Get More Writing Done With The Write Or Die Productivity Application

write or die application

I am gearing up for this year’s National Novel Writing Month (which is every November) and I wanted to put a few things in place to help keep me focused. The goal of the month is to write a 50,000 word book in 30 days, which basically amounts to 1667 words a day. It’s definitely challenging for writers of all levels, but it’s a lot of fun and there are a lot of ways that other writers will support you during the process. All for free of course:) While I will be in fact working on a novel, please note that you can also use this challenge to write your non-fiction book as well. In fact I encourage you to do so.

One of the problems that many writers face is becoming distracted and/or editing their work as soon as they type it (a big no-no). I am definitely guilty of both of these blunders. Checking emails is one of my deadly sins. For others it’s social media. For others it may be distractions in the home, etc. Whatever it is, a few successful writers I know of have recommended a web application called Write or Die for getting them laser focused when it’s time to write. This is how writers have been using this particular app with success, and I’ve decided to try it as well during my NaNo challenge.

1. The first thing you need to do is to decide on a chunk of time in your day when you’re going to write.

2. Then you need to commit to it.

3. Once you’ve committed to it, then you need to start writing.

4. Using Write or Die will keep you on task with the “start writing” part because the application punishes you if you STOP writing for a certain period of time. That’s right…punish you.

With this application you can set a word goal, a time limit, and then start writing. If you stop writing after a certain period of time the app will punish you based on the “mode” you’ve set the app for. Gentle mode shows you a pop up window that lets you know you need to get writing again, normal mode plays an “evil” sound as a warning, and the kamikaze mode starts erasing what you’ve already written if you don’t get started writing again! Crazy huh? Crazy like a fox:)

You can download the app for your iPad in iTunes or you can download the desktop version (which works with PC, Mac, and Linux). Either version is only $10 bucks, which I think is a great deal.

Write or Die Desktop Version

Keep in mind that this is not a sophisticated writing and editing tool like Scrivener. The point of this tool is to get words written. 1st draft only. The whole point is that you don’t edit yourself like you usually do which may be hindering your production. The whole idea is to FIRST get a daily dose of word production. When your finished your goal for the day, you can then copy and paste that into your Scrivener or Microsoft Word document and edit later.

Sounds fun right? If you’ve downloaded the app and are using it or have used it in the past, let me know your thoughts in the comment section. I’ll post an update on my usage of it after NaNo.

Sound a little too hard core for you? This is a different (bare bones) app that has a much softer touch for you chickens:) http://writtenkitten.net/

 

 

How To Use Social Media To Generate Blog Ideas

Using Social Media to Generate Blog Ideas

There are thousands upon thousands of blog owners online. As such, it can often be quite difficult for any one blog owner to stand out from their competitors. But if you want to get your head above the rest, you should begin by looking at your content.

The Importance of Unique Content

Fresh content will set you apart from your competition in two important ways. Firstly, it will interest and entertain your readers. Secondly, it will help to identify you as a thought leader in a particular field. Both of these things will drive traffic to your blog and ensure that your audience comes back for more.

Generating content ideas, however, can be tricky. This goes double if you are trying to generate unique ideas. So it’s important to utilise the resources you have on hand to help you come up with great topics for your blog. And of all the available online resources, social media is perhaps the best. So here are some ideas for how to generate content by using the two biggest social networks around.

Generating Content from Facebook

blog ideas from facebook

Facebook can be a great place to start collecting unique ideas for your blog. Millions of conversations happen every day on Facebook, and any number of these could contain interesting ideas that you could expand upon.

The key here is expansion. It’s no use to write a blog post that is simply about what people are saying on Facebook. The trick is to uncover why they are saying it, to whom, and why it is important. If the subject concerns a brand or current news story, even better. Tools such as Bottlenose can help us to widen our Facebook search, to determine the most popular conversations at any one time. And if you’re feeling stuck, you could even ask your Facebook friends to suggest ideas of their own.

Twitter Trends and Brands

get blog ideas using twitter

Twitter trends can be of enormous value for bloggers, especially if the trend at hand is controversial. Bloggers who can spot trends before they happen are the best placed to capitalise upon them, by blogging about them in real time as the trend takes hold, then tweeting links back to the blog post which also include the trend key phrase or hashtag.

