Why Book Reviews Are Important On Amazon

Guest Post by Jeanette S Cates, PhD

If you've bought a book from Amazon, you've probably had the author ask you to post a review of the book. While you might not think much about the request, the author is focused on getting good reviews.

There are a variety of reasons that book reviews are important on Amazon, but here are the eight most important ones from an author's perspective.

1. A book review helps other readers determine whether or not the book is for them. Nothing is worse that someone who already knows a lot about a topic buying a book, then discovering it's for beginners. Or vice versa.

While authors generally try to explain who the book is for, a good review can reinforce that point more effectively.

2. A well-written review points out the things to look for in the book. Since you often highlight your favorite portions of the book in your review, it makes it easy for other readers to look forward to that section. It also helps highlight the content that is most relevant to readers - and that provides valuable feedback to the author for their next book.

3. One review encourages the next one. Not everyone wants to be the first in line, so you are doing a great service by being the first person to write a book review. Once you've gotten the ball rolling, one review leads to another, with readers often piggy-backing comments, responding to others' comments.

Also note that you don't have to write a review in order to comment on a review. You can join the conversation about a book at any time.

4. The more positive reviews a book receives, the better it ranks. The better it ranks, the more people see it. The more they see it, the more likely they are to buy it. So by posting a positive book review you are helping the book move up the ranks for more exposure.

And a note about the star ranking - anything below 4 stars is considered "not recommended", so it helps to be generous with your stars.

5. The simple act of "liking" a review helps boost that review up the list of reviews. As a result, the book reviews appear in the order of the most helpful first. Therefore, whether or not you write a review, take time to read and rate the reviews already posted.

6. Once a book has 10 reviews, it's eligible to be included in the "also bought" listing, as well as the "you might like" recommendations. These listings, in turn, add to the number of sales the book is likely to receive.

7. After an unspecified number of positive reviews, a book can be included in the "Recommended For You" emails sent to individual Amazon readers. As with every other step of the review process, this adds significantly to the number of sales a book may receive.

8. Many book review sites will not consider a book for review unless they have a number of reviews on the Amazon book page.

With these eight items in mind, you'll understand why book reviews are important and why an Amazon author is asking you to write a review on the books you buy.

Dr. Jeanette Cates is a best-selling Amazon author with multiple titles to her credit. Here latest is Sell Your Book With An Ecourse. Enjoy one of Jeanette's books at

Original Article Source:



Want to write your very own money-making ebook in 7 days? If you said yes, then you’ll want to check out How to Write Your Own Ebook in 7 Days by Jim Edwards.

Over the last 14 years, Jim has written, created, and sold ‘millions of dollars’ in ebooks and info-products online. And, he has helped thousands of authors. Jim's reputation for writing and promoting ebooks online is legendary!

Get your copy of How to Write Your Own Ebook in 7 Days and get started today! CLICK HERE

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Become a Niche Powerhouse and Build a Successful Business (Find a Niche and Work It)

This is a three part series, but each article has stand-alone information to help you on your online marketing journey.

If you’re in the writing and marketing arena, or even if you have some other service or product you’re selling, you have tons and tons and tons of competition.

To set yourself apart and to become the source of search query results, you need to choose a very specific and narrow niche and ‘work’ that niche.

The first two components to becoming a powerhouse in your niche are ‘finding a profitable niche’ and ‘putting in the time and effort.’

Finding a Niche . . . finding a profitable niche

Finding a niche that can be profitable will take research.

The very first step is to determine what you excel in and enjoy. It may be:

  • A hobby
  • A craft
  • Music related – do you play an instrument?
  • Work related – do you have a profession?
  • About animals - do you have a pet?

Put on your thinking cap. Find something you’re interested in and are knowledgeable in.

Sit down and make a detailed list of everything you might be able to jump into.

Then fine tune your list to the most realistic, doable choices. Make it something specific – make your niche narrow.

As an example, suppose you’re interested in the health realm. This is a very broad niche. Maybe you think cancer or autoimmune diseases would be a good fit. Again, these are broad niches. You’ll need to narrow it down more by finding a topic (niche) within those categories, possibly breast cancer or multiple sclerosis.

Another example might be in the business area. Suppose you want to offer services in the business incentive arena. You might focus on travel incentives, customer incentives, or productivity incentives.

You get the idea. Think narrow. Think specific.

It’ll Take Time and Effort

It’s important to realize that you’ll actually need to put time and effort into building your business.

