do quite a lot of my own thing. But it can get scary if the commissioned work dries up, so I rarely turn down requests from people who might then not come back to me. Although I’m semi-retired, I still need some bread and butter work to bring me some revenue.

Do you know what I still find exciting about commissioned work? It’s the variety; that’s the spice of life. No two clients are the same. They make, sell or offer different things. This forces me to keep on learning and finding out about things. While I’m doing that, my mind makes connections with things I do already know. It often triggers ideas for blog posts and articles I can offer to magazines or showcase on for sale on Constant Content.

Recently, I’ve found another bread and butter market. I’ve been asked to write tweets. For the uninitiated, this means short bursts of words that add up to a total of no more than 140 characters. The tweets I write for clients are labelled as tips. I’m usually asked for 10 or 15 at a time.

Often they can be gleaned from the client’s own information or articles written for them. If they have the copyright, I can even use their own words. That’s where I start anyway, but the trick is to find a tip that can be expressed in 140 characters or less. If I have to do my own research, it’s not so easy, as the words I use have to be completely original.

What do you look on as your bread and butter work? Many writers have a ‘day job’ for their bread and butter. Have you ever wondered how your bread and butter work influences your writing?

Imagining a Bright and Busy Future

Wrong TurnI have to admit this whole reimagining myself and this blog have me pretty excited. My Muse is equally enchanted by the idea and that’s always a good sign that I’m going in the right direction. Somehow, I think we instinctively sense when life takes a wrong turn. For me, it’s a niggling ache in the pit of my stomach. Over time it weighs down the heart too until eventually you have to turn a corner. It’s the right turns we take to get back on course that sing through our bodies shouting, “YES! Finally!”

I wanted to share some of the future with you. I have a few posts in mind that have called to me over the past few years but I never came back to because they didn’t quite fit my vision of what I thought this blog was becoming. For example, I have a drafts of more days from my “Postcards from L.A.” series that I never published. Fantastic and fun things like my day as a V.I.P. in Disneyland; my first experience with live theatre at the L.A. production of Wicked at Pantages; my explosive tour of Universal Studio; my emotional adventure attending the Writer’s Digest Writers’ Conference; and my final, mixed-emotions farewell and homecoming.

I was also thinking about writing more of the “Dog Train Your Writing Skills” series. I’d been meaning to turn those posts into a book and when I fleshed out the outline and expanded it to book-worthy length the task became so daunting that I kept putting it off. Recently, I was reading the September Writer’s Digest and Nina Amir wrote, “Blog your way to a book deal”. It occurred to me as I read that I could make the writing the DTYWS book idea less daunting by just writing blog posts on the topics I want to include and consider those the first draft. Just as I used the posts I originally wrote as content within the book I could keep writing the book in that style. Then compile, improve, expand, edit, polish, and publish the series as a book when I’m done.

There are a few other posts tucked away on my “to be written” list. Some are true treasures. I’m committed, over the coming months, to finally write those ones that are close to my heart. Fun things like, “How a Romance Story is like NCIS”, and “The 8-Step Prison Break Plan to Escaping Writer’s Block”. I also wanted to rave about some awesome things I learned in a Screenwriting Workshop about The Hero’s Journey, Character Archetypes, Monomyth and Mythical Structure, and more!

So, I think I have a lot of writing ahead of me. But the good news is I’m excited again and I’m hoping I can keep putting the me into these posts and any others I’m inspired to write in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Have you ever taken a wrong turn in life that needed a course correction? Do your characters ever do this in your stories? Is there any writing you’ve been putting off that you really do wish you could get done?

Three Ways To Promote Yourself And Your Writing

Promote Yourself And Your WritingAfter reading the title for this article I know what you’re all thinking. Mindy, how can you give insight on promoting yourself in the writing world when:

  • You’re unpublished
  • I never heard of you before
  • And your only twenty-two?
  • What makes you think you have enough life experience to give us tips?

All valid points and all true. However, I wanted to write these articles for one main reason; I’m learning right along side you. In order to learn with you I have to practice what I preach. So here’s what I’m preaching:

In order to become well known as a writer I have learned three very important things from other authors.

