All posts by Wolfe Butler

I have been an avid writer and reader since I was old enough to write and read. I grew up in a small midwest community. Now I am most at home in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Getting Home is my debut novel. Others will follow.

5 Important Things June 2018 Taught Me About Blogging

Hello, readers! I can’t believe that another month is already here. I’m officially starting my eighth month as a new blogger, and June taught me some valuable lessons about blogging.

If you are a new blogger or a veteran, you probably know that June 2018 was a little crazy for a lot of us. Many bloggers that relied on BoardBooster were terrorized by messages from Pinterest about how BoardBooster was not an approved partner. Then, when things didn’t look like they could get worse, BoardBooster shut down completely near the end of the month.

Life is constantly changing, and blogging is no different. Here are the things I learned as part of my blogging experience last month.

 

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon Services, LLC. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post also contains affiliate links. Any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission or referral fee, at no extra cost for you.

 

What is the first year of blogging really like for a new blogger? Read part seven in this ongoing series chronically Wolfe Butler's path. | #blog #blogging #blogger

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 7

Each month, I publish a post about my real-life experiences as a new blogger. I share the good, the bad, and the sometimes very ugly. In time, I hope to have an amazing success story, but there is a lot of hard work and time that goes into building a blog in the meantime. You can read the previous six posts by clicking this line.

As I stated, June was a rather eventful month for blogging communities. All the blogging Facebook groups and all the chats over at Billionaire Blog Club (BBC) were on fire over the BoardBooster issues, but even in the face of trials, there are always important life lessons to be learned. Here are five of them from June.

 

1. Life is about change

It’s been said that the only constants in life are death and taxes. Everything else changes. That is especially true of blogging. In the seven months I have been a new blogger, things have changed in large and unexpected ways more than a few times.

BoardBooster, if you did not know, was a means of putting blog content on Pinterest. It was super easy to use and created a ton of new traffic for those of us that were using it. Many of us, myself included, were devastated when they couldn’t reach an agreement with Pinterest and were thus forced to close their doors. They will be missed!

But, as they say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. (That’s really an awful expression. Who would ever skin a cat?) Into the rescue stepped Tailwind. Well, actually, Tailwind was there all the time. Their product has many of the same features that BoardBooster had, so a great flock of us made an exodus to Tailwind.

I will devote a future post to Tailwind because I am still only a couple weeks in and just learning my way. However, I am happy to say that my Pinterest traffic did not fall as a result of losing BoardBooster.

June 2018 Pinterest Traffic
June 2018 Pinterest Traffic

This graphic shows my average monthly viewers on Pinterest and average number engaged with my posts.

As you can see, I was just finding my way with BoardBooster at the beginning of June, and my numbers went up dramatically as a result. I stopped using BoardBooster around the 20th. There was a negligible dip for a few days, but then things headed back north. I will keep you posted.

 

2. The best bloggers honor their commitments

You will likely see me write a lot about BBC in the coming months and years. I have rarely been overwhelmingly impressed by a company or person, but Paul Scrivens, or Scrivs as he’s better known, the man behind BBC, really impressed me in June. Within days of BoardBooster’s announcement, Scrivs created and launched a series of detailed training videos about Tailwind for BBC members.

I wrote in detail about BBC in Tale of a New Blogger – Part 6, so I won’t go into a lot here. Billionaire Blog Club is a program you can buy into for a low fee that pays for your membership for life. Once in, you have access to all the new products and training materials as they become available, without ever having to pay again.

The last few days I have been learning about search engine optimization (SEO) and affiliate marketing. BBC has 23 step-by-step training videos about SEO and 22 about affiliate marketing, with more coming soon.

BBC is currently closed for new members, but should open again in the next few weeks. If you would like to see if it would be a good fit for you, I highly recommend the 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp. It’s 100% free and will give you a good idea of Scrivs’ writing style, and what things you can hope to learn if you become a member. My membership has already more than paid for itself.

 

3. You gotta have help as a new blogger

Twitter is still my favorite social media platform. However, my Twitter obsession was taking up so much time that I was not properly writing, editing, or formatting new content. I still don’t have a good email list program in place, and there’s two other blog series I’ve been meaning to start for some time now.

There are several products available to help you simplify your social media life. I have fought against the idea, especially after I spent two months on one product and was thoroughly underwhelmed by it.

That said, in June, I stumbled upon CrowdFire. I was very negative going in, but it was free, so I decided to give it a shot.

I’m not going to lie to you. CrowdFire doesn’t do everything I would like it to, and a few things not in the way I would prefer. That said, it does do a lot of things that save a ton of time.

Most important to me, CrowdFire has been unbelievably useful in cleaning up my followers and accounts I’m following. When I started on Twitter last November, I didn’t know much about the platform. As a result, those first months, I followed pretty much everyone I came across.

That process lead me to following hundreds of spam accounts. In just one month, CrowdFire has helped me clean up almost all of them. It also works well with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and seven more platforms.

The free option gives you a lot of functionality. I have no reservations about recommending it. I chose to go the paid route once I saw all the time it could save me, but the free option is definitely worth checking out. Click on CrowdFire to take a look, and help me out in the process.

4. Blogging is a fickle mistress

Every time I think I am finally getting a handle on blogging, something completely blindsides me. My assistant started a blog of his own in March of this year. His blog is Speaking Bipolar, and you should check out his posts on dealing with mental and chronic illnesses. He’s on a mission to get more men especially talking about mental health.

 

June 2018 Blog Stats
June 2018 Blog Stats

 

Well, you would think that since this blog is four months older than his, my traffic should be at least some higher than his.

My June traffic was up. In fact, June for a record-setting month for me.

However, record setting was only 820 total views from 527 visitors, which isn’t terrible for a new blogger. For Speaking Bipolar, he saw nearly 3,000 page views from 2,300 visitors in June. For July, we are comparing our processes to see where I am falling behind.

 

5. Social media is key

As much as I don’t always love the idea, social media is the most important thing for a new blogger. Unless you buy ad space, which is something I am considering for July, the only way to increase traffic is to increase exposure on social media.

The good news, my Twitter account continues to grow rapidly. Using CrowdFire and following their tips has continued to grow my list of quality followers.

Twitters state June 2018
Twitters state June 2018

 

What most excites me the most about Twitter is that my followers are probably 80% bloggers and writers. I seem to be picking up quite a few musicians in recent weeks, but I’m great with that, because I love music almost as much as books. Almost.

I hope to have 10,000 followers by the end of July. That’s not too bad for a new blogger. Sorry, I just had to pat myself on the back for that one.

My other social media accounts are not growing as fast, but that’s because I don’t give them the care they deserve.

 

June 2018 Referrers
June 2018 Referrers

 

The numbers are low, but I’m getting about 12% of my traffic from Facebook, and that’s with doing little more than posting new blog posts to my page and account. Clearly, Facebook is deserving of some TLC even if it’s not my favorite brand.

 

Odds and Ends

 

Am Editing

To finish up today, I want to share with you a few other things. One, I took the plunge in June and connected with a professional editor. I am working with the talented Angela B. Wade who is based just a couple of hours south of me in Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you are looking for an editor, I strongly recommend Angela.

She works with authors from everywhere, so don’t be disinclined just because she is from Tennessee. I have learned a lot from her already, and we’ve only been working together for a couple weeks.

Together, we are working on revising Getting Home. I know, I said I was going to let it sit for a while, but it desperately needs a better cover. I decided that if I was going to update the cover, then at the same time I should finish polishing it. Getting Home is my most precious baby, so I’m not sure I will ever be completely done with it.

 

I’ve Learned Series

You may have noticed that I am posting less often in the I’ve Learned series. The reason why is that I have decided to turn it into a book. That was actually my goal from the beginning. So, as far as that series, I’ve been spending more time on editing and revising posts and content than on writing new. Never fear, it will continue to be an ongoing series for as long as I am here.

Working with Angela has taught me so much about how a book should be written, so I am trying to get this one right on the front end. More coming on this topic in the future.

 

Printable Coming Soon!

