Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest posts written by authors, bloggers, readers and critics.

4 Bits of Advice From A New Author-For A New Author

4 Bits of Advice From A New Author-For A New Author

I reached out to Harper the day she started sending out ARCs to the masses and asked her to write this post for me while the pain of birth was still fresh in her mind. There are so many things to learn as a new author and the path to publication is never the same for any of us. Here are the top four pieces of advice Harper has for you based on her own rocky road.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting…to Be an Author


Having just hit publish on my first novel, I realized the familiarity of the feeling the experience left me with. I felt like I had just given birth. I did–in a very real way. Up until my manuscript was completed, the idea that I was writing a novel was an abstract and it wasn’t until I had typed those two damning words that I understood what I’d just done. Much like with my first child, now that it was here I realized I had no idea what the hell to do next.

So I’d written a book. Great. Amazing. A huge feat for me. But what now? As a novice on the writing scene, I had few avenues I could take and even fewer resources to get me where I needed to go. A couple of form rejection letters were enough to turn me away from traditional publishing which left me with the seemingly monumental task of going the self-publishing route.

I was a stranger in a strange land.

Sadly, through years of conflict, subversion and mistrust, few within the industry are willing to offer their hard-earned wisdom to the newcomers and understandably so. The self-publishing ocean is full of sharks. Consequently, I learned by trial and error with the help of a few kind souls willing to take a chance on a dewy-eyed publishing virgin and break me in gently. What did I learn? I’m so glad you asked.

First: Expect to rewrite until your eyes bleed. Writing isn’t enough. Polish your end product. Edit the ever loving hell out of it. Make sure every ‘t’ is crossed and every ‘I’ is dotted. This is your first time out of the gate; make sure you’re showing your readers the kind of quality you want them to expect from you. You’re already the new kid on the block in a neighborhood full of writers who have honed their craft and worked their way up the Independent ladder. You have some hard acts to follow, make sure you can keep up.

Second: Expect to go back to school. If you can’t afford professionals, you have a lot you’ll have to learn. Most authors have jobs that pay because, frankly, writing doesn’t unless your last name is King or Patterson. So unless you have a fairy bookmother, you’re going to have to do more than just write. Brush up on your Photoshop skills. Learn how to write blog posts and make teasers. Look up cover design specs and give yourself a refresher on those grammar classes you skipped in high school. You’re going to need them. I offer you this much–if you’ve ever wondered what the 7th level of Hell might really be like, I recommend trying to read a CS8 manual to figure out where your margins just went.

Third: Expect to shake a lot of virtual hands. The lifeline of the independent author belies the title we’ve been given. We are almost completely dependent on a pool of peers to get our work out there. Readers, bloggers…other authors… all are invaluable when it comes to getting your name seen in the already overwhelming pool of works that hit eBook retailers every day. You are going to have to interact with *gasps and clutches pearls* people. I know–it terrified me, too. Just square your shoulders, take a deep breath and put yourself out there. Word of mouth is a powerful tool so make sure yours is always kind. Be polite. Be professional. You are just beginning to build your image. They say never to judge a book by its cover. However, you are your book’s cover and people will judge. Put your best foot forward and do your damnedest not to put in it your mouth in the process.

Finally: Expect to be in it for the long haul. Perseverance. Resilience. Fortitude. A stiff drink wouldn’t be remiss from time to time. Writing isn’t for the thin-skinned or the faint-hearted. The first book you sell isn’t the beginning of your career and the first bad review you get isn’t the end. It’s not an easy road we’ve chosen to walk. It’s long and full of challenges at every turn. You’re going to have days when you wonder why you bother. Keep going. I promise you, in spite of all the late nights of hard work and hours of networking until your social skills were sore; the first time you hold your work in print it will all be worth it. Just like having a child, you’ll run your fingers along its brand new spine and forget the pain and exhaustion that came with making it. You’ll want to do it all over again. So go ahead. Write another one. I’ll be right there with you.