The rule of thumb is Malcolm Gladwell’s philosophy that you need 10,000 hours of studying and/or working on a particular subject to become an expert. This philosophy though has been challenged by David Epstein who believes, in regard to sports, that it’s in the genes.

But, putting that debate aside, with all the experts and information online, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert to start out. What you need to do is provide expert information on the subject and learn as you’re going along.

This can be done through quoting experts and referencing the content of experts. Just be careful not to commit plagiarism.

Along with this, you do need to expect to devote at least 10 to 20 hours a week to ‘becoming an expert in the niche,’ to build your business, and to promote what you’re offering.

This is all part of becoming a niche powerhouse and building a successful business.

I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. Too advanced, not enough, just right? I’d really love to know, so please leave a comment – good or bad.

P.S. If you liked this article, PLEASE SHARE IT!


To read Part Two, click the link:
Become a Niche Powerhouse – Find Your Audience and Build Your List (Part 2)



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Content Marketing and Graphics

Content marketing is about reaching your readers and turning those readers into customers or clients.

But, content marketing isn't just about text; it involves audio, video, and GRAPHICS.

Why is graphics an important element?

Graphics can grab a visitor. It can enhance the content. It can engage the reader. Graphics can tell a story.

Have you heard the expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words?"

I think you get the point.

But, it's not just about the images you use on your blog posts and social media. Graphics includes website headers, Social Media banners, book covers, box images, and so on.

Each of those elements adds another dimension to you and your business.

Having a uniform color design for all your sites and products is another factor. It will make you look professional.

As you can see there is much involved. And, graphics is something most of us don't have the know-how to do.

A Great Designer

I have a Fiverr graphics lady who is just amazing and FAST!

Her Fiverr name is BDBOSS and you can find her at:

BD has done book covers, box covers, website headers, and a Google banner for me. They all came out exactly how I wanted them, in fact much, much better than I requested.

And, I don't get a commission for sharing her with you. She's just amazing and if you need a designer for $5 per job, then I highly recommend her.

Want to see her work? 

Check out my Google profile header at:

Check out my Twitter header at:

Check out my website header at:

Here's a box image she made for me:

What About You?

Who do you use for your graphics? Share with us in comments.



While you will need a graphic designer for some of your content marketing projects, for your blog post images you shouldn't. In fact, I'll go a step further and say 'you absolutely don't. And, you don't need to pay $2 per image on image services sites, like BigStock. All you need is Logo Creator (Laughingbird) Software.

I design all my own images with Logo Creator. The image at the very top of this post is mine. And, if I wanted to I could sell them on one of the image services sites or set up shop at Fiverr.

Just check it out for yourself: Logo Creator

More on Content Marketing

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What Is a Feature Article and What Sets It Apart From Other Writing?

Guest Post by Janice Gillgren

So many people lead such fascinating lives, and there are so many fascinating places on our earth. The feature writer seeks to show that fascination in such a way that readers will want to know about it too.

What is a 'feature article'?

The definitions are varied, and the differences can be confusing. A 'feature', like the word 'item', can mean a whole thing, or part of that whole. My Oxford dictionary lists several meanings of 'feature', including (in brief):

Characteristic, face, special attraction, and (written) article.

My own definition of 'feature article' comes from a merge of the last two meanings: 'A written non-fiction article/story that is intended as a focal point of a magazine publication so that it will attract readers.'

What sets a 'feature article' apart from other writing?

· It usually tells about a person, group or topic in some depth; though it may focus on a place instead, such as in a travel article.

· There is usually more than one feature article per magazine edition.

· It is usually written in a more relaxed conversational tone than a typical news item or essay, with quotes, dialogue and personal anecdotes. It is more of a 'story' than just a report.

· The writer's personal style can show through more clearly than with many other non-fiction items, and the writer's opinions and experiences can be voiced.

· Although feature articles are regularly included in magazines, they are not the same as regular columns and commentaries, which are usually on one specific topic. Feature articles usually deal with a person, place and/or topic relevant to the magazine's focus.

· They could be authored by the same writer each edition, such as the editor. They usually provide good opportunity for freelance writers as well though, and enable the editor to see the writer's skill. This may result in a regular job with that publication.

· Feature articles don't have a concise style such as that of a newspaper article. The length of the article is often longer than other items in the publication, and depends on the individual editor's requirements.

· They take prominent place in the magazine, though not necessarily on the first pages, and their titles are usually noted on the front cover.

What are the advantages of writing feature articles?

