Christmas Wishes and Looking forward

Here it is four days before Christmas. I’m sitting at our local library enjoying a few quiet moments of reflection and catching up. It’s the last day of school for my children, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with them and making some new Christmas memories.

As I think about Christmas this year, I don’t have the same sense of anticipation I have had many years. I am not caught up in chasing the glitter and harried pace. But one thing remains the same – God my Father loves me, and Christmas is the time we celebrate the selfless love He demonstrated in giving up His one and only Son so that I could receive the gift of salvation.

  • Although I experience pain and confusion, He gives me peace.
  • Although I experience grief, He gives me comfort.
  • Although I experience weakness, He gives me strength.
  • Although I experience brokenness, He makes me whole.
  • Although I have so many unanswered questions, He is the answer.

At this Christmas season, I don’t know what you are experiencing, but God does. I do not wish you happiness, which is a common sentiment at this time of year. Instead, I wish that you accept God’s gift of salvation, His peace, comfort, strength, wholeness, and that in Him you find the answer to all of your unanswered questions. What about you? What is your wish for others this Christmas season?

If you are experiencing a difficult Christmas season, or know someone who is, you may be interested in a recent post I shared on InScribe Writers Online – When Christmas Isn’t Merry.

Yesterday I received a free pass to all national parks in Canada. You can get a free pass as well – it’s part of celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017! Our family is looking forward to using this pass several times in the coming year.

In January I will be celebrating my 50th birthday. Watch for some special deals and help me celebrate! Here are some goals I have set for my 50th year:
  • Submit 50 pieces of writing for publication
  • Write 50 Haikus
  • Share 50 Memes on Social Media
  • Write 50 blog posts
  • Write 50 thank you notes
  • Share a list of 50 books I’ve read and would recommend
  • Share a list of 50 people who have influenced my life
  • Add at least 50 people per month to my mailing list

What are you looking forward to in 2017?


Twitter Decoded – sale price for a limited time

Twitter Decoded

Twitter Decoded: Tips & Tools for Authors is now available in paperback and e-book. Starting September 9th, the Kindle version will be on sale for $0.99 U.S. Since Amazon only offers Kindle Countdown Deals on Amazon.com, I am making the digital version of this book available from my website. If you are not able to purchase from Amazon.com, click here to purchase your copy for $1.25 Canadian.

Use Twitter to easily and effectively reach your readers

Successful writers take responsibility for marketing their own work. Social media, including Twitter, can be amazing tools. But how do you get started and use Twitter productively without wasting valuable writing time?

Ruth L. Snyder explains the benefits of Twitter for writers and leads you step by step through the process of setting up an effective account. Using this manual, you’ll learn the lingo, find your way around the Twitter dashboard, and start building relationships with your worldwide audience. You’ll also discover many tips and tricks to engage your audience and build a solid marketing platform in minutes a day. Finally, you’ll learn how to write great tweets, use hashtags, link shorteners, Twitter tools, schedule your tweets, use tweet templates, and continue building relationships with your worldwide audience.

NOTE: This e-book provides updated material combined from Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps and Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps.

REVIEWS:

Bobbi Junior

“For a tutorial, Snyder’s content is surprisingly readable and interesting for the Twitter newbie. Explanations are clear and concise – perhaps the result of raising five children. Screen shots with arrows pointing to a relevant box make navigation a breeze. I found myself looking forward to trying the next “Your turn!” at the end of each chapter, as I invariably felt successful after meeting each new challenge.

This book isn’t only for new tweeters, though. Those who are familiar with Twitter will gain from reviewing the Dos and Don’ts of tweets, what goes into a good tweet, and general rules of following and sharing. It’s easy to get into lazy habits, so fine-tuningTwitter activity will serve to enhance the reader’s return for time invested. Moving on in the book, information takes the experienced tweeter to more in-depth understanding of this social media tool. Many will want to leave the later chapters until they’ve had time to get used to the site. Others, though, will appreciate taking their tweeting to a new level.”

Kimberley Payne

“I thought I knew all there was to know about Twitter! But Ruth proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

This resource is set out in an organized fashion that you can refer back to again and again. It’s loaded with tons of useful links to dive deeper into specific areas without feeling overwhelmed.

It’s an excellent resource that makes it motivating to “play” on Twitter. Highly recommended!”

Twitter has been a big mystery to me. I’ve known that I need to use it, and I figured out the basics, but what the heck is it good for? This book helped answer that question, as well as giving the basics of how to set up and get started. Very useful for all writers who want to expand their social media presence. I know the information will be valuable for me as I work to promote my own books.

Simply beautiful - wild flowers from the buttercup family. If you're like me, exercise is more like work than fun. Today I share a way you can enjoy walking - by focusing on nature and beauty.

