Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

My first blog (if you discount the dabbling I did on MySpace) went out on ‘Blogger’ almost one year ago. And what a year it has been. Since then I have transferred all of my posts over to ‘WordPress.’ Or so I thought. The first few remained on Blogger, so to celebrate a year of blogging I have rounded up those posts and am re-publishing them here.

This was the first one: 

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

So you thought writing it was hard…

…publishing it? Well that’s another story. Another story, written by someone else with half your talent whose appeal to publishers is not so much their writing skill as the size of their implants and how many grubs they ate in a jungle…

But enough of the rant- although this blog does come with a warning that frustration with trying to publish your work of art could lead to insanity.

If this is where you’re at, then you may wish to take the Hannibal Lecter route and create recipes for the untalented ‘writers’ who offend your sensibilities. Instead of fava beans I use baked beans. Budget baked beans.

So what is this blog about? It charts the progress of my novel, ‘Tasting the Wind,’ from conception, through revision and development, up to the present search for publication. Although I have yet to find a publisher, I have chanced across some interesting highways and byways of late, which I think will be of interest to both aspiring authors and anyone interested in the writing and publishing process.

The first few blogs will be ‘the story so far.’ After that, it goes live…
So join me on my journey, feel the frustration, share the eventual euphoria and drunkenness when I eventually sign that publishing deal… and if there are any publishers out there- OK, I will eat grubs… but you can forget the implants…

It also included the YouTube version of the Prologue to Tasting the Wind:

And it all seems so long ago…

I’ve only been blogging for a matter of months. A couple of friends who know a little bit about marketing independently advised me that if I was eventually going to have a published book on my hands one way to stop it from staying there was to start a blog.

Now I am aware in writing this that I am out here in Blogland, wandering through several giants who are far bloggier than I am. If this is the case please feel free to comment and correct me where I am wrong. I am also aware that this is being read by many relative newcomers, so hopefully this will be of help, written, as it is from the perspective not as an expert but of a relative newbie.

‘Blog’ comes from ‘Weblog.’ It can be about anything at all. Some people write regular accounts of their day to day lives, and I even heard of one lady who wrote so interestingly that she was approached by a publisher. This is bound to be rare, so cannot be your main purpose for blogging.

So why are you here? Before you go any further you may wish to look at the following article on the pros and cons of blogging:

So you’ve decided to do a blog. Decide on your subject, but don’t feel dutybound always to write only on that. At the same time, do return to your subject after you have veered off, because if you are blogging about writing you may have built up a readership who just want to know about that, and will not return if you suddenly become the world authority on how to cook a courgette.

Also- keep it up. If you leave long gaps people will stop coming back. And don’t expect overnight success- your stats will be low to start with, until people 1) realise that you are there and 2) realise that you have something to give to them.

So how do you let people know about your blog?

First thing to do is to ‘ping’ every post you publish. Yes I thought it was a foreign language not so long ago, but do this and you will (Although not immediately) boost your traffic.

All you have to do is copy the blog URL (the thing beginning http:// at the top of the page) then go to one of the following sites:   or   (the list is not exhaustive.)

Paste your URL into the relevant space, add your blog title, tick the boxes then press ‘Ping.’ Simple as that.

Another way of getting attention for your blog is to contribute to the forums, leaving a link to your blog. Don’t go on there with the sole intention of advertising- go on to contribute, to help, give advice and to learn. This has been my single biggest generator of traffic. Since contributing to forums such as YouWriteOn, How Publishing Really Works, Writer’ News and Absolute Write, the hits on my site have soared.

So which Blog do you use? Take your pick:

Blogger   WordPress  Live Journal   SelectaBlog  Blog   Now  Okay  Dakota Blogs  Out Blogger  Blog Thing  Daria Be  Blogg   The

And good luck with your blogging!

Visit my Website at:


                        To buy

 ‘Tasting the Wind’ click:here   


Has anyone else out there come across Alpha 

I got a referral from there yesterday and, out of curiosity, clicked on it.

All you have to do is submit your blog URL and it puts your blog into a reading cycle, displaying it for a short time so that viewers can visit if they like what they see. You can do this as many times as you want, and your blog hits will soar.

I don’t know yet how many of the hits are from people who are likely to return, but it certainly seems to increase traffic just after you’ve submitted.

To see what I’m talking about, visit .

Information overload? Take a moment to go 'Ahhh.'

Our house rabbits Dusty and Smudge had a litter of nine earlier this year (which came as a surprise because we thought that Smudge was a girl!) For those of you who are suffering from information overload I’ve put this on to make you stop and go ‘Ahhh’ before you continue on your relentless quest through cyberspace…

Hope that feels better, now onto the blog…

I will be writing more about blogging, but just a quickie to draw your attention to Julia McCutchen’s website ‘The Writer’s Journey’  and her  ‘ask the author’ teleseminars.

On Thursday 27 November at 8pm (UK time) there is one about blogging, and its importance as a marketing tool for people who are self-published or who have published through small presses.

You have to register for a place on the live seminar. To do this costs £15, which includes a copy of the event on MP3.

If you are a cheapskate like me don’t worry, there are lots of freebies on Julia’s website, and if you sign up you will receive her regular inspirational newsletters.

You can find her at:


Has anybody seen this goat? 

Works hard. Eats little. Sadly missed

I’m sure it can’t be me, but since I started blogging it seems that every time I find a useful service it soon disappears. As chronicled in earlier episodes of this blog, I entrusted my work to Golgonooza then realised that the site had died. Earlier this year I submitted my novel to ‘The Frontlist’ to find that it was not accepting new submissions. It still isn’t.
Now, that most useful of sites to the blogger, Pingoat, has been sending a message back for weeks that it is closed for maintenance.

Does this mean that it will return, a mega-strong, all powerful super-goat, sweeping away all that stand in its path…

In the meantime, there are alternatives: ‘Ping my Blog,’ ‘Ping-o-Matic,’ and ‘Pingates.’
But there is still no sign of the goat. Any clues where it might be?

This is my ‘promotional picture’ take 342. (It took me ages to get one that looked ‘cute.’)

I’ve been adding my details to all sorts of social networking sites with a view to promoting my writing. An unexpected side effect of this has been the number of e-mails I’ve received (particularly from Bebo) from women who want to complete my sexual education.
The funny thing is that each time I’ve been asked to delve into my Bebo inbox (oo-er matron) I’ve found myself thinking ‘could this be a publisher…’ only to click and find that it’s Kylie, or Sheena, or Lola, and that they are all feeling horny… for me!
I was even thinking of unsubscribing from FaceBook, which seems to be sending me increasingly juvenile notifications. But then I got one which said that I had been ‘reviewed for dating’ and that one person considered me ‘Cute.’
Then I got this absolute gem:
In total, you were reviewed for dating 84 times and one person expressed interest in you. You are more desirable than 44% of 37,372,809 people. Recently you were viewed 8 times and no people expressed interested in you
Wow! How reassuring is that! There are more than 44% of almost forty million people who are bigger mingers than me. Thanks FaceBook, I will sleep well tonight.

Cute? This is what I really look like…

(This is me ‘on the pull’) 

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