5 Affordable holiday gifts for bloggers

Sure, we could all use a shiny new digital printer, a DSLR camera, or a powerful laptop. And if those gifts are in your budget, by all means! Get them for the blogger on your list! If, however, you’re on a tight budget or your gift list is longer than Santa’s, one of these five affordable holiday gifts for bloggers will do the trick!

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5 Affordable Holiday Gifts for Bloggers

A pretty notebook

Even though we work in a digital space, nothing beats putting pen to paper. When an idea hits–maybe for a new blog post series or a possible collaboration–every blogger needs a nice notebook to jot down the inspiration. I’m a huge fan of Moleskine notebooks because I love the paper quality, and they’re available just about everywhere. And they’re pretty.

Conference pass

Most bloggers attend at least one annual conference. It’s a great way to sharpen skills, network, and step away from the daily grind. A conference pass makes an excellent gift that’s as thoughtful as it is generous!

Amazon gift card

I was going to suggest a few specific blogging-related books (that are, ahem, on my wish list, like this* and this* and this*), but everyone has different needs. Because the blogging world changes so rapidly, staying on top of trends is incredibly important. A gift card to Amazon (or your bookstore of choice) can help the blogger in your life stay on top of what’s new through the latest releases.

Smartphone gloves

Have you ever been out walking your dog on a snowy winter morn when your phone rings. Or that text pops up. You know the one. The One. You’ve been waiting to get news to break on your blog. Long story short: Your hands are swaddled in warm winter gloves that don’t allow you to respond to that important message. Enter texting gloves! These babies will let you keep your hands warm while replying to that oh-so-critical message.

eBook

Finally, you know no list would be complete without a little self-promotion thrown in for good measure! For the blogger who loves useful, actionable tips and a step-by-step plan, I obviously recommend my eBook, Authentic Blogging: How to find (and use) your authentic voice. I’m a partial observer of course, but I’ve heard from many of you that it’s been incredibly useful in developing fresh content. Plus, it’s only $7 so there’s no reason not to buy it!

There you have it! My five recommendations for affordable holiday gifts for bloggers! What’s on your list this year? Tweet me your wish list so we can compare notes!

How did you become a pet writer?

Of the many questions I get about what I do, probably the most-often-repeated question is: How did you become a pet writer?

This is just a theory, but I suspect most people in the pet industry got here not because of a specific desire to work in the pet industry. Rather, I suspect most people in the pet industry are here because of a pet.

A special pet.

The special pet who comes in, sheds all over your house, and changes your life.

That’s how I became a pet writer. I recently got to tell this story to a group in my town. I posted it on my blog, and I’ve gotten a number of follow-up questions via email.

It’s interesting how my worlds overlap. The pet world seems to live on my blog, while this website is sort of a hub for storing not-specifically-pet-related ideas. I’m working out how to manage the cross over, though, and I thought this was a great opportunity to make progress.

So, if you’re a writer who’s interested in the pet industry, and you’re wondering how did you become a pet writer, here’s my full answer: It all started with a dog.

Here’s what I’ve been working on

Long time, no post!

Whew. Things have been busy, busy, busy. My goal for November was simply to keep my head above water! We relocated, and the move took up far more time than I ever imagined. And we’ve moved a lot. This one was an extra-big-beast for some reason. Thankfully, though, we’re settled in and (mostly) unpacked. I’m grateful it was all completed before the bustle of the holiday season!

In the meantime, I’ve been working away. I’m finishing up the semester teaching writing skills to an eager bunch of adults who are all working like crazy to get to the final paper.

I’ve also been writing for one of my favorite sites, PetGuide.com!

Plus, I’ve had the unique opportunity to serve as a campaign manager for several blogger campaigns for BlogPaws. It’s been an incredible learning experience. Part of the job requires reading a handful of blogs every morning, and I’ve spotted so many “best practices” and clever ideas. Soaking it all up!

There is so much on the horizon, so many big, huge things about to happen. I can’t wait to share them all as the projects get finalized. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, have a wonderful week and a productive start to December!

Authentic Blogging eBook: FAQs

So excited to announce: Earlier this morning, my eBook officially launched! Authentic Blogging is now for sale! <– click here to check it out and buy or share. Plus, between now and Monday, it’s pay-what-you-want pricing!

