Blogging Resources | Blogging Tips & Tricks

Posted on October 17, 2015 «
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Blogging Tips & Tricks

This weekend’s posts are brought to you courtesy of ICON 40. I will be a panelist or moderator on several panels throughout the weekend. A couple of those panels are related to blogging and I wanted to create a quick reference post for others to use after the event.

ICON, a Mindbridge Foundation Project, is Iowa’s longest-running, fan organized science fiction and fantasy convention. Each convention features authors, artists, panels and workshops, parties, an art show, dealers room and more!

ICON 40 is being hosted at the DoubleTree Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This year’s guest of honor include David Gerrold, Sarah Clemens, Ann Leckie, Kalli McCandless and Jim C. Hines.

Blogging Resources | Blogging Tips & Tricks

Panelists: Terri M. and Jim C. Hines

Panel Description: An roundtable discussion about blogging; will cover a wide array of topics regarding blogging, networking and social media.

What Platform to Use

Indie-Visible did an excellent series on the major blogging platforms earlier this year. They covered Wix, Weebly, self-hosted platforms, Blogger/Blogspot and I highly recommend checking out those posts.

Cool Blogger Tutorials I Found

When I started blogging, I started out over on Blogger/Blogspot. It was free and a good place for me to start because I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up. I’m coming up on my two year blogoversary in December and remember, somewhat fondly, my days over on Blogger.

I “hacked” Blogger extensively. I know just enough HTML and CSS it be dangerous. I still have the sites I used to learn those hacks saved with the idea of doing full blown post while I was over on Blogger. I never got around to it before I moved to a self-hosted WordPress site. Since I love sharing what I’ve learned, here are some great sites to check out if you are using or considering using Blogger.

My Favorite WordPress Plugins

I eventually moved over to a self-hosted WordPress site. My site is hosted by NameCheap and I’ve been happy with my move. I love the flexibility of WordPress and I take full advantage of the many plugins that are offered.

  • TweakMe Theme by NoseGraze—Easily create your own custom theme. This plugin is worth the cash!
  • Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin with various add-ons by NoseGraze—As a book blogger, I could not survive without this plugin and its assorted add-ons. Another one that it is worth paying for.
  • S.O.U.P. (Show Off Up Coming Posts)—Allows you to show your visitors what posts you have coming up. Even offers a newsletter subscription link so you don’t have to have separate plugin or widget to manage subscriptions.
  • Yoast SEO—The free version of this plugin helps you to improve your SEO with an easy to read guide on each post.
  • Easy Content Templates—Always want certain types of posts to look the same way? Create a template, add it to your post and add you content. Such a time saver!
  • AutoChimp—I use MailChimp to manage and send my newsletter out to subscribers. AutoChimp syncs the WordPress users on my site over to the designated list in MailChimp.
Other Helpful Resources

These are sites a reference or use frequently that are not platform specific.

  • MailChimp—manage and send emails to your sites subscribers
  • HootSuite—manage your social media posts
  • Asana—create step-by-step to do lists to help manage your blogging life
  • Grab My Button Code Generator
  • Align & Float Images with CSS
  • Online Image Map Generator
  • inLinkz—create a link up for a post
  • Giveaway Tools
  • Other Helpful Articles

    About Jim C. Hines

    Jim C. Hines' latest book is REVISIONARY, the fourth in his modern-day fantasy series about a magic-wielding librarian, a dryad, a secret society founded by Johannes Gutenberg, a flaming spider, and an enchanted convertible. He's also the author of the PRINCESS series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in BLOOD OF HEROES. His short fiction has appeared in more than 50 magazines and anthologies. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. Online, he can be found at

    About Terri M., the Director

    Terri M., the Director

    Terri started watching Doctor Who in 2012 after attending ICON 37 with a friend.
    Her Doctor: the 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston
    Her Companion: Martha
    Her Favorite Episode: "Vincent and the Doctor" Season 5, Episode 10
    Her Favorite Companion that Never Was: Wilt
    Her Favorite Quote: "History is a burden. Stories can make us fly." from "Robot of Sherwood", Season 8 Episode 3


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