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Best WordPress Themes

Best WordPress Themes

If your website were a car, I once heard someone say that WordPress is its engine. Then what is a WordPress theme? It’s the car’s paint job. The outer layer that makes the car look great.

I do okay with graphic design, but I know my limitations. That’s why I appreciate a good WordPress theme. It makes creating an attractive looking website MUCH easier.

Unfortunately, you could spend days looking through the hundreds, if not thousands, of different WordPress themes that are now available. None of us have them much time. Therefore, I’ve pulled together the best WordPress themes that I think will help make your life easier and your website better.

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Top WordPress Comments Tools

Top WordPress Comments Tools

In order to encourage your audience to become more involved in your community, you not only want to allow them to share their comments, you also need to provide them the ability to give feedback on other people’s comments. Commenting on existing comments is one option. But you will increase feedback and interaction if you make it easier by giving them the ability to vote on comments. I’ve pulled together a list of some of the best tools you can use to allow your readers to comment and vote on comments. A few of them tools even allow

A few of them tools even allow users to attach images and videos to their comments. This can be particularly helpful for various Story Marketing techniques. If you want to encourage your readers to dress up as one of the characters in your books and share the photo on your website, you’ll need to provide them with the ability to easily share the photo. Want to encourage your audience to create fan art, again, your website will need to be able to not only allow them to submit their images, but if you want other readers to choose the best images, you’ll need to a tool to allow them to vote on the images and easily tally up the results.

Below are some of the top WordPress comments tools that are available.

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webinar services

Best Affordable Webinar Services

The Best Affordable Webinar Services

A great way to connect with your readers is to invite them to join a webinar you are hosting. During the webinar, you can answer questions from readers, read a short piece from your book, and do any combination of Story Marketing techniques.

There are many well-known webinar tools available, but unfortunately, many of them require you to pay expensive monthly fees. As an author working to build your audience, you need to spend your money wisely. Therefore, I have researched and found some of the best, yet affordable webinar services available to you.

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Best Survey Tools

Best Survey Tools

Surveys can be an effective tool to gather feedback from your readers and to help them take some of their first steps in interacting more with you and other readers.

Because you’re an author, and probably not an IT expert, I’ve pulled together a list of good survey tools to help you gather feedback from your readers. You have the option of either installing a plugin (small piece of software) into your WordPress site or you can use one of the various online survey services that allow you to then embed your survey onto a page on your website. I’ve listed below both free and paid versions to meet your particular needs.

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free stock image and photo websites

Best Websites for Free Stock Images and Photos

Need free images and photos for your website and other purposes? Below is a list of the best websites for free stock images and photos.

Everyone quickly learns that a blog post is far more attractive to visitors when it includes images, but we can’t always afford to pay the per image or monthly subscription fees that many of the stock photo websites charge. As a result, individuals often search for photos online and post them on their website. This is a dangerous thing to do. Just because someone posted a photo on their website and Google has picked it up with their search engine does not mean others have the legal right to use that photo elsewhere.

Even if you find a photo on a photo sharing site like Flickr, the owner of the photo can have many different restrictions on others using their image. Some allow use for personal (but not commercial) use. Others may allow personal and commercial use but you must provide attribution (include a note identifying the source of the image). Under the Creative Commons Zero license, you can use an image free for personal and commercial purpose and attribution is not required. This can be confusing and time consuming to double check the license restrictions on some websites to avoid using images without proper permission and breaking the law.

Good News!

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Create a Student and Teacher Study Guide for Your Novel

Creating a student and teacher study guide for your novel is one of the best tools to help market your book if it’s targeted for children, middle-grade, or young adult readers. Rather than sell a single book at a time, if your story is selected by a teacher, or an entire school, to be studied, you have the opportunity to sell multiple copies of your book.

There’s one catch. Teachers have a lot of responsibilities and limited time to create new lesson plans.

Besides writing a great story, one of the best ways to convince a teacher to select your book over another story, is to make it EASY for the teacher to use your book in their classroom. You do this by creating a student guide for your novel.

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Creating a Book Club Reading Guide for Your Novel

Creating a reading guide for book clubs will encourage readers to choose your story for their book club. This is a great way to spread the word of your book with more people.

Unlike a book study guide for students, a reading guide for book clubs focuses more on the theme and how the story relates to the readers’ lives.

Below are some links with suggestions to help you create your own book club reading guide.

http://www.readinggroupguides.com/what-to-do-when-no-discussion-guide-is-available

http://jordanmccollum.com/2013/08/write-discussion-questions-novel/

https://www.bookbrowse.com/bookclubs/advice/index.cfm/fuseaction/diy_guides? Continue reading

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Selecting an Email Marketing Service

Email Marketing Service Options – Too Many Choices – Too Little Time

Selecting an Email Marketing Service is just one of numerous decisions you need to make when trying to grow your writing business. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the choices. Because of that, if you are just beginning to build an email list and are trying to decide which Email Service Provider to use, I would recommend selecting one of the most popular solutions. These include:

Many authors start out with MailChimp as their Email Service Provider because it has a free level until their email list grows a little larger. But be aware that the free account has limited functionality and does not at this time include the email automation tools that other paid Email Marketing Service plans include. I prefer GetReponse and AWeber because they provide great telephone customer support and can help you set up your account and email list if you have any problems. They’re also very quick to answer any other questions.

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Customer Satisfaction – Understanding Your Customer

Customer Satisfaction – Understanding Your Customer

Customer satisfaction is best achieved by first understanding your customer. Companies that provide customer satisfaction, or even better customer enthusiasm, benefit from greater profits, happier employees, and greater purpose.

Below are some great tips from top experts about the value of customer satisfaction and how your business can achieve greater customer satisfaction through understanding your customer better.

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