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?

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?

Making Money Writing

Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

Yesterday, a friend contacted me on Facebook Messenger with a question.

My daughter is interested in trying to publish a book she’s working on. Short stories and poems. She asked if i knew anyone that did that and of course you popped in my head. If it’s not too personal, can you tell me if you make money doing that? And what the process to do so is?

The thing of it is, there’s no simple answer.

Can you make money writing? Yes and no, because it depends on what you want to write and how much you market yourself. As a preliminary, I told her this:

The short answer is that some types of writing can and do make money. I haven’t made much because marketing intimidates the hell out of me. Even the big names have to do self-promotion. As for how to do it, take a look at CreateSpace.com. They’re pretty easy to use. The way I do it with their self-guided process doesn’t cost anything unless I order books.

Yes, I know marketing shouldn’t intimidate me. That’s really not the point here. (Plus I’m working on that and getting better at it.)

One of the biggest things to remember is that writing is just the beginning of the work. How many revisions and edits you go through will vary from project to project. And then there’s the whole publishing process.

Now, like I said in my original answer to my friend, most of my stuff is published using CreateSpace, so I follow the process laid out in their self-guided system. I don’t talk to anyone in customer support, so it doesn’t cost me anything until I order books.

I almost said the work of marketing/self-promotion starts then, but, really, you need to be doing that all along. Be talking about it on your social media platform(s). I mainly use Twitter and Facebook, but I do occasionally post writing-related stuff, especially when I have a new book out, on LinkedIn. The more you talk about it, the more interest you generate, which will (hopefully) translate into sales down the road.

Take a lesson from me: Don’t be shy about marketing and self-promotion. Most of the big names even have to promote themselves. Except maybe Stephen King.

So, what makes the most money?

Mostly, nonfiction. Followed by romance. I did a Google search on the question “what kind of writing makes the most money?” Just click the link to see the search results.

The funny thing (to me) about the timing of this question is that I’ve been thinking about that. Making money writing.

A few years ago, I taught a class through the community education program at the local college. The name of it? “Make Money Writing.” In it, I talked mostly about writing for magazines, the query process, researching articles, finding other resources, etc. I’ve been thinking about moving that online, either as a video course or an email series.

Let me know if there’s any interest in that and which format would be best.

I promised my friend a list of resources. I’ve been thinking about how to narrow that down because I have enough that I could probably fill a book with just links. I’ve decided to just list the top 5. Links will open in a new window. If you have a pop-up blocker, hold the Ctrl key down when you click it so it will open.

Resources:
Writer’s Digest
CreateSpace
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Ralan (market listing)
Help a Reporter (more for nonfiction, though can be useful for fiction)

There are a lot more I could add, but the sheer mountain of information available just from these resources can be overwhelming enough.

By the way, in speaking of making money writing, the type of writing that traditionally makes the least amount of money?

Poetry.

However, with that said, if you’re just writing for the money, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Happy creating.

New Book: Journal Your Way to Creativity

Front cover of the book, Journal Your Way to Creativity, by Jen Nipps

Blurb:
Journal Your Way to Creativity is a 90-day self-guided journal designed to help readers tap into their creativity. Some of the prompts may sound silly, but some of the silliest prompts tend to be the ones that make you dig the deepest.”

Format:
Print $6.99, click to buy
Kindle $3.99, click to buy

Sample Prompts:
5. Think about your reasons for believing you are creative. List five reasons why it is true.

37. What is your favorite color? Why? (Yes, you can have more than one but keep it to three or fewer.)

58. Give yourself about five minutes and ask yourself “What If I Were Creative?” Try to list 10 things.

82. What rules have you broken recently?

 

Why This Book?
As I mentioned, I am also a creativity coach. Sometimes the best way to reach people in order to help them is where they are. That’s not always physically possible, so I thought a journal of some type might be helpful. Once I got that idea in mind, it wouldn’t let go.

I debated how many prompts to include. I finally decided on 90 because that’s three months of daily journaling. That’s long enough to accomplish a couple things. It’s enough to make journaling a habit. It’s also long enough to start breaking down old thought patterns/beliefs and creating new ones. I am not saying it’s enough time to completely create new ones.

Sometimes it’s easy to fall back into old habits and ways of thinking, no matter how much we think we’re “over it.”

Here’s a not-so-secret secret: We’re never really over it.

Thought patterns take a lifetime to build. It makes sense to think they would take another lifetime to break down to make way for new ones. There are things we have to work on repeatedly, whether it’s maintaining a new, healthier lifestyle or thinking of ourselves as creative beings.

With this journal, which is part of Living Your Creative Life, it is my hope that we can build and reinforce our creative habits and beliefs.

About the Author:
I’m a freelance writer specializing in creativity, social media, and general human interest. I just released book #10! Journal Your Way to Creativity is available in print and on Kindle now!

I am also a creativity coach. But… what IS a creativity coach? Simply put, creativity coaching is a subset of life coaching where someone helps you with various aspects of your lives. I — and any other creativity coach — can help you with issues you may be having in your creative life, whether it’s finishing projects, finding inspiration, or how to get out of a rut. If you’re interested, I’d love to talk to you about it.

I am a fiber artist. I knit and crochet. I want to learn to spin, but that will have to wait a while.

I am available to speak to writers’ groups, civic organizations, schools, and conferences. I can do in-person presentations or present via Skype. If you need a speaker for your event, let’s talk! My speaking repertoire also includes living with disabilities and diabetes as well as creativity and social media as mentioned above.