Born in Southeastern Ohio, Harper L. Jameson has always had an active imagination, first finding her love of books through the works of Stephen King at a young age. Then with her mother’s influence, she found the romantic works of Beatrice Small and Johanna Lindsey and whole new worlds were opened to her. With the encouragement of family and friends, she began to create worlds of her own. Worlds of love and magic, of men and monsters and sometimes, they all intertwine in dark and delightful ways. Come in, she has stories to tell.

If you like to laugh and enjoy gems of insight and advice delivered with a sense of humor, you need to follow Harper. I’ll even make it easy for you:

For more hints and tips on navigating the Indie world, check out a few of my other posts!

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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Guest Posts


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Lola the Magnificent

This is a first for me. I have yet to promote someone individually who hasn’t done a guest post specifically for me, however, Lola has done SO much more than that! I’m going to take you back to my Do: Network post and I am going to make an example out of her.

I met Lola Stark on the Book of Faces (Facebook) through a friend of a friend of a friend’s friend. In the two short weeks that we have been talking, she has become one of the most important people in my life. Not just because of her knowledge of the industry or her connections, either. Our relationship was one of those magical things where we just “clicked”. We make for a fantastic support group for one another (even though she’s in Australia and I’m in Salt Lake Shitty) and I honestly think I would be completely lost without her (and my other Aussie, Simone, but you guys have already met THAT minion and we know I love her to bits).

That being said, I would like to PROUDLY present you with the cover for her newest release and a teaser from the novel!

Be warned, she IS an Erotica/Romance writer, so if adult themes bother you, proceed with caution!


Happy Writing!

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Title: Conflicted Love (Needle’s Kiss, #2)

Author: Lola Stark

Release Date: January 2014

Genre: Romantic Comedy/ Erotica

Designed By: Sarian Royal Indie Publishing and Design


(Conflicted Love is book #2 in the Needle’s Kiss series and should be read AFTER Tattered Love to fully grasp the story.)

Trip’s life motto is simple: get in, get off, get out. His lifestyle works for him, that is until he finds himself in an unexpected situation with the one girl he can’t seem to get out of his mind.

Teeny has been strong for too long. One amazing crazy night, with her best friend’s cocky colleague, leaves her with more than just unwanted feelings and cravings she just can’t seem to quench.

She’s knocked up.

He’s freaked out.

Life is about to get crazy for two people who can’t stand to be close, yet can’t seem to pull apart. Tension and confusion turn into mood swings and midnight snacks. How can things ever go back to simple times when every direction leads to chaos?



I threw my leg over my bike and started for her. The streetlight out front was busted, causing the place to be darker than normal. There was just enough light that as I walked behind her, I could see her sexy little ass encased in those prissy jeans she always wore. I caught up to her at the bottom of the stairs and reached out to grab her arm before she made it any further. Next thing I knew, Teen spun, her fist flying right into my nose; at the same time, she drove her knee up into my groin, dropping me like a sack of shit to the ground.

“F*ckkkkkkkk” I moaned, cupping my junk, rolling up onto my knees, and trying to get my breath back. Pain shot up into my stomach with each attempt.

“Oh, it’s just you.” Teeny breathed hard. I looked up at her through narrowed eyes.

“Oh, it’s just…F*ck, Princess. What the hell’d you do that for?” I wheezed.

“Well, you deserved it. You don’t sneak up behind a chick and expect not to get hit. Now, get up, dipsh*t. You’re making a scene,” she hissed, looking around the complex.




What to say ? Errrr…

Lola hates all things sultanas.

Lola is a little strange and unusual.

Lola has no brain-to-mouth filter (this may

or may not have gotten Lola into trouble – repeatedly).

Lola is keeping Coca-cola in business one

2lt bottle at a time.

Apparently, Lola likes to talk in the third

person about herself.

This here is what my profile says


Lola Stark lives in Australia, Is an at-
home mummy with no filter, raising a hoard of minions. Lola has loved to read for as long as she

can remember. When not wrangling the family, she can be found sitting at her computer, writing,

facebooking or just generally messing around.

I know, I know third person again.

So what else can I tell you about me ?