One of the new series I am working on is a collection of writing tips and techniques. As part of that series, I will be creating printables. The first one, which will be free to everyone, will be on character development. I hope to have it out by the end of July.

 

Take Aways

Tailwind is a great product for scheduling and posting on Pinterest. They are an approved partner, so there should never be any issues with Pinterest. Try the free trial to see if you like it. You can also post to Facebook and Instagram through Tailwind.

Check out Billionaire Blog Club’s 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp. It’s free and with no obligation. It will give you a great chance to see if BBC might be something you are interested in down the line.

CrowdFire is a great app for managing Twitter and for posting to Facebook, Instagram, and more. There’s a lot you can do with the free version, so you have nothing to lose by checking it out.

Please show my assistant some love, and visit his blog:  Speaking Bipolar

If you are looking for a talented and professional (not to mention eternally positive and optimistic) editor or freelance writer, contact Angela B. Wade. She would be happy to give you a quote for any of her quality services.

That’s it for my new blogger experience for this month. What’s going on with you? Please share your latest news in the comments below.

Blogs grow primarily be readers sharing their content. Please share this post on social media or by email. I thank you in advance.

Until next time…

 

What is the first year of blogging really like for a new blogger? Read part seven in this ongoing series chronically Wolfe Butler's path. | #blog #blogging #blogger

 

The Versatile Blogger Award – Wolfe Butler’s Take

It was a wonderful surprise to sign on to Twitter a few days ago and see I was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by the lovely and talented blogger behind the Searching For Humor Blog.

Now, let me start by saying I don’t understand these blog awards. I have seen several variations in my last eight months of actively pursuing blogging. Though there are lots of nominations, it doesn’t seem to ever lead to a grand prize winner. Instead, at least to me, it seems a lot like those chain letters we sometimes did in school.

For you millennials, once upon a time, long before everyone had a cell phone in their pocket (and dinosaurs still roamed the earth), young people actually wrote things down on paper. Then that paper was folded into some crazy shape (the triangular football was my go-to). Those notes were then secretly passed in class or handed off to a friend in the hallway between classes.

Some of those notes were chain letters of sort. You had to rewrite the top of the letter exactly as it was, but the lower half, you had to answer questions about yourself. Some questions were silly and some embarrassing, but it was all about fun, so everyone did it.

This format reminds me very much of those paper notes. So, while I may not participate in every blogger award, since this is my first, and I’m feeling more than a little nostalgic, here goes.

 

 

The Versatile Blogger Award

 

The rules for the versatile blogger award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate bloggers for the award.

 

Thank you, India!

No, I’m kidding, but now that song will be stuck in my head.

I mean thank you, Searching For Humor Blog! It means a great deal that you think enough of my blog and me to nominate me for this fun prize.

If you have never visited Searching For Humor Blog, head on over now and check it out. The blogger writes funny and entertaining stories that revolve around her visiting places that were featured in books she read. Every post is a treat, so be sure to bookmark or follow her page so you can stay up to date.

7 Things About Me

So, this one is a little tricky for me. I just put up an About Page only a few days ago that has 10 things about me, but let’s see. Maybe I can come up with seven more.

 

1. I have a serious weakness for Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Yes, hello, my name is Wolfe Butler, and I am a Krispy Kreme-aholic. Addict? Not sure.

In any case, if I am any where near a Krispy Kreme shop and that big, red “Hot!” sign is on, lookout. I may have been known to eat an entire dozen in one sitting. Maybe. I mean, how can you not. They literally melt in your mouth, so it’s barely like eating anything. Just don’t tell my doctor.

 

2. I’m a serious sci-fi geek.

It doesn’t matter whether books, TV shows, or movies, I love science fiction. From Star Wars to Star Trek and all the Stargates, Babylon 5, and Andromeda, etc. in the middle. I love it all.

For books, I’m a huge fan of Michael Crichton. I’ve read all but a few of his books, including the non-sci-fi ones.

For TV, my favorites right now are probably Dark Matter, The Orville, and all the Netflix and CW superhero shows, especially The Flash and Supergirl. How can you not love Melissa Benoist? She’s cute as can be and sings like an angel. If only they would let her sing more often on the show.

 

3. I used to call my wife, “Buddha.”

Now, before any of you ladies get upset with me, it had nothing to do with her size or shape. Instead, it was a silly conversation we had late one night about how we were the gods or our dreams, and how in dreams, you can make almost anything happen. I think she was the one that said if she was a god she would be Buddha.

However, after a friend got offended when I said it in public, because she did not know the backstory, I stopped. From then on, I called my wife Lizzy, in honor of Elizabeth Bennett, the star of my wife’s favorite book. (I’m not offended that I was not her favorite author.) My dear wife was named Laramie Elizabeth, so it wasn’t completely without merit.

 

4. Once upon a time, I was a stamp collector.

It was a hobby I did with my maternal grandmother. She passed when I was fairly young, so I inherited her collection. Sadly, I never really did anything with it after that time. The whole collection now sits neatly boxed on one of my book shelves.

 

5. I’m a horrible public speaker.

If you need something written, I’m your man. I’m not a master by any means, but I can string written words together fairly well.

Stand me in front of a group of people, and suddenly, I can barely speak my own name. It is so bad that my wife actually banned me from public speaking. For that reason, it is good I took the indie author route, because there’s less chances to speak when you don’t have a publishing house behind you.

6. I did everything wrong in publishing my debut novel.

Two weeks ago, I broke down and hired a professional editor. (More on this in a future post.) Even though I promised myself I would walk away from Getting Home, I am back in the depths of it. I am disgusted with all the gaping holes and punctuation errors I am finding.

If you have not read it yet, DON’T! Please give me a couple of months to get the revision complete. Then it will be republished with both a new cover and new chapters and will hopefully be a respectable offering to the indie community.

7. My favorite color is periwinkle.

Okay, so no making fun of me. For years, I told everyone that my favorite color was black. Indeed, before I married, nearly all my clothes were black or white. My dear Laramie changed that and insisted I pick a “real color.” Nothing so “boring as a primary color” was allowed.

The short list came down to coral and periwinkle. Since I look yellow in coral shirts, my wife helped me see the wisdom of periwinkle. The ironic thing is, I don’t own a single article of clothing in that color, but my bedroom is painted periwinkle. If my wife was still here, she would love it.

 

And The Nominees Are:

Next, I need to nominate some great bloggers. Please bear with me. This was a difficult choice. On top of there being so many wonderful blogs to choose from, many of my favorites have recently been nominated for the same or a similar award.

Here is my list. Out of fairness to everyone, blogs are listed in alphabetical order by blog name.

 

Author Taylor MacNeill

Taylor is an author and blogger. Last I heard from her, she is currently revising her novel, The Darkest Side of the Moon, but the first edition can be purchased in the interim. Visit her blog or follow her on Twitter to learn more. She’s a great Twitter friend as well.

 

Beckie’s Mental Mess

Beckie posts creative writing and life experience posts while also working to help promote mental health awareness. Her posts are authentic and entertaining. Be sure to visit her.

 

Caron Allan Fiction

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that Caron is my number one fan, or at least I keep telling her that she is. She has been extremely supportive and helpful in my blogging journey.

She writes blog posts that make me chuckle and has six mysteries available on Amazon. Criss Cross: Friendship can be murder is currently free for the Kindle version. Once you read one of her novels, you will want to read them all. Caron is also an awesome Twitter friend to have, so be sure to follow her.

 

Dave’s Draw

Dave’s Draw is a blog I just stumbled upon a few days ago, but I am very impressed so far. The posts I’ve read so far are light, smart, and full of good information. Be sure to go visit and check it out.

 

R. A. Allen Author

R. A. Allen writes a lot about writing. I am always fascinated on her unique take to various writing endeavors and techniques. Many of her posts are related to mind mapping. Visit her page to learn more.

 

The Past Due Review

I’ve been following The Past Due Review for about a month. What I love about this site is the nostalgia. Rather than write about the newest movies and books, this blogger chooses to concentrate on topics from years gone by. The most recent post is about The Sandlot, which was released in 1993. For a trip down memory lane, be sure to stop by this blog.

