Category Archives: IT problems and solutions

L for lists

Lists are only as good as the person who makes them. Sadly this article should be subtitled L for late.  Despite making my morning lists the night before–usually a wonderful idea for motivating early and focused starts–I let myself be diverted by emails.

mailinglist2As a new author, the lists you need are  email lists. You may have thousands of followers on FaceBook , Twitter and other social media sites. But the followers you need are your readers who want to read what you write and read about you.

And the best way to collect these is to ask people to sign up for your newsletter by email. Not easy.  The incentive is the addition of a free report or something else that you know  will really be of use.

Plan Your Marketing

Join reader forums for the genre in which you write. Find out what people really want to know. Craft a set of articles to answer their questions and offer it as a free report or auto responder series to encourage fans to follow you and read your books.

Give value and you can hope to be repaid in kind.

List Marketing Resources

When you’re starting out, you don’t need to be spending money unnecessarily. Try

  • ListServ Lite:  The free edition is  limited to a maximum of 10 mailing lists with up to 500 subscribers each. But note that it is available for users who want to run hobby or interest-based email lists and do not derive a profit, directly or indirectly, from using the software.
  • Mail Chimp: This is the one I see being used most often for starter lists. Allows 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers for free. No contracts, and no credit card required. It’s free forever.
  • ListWire: Seems to do everything the others do and totally free. It does carry a small logo on messages  but nothing too obtrusive .

There is a down side to some of the free solutions in that you are subjected to marketing emails. If you want to unsubscribe from these, you may also be unsubscribed from the mailing service. 🙁

And for tutorials on opt-in offers check out  Lead Pages–I’ve always found it an excellent source of advice, and this Thursday, the 16th April, there’s a free webinar on the subject of opt-in pages and the tweaks you can make to optimize your website.

I’d love to hear about your email marketing solutions too.  Please share them in the comments below.

Today’s images from Morgue File  Lmf2

J for Jings, it’s Jing

Jings is a slang term beloved of readers of the Scottish Sunday Post, read by nostalgic ex-pats all over the world. It’s one of Oor Wullie’s favourite catchphrases along with Crivvens and Help ma boab.

Jings–it’s oor Wullie

Its nearest equivalent in the USA might be Gee Whiz.


I have just downloaded Jing to my new computer and I swear it’s better and easier to use than ever. It’s a totally free download and does not seem to have any annoying nasty add-ons but check the options button at the foot of the download installer just to make sure you choose the options for yourself.

There is an extensive list of tutorials both for Windows and Mac, should you need help.

You can easily select and print or video either the whole or any part of your computer screen,  then save, share, or embed in your blog or website.

Watch out for me vlogging before the A-Z challenge is over! 🙂

Jings! Wha’d uv kent ah’d ever dae that! (translatiion, if you want one, on Monday’s post)

Do you have a favorite catchphrase from a cartoon character?  A favorite piece of useful free software to share?

Loads of clips of Oor Wullie and the Broons on You Tube

letter image courtesy of:

 Theeradech Sanin at–where else?–Free Digital Photos


G for Google

timeismoneymorguefileIf you believe time is money, you don’t want to spend it creating  blogs and websites no one will see.

Google constantly keeps us ticking along.. Only two weeks left before  Google starts checking web pages to ensure they’re mobile-friendly.  If not,  the changes roll out from April 21. If a site does not pass muster, it will no longer appear in the searches.

This could be catastrophic. Your website could disappear into oblivion with no presence on this most popular Internet search engine.

If you are working with the newest version of your website software, you may well be okay. But better to be safe than sorry and you can have Google analyse your site with its mobile friendly checker here.

You will need to check all your pages. Your home page may be fine but that does not mean everything is okay. My Blogspot sites have passed muster. This Word Press site is good to go although it does have a link for another of my sites which isn’t 🙁

But if you are unlucky,the analysis page lets you know what may be wrong and advises how to fix it.

My neglected site which needed attention was easily fixed by updating to the latest WordPress version. (Version 4.1.1) Job done.

I only found out about this last week through a blog newsletter. Did you know about this? Are all your sites ready and set to be Googled?

Images courtesy of Morgue File.

letter g morgue file