I have a dog, 3 birds and a pet rock. I

was a teen mum (DON’T DO IT). Right now, I’m alternating writing this and yelling at my kids to stop

jumping on the bed and to go the fuck to sleep before I push them off. I may be a little.. okay, very


Junk food and I have an understanding: I

eat it, it hibernates around my ass and thighs. I love music, almost any kind is fine by me.

I love fiercely and I’m protective of those

that mean something to me, this has gotten me in trouble more times than I can count. I cuss like a

sailor and sometimes smell like one too (hey now, McJudgy, you can’t shower, brush your teeth or hair if

you’re in the middle of writing a book).

I make a mean potato-layer bake and I

have slight road rage. I struggle not to laugh when my kids are inappropriate and say screwy shit. I don’t

really like people…I’m that creepy chick who sits in the corner till she has a booze buzz going on, then

I’m as loud as fuck. I have an addiction to shoes. I smoke like a chimney.

So that’s me!

I’m screwy and funsized (it’s not called short anymore).

You’ll either love me or hate me, but I am always just ME!


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Guest Posts


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Celebration – celebrazione – celebrare

Weekend Writer Reblog! This one struck us just right, so I thought I’d share!

valeriu dg barbu

Trilingual text


This quiet wellbeing is asking for
suspense, shivers, major events…
The joy and peace of mind are core and they scare me
like a sense of balance neighboring death,
I listen to romantic music,
I drink the best wine, I am loved, I have enough money..
even though my enthusiasm is burnt in the kiln of past errors,
I have a taste for extraordinary, this celebration depresses me
through its “too much” and it’s exactly this “too much” that I would like beyond superlative…
somehow the nowadays celebrations cannot reconcile among themselves,
the good one of the day with the bad one of the second in which the present is more alive
and it’s asking for its right to become a memory at any risk…
this quiet joy doesn’t ask anything of me, it’s like the air
and I got used to being asked to give something of…

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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Weekend Writer Reblog


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Pay No Mind to the (wo)Man Behind the Curtain

Oh, Simone…

Where do I even begin to describe the strange relationship that has flourished between the two of us over the last few months?

Well, for the sake of not freaking out our audience, I’ll keep it simple:

We both have the same taste in books. We met via Facebook while commenting on the same post from an author we both enjoy. I don’t even remember what post it was or what drew us to each other, I just know it was one of those “Oh my god, I LOVE this girl!” moments for me. June 23rd we officially became friends and I think the longest gap in our communications with each other since then was a little over 24 hours—an impressive feat considering the awkward time differences between Salt Lake City and Melbourne! She helped come up with the Mega Meme Monday as you guys know it today and without her, I probably would have gone mad over it by now. I owe her many many thanks, and now I present her to you for your enjoyment! You can expect to start seeing more and more posts from her as time goes on!

Miss Simone Nicole

Miss Simone Nicole

David and I were talking about books and what kinds we read, which lead to this post.

What makes you read a book?

A reasonably easy question with a multitude of answers, you found the cover intriguing or in a lot of cases sexy, a blogger/friend recommended it or my favourite, it was free. The harder question to answer would be what made you keep reading? Everyone starts a book for different reasons but fundamentally kept reading or stopped reading for the same simple truth. It was or wasn’t good enough to keep you enthralled.

There is nothing better to me than a book/author that can captivate me from the very first page and better yet, keep me there. I have heard on more than one occasion that the first page is critical. It needs to make you want to turn to the next page and the next, until you run out of pages. Easier said than done as many authors will tell you, that first page can be the hardest. Not every story can grip you from the first few sentences and needs time to warm up but, what is too long? Where do you lose interest and cut your losses, moving on to one from the never ending TBR list.

For me, the first chapter needs to start intriguing me. I need to be able to at least start connecting with the characters and want to see where their story will lead. If I am still struggling to do this in chapter two, unless the book comes highly recommended, I’m going to skim or move on completely, I have too many books on my TBR to waste on a book I’m not enjoying. It is rare that I don’t finish a book and the few I haven’t, I found the writing style choppy, somewhat forced and not moving fast enough, making it hard to sink my teeth in. The final nail in the not-to-read coffin always comes down to the lead characters. I can overlook the writing style, slow plot and sometimes even predictable twists but if I’m not feeling the characters, well, what’s the point in reading their story if I couldn’t care less if they live or die.