A Little Slice of Heaven

If you’re like me, exercise is more like work than fun. Today I share a way you can enjoy walking – by focusing on nature and beauty. In the past few months I’ve created a new habit – taking a walk with our husky, Olaf, after our children get on the bus. Although most of the quarter is rented out, we have plenty of room to walk through our hay field, beside our garden area, and through a scenic woodland area. I’ve been thankful I’ve had my iPhone with me many days. Not for the phone, but for the handy camera.

First wild strawberries of the season!
First wild strawberries of the season! This year the ground is white with blossoms.

 

Simply beautiful - wild flowers from the buttercup family.
Simply beautiful – wild flowers from the buttercup family.

 

Life from death
Life from death

 

I know the dandelion is not a popular flower, but I see beauty in the perfect oval and am amazed by the design that enables dandelions to go to seed and multiply.
I know the dandelion is not a popular flower, but I see beauty in the perfect oval and am amazed by the design that enables dandelions to go to seed and multiply.

 

Wild rose and bud
The wild rose is Alberta’s provincial flower

I’m thankful the natural beauty around me – my little slice of Heaven.

What is beautiful to you? How do you share your joy with others?

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Morning Inspiration

It was a tough morning. One of my sons insisted on refusing to do what I asked:

  • He refused to eat his breakfast
  • He refused to drink water
  • He refused to pass anything to anyone

In addition, he spilled water on the table and floor, swiped his lunch kit onto the floor, and glared. I told him he could not go to school until he ate his breakfast, drank some water and apologized for his behaviour.

After I put my other children on the bus, I asked my son to join me on my morning walk with our dog, Olaf. He put on his shoes and came.

As we walked, there was little conversation. I focused on breathing deeply and enjoying the beauty of nature. The theme of the morning turned out to be wild flowers.

The first flower that caught my eye was an Alberta Wild Rose. Once I paid attention, I noticed many other rose bushes scattered throughout the area where we walked.

Wild Rose

On our walk we also spotted blue bells, flowering Saskatoon bushes, and dandelions – both blooming and going to seed.

Our walk only lasted fifteen minutes, but my perspective shifted a hundred and eighty degrees. When we arrived back at our house, my son cheerfully complied with my requests and I took him to school with a smile on his face.

Perhaps I should implement a morning walk for him more often 🙂

What have you discovered in your parenting journey that has surprised and delighted you? Please share!


Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

Day 10 – Wrapping it all Up #10DaySMChallenge

Social Media ChallengeWelcome to Day 10 of our 10-Day Social Media Challenge!

Please use #10DaySMChallenge when sharing on social media.

Here is an overview of what we will be doing during this challenge:

Day 1 – Get Ready!

Day 2 – Automate & Systematize

Day 3 – Hashtags Matter

Day 4 – Events & Promotions

Day 5 – Share Your Content (Let your followers know what’s happening right now)

Day 6 – Evergreen posts (Tell new fans about your best stuff from the past)

Day 7 – It’s not all about you

Day 8 – Images, quotes, and inspiration

Day 9 – Your Social Media Plan

Day 10 – Wrapping it all up

Wrapping it all up

Thank you for following along for these 10 days of the social media challenge. I have appreciated the input and discussion, especially in the Facebook group. During this challenge you have received information, templates, and encouragement. What you do with it is up to you. Marketing is always a work in progress. As I mentioned yesterday, you will need to continue to check analytics, see what is working, adjust, and carry on.

I thought Kimberley Payne’s comment summed it up well:

We can have all the tools and resources in the world, but if we don’t use them, they are useless. So, my challenge to you today is to decide which information and templates will work for you, make time in your calendar to use them, and then adjust as needed.

I also have a request. Please take a few minutes to give me feedback on this challenge:

  • Was it too long, too short?
  • Were daily posts good, or would you prefer weekly posts?
  • Was the information helpful?
  • Was anything missing that you think I should add?
  • Would you recommend the challenge to others? If so, would you be willing to write a short endorsement (I will share your picture and a link to your website if I use your endorsement.)
  • If this was a course, would you be willing to pay for it, and if so, how much?
  • What would you like to see from me in the future? More challenges? More templates? Coaching? Something else?

Other Helpful Information

Day 10 Assignment

  • Decide which information and templates will work for you as you develop your social media plan.
  • Make time on your calendar and schedule both planning and posting times.
  • Leave me feedback about the 10 Day Social Media Challenge, either in the comment section below or in our Facebook group.

Best wishes in your social media marketing journey. Now it’s time for me to go do my own planning 🙂


Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

Day 9 – Your Social Media Plan #10DaySMChallenge

Social Media Challenge

Welcome to Day 9 of our 10-Day Social Media Challenge!

Please use #10DaySMChallenge when sharing on social media.

Here is an overview of what we will be doing during this challenge:

Day 1 – Get Ready!

