Home » 2015 » December

Monthly Archives: December 2015

One Reason Why People May Not Be Sharing Your Blog

Blogs Should Be Written in Standard English

Easy writing makes hard reading...
Created on ShareasImage.com

I belong to a lot of blogging groups and networks where people share links to their blogs with the hopes that other members of the groups will read and comment on the blogs and share them on social media. I do a lot of that. There are many people I really like and would like to help by sharing their work, but I can’t. Most people on my Twitter networks are professional people – teachers, authors, professional bloggers, and others with college degrees.

No matter how clever or interesting I find a blog to be, it would not be appropriate to share something that is full of grammatical errors with that audience. If I were to share that sort of blog, I would lose followers. People will make allowances for the kinds of errors made by those who are writing English as a second language if their native tongues have a much different structure than English. Many foreign students who have graduated from American universities still have not mastered the parts of our language that have nothing comparable in their own.

Example: My husband was born in Serbia and grew up speaking Serbian. After graduating from UCLA and speaking English here for over fifty years, he still cannot always use a, an, and the properly because his native language doesn’t have any comparable words before nouns. Americans just naturally say “The house,” “an apple,” etc., because they grew up hearing it. My husband would say “I bought loaf of bread” or “I ate apple.” That sounds strange to American ears, but it has the same effect on an American native listener as hearing someone speak with an accent.

What doesn’t go over well with those who speak and write standard English is reading blogs and articles that any high school English teacher, and I was one, would have marked with a lot of red ink. There are certain mistakes that high school graduates should not be making, and many bloggers I read from groups I belong to make those errors.

Common Mistakes I See that You Can Fix

Use Irregular Verbs Correctly

One error I see frequently is misusing verb tenses. One of the most common is writing or saying “I seen” instead of “I saw.” “To see” is an irregular verb. Regular verbs form the past tense by adding an ed or a d to the end of the verb. Example: I remember becomes I remembered, I cook becomes I cooked. Some verbs, though, form their past tenses differently, and you just have to memorize the correct forms.

Here is a list of the most frequently used irregular verbs. This resource also explains the forms and how to use them. I suggest you check it out if you make any of these mistakes.

To use to go properly in all three tenses, one would say I go (present tense) or I went (past tense) or I have gone (past participle). It is a mistake to say “I gone to the store.” That is using the past participle form as the past tense. It is the same mistake people make when they say “I seen it” instead of “I saw it” or “I done it” instead of “I did it.”

Most American-born English speakers who make these mistakes make them because they hear verbs used this way at home and among friends and this usage seems normal to them. It is not what they were taught in school, unless their teachers also grew up hearing non-standard English. To be taken seriously as a writer or blogger in English, though, you need to write standard English.

I’m not suggesting that you try to memorize the names of the parts of speech. I am suggesting you look at the chart and practice using the tenses properly. Every day, practice reciting the proper forms out loud several times until they seem normal to you. Here’s a list to practice:

I was. They were.

I came. He came with me. They came later.

I did it. She did it, too. They did it all the time.

I drank a glass of water. She drank milk. They all drank lemonade.

I went to the store. She went alone. They went crazy. We went to the movies.

I rang the bell. He rang the bell. They rang the bell.

I ran away. He ran after me, We ran for twenty minutes. They ran a mile.

I saw the show. She saw the dog run down the street. They saw a bank robbery. We saw the new baby.

My sweater shrank. The clothes shrank.

I swam across the river. She swam behind me. We all swam in the new pool.

If you learn these and use them correctly, you will be taken more seriously when you speak and write than if you use them incorrectly. If the sentences above sound strange to you, you need to practice them until they don’t.

Don’t Make Sentence Errors

Sentence errors definitely will keep people from taking you seriously as a blogger. They indicate you haven’t mastered basic writing skills, since the most basic element in writing is the sentence. Some bloggers who have great content make it unsharable by writing in sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences. Their writing looks something like this.

I love my dog he is so loyal. His giant appetite makes it impossible. To give him enough food to keep him satisfied. He’s always wanting to go for a walk. By the lake next to the park. When it rains and it’s muddy out. He tracks mud back into the house. Yesterday we went for a long walk, we got very muddy.