Authentic Blogging eBook

A few FAQs to learn more about Authentic Blogging:

Why “authentic” blogging?

The blog world is full of bells and whistles: SEO, algorithms, image optimization, HTML, CSS, tagging, social sharing, social tagging, speed dating… no, wait. Not that last one. The reality is that there are tons of moving parts, and it’s difficult to keep up. At the end of the day, though, the thing that differentiates successful bloggers from those whose sole reader is their mom is the writing. I believe the best writing, the writing that will captivate an audience, comes from within. Learning how to identify and leverage your authentic voice is the key to long-term success in the ever-changing blogosphere. This eBook–really, an eWorkbook because it’s full of worksheets–will help you find and use your authentic voice.

Is this for new bloggers or experienced bloggers?

Excellent question! While I assume that you have some basic knowledge of blogging, the concepts are the same whether you’re fresh or seasoned. That said, it’s not a stuffy technical guide. There is no coding or WordPress magic included. It’s all about the writing. If you haven’t yet started your blog, this could be a really great way to find your voice to get started. If you’ve been blogging for a while, use it to refine what’s working for you already.

I know you’re a pet blogger. Is this eBook just targeted to pet bloggers?

Another excellent question! You’re so smart!

The book isn’t specific to pet blogging at all. The examples are wide and varied, and the ideas apply to any niche–from pets to cars to interior decorating to organic gardening to whatever else you can think of. I believe that what makes a blogger successful transcends genre. Good writing is good writing whether you’re blogging about your cat’s litter box habits or your elementary school classroom binder organization system.

Where can I learn more before I buy?

On my blog, I wrote a bit about what inspired me to tackle this project. I also have more info on this website’s page dedicated to the book. Or, you can view more on the product page.

Any other questions or comments? Please send me an email (info at maggiemarton dot com)! I’d love to connect!

Thank you so much for your interest and support. This project means a lot to me, and I’m so grateful you’re here!

eBook News! In just one week…

It’s here! It’s here!

Well… almost.

I mentioned before my BlogPaws talk that the concepts I presented there started out as a rough outline for an eBook. I wanted to tackle an eBook project for ages. I had the ideas. I just needed the motivation, which arrived suddenly and unexpectedly a few months ago.

Now {{drumroll, please}} my eBook on authentic blogging is finished! All except the cover, anyway.

So, here’s the plan: Next week it’ll be available on my blog as a sneak peek, pre-launch, and I’ll explain what finally pushed me into finishing this long-lingering project. After that, it’ll be available on a sales page here and on Amazon for Kindle. Woot!

Site updates! Coming soon!

designI’ve mentioned before that design is so not my thing.

Writing? My thing. Dogs? Also, my thing. Design? I mean, what’s wrong with a Word doc in Times New Roman?

That said, this plain old WordPress site has gone un-updated for far too long. I dig simplicity and white space as much as the next writer, but I feel like I’m in need of a makeover–something that represents who I am and what I do, rather than the stripped-down theme I’ve been using for years. Literally, years.

So, site updates are in the works! I’ve been tweaking content here and there to gear up for the refresh. If something goes missing, if a link doesn’t work, or if you can’t find what you’re looking for while construction is underway, please don’t hesitate to email me: info {at} maggiemarton {dot} com.

Can’t wait to unveil the new look!

BlogPaws 2015 and eBook News!

I’ve attended all but one of the annual BlogPaws conferences (darn chemo ruined my perfect record), and this year’s was a remarkable experience. They’re all wonderful, of course, but this was the first year I got to speak.

Maggie Marton speaking at BlogPaws

That’s me. Speaking.

I need a haircut.

Anyway, it was an absolute pleasure to chat about authenticity in blogging. I truly believe that the key to long-term success is being completely, wholly true to YOU with your blog. In a cluttered online environment, discerning readers can pick out who’s being honest and forthright versus those bloggers who are just shilling. That isn’t to say you can’t earn money on your blog; you can and absolutely should–as long as you’re doing it authentically.

On that note, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m nearing completion on my passion project, an eBook on being an authentic blogger. There are some design issues that still need to be ironed out (in other words, I suck at design and am seeking help) before it can be released, but… stay tuned!