Blog Of The Year!!

Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpegHello once again, Readers!!!! How was your holiday? Santa snuck in and ate the cookies my kids baked. He even took the note my son left for him! This is the only time of year we promote breaking-and-entering as acceptable…lol

But really, we are very fortunate and grateful for our family and friends and the love that is shared between everyone. I couldn’t ask for better people to share these special moments in time with.

But enough about all the boring-ness of my life…:)

I am still in the first year of starting this blog and I can’t believe all that has changed for me. My book was finally published in September with the second on the way, I’ve had over 8K views, and I’m one subscriber away from 500! What!?

The sad thing is, I have severely slacked on my posts in the last few months (something I am making a new years resolution about). But even with all the craziness and my late absence, I have still been nominated for Blog of the Year 2012! Not once, but twice!! I know right! AWESOMENESS!!

I was nominated by the lovely Andrew Toynbee who wrote ‘A Construct of Angels’ which I read and loved and also did an interview for, and the magnificent Pat who has always been kind and has a great talent for writing. She also loves to cook! You MUST check them out and say hello!

Any who, let me give my nominations before I explain the rules:

  1. Sonya Loveday - Because she is my very best bestie and I love her!
  2. 40 is the new 13 - Because you always have a neat outlook on life that makes me think and laugh.
  3. Phillip McCollum - Because he is extremely talented and awesome!
  4. Cassandra Giovanni - Because we are in the same boat in the world of being published!
  5. Cramped Writing - Because you are going places and I enjoy your posts!
  6. Ignore the Buckles on My Jacket - Because you are hilarious!
  7. Patricia Awapara - Because she can paint like the Greats. She inspires me!
  8. James Calbraith - Because his books are AWESOME and he is a talented writer!
  9. ZB’s Blog of Awesomeness - Because she is a good friend and fellow author of 48fourteen!
  10. The Bishop Review - Because if you ever need the “know” on what to watch-he’s your guy!
  11. Jason Alan - Because you are kind and talented!!

I know…that’s a lot of people. There are so many more that are great and talented and keep up with their blogs better than I ever could! I am very grateful to everyone that I have met and learned from since being on here.

But I digress. It’s rule time!

Do you know a blog that deserves an award?

Do you have special blogs that you love to read?

Which blogs do you bookmark and follow?

Would you like to give them an award this year?

Then the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award is for you!

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The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   

and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group 

and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

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Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

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Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

Here are the six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

 

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Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award!

Thanks everyone!!!

Echelon out ♥

How To Create A Button For Your Blog

ZombieHello once again, Readers!!! Like the picture?? Me too! I love The Walking Dead!!! The series just keeps getting better and better. Do you watch it? If not, you definitely should. If you do watch it, then you know what Rick is talking about lol.

But I digress.

So for most of you that have no idea what a button is, here is a quick definition. If you look to the right of my blog, you will see a picture of my cover and wording right below it that says “Grab my button”. That is what a button is. It is something that represents your blog that someone else can post onto theirs for promotion or just because they are freaking awesomely nice. Neat right?

I thought so too which is why I created one! If any of you are Authors, it’s a good idea to have one for your readers who blog. It gives them a way to represent your book. You’ll be surprised by just how easy it is too. I sure was.

Let’s dive in to the details, shall we?

  1. Find an image that best represents your blog. If it’s your book, use your cover.
  2. Go to Pixlr. This is a site that allows you to edit your image using a plethora of tools. The most important thing though is it allows you to size the image.
  3. Now that you’re on Pixlr, click browse. This will open your files on your computer. Find the image and select okay.
  4. Now your image is open and ready! You have six main options here. Adjustment (which is all the little details like overlapping images, shading, doodling, downsizing, ect), effect (which allows you to change the color of your photo), overlay (this has free images and effects that you can overlap onto your photo), border, sticker, and font. Neat right?
  5. Once you’re finished playing around with it and you have your image how you want it, you need to size it. A standard button should be 125×125, but you can play around to make it whatever you want. Just remember that this is something for other people to put on their blogs so don’t make it too big.
  6. Now you click save!

Easy right? But that’s just for the image. Now you have to create a code for it that will enable others to actually “grab” it.

  1. This is your basic code: <a href=”YourSiteURL“><img src=”YourButtonImageURL” /></a>
  2. Replace the bold lettering with your information. To find your button image URL, upload the image into your media and then copy the image url is assigns you. That is what you will insert into that part.

The code is created! Now you have to add it to your blog!

  1. Go to appearance and then widgets. Take a text box and place it on the sidebar where you want it displayed.
  2. Add the image URL.
  3. Add the following code to the box, replacing all bold with your information: <img src=”YourButtonImageURL” alt=”YourSiteTitle” />
    123px; height: 125px; overflow: auto; border: 1px solid #666666;”><a href=”

    YourSiteURL” target=”_blank”><img src=”YourButtonImageURL” alt=”YourSiteTitle” width=”125″ height=”125″ /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</div>

Now you should have a successful button! Woot! Who knew!? I hope this was helpful to you! If not, you can find other sites that have more in-depth step-by-step instructions. This is just a quick version. I also used Pixlr to create my mock book cover for NaNo. I love that site.

Any who, thanks for hanging in there! Hope you have a happy and safe Christmas!

Echelon out ♥

How To Gain Traffic To Your Blog

Hello once again Readers!!! Welcome back! And to my newest subscribers, welcome, and thank you for subscribing!!

So, as promised, I’ve spent most of my morning digging around the internet and on Author Media for tips on blogging. I’m down to the last few sips of my red bull.

*frowning*

But on a good note, it’s been such a wonderful week of free knowledge here on my blog.

Now let us begin. The first blog I stumbled upon was 50 Things to Blog About for those of us who commonly get writer’s block. I must admit, there are days when I’m like, uhhhhhh, staring at the computer screen with a blank face. It could be because I have yet to devour my red bull, or it could be because I have that evil, infamous Writer’s Block. (Click on the link to read my blog on how to defeat this illustrious beast). I digress, so the above mentioned blog with 50 ideas is magnificent for overcoming those sort of days.

But that’s really not what I was looking for on my quest for knowledge on how to gain blog traffic. I wanted something meatier, thus I have found: How To Build A Community. This blog has great ideas such as being honest with your readers and inviting them to share their thoughts. For me, this was a no brainer which in turn means-more digging.

*another frown*

Ah ha! I have found it! 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic! Finally, a blog that teaches me something that I haven’t already learned on my own. There are some great tips and even example pictures (my fav-o-rite) to go along with the tips. You can’t go wrong in reading this if you are looking to build your audience…like moi.

Some of my favorite tips are:

  • #10-guest blogging. I have yet to guest blog or have a guest on my blog, but I am open to it and have even been trying to figure out how to get started. This blog explains in detail how to get started, so look out bloggers!
  • #16-use your email signature to promote. It’s a great (and free) way to silently spread the word.
  • #22-A bonus tip! Be consistent. I love this tip because it applies to not only blogging, but writing as well. Practice makes perfect and working hard will eventually pay off.

So what do you think? Did this help you? It helped me! *happy dance* My only hope is that I can apply what I’ve learned, and plant the seeds of my thoughts amongst you all in hopes that they will one day sprout heartily, leaving me with a lovely audience that I can interact with. :)

Now to leave you with a question: As a fellow blogger, what tips do you have to offer for gaining traffic? If you’re not a blogger, what brings you back as a reader and what bores you?

‘Til next time (Most likely Monday)…Echelon out ♥