Day 2 – Automate & Systematize

Day 3 – Hashtags Matter

Day 4 – Events & Promotions

Day 5 – Share Your Content (Let your followers know what’s happening right now)

Day 6 – Evergreen posts (Tell new fans about your best stuff from the past)

Day 7 – It’s not all about you

Day 8 – Images, quotes, and inspiration

Day 9 – Your Social Media Plan

Day 10 – Wrapping it all up

Your Social Media Plan

We have discussed many different pieces of your social media plan over the past eight days. You have worksheets to help you.

  1. Set aside a day each month to put your social media plan together. This could be a day near the end of the month where you plan for the next month, or the first day of each new month where you put together a plan for the month.
  2. Pick a theme for the month, or maybe you want to pick a theme for each week. Decide which hashtags you are going to use for each theme.
  3. Make sure you plan ahead for any events you have coming up – book launches, speaking engagements, sales, etc.
  4. Use your worksheets of content, evergreen posts, interesting content from other people, and quotes to map your monthly social media plan. Decide which posts you will place on which social media sites on specific days.
  5. Make sure you have content, an image, and appropriate hashtags for each post.
  6. Use one of the tools we discussed to schedule your posts. As you come across interesting posts, decide whether you will share them immediately or add them to your next plan.
  7. Check analytics at the end of the month to see which posts were most effective.
  8. Continue to go through this process each month and make adjustments as you go. Figure out what works for you. Maybe you want to plan a whole year in advance! Above all, make sure you are building relationships on social media, and have fun.

Other Helpful Information:

Day 9 Assignment

  • Make sure all the templates from previous days are filled out
  • Put together a social media plan for May
  • Share what you have learned through this process in our Facebook Group

Any comments, questions, or suggestions? Share with us!


Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

Day 8 – Images, quotes, and inspiration #10DaySMChallenge

Social Media Challenge

Welcome to Day 8 of our 10-Day Social Media Challenge!

Please use #10DaySMChallenge when sharing on social media.

Here is an overview of what we will be doing during this challenge:

Day 1 – Get Ready!

Day 2 – Automate & Systematize

Day 3 – Hashtags Matter

Day 4 – Events & Promotions

Day 5 – Share Your Content (Let your followers know what’s happening right now)

Day 6 – Evergreen posts (Tell new fans about your best stuff from the past)

Day 7 – It’s not all about you

Day 8 – Images, quotes, and inspiration

Day 9 – Your Social Media Plan

Day 10 – Wrapping it all up

Images, Quotes, and Inspiration

We all need a little daily inspiration, and social media is a great place to find (and share) it in the form of stunning images, powerful quotes, and inspirational messages.

While this can (and should) be scheduled to fit with your theme, you can also share these “on the fly” as you see them.

Just as you schedule time to write blog posts and other content, spend some time each week creating your own quotes to share. Use this worksheet to record your words of wisdom, then create your own memes or share the worksheet with your virtual assistant or graphic design person to create shareable images. Now include your quotes in your social media plan.

Other Helpful Information

Day 8 Assignment

  • Find 5 quotes you find inspiring, helpful, and/or funny
  • Use your favourite design tool to create memes
  • Add your memes to your social media plan
  • Share your favourite meme in our Facebook Group

Any comments, questions, suggestions? Share them below.

 


Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

Day 6 – Evergreen Posts #10DaySMChallenge

Social Media Challenge

Welcome to Day 6 of our 10-Day Social Media Challenge!

Please use #10DaySMChallenge when sharing on social media.

Here is an overview of what we will be doing during this challenge:

Day 1 – Get Ready!

Day 2 – Automate & Systematize

Day 3 – Hashtags Matter

Day 4 – Events & Promotions

Day 5 – Share Your Content (Let your followers know what’s happening right now)

Day 6 – Evergreen posts (Tell new fans about your best stuff from the past)

Day 7 – It’s not all about you

Day 8 – Images, quotes, and inspiration

Day 9 – Your Social Media Plan

Day 10 – Wrapping it all up

Evergreen Posts

Archived blog posts, older podcast episodes, and last-year’s YouTube videos should be an important part of your social media plan.

Don’t just let an automated system recycle your content though. While that sounds like a great plan at first glance (hands-free!), it can have some unexpected results. You want to make sure you are sharing the content that’s going to bring you the most benefits, and you also need to be careful not to re-share things that are no longer relevant, such as time-sensitive posts.

Other Helpful Information

Day 6 Assignment

  • Check your analytics for posts that have the most traction.
  • Go through your older posts, graphics, and videos and look for those that have a strong call to action (and improve others if you can).
  • Choose posts that promote your own products, or evergreen affiliate products.
  • Use the Evergreen Posts Worksheet to record what you will use as part of your social media rotation.

Questions, suggestions, or comments? Share them below!