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HTML Code: “Tweet This!”

August 17, 2012 9 comments

Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise.
View life as a continuous learning experience.
~ Denis Waitley
Tweet this!

Always ready to learn new things, I find myself studying what I like and don’t like on blogs and websites. One of the things I like is the “Tweet this!” feature. They give a great quote. I love the quote. I want to tweet it, and voila!, they have a “Tweet this!” link all ready for me. Very cool.

So cool and techie that I wanted it. But how? How did they do it? Come to find out, it’s pretty basic HTML coding. If you’re even a bit familiar with typing in code, this won’t be a problem at all. You can copy, paste, and substitute your own text. Are you ready? Here we go!

THE CODE:

TYPE HERE WHAT YOU WANT TO TWEET Tweet this!

THE FOUR PARTS:

Part One:  TYPE HERE WHAT YOU WANT TO TWEET

This is where you’ll substitute whatever it is you want to. In the example that follows, I’m going to substitute in: No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. ~ Robert Frost

Part Two: 

This will stay the same every time. The  code is the link that will direct you to Twitter to sign in and then send this tweet.

Part Three:  TYPE HERE WHAT YOU WANT TO TWEET via@YOUR-TWITTER-ACCOUNT “

Yes, you really are going to type right here what you want to tweet. This can vary from the actual words you typed in under PART ONE, but be sure you’re not changing it so much that the one tweeting it thinks you’re tricking them! In the example that follows, I’m going to substitute in: No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. ~ Robert Frost via @RosieCochran

via @YOUR-TWITTER-ACCOUNT

I put my Twitter handle in there. You can sub in YOUR twitter handle—or you can leave this part off completely. Just be sure that at the end of this part that you don’t fail to keep the quote (  ) in there! Leaving it out will cause the HTML code to fail.

Part Four:  target=”_blank”>

I use the _blank target as this opens up Twitter on a new webpage in order to send the tweet. That means that after you’ve closed out from sending the tweet, my webpage should still be open in front of you. Yes, if we’re wanting traffic to our site, we don’t want people distracted and directed completely away from our website!

EXAMPLES:

The CODE with the example inserted…
(This would be under the TEXT tab in WordPress.com, where you type HTML code.)

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. ~ Robert Frost Tweet this!

…as it appears on the on the blog or webpage…
(This is how it would also appear under the VISUAL tab in WordPress.com.)

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. ~ Robert Frost Tweet this!

…and as it appears as a TWEET.

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. ~ Robert Frost via @RosieCochran

DRESSING IT UP:

Of course, once it’s done, you can center it, put it in a quote box, or whatever you want to do. See what I’ve done below!

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
~ Robert Frost
Tweet this!

WHEN THINGS DON’T GO AS THEY SHOULD…

If you type in the code, but it mostly disappears when you save it, it’s a sure sign that you’re omitting or adding something that you can’t. Type it again and compare it with the example under THE CODE. Some common errors are:

1) Omitting the quotation marks or carats.

2) Using quotation marks around the quote within the HTML code. The problem is that quotation marks are code and can only be used as required for the HTML coding.

For example, under PART THREE, type the following: No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. ~ Robert Frost via @RosieCochran

Do NOT type in the following quotation marks: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” ~ Robert Frost via @RosieCochran

A lengthy explanation? Yes, it has become that. I trust that in short order you’ll be coding “Tweet this!” quickly and accurately!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I’m a mother of four great sons. I’m a widow who has transitioned back into full-time missions with NTM as a staff writer in their communications department. I’m also an author of three Christian suspense novels: BetrayedIdentity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) Greater than that, I am a child of God with a passion for God, my family, and writing! If you want to connect with me, join me on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and Pinterest. Interested in updates by email? CLICK HERE!

Have a question? Email Me!

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Integrity in Social Media

February 15, 2012 16 comments
English: Silhouette of three books

There have been several articles I’ve read recently that have brought validation to some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my mind. It’s about integrity in social media.

As we speak of integrity in social media, I think it’s a lot about integrity to who we are—and who people know us to be.

Some people can sell/promote anything. We know it. We sift through what they are selling/promoting for what is relevant to us, and that’s fine. They are being true to themselves.

But what if we don’t fall into that category? Are we being true to who we are? Are we being true to who people know us to be? Are we presenting who we really are on social media?

Are we “LIKING” this and that because we really “LIKE”  it—or is there a lot of social networking peer pressure coming into play?

This whole social media is a learning experience. I, for one, have tried different things, but in the end, sometimes it’s just not “me.” I keep coming back to being true to who I am.

If I wouldn’t normally suggest a book, blog, or video clip to my friend sitting next to me, why would I promote it to the whole world of Twitter or Facebook?

If I wouldn’t normally suggest anything I haven’t read, if I wouldn’t normally suggest something I couldn’t vouch for, why promote it on Twitter? On Facebook?

Unless, of course, a track record has been established.

We’ve all had authors whose books have hooked us. We buy the next one, barely stopping to read the synopsis on the back cover.

We may promote an author because we have read their blogs. We know they can write. We’ve seen it! We’ve read their work. So we promote them. We’re promoting the writer we’ve come to know.

Sometimes I promote an author’s blog, but not their books.—Weird? Not really. They are writers. They are great writers. Their blogs are awesome. But their books? Sometimes it’s obvious that the content lands far beyond my conservative Christian threshold. I’ve no doubt the quality of craft is there, but I know I wouldn’t be true to myself if I recommended a book that fell outside my realm of comfort, outside my belief system. So I don’t, even though I can still applaud their ability, even though I can still promote their blogs.

