How To Build A Solid Relationship With Your Readers

It’s easy to get carried away with writing content, promoting it, and repeat. Of course, one of the best ways to get people to really enjoy you and your blog and to keep coming back for more content, is if they know you’re a pleasant person. They want to get to know you. They want to see who is behind the mastermind of their favorite blog.

How to build a solid relationship with your readers | Blogging |

How To Build A Solid Relationship With Your Readers

Respond To Comments

Reply to any and all comments you get on your blog posts. Some you may get a lot, some you may not get that many. You may skip a couple of days and have a ton of notifications, but be sure to read through each and every one of them and respond. Even if it’s a simple “thank you” people will be happy to know you took the time to read and reply to their comment, to acknowledge them. Maybe conversations can start this way and you can make some great friends and connections.

Respond To Any Social Media Shares Or Comments

If someone shares your post through Twitter or anywhere else, reply to them and say thank you. If they comment on your stuff through social media, reply to them just as you would the comments on your blog. Again, you’ll make new friends and connections.

Check Out Their Blogs And Social Media

A great way to return the favor is to check out their blog and/or social media. Comment on a couple of their posts, share something from their blog, or follow them. They’ll thank you in return and be more likely to keep in touch and come back to your blog.

Engage Your Audience In Your Blog Posts

There are many ways to engage your audience within your blog posts. You can use various “calls to action” to comment or throw in a poll and ask their opinion on something. Every August I write an interaction short story where I post a part each week and ask my readers to vote on what they want to happen next for the following week. It’s a lot of fun for everyone.

How do you create a relationship with your readers? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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23 Places To Promote Your Blog Posts

What do you do when you’ve published your blog post? You have to spread the word about it!

Your blog posts can reach so many people outside of your followers circle, outside of the WordPress circle. You just need to know the right places to promote to. It doesn’t have to be every single place listed below, but you want to make sure you spread the word well enough.

Also, don’t forget to return the favor when others share your post. Share other posts as well. Spread the love.

23 Places to Promote Blog Posts | Blogging |

23 Places To Promote Your Blog Posts

  • Email your subscribers on your newsletter
  • Twitter
  • Your Facebook page
  • Facebook groups that allow post promotion
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Your LinkedIn
  • Relevant LinkedIn groups
  • Pinterest
  • Pinterest group boards
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Quora
  • Goodreads
  • YouTube
  • Do a round up post for your blog
  • Link in your email signature
  • Join link ups or link parties on other blogs
  • Guest post on other blogs
  • Ask your readers to share the post
  • Comment on other blogs, share their posts (some will return the favor)
  • Include your blog URL in your username when you comment on other blogs

How do you typically promote your blog posts? Have I missed any places? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Short Story Sunday 204: Headline

Short Story: "Headline" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing |

            Martin stormed into the classroom and threw the school newspaper down on Todd’s desk. He pointed to the large, black, bolded words at the top. His finger tapped it angrily all the way giving Todd the stink-eye. He didn’t exchange any words, but he didn’t have to.

Todd looked down at what Martin was so uptight about and then slyly covered his mouth with his hand. He looked up at Martin with worried eyes and then shrugged as though that would be the appropriate response. He didn’t really know what to say though.

“What is this?” Martin demanded.

“It’s the headline.” Todd shrugged. “Maybe you should talk to Erica about it. I didn’t write it.”

“You didn’t write it, no, but you do the final check before the newspaper goes out!” Martin shouted.

Todd looked around the room. By now everyone on the school’s newspaper team was staring at the two of them. He sighed looking back at Martin.

“I was out sick when this one came out. We typically hold the newspaper back a day or two, or until I get back. However, I think you’re the one who told them to go ahead and publish it anyway.” Todd explained. He pushed his computer’s keyboard away to make room for his elbows. He folded his hands together on the surface of his desk and looked up at Martin challengingly.

Martin supervised the newspaper team, but that was about it. He made sure that everyone did their jobs and, as a senior, he was trusted by the teachers to run the club without teacher supervision. It was the school’s way of allowing senior kids to add something else to their college applications or resumés or whatever.

Todd was the second man in charge. He assigned everyone their parts of the newspaper and sent kids out to research certain stories. He checked, checked, and carefully checked each and every part of the newspaper before each issue was sent out and published for the entire student body to see and read for their pleasure.

He was out sick for this particular issue so they usually put out the newspaper a day late. It wasn’t a big deal, but for some reason Martin gave them the go-ahead to publish this without Todd looking it over.

How was he supposed to know that when he sent Erica to find a first-page story, she would whip up a nasty article about Martin? Well, Todd supposed he deserved it. After all, he did cheat on Erica with her best friend.