 

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50

Finishing off today’s list is Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50. The blogger takes a very eclectic approach and shares much about her own life, her triumphs, and challenges. Every post is enjoyable, so be sure to visit soon.

 

 

Wrapping Up

I want to be sure to thank Searching For Humor Blog for thinking of me when it came to nominating fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award. Though I may not participate again, it was fun to write this blog and I am honored that you thought enough of me to include me in your list.

I also want to thank you, my dear readers. Your visits and comments bring so much light and joy into my world. I appreciate each and every one of you.

To any of my blogger friends that I did not list today, I apologize. I could have easily listed another 20 blogs or more, but I’ll save the remainder of that list for future posts. Please don’t give up on me.

Until next time…

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others. Thank you in advance!

The Versatile Blogger Award recognizes unique and up-and-coming blogs and bloggers. | #blog #blogging #blogger

The Top 7 Best Michael Crichton Books

Michael Crichton was an amazingly talented author that we lost much too soon. Crichton finished his writing journey in 2008, but I firmly believe his legacy and books will last for eternity.

One of my favorite authors (it’s so hard to try to narrow that list down), I have read almost everything that Crichton wrote. This list is my seven favorites from his collection.

Brief History

Even though Michael Crichton knew he wanted to be a writer, he initially set out to take the safe course. He pursued a medical career and graduated with an MD from Harvard Medical School in 1969. He started his writing career while at Harvard, initially writing under the pseudonyms John Lange and Jeffery Hudson. You can read more about Crichton on his official website.

Altogether, Crichton wrote about 30 books, three of which have been published since his passing. In addition, he was the force behind the hit TV series ER, and many of his books, including most of those listed here, have been turned into movies.

His experience helps keep me motivated and patient while I continue working today success. Hopefully, one day, someone will write a post like this about my books.

 

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon Associates, LLC. program. That means that if you make a purchase through any of the links on this page, I will receive a small commission, at no additional charge to you. Affiliate income helps to keep this blog up and running.

 

Michael Crichton is one of the great authors or our time. This post reviews my favorite 7 from his collection of work. | #MichaelCrichton #book #books #reviews #ReadingList

The Top 7 Best Michael Crichton Books

1. Sphere


I know not everyone will agree with me, but Sphere is by far my most loved book by Michael Crichton. While they did their best to make a worthwhile movie, it does not even shake a stick at the masterpiece Crichton originally wrote.

I’ll admit, the Sphere movie is better than a lot of book-to-movie adaptations. Unlike Battlefield Earth, which was an excellent book, but about the worst movie I have ever seen.

Sphere takes place at the bottom of the South Pacific ocean. A large spacecraft has been discovered and an elite team of scientists are tasked with exploring it and its wonders. The secrets they uncover and the dangers they face makes this a book that was hard to put down. It will always be my go-to when I need a little heart-pumping action.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It has been a treasured part of my collection since I purchased it in 1990. I have leant my personal copy out more times than I can remember, and recommended others read it probably hundreds of times. It will forever be one of my favorites. It’s been in my mind a lot as I develop my current work-in-progress, Paradise.

 

2. Timeline


Timeline is another masterpiece that, in my opinion, did not get the rave reviews it deserved. In this case, the movie adaptation did do a decent job of portraying the story (and features Paul Walker and Gerard Butler – not related, but would be awesome if he was), but movies will never be able to cover the depth or emotion that can be found in the written word.

The book begins with a man speaking unintelligibly wandering dazed in the Arizona desert. He survives less that 24 hours after he is found.

On the other side of the world, an unbelievable find is discovered by an archaeological team. The discovery leads to the introduction to a secretive, international corporation that gives the archaeologists the chance to not only study the past, but to see the past first-hand.

This fun read is full of action and emotion as the team strives to rescue a beloved friend. If you have not read Timeline, be sure to add it to your reading list. The movie is worth watching after you read the book.

12 Awesome Motivational Quotes You Should Know

 

3. Jurassic Park


Perhaps the most well-known and most beloved of Michael Crichton’s books is Jurassic Park. Don’t think that you know this book just because you have seen the movies. While the movies were masterfully done (except for maybe The Lost World), the book gives you much more detail and more insight into the characters than is possible with film.

I hardly need to go into detail, but Jurassic Park centers around a new theme park idea. An island has been transformed into a new home for dinosaurs. The dinosaurs have been resurrected thanks to the ingenuity of technical science.

Sometimes the best of plans lead to terrible consequences, and that is exactly what happens in Jurassic Park. Don’t think that any of the heart-racing moments are lost on the written page. In fact, I think the book scared me more than the movies did. This is a classic that everyone should read at least once.

 

4. Prey


To me, Prey is both exciting and terrifying. The story could easily take place today.

It centers around the Xymos Corporation based in the Nevada desert. Xymos is a leader in nanotechnology, but their latest invention has gotten the upper hand on them. When eight people become trapped by a cloud of nanobots, it will take all the ingenuity they have to survive – if they can.

I loved this book because it feels like something that could happen in today’s world. It’s the story of both technological triumphs and the warning of how technology could turn against us.

Everyone would enjoy this book, but especially those fans of speculative fiction. The simple idea of what could happen is sometimes more scary that what does happen.

Review – Mall Hair Maladies by Kristy Jo Volchko

 

5. Rising Sun


Rising Sun is a break from the science fiction genre that Michael Crichton may be best known for. The book begins in downtown Los Angeles. The Japanese super-corporation, Nakamoto, is celebrating their grand opening for their United States headquarters, when the body of a young woman is discovered on the 46th floor of their building.

The death leads to an intense chase full of industrial intrigue and unexpected twists. The Japanese have a saying, “Business is war.” This tale takes that war to a whole new level.

I loved Rising Sun for its fast pace and the depth of the different characters. Not everything is as it seems, so you have to make sure you are paying attention. This is a great book to introduce you to Crichton’s writing style if you have not already read any of his other works.

For those of you that want to cheat, there is a movie adaptation. It stars Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes.

 

6. Disclosure


Disclosure is another fast-paced tale of corporate intrigue. The main character, Tom Sanders, works for the computer firm DigiCom and is quickly making his way up the corporate ladder. His future is bright until a meeting behind closed doors alone with his new female boss sends everything into a death spiral.

This book is just as timely today as when it was written, and perhaps more so, as the Me Too movement continues to gain traction. It tells the story from the other side, a what-if scenario where a man might be accused of something he didn’t do.

There are more secrets than just the ones involving Sanders. What he learns in his struggle to clear his name will forever alter his view of his beloved company.

I loved this book for its ripped-from-the-headlines feel. Michael Crichton was not afraid to feature a subject that many might have felt taboo at the time of his writing. Still as relevant today, it is a book that everyone will enjoy reading.

Again, there is a movie version of Disclosure. It stars the talented Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, and Donald Sutherland.

 

7. State of Fear


Last in my list is State of Fear. It revolves around Peters Evans, an environmental lawyer that is working to keep the world a safe place to live. Battling against an eco-terrorist group that is conspiring to cause natural disasters fueled by the weather, Evans’ work is cut out for him.

State of Fear takes you around the world from Antarctica to the Solomon Islands and many more locations. Full of action and science that could realistically be happening in our world today, it highlights issues like global warming and how man is affecting the weather.

It made my top seven list because it was full of facts that really made me think about what is happening with weather today. In addition, it is full of action and highly entertaining. Again, I had a hard time putting the book down and read it in one weekend. If you are at all concerned about the weather issues we keep seeing, you will be enlightened by this book.

Ultimate Resources for Bloggers and Writers

 

Wrap Up

This list of Michael Crichton books is hardly exhaustive. In fact, he wrote close to 30 books, three that were published posthumously, including Dragon Teeth, which was just published in 2017. It is one of the few books of his I have not read but will add it to this list later on.

I can’t say I loved all his books. To be honest, I was rather disappointed with both Airframe and Next. That said, even my least favorite books by Crichton were good enough that I read the book in its entirety. I’m not saying the books were bad. You may in fact love the books, but the seven listed above are my favorites. The two mentioned here just did not resonate with me.