I think you get the idea. That paragraph contained all three kinds of sentence errors. Did you spot them? Learn more about sentence errors and how to fix them from this video. If you haven’t the patience to watch the video, the content is written out below it. If you want a simpler video, try this one, which is a bit more fun.

If you still have questions or need more information, this is more complete.


It’s Worth the Effort to Clean Up These Mistakes

If you want people to share your blog posts with their social networks, you need to make sure you have mastered writing standard English. Proofread your work carefully to make sure your sentences are complete and are not run-on sentences or comma splices. Get yourself a good reference book on writing and English usage and grammar. I personally use Writers Inc, an English Handbook that is very user friendly. It tells you everything you need to know about how to write in standard English.

Only you can decide to improve your skills. You can continue to be read only by your blogging friends who are more interested in what you say than in how you say it, or you can polish your skills and expand your audience. The choice is yours.

How to Promote Your Blog on Triberr

Why Join Triberr?

Giraffes: Join a Triberr Tribe
Join a Tribe at Triberr.

For years now I’ve seen references to Triberr as a blog promotion tool, and three days ago I decided to join. It does two things for me right now. First, I have more people  who promote my blog on Twitter, and I have more blog readers and views. Second, my Twitter followers have increased. This is all done without buying followers or joining some sort of exchange

Triberr can help you get your blog promoted on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I have chosen to only promote mine on Twitter, since I don’t consider my blogs appropriate for sharing on my Facebook pages. It would duplicate what I already post on my Facebook business page. As you join tribes on Triberr, other tribe members see the feed for your blog and there are tools that make it easy for them to share it on social media. This results in more people visiting your blog and more people promoting it on Twitter.

How Do I Get Started on Triberr?

When I first joined the site I was quite lost. I had to understand how to find my way around. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Sign up for a Triberr account. You can use a Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn account to log in, but be sure you use the one it’s easiest to use. Example: I connected a Twitter account that I don’t usually have in Chrome one one computer, so I opened my account using that Twitter address on a different computer where I will also use Triberr in the same browser. If you only have one Twitter or Facebook acccount, it doesn’t matter. I haven’t connected my other social networks because I only want to share my connected blogs on Twitter.
  2. Get information on how Triberr works. Once your account is active, some pop-ups will appear to help you find your way around. I suggest you read them. Read documentation in the support center to learn about streams and tribes. Learn how to join a tribe here. Learn about what you see under your stream tab at the top of your pages here.
  3. Join a tribe. This is tricky. If you click your Tribes tab at the top of your page, you can scroll down to the section that says Explore Tribes. To the right of the suggestions you see, there is a heading Finding an Awesome Tribe and there is a drop down menu where you can choose categories to explore so you can find some close to your interests. Don’t be hasty in choosing a tribe. Explore several, including their members and their streams. I will write more about joining tribes in a future post. You want to choose a tribe with a subject related to the blog you want to connect to your account. With a free account, you can only connect two blogs. They should be the best blogs and the ones you post to all the time.
  4. Connect your blogs  in the blog settings. To do this you go to your account dropdown menu at the top of the page and select settings. It will look like this. You decide which blog you  want to attach to each  tribe. Decide carefully, since you  can only  change that blog assignment once every thirty days. Click the Add Blog button. Your will want to get the Triberr plugin for your WordPress blog. There is no plugin for Blogger blogs. Once you install your plugin on your blog, you will come back to this settings page and click Show Blog Token to get the number to put in your settings on your Triberr blog plugin.  It sounds more complicated than it really is. Triberr Blog Setting Screen Shot
  5. Assign one blog to each  tribe. To do that, click the Assign Tribes button and follow the instructions.
  6. Start interacting and sharing posts of others in your tribes.







Getting Started in Your Tribe

After you have set up your blog, it is ready to feed into the stream of your tribe. But it won’t do that until your chief makes you a full member. Everyone begins as a follower.