In the last twelve months I have read more books than I can comprehend and with so many more to read. Why? To find those few precious gems that stay with you for life, the stories that touch you so deeply you can’t let go, the ones I find myself wanting to read again and again because I loved them that much, once will never be enough.

Everyone has different opinions on the same books, the writing styles, whether the characters were believable or relatable, even likeable and if you saw the plot twists coming. What we can all agree on is that feeling of finishing a book all too soon and left you wanting more but not needing more. If a book can make me ugly cry, laugh out loud, fall in love, heart pound out of my chest, forget to breathe, refuse to sleep and/or throw it across the room with frustration, which, I admit, I have done but only once, possibly twice, ok so I only stopped doing that seeing as I spend most of my time reading electronically.

To me that is the epitome of a good book and I will continue to spend the rest of my days reading as many as I can.

You can become a fan of her Facebook page here!


Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Guest Posts


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If The English Language Had Been Made As A School Assignment…

Weekend Writer Reblog! Once a week (every Friday) I will be reblogging a favorite blog post from throughout the week for your enjoyment! These can be from blogs I follow, blogs that are Freshly Pressed, blogs that I stumble upon of my own accord or , the way I’d PREFER it to be, blogs that YOU GUYS recommend! So please, if you see something, SAY something! If it’s about writing, publishing or books, I’ll consider it for sure!

The Byronic Man

First off, this is very thorough.  Great job – you’ve got everything here a language needs to be not only functional, but allow for nuance, tone, even connotation.

I do have some concerns, though.

funny-pictures-german-language-meme-5The first is there seem to be some important words missing.  Example: There’s an entire entertainment industry built off of enjoying other people’s misfortune and humiliation, yet there’s no word for it.  Hans, in the language he wrote, came up with “Schadenfreude.” Yes, I know the words and spelling in Hans’ language are kind of over the top and occasionally hilarious, but he has words for everything.

Second, is that your language seems a little scattershot with the rules. To be honest, most of them.  It seems like there are very few rules without exceptions. Example: this “i before e” thing.  “I before e” – clear enough; “except after c” – why?  Is there some purpose? …

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Guest Post: Van Zetreus

This is the first installment of a series of posts I will be posting from readers about what makes a “good read” for them. The insight that we can glean from the people who will potentially be reading our work can be invaluable, so I hope you guys enjoy these as much as I have! Van is a friend of mine who, if you can’t tell, is a highly educated individual who has been trained to add a degree of technicality to his writing through all of the reading he has done for school. He is also a supporter of the Humane Society and loves his pets almost as much as I love mine! While his article may be a bit technical, I urge you to read it in its entirety! It’s AMAZINGLY written and highly informative! Happy writing!



Why/What I Read?

Every now and then, friends and strangers ask me how I can read as much as I do, and sometimes they ask how I can stand reading the dry articles, essays and books by philosophers, theorists and other thinkers that I revel in. The answer is: I have a love for texts. It’s that simple. I love reading, whether it is a children’s book or it is a dense Russian fuckface of a brick-novel. There is something in the way other people describe a world that may or may not surround me, to see what they notice, what they don’t. I look at reading from a very foucaultian perspective. Michel Foucault wrote in the seventies that the only way we can even approximate an understanding of the world and other individuals is through literature. Literature is the overlap between two people’s experience and thus creates a shared reality we accept as the way things are.

But, although I do love reading in general there are certain forms to the expression of writing that suit me better than others. One form that really doesn’t suit me (that I even can be said to despise) is the unannounced time jump. An author acknowledged for her literary brilliance and that everyone is supposed to love and revere is Toni Morrison. Although I am constantly struck by her lush and gorgeous diction, she seems to desire the instilment of confusion in her readers by constantly deciding to jump back and forth in time and not make it clear how the different moments in time a placed in relation to each other. Are we talking 2 months or 30 years? She drives me crazy when she does it and I end up not giving a shit about the characters she so beautifully describes to me.

