One Thousand Blog Followers

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How the blogosphere has evolved since 2007!  WordPress.com logged 660 million blog posts in 2015, according to the Year In Review report, published this week. However, I often wonder if blogging, which was the big new thing in the first decade of the century, has peaked. Every year brings more online competition. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, podcasts, on and on. Continue reading

Steve McCurry On Photography And Blogging

You too, could be a blogger. Or even a photographer. It’s interesting to me that in the age of video, words and photography remain irreplaceable. I wouldn’t want any photographer to miss Steve McCurry’s work. His advice to budding photographers is also good for budding writers. To paraphrase: Find a particular place or subject, and dig deep into it. In a way that’s like my motto, “Write what you know.” — John

The WordPress.com Blog

Steve McCurry, a professional photographer and author of several photography books, shares his reasons for why he blogs on WordPress.com. His iconic photo, Afghan Girl, graced the cover of National Geographic and was named one of the 100 Best Pictures of the magazine. McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest, to name a few.

You are a world-famous photographer. Why do you blog?

Steve: Who would even dream 20 years ago that we would even have the internet? Clearly the internet is changing the landscape of publishing, news, and entertainment. There are countless channels on television, infinite content on the internet, and stimuli literally everywhere we turn. . . . There is so much competition. My blog is just my way of…

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“WordPress Rules the Web”

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Adriano Gasparri photo

An amazing “business” story is on Forbes:  “WordPress Rules the Web.”  It’s the story of WordPress; its founder, Matt Mullenweg; and his unusual and counterintuitive approach to software, blogging, and profit.

A Blog By Any Other Name Is Still A Blog

BLOGGING TIP NO. 101. NO MATTER THE TITLE OR CONTENT OF YOUR BLOG, YOU CAN GET MORE ‘HITS’ BY INCLUDING A PHOTO OF YOUR CAT. HERE SHE IS, LOLA, THE BLACK CAT WITH THE LONGEST WHITE WHISKERS IN THE WORLD. Photo by Lola’s personal staff photographer.

Thanks for reminding me! Yes, besides changing the blog theme (the appearance of the blog), I’ve also fiddled with the name. Again! The old theme, in case you’re wondering, was called “Twenty-Ten,” and the new theme is “Chunk.” Both are great themes, available free on WordPress.com.

When I started this blog back in 2009, I thought I had a great name: “Life After Sixty.”  I was going to focus on — you guessed it — the life and times of those of us who’ve passed the big SIX-OH, with special attention to living simply and cheaply frugally after age 60.

Before long, I started writing more and more about dysfunctional politics and economic meltdown. (I know, “Boring”). I had this inspiration for a new name: “Dispatches from ConsterNation”  It sounded like a cool name. Catchy. Maybe it was just a phase I was going through. At least it was better than “Boring.”

Now, I’ve shifted the focus again. The revolution in publishing — the surge of Indie publishing and Ebooks — fascinates me.   Continue reading

Is this a great time to be a writer, or what?
The title to this repost from David Gaughran’s blog tells exactly what the post is about, and the body of the post gives all the details about direct selling. No need for further comment from me. But I do have a question.
QUESTION: WordPress.com from the beginning has been almost fanatically opposed to advertising by bloggers. (Sorry WordPress, that’s my ONLY criticism of WordPress.com, which is by far the best blogging platform for me.) I believe WordPress.com has probably always made an exception for selling one’s own handmade goods (I might be wrong about that), and I guess handmade goods might include one’s own handwritten books. My question, David, is how is WordPress.com responding to this sudden surge in blogging by Ebook authors? Was WordPress.com OK with your recent sale of 99-cent books? I gather that you and many others are Amazon affiliates, and possibly affiliates of other booksellers as well. Do you think WordPress.com might crack down on this?
BTW, I tried switching my blog over to WordPress.org a few years ago, to gain more freedom, but found the technical hassle not worth the benefit. These days, WordPress will handle all the technical details of the switch for a fee, so it’s much easier now if you want to pay the fee.

— John Hayden

David Gaughran

Selling e-books direct to your readers has just got a little easier, thanks to a new company called Gumroad.

I heard about them through indie author Sarah Billington on Friday, had my store up and running on Saturday, and fully pimped out by Sunday. (Cost = Zero!)

But before we get to that, should you open your own e-bookstore?

Advantages of Selling Direct

The first obvious advantage is higher royalty rates. You can earn a lot more than 70% if you sell direct. I’m making $3.49 on my $3.99 titles (as opposed to $2.70 from Amazon) and I’m getting nearly double the royalties on 99c titles.

On top of that, I can now directly serve readers who face higher charges internationally (such as readers in Amazon’s surcharge zone) and those readers who can’t buy from the major retailers (e.g. Barnes & Noble only serve the US, and Amazon…

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