· They enable you to gain experience in writing for publication without the huge outlay of time and effort that is involved in writing a book, and they are much easier to get published - especially for the beginner writer. If your aim is to write a book, this experience will prove invaluable.

· You will learn how to really craft a piece of writing as you continue writing them.

· Copies of published feature articles become part of your CV, which you can then show to other editors for whom you would like to write.

· A by-line (your name attributed to the article), and possibly a short bio and picture as well, enable readers to identify you, and recognise you in further editions or publications. If they like your style of writing, they are more likely to seek your articles (and books) to read in future.

· They are seldom as pressured as news articles, and allow you to develop and reveal your personal writing style.

· If you enjoy writing about people (as I do), the greater depth of a feature article will enable you to have more involvement with your subjects.

Many book authors actually continue to write feature articles even while working on their books. This could be for financial reasons (writing a book can mean a long wait for payment), for a break from their book subject, or to increase their exposure as a writer on their subject so as to show readers they will have something worthwhile to offer when the book is published.

There are many reasons to write feature articles, and many benefits to doing so.

About the Author:

Do you need help to write better? Do you want some inspiration to put your thoughts into words? Could you do with some encouragement to develop your writing skills?

Click here to visit by Janice Gillgren

The blog on this site offers inspiration, encouragement and useful tips to writers at all levels.

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Warning - Email Marketing and Free Email Services

If you’re an email marketer, and you should be, pay attention to what’s going on with the free email services and your subscriber lists.

The first to play havoc on their email customers is Yahoo.

Yahoo recently made a change to its DMARC ((Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) Policy, according to iContact.

What does this mean to you?

Well, maybe nothing, but if you send your subscriber emails through email services, such as iContact, Yahoo is bouncing the majority of them. They’ve bounced about 80% of my last four subscriber emails.


This in itself is a problem, but add to this that there was NO notification, unless you were looking for it, DOUBLE YIKES!

So, email marketers who found out after the fact, like me, had to resend their emails, which means about 20% of my subscribers will get duplicate email content for four messages.

My sincere apologies to you, but 80% of those subscribing to The Writing World didn’t receive the emails. So, please bear with me.

iContact notes that Yahoo’s purpose is to prevent suspicious or phishing attacks. So, if your ‘From Address’ is tied to and it’s not sent from one of their IPs, your email will be bounced.

Just the Beginning

As with everything online, there are usually no solitary acts. Yahoo may be the first to implement this anti-spam bounce policy, but be assured that the others will follow.

The Solution

If you are using free email services like Yahoo and Gmail, change your “From Address” on your subscriber email lists to a paid service, use a domain that you control, one that’s connected to your website.

If you’re not sure how to do this, ask your email marketing service provider for help.

Hope this is helpful,



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Who is Who in the Social Media Platforms - Twitter Has a New Member Profile Feature

Twitter is still moving forward with its cloning strategy and now has a “new and improved web profile” in the works for you. While it's still 'cloning,' this strategy in my opinion is a good idea. I think we all appreciate the ability to do more with our social media headers.

Like Facebook and GooglePlus, the new Twitter profile offers a bigger profile header area that you can customize.

The Twitter blog explains that along with a larger profile area, the company is implementing best tweets, pinned tweets, and filtered tweets.

Best tweets makes tweets that are more popular appear a bit larger than the others. This lets readers find them quickly.

Pinned tweets lets you to ‘pin’ one of your tweets to the top of your page. You might choose a tweet that reflects exactly what you and your product or service is all about. This allows for easier branding.

Filtered tweets is a feature that lets you “choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles.” The options are basic tweets (text), tweets with video or images, and tweets with replies.

Like the LinkedIn publishing option, not everyone is getting the new Twitter profile feature at once. It will be trickling down to all over time.

Want to see an example?

Check out:



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P.S. To keep up with 'visibility generating' writing and marketing information, along with updates on instructional webinars, join us in The Writing World (it's all free).

Karen Cioffi, Online Platform and Website Optimization Instructor
Become a Content Writing Powerhouse in Just 6 Weeks



Powerful Email Messages That Actually Lead To Opens and Conversions (the Autoresponder Series Template)

Email marketing falls under the online marketing umbrella, more specifically, the content marketing umbrella. It’s how you establish and build a relationship with people who find your information and/or free gift of value and opt in to your mailing list. In other words, with your subscribers.

This marketing strategy is absolutely essential to your business, so it’s important to know how to ‘kick it off right’ and how to make it powerful.

The process of creating powerful email messages is in an autoresponder series. The series will help establish the connection you’re striving for, establish you as an expert, and help sell what you’re offering.

