Friday, 28 August 2015

Test Results and Big Plans For The Future

Today is a good day. A very good day. I got my test results back from the hospital and they're benign! So very happy and relieved. A huge heart felt thank you to all of you that have shown your support over this past month. You rock!

Now feeling super motivated to make September awesome. I have lots of exciting new projects I'm going to be working on over the next few months and can't wait to jump into them. I'll also be doing a month long video challenge which I'll tell you more about when it ticks off on 1st September. 

Despite taking a lot of time off this month to recover from my operation, plus having the kids off school, I've still managed to hit my goals for August. You can find out all the details about what strategies I've been using to grow my brand in my newsletter that comes out on the 1st of every month. There I share all my behind the scenes info and stats to help give you some ideas of the sorts of things you can do too. 

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In other news, I'm hosting a #FollowFriday networking party over on my Facebook page today and you are all invited to drop by and join in the fun. Each Friday I pick a different social media platform and people share their profile links. This week it's Twitter. Here's the post:
#FollowFriday Leave a lovely comment below and share a link to your Twitter profile so we can all check it out ;)Mine...
After collecting my results this morning I went to visit the cemetery at Piramide here in Rome which is the resting place of lots of famous writers, and artists. Some of the more noted ones including John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The whole place was very beautiful. Reading some of the tombstones was really inspiring. I'll be doing some sketches of some of the sculptures of angels over the next few weeks. 

Test Results and Big Plans For The Future

I'm now off to celebrate some more, and to come up with more ideas for awesomeness for the coming months. BTW, my birthday is also in September... yet another reason to make sure it's the best month of the year ;)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Quick Tips: Create Promotional Materials For Your Book

This weeks "Quick Tip" is to make promotional materials for your book. A great way to spread the word without having to do a sales pitch. It's a good idea to put your website url on them so that people know where to go for more information. 

There are loads of companies that offer services where you can upload your own images to be printed to order on t-shirts, caps, cups, and more. I personally like but you can easily find alternatives by doing a quick search on Google. 

Subscribe to my Youtube channel at for more Quick Tips.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Using Twitter Search - It's More Than Just Hashtags

Using Twitter Search - It's More Than Just Hashtags, Jo Linsdell, #Twitter

If you're on Twitter (which I hope you are because it's awesome), you'll probably have used Twitter search at some point. It's that little box on the top right of the navigation bar at the top of the screen. You might not be using it to its full potential though.

Using Twitter Search - It's More Than Just Hashtags, Jo Linsdell, #Twitter

Sure it's great for finding your friends, and yes, it works wonderfully for finding hashtags, but it is so much more than that.

Go deeper with Advanced search.

You can just type in your keywords in the search box...

Using Twitter Search - It's More Than Just Hashtags, Jo Linsdell, #Twitter

...but Advanced Search gives you much more. 

How it works:

Type in your basic search term in the search box and open the results page. Then click on "More options" and scroll down to select "Advanced Search" (it's down at the bottom)

Using Twitter Search - It's More Than Just Hashtags, Jo Linsdell, #Twitter

This will bring up the Advance Search page where you can get more specific with your search. You can also hop straight over to but I thought it might be useful for you to know the long way to find it too ;)

Anyway, this is the Advanced Search page. 

Using Twitter Search - It's More Than Just Hashtags, Jo Linsdell, #Twitter

Here you can add in multiple search terms (something I often do to save time). For example, I type in words like "writing", "book", and "marketing" in the "Any of these words" box. Twitter will then show me all the tweets with any of these words. 

One thing I love about Twitter search is that you can save your searches to use again in the future. This saves you having to type in your search info next time round as you can then just select from your saved searches.

Using Twitter Search - It's More Than Just Hashtags, Jo Linsdell, #Twitter

To save a search, open your search term results and click on "More options" and then "Save this search". It will then be added to your saved searches list.

