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  1. reliefwriterms

    I am new here so I am looking for some experienced bloggers to give me an honest assessment of my blog. If you could explain what if anything is good and what should be changed, I would greatly appreciate your help and insite. I tried to add tags after my post was published but all I could do was add categories. It would be an honor to be featured on the homepage of this website, but I am not sure if I am getting noticed. Any help or advice you all can offer me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    The blog I need help with is

  2. invisiblemikey

    Hi, Marylou ---

    Your blog is pretty straightforward and simple. I'm not sure that your motto at the top reflects your subject matter, but you may be intending to write on other subjects besides your service dog. The links to service dog-related web sites could have been listed at the end of the post about Riley. There's no real need to make those a separate post. You might also want to put your "About" page in a different place than your articles.

    Aside from those minor style tweaks, there isn't enough material yet to analyze in greater depth. You write about a great desire to be "published". The nature of publishing is currently undergoing a revolution. A great deal of what's published these days is self-published, and never printed on paper.

    Perhaps you would benefit by an examination of what you intend to achieve by publishing. You need clear goals, and you must identify your audience. Who are you writing for? What are your areas of expertise? Are you writing for the love of it, or for money? The answers to these kinds of questions will lay out a course of action for you to follow.

  3. reliefwriterms

    Invisiblemikey, I want to thank you for your crique of my work. Since you are the only who put forth the effort to advice me, may I further impose on you. Please explain how I may implement your suggestions. I don't know how to change the "about" page position.

    What changes do I need to make for you to be "wowed" by my posts, by my entire blog? You said it was a nice, straightforward and simple blog. That is awful. I want people to be touched, changed, helped, feel something when they read my blog. I want them to be anxiously waiting for the next post. Please tell me what I need to do to write an incredible blog that people are telling others about.

    The motto at the top is just not for this blog; I do intend to write other blogs. I have decided that I love writing and that I will continue to write whether I get paid or not. Yes it would be great to be paid, but touching others with my writing and having my work applauded is worth more than the monetary gratuities i might receive.

    I read your posts on dying and kayaking, I enjoyed both. You appear to be a cerebral person, who cares very much about people.

    I hope I haven't overwhellmed you with all my musings; I would once again appreciate your help.

  4. invisiblemikey

    If I can help you, Marylou, I'm happy to do it. I didn't intend to be dismissive of your writing by calling it simple and straightforward. Many readers prefer that style, because it's similar to magazine articles. I couldn't guess if you intended it to be that way.

    As far as the technical issues, I'm not the one to help you. I just read the tutorials, and when I got stuck I asked questions of the tech support experts in the Questions Forum. I know hardly anything about how to set things up for looks and navigation. I just picked a style I liked and clicked buttons until it came out the way I wanted.

    What I am more qualified for is writing style critique. Now that you've explained your intent more clearly I can help. If what you want is a deep relationship with readers and subscribers, you have to give them what they can't get elsewhere. It's a rather tall order. By comparison, I only have the ambition to become a better writer by writing.

    In order to move people emotionally, you have to bare your own emotions and show vulnerability. As Ernest Hemingway said, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." The more you reveal of your own pain, the more people will see their own situations reflected in yours.

    You might look over Tracy Todd's work as an example of someone with similar ambitions to yours as far as the relationship to readers.

    Tracy's one of those who mentored me in being able to write more intimately in a confessional style when I want to. I don't always want to. I often write humor pieces and arts reviews. I'm a generalist, like the newspaper columnists from the days before TV. But you seem to be wanting to write material that moves people. Therefore what your work will require is PASSION. You'll have to turn yourself inside out basically. However, women are generally better at that than men, so you may find it easier than I do. Some of the other writers on my Blogroll write in this style regularly, including Jennie Ketcham, the first person to inspire me to attempt blogging.

    Much of learning to write well in a style of your choosing is studying the work of other professional writers who have done what you wish to do. Usually it isn't the work of bloggers. Bloggers write for free, almost by definition. If you want to get to where the pros are, that's how good your work has to be, consistently. The more you read, the more you will recognize the difference between diamonds and coal.

    Best of luck to you!

  5. Hi Marylou,

    I think the other poster above gave you great feedback. We write because we enjoy it. I blog because I enjoy it and its a release for me. I don't care if people read my daily thoughts or not, they are just for me.

    But for my actual writing, that is what i consider to be my work than that is different and I do want feedback, because I intend to publish and connect with readers. For that purpose I am "promoting" myself if you will here and elsewhere.

    So when I read your about me segment and it say's your an aspiring writer, I was expecting a short story, novel, etc, but I was unable to find it. And many of your tabs go back to your about me. I found the navigation of your blog confusing. Than perhaps it is just me. I wish you all the best :)

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