I am a neophyte

I am not totally new around here but I am new enough to admit I don’t know much.

I joined WordPress not really to blog, but to have a website location to direct people so they might purchase my novel. I am a novelist not a blogger (she sniffs haughtily). I did not intend on blogging but I began in order to assist the development of my advertising platform like some publishing/advertising guru directed. (My posts are a little long winded. I am trying harder to cut them down). Now I am hooked, and don’t think I am going to go away anytime soon. There are just too many great writers around here, and I like writing something different from my current project.

Since I am going to stick around I better start learning how to navigate this site. I have a few questions for you, answer as many as you like.

1) What are the written/unwritten rules of blogging as you see them? What are your pet peeves about other bloggers? What should I avoid doing? What do you enjoy others doing?

2) I see many other bloggers linking music and/or videos from artists? Isn’t this against copyright laws?

3) Explain the whole blogging awards thing to me. I know they are for encouragement and for fun but I can’t make the damn things work. Cutting and pasting didn’t work.

4) What are five of your favorite blogs?

I can write a blog and do the very basics, but not much more. I am not helpless; I am technologically adaptive, meaning if you explain it to me I can figure things out. (Just tonight I figured out on my own how to install my “buy it now” button for my novel. It should appear in the next few days.)

I would really like to get the most out of this experience. I want to have fun with it. Up until now, I have been half-assing it because I was pressed for time. I don’t have more time but I have decided to spend less time sleeping, primping, dusting, cooking, organizing and eating. I am learning to love reading at my computer. In the past couple of months with little effort on my part I have been introduced to great blogs with incredible writers and people passionate about writing such as:

http://ericjohnbaker.wordpress.com/
http://1writeway.com/
http://petedenton.wordpress.com/

I want more.

So if you have a few minutes, please help a neophyte out?

5 thoughts on “I am a neophyte

  1. ericjbaker

    First of all, Shannon, thanks for the mention.

    What I like best about blogging, way above and beyond all other things, is all the awesome people I’ve met (virtually). So many great writers and readers and artists, including you. There’s no way I would have come across these folks otherwise.

    I don’t know if I’m an expert of blogging in any way, but here are my responses to your questions:

    1) What are the written/unwritten rules of blogging as you see them? What are your pet peeves about other bloggers? What should I avoid doing? What do you enjoy others doing?

    I’m not sure if there are any rules. Don’t troll people’s comments sections, I guess, meaning don’t go to a blog about something that doesn’t interest you and leave irritating comments just to rile people. Somebody once came onto my blog and started leaving rude responses to my readers. I asked him to stop and he got very huffy.

    My pet peeve is when people don’t respond to commenters. if someone takes the time to share a thought on your blog, you should acknowledge it. (by “you” I mean any blogger).

    I think it’s a also a good idea to put pictures somewhere to draw the eye. Which leads me to…

    2) I see many other bloggers linking music and/or videos from artists? Isn’t this against copyright laws?

    It’s fine if you are not making a direct profit from your blog. If you sold ads in the margins and used copyrighted material to promote it, you might have a problem. But tens of billions of images are floating around the internet. No copyright owner has anything to gain from hunting them down. It would cost more than it’s worth to take legal action. They’re not going to hire a $300/hr lawyer to get 25 cents from you. That said, if the copyright owner sends a polite message asking you to take it down, you should.

    Same goes for music videos. The record labels know it’s free publicity, so they’d be stupid to go after someone for posting it.

    3) Explain the whole blogging awards thing to me. I know they are for encouragement and for fun but I can’t make the damn things work. Cutting and pasting didn’t work.

    I appreciate blogging award nominations, but I just thank the person who nominated me and move on. I don’t want all the graphics in the margins, and my aim as a blogger is to provide entertaining content for my readers. I usually skip over ‘I won an award’ posts, and I suspect most others do as well. if you click on my blog, I want you to either laugh, be informed, or be entertained, not hear me brag how great I am. That sounds a bit mean, and I don’t intend to sound ungrateful. It just seems like a think that’s supposed to be supportive but puts a burden on the nominee.