  1. Have a website. A website is incredibly useful. On your author website, readers or potential readers of your work can get to know you, the author. Consider registering your own name or at least your pen name as your own domain and create a portfolio that showcases you and your writing. Your own site also helps keep your readers up to date with any new projects, news, reviews, etc.
  2. Social media. I’ve found social media to be a powerful and useful promotion tool. I have had a Facebook account and Twitter page a while but never used them to promote anything writing related, until recently. Now I’m meeting many fellow writers and readers on Twitter and Facebook, especially with Facebook Groups. I highly recommend for those who have a Twitter account to read the conversation hundreds, if not thousands, of writers have each day through the hashtag called #amwriting.
  3. Events. Going to events based on writing can be hard if you’re shy like me. I’m slowly getting out of my shyness because I get out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. Going to events like a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Write In, is a great way to get to know local writers and promote yourself. As are local writing groups, conventions, and conferences. Also the good old ‘word of mouth’ is still much more useful than anything else.

Important Tip: Though promoting yourself is invaluable, remember not to go overboard. I have wasted many days by checking my Twitter account every two minutes. Anything else I wanted to get done that day, like writing, was never accomplished. Also, one of the most effective ways to promote yourself is to promote others. Share and share alike. Give back to the community and you’ll become a friend to others who will promote you too.

What other ways can we promote ourselves and our writing? How do you get the word out about what you do?

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Photo Credit: 04-15-10 © muharrem öner

Facebook Groups for Fiction Writers

One of the best ways to keep our writing skills fresh is by socializing with other writers. For those of us who don’t live in vibrant writing communities, online portals bring writers together from around the globe. Forums are the traditional online source for writing groups, but personally I have a hard time remembering to check back with various forums across a multitude of websites.

My solution is to have all of my online communities in one place. Facebook makes this possible for me with their Groups and Pages. I am already on Facebook for my friends and family, I might as well check in with the latest events in the writing community as well.

Three Fiction Writing Facebook Groups to Try

I recently discovered a new writing group called Writers Etc.. They frequently have guest speakers – insiders in the writing industry – who post discussions and answer writers’ questions. They also encourage writers to share their successes and failures, and are quickly becoming a warm, inviting place on the web.

Writing is another group that has lots of information for writers at all levels of experience and with varied interests. They promote writing conferences, contests, and job leads, and are a quick source of writing information for the busy writer.

Of course, we have our very own Facebook group as well! The Craft of Writing Fiction is another place to keep up with the latest developments, as well as participate in polls, voting, and sharing your opinion on various writing topics. Please stop on by and say hello, and keep an eye out for what is coming up next.

How to Find More Writing Groups

When I did a quick search using Facebook’s search tool, there were over five hundred matches for “writing groups”! However, many of the groups were quickly started and abandoned. There’s not much point in joining a group if no one is maintaining or participating within it.

Be sure to check when the latest wall posts and discussions were posted and commented on. An active, thriving group will likely have updated something within the past month or so. If not, don’t waste your time.

Check out your favorite writing blogs and forums to discover new groups. Many bloggers are discovering that Facebook is a great way to communicate with their readers, and if you’ve got a favorite blog (or one hundred), chances are that it has a Facebook presence.

You could always start your own writing group as well. Share leads, craft techniques, and resources, along with the camaraderie of meeting new writing friends. The ideas are limitless, as long as you have the drive to put them in action.

Do you have a favorite fiction writing group? Share them in the comments. Do you enjoy Facebook groups, or do you prefer a more hands-on approach to your writing communities?

A Rocketing Business Plan Will Launch Your Blog

Lift Off! Rocket Launch Your Blog With A PlanA number of people I know are launching, re-designing, abandoning, or selling their blog right now. An equal number are starting new blogs. One fellow writer mentioned how hard it is to keep a high level of enthusiasm after blogging for a while — more than a few months, but not quite a year.

I liken it to writing the middle of a novel. You may know where your story is going, you may have goals and some idea of how to achieve them, but getting there is another story. In the case of novel-writing — and blogging — you just need to plow through. And a support system of fellow writers can help.

Another way to avoid the middle-of-the-blog doldrums is to enter blogging with a clear business plan. If you are blogging to make money, approach it as you would any other business. If you started selling Mary Kay, opened a corner deli, started a day care center in your home or launched any other kind of business, would you give up within the first year just because you were bored? Since most of these businesses require an investment of time and money — and a certain level of commitment to other people — you’d keep it going. When you launch a blog, you have a commitment to your readers. If you plan to stay the course, start with a solid plan.

Identify your target market.

The first step in your blogging business plan is to identify your target market. The target market should be easy, but you might be surprised by who you think your blog is targeting versus the potential readers you actually attract. That audience may be much larger than you imagine.

