To Pin or Not to Pin

This is something I struggle with. I often forget to pin things to Pinterest, even when it’s in my interests to do so.

It’s often said that pinning items on Pinterest attracts more viewers, readers, or customers. It’s also said that pinned articles have a longer shelf life than those that don’t. I haven’t noticed if either of these are true or not.

However, I don’t yet pin consistently. In a time of making changes to what I do and how I do it when it comes to this blog, this is one more thing I’m changing.

Every time I publish a post, I will pin it. Maybe after a while, I will be able to look at my stats and see a difference.

Riddle me this: Do you use Pinterest for your business/blog/writing? Have you noticed a difference when you do vs when you don’t?

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Choosing Pictures for Blog Posts

I thought I would share a little peek behind the scenes and talk about how I choose pictures for blog posts.

First, I start with the topic of the blog post. If it’s a general post, I might just use a picture of me. If it’s about something specific, like this one, I know I need one that’s more relevant.

Second, I will look at the images I already have uploaded to my blog. Sometimes I can reuse one of them. I’ve done that several times. If I don’t find a usable one, I will look in the photo library of pictures I have taken.

If I don’t find a photo I want to use from my files, I have two more options. I can either take a photo or use one from the WordPress library.

It’s easy to get caught up in the image search and spend too much time on it. I’ve actually opted to publish a post without an image if I can’t find one and am short on time. I try not to do that very often, though.

Third, when I have the image in place, I finish the post. I will give it a once-over, set the category and tags, and publish or schedule the post.

That’s a little bit about how I do it things. What about you? Do you always include photos with your blog posts?

My Assistants

We all have assistants of one variation or another. Today I want to tell you about my furry assistants.

Ellie and Gabby.

Ellie (pictured) is a shih-tzu/American Standard Terrier mix. She came to live with us in August after Zack crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Gabby is a black and white shih-tzu.

Ellie has an under bite that, according to one of my nieces, looks like she’s smiling all the time “but it’s kinda creepy too.” She’s a good guard dog and she’s really energetic. She’s around a year old.

Gabby is appropriately named. She’s a barker. She loves kids and is quite excitable. She can also be laid back and quiet. We don’t have to wonder if our doorbell works or not because she’ll let us know if anyone is there.

When I want to get any work done, I have to give them both plenty of attention before I get started. They also make sure I take plenty of breaks. Especially Gabby.

I have some people who help me out too. I’ll talk about them in another post. I might be referring to these two often, though, so I wanted you to “meet” them.

Ebook vs Print

This has been a question since Amazon came out with the first Kindle. First, I will say that as an author, I will write and publish in both digital and print formats. That’s not what I’m talking about here, though.

I’m talking about what I — and you — prefer to read.

In case you don’t know, I’m legally blind. I have difficulty reading small print, to put it mildly.

I love the feel of physical books. The crispness of the pages. The smell of a new book. The slight resistance of the spine when you open a book for the first time.

You get the idea.

The problem is most books don’t have large print. The ones that do are huge and awkward to read.

I love ebooks. I especially love that I can have hundreds of books on a device in my hand or in my bag. I don’t have to decide which books to take with me on a trip.

I love that I can make the print as large as I need it so I can read comfortably. I also like the option (in many but not all) for it to read a book to me if I’m doing something else or don’t feel like actually reading it myself do some reason.

With print books, I like that I can highlight passages or make notes in the margins. That’s not as easy to do with ebooks.

Do I think ebooks will replace print books? No. I think there will always be a place for both. I don’t think ebooks will ever fully replace hard copies of books.

At least, I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime.

What do you think? Will ebooks replace print books? Which do you prefer?

Blog It All (or Not)

Have you ever started something and you were so excited about it? I’m sure you have.

Then, something about it, maybe the way you bad it set up, made it feel more like a chore. You didn’t look forward to it anymore and you didn’t really want to do it. It wasn’t fun. You only did it because you felt like you had to. It was expected.

That, my friends, is where I had gotten with this blog. I needed something to make me want to do it again.

This weekend, I watched the Launch Bloggers Conference live feed. (I was originally going to go, but couldn’t.) I had a couple Aha! moments while listening to Melissa George and Marisa Mohi. Because of that, I’m making some changes here.

The main thing you’ll notice is frequency. I will no longer be trying to post every day. Instead, you can expect posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Beyond that, I will post links to podcast episodes and videos when they go up, most likely on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I’m also going to make better use of blog categories and tags. Instead of trying to do articles/opinion pieces on things I don’t know enough about, I’ll be talking more about what I know, what I’m working on, and things I use to get my work done.

There will be more behind-the-scenes stuff and explanations of why and how I do things. Instead of talking generically about creativity, I’m going to be showing more about how I use it in my life so I can give practical examples.

I think these changes will make for a more interesting and fun experience for all of us.

I’ll have another post up on Wednesday.

January Wrap-Up

Is it just me or was January both the longest and the shortest month ever? I didn’t quite meet all of my goals for the month, but I did pretty good.

My theme for the month was “content.” As in, creating content. To help with this, I participated in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I ended up not completing the challenge, for a variety of reasons. However, I did get more posts up than I usually do in January. That’s a win itself.

Other things I did for January is

  • 5 Days to Increased Creativity challenge
  • 5 Days to Planner Peace challenge
  • Signed up for and started a Tunisian crochet class with Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts.
  • Finished two crocheted shawls.
  • Planned out the next JEN Enterprises Presents title (hybrid planning).

January was a challenging month, but it was ultimately a good one. I’ll have another wrap-up at the end of this month too.

And the Winner Is…

I wanted to wait until both challenges were finished before I announced any winners.

Since this was my first time running challenges, there weren’t a lot of people participating. That was to be expected. As I do more and get my name out more, I expect there will be more people participating.

Without further delay, the winner of the 5 Days to More Creativity challenge is Vidya.

I will be sending her a message via Instagram DM so I can get her prize to her.

Unfortunately I was the only one to do the 5 Days to Planner Peace challenge, so there is not a winner for that one.

Thank you to those who did participate. There will be more events and challenges in the future. Announcements will be made here and in my newsletter first.

I’ll get back to a regular blogging schedule tomorrow.