But, before you start your autoresponder series, you’ll need an email marketing foundation. This includes:

1. Signing up with an email service provider.
2. Learning about autoresponders.
3. Writing your Welcome Message (this will be the first message in your series).

After these steps are in place, Colin Martin, pro copywriter and marketer, suggests you craft a series of nine (minimum) additional powerful messages that should be automatically sent every three to five days for the first month or so. 

Nine Powerful Message Templates for Your Autoresponder Series

Message One - make him glad he signed up.

The first of your nine powerful email messages and should be sent 3 days after your Welcome Message. It’s where you’ll give the new subscriber usable information. You might:

•    Lead him to a helpful article on your website blog
•    Include a testimonial about your newsletter or emails
•    Offer him a valuable bonus gift for signing up to your mailing list – this might be an ebook, an instructional video or podcast, a free lesson to a workshop, or other

According to Martin, give your subscriber a reason to keep opening your emails.

Message Two – address one problem and give the solution.

Describe one primary problem or obstacle your subscriber faces. Freely give the solution to that problem. Ask if your solution is helpful.

Next, link to a product or service you offer that will further help your subscriber with that problem or another problem. Make the link an anchor text.

This message should go out 7 days after the subscriber signed up.

The following messages should be scheduled three to four days after each other.

Message Three – tell a story.

For this email you can tell the story of a client or customer you helped, or you can write a story of someone who is unsuccessful. Or, tell your own story of failure to success.

Explain how your service or product could make a difference. Provide an anchor text link to a sales page.

Message Four – the special offer.

Talk about what the subscriber needs. This might be based on your opt-in bribe. Make a special offer of one or more of your products or services. Let her know it’s only for subscribers and provide an anchor text link.

Message Five – do a little bragging.

Provide testimonials about your business. Or, ‘strut your stuff’ by linking to interviews of you, news items about you, recommendations, a webinar you presented, or other.

Message Six – do a survey.

This is a great way to get your subscribers involved and to find out what they really want and need. With this information you can create products/services to offer them.

Message Seven – back it up.

You’ve given a lot of free and valuable information, but you want your subscriber to know that the ‘industry’ backs up what you’re telling him.

In this message, provide quotes (with reference links) and/or links to relevant news items and/or information by well-known experts in the field that will validate your information.

Message Eight – connect on social networks
In all probability, after several months or so, you’re subscriber will stop opening your emails. This is the general outcome of email marketing. You want to make sure you stay connected and still have opportunity to sell to that subscriber, so it’s important to connect with him on your social networks before this happens.

Message Nine – give more solutions.

Here you want to again identify and address a problem your subscriber has. Be the answer to the question, the solution to the problem. This will reinforce your ‘go-to person’ status.

The welcome message and these successive nine email messages will cement your relationship with your subscriber. And at this point, these messages should have motivated him to buy what you’re offering.

After the initial 10 automatic messages, you should provide helpful information regularly and occasionally reintroduce the first nine messages randomly here and there.

These powerful email messages should lead to an increase in your email open rate and conversion rate

I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. Too advanced, not enough, just right? I’d really love to know, so please leave a comment – good or bad.

P.S. If you liked this article, PLEASE SHARE IT!



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3 Reasons You Must Use Subheads …

Guest Post by Will Newman

Last week we had a great session in our Circle of Success Targeted Learning Program on “Leads.” We were discussing how to fill your lead with a feeling of urgency.

The session brought back my own memories of when I was first learning copywriting from a well-known copywriter I’ll call “my mentor.”

I dreaded seeing my copy when my mentor returned it. He almost invariably “bled on it.” (Those were the “good old days” before peer reviews and CUBA reviews.) But as painful as it seemed back then, I still learned a great deal from this process.

One lesson I learned right away was the importance of subheads.

Here’s my painful memory …

I’d written some copy for an alternative-health newsletter promotion. My mentor returned it to me without the usual flood of red ink.

“This,” he said, “is pretty good.” (High praise from him.) I beamed inside at his compliment. “But,” he continued grumpily, “where are the subheads?”
I explained that when I wrote it, I didn’t think about subheads. I didn’t know I should use them, and I didn’t know they were that important.

My mentor didn’t exactly blow up. But he let me know that subheads were among the most important elements in a sales letter. I nodded my head in agreement, but in reality I still didn’t understand why.

My mentor was an outstanding and very successful copywriter. But he wasn’t a great coach. He never really told me the “why” of anything. He just told me to “do it.” And that was that.