For instance, my new blog, targets parents who intend to raise their children following the principles and beliefs of the Law of Attraction. But I may also attract life and business coaches, people who love shopping for baby and household products, and fellow writers. I may even gain a following from other blogs — people who just enjoy my writing. Knowing who you’re targeting will help you when you reach out to potential readers on social media sites — and may also give you new ideas for posts.

[Editor’s Note:
I use and recommend
Market Samurai for researching as you plan your blog. You’ll discover markets, consider your niche, and can even find the best way to monetize and grow your blog. Download a free 12 day trial to see if it’s the right tool for you.]

Market Samurai: Niche Market Research and Search Engine Optimization Tool

Identify and evaluate your competition.

When I say “evaluate your competition”, I don’t mean to look over your shoulder at other blogs you fear are better than yours. In fact, the blogging world is so friendly, once you find your competitors you may forge relationships with them. Trade links. Share guest posts. Inspire each other. Like wealth, readers are abundant in the Universe and there are plenty to go around.

Set goals.

When one blog owner I work with set goals that were tremendously high compared to where readership was at that time, I chalked it up to the old adage, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars.” But in the first month of tracking results, we came incredibly close to reaching those goals. Dream big — you’ll never know what you can accomplish until you work at it, but if you aim too low, you’re limiting yourself.

Make a promotions and marketing plan.

Once you have your goals written down (don’t forget that important step!) make a plan to reach them. Does it involve increasing your social media following on Twitter and Facebook? Growing your mailing list? Guest blogging on high-traffic sites? Landing radio or TV appearances? All of these things can help you grow your blog readership — and keep you inspired when the going gets rough. If you intend to monetize your blog, research the best ways to do so and put those programs into place.

Track your results.

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Many professional bloggers use Google Analytics for tracking their traffic but there are plenty of ways to measure your hits and, of course, income from your blog. Whatever you use, follow it closely, tracking results weekly.

Blog, blog, blog.

Regular, high-quality content and community interaction keeps readers coming back and attracts new fans. This is the hard part when you’re in those middle stages, where it feels like you’re almost there but you’re not getting much feedback. Keep going. Keep your goals in sight (literally and figuratively!) And remember that you’re not alone.

Of course, there are other elements to running a successful blog, but getting back to basics can keep you going when the going gets tough.

Have you launched a blog? What did you learn in the process?

Image Credit: 06-29-06 © Stephen Sweet

How (and Why) to Create a Portfolio of Clips

A writing friend of mine recently turned down a relatively low-paying assignment for a well-known print publication widely distributed on newsstands. Until now, she’s only written for the Web, and it stung a bit to say “no” to an actual “printed-on-paper” clip.

But the topic just didn’t appeal to her and she realized it would be a lot of work for a very small amount of money. Since she really doesn’t want to write for print in the future, a clip holds very little value for her.

Since the majority of my writing experience has been in print publications, she asked my opinion about the concept of “clips.” What are clips? And do you need them?

What is a “Clip?”

A writing “clip” carries the broad definition of any writing sample that has been published anywhere (including on the Web.)

The word “clip” comes from the days when writers would use scissors to cut (“clip”) their article from a newspaper or magazine, glue it on a sheet of white paper (for uniformity), make a clean photocopy and send it to their favorite magazine along with a winning query in the hopes of getting an assignment.

Nowadays, most writers scan in their clips and attach a PDF to their e-mailed query. (Am I showing my age?)

Do You Need Clips?

Some prospective clients today actually request “samples” rather than clips. There’s a big difference. A writing sample is simply something you wrote. It doesn’t have to have been published. A clip, however, has been published and implies experience. It can give you the leg up over the competition when you apply for a job or submit a query.

Ideally, you will accrue a variety of the clips in the fields you want to work in. A well-rounded magazine writer, for instance, wants to have clips of:

  • Q & A interviews
  • News items
  • Feature stories
  • Personality profiles
  • How-to articles

Many beginning writers ask me, “I don’t have any clips, and they ask for clips. What do I do?” Easy — send a sample. Don’t let a lack of clips hold you back from applying for your dream job or submitting to your dream publication. If they say yes, Voila! You have your first honest-to-goodness clip. Now what do you do with it?

What Should You Do with a Clip?