Using Twitter Search - It's More Than Just Hashtags, Jo Linsdell, #Twitter

So now you're clued up on how Twitter search works, let's look at some of the ways you can use Twitter search:

1) Finding people. Know some people you'd like to follow on Twitter but you're not sure what their Twitter handle is? Drop their name in the search box.

2) Hashtags. The easiest way to join a conversation on Twitter is by following a specific hashtag. Live chats will have their own hashtag that is used on tweets during the chat. You can also join on-going conversations about topics in your niche by following specific hashtags e.g. #BookMarketing or #AmWriting (two of my favourites).

3) Keep track of people talking about your website. Not everyone who shares links from your website will @ tag you to let you know. By doing a search for your website url you can easily find any tweets that include your url. You can then reach out and thank the person for their support. 

4) Find mentions of your name. Again not everyone who talks about you will @ tag you. They might just write your name. 

5) Get ideas. When you're working on a new blog post, or writing a book, creating a webinar, etc... use Twitter search to find out the types of questions people are asking about your topic. 

This should help get you started but you can find more ideas for how to use Twitter search in this article by Zapier at

How do you use Twitter search? Be sure to share in the comments below!

Get more Twitter tips in my best selling book How to be Twittertastic

P.S. Don't forget to follow me at ;) 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Disney Illustration Study: Chip and Dale

It's Wednesday which means it's time for another Disney Illustration Study sketch. 

For this week I decided to go with a classic duo that I loved when I was little... Chip and Dale.

Disney Illustration Study by Jo Linsdell, Chip and Dale #Disney #Sketch #Illustration

Chip was the logical schemer while Dale was the goofy, dim-witted one. Dale was my favourite. 

The two had a very similar appearance but, there were a few differences that helped tell them apart. Chip had a small black nose and two centred teeth. Dale had a larger, dark red nose and prominent canine teeth.

Which one was your favourite, Chip or Dale?

If you liked these, check out my other illustrations on Pinterest:

Follow Jo Linsdell's board Illustrations on Pinterest.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Quick Tips: Identify Your Target Audience

This weeks "Quick Tip" is to identify your target audience. Not only will knowing who your book is for help when you have to market it, in some cases it can also help when you're writing it. You'll also need to know your target audience if you plan on approaching agents and/or publishers as they are sure to ask you.

For more Quick Tips subscribe to my YouTube channel:

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Disney Illustration Study: Mulan

This weeks Disney Illustration Study is for Mulan. I decided to do Mulan in one of her fighting poses as I love that she's a kick-butt female lead. Of course, I couldn't resist doing Mushu and that little lucky grasshopper too.

Disney Illustration Study by Jo Linsdell, Mushu from Mulan

Disney Illustration Study by Jo Linsdell, The lucky grasshopper from Mulan

Disney Illustration Study by Jo Linsdell, Mulan

If you liked these, check out my other illustrations on Pinterest:

Follow Jo Linsdell's board Illustrations on Pinterest.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Quick Tips: Create a Media Kit For Your Book

This weeks "Quick Tip" is to create a media kit for your book. 

A media kit is a great resource to have. One of the most useful files you'll create related to your book. It contains all the information that you, or anyone else, could want about your book. 

- Your book blurb
- cover image
- author bio
- weblinks
- reviews received
- press release
- a sample interview
- links to places the book has been featured

.... the list goes on. 

Basically anything anyone could possibly want or need to know about your book.

Do you have a media kit for your book? What did you include?

For more Quick Tips subscribe to my YouTube channel:

Pinterest for Business

Pinterest for Business

This week I finally got around to switching to a business account on Pinterest. Yeah, I know. I can't believe it took me so long either. Anyway, I did it and.... it's awesome!

Today has been my first day playing with the analytics feature and I'm already kicking myself for not switching to a business account before. What was I thinking?!

My Blogging board is a clear winner with the most impressions, clicks, and repins over the last 30 days.

The second for impressions is my illustrations board (happy Jo). This was a pleasant surprise. I currently have 59 boards on Pinterest covering a variety of topics so it was nice to see my illustrations being so popular. 