Do you have a favorite by Crichton that I have not listed? Share your title and why you loved it in the comments below.

Please share this post with others or on social media.

Michael Crichton is one of the great authors or our time. This post reviews my favorite 7 from his collection of work. | #MichaelCrichton #book #books #reviews #ReadingList

The Smartest 15 Ways to Deal With Difficult People

Anyone who has spent some time working in a customer service field knows just how quickly things can turn ugly. Learning to deal with difficult people it a valuable life lesson learned.

Usually, it starts simply. Something might not have been ready on time. The product purchased might have failed. It might just be a bad day for the customer.

Bosses and managers may be poor leaders, or maybe a family member or spouse might become enraged.

Is there anything you can do to stop a bad situation from spiraling out of control? Of course there is. Here are 15 steps you can take to deal with difficult people.

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon Services, LLC. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post also contains affiliate links. Any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission or referral fee, at no extra cost for you.

 

15 Solutions to Deal With Difficult People

Whether at home or at work, there will be times you will have to deal with difficult people. This post looks at the 15 best ways to handle them. | #LifeLesson #LifeLessonLearned #LifeHack

1. Keep a Level Head

One of the funniest things in Douglas Adam’s, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, was that on the front the of the guide in huge letters were the words, “Don’t Panic.”

In the book, these words are ironic, especially in the beginning of the book when Arthur Dent is about to be flushed out an airlock into space.

But, there is value in these words when you have to deal with difficult people.

Stop for a second to take a deep breath. Take another one if you need to. Then make a conscious effort to remain calm.

This is the foundation of diffusing a tense situation.

When disciplining children, parents are often advised to count to 10 before doing or saying anything. That’s sound advice for any difficult situation.

2. Open Your Ears

The next best thing to do to deal with difficult people is to try to discern what they are upset about. It may be a challenge not to jump into fix-it mode, but it’s better to figure out exactly what the problem is before you try to fix it.

Each individual needs to feel like someone hears them. Acknowledge how they feel and give them validation by listening to what is bothering them. Give them ample opportunity to fully explain their issue without interrupting them.

Pay attention to what they say. Your mind will be tempted to start formulating what you should say next. It’s better to concentrate fully on what the other person is saying and then try to think of a solution.

3. Apologize

In most cases, you won’t have done anything wrong. That’s not the point right now.

Start by saying, “I’m sorry.” Those two small words can often go a long way to calming someone down.

Tell them that you intend to try to remedy the situation. Now that they feel like you have heard them and that you want to help, cooler heads should prevail.

Whether at home or at work, there will be times you will have to deal with difficult people. This post looks at the 15 best ways to handle them. | #LifeLesson #LifeLessonLearned #LifeHack

4. Go With Your Gut

Not all situations can be defused. If your fight-or-flight reflex starts to kick in, do what you must to guarantee your safety. Determine the best method of leaving the immediate area.

For many years, I worked in management. It was an area that I both loved and hated. Hiring and training employees was usually great. Correctly or terminating them was another matter entirely.

One man specifically sticks out in my mind. Before we met with him, upper management had met to determine the best way to handle his dismissal. We knew his personality type and that the situation could escalate quickly.

Unfortunately, we were not wrong. In fact, things got so bad so fast that I had no choice but to call the police. To this day I believe that if I hadn’t, someone would have been harmed.

Protect yourself first and foremost, and flee if you have to.

5. Establish a Boundary

It’s not an entirely accurate statement to say, “the customer is always right.” Every business does what it can to provide the highest customer satisfaction, but there are things you shouldn’t put up with in the process.

“Adult language” is very common today. Many people use it without thinking about it. However, when those words start to come out as a barrage against you, it’s okay to draw a line in the sand.

In my last position, I handled all serious customer complaints. Many times a customer would have gone through one or two employees before I was given the problem to handle.

Understandably, customers were often irate at that point. Even so, I made sure to set a standard early in my conversation.


I was impervious to a few “adult” words flying my way, but when the narrative became vicious or the words especially derogative, I would give people a choice.

“Please do not speak that way,” I would tell them. If it was a telephone call, I would warn them three times that failing to calm down would force me to end the call. If the call didn’t improve, I hung up, sometimes several times on the same person.

In a family, it’s not uncommon to completely let your guard down. Sadly, that sometimes means that you might say something to your spouse or children that you would never say to anyone else.

There’s no reason you can’t establish boundaries in the family. Tell your family member that you will have to end the conversation until they can talk in a calmer manner.

6. Be Respectful and Polite

When trying to deal with difficult people, you may be lambasted with a tirade of hurtful words. Even though you may be smarting from the sting of the words, do your best not to respond in kind.

If you let your feelings turn to anger and your words to weapons, the matter will only get worse.

Strive to do your best to use respectful words like sir, ma’am, please and thank you. It may require some strenuous effort, but by remaining calm and respectful, you may just guilt the other person into acting better.

How To Be The Good You Want to See

7. Validate Their Feelings

Even if you do not understand, it’s usually good to say that you do. Or, if it’s obvious that you don’t understand, say something like, “Please tell me more so I can better understand.”

Showing them that what they are saying matters to you will give them some validation. If you show that you are sincerely interested in fixing the problem, the other person will feel more like they are on common ground with you. The need to be difficult should improve.

8. Seek Help if Needed

One thing that often made me livid was when a man would rant to one of my female employees and treat them like nothing, but completely change when I or another male member of management appeared. This well illustrates how another person can often change the conversation dynamic.

Be alert to get help if you need to.

With my employees, we had innocuous words that could be used in a sentence or quickly sent by text message that alerted the other staff that someone needed help. When we heard that word, one or more of us would go to stand with the colleague in need.

An angry individual may have no problem with yelling at one person but may take a step back when a second person appears.

In a work environment, try to flag the eye of a fellow employee or reasonable manager if needed.

There’s often safety in numbers, so don’t hesitate to seek help when you must deal with difficult people.

9. Try Not To Be Defensive

A difficult person may do their best to make you believe that it is your fault that they are so upset. Your natural tendency might be to jump to your own defense.

Frequently, it’s best to let yourself be wronged. Keep your voice steady and at a low, normal volume so as to portray the sense that you are not riled.

Yes, very likely you will be riled. In fact, you might be hopping mad. But this probably isn’t the right time to release the pressure valve.

Keep in mind, at this specific moment, it’s not your feelings that are most important. If you can calm the situation, then later you can rationally discuss the points that you know were unfair or untrue.

Words Do Real Damage – 3 Questions to Ask Before Speaking

10. Control Anger and Body Language

Again, when you deal with difficult people, it’s perfectly natural to feel angry. Do your best to control that anger.

In addition, purposely control your body language.

Pointing a finger at them or crossing your arms may add fuel to the fire. A pointed finger can be taken as a challenge or aggression. Crossed arms may signal that you have closed yourself off to helping the problem customer.

Hold your hands in front of you or let them hang loosely at your sides. Gesture if needed in the conversation, but make sure any gestures are not aggressive or accusatory.

11. Stay Versatile

Just as no two people are exactly alike, no two situations are either. Look for clues as to what the person feels would be the right solution.

In the retail world, customers are often looking for a refund or replacement of a product. However, some unscrupulous individuals may be looking for a business to claim liability or give them just cause to file a lawsuit.

Again, go with your gut in this area. Quite often, the less-is-more approach is the way to go. Say as little as possible until you have some idea what solution they might be looking to achieve.

12. Discern What’s Not Being Said

Many psychologists will tell you that anger is always a secondary emotion. What that means is that often there is another emotion that triggered the anger. This is frequently true when you have to deal with difficult people.

In a marriage, this is often hurt feelings. The verbal barrage you are getting right now may have nothing to do with the subject that is being discussed.

What?

Bear with me a moment.

Imagine for a moment that a wife explodes because a husband is late coming home for dinner or that he forgot to carry the trash to the curb. Is that really what she’s upset about? Or is this something else that hurt her prior to this?

Whether at home or at work, there will be times you will have to deal with difficult people. This post looks at the 15 best ways to handle them. | #LifeLesson #LifeLessonLearned #LifeHack

Personal experience time.