Until I took the AWAI programs, I didn’t understand exactly how important these “mini-headlines” are to promotions, be they for print or web. The AWAI programs – and years of doing my own copywriting – taught me why subheads are so important.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years …

3 reasons you must use subheads …

Your reader wants his reading to be easy. That’s why you avoid big words and long sentences (for the most part). But he also wants his reading to look easy. Subheads provide visual breaks in your copy, so it looks easy to read.

Take some copy – with and without subheads – and look at it from about six feet away. Without subheads, the visual impact is a large block of gray text. Not very inviting.

With subheads, the copy is broken up. It’s less gray looking … and decidedly more inviting.

How often to use subheads …

There’s no hard and fast rule for how often you should include a subhead. I figure three subheads for every two printed pages of copy is a good minimum. In the masterful copy we use as one of the examples in the COS “Leads” intensive, Kent Komae has a subhead about every three to four paragraphs.

But be careful not to use too many subheads. It’s perfectly okay to have a new subhead after a single intervening paragraph. But, doing that too often makes the copy busy looking. It can be as uninviting as long blocks of uninterrupted copy.

It’s a sufficient reason to use subheads to break up your copy visually. It’s sufficient … but certainly not the best reason to use subheads.

Subheads help pull your prospect to the ultimate action …

The Golden Thread of your big promise and core benefits is what convinces your prospect to buy or act. Well-written subheads help weave that Golden Thread throughout your copy. Taken on their own, they should provide almost sufficient pull for your prospect to act.

Here’s how I check to see if that’s happening. After I’ve finished my third or fourth draft, I copy all my subheads into a separate file. I print that file and read the subheads by themselves.

I don’t expect them to make sense like the written copy does. But I check to see if they collectively build urgency by supporting the Golden Thread.

Okay, there’s a lot here about why and how you should use subheads. But I haven’t given you very much about how to make them effective. We’ll talk about that next week, when we delve into a few simple strategies for writing strong subheads … and how to make them serve the Golden Thread.

Until next week, keep reading … and keep writing.

Will Newman

Article Source: head

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit


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Three Powerful Content Marketing Strategies to Motivate Potential Customers to Buy

The buying process produces potential customer anxiety.

Just about all CTAs (call-to-actions) generate stress. Something as simple as the wording in your CTA, can increase that stress and it’s your job to take steps to reduce the potential customer’s anxiety. This in turn will increase your conversions.

Conversions in this case relates to getting visitors to actually buy what you’re offering, getting visitors to say Yes to your CTA.

Here are 3 Powerful Strategies to Reduce Buyer Anxiety

1. The CTA Wording

As mentioned, the wording you use in your CTA can increase or decrease buyer anxiety. According to Marketing Experiments, it’s all about the expectation of what your wording produces.

In testing conducted by the marketing group, two CTAs were put to the test. The first was “Start Free Trial.” The second was “Get Started Now.”

Which do you think converted better?

It was “Get Started Now” and the reason is it produced less anxiety because there is NO implied cost. To many, ‘starting a free trial’ conveys an implied cost.

2. Timing of the CTA

Timing is when and where to introduce the CTA on the sales page. In other words, do you put the CTA at the beginning of the conversation, in the middle, or at the end?

For the average marketer, it’s usually a good idea to provide the visitor with focused and persuasive content (information) before introducing the CTA. This will help develop interest and motivation. The information explaining how the product or service will solve the visitor’s problem will encourage him to buy what’s being offered.

3. Offering a Guarantee (a refund)

For the buyer, one of the most stressful things in the buying process is to think he’ll lose money.

Questions your visitor may think of:

  • Is the product high quality?
  • Is the cost reasonable for what’s being offered?
  • Will the product meet the promises made?
  • Will the perceived value meet expectations?
  • Is the money I’m going to spend worth it?
  • What if it doesn’t help me?

One of the best ways to reduce most of the anxiety related to the buying process is to offer a money-back guarantee, a risk-free guarantee.

The guarantee must be clearly worded. The visitor will need to know exactly what he has to do to get the refund, when he’ll receive the refund, and any other information that will make him feel more comfortable in his decision.

There are five primary elements to a knock-it-out-of-the-park guarantee:

1. The length – you can offer a 5 day, a 7 day, a 30 day, or other refund time limit.

2. The conditions – the refund policy can be conditional. For example, “If you complete Lesson One, including the assignment, and decide this course isn’t for you, I’ll give you a complete refund.”

