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@jolinsdell

Do you like books? You're in the right place! Welcome to my little corner of the web. I'm Jo, a book blogger with a passion for marketing.
My work (and this site) is devoted to sharing ideas, tools, and resources that will help you
reach your goals, and create a better product/brand.
Whether you're a self published author or a blogger, I'm here to help you
through virtual coaching, book cover design, articles, and books.
Avid reader? I've got plenty of book recommendations for you.


How Can I Help You?


The #1 question everyone wants to know is: What works? What works in marketing? What works to sell more, earn more, and drive more results?
Of course, the answer is "it depends". I don't have all the answers, but I'm committed to bringing you the very best whilst keeping it real and honest as I go.
What works for one person might not work for another.

The key is discovering what works for you, and I'm here to help you do just that



Let's talk about your project !

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What People Are Saying


“Jo is one of those rare writers who really "gets" not only the art of writing but the business and promotional sides as well. In addition to her books and e-books on Italy, she's done a great service for the writing community through her Promo Day efforts, and anyone taking her on in a writing or editorial capacity would certainly benefit from her practical knowledge and experience in that area.” - Jennifer Mattern, Owner, JH Mattern Communications


“Jo is an energetic, self-motivated and highly organized marketer. She knows how to pull a project together in a timely fashion, putting elements in place ahead of schedule so things come off without a hitch. I value her advice, her writing style and her ideas.” - Sandy Lender, Author, Editor and Writing Consultant


“I've worked with Jo as a presenter for her Promo Day online conference and partnered with her on a small writers' conference in Rome. This woman is dynamite! She's organized and marketing savvy. She's prompt and personable. How lucky we are that we need no longer be constrained by oceans." - Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Instructor UCLA Extension Writers' Program, UCLA


From The Blog
Recent Posts

Monday, 1 March 2021

Blog Audit Challenge 2021: March Challenges

  

Blog Audit Challenge 2021: March Challenges



Blog Audit Challenge 2021


Welcome back for another month of challenges for the Blog Audit Challenge 2021! I hope you did well with the February challenges. Remember to link up your progress in the February Linky. 

Each month we'll concentrate on a different area of our blogs.

The Challenges:


January- The Competition
February- Legal Aspects
March- Branding 
April- Internal Links
May- External Links
June- SEO 
July- Content Promotion 
AugustTechnical Errors
September- Readability 
October- Follow Options
November- Security
December- Know Your Stats


Monthly link ups

In order to keep us all on track, and give us a way to see each others progress, I'll be hosting link ups on the first Saturday of every month where participants can share their links and discuss their progress. 


#BlogAuditChallenge2021

March Challenges


Our focus for March is on branding.

In the January challenges we looked at our unique selling point and what makes us stand out. This is the starting point for branding. It helps answer the question "Who are you and why should I care?"

As of 2021, there are more than 570 million blogs on the internet and 7 million blog posts are published every day (these numbers are constantly growing). - First Site Guide

This month we'll be working on strengthening our brands and making sure we stand out from the crowd.  

I've written about the topic of branding in previous posts which you may find useful reading e.g. Branding: More Than a Logo



The March challenges:


1. How do you want to be known?

Your brand and keywords should all be focused around your niche. Not only will this help you rank on search engines and improve your DA score, it will also make it clear to readers what your specialty is and what you are passionate about.   

The style you use is also part of your branding. What's your personality? Are you a friendly, laid back person or do you keep it professional and polished? When building your own brand voice you need to take your own personality into consideration. 

Task 1- Answer the following questions:

What is your blog niche?
What are 10 keywords (long and short) best suited to your brand?
What personality adjectives best describe you and your brand?

N.B. You can have more than one niche. I personally have books and blogging. I blog about each of them separately but also cross over between them for posts specific to book blogging. 


2. Perfect your look

Design is obviously an important part of branding. In fact, studies have shown that 94% of the time, a visitors first impression is based on design and it only takes 50 milliseconds for that decision to be made. 

Task 1 - Make sure your blog design fits your brand.

e.g. If you answered "Professional" in part one your blog design should be professional looking. A clear, clutter free design would be best for you. 

