By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 22 - Blog Improvement and Reflections on Blog Structure

Today I finished adding a few pages to the blog, worked out a drop down menu under the category "Blogs and GoodReads", actually signed up for, eliminated a sub-bar that I loved the style of but couldn't use at this stage in development, added a sixth slide to the slide-show, changed wording from "Matt" to "me" and "I", updates slides with two new links to popular posts, added a list of blogs I follow (still needs work, it's not updating automatically), removed the option of navigation by labels (wasn't practical at this stage), added the ability to follow me by email, made slight modifications to wording in my basic profile and blog header, updated the progress bar on my novel The Militia, and re-learned substantial amounts of HTML. Yes, I said all of that in exactly one sentence. Please don't shoot me for crimes against humanity.

In the process, I stopped by many blogs, author websites, and advice columns. I took all of this information and various observations, reflected on it, and considered a few innovations of my own. This led me to come to several decisions that will make this modest blog more functional and appealing. Below are the changes that will take place, some sooner than others:

1) Regular Features: This is a fairly common practice, but until now I didn't feel I had enough of a grasp on blogging to implement it, let alone a writing regiment. How quickly those times have changed. Here is my loose schedule, subject to change as needed, especially on holidays:

  • Sunday: Self-Improvement - Changes to the website, adding features, Twitter, learning blog techniques, and other activities I've engaged in that improve both the literary and the business side of becoming a successful author. 
  • Monday: Matt's Monday Musings - Essentially a free card to write whatever I feel like.
  • Tuesday: Author Interviews - I'm going big here. Two published authors a month, one aspiring writer or blogger, and one guest blogger each month. I'm going to be going for some big names in a month, so hold on tight. Months with five Tuesdays will vary in content.
  • Wednesday: Writing Wisdom - Writing technique, motivation, and more
  • Thursday: Hard Knocks - Lessons I've learned on my journey
  • Friday: Writing World Review - A review of the week's writing news as well as notable blogs, blog posts, and other items of interest.
  • Saturday: Weekend Summary - Progress on my writing, general reflections
Hopefully this schedule helps those interested in a particular topic to better organize visits over here. And yes, I realize that this is Wednesday and I am doing essentially the Sunday post. I'll be on track tomorrow.

2) The Monthly Contest: Yes, that is correct. I am not satisfied with occasional moments of excitement. I want you, my readers, to know that this blog regularly rewards those who check in as well as those who are new. Some contests I will self-sponsor. Others I will arrange with multiple people or groups. All of them will be awesome. This is in addition to any blog tours or online release parties I may choose to participate in to support fellow writers and bloggers.

3) Sometime, but not now, there will be video and audio features. These will be recorded interviews, audio/video blogs, and eventually the book trailers and promo pieces for my novels. This is all in the more distant future as I flesh out the details and solidify other elements of the site.

4) Writing samples. Some of these may be from contest winners (some contests will require writing). Others will be from myself. Others may be brilliant pieces I have run across or had presented to me. It will be a sub-divided section to keep things clear.

The future holds great things for this blog. Please be sure to recommend it to friends, as well as become a follower yourself. The more recorded followers, the greater things I can present to you.


Ooh, everyone likes contests. This will give us something to look forward to each month.

Looks fantastic! And it makes you look so smart, seriously - like your head is filled with beaucoup knowledge. Love the color orange too!

Holy cow, Matthew! Slow down, kid, you are making the rest of us look bad.

Thanks everyone!

Canda, I do love contests. Always fun to give or win.:-)

RaShelle, appearances are good, but you have one of the largest followings in the AI group. I am simply over-compensating out of jealousy of your awesomeness.:-D

Brenda, just one thing to say: UT Austin. Hook'em Longhorns! I miss Texas!

James: I try. Hah! just kidding. I'm hoping to in time figure out how to help others in AI, but first trying to get my own house in order.:-) See how it works before telling others it's a great idea.

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