Twitter, like Facebook, is also a great place where a blogger can interact with brands. Upcoming products, giveaways or brand news can all be utilised by social media-savvy bloggers to generate content that will be of interest, not only to their own following, but to the brand’s following as well.

Consistency vs. Quality

Whilst it’s important to have consistent blog content, it’s also important that your blog posts be consistent. Unless you blog regularly, visitors won’t know when to check your site for new content. Ultimately, this will cause a decrease in your readership and less flow to your website, if you are also a web owner.

Posting consistent content which is also high in quality is a daunting challenge for even the most experienced of blog owners. It can often feel like a full time job simply to stay on top of your content production. But there are resources which make this task much easier. Using a content calendar, for example, will help you to plan content well in advance of its publish date, and will also provide a space in which you can collect and organize creative ideas as they come to you.

Guest Post

Top Apps For Writers (And Entrepreneurs)

app user magazine

Did you know that there are over 800,000+ free and paid Apps on the market. How on earth are you suppose to choose the ones that will work for you? Well as a writer and entrepreneur first and foremost, I LOVE productivity Apps. And it really defeats the purpose of  “productivity” to spend an entire day researching and selecting the right Apps for writers. That’s why I love this new interactive digital magazine, App User Magazine, which is a publication dedicated to the App user.

Please check out my new interactive, guest article on my selection of the Top 5 Apps For Writing. While they are absolutely not the only Apps to use, this article was totally me taking a look at my personal iPhone and iPad and writing about the Apps that I actually use every day in my business.

You can download this magazine as an App in the iTunes App store.

Feel free to add to the list. If there are Apps that you use regularly that help improve your productivity as a writer or entrepreneur, please add them in the comments below and share this article with your social networks.

December Article Ideas

Want to write about something other than the obvious Christmas holiday stories? No worries, there are lots of topics you can write about during the month of December. Ready, set, let’s go! Article ideas and writing prompts for the month of December…

december article topics

Topics you can write about all month long:

  • Hi Neighbor Month
  • National Stress Free Family Holiday Month
  • Read A New Book Month
  • Safe Toy and Gift Month
  • Universal Human Rights Month
  • Write to a Friend Month

Topics you can write on that are date specific:

December 1st
Eat A Red Apple Day
National Pie Day
Rosa Park’s Day
World AIDS Day

December 2nd
National Fritters Day
Special Education Day

December 3rd
International Day of the Disabled Person
National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day

December 4th
National Cookie Day
Wear Brown Shoes Day

December 5th
Annual Day of the Ninja
Walter Elias (Walt) Disney’s Birthday

December 6th
Mitten Tree Day
St. Nicholas Day

December 7th
National Cotton Candy Day (my daughters will love this one!)
Pearl Harbor Day

December 8th
National Brownie Day (very important! LOL!)
Hanukkah Begins at Sunset

December 10th
Emily Dickinson’s Birthday
Human Rights Day
Nobel Peace Prize Awarded

December 11th
National Noodle Ring Day
UNICEF Anniversary

December 12th
Frank Sinatra’s Birthday
Golf Tee Patented
Hovercraft Patented
Poinsettia Day

December 13th
National Cocoa Day

December 14th
First Miniature Golf Course Opened
South Pole Discovered

December 15th
Bill of Rights Day
Phonograph Patented

December 16th
Boston Tea Party Anniversary

December 17th
National Maple Syrup Day
Underdog Day

December 20th
Games Day

December 21st
First Crossword Puzzle in a Newspaper
First Day of Winter
Humbug Day
Look at the Bright Side Day
National Flashlight Day

December 22nd
First Christmas Lights for Sale
Thermometer Was Invented

December 24th
National Egg Nog Day

December 25th
Christmas
National Pumpkin Pie Day (Really???)

December 26th
Boxing Day
Kwanzaa Begins
National Whiners Day

December 27th
Visit the Zoo Day (Uh, not on the East Coast of the U.S.!)

December 28th
Card Playing Day
Chewing Gum Patented
National Chocolate Day

December 29th
Bowling Ball Invented

December 31st
New Year’s Eve

If you liked any of these December article topics and know someone who may benefit from one, then please pay it forward and share this list via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ below. Happy holidays!