Before you join a tribe, click the Members tab. See how many people have been promoted to members. The more that have been promoted, the more likely it is that the chief is active and approving people quickly. You can also see under the Conversations tab how quickly the Chief answers questions. I was approved within two days for full membership in five tribes. I’m awaiting approval in some others. At the end of each profile page you can see what tribes the member belongs to in case you want to check out some of those tribes. You will see my current tribes at the very end of my profile after all my blog posts.

If you demonstrate that you plan to be active by sharing the work of others, the chief may promote you to member status. Then your work will start feeding into the stream for other members of your tribe to see. You can speed up this process by making sure your profile looks good. Change the default cover profile cover photo and upload an avatar. Here’s my profile. Then comment in your tribe under the Conversations tab. Explain a bit what your blog is about, your interests, and anything else that might convince the chief you’d be an actively sharing member. What you write should be tailor-made for the tribe you joined. Pasting the same comment in a bunch of tribe pages won’t cut it. Each comment should be unique to that tribe. Here’s an example of what I wrote for my favorite tribe, A Thing of Beauty.

I write daily about photos I take around my local area on the Central Coast of California. My special interests are the vineyards, the river, native plants and trees, gardens, and local art. I look for anything beautiful or unusual. I’d love to be a full member here.

The chief there is very active and helpful. She will also explain why if she doesn’t promote you to member.

I hope I’ve given you an idea of what you need to do to get started at Triberr.  If you have questions, feel free to put them in the comments. If you are a member of Triberr, feel  free to link  to your Triberr profile in the comments. If you aren’t a member and you believe your blog is worthy of a wider audience and just needs to be discovered, join Triberr and see if it does for you what it’s doing for me. If you join a tribe and it isn’t a good fit for you, it’s easy to leave it by clicking leave next to your name on the member list.

Now go have fun  exploring Triberr.

Wikinut Has Changed its Terms

You can't even earn peanuts at Wikinut anymore.
You can’t even earn peanuts at Wikinut anymore.

Wikinut Will No Longer Pay Writers

I have not paid much attention to my three articles (nuts) on Wikinut in some time because Wikinut really wasn’t paying enough to merit my spending time writing there. I had signed up after Bubblews started to go downhill and some of my online friends were writing there and seemed to like it.  I didn’t really like having to have all my articles approved by a moderator before I  could post, and I didn’t like the way  they paid, so I was never enthusiastic enough about the site to post much. I pretty much let my posts sit there and occasionally I promoted them.

Today when I opened my Facebook group The Writer’s Door, the group owner had posted an announcement from the Wikinut site. The meat of it is that after December 10, 2015, they will no longer share revenues with writers. They will only provide a free publishing forum so members can continue to be read. They will pay members who have earned enough to be paid the December 10 payment. One last payment in will be made in January. From today on there will be no more money earned for page views and user activity. New sign-ups will also  be suspended while the site is updated to reflect the changes in the terms.

What You Can Do with Your Wikinut Account

Current members are offered three options. First, they can continue to write without expecting to earn anything for it. Second,  they  can stop writing new content, but leave their content up for people to read. The last option is to delete one’s account and one’s profile and pages. I have chosen the last option.

The owners of Wikinut say they’ve been forced to make this decision because the site was never profitable and because the financial incentive of revenue sharing caused the usual suspects to defraud the site with fraudulent clicks on ads. Too many people were also using ad blockers. You can read the rest of the details in the Wikinut Statement.

This announcement follows one by Seekyt recently that they have changed their payment plan to direct pay to approved writers instead of any kind of revenue sharing. Several other revenue sharing sites have also closed completely in the past few months. It appears this is the direction content writing sites are going. If you have not backed up your work on any sites you publish on, this is the time to do it.

What the Future Holds

If you have depended upon these sites for income, I think you can expect them to produce less in the future. Even those that remain like HubPages are not paying as well as they used to. I think whatever future there is for writing online  for income is in freelancing or in owning and writing on your own sites. I’m not even sure we’ll be able to count on free hosting from Blogger or WordPress.com indefinitely. I don’t think we can depend on any site to be here forever.

What are you doing to prepare for having sites you write on shut down? Wikinut, Zujava, and Squidoo gave notice. Bubblews and some other sites did not. The handwriting is on the wall. How will you get ready for the inevitable? Or do you think I’m  wrong?


Skip to toolbar