My wife and I, believe it or not, rarely fought. However, one afternoon, and completely out of the blue, she yelled at me, and not just a little bit either.

Now, I know you didn’t know my wife, but she was never a yeller. That was always my job if yelling needed to be done.

I don’t remember the exact words she yelled at me. It seems like it had something to do with leaving a dish on the counter or in the sink.

What I do clearly remember is that it had nothing to do with why she was really upset. It turned out, a few nights earlier I had said something insensitive and hurtful when we were out to dinner with friends.

The comment had meant nothing to me at the time and quickly left my mind, but my dear wife had let it fester in her mind for days until some small thing I had done was enough to break the proverbial camel’s back.

See if you can determine what is really bothering the individual you are having to deal with. Again, this is where active listening comes into play.

13. Don’t Be Demanding

Continue to fight natural impulses if you want to be truly successful. As a situation deteriorates, you may be inclined to say things like, “Shut up!” or “Calm down already.”

Hello, match meet flame. Not good.

Instead, inquire more about what is bothering them. Do they feel like they have been mistreated? Have they been offended in some way?

We all have the need to vent from time to time. Usually, once we are done venting, we no longer feel as upset as we were.

If it feels like a safe option, give the other person a safe space to vent a little.

14. Maintain Personal Space

If emotions are already frayed, it may not take much to make matters worse. Natural impulses may move you to want to touch their arm or shoulder to calm them down. This well-intentioned, empathetic action can be perceived as aggression.

Going back for a moment to the man I had to help fire, shortly before I had to call the police, the business owner made a crucial mistake.

Incorrectly imagining that he could do something to calm the irate employee, my boss reached out and touched his arm.

To say things exploded from there is probably an understatement. In fact, it was like someone flipped a switch and the man being fired lost all control as to his speech or actions. He screamed and flailed his arms and even rolled around on the floor a couple times. It was unbelievable.

So, when you need to deal with difficult people, give them plenty of personal space.


15. Recognize That the Person and Problem Are Different

As you learn to deal with difficult people, it’s important to remind yourself that the person and the problem are not the same.

Some of the worst customers I had to deal with over the years pointed out serious flaws in the business I worked for or the staff that needed to be corrected.

Even though the person you are facing might be acting impossible, the thing they are upset about may be a legitimate problem that needs to be addressed. Look at the situation objectively regardless of how the person is acting.

Strive To Be Better

No doubt, some of the methods in this article to deal with difficult people might be unnatural the first time or two you try to put them into practice. Don’t let that stop you. Just because something feels comfortable doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be done.

The fired employee that was clearly very comfortable with screaming and cussing was certainly in the wrong. However, those were things that he seemed to be perfectly comfortable with.

Give yourself time to improve and keep working on it even if your first few attempts are far from successful. Changing the world takes one person at the time and constant effort, so be sure to keep going.

Please share these helpful tips on Pinterest or other social media.

Whether at home or at work, there will be times you will have to deal with difficult people. This post looks at the 15 best ways to handle them. | #LifeLesson #LifeLessonLearned #LifeHackWhether at home or at work, there will be times you will have to deal with difficult people. This post looks at the 15 best ways to handle them. | #LifeLesson #LifeLessonLearned #LifeHackWhether at home or at work, there will be times you will have to deal with difficult people. This post looks at the 15 best ways to handle them. | #LifeLesson #LifeLessonLearned #LifeHackWhether at home or at work, there will be times you will have to deal with difficult people. This post looks at the 15 best ways to handle them. | #LifeLesson #LifeLessonLearned #LifeHack

 

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 6

Pity-Parties and Successes

I’m having quite a lot of difficulty writing this month’s post. As you read last month in Part 5, April was a little of a disappointment. Okay, so that may be a bit of an understatement.

Since I am sharing the real blogging experience with this series, I am going to flat out tell you: April sucked. May was worse.

I let myself get so discouraged by April that I stopped doing even the things that were working. That caused a further decline in numbers. In fact, the numbers are so terrible that I am not even going to share most of them this month.

Much of my time during my May pity-party was spent out in my yard. At least I can say I wasn’t entirely unproductive, though I also won’t be getting a call from Lawn and Garden magazine anytime soon.

My favorite thing about working in the yard is that it gives me lots of time to think. Whether I’m pushing the lawn mower or pulling weeds out of the flower beds, my mind is usually free to think about other things.

Happily, several things became clearer during the process of getting my yard in shape. I started June with new zeal and a better attitude. So, what went wrong? Did anything go right?

Read and follow directions

Read AND Follow Directions

In total, I have spent nearly 88 hours learning about blogging this year. I have faithfully continued to keep using a time tracker, which has both it’s good and bad points. On the good side, I know just how much time I’ve spent getting educated.

Knowledge is power. I have always been one that set out to learn as much as I could about any task I was assigned. My goal was always ultimately to become the expert in that area.

In most of the jobs I’ve had over the years, that process worked well. Typically, over the course of time, I became the go-to person when someone needed to be trained or when unusual questions came up.

Learning is something I am passionate about. If someone has already invented the wheel, then all I should have to do is follow their directions. It doesn’t have to be invented again.

But…

In the corporate world, almost everything I learned for my business was immediately put into practice. It was important to me to be a force for good in improving office efficiency and staff effectiveness.

Somehow, over the last few months, I have misplaced that lesson.

Yes, I spent 88 hours watching webinars and reading blogging tips and advice, but I failed epically when it came to putting that knowledge into proper use.

It was a painful realization that hit me while working in the yard last month. A plant may or may not have been thrown across the yard as a result.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, there is no additional cost to you, but I may receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.

 

Billionaire Blog Club

A few months ago, I invested in Billionaire Blog Club (BBC). If you’ve not heard of BBC before, here is a quick rundown.

1. BBC is a blogging course

Becoming a lifetime member of BBC gives you access to all of the books and videos that site owner, Paul Scrivens, AKA Scrivs, has put together. Scrivs is extremely (almost scarily) intelligent and has successfully launched dozens of blogs. I may have lost count, but I think right now he is running 15 and they are all massively successful.

Scrivs started all these blogs to prove that a blog could be successful in any niche. He then shaped that knowledge into a step-by-step video series that covers all of the things he does to take a site from ground zero to major income.

2. BBC is a motivator

In addition to all the courses, Scrivs sends out regular emails. He’s not one to waste his time on salesy material. His emails are written specifically for BBC members. Since when you buy into BBC you become a lifetime member, he’s not selling us anything.

Instead, he concentrates on sharing his knowledge and inspiration. As he learns new things about the blogging world, he passes that information on to the members.

The thing that I find most valuable, though, is the fact that he’s not afraid to be brutally honest. In fact, it was one of his especially strong emails that pushed me out of my pity-party mode and back to work.

In a nutshell, he said that the biggest mistake bloggers make isn’t in not knowing what to do. No, instead, the issue usually comes from not doing what they know they should do.

The email could have been written personally to me, because that is exactly what I’d been doing. I had the plans to build a wheel, but I was spending all my time in my workshop trying to make a wheel without using that information.

3. BBC is a community

The other thing that is amazing, and maybe the most useful part of being a BBC member, is the community you become part of. Through forums available on Slack, all BBC members can freely share inspiration, joys, triumphs and failures (happily not many of these) with each other.

Since everyone is working toward the same goal, conversations are very positive. Everyone is working together so that everyone can succeed.

I’m not one to join in many of the conversations, but keeping up with the questions other members ask and the answers provided has resolved many of the issues I’ve had with my own blog.

It’s very impressive to me that Scrivs makes himself available through the forum almost every day. He does this to make sure that each member is getting the direction that they wanted when they first purchased their membership.

However, even if he is not available, there are always other members online. Many of them are experienced enough that they can answer lots of the questions that come up.

4. BBC is not for everyone

As much as I love BBC, it is not the right program for every blogger. I respond well to the way Scrivs teaches his video courses, and I am determined to be successful, come what way.

It’s also quite an investment. In fact, when membership opens up again in a few days, the purchase price will be $397 US. In my mind, it is well worth that price because the information I have gleaned so far has more than paid for itself.