What I really do love about Morrison’s and others’ form is the use of shorter sections. I hate having to put down a book in the middle of a chapter. So chapters that run at 10-20 pages are awesome because then you don’t have to take that break in the middle. An author who is horrible at this (and many other things) is Ayn Rand. How the hell do you expect me to sit concentrated and read a speech by a character that spans over 80 pages, and then some other context-text around it? It is not often I can take that kind of a reading stretch. As a tip for aspiring novelists and short storyists I would recommend building in even breaks in the work as to give a reading experience more suited for the ADD inherent in our culture today. Think about Roald Dahl. Why do we love Roald Dahl? He manages to construct an entire world, a hero, a villain, and a plot we care about in just a few pages, sometimes just one. His language is so powerful he doesn’t need a lot of it. Then he manages to build this tiny little chapters, for those moments when you may just have 10-20 minutes to escape the moment for another.


Why the bleep you should write?

This is the formulation I am really passionate about, and I can respond less dryly to. The easiest answer to the question I can give you is: Because words change people’s lives. Sociologist Anthony Giddens, although a crackpot of astronomical proportions, has argued several times how our identities, our senses of self, are constructed from narratives, narratives in constant motion and reformulation. Your life is not just one narrative; it is many narratives braided together, constructing the illusion of a whole. But there are always gaps. When we find a new gap we add a narrative, rewrite one, remove one, or whatever we feel necessary in order to build that illusion of a whole. But, the change constructs a new gap to be found, and we restart the process when we discover where it is.

Reading other stories and narratives, whether fictional or non-fiction helps us rewrite our own narratives, change them for the sake of accuracy, mystique, whims, or whatever reason you may have to change it. But, as you write novels and short stories, you are also negotiating your own narratives, trying to make sense of them, or maybe trying to build a friend. Writing is a vital part of life. It helps us deal with life by often being as unpredictable as life tends to be. If you have been writing for a while it has probably happened to you that unplanned characters and events just show up on the page because they simply need to be there. Later on, that character might receive a spin-off, generating another character who gets a spin-off of their own, which also tells stories about characters existing in the first story. This stuff happens because writing is living; it is breathing.

Everyone writes. Every account a person makes is a recollection, a reconstruction. In some ways it doesn’t matter if it is “true” or not, because the moment it is written, its existence is “true.” Whenever you doubt your writing, remember that you might help someone write themselves out of a destructive narrative. Think of a youtube video that went viral about a year ago, many months after first posted. It featured a boy telling a first-person-narrative about abuse, bullying, and self-destructive behavior through written notes. It generated a lot of responses in the form of other videos where people adopted his form to tell him he was not alone in his experience. It also generated responses saying that he was lying because he had posted another video months later where he was happy and in some parts retracted the first video. But the issue is that it doesn’t matter if he “lied.” Even if he “lied” he was telling a “truth,” but through himself rather than through another person.

I have rambled on for long enough. I’m just gonna add one more point to this ludicrous essay: The only writers I thoroughly enjoy reading are the ones who I believe are telling “A TRUTH,” writers like the youtube boy. If they capture a sense of a shared or private reality, I have to see that capture through. Maybe it is my reality, my narrative, or the student I will meet in class in the morning.

Van Zetreus

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Guest Posts


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Guest Post: Koda Boo

Happy Monday!

Here’s another guest post for you guys to enjoy! Koda is a personal friend of mine who is preparing to launch his own blog (stay tuned) and I asked him to share some of the troubles that he has as a blogger and let you in on his hints and tricks for overcoming them! At the very least, I hope you walk away from this blog thinking, “Oh! I’m NOT alone in this!”. Enjoy!


Hello everyone!

I’m Koda Boo. I’m a blogger, media whore, and most of all, I’m pretty bad ass (humble, aren’t I?)! I decided to write this article to help all of you other bloggers and creative professionals. I’m letting you get a little peek of what It’s like for me, venturing out into the word of blogging.

Let’s begin with some of the challenges I face as a writer, some of you can relate and I hope that this can help: 1) I am bat-shit crazy. I’m sure your thinking, “We gathered that much Koda, we’re not idiots.” Well I never! How dare all of you! There are millions of little voices and thoughts shooting through my brain at any given moment with virtually no organizational system! Focusing is clearly my main challenge. It’s probably from all the drugs. You know the ones, coffee and cigarettes.