A big surprise came when I looked at the stats for my audience. As you may know, Pinterest has predominantly female users. I didn't therefore expect to have my audience gender to be made up of so many males. 

screenshot from Pinterest Analytics
I'm still exploring the new features but I now feel even more motivated to work on my Pinterest marketing plan. I've been doing loads of research into the site and picking up tips and tricks for leveraging pins for the best results. 

Can't wait to report back in the newsletter next month, along with details about the other marketing strategies I've been trying out. I'm embracing the "work smarter, not harder" way and it's getting awesome results. 

If you haven't done so already, subscribe now so you don't miss out on this exclusive behind the scenes info.

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Do you use Pinterest? Have you got a business account? What do you think of Pinterest Analytics? 

Friday, 7 August 2015

A Valuable Lesson About Productivity

As some of you know, I had a small operation last week. Everything went well and the Doctors are pleased with my recovery. All being well, I should have the stitches removed by the end of the month, and more importantly, get the test results back. I'm hopeful that that will be the end of this little adventure and that I won't have to set foot in another hospital for some time. Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes. You Rock!

Those of you that know me, know that I'm not very good at doing nothing. I fact, if I get told I can't do something it just makes me want to do it more. I'm also not very patient. This past week has therefore been tough for me. 

image via Pixabay
Whilst I haven't really been at my computer for the past week, I have had lots of time to think, and thus managed to be super productive anyway. Yes thinking counts as work... well it does for me anyway. I love a good brainstorming session. They always help me tweak my projects, marketing plans, and overall business plan.  So whilst I have slowed down and given myself recovery time, I've still been busy.

So what have I been brainstorming?

The quick answer here is "a bit of everything".

I'm guessing you want me to be a bit more specific though right? 

Let's start with my marketing plan. As you probably know by now, I'm in the process of doing a huge make over of my marketing plan. I'm experimenting with new strategies, search everywhere for ideas, tips, and tricks to try out. For the big lowdown on what I've been doing and all the results, stats, etc... you'll need to sign up for my monthly newsletter, but let's just say I'm already seeing a noticeable change in traffic and an increase in both followers, and engagement on my social media channels. I can't wait to try out some more of the ideas I've added to my list! 

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My books. This is an area I've been neglecting. Not because I don't have projects to work on, and not because I don't know what to write. I do. I have several projects I need to get finished and I'm bursting with content for all of them. So what's stopping me from making progress? 1) The heat. I'm a big fan of summer. I love having nice, warm, sunny weather. This is not nice, warm, sunny weather though. It's cook in your own sweat hot. Too hot to do pretty much anything. 2) Too many ideas. When I have too much going on in my head it's hard to separate it all and concentrate on the one task. With this in mind, I decided it was better to spend time brainstorming each task than trying to just sit and write the books. It's helping me get focus for each project, and I now feel charge up and ready to write. 

The first of the above mentioned books I'll be finishing soon is called Quick Tips for Authors and is based on my Quick Tips video series that I publish each week.  Bite sized tips to help authors build their brands and market their books. 

Then there's How to be Pinterest Perfect (the 2nd book in the Writers and Authors Guide to Social Media Series). Although I started writing this one a while back I decided I needed to do more research and add in some new chapters. I love Pinterest and find it very addictive. There's a lot more to it than just pinning though. I want this book to be as complete as possible and so that's why it's publication has been moved back a little. 

Then, of course, there's my fiction books. I've been thinking a lot about both my thriller, and my chick-lit novels lately. I miss my characters and have come up with some new twists and adventures for them all to face. I'd really like to finish both of these novels by the end of the year, and thanks to this weeks brainstorming might just manage it. Well, the chick-lit will be finished. The thriller may need a rewrite as some of my new ideas will change some of the story already written, and so it's a more complex job. I'm feeling optimistic though. 