Martin’s eye twitched as he stared down Todd. He clearly didn’t know what to say to any of this. No one really liked Martin. He thought he was doing something special because he was helping to run the newspaper, but he didn’t really care about it. His guidance counselor made him do it because he had nothing useful to put on his college application.

Todd wasn’t afraid of him. In fact, Todd thought this was great.

“When I’m not here,” Todd began to explain, “As your job of supervisor, you should have overlooked the entire newspaper before allowing it to be published. Or, you should have just let it be and wait for me to come back to school.”

Now that Todd was thinking about it, he really didn’t know what he would have done if he was in school that day to look it over. Sure, the right thing to do would be to sit Erica down and talk to her about it. He’d have to make her re-do the article and find something else. Or, as a penalty, take the first page privilege away from her and ask one of the other writers to do it.

However, he knew Martin deserved the article and he was proud of Erica for fighting back. He didn’t know Erica all that well. They met on the newspaper team and only talked when it had something to do with the newspaper. She was a nice girl though and Todd didn’t like how Martin was a jerk to her when they were dating. Then he ended up cheating on her.

“Well, I didn’t!” Martin shot back. Todd raised both his eyebrows trying not to laugh. Great comeback there, Martin.

“You have to retract the newspaper. And I want you to kick Erica off the team!” Martin exclaimed.

“Really?” Todd said pretending to be surprised. He took the newspaper, scanned the headline and the beginning of the article. Then he turned to the second page where it continued. “I don’t see any typos or grammatical errors… The words flow right along the page and I find her creativity to be her best yet.” Todd closed the paper and looked Martin straight in the eyes. “I don’t see any reason to kick her off the paper. She truly is a fantastic writer with a great eye for a good story. It’d be a shame to let her talent go to waste.”

Martin balled his hands into fists, his arms shaking, and his teeth clenched. Todd stood his ground, remained seated at his desk. He could feel the eyes of the rest of the newspaper team staring both of them down; wondering what was going to happen next. Maybe some of them were even hoping for a fight.

After a few moments of nothing, Martin snatched the newspaper off of Todd’s desk, crinkled it up into a ball, and tossed it into the nearest trash can. Then he stomped his feet out of the classroom.

After a minute or two of silence, and Todd watched the door waiting for Martin to come back with fists flying, the rest of the room erupted into applause. Todd turned his attention to everyone else and they were all smiling and clapping for him. He couldn’t help but smile.

He shrugged it off and told them to get back to work.

Now he just needed to remember to talk to his homeroom teacher about looting Martin to a different club. There was no way the rest of the school year will go smoothly after that encounter.

Words: 1,020

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Madam Tulip And The Bones Of Chance By David Ahern [Book Review]

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Book Review: Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern | Mystery |

I received a free eARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

My Review:

Book Cover |

Like the first two books before this one, I like the cover. The colors go nicely together – as far as green and orange can go together. Yet, the orange really makes the green title pop and it works. The bird makes sense, even if the title doesn’t suggest so.
First Thoughts |

I enjoyed the first two books of the series, so when approached by the author to read this one, I was more than happy to give it a go.

Plot |

Madam Tulip has gotten herself into yet another pickle – and I’m not just talking about the crime sense either. Her publicity has taken an interesting detour, her parents are as neurotic as usual, and, of course, there’s a crime involved.

This plot is just as compelling as the rest of the series. The crime was woven in a way that it was easy to understand and it made sense. It was able to come together nicely by the end of the book.

Characters |

I’m still a huge fan of Derry – Madam Tulip – and Bruce. They made great protagonists and I love both of their voices.

I’ll admit, I could still do without Vanessa and Jacko, Derry’s parents. While their banter can be humorous, I sometimes didn’t think it fit well with the rest of what was going on.

Jessica and Sally were two great characters. I really loved their addition to the story and they really brought a lot to the table.

Writing Style |

This book is easy to read and the crime is laid out well enough that I was able to understand it. I’ll admit I felt there were some scenes that weren’t needed, but nothing really jarred me out of the story.

While this is the third book in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. However, there were a few references to the previous book, so I’d suggest reading it in order, if not just to get a feel for the characters.

Overall |

This was another great adventure for Madam Tulip. I enjoyed reading it from start to finish. While there were some slow parts, I never felt bored or had to stop for any reason.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | 4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“‘I’ll try not to run anybody over,’ said Jessica. ‘I’d hate to make that woman’s career.'” –David Ahern, Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance


Buy the book:


About David Ahern:

David Ahern, Author |

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website.

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook and Twitter.

Does this seem like an interesting read to you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Time To Write: Awkward [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a Random Words exercise. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now check out this week’s prompt:

Creative Writing Prompt | Writing Prompt | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction |

Write an awkward encounter between two characters or an awkward scene of some kind.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing!

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The Pros And Cons Of Having An Email List [Blogging]

One thing so many people say about blogging is that you should have an email list. It allows more people to follow you if they enjoy your content and you can give them exclusive stuff through the newsletters.