    4) What are five of your favorite blogs?

    these are all through WordPress:

    http://changeitupediting.com/

    http://rigzenchomo.com/

    http://dthomasminton.com/

    http://occupiedandpreoccupied.wordpress.com/

    http://behlerblog.com/

    Reply
    1. ShannonRaelynn Post author

      Thanks Eric. All sound advice that will be very helpful to me going forward. I have to admit the people here are what is addictive. There are so many fascinating, creative types, that just by the expression of their craft, are challenging me to be a better writer. Thanks for taking the time to answer all my burning questions. I can’t wait to put my monster to bed so I can check out your suggestions.

      Reply
  2. 1WriteWay

    Hey, Shannon, thanks so much for the mention! Like Eric, I enjoy the community of bloggers that’s gathered around me. I’ve met some really wonderful people and feel richer for it. My primary purpose in blogging is to write, whether I’m writing a post or a comment (sometimes I spend as much time thinking about and writing a comment as a I do a post :)) Blogging gets my writer’s juices flowing. Now let’s see how well I can answer your questions.

    1) What are the written/unwritten rules of blogging as you see them? What are your pet peeves about other bloggers? What should I avoid doing? What do you enjoy others doing?

    There is an etiquette that some people observe and some don’t. Like Eric noted, generally, if someone leaves a comment on your post, you should respond to that comment. Acknowledge it at least with a thank-you. I do know some bloggers who get so many comments, that it’s a wonder they can keep up, so I keep that in mind when I comment and not feel slighted if they don’t get around to me. My main pet peeve are bloggers who claim to be making huge sums of money “just from blogging” or who only write about how to “promote” yourself through social media. I don’t believe the former, and I find the latter to be pretty boring. What I enjoy are blogs like your own and Eric’s and others who are simply good writers. You don’t have to be writing about writing … just if you write well about anything, it will be entertaining.

    2) I see many other bloggers linking music and/or videos from artists? Isn’t this against copyright laws?

    I think if you make the appropriate attributions, you’re OK. I know it’s kind of tricky with the web and how accessible images and videos are, but if you are not using the image/music/video to sell a product and you provide attribution, there shouldn’t be a problem.

    3) Explain the whole blogging awards thing to me. I know they are for encouragement and for fun but I can’t make the damn things work. Cutting and pasting didn’t work.

    I’m new to the award thing too. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a chore to copy and paste images and follow the rules. On the other hand, I like the opportunity to nominate other bloggers … spread the love in a way … and, frankly, my site stats spiked on the days that I posted the awards. Still, if you don’t want to play the awards game, you will be in good company. I’ve seen other blogs where people acknowledge being nominated for the award and nothing more. (To be honest, if I get another award, I’m likely to do that.)

    4) What are five of your favorite blogs?

    Since you have published, I’m going to list blogs of writers who have also published (some self-published, some traditional) so you can see how their blogs are set up and managed:
    http://sarahcradit.wordpress.com
    http://shannonathompson.com
    http://jadereyner.com
    http://nevalalee.wordpress.com
    http://davidpagan.wordpress.com/

    OK, now, go and have fun blogging!

    Reply
    1. ShannonRaelynn Post author

      Thank you so much Marieann. I have to agree with you in many aspects. “(sometimes I spend as much time thinking about and writing a comment as a I do a post 🙂 )” Boy do I know about this. A really great post or thread can take up hours of my time.

      Writing and making genuine connections with others are two of my largest motivators and so I am similarly annoyed by the pressure out there to do this or that to be successful. Not sure if jumping through the hoops these people tell you to would even feel like success. Too much work for me. I’d rather be writing. There is a whole industry designed to separate the writer from their money and I learned a couple years back that I could put my energy this direction or I could focus on writing. I am doing the minimum of what I think I can get away with, in so far as promoting my book is concerned and even this is a huge distraction from writing. My current WIP is suffering.

      I am anxious to get reading in the directions you have sent me. Thanks again!

      Reply
  3. wantonwordflirt

    Shannon, thanks for asking the questions and thanks to Eric and Marieann for answering (and anyone else who comes along later to add more). As a “newbie”, I very much appreciate the wisdom and experience you shared.

    Reply

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