Scan it in to your computer and save it in a folder titled “Clips.” If it’s already electronic, then do a screen capture and, again, save it on your hard drive. Just because your article is on the Web now, don’t assume it will be there forever. Whether it started life digitally or on paper, also put it on some sort of back-up source, too… an external hard drive, flash drive or CD.

To easily find your clips on the Web, set up Google Alerts for your name. If your name is frequently misspelled, set up Google alerts for alternate spellings, too.

Then, when you need a particular type of article to showcase your writing skills, you can go to that folder on your hard drive and pull out an appropriate story. You can choose to sort your clips by date, publication/industry or style of story. You might even want to cross-reference them so you can find what you need easily.

Remember, only include an attachment if the client/editor says it’s okay. Otherwise, copy and paste the text in the body of the email, including the name of the publication where it originally appeared, and the date (if it’s less than one year old).

It’s totally okay to use older clips if they’re relevant, especially if you can’t see the date on the clip. It’s also okay to use a clip with no byline, or a clip with a pseudonym. (Although you may want to point it out in your query or cover letter.)

For my friend, who really has no aspirations to write for print magazine markets in the future, it was smart to turn down the assignment. Clips are worthless if they can’t help you achieve your writing goals.

Learn from My Mistakes

The answer to the question, “What should you do with clips?” is very different from the answer I gave when my friend asked me: “What do YOU do with clips?” I have clips dated from 1990 and on piled in Rubbermaid containers in my attic. They are, essentially, acting as home insulation.

No one told me back when I got my first clip to start scanning them in so I’d have a digital archive forever. But then I guess I’d have to buy fiberglass insulation to keep the upstairs offices warm all winter, so maybe I’m ahead of the game?

What do YOU do with clips?

How NOT To Generate Controversy With A Blog Post

Controversial blog posts are one way to get your readers talking, commenting and sharing the links to your blog which — of course — generates traffic.

But there’s a fine line between encouraging controversial discussion and going completely over the top.

Here are six ways to generate controversy with a blog post that you should avoid.

  1. Insulting your readers. Using words you’d hear on a playground (“stupid-head” … and worse) doesn’t support your argument, and it doesn’t paint you in the best light as a human being. And why would anyone want to visit the blog of someone they don’t respect?

    Liking you is a completely different thing; take Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who calls these right-wing talk show hosts like-able, but plenty of people respect their opinions, or at least care enough about what they say to keep tuning in.

    In short, your readers don’t have to LIKE you, but they should respect you. And calling people names won’t earn you respect from anyone.

  2. Failing to support your arguments. “Because I said so,” may work (for a little while) when your toddler asks you why she can’t have another cookie before dinner or soda pop before bed, but don’t expect your readers to take your word as the truth if you don’t have strong supporting arguments. As a parent, I typically believe in giving reasons for telling children “No.” As a blogger, I give my readers the same respect and support every incendiary post with facts, statistics and/or anecdotes to back up my beliefs.

  3. Disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing. If you truly believe in a viewpoint, it’s fine to voice your opinions. But don’t take the side opposite of popular opinion just for the sake of controversy. You won’t be able to argue it well if you don’t really believe it. And when the argument escalates, you won’t feel good about yourself, defending a point you don’t really believe. Remember, everything you say on the Internet is there, forever, for people to read. Consider how you’re representing yourself and what you’re telling the world about your beliefs.

  4. Alienating your readers. There’s a huge difference between discussing relevant, controversial topics and putting up a post purely for shock value. Profanity and posts that cross the line over what most people would deem “appropriate in mixed company” can alienate your readers. Know your audience. You can be respectful and controversial.

  5. Permitting trolls. Everything I’ve said about how you should act in controversial posts applies to your readers, as well. It’s your blog — don’t permit behavior from others that you wouldn’t allow from yourself.

  6. Letting the argument drone on incessantly. Even the best controversies get old after a while. People begin repeating themselves. Arguments become circular. You can end any controversy politely with a statement along the lines of, “Let’s agree to disagree.” If you absolutely have to, close the comment thread before things get nasty.

Controversial posts are fun to read — and to write. If you follow the “golden rule” and keep it friendly, there’s a good chance that the next time people stop to talk around the water cooler (or, more likely, on Twitter), they’ll be talking about your blog.

What do you think makes a successful, or unsuccessful, controversial post?

7 Places For Writers To Sell Content Online

Are you an aspiring writer? Do you want to make some cash online but you don’t know where to start? There are a number of websites that will pay you for your work. You don’t need to be a professional writer. To get started, all you need is a PayPal account to receive your payments.

