Archive | January, 2011

Southern California Writers Weekend February 5 & 6

27 Jan
Join a Writers Weekend at Cliff House Inn Saturday February 5 & 6, 2011 with Sequoia Hamilton (who led the trip to Egypt I just returned from and is organizing March’s Ojai WordFest) and instructor Deb Norton, Artistic Director of Theater 150.
The weekend promises to “enhance your stories through the exploration of senses.” The Cliff House is located right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. It’s one of my favorite places to stay! And there’s free wireless there too! Sequoia is founder of Ojai Writers Conference, co-founder of Ojai WordFest and owner of WritingAdventures

Cost: $135. To learn more visit or call (805) 766-7222.

Tuesday Tips: 25 Best Practices for Email Marketing

25 Jan

Kelly Flint, self-professed email geek says “Stay in front of your customers by landing in their inbox.  Less is more; get it out the door!”

In this blog post, I go over some of what I learned from Kelly about email marketing: why and how it works, tips, strategy, techniques, list building, permission marketing, and content tips.

So why should you use email marketing? 91% internet users use email; 225 million people in the US, including seniors which is the biggest growing segment of the internet population. Direct mail costs 20x more than email.

Email ROI: average $43. 52 returned for every $1 (WOW!)  Learning how to do it well by increasing your use of the following best practices, your open rate will increase that ROI. Average open rate is 12%, but if you have great content, the open rate can increase greatly–and your return on investment.

Here are 25 Best Practices for Email Marketing: (more…)

back from EGYPT

24 Jan

Now that I’m back from Egypt and about recovered from jet lag, I plan to get back on track blogging regularly, including a post about the writing workshop I taught while on a Nile Cruise!

You can read more about my trip to Egypt over at Art Predator where I will be posting pictures and stories about my adventure as soon as possible!

back from birthday bash & more in EGYPT After celebrating my birthday with the pyramids and doing two rituals with my mother’s ashes, plus visiting a lot of Temples and more, I returned from Egypt last night and I spent most of today sleeping it off… As you may have noticed, I wasn’t able to blog or get online like I had hoped while I was in Egypt. I do plan to do some blogging about my Egypt experience so stay tuned for blog posts as soon as I am more recovered from jet lag, plus a … Read More

via art predator

The Write Alley 2010 in Review: Wow!

7 Jan

This year did something new: they summarized the action on the blogs that use their platform and sent an email with their results. The email was formatted in such a way to make it easy to post on our blogs. (Read about my other blog Art Predator’s 2010 in review I was able to post from my iPhone’s email!)

So how can your blog get a WOW rating in 2011? Blog regularly!

According to report on business blogging mistakes I read recently, 90% of businesses which blog daily get customers that way while if you blog less than once a month, you have a 13% chance of getting a customer. (More from that report and a link to where you can get it yourself in an upcoming blog post!)

My goal on this blog is to post daily Monday-Friday except for legal US holidays and the occasional break (like for last week’s vacation in Baja Mexico!) I achieved my goal most weeks in 2010; let’s see how I do in 2011!

It definitely helps to set a goal for how frequently you will update your blog. If you plan to blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for example, your creative self will help you! But if you blog randomly, your writer self will have a harder time than if you blog on a regular schedule. Your readers will also come to expect and look forward to your blog posts!

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 93 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 60 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 42mb. That’s about a picture per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 21st with 319 views. The most popular post that day was winter solstice lunar eclipse: rituals for self, world, business!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for winter solstice rituals, lunar eclipse rituals, the write alley, how to be an effective writer, and write alley.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


winter solstice lunar eclipse: rituals for self, world, business! December 2010


Keeping Track of Friends, Unfriends & Twitter Followers November 2010


Tuesday Tips: The Writing Process & Lamott’s “Sh*tty First Drafts” June 2010


How To Be An Effective Writer: 26 Tips from Meg Maker June 2010


So “How Do I Look?” October 2010
1 comment and 1 Like on,

Thank you for being one of my readers and subscribers in 2010! Please join us in 2011 by subscribing to this blog and joining the conversation on facebook!

Why I Love WordPress; Why I Teach WordPress

6 Jan

Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to explore social media and learn what it can do for you?

Yesterday I had two meetings with two very different people about how to use various social media platforms for business and pleasure.

Both are comfortable with facebook and understand the basics of how to use it for themselves. One had a twitter account but didn’t do much with it beyond broadcasting links to products (which is basically kind of spammy) and the other thought it was only a place where people posted about what they had for lunch. Both were curious about blogging and whether it might be a worthwhile endeavor.

Our sessions were incredibly productive, satisfying, and rewarding for them and for myself. One person I knew quite well already and we were able to jump right in while with the other person we spent some time getting to know each other to learn how social media might be useful and how we might work together. Both learned quite a bit more about facebook, twitter, and blogging.

Whenever I talk about blogging, I talk about WordPress. While there are many different platforms out there, and sometimes people who I talk to already are on one of them.

But I’m convinced WordPress is the best blogging platform out there whether you’re looking for something that’s free or you’re going to host a blog or website yourself. The result is that both are very interesting in learning the basics of blogging. Since so much of it is introductory, it makes sense to offer another class on blogging using WordPress. Watch for more news on that soon.

A few of my reasons for using WordPress:

easy and intuitive

beautiful, flexible, graceful easy to read themes

open-source supportive helpful community

intuitive and easy

nice people

Watch the video and you’ll learn more!

The Write Alley Goes To Egypt!

5 Jan

Sometimes you just have to say “yes.”

Well, yesterday was one of those days for me: it was a yes day when I said yes to going to Egypt with Sequoia Hamilton and to teaching three writing workshops on a cruise on the Nile. There was a last minute cancellation by one of the co-leaders and thankfully, Sequoia thought of me!

I leave for Egypt Monday January 10 and arrive on Tuesday 1-11-11 which is my birthday! More details to follow!

Learn more about Sequoia Hamilton Travels and the Sacred Journeys she leads. That’s where I found this photo, too.

Follow my Sacred Journey to Egypt by subscribing to my Art Predator blog.


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