More often than not, when I’m writing, my computer screen looks like Google exploded all over it! I’m pulling reference material, checking information, and really, just plowing my way through web pages just looking for something that inspires me. Keeping my head focused requires me to take a lot of breaks. Some you must be thinking, “BREAKS???? It must be nice to have the luxury of taking breaks!”! Well let me tell you kids… It’s not all roller coasters and rainbows, okay? I must take breaks to prevent me from literally throwing my computer across the room. At which point I would undoubtedly scuttle after it, picking up keys and body parts and screaming “Why!!!!! What have I done?!”. This is an important thing to remember: Unless you are up against a deadline, finding that you have procrastinated the week away and now find yourself rushing to the finish, BREAKS ARE OKAY! Keeping them to five minutes (no more) will allow you to keep your focus. I myself have ADHD (“We can see that.”) …rude. I must constantly refocus. I usually have two blank pages open. On one I have ramblings and nothingness; dialogues, snippets, facts, basically just whatever bull-shit I can spill out onto paper. I have these things because if I get stuck I can read that page and pull from it things that actually might work in the article I’m working on, or purge things that are flapping around in my brain that have nothing to do with it. On the other page I, of course, have the article. I try not to deconstruct from the first draft too much, usually if you keep tinkering with something you end up breaking it. IF IT’S NOT BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT!

2) Coming up with a concept isn’t really that difficult in theory. To me, it is akin to climbing Everest in a bikini. (“Why would you do that?!” you ask yourself.)

One thing I have learned from a dear friend is: Just throw it against the wall and go with whatever sticks.

Start off by typing out a list of random thoughts or titles for an article or story, just keep typing. Once you’ve managed a pretty lengthy list, re-read it and highlight the ones that stick out. Once you have a few highlighted items, you should define YOUR voice. What is it about you that makes you stand out above all the other bloggers out there? Personally, I have TERRIBLE grammar skills, and my punctuation (or lack thereof) has had me sent to the kilns on more than one occasion (sorry dears). BUT, comedy is something that I have a bit of a knack for, so naturally, I type the way that I would speak to a friend. Doesn’t work for everyone, but hey, that’s why you need to find out what your best foot is and step on it!

You know, many of my millions of adoring fans (hey, a girl can dream) often ask me how to really punch up their content. My answer is always the same and comes without pause: Visual content. Remember, there are those of us who can simply understand a concept from written word, and there are those of us that need shiny things that attract us to actually READ it. Which is why, of course, I’ve provided you with the stunning photo at the top (of who? Well me of course!)! Media is an important tool, and with all the free websites that allow you to make a collage, or customize an image, there really is no excuse other than laziness to take advantage and spruce things up a bit! Pages that are visually interesting and have a clear image of what it is you’re exploring in your piece tend to do much better than those that aren’t. It also helps to fill in those gaping, clinical white spaces filled with little black letters with a little pizzazz (Call me tacky…..I dare you! I’m only kidding of course!)!

My last three tips, I feel, are my most important little gems.

We’ll begin with: Constant content updates! Consistently updating your blog will keep readers engaged. I cannot even begin to tell you how irritating it is, to be captivated by a blogger and then three weeks go by and, nothing! Eventually, though it saddens me to do so, I must damn them to the trash can on my Google reader (tears). It’s not that I don’t love their content, it’s the laziness! Much like kids on leashes (let’s be honest: Children in general) bother me.

Next we must check in with our audience! Have them write in, keep them updated, provide them with a cute lil calendar of your posts (and for the love of god stick to your deadlines) anything that says “Hey there! I’m here for ya! Let me braid your hair!”

LASTLY: If you can engage your audience, get them involved and let them help to shape your content, you will be that much more successful. You can do this in many ways: Use social media outlets like Twitter, you can have them email in, you can create a poll, basically just get creative and get involved with who is driving your blog.

Well kids, that’s all I can give you for now! I’m just exhausted. I hope you found this informative!

Tah-tah for now.

Koda Boo.

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Guest Posts


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