We may even promote an editor we’ve never used.— I have! Of course, I admitted that I hadn’t personally used the editor, but she had won me over. I had followed her blog. I had seen the proper use of grammar in her own writing. Through mutual online groups, I saw an honesty and work ethic that impressed me. She made it to my list of editors to use—and so I recommended her.

All that being said, recognize the fact that if I’m tweeting, blogging, or face-booking about a book, blog, or video trailer, that’s a good thing. It’s because someone I have connected with is behind the product—and I’m impressed. Impressed enough to tweet it! Impressed enough to promote it!

And if I’m not tweeting about it? It might just be that I haven’t yet had time to read or watch it!

I’m not saying we need to conduct an in-depth investigation into every tweet we make, but I do suggest we strive to be true to who we are, to stop and think before we tweet, before we post, and before we blog. Let’s be sure we’re being true to who we are.

Integrity to who we are. I think that’s important. Any thoughts?


Promotional Strategies 101

June 8, 2011 4 comments

“The wise person learns from experience, the super wise person learns from the experience of others.” (Herbert Hoover)

I am on a journey. As a newbie to marketing and promoting my books, I have been given much advice by those with experience. As Herbert Hoover suggested, I’m trying to be super wise. I’m trying to learn from the experience of others. The following are my suggestions a few months into this learning process:

1) Join Facebook: Facebook is a great social media to keep in touch with your friends and keep them up-to-date, as well as networking beyond your immediate circle of friends. Most of you are probably already on Facebook.

2) Make a Facebook Page: Formerly called a Fan Page, and currently often referred to as a Business Page, a Facebook Page is a great promotional tool. It is an extension of your Facebook Profile. HINT: Facebook is, by definition, a social media. Likewise with your Facebook Page. Be social on your Facebook Page. Don’t just advertise. Check out my Facebook Page at Rosie Cochran, Writer. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s coming along! If you like it—or my blog here—please give me a thumbs up by clicking on the LIKE button!

3) Join LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a business social media. It’s great for networking. I would strongly recommend joining several of the groups (discussion boards) related to books and marketing. These groups are two-way streets. You can glean from the experience of others, but you can also share what you have learned in your own journey. They are a great place to connect with other writers.

3) Start a Blog: I wrote a post on this previously called Should Authors Blog? In that post I wrote, “Blogging helps to tone our craft, to reveal our writing style, and to give us credence as writers, as authors. Blogging opens doors to an audience we might otherwise not have encountered. On a practical level, blogging gives us a better author’s platform, which in turn aids in marketing. As writers, we need that platform. We need a voice that will be heard. Blogging can be that platform. Blogging can be that voice.” Yes, we most definitely need to be bloggers! Check out either WordPress or Blogger and start today.

4) Join Twitter: Join Twitter and start tweeting! Same hint as with the Facebook Page: Be social. Don’t just advertise. Interact with people. Tweet links to your blog posts. Tweet hints. Be a friend! I would love to have you follow me on Twitter. You can find me at @RosieCochran.

4) Join GoodReads: Who do we want to market to? Readers! GoodReads is full of readers. It’s an obvious choice! As an author, you’ll want to not just join, but set up an Author Profile.

5) Make a Book Trailer: Definitely a great idea. Definitely something I have yet to do!

6) Radio Interview: Hmm…. Will I ever get brave enough to breach this frontier? Keep following my blog to find out!

7) Book Signings: Another great idea that I’ll have to write about once I finally get around to doing it!

Like I said at the beginning, I am on a journey. We may all be at different stages of the journey, but we can all continue to learn from the experiences of others. We all have the choice to be super wise people!

What’s A Widget?

June 4, 2011 5 comments

Widgets are wonderful little guys. It’s the name given to the different tools and/or content that you’ll find displayed on your blog’s sidebar. This is where we get to personalize our blog. This is where the fun and creativity begins! Glance at my sidebar to see what I’m talking about. There is an unending variety of widgets that can be used to add function, photos, and written content to your blog. Check out my favorites on WordPess:

Author Grid Widget: Post your picture so people can see who you are!

Search Widget: This widget allows those reading your blog to search for specifics within your blog. We want them to find that article that inspired them!

E-mail Subscription Widget: This is a great widget that allows your readers to have your posts delivered straight to their e-mail box. Very convenient!

Links Widget: View the links widget as a special place on your blog where your readers can click on links to your other blogs or websites—or you can recommend your favorites to them.

Image Widget: This one is pretty self-explanatory! I use it to post images of the books I’ve written and I add a link to where they can be purchased. Use your imagination as to how to best utilize this widget on your blog.

Text Widget: This one is my favorite. This widget opens doors to numerous possibilities. It can be used in two different ways, as described below:

Simply Text: It can be just that, a place to post the text of your choice, such as: your favorite quote, an upcoming event that you want highlighted in your readers’ minds, or the copyright information for your blog.

HTML Coding: With limited HTML coding, it can morph into many functions, such as a Follow Me on Twitter link, or an E-mail Me link.

Are you ready to have fun experimenting with WordPress widgets? If so, let’s get started!! Here’s how!

1) Go to your Dashboard.

2) Near the bottom on the left-hand side, click on Appearance, then Widgets.

3) Under Available Widgets, click and hold on the Widget of your choice, dragging it to your Sidebar.

4) Click on the down arrow at the right side of Widget to open a box to work in. Depending the the Widget chosen, you may have info to insert or it may be filled out automatically.

4) Save it, close it, and head to your blog to see what you just created!

You’ve just created your first widget! My next post will be on how to make an E-mail Me widget.

(For the Bloggers among us, WordPress has Widgets and Blogger has Gadgets!)

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