People say you have to have one if you want to be serious about blogging. If you have any products to sell like an ebook or a web course or an etsy shop, people say having a newsletter is the best way to go about it.

Of course, I’ve seen successful people, and blogs, without a newsletter. I hopped on the newsletter train fairly recently, failed at it, then re-did the whole thing. Of course, I’m still trying to figure it out. It’s a learning curve and honestly, it can kind of feel like you’re running another blog.

So… do you really need a newsletter?

The pros and cons of having an email list for your blog | blogging | email list | newsletter |



You can email the people on your list with updates and even throw in some links of blog posts you published that month or week or however often you email them or post. They’ll be likely to click on a link here and there. It’ll bring a little extra traffic to your blog. Maybe they’ll stick around the site for a little while and even share a post or two gaining you more of an audience.


Most often than not, if someone is subscribing to your newsletter, it’s because they already follow your blog. If they already follow your blog, they’ll get a notification in their email anyway or see it on their feed on the WordPress homepage. They don’t need to see the same blog post a bunch of times.



People say it’s best to have a “lead magnet” for your email list. This means you’ll give your subscribers something just for signing up. This could be a worksheet, access to a webinar, or even a coupon at your Etsy shop. This is a great idea because if people really like what you have to offer, they’ll sign up and be eager for anything you have up your sleeve.


Not everyone sticks around. You can run a giveaway on your blog and say they need to subscriber to the newsletter in order to enter for a chance to win. Win or lose, as soon as that giveaway is over, people are going to unsubscribe.

Should you have an email list for your blog? | Blogging | Newsletter | Email list |



An email list is like another promotion for your blog and its posts along with your Etsy shop or ebook or anything you have to offer. You can email an exclusive list of people ahead of time and say, “Guess what?” before it even happens, before you share it on all your social media. People will look forward to it and get excited.


It takes up more of your time. Some emails are going to be longer than others and have more information in it than others. It’s almost like taking care of another blog because you need to keep track of the stats, have interesting and informative content, and sometimes it can eat up some of your time as you design the template, get it all set up, and write the actual emails.



Like your blog, it’s better to have a schedule for your emails. It allows your readers to know when to expect something from you. This can be once a week, once a month, or when ever you feel the need.


You can’t please everyone. If you space your newsletter out too much, some people might not remember they subscribed to you and may not recognize the email. If you email too often, people may get annoyed and unsubscribe. Or, they may just not read it and delete the email. Then it’s kind of a waste for both of you.

What are your thoughts on having an email list? Are you Yay or Nay? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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How To Create Graphics For Your Blog Posts [Blogging]

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If you’ve been blogging for a while, or even if you just recently started, I’m sure you’ve heard people say that having a graphic or two on your blog post will allow more traffic to flow through.

People enjoy looking at pictures and it also entices them to read your post. Twitter is a place where Tweets are more likely to get clicked on if there’s a picture. Also, if you have a picture or two on your blog post, you can put it on Pinterest and that’s a huge traffic booster for some.

How to create awesome blog graphics | Blogging | How to blog |

Where Do You Get Your Pictures From?

There are three major ways you can get photos and get them legally for your blog.

Use a generic background

Some people just create backgrounds with nice color palettes or have a solid background with the text over it. It’s plain and simple and gets the job done.


There are two ways to do this. You can find random photos on Google to use as long as you find the original source and give the owner full credit. Stealing is bad, artists work super hard. Don’t do it.

The other way is to just Google “free stock photos.” A few websites will pop up and there are plenty of photos on those websites that you can borrow for free

Your own photos

I assume you have a smart phone, right? You can take your own pictures. Photo-ops are everywhere. I use my phone but I also have a Nikon D3300 that I use quite often to get better quality.

How Can You Edit The Photos?

Again, there are so many options out there, most of them are free.

How to edit photos for your blog | Blogging | photo editing |


I can’t do anything in Paint, but I have seen plenty of photo editing or digital art done through Paint. I don’t know how people do it, but they do and it’s really cool. If you can create cool stuff like that, go for it.

Photo editing websites

There are sites like PicMonkey or LunaPic where you can edit your photos for free. I used both of them for a while before I discovered Canva, which was much better in my opinion. It had templates and various photo sizes for certain websites. I believe there’s a paid option for it, but the free one was enough for me.

Photoshop or Illustrator

Once I started using my camera more, I got Photoshop and realized how much more I could do there over Canva. It’s a learning curve and I’m still trying to figure things out, but the pictures come out great, in my opinion. There’s a lot you can do. I have Photoshop Elements 2018 and before I got that, I had downloaded Gimp onto my laptop. It’s similar to Photoshop but a little less and is free.

How do you create your own graphics for your blog? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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