As I brainstormed the various books, I couldn't help but brainstorm marketing ideas for each too. I'll be self publishing the non fiction books as I have in the past, but I'm considering going the traditional route for the novels. Partly because it's a whole different ball game, and partly because I'm just curious to see what it's like working with a traditional publisher. I love a good experiment ;)

Oh and I forgot to mention that I'm working on edits of my children's picture story book The Bedtime Book too. I'll be starting to work on the final illustrations soon, and can't wait. I'm going to be trying out some new techniques for this one. 

This week has taught me a valuable lesson about productivity. You can be productive without being busy all the time, and that sometimes slowing down can actually speed things up in the long run.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Disney Illustration Study: Cars

For this weeks Disney Illustration Study I decided to sketch some of the characters from Cars. Mater and Guido are my favourite characters, and, of course, I couldn't not do Lightning Mc Queen.

Disney Illustration Study: Cars

Disney Illustration Study: Cars
Lightning Mc Queen
Disney Illustration Study: Cars

Check out my Pinterest Board for more of my illustrations at

Monday, 3 August 2015

How I Publish 10+ Blog Posts a Week (And Still Manage to Work on My Books)

How I Publish 10+ Blog Posts a Week (And Still Manage to Work on My Books)

On average I publish over 10+ blog posts a week. Some here, some over at, and some guest posts for other sites. No, I'm not torturing myself. I love blogging. It's good return on investment too.

I often get asked how I manage to publish so much and still manage to work on my books and other projects. Whilst I love what I do, at times it can be challenging to come up with so much content week after week. Over the years I've learnt a few tricks to keep me productive whilst avoiding burn out.

How I stay Productive:

Create a swipe file.

A swipe file is basically a list of ideas to pull from when you have no ideas. I keep separate lists for each blog to make life easier. 

Some ideas are quite general. Others are more specific. Sometimes I take one idea and then brainstorm it from different angles for multiple posts. 

When I draw a content blank, I just hop over to my list and pick an idea. 

Use an editorial calendar.

How I Publish 10+ Blog Posts a Week (And Still Manage to Work on My Books)This follows on from the swipe file. An editorial calendar is basically a calendar of what to post, when, and where. I have separate editorial calendars for each blog. I personally like to print out a page per month calendar and pencil in the posts. The reason being that I spend a lot of time on my computer. By having a paper copy I can step away from electronics and think over my schedule without distractions. 

As I take ideas from my swipe file and allot them specific days on my editorial calendar, I know my deadlines for each post and can create posting themes. For example, in November writers get into a writing frenzy doing challenges like NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo. In November I tend to schedule posts on the Writers and Authors blog about how to write faster, beating writers block, creative motivation, etc... I know that lots of my readers will be doing the challenges and will be looking for related topics to read. Those not doing the challenges will also be interested in reading the articles though as most are not challenge specific. They are evergreen topic... that just happen to fit well with the challenges happening at that time. 

Write everyday.

This is the most important. Sorry, no magical answer. You need to write. It's that simple, and that hard. Getting into a writing routine helps though. 

I write every morning. It's not always easy but it is doable. Some days the words flow from my fingers. Others days I go at snail pace. 

I'm so used to writing everyday now that the days when I don't something feels wrong. It's become a habit.

I work on blog posts and other content in the morning. This is when I have the most energy and so can normally punch out several posts in just a couple of hours. 

I work on my books in the afternoon/evening (depending on my schedule and if my kids allow it). If I'm working on illustrating projects my kids will often join me and we'll have an art session. They also like to read my children's books and so when I'm working on one of those we sit and read together. They are great at giving input into what works, and what doesn't, in the story. If they are playing nicely I can usually get an hour or so to work on my other books (normally broken up into 10 minute intervals as they interrupt with "mummy can I have...", "mummy he did....", "mummy look at this..., etc....). I still get to increase my word count though.

This is what works for me. I make writing a priority and get it done. No magic tricks. Just writing regularly.

What works for you? What tips would you add to this list?

How I Publish 10+ Blog Posts a Week (And Still Manage to Work on My Books)

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