Is it instantly clear what your blog is about? Think blog header, sidebar content, etc... When people visit your blog will they instantly know what your niche is? Do the titles of your blog posts convey your niche?


Task 2 - Make sure your blog graphics match your brand.

When someone sees graphics related to your blog they should instantly recognise it as your brand. The colour scheme, the fonts you use, etc... all make up part of your branding. 

I personally use Canva for creating my blog graphics. It makes it super easy to be consistent in my branding across a wide range of formats. Having the templates set up is also a great time saver. 

If you have a logo make sure it appears on all your blog graphics. If you don't have one, I suggest creating one. Even a simple text logo will work. 





Don't forget to promote your participation in the Blog Audit Challenge 2021 by using the following graphic in any blog posts you do connected with the challenge along with a link back to this site. 

Blog Audit Challenge 2021: A Challenge for Bloggers


Save the Date:

The monthly link up post for sharing your March progress will be on 3rd April. The April challenges will be posted on 2nd April. 







Enjoy this post? Don't forget to click the social share buttons


Friday, 26 February 2021

Book Blogger Collaboration Ideas

 

Book Blogger Collaboration Ideas:  Ways to work with other Book Bloggers


Book Blogger Collaboration Ideas

Ways To Work With Other Book Bloggers


This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.


I recently did a blog post about Reasons To Collaborate With Other Bloggers which discussed the benefits of collaborating with other bloggers. Hopefully this inspired you to consider incorporating collaborations into your own blog content. 


Now you've decided you want to reach out and work with other bloggers, you may be finding yourself stuck on what to do. Don't panic. I've got you covered 😎


How to collaborate with other bloggers


There are loads of ways you can collaborate with other book bloggers. Here's a few ideas to get you inspired:


1) Guest post


This is where you write a blog post for another website/ or where another blogger writes a blog post for your website. For example, I did a guest post where I shared 8 Awesome Mystery Novels.


2) Guest appearances


This is a reduced format of a guest post. Guest appearances are where you write a short piece to be included in a post. You can have several guest appearances in the same blog post. For example in my blog post Net Galley: What You Need To Know I had several book bloggers share their own experience using the Net Galley platform and comment on it. 


I often do these types of collaboration posts with my Bookish Blog Hops group. Here's an example of one hosted by A Book Lovers Adventures about our most popular blog posts of all time.


As well as hosting for the blog hops I also do a list post at the end of each event to recap all the stops and highlight all the people who took part. Like this one I did for Bookish Blog Hops Autumn Hop. It's an easy way to get extra mileage out of the collaboration and strengths the bonds with all participants that little bit more. If everyone who participates in the blog hop does the same that's a lot of extra link juice too. More about round ups later in this post. 


Join the Bookish Blog Hops Facebook Group to participate in collaborations with other book bloggers. You must have a book blog in order to be part of the group.


3) Filler for your posts


You've written an excellent blog post but it's still missing something. Maybe a fellow blogger did a blog post that would be the perfect fit to complete your post. For example, in this post about SEO for Book Bloggers: How to Improve SEO for Book Reviews when I talk about image optimisation I introduce a blog post by Search Engine Watch which covers basis image optimisation tips. 


This would also work well for book reviews, especially if you both read the same book but had different opinions about it. 


4) Quote them in research for your post


When writing about a topic you can do some research into it and ask the opinions of other bloggers. This can be as simple as running a poll on Twitter like I did for my post about Reading During Lockdown. This gives you extra material for your blog post and means you get to collaborate with other bloggers at the same time. 


5) A giveaway


Everyone loves a giveaway. I've been lucky enough to win several books by participating in giveaways. I always do an unboxing video when my prize arrives like this one I did for A Different Time by Micheal K. Hill.


I've also hosted giveaways like this one for The Royal Gift by Drae Box. The post also included my review of the book. (FYI you can grab a copy via my Amazon affiliate link here πŸ˜‰).


6) Interviews


Interview other bloggers. I did a series of blog posts where I interviewed different book bloggers about their book blogs, like this one with Stacey from Whispering Stories. It's a great way to get to know other book bloggers better.


You could also offer to be interviewed about your blog by another blogger for their website. Don't limit it to just blogs though. Try doing interviews on different social media platforms too. 


