Tag Archives: blogs

5 Blogs Every Indie Writer Should Read

So you’ve picked your RSS reader (maybe off the back of my recommendation). What do you fill it with? It’s true that us writerly types like to have lots to read, but the truth is there are so many blogs out there it’s hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. Well here are five blogs that I think can help a writer of any stripe.

Lindsay Buroker

If you’re planning to self-publish your work, Lindsay’s blog is required reading. She writes unflinchingly about her experiences of self-publishing: what’s worked for her and why, what didn’t work, and what lessons she’s learned. Start reading now.

The Passive Voice

If you’re looking for news about books and publishing you can’t go wrong here. This blog is a great aggregator of other stories and a great way of keeping your ear to the ground. There’s a strong pro-Amazon bias though, so watch out for that; it can be a bit obnoxious.

Buffer

This probably seems like an odd one, but the Buffer team blogs about things like time management, life hacks and online marketing; all things a modern writer needs to know about.

Writing Excuses

This one’s actually a podcast but since they’re basically audio blogs it counts, right? Hosted by four writers of different stripes, they discuss an aspect of writing each week from their unique perspectives. Both entertaining and illuminating, I’m an avid listener and I’m sure you will be too.

The Digital Reader

This blog is an excellent resource for news surrounding ebooks and ereaders. As this is the foundation of income for the majority of indies, it’s good to know what’s happening in that world.

I’m always looking for new blogs to read, so please do let me know what your recommendations are in the comments!

5 Things I’ve Learnt About WordPress Sites

The more observant of you will have noticed I’ve moved. No longer do I blog on a WordPress.com site, but on my own self-hosted website powered by WordPress.org! Admittedly, the place is still a little basic. I’m rocking an oh-so-original Twenty Eleven theme. But the basics are here and I’m looking forward to making this a place you’ll want to visit. If there’s anything you’d like to see, drop a comment!

But what you see here are the results of my efforts this weekend and I’ve already learnt quite a few things. In the spirit of warning anyone following a similar path to me, I present my findings to the board:

Don’t be a hero: I decided that it would be best that I install WordPress manually, using an FTP client and all sorts. I thought it would teach me a thing or two. It did. It taught me not to be an idiot and to use the one-click option my host provided. It was called Softaculous and it managed in two minutes what I couldn’t in sixty.
Get plugged in: There’s a lot of great plugins for WordPress and getting them sooner rather than later can make your life a lot easier. Trust me. I’d recommend Jetpack for a whole host of WordPress extras, Google Analytics for WordPress for a quick and easy install of Google Analytics and Google XML Sitemaps to make your site easier for Google to index.
Find your inner child: Creating a child theme is vital if you’re going to start customising a theme, as any updates will wipe your changes. Doing this looked a little tricky so I cheated; I used a plugin that did it for me. Gotta love those plugins!
Nothing doing: Nothing found for wp-login or wp-admin? When I got that error it was my theme causing the problem. I had to use an FTP client to change the name of the theme’s folder in wp-content/themes, which forced WordPress to default back to Twenty Eleven. That fixed it, and I deleted the offending theme.
Fitting in: The Twenty Eleven theme liked to display the side bar underneath my posts. This was because of a line of code in the header file. Making a copy of “header.php” and pasting into my child theme’s folder and then deleting solves the issue.

I’m still digging around so I’ll share any more tips I discover. Any you’d like to share? Let me know!