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What Makes a Great Blog?

When I teach Blogging for Beginners at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, we get everyone’s blogs set up, but that’s the easy part. Learning how to use WordPress, Blogger, or SquareSpace will get your blog online, but it won’t make you a great blogger. Great blogs have five things in common—quality design, great content, clear […]

Blogging Classes Start Next Week!

A quick announcement to let everyone know that TODAY is the last day to get the early bird discount for Blogging for Beginners, which starts next Monday, June 22, at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. After today, tuition goes up $25, but you can still enroll right up until the minute class starts (but […]

AWP 15: Minneapolis, Here I Come!

I’m getting excited for AWP! I just bought a new umbrella, and I’m digging my coats and sweaters out of the closet. I’ll be moderating a panel Thursday morning and participating in a reading Thursday afternoon. Please come to one or both if you’re going to AWP. I’d love to see/meet you! Details about my […]

10 Reasons to Start Blogging

Every now and then you read a gloom and doom post about blogging like “Is blogging dead?” or “Where are all the bloggers?” Blogging is far from dead. Some people who were blogging five days a week four years ago may have slowed down or quit because they got burned out, and there’s no question […]

How to prevent social media from taking over your life (and your writing)

If you’re like me…

You remember that you never RSVP’d to your friend’s book launch, so you log onto Facebook to search for the invitation and you see that another friend finally gave birth to her long overdue baby. You congratulate her. Then you notice that a third friend has posted a fascinating article about […]

Hottest Social Networks of 2014



In 2012, Twitter and Pinterest rose to prominence, and Facebook bought Instagram and went public. In 2013, Twitter released Vine and went public, Google+ starting gaining traction, and SnapChat turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook. What will 2014 bring?


1. Google+, Google+, Google+

2014 is going to be all […] vs The Smackdown

First, a few updates:

It’s not too late to win some BlogHer ’13 swag and an ebook copy of Guy Kawasaki’s APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. Just leave a comment here (You must be subscribed to Writerland to participate–you can do that by entering your email address over there in the right sidebar–>) by midnight Sunday. […]

5 Things I Learned at BlogHer ’13

Guy Kawasaki and I at BlogHer ’13

The weekend before last I attended BlogHer ’13 in Chicago along with 5000 other (mostly female) bloggers. We heard keynotes by Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, social media guru Guy Kawasaki, Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg, and Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd. Queen Latifah […]

How Much Should You Share Online?

The leak of the NSA’s Prism program has everyone thinking about online privacy. In addition to wondering whether your emails to your grandmother are being monitored by the government, you need to think about how much is safe to share on social media networks. The New York Times rule (“Don’t do anything […]

10 Twitter Tips for Authors (and everyone else)

1. Use your name/brand as your Twitter handle. For the same reason that you want your name on your blog and your Facebook page, people won’t realize that Kiala Givehand is “supercoolwriter,” whose Tweets they follow and love, when they see her book in the bookstore, and they won’t buy it. Unlike on Facebook, […]