3. The coverage – you need to make it clear as to exactly what’s covered in the refund. For example, is it just the cost of the product or does it include shipping, handling, and/or other fees.

4. The placement – place the guarantee just below the price and then again after more persuasive content. You might head the additional motivation as, “Still Not Sure?”

5. The process – make it very clear what the customer needs to do to initiate the refund process. For example, she may need to contact your support team or you directly by email.

Using these tips will help you create powerful guarantees that will reduce buy anxiety.

The article, “How to Craft a Guarantee,” at Digital Marketer provides more information on the first four elements mentioned above.


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Social Media Networking – Twitter Is At It Again

Well, Twitter is at it again. Morphing more and more into a homogenized version of a social networking site.

According to Twitter, the social media site is getting more social by allowing members to post up to four photos per tweet. And, you can tag up to 10 people per photo.

This is a twofold update.

The first so-called social improvement is the ability to post up to four images per tweet. The second is being able to tag as many as 10 people per image. And, this doesn’t add to your 140 character limit.

Sound similar to Facebook?

It is.

But, do we really need more socializing, more tagging? Does it have anything to do with social media marketing?

Fortunately, you can opt-out of being tagged in a photo and here’s how to do it:

1. Go to your Twitter account.
2. Go to Settings.
3. Go to Security and Privacy on the left dashboard.
4. Scroll down to Privacy: Photo Tagging.
5. Choose “Do not allow anyone to tag me in photos.”

See the images below:

Decide for yourself whether you want to have Twitter members able to tag you in photos or whether you prefer to opt out.

Keep in mind that Twitter has you automatically set to allow being tagged in photos, so if you want out, like me, just use the step-by-step information above.

To find out how to remove yourself from a photo you’re tagged in along with other posting photos information, go to: Twitter’s Help Center: Posting Photos on Twitter

Twitter Launches Photo Tagging



Website Creation to Beyond Book Sales

No matter who you are (author, writer, business owner), your two most important online marketing tools are your website and your online platform.

Need help getting your website and platform optimized? If the answer is YES then check out this 6 week e-class through WOW! Women on Writing, just CLICK HERE.


Blogging – LinkedIn Now Offers Blog Post Publishing to Its Members
Website Ranking – Basic Metrics (Elements)
4 Super-simple Steps to Using Screen Shots in Your Blog Posts

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Karen Cioffi, Online Marketing Instructor
Build an Online Platform That Works


3 Tips for Finding Writing Inspiration

Guest Post by Mary Jo Guglielmo

Are you ready to start a new writing project but are struggling with finding that new story?  I have known a number of writers who can't seem to find a new direction after finishing a big project.  If you're need of some inspiration try one of the following techniques to jumpstart your next writing project.

Dream Your Manuscript into Being: If you having trouble coming up with that next story, stop thinking about it and start dreaming about it.  After finishing her first novel, debut author Crystal Chan worried that she might not have another story in her. One night while tossing in bed she woke up and saw in her mind's eye a boy with outspread arms standing on the edge of cliff. As she saw him jump, she heard in a girl's voice the words "Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother John".  She jumped out of bed, fired up her laptop and Bird was born.  By the time she stopped typing that night, she had written the first chapter.  If you don't think you can jump out of bed when inspiration rouses you from your sleep, keep a notebook on your nightstand.  This will keep those creative ideas from slipping back into your subconscious.

Create a Vision Board of the Story that’s Coming Next:  I often recommend story vision boards when you have a clear plotline.  You can also use this technique if you need to come up with the topic for your next project by creating an Idea Vision Board. You'll need a poster board, markers, glue and a few magazines. Start pulling out pictures and words that you are drawn to and glue them to the paper. If a picture evokes a feeling, write the word on the board. Do you want to travel across the country speaking about your next book, put pictures of faraway cities. Have fun with the process.  Fill the board with images, words and colors. When you’re done, post it where you can see it each day and see if you can find some inspiration in the board.

Find Your Story Through Creative List Making:  On your mark, get set, go! You have 90 seconds to create a list of possible characters.  Next make a list of...

  • settings
  • personality quirks
  • problem situations
  • time periods

The list categories could be endless.  Once you've created your lists, mix and match items from each list. (e.g. A single woman in the Bayou, bites her lip when she’s nervous, just lost her job, 1950s)  Keep your lists; you can come back to them when you are ready for your next writing project.

I’d love to hear how you find inspiration when your searching for an idea for your next writing projects.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out: 

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Your Content Marketing Prescription
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