But it’s a hefty investment, so you should not buy it unless you are very serious about putting in the time and effort that is required to make a blog successful. It’s hard work and takes a lot of time, at least in the beginning.

The good news is that if you think you might be interested, there is a free Blogging Bootcamp available on the top of the main Billionaire Blog Club page. The Bootcamp lets you learn a little more about Scrivs and his teaching style without any obligation.

Note: Scrivs is very real and not afraid to say whatever needs to be said. Personally, I need that type of mentor, but some people might want someone that is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. That’s not Scrivs, though he is awesome and super funny.

Anyway, back to the free Blogging Bootcamp. If you decide to give it a try, you can see what BBC is all about and then make an informed decision on whether you feel the investment is worth it.

Back to May

Wow, I really did not intend to make this a Billionaire Blog Club infomercial. I have learned a lot from BBC, though. It is directly responsible for many of the right decisions I have made along the way.

More happened in May, though, that I want to share.

June 2018 Twitter stats - Tale of a New Blogger Part 6
Stats as of 6/12/2018

One, I will share this number. For whatever reason, I am a little obsessed with Twitter. I’m not entirely sure why it resonates with me so much, but I find myself on the platform several times a day. As a result, I am up to 8,900 followers as of today. If we’re not already connected, be sure to look me up on Twitter and say hello.

I continue to be astounded at how many amazing and talented authors are on Twitter and how encouraging they are to other writers. I mentioned a few of them in Lesson 15 of the I’ve Learned series. There’s not enough room in a post to list everyone that has encouraged or inspired me.

Another win (see, May wasn’t entirely bad), is that my blog continues to gain followers through WordPress. I think I’m at 122 now, which isn’t earthshaking, but very exciting to me.

If you are one of my followers, thank you so much for being here!

Getting Organized

Another win I can count for May involves getting better organized. On another blog I read an article about AirTable. AirTable is a database and spreadsheet hybrid, for lack of a better definition. I intend to devote a future post to detailing just how I am using it.

It has been instrumental in getting me organized, especially in regard to keeping up with my blog posts and posting calendar and with tracking pin activity for Pinterest.

The Pinterest thing is finally starting to come together, mainly because I am actually following the directions. I talk about that a little in my post on why you should include Pinterest pins in your blog posts.

What I love about AirTable, more than Excel or Google Sheets, is the versatility of their system. For instance, I am in the process of making multiple pins for each blog post. Tracking what board or tribe I then place that pin on was getting a bit chaotic.

Not only can I now track pin activity and placement, I can also drag and drop the pin image right into the tracking spreadsheet. This is an image of part of my tracking sheet.

AirTable image

AirTable autosaves every few minutes and can be accessed from any internet connected device, so I always have access to my information and it is always up to date.

The best part? Many of the most valuable features from AirTable are free to use. In fact, I have not paid one penny so far for using it. However, it has done a lot to get me properly organized. At some point I may upgrade. For now, the free features are plenty to get me where I need to go.

If you need to get better organized, I strongly recommend giving it a test spin. Remember, it’s free, so you have nothing to lose.

When Did I Get So Wordy?

In the very early days of starting my blog (like six months is really a long time ago), I read a lot of articles about how the most successful blog posts are 1000-2000 words long or longer. Those numbers scared the life out of me. After all, it took me 15 years to write an 80,000 word novel.

Happily, that fear has quickly gone away. As you can see, one thing I have learned to do is to sit down and knock out a detailed and informative post at well over 2000 words. Woo hoo! Another win!

The other happy benefit is that this ability to sit down and write is carrying over into my other works as well. My science fiction work-in-progress, Paradise, is finally getting the attention it needs, and the story is going in the right direction. I can’t wait to share the coming chapters with all of you over the next several weeks.

Thank you for visiting this blog

It’s All Because of You

I want to close this month by offering a heartfelt thank you to all of you that visit my blog on a regular basis. Every time I see that page view count or follower count increase, my heart jumps a little.

Launching my debut novel in November was scary. I didn’t know if I had any real talent or if my writing would connect with anyone. Many of you are coming back week after week. That means either I actually have a little talent, or y’all just like bad writing. I’m hoping for the first one.

Whatever brings you here, thanks for coming. I hope you keep coming back.

Be sure to think about trying the Billionaire Blog Club Blogging Bootcamp and the AirTable organizer. Both are free and may solve some of the issues you might be facing. If you have any questions on either one, please contact me.

Finally, blogs grow by being shared. If you enjoy the content on this site, please share it on social media and with your friends. It will mean the world to me if you do.

Until next time…

Share in the honest, real experience of a new blogger. This post looks at the wins and losses from the sixth month. | #blog #blogger #bloggingShare in the honest, real experience of a new blogger. This post looks at the wins and losses from the sixth month. | #blog #blogger #blogging

Why Bloggers Should Include Pinterest Pins in Their Posts

If you are a blogger and not using PInterest, you need to change that today. Many blogs are getting 400,000 or more pages views each month almost exclusively from PInterest.

I am not one of those bloggers – yet. However, I am seeing big gains from Pinterest. More on that below and in a future post.

Today, I want to talk about why you should be using Pinterest.

First, though, let’s look at some Pinterest basics.

Pinterest is an amazing platform that can produce lots of free traffic. Learn some basics and why you should include tall pins in every blog post. | #Pinterest #SocialMedia #BloggingTips

More Than Just Recipes

Somewhere along the line, Pinterest got the reputation of being just a recipe site. While it’s true there are millions of amazing recipes (I have gotten a lot of great ones, including my favorite potato soup recipe), it is also so much more. Amazingly, almost all of those recipes are found on blogs. That’s million on blog pages represented. So you can imagine the huge potential available with Pinterest.

It’s considered a social media site, but it is very different than Twitter or Facebook. Pinterest is more of a large search engine with visual search.

Suppose you are interested in finding tips on how to increase blog traffic. Typing “increase blog traffic” in the search bar on the site will bring up hundreds of images related to that search term. When you find something you like, you can click the image, also called a pin, to go to the site referenced, or click “save” and have that image saved to your personal board for later use. Saving an image is called pinning.

Think of a board like a traditional bulletin board. You can save each pin you are interested in onto one board, or you can created individual boards for each category. My boards include titles like:

  • Author Interviews
  • Blogging
  • Book Reviews
  • Book Trailers
  • Life Lessons
  • And lots more!

You can see my boards by clicking this line.

Wise pinners know that if they are making their own pins (images) that they need to include valuable text with the image. The reason for this is because many people won’t read the pin description, no matter how wonderful it might be.

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 5 of the Blogger Experience

Which would you click on?

Example A
Example B

Here are two examples of what pins might look like on Pinterest. Both pins might have the same description saying how the post can increase traffic.

Look at each image and decide which one you would be more inclined to click on. If you didn’t decide Example B, well… I don’t even know what to say. But I’m confident you picked Example A.

Suppose both pins were take you to the same place. In this case, they do. Clicking either one will take you to my home page.

The splendor of Pinterest is driven by the fact that people are drawn to shiny things. Represent your blog with something shiny enough, and lots of people will click through to visit your blog. Millions of blog visits are logged each day. The best part for you? Pinterest is completely free.

Create Pins in Minutes

If you follow my blog, or me on social media, you have heard of my addiction to Canva. I am not an affiliate, so that is not an affiliate link.

Canva is a wonderful designing platform that makes creating pins, and graphics in general, incredibly easy. Nearly all of my blog images were created on their site.

When you are first getting started, you can click on any one of a large selection of great templates. That template can then be updated with your blog title and web address. Voila! You have a beautiful new pin.

Canva is free to try. You can create lots of great pins for free, and for as long as you want. Not all options are open to free members, so if you find yourself using it a lot, you may want to upgrade. Lots of bloggers only ever use the free option.

How To Be The Good You Want to See

Size Matters

I won’t bore you with the statistics here, but not all pins perform in the same way. Square images and short rectangles have a much lower response rate than tall pins. Tall pins, like the examples above, usually are twice as high as they are wide, but many are much taller.

