Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘Pingoat

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: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/mar/08/workandcareers.graduates1

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:

www.pingmyblog.com   www.ping-o-matic.com   or www.pingoat.com   (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 Text.org   Now Blogging.net  Okay Blog.net  Dakota Blogs  Out Blogger  Blog Thing  Daria Be  Blogg Host.net   The Blogs.net

And good luck with your blogging!

Visit my Website at:  www.allanmayer.com

LOST 

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?

The benefits of Blogging

I’m using this one for a little reflection. I’ve been blogging and promoting my novel on the internet now for less than three months, which makes me a veritable blog infant, but already I have had some amazing experiences which bode well for the future.

Firstly, a wonderful thing about the experience is that total strangers from all over the world have been so encouraging. Thanks, Heidi, for just taking the time to say ‘Good Luck with your book,’ and for Daz:

‘Fantastic blog Allan. Keep up the good work things WILL happen for you.’
Thanks Travis, for your comment on my blog about generating web traffic: Whassup? Very good tips man. Keep on bloggin. Peace. Travis.

And to Supercalafragilistic for your encouragement at the same time as gently pointing out my cardinal sin: Great post. Only one M in Hemingway though. Revision time!
One result of sending out my blogs through such services as Pingoat means that it crops up in all sorts of places. Not quite sure how it got onto ‘Great Railway Journeys’ but no publicity is bad publicity
One of the loveliest examples of my blog popping up somewhere I’d never heard of, and getting a response from someone I’d never met was this: 

 

Hi. I’ve just read your message on blackboard.The girl who used to live next door to me has written 2 books and also set up her own publishing company – Doghorn publishing. She has now gone travelling and one of her friends who has been involved with the company from the beginning has taken over the business. Their website is http://www.doghorn.com . It may be under reconstruction at the mo. If that’s the case and you’re interested in getting in touch with them let me know and i’ll forward you their address. You can tell them it’s Rebecca and James’s old neighbour that’s put you in touch. I’ve actually bought their house to rent out !!Good luck Debbie Harris

Unfortunately this did not lead to publication but I was just blown over by someone taking the trouble to contact me.
‘Dog Horn’ publishers, as it turned out, sent me another rejection slip with which to paper my wall. I though I’d be onto something there because they specialise in the more bizarre type of novel. I told tham that I had one character who had half a beard and another with an invisible dog, but obviously it wasn’t bizarre enough.

One observation was that they didn’t ask, as is always the case, for a large stamped addressed envelope for the return of a manuscript. When it was returned they had paid the £1.80 postage- which was very kind. It did make me wonder however about the standard rejection letter claim that they had a large number of submissions- paying for the return of all of these could prove to be very pricey for a small press.

Through networking I was contacted by Dominic Took, author of ‘The Storms of Acias’ Dominic invited me to speak, with my friend Lynn Grocott, at his ‘Writers’ Forum (Since renamed ‘Meeting of Minds’) at the film theatre at the University of Stoke-on-Trent. We had a wonderful evening, talking about our work and meeting like-minded people. One of them, a publishing consultant, gave me her card, and I sent on my synopsis and sample chapters. Again, nothing yet, but it’s another example of how through the internet I am coming into contact with the right circles.

I have also learned which sites to avoid, i.e. those that ask for money, whether as themselves or under a pseudonym! I never did hear back from the Writer’s Book Agency (See my blog ‘Vanity… Vanity… etc.)
Finally- the response to my YouTube contributions has been far better than I had expected with several people following it through. So far the number of hits has reached… well maybe you could look for yourself, and add a few more. I would love to see more comments too. 

 

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