7) Round ups


Examples of this would be this post about the Best Bookish Blog Posts of 2020 which featured my blog post The Ultimate Guide for Book Bloggers, or my post about 30 BookTubers You Need To Watch.


Don't have a particular topic in mind? No problem! Be like Secret Library Book Blog and create a round up of the posts you've enjoyed reading recently. 


8) Challenges


Create a challenge that others can participate in or create one together with other bloggers. I have several challenges in place this year including the Blog Audit Challenge 2021, the Social Media Audit Challenge 2021, and the Clock Reading Challenge.


Another idea you might want to try is organising a readathon together. This can be a super fun way of reaching your common goals.


As you can see there's lots of ways you can work together with other book bloggers. So depending on how many people you want to collaborate with on the project and how much time each person has to work on it you can still pull together a collaboration. 


What's your favourite way to collaborate with other book bloggers? Last collaboration you did?


You might also like: Book Blogging Programs: Platforms Recommended by Book Bloggers


Ways to work with other Book Bloggers

I'm always looking to collaborate with other bloggers so if you'd like to work together please get in touch πŸ˜‰


Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Book Review: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

       

Book Review:Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin


My thoughts about Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.




The book synopsis:


Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Book cover  Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?


Queen of Someday is the first book in the Stolen Empire series


Stolen Empire (6 book series) by Sherry D. Ficklin



You might also like:  Book Review: On the Same Page by Penelope Janu



Discussing Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin  




Quotes from the book:


While my mother had been determined to groom me to be a proper lady, my father was content to let me join him in hunting, fencing, and even knife throwing. The small blade in my hand is one of many he’s gifted me over the years, and the hilt is warm and comforting in my palm.

“Why on earth were we not greeted formally?” Mother demands as we weave through the empty kitchens. The hearth is roaring with fire, and I can feel the chill melting out of my skin. “Surely you would not have the young princess introduced to court in just her petticoats?” Sergei says in the tone one might use with a whining child.

“Well, then I suppose I will have to meet the empress naked. I’m sure she will understand, Mother. I mean, it wouldn’t make her think less of me—of my fitness to marry her nephew—to meet her like this, don’t you think? Yes, I’m sure she will understand.”

It takes me a moment to realize that the court is populated with a heavy ratio of men to women. My ladies and I, my mother, and the empress, being part of only a small handful of those in attendance.

“Most grown men would not expect a woman to fight back, certainly not a girl, and most certainly not a noble girl. The element of surprise is a powerful weapon in such a situation.”

 

 

I open my mouth to protest, to declare that love should never be a game, but even as I think it, I begin to doubt it’s true. How would I know, after all? It’s not as if I have any experience in the matter. No matter how many romantic poems you recite, no matter how many glorious tales of love you read, how can you really understand the condition if you’ve never found yourself in it?

When waging a war of the heart, you must only fight if you are absolutely sure you can win.

An oath made requires a leader who is honorable enough to keep it, despite any fleeting inconveniences that might arise.

“If we can’t enjoy ourselves to excess once in a while, what is the value in life?”

“I think that love can indeed be many things. But the one thing it will never be is practical. Love is irrational by its very nature. It demands passion, fire, and no less than absolute surrender. It is a longing, a burning that consumes you, leaving you without reason, or defense. When love comes, nothing can stand in its way.”

“Sometimes, we must learn to open our hearts and grow to love someone we think we might not be able to. It’s the lot of women, especially noble women. We are little more than property, bargaining chips, or chains that hold alliances together. That is the price we pay for our comfort, riches, and titles.”

“Learning to please your husband is not depraved or sick. A man has needs. If you cannot meet them, he will tire of you quickly. I assure you, the lessons will be academic, not practical. Many young ladies have tutored with Madame Groot, and none have been shamed by it. But you are young, beautiful, and naΓ―ve to the wiles you possess, to the way even your subtle gestures and words affect the men around you. Your feminine nature will be one of your greatest weapons, but it must be honed, and you must be taught to wield it.”

Books are one thing I love above all else. In a story, I can become anyone, travel any place. In those pages lives my only true freedom.