Again, Canva takes all the work out of the equation. From your home screen when you sign in, just click “Pinterest Graphic” and the size is set up automatically.

If you’re not already on Pinterest, take a moment to go browse the site. Notice which pins draw your attention. Most likely, the ones you most like are not square or short. Studies also show that using yellow or pink in the pin text gets more attention. See Example B above.

Once you have created an image you like, simply download it to your computer. Be sure to note which folder you save the file into.

Canva does a great job with their tutorials, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here. If you find yourself with a lot of questions, let me know and I will help as I can.

Adding Your Pin to Pinterest

Adding new images to Pinterest is really easy. From any page, click the red circle in the upper right-hand corner, and then click “Create Pin.”

A new window will pop up that looks like this.

Either drag your new pin image into the box on the left, or click in the box to search for the folder where the pin is saved.

Next, copy a link to the blog page you want readers to reach by clicking your pin. The easiest way to do this is to pull up the post in your browser window and then copy the address from the browser and paste it in the Website box.

Then you will want to enter a description. It doesn’t have to be long, but say something about what readers might find on the blog page. Usually one or two sentences are plenty.

Most people won’t read this information, but enough of them will to make it worth spending a few minutes writing a good description. In addition, completing the description increases the chances of your pin coming up in the searches of other users.

Try to use some keywords in your description. Keywords should be applicable to your site and the post the pin will be attached to. Hashtags can also be entered in this box. If you already select tags when publishing a blog post, those same tags would be good keywords for your pin.

When all three boxes are complete, the “Done” button on the bottom right will turn red. Click it and you’ll be taken to a list of  all your boards. Save the pin to an appropriate board. That’s it. You have just created free advertising for your blog.

Where You Might Be Missing Out

No doubt you know the value of having social media sharing buttons on your blog. You took the time to make sure the buttons were there so that people could easily share your content.

Pinterest is a little different than the other options. If someone clicks the Pinterest share button, they may see something like this:

 

Remember, tall pins perform much better. With that it in mind, when someone clicks on the Pinterest share button, you want them to have a tall image option. This is why you should always include at least one pin in every post. Right now, I am in the process of updating all of my posts so there is always at least one tall pin available.

Side note: Up above, in the section on adding your pin to Pinterest, one of the things you need to complete is the pin description. You don’t want your readers to have to fill in this information when they are sharing a pin from your site. The good news, you can do it for them.

Each time you upload a picture to your blog, there should be an Alt Tag field for that picture. You are probably in the habit of leaving that blank or ignoring it altogether. It’s important that you change that habit for any pins you want shared. Put in the Alt Tag field the same information you would put in the Pin Description box if you would adding the pin directly to Pinterest.

The Alt Tag information automatically becomes the Pin Description when a reader share the pin.

Interestingly, over the past few weeks I have visited A LOT of blogs. Very few included pin-worthy images in their posts. That means lots of readers might not be sharing posts because they only want to share good pins to their boards.

One is Great, Two (or More) is Better

When putting pins on Pinterest, you are not limited to one pin image for one website link. Many blogging experts recommend that you have several different pin images for each post.

Scrivs from Billionaire Blog Club, recommends 6-15 pins per post. Still other Pinterest power-players recommend 30 pins or more for each post. I started with five and am working my way up from there.

Until you get the hang of things, I recommend only doing two or three pins. I recommend this for two reasons.

One, it can feel a bit overwhelming, unless you are a natural creative, to come up with 15 or more unique pin designs.

Two, uploading a lot of pins for the same post all at one time can look spammy. Instead, upload a couple pins for each post and then produce a few more pins for each post every couple weeks.

Does It Work?

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I have known most of this information for some time. Unfortunately, I did not really put it into application until last week. It took a particularly blunt and motivating email from Scrivs at Billionaire Blog Club to get me going in the right direction.

It takes a little time for pins to gain traction, but once they do, they should take off. Pins typically continue to produce traffic for about four months. However, when one is reaching the end of its cycle, you can simply pin it to a new board or create it again and the cycle starts over.

Does it work? I don’t have a lot of time to go on, but I am seeing big changes. My numbers aren’t impressive (page views have been awful in May), but look at the change.

And, I fully believe, it is just getting started. Here are my referrals for May (again, May was a dismal month), and my referrals for June through today, which is June 6 as I write this.

May 2018
June 6, 2018

I’ve gotten more than three times ad many referrals from Pinterest in six days as compared to 31 days of May. I couldn’t be more excited.

My New Obsession

Moving forward, I am going to have another obsession in addition to Canva. Pinterest is quickly becoming my new best friend. This trend should continue, and I will share updates in future posts.

Great pins are only one of the keys to success with Pinterest. Group Boards and Tribes can be tremendous forces for growth. I am just learning about both, so a future post will discuss how these tools can help you, too.

I hope this information helps you. If you start sharing on Pinterest, be sure to let me know your results.

You work hard to create quality content for your blog. Make sure more people see your pages by adding a Pinterest pin to every post. Simple steps included. | #Pinterest #BloggingTips

 

Q&A With Wolfe Butler by Kristy Jo Volchko

Q&A With Wolfe Butler by Kristy Jo Volchko

I had the wonderful privilege of being interviewed by Kristy Jo Volchko on her site recently. Mostly we talked about my book, Getting Home, but she also asked some additional interesting questions. You can read the complete interview through the link below.

Q&A With Wolfe Butler

via Q&A With Wolfe Butler

When You Are Stumped By Your About Page

When You Are Stumped By Your About Page

As the Toby Keith song goes, “I wanna talk about me.” Well, not really, and that was kind of the problem with my About Page. It’s not always easy for me to talk about me.

I know there is probably some standard format that should be used for an about page. In part, you should talk about the website or writer. If you have visited my About Page before today, you noticed there were very few words on it. There were two lonely paragraphs that didn’t say very much.

 

Today, (actually yesterday now, as this will be scheduled to post tomorrow. Confused? Yeah, me too!) I decided to put some words on the page. I have never been one to conform to social norms, so I decided my about page should be different as well.

The thing is, ultimately, I had a lot of fun writing it.

I rarely visit about pages unless I need to know where a business’ main office is located or when the site was established. That means that more than likely, most people will never visit my about page. So, to make sure you don’t miss it (really, it’s nothing spectacular), I decided to copy it into a post.

About Wolfe Butler

Welcome

Welcome. I am so glad you stopped by. My name is Wolfe Butler. I have been an avid reader and writer most of my life.

Like so many other writers, I did not believe in myself enough to think that I could make a living as a writer, so I pursued a professional career in financial services. Twenty years later, and I am not as young as I once was, but I am taking the time to pursue my passion. This time, I intend to really give writing a chance.

About pages are sometimes boring. To hopefully combat that, I have decided to offer a unique approach.

10 Things About Wolfe Butler

  1. I love pasta and cheese

    Yes, I know that simple carbohydrates are blah, blah, blah (insert diet and fitness jargon here), but I don’t care. I love pasta. And all pasta has to have cheese with it.

  2. As a child I published a weekly newsletter

    That may not be a big deal today, but growing up in the 70’s, there was no one else I knew that was doing it. Each week on my electric typewriter (does anyone even remember those now?) I would type up a family newsletter. Every effort was taken to type slowly and accurately as I used carbon paper to produce copies as I typed. I still have a few of them and may share them on the blog at some point in the future.

  3. I’m addicted to TV

    If you follow me on social media, you may already know this one. Science fiction is my number one genre, but I also love court shows and anything music related. Plus, I’m a big binge watcher on Netflix and Hulu. I don’t like much for talk TV, but I do watch every episode of The View. Right now, my favorite shows are For the People, Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory and Marvel’s Agents of Shield. I’m ticked that Rise was canceled when the show was finally finding its footing.

  4. I have reading ADHD

    No, not really ADHD. I don’t mean to downplay the condition for anyone that lives with it. What I mean is that I find it difficult to only read one book at a time. In fact, right now I am reading five, and they are all good books. I don’t know why I can’t stick with just one of them, but I have pretty much always been this way.