The Write Mindset For 2013

Increase Your Writing Productivity: Get Into The “Write” Mindset

writing productivity dog

At this time of the year I like to focus on what I call getting into my “write mindset” so that I produce more high quality content that servers my tribe. To do this, I typically first take a look back at what I’ve written and published on my websites, what’s in the draft folder, and what I’d like to write for the new year. Writing this down helps me organize and decide what writing will be on tap for the new year. I do this for every website I own and write content for. Pardon me while I get a little transparent with you today:)

On LisaAngelettieBlog, I’ve written and published over 105 articles during 2012, I have 3 articles in the draft folder (which have been there for months!), and I’d like to publish 156 of my own articles along with 52 guest post submissions for a total of 208 articles in 2013.

I’d also like to make sure that one of those articles per week is a video article so that I can start maximizing YouTube for more visibility and traffic back to my site. Who knows, maybe if I find my sweet spot I may create more video articles than text ones (yeah right!).

I also have a goal of writing and submitting two to three of my own guest posts per month. I typically spend a little longer on researching and/or writing these articles, so two or three a month is a realistic number for me.

I’m also still dying to get that podcast started that I’ve been talking about since forever! I would really like to launch the first episode in January. Thank you Pat Flynn for the inspiration.

I will also be focusing a lot on the Amazon income stream of my business. I’ve seen a lot of growth there and I think it’s only going to get better as tablets and readers become more accessible to buyers. Tablets have gone down considerably in price this year, so the forecast is that ebook sales will continue to rise. That’s only good news for folks like us. A great creative passive income stream for any business owner is to take existing content and publish those articles on the Kindle marketplace. I’ll be covering this topic a lot more on this site in the new year.

My experience on Amazon so far has been really favorable with publishing non-fiction, but I plan to also jump into the waters of fiction in 2013 as well. Writing fiction has been a lifelong dream of mine that I created a million excuses for not doing for many, many years. My fear of writing fiction was so crippling that I am going to document my entire process from start to finish just so that I hope it inspires some other writers out there to do the same. I am in the process of building that blog now, so I’ll let you know when it’s live. The digital revolution has made it so easy for us to get out there as entrepreneurs, authors, publishers in a really big way. I say NO EXCUSES in 2013 everyone! Me included.

Now I want YOU to get into a the creative write mindset for 2013 as well. In fact, I’ve gathered a few writing productivity resources from this site that I think may help you in areas where you may be struggling:

How To Write What People Will Read

How Entrepreneurs Can Quickly Beat Writers Block

#1 Secret For Writing Productivity

Writing Rituals

So what are your writing/content goals for the new year?

It may be a good idea to share them with the rest of us so that you’ve put it out in the universe and so that we can hold each other accountable. I’d love to hear what you have planned, no matter how lofty your goals may be:)

October Article Ideas

A great way to get a surge of traffic to your site on a regular basis is to write theme or holiday related articles. Especially if you write them in a way that they will bring you traffic EVERY month for that specific holiday or theme. So do not write anything really specific to the “year” that you wrote them. Just the month. Then watch the traffic roll in every month like clockwork.

October article ideas

Here Are Some Article Ideas For You For Monthly October Search Engine Traffic:

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

I’ve noticed a lot of television commercials around this promotion lately. It is becoming a bigger monthly promotion, so it would probably be a great idea to write content around this if you can tie it into your business some way.Talk about shelter dog you adopted. Share tips and strategies for bringing home a shelter dog.

American Pharmacist Month

Very important job and great tie in for any health related niche.

Apple Jack Month

The cereal, the drink? Uh, I’m not sure about this one.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This is a big one and you’ll see a lot of activity around this topic.

Clergy Appreciation Month

Great topic for any and all Christian, Catholic or other religious themed websites.

Computer Learning Month

Anyone could probably tie this topic in with their business. We’re all online educators in a way.

Cookie Month

Isn’t it every month? (Tee-hee!)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

A very important topic that does well with first person accounts, prevention, and how to escape strategies.

Eat Country Ham Month

I don’t eat ham, but I’m sure a lot of people do:)

International Drum Month

Great for music sites, etc.

Lupus Awareness Month

This doesn’t get the attention that say MS gets, but it’s just as serious and prevalent of an autoimmune disease. If this is your niche — get busy writing content around it. There isn’t enough.