    Write What You Want

  • Associated Content – At Associated Content, compose a well written article on any topic that you want. You upload your content to their site and after an editor reviews it, they will offer you an upfront payment for your work. After the piece is published, you can also earn money from how many people view your article. Posting your links in social networking sites, like Facebook, is a good way to increase your page views.
  • Helium – Helium is similar to Associated Content, but it’s more difficult to earn money with. The amount of money you can earn is based on ratings that other writers give you. This is a cause of frustration for many because the ratings that you are given aren’t always fair.
  • Constant Content – Constant Content is a place for more advanced authors. They are pickier when it comes to the quality of your submissions. It’s a great place to work if you can meet their requirements. At Constant Content, you get to decide how much to sell your articles for and what kind of licensing options to offer.
    Write On Assigned Topics

  • Textbroker – Textbroker is a great site. You’ll be ghost writing for people who need content for their websites and blogs. Textbroker only allows you to select one assignment at a time, but most of their work is easy to write. They have a low $10 minimum payout and you can earn that in just one day.
  • Demand Studios – Demand Studios pays anywhere from $5 to $15 for articles. You can write as many articles a day as you want. It’s a wonderful place to start for beginners.
  • Break Studios – Break Studios pays around $8 per piece and they have a lot of easy topics to choose from. You’ll mostly be writing for male-oriented websites, but you don’t have to be a man to sign up.
  • eCopyWriters – eCopyWriters is much like Textbroker. You sign up and start taking assignments to write. If you decide to use eCopyWriters, you should be aware that they are slower than other sites. It takes more time for your work to get reviewed and there are fewer assignments available.

Freelance writing is a great way to earn money. You’ll need to really dedicate your time and efforts to writing, but you can earn a full-time income online. The opportunities are available for anyone willing to work at it.

Melissa Tamura writes about accredited online schools, higher education and distance learning for Zen College Life. She most recently ranked the best online schools in the USA.

10 Types of Blog Posts That Draw Traffic to Your Site (Part Two, 5 – 10)

The more I think about it, the longer my list of “types of blog posts” could be. Looking over Part One of my list of “Top 10 Types of Blog Posts” I wonder how I ever run out of ideas for my blogs. If you’re having trouble writing, simply pick one of these types of posts and go for it.

Rather than keeping  this series continuing forever, I’ve narrowed down the list to the 10 best posts designed to generate traffic, and, I admit, many of these are my personal favorites to write.

6. Motivational posts – Most people need a little kick in the pants sometimes. Motivational blog posts are designed to spark your readers into action, remind them why they love their industry or hobby, or just make them feel good.

7. Fun stuff –
A cartoon. A funny photo. A quick joke, quote or one-liner. These are the fun things you can put up in a hurry, when you don’t have time to write a full-length post. It gives your readers something new to see when they visit your blog and takes you only a few minutes to find and share. These posts, usually culled from other sources, have a great chance of going viral. (Who doesn’t love to share a good joke or funny picture?) You’ll also get the benefits of spreading the link love when you share the original source (which you should, of course).

8. Controversial posts – My post “Is Ghostwriting Ethical?” was designed to spark debate. It did, but perhaps not as much as I would have liked. Part of the secret to writing successful controversial posts is knowing what really sparks strong feelings in your readers.

In the freelance writing world, posts about money and rates generate controversy. It’s the same argument over and over again, but people never tire of it. When you post about a controversial topic, add a new perspective or a fresh viewpoint. Don’t generate controversy just for the sake of argument (so to speak). But if a situation has really gotten your hackles up, post away! You’ll get to share your views and generate traffic to your website. It’s a win-win, as long as you monitor the comments and make sure no one gets nasty about it.

9. News posts – When the FCC introduced fair disclosure standards for bloggers, this was big news for the industry. Many writers shared their views, tips and advice on the subject. The trick to writing a successful news post is either to break the story or to come up with an original perspective — to share insight you haven’t read anywhere else. (If you can’t be first, be the best!) You can also take a news topic not directly related to your industry and think about how it affects your blogs readers.

10. Videos – Like cartoons and photos, videos have a great chance of going viral. Since this is a writer’s blog, I won’t offer too many tips about posting videos on your blog. There are nearly as many types of video blogs as there are written blogs. I will say this: Even if you think of yourself as a writer, be open to posting a video on your blog now and then. You may find a whole new audience for your work.

Why types of posts have you had the greatest response with on your own blog?