  5. I love the outdoors

    I no longer have the energy or stamina I once did, but I still love hiking. Many of the state parks in Tennessee feature waterfalls, a particular favorite of mine, and most have relatively easy, well-marked trails. One of my favorite parks is Fall Creek Falls. It’s a short walk on level ground to see the featured 300-foot waterfall, though some of the other park waterfalls are a little more complicated to get to. I also love Cades Cove and the amazing views near me in the Smoky Mountains.

  6. I love gardening and yardwork

    If you saw my yard, you might not believe that, especially this spring with all the rain we’ve had. My yard is a bit of jungle right now. I’m also a very eclectic gardener so most of my flower beds are not well organized. I concentrate more on making sure that something is blooming all year rather than on garden symmetry. It looks messy, but I like it.

  7. Volunteering is one of my passions

    I think it stems from spending a lot of time with my grandmother as a child. Volunteering and community care are important facets of life, so I try to do my part. Several times a week, I visit the elderly or provide them with transportation to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store. I love older people. Their stories have given me so much inspiration that I have applied in my own writing.

  8. I love thunderstorms

    This love has been shaken a few times in recent years by a few tornados and severe windstorms, especially the ones that have cost me precious trees on my property. But I love lightning and thunder and the sound of rain falling. If I’m not out on the porch during a storm, you will probably find me sitting near an open window so I can hear what is happening outside.

  9. I’m a little OCD

    No, I’ve never been diagnosed with anything, but I have enough friends that have been diagnosed to know that my obsessions are at least a little unusual. I’m a bit fixated on even numbers, so the volume on the TV and the temperature on the thermostat generally have to be set to an even number. Routine is another area I’m a little obsessive in. I like things to happen at the same time each day or on the same day each week. Maybe that’s why I like Sheldon so much on Big Bang.

  10. I am fiercely defensive of my friends

    I’m generally a very happy and easygoing guy. That said, I am very protective of my close friends and relatives. I will not listen to negative things being said about my friends, and if someone goes after them, well, you best just look out. Because I am coming for you.

I hope you like my crazy take on an About Page. You can learn more about me in my I’ve Learned series.

 

Why You Should Drop Back And Punt

Lesson 15: I’ve Learned that sometimes you sprint for the goal line, and sometimes you fall back and punt.

If you know me at all, you are probably a little surprised that this I’ve Learned installment is starting with a sports metaphor. It’s not that I don’t like sports. Watching football with a group of friends is always a blast.

When I am at home alone, though, sports seldom get much airtime. It’s not that I don’t enjoy watching the games. Instead, I think the game loses some of the thrill without an audience to share it with.

But this is not a post about sports.

No, I’ve come to a realization this month. Lately, it seems like I am having them all the time.

 

Why you should sometimes drop back and punt.

April Was Dismal

To be honest, I’ve been a little depressed most of the month. It takes a lot to get me down, but seeing my low blog numbers for April as I passed my six month anniversary – it was more than a little disheartening.

I have no intention of quitting. However, May has been largely a wash. There haven’t been as many posts as I had planned, and social media has not gotten the attention it deserves.

Something clicked yesterday while I was putting some new flowers in a bare spot in one of my front flower beds. It’s an unusually dry area and the soil is poor. The best thing I could do is dig all the soil out and replace it with good soil and be more conscious of watering frequently.

I was at the garden store earlier in the day. There into my view came an Ice Plant. Perhaps I’ve seen the plant before, but the name was not familiar. Removing the plant tag, I read how the plant loves direct sun and dry, sandy soil. Instead of replacing the soil, perhaps there is a plant that will thrive in what I already have.

Tale of a New Blogger – Part 6

So, I purchased and planted the Ice Plant. In the future I will try to comment on its progress.

That silly little plant got me thinking about my blog. I do my best thinking in the yard and probably that’s why I like to be out there so much. Anyway, it dawned on me, April was a bad month, but that hardly means I should scrap anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of stopping this blog. But, I have been neglecting it most of the month.

So, That Didn’t Work

This will probably sound very egomaniacal, but please bear with me. I started this blog for me and to share me, Wolfe Butler, with the world. I felt like I had some things to say that maybe someone else would enjoy or benefit from reading.

Then I fell into a bit of a trap. I started reading other blogger’s success stories, big income reports and “expert’s advice.” Imperceptably, I became obsessed with SEO, catchy titles and appropriate blog lengths.

I’m not saying those things are not important. They certainly are, and especially if you hope to make a real income from your blog.

I didn’t start a blog to make an income. If that happens, wonderful, but it was never my purpose.

 

Review: Beginner Internet Marketing Series by Gundi Gabrielle

Sprinting in the Wrong Direction?

Without realizing it, I had started sprinting for the money goal line. The end result started to blind me to everything else. I lost much of my joy in the process.

I can’t help but think that is at least part of why my traffic dropped off.

The readers I had were likely not interested in which title was the most captivating or which post had the best keywords. They were coming around because they were interested in what I had to say. They were interested in me.

With blinders on, I lost some of me – what readers were responding to in the first place.

The View Is Different Back Here

One of the best things that happens when you step back is that your view changes. Up close, I’ve been obsessing about that barren dry spot in my flower garden. However, when I walk back to the road, that spot is barely noticeable because the rest of the garden is flourishing and full of color (and too many weeds at this point.)

It’s time I do the same thing with my blog. Obsessing over SEO and page ranking, etc., it’s not good for me. It’s not good for my readers.

So, I am making a commitment. Though I still plan to share my blogging journey, I hope to never become obsessed with stats again. The numbers may go up or forever stay flat. Neither will change my purpose.

 

7 Reasons to Never Give Up

 

Listening to the Fans

Three people recently really helped me with this realization, even though they probably don’t realize the impact they had on me.

One, the amazing Caron Allen, author of the Dottie Manderson Mysteries, has been a perpetual cheerleader both on my blog directly and on Twitter. I’m sure I owe many of my Twitter followers to Caron’s efforts to help promote me and my blog.

Two, the incredibly sweet Kristy Jo Volchko, author of Mall Hair Maladieswhich I reviewed recently, gave me the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed on her site. Even though that interview just posted, the experience did a lot to bring back my joy.

Three, someone I don’t know very well but hope to going forward, Drew J. T. Smith, author of Zodiac Awakening, made a touching comment on Twitter about something he had read recently in my current work-in-progress. He even said he had read everything in the tale so far.

Now, I didn’t ask these three people why they have helped me or why they are reading my work. I’m pretty confident, though, that if I did, none of them would say anything about SEO or page ranking. These wonderful people are reacting to me, Wolfe Butler, and the works I am most proud of sharing.

Lucy, Hold the Ball

As Charlie Brown did so many times, I am going to fall back and kick the ball. Like Charlie, I may fall flat on my back. Even so, I have found my way back to joy, and I think that will resonate with readers.

I am very open to suggestions. If there is something you really liked or really hated or even just thought was okay about my blog or writing, please share it with me. I want to connect to people. I want to connect with you.

All the blog ranking stuff will come. Or maybe it won’t. If Caron, Kristy Jo and Drew are the only people I ever touch, I am happy with that. My goal was to reach someone.

Mission accomplished!

Thank you for reading!

Until next time….

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Sometimes you'll power through, but other times you'll want to drop back and punt. How do you know which to do? Read this important life lesson learned.

This Moment – A Poem

This Moment

I sit aside and watch the world

The scene bestirs my heart

I see the light and life shine forth

And wish to play a part

The sun shines bright, the birds do sing

The Earth is all aglow

The flowers bloom and bunnies hop

And all around seems slow

I wish I could just freeze this scene

To visit every day

To step outside and feel this joy

And for a moment stay

And in a way, I can do that

For memories freeze in time

This blessed moment will live on

And fill my heart with rhyme

For just a grain in the clock of life

This moment will have passed

But in a way, it never falls

As long as memory lasts

– December 18, 2005

 

Author’s Note: This is another poem I wrote for my wife. Had I known how little time I had left with her at the time, I would have held on much tighter. In less than two years, she was gone. Still, I am forever grateful for the time I was blessed to have her in my life.