But what draws me in, what gives me a sense of calm, is the smell. That marvelous scent of paper and leather fills the room. I inhale deeply, letting the familiar smell carry me away. Crossing to the nearest shelf, I run my hand along the row of spines, enjoying the texture under my fingers. A noise above me startles me from my tactile reverie. “You’d think you’ve never seen a library before.”

Because he is looking at me the way a man dying of thirst might look at a cask of water, as if his very life depends on bringing me to his lips.

I could live a hundred lifetimes inside his kiss, and it would never be enough.


Where to find Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin online:





Book Review:  Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin






Are you a book blogger? Check out 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers

Monday, 22 February 2021

Reasons To Collaborate With Other Bloggers

Reasons To Collaborate With Other Bloggers:  Benefits of Blog Collaborations

Reasons To Collaborate With Other Bloggers 

Benefits of Blog Collaborations


One of the most rewarding experiences you can have for your blog is collaborating with other bloggers. I personally love working with other bloggers and highly recommend you give it a try if you haven't done so already. 

I often do blog posts where I collaborate with other book bloggers. A couple of recent collaboration posts I've done include Book Blogging Programs: Platforms Recommended by Book Bloggers and Reading During Lockdown. Both very different in the topic discussed and the way the collaborations were done. 

Collaborating with other bloggers offers numerous benefits for your brand and your blog. 


You might also like: The Ultimate Guide for Book Bloggers


Benefits of collaborating with other bloggers:


Increased Audience Size


When you collaborate on a blog post with other bloggers you all gain exposure.

The person hosting the blog post will get new traffic to their site thanks to the bloggers featured in the post promoting it to their own following. 

The people featured in the post get exposure to the hosts following and a backlink to their own sites. The benefits of this go far beyond just getting in front of a new audience however. A quality backlink to your blog can do wonders for your overall DA score and therefore also have an effect on how search engines value your content. 

The more each person promotes the blog post the better for everyone involved in the project. It's a win-win for all involved!


Idea Sharing


Working with others can be a great source of inspiration. Each person will have something different to bring to the table and you may find that you all end up with plenty of spin off blog post ideas too. 

For example, I did a collaboration with Eline from Lovely AudioBooks on the topic Book Reviews: Can You Trust Book Bloggers? after she told me about a discussion that happened in one of her Facebook groups. We both ended up writing blog posts about the various points we discussed. Check out her post Are Book Bloggers Honest? We took the same topic but each approached it from a different angle. 

We both got a lot of ideas for other blog posts we could do from our brainstorming session too. 


Try New Things


When collaborating with other bloggers you may find that they have ideas that you never considered before. They might have a completely different style of blogging to yours. By working together you get to try out new things you might not have done otherwise/ might not work as well on your own blog due to the difference in style. It gives you the chance to experiment.


You might also like: 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers


Utilise Different Skill Sets


The bloggers you're collaborating with will probably have a different skill set to yours. Each blogger has their own journey and has probably picked up tips and tricks along the way. When working together you get to share your experiences with each other. It's a great way to gain knowledge about the topics you blog about and blogging itself. 

Maybe they know something about a new change to the ever-changing algorithms, or maybe they discovered a new app that is saving them time. Whether its tips for improving engagement with your readers or social media strategies that have been working well, collaborating with other bloggers can really help you level up as a blogger. 

It gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself, but also to share the things you've learnt based on your own blogging experience. 


Grow friendships


This is one of the best parts. Coming together with others who share your same passions is just special. Some of my closest book blogger buddies I met because of working together on a collaboration. Working together as a team really brings you together and unites. 

I also love collaborating with my friends on projects. It's always so much fun. 


Keeps blogging interesting


Blogging can be lonely at times so collaborating with others puts new energy into it. Working with others stops you from falling into a rut. It gives you the chance to mix things up, learn new things, bounce ideas of each other, and have some fun.

I encourage you to get out there and collaborate with other bloggers. It's so worth it! 


You might also like: SEO for Book Bloggers: How to Improve SEO for Book Reviews


Reasons To Collaborate With Other Bloggers

I'm always looking to collaborate with other bloggers so if you'd like to work together please get in touch πŸ˜‰


What is your favourite part about collaborating with other bloggers? What is something you've learnt from collaborating? 


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