National Diabetes Month

Another big topic. Give it a spin unique to your niche and you’ll do great in the search engines.

National Pizza Month

Recipes, health pizza versions, unique pizza toppings, how to make at home, the ideas are endless!

National Vegetarian Month

I went to the library to check out the book “Eat To Live” and I was 86th on the list! People are looking for solutions to long term health and longevity and for many that is a closer look at Vegetarianism. Show people how to convert easily and you’ll win in this niche.

National Popcorn Popping Month

Popcorn flavors. Popcorn recipes. Popcorn crafts.

Sarcastic Month

Are you serious? (LOL)

Seafood Month

Restaurant listings, seafood recipes, how seafood is caught, farm raised vs wild caught, etc.

Halloween

Obviously, you can write all Halloween and fall festive related articles as well. Here are some past articles I’ve written to help marketers write effective articles (and profit from them) on Halloween:

http://lisaangelettieblog.com/halloween-affiliate-article-marketing/

http://lisaangelettieblog.com/halloween-affiliate-article-marketing-top-halloween-keywords-pt-2/

#1 Mistake Self-Published Amazon Authors Make

kindle grammar errorAttention All Self Published Authors! The #1 Mistake You Are Making When Publishing Your Books On Amazon Are Simple Grammar Errors. (GAHHH!)

If you are considering writing a book and publishing it on Amazon.com then I highly recommend that you hire an editor because there is nothing more embarrassing then seeing reviews for your book that love your topic or your story but couldn’t get through it because of the amount of errors:

amazon bad editing reviewkindle publishing errorsWhile I am a writer by trade (and passion:), I am also an avid reader. I buy a LOT of fiction from Amazon and read it on my iPad with my Kindle App. I am amazed by how many errors I find in these books. In fact, I’ve run across a few where I had to reread passages in order to try and make sense of them. Basically trying to figure out what the author intended to say.

While it doesn’t discourage me from reading self published authors (there are plenty of fantastic books written by self published authors), it does discourage me from purchasing from that particular author again.

As an author, avoiding the reviews that you will receive (like those I’ve shown above and they aren’t the worst of it!), are worth the investment of hiring an editor.

If you are on a super tight budget and can’t pay anyone, then another thing you could try is to form an alliance with another author and agree to proofread each other’s work. You can find other authors in your area quite easily through social media. Just put it out there and people will be very willing to connect you with others.

Read about more common grammar errors many writers make…

How Much Time Should I Spend Creating Web Content?

Content Marketing Question Of The Week: Time Management

time creating web content

Question
I am relatively new to content marketing and wanted to know how much time I should dedicate to this strategy considering I have so many other things to do in my business.

Answer
I often say this when I work with clients but it is very important that you understand that content marketing at this point on the web is not only crucial but it’s mandatory. Without a foundation of content in your business, you are bound to fail. The web is fueled by content. Fresh content. So it’s important that you treat content marketing with the respect it deserves!

Carving out time to create content that your ideal prospects will want to read and share should be one of your top priorities. So carve out time for that priority as you would any other major aspect of your business. A lot!

Remember that the time spent in on content creation has a fantastic ROI.

For one hour’s worth of work and one killer article or video, you could possibly get over (and let’s be very conservative!) 200 new readers. A portion of them will convert and become subscribers to your list. Let’s say 75. Out of those 75, twelve of them really liked your next newsletter where you offered them a complimentary strategy session. They liked it so much that 7 of them booked the sessions.

Out of those 7 sessions, 3 people signed up for one of your offers. Perhaps it was two VIP Days and one 90 day client. Maybe all three joined your entry level membership program or ordered your book.

What does that income look like?

How much was one hour of your time worth to you?

Imagine if you wrote 3, 10, 100 more articles or videos? Consistently? And the same numbers applied.

What does your business look like now?

See wasn’t the time put in worth it?

Final notes – dedicate as much time to content marketing as you would any major marketing strategy in your business. I always encourage my clients to write for themselves in order to really capture the true essence and uniqueness of what makes you, well you. BUT you can always outsource things like article submissions, video editing, etc. for better time management.

Do what feels right for you and measure the results.

How much time are you spending writing content right now? Do you think it’s enough? Do you think  you spend too much time developing content? Share your thoughts with us!