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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Secret Blogging Ways of the Ninja Captain

The Man Who Needs No Hyperlink himself, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. *I feel a squee coming on*

I’m here today to share some tips about blogging. But wait, do Ninjas share their secrets? Well, this one does, because they aren’t really secrets. They are just things I’ve learned in the past four years of blogging.

It’s taken me time to build up readership of my blog. Counting all sources, I have way over two thousand followers now. But I remember when I only had thirty, and that was after over four months of blogging. Fortunately, I figured out how to do it better.

Here are my Ninja blogging secrets:

I found my groove. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to blog about. Once I found my groove, it became easier and more enjoyable. As writers, we have to find our groove in the balance between what we enjoy and what will attract our audience. I’m a science fiction writer, so a lot of my posts feature genre movies, books, and even music.

I learned how to be a better follower and commenter. I don’t follow every single person back (as sometimes I can’t find a blog to follow) but I follow most. If someone comments on my blog, I visit and comment on his. It’s about being willing to make friends.

I focus more on others than I do on myself. I was always open to guest posts, but as my blog grew in size, I realized it could really benefit others. I started the Ninja News, featuring the accomplishments of my fellow bloggers. People have dubbed my blog the water cooler, gathering to get the latest news. How do I keep up with everything? When I come across someone’s cool news, I copy the web address and note what happened in a Word file for my next post. By the time I am ready to put that post together, I already have five or six items to include.

I post on a regular schedule and only when I am available. Except for the A to Z Challenge, I post Monday-Wednesday-Friday. It’s easier to keep up with someone when you know when he’s going to post. If I won’t be available one of those days, I just don’t post. (And I’ll announce that ahead of time.) I don’t expect others to visit me if I can’t visit them.

I’m involved in the community. I participate in blogfests and I’ve hosted a dozen of my own. (It’s much more fun to host!) I’m also an A to Z Challenge co-host, managing the massive Linky List and visiting others. Two years ago I started the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, now over three hundred members strong, and it’s been a total blessing to all involved.

I visit a lot of blogs. I average a hundred blogs a day, more on Mondays and way more on IWSG post day and during the A to Z Challenge. My circle of friends just keeps growing and I do my best to visit everyone. My secret is that I can blog from my job. (Which I do while working and watching a movie at the same time!) Since most people don’t have that luxury, I advise them to select a core group of twenty-thirty friends and set aside enough time throughout the day to visit them.

The most important thing is you have to really care about others and be willing to give of yourself. If you’re negative or blogging for the wrong reasons, it will be painfully obvious.

See? None of those things are really secrets nor are they that difficult. Everyone can do them – just start small and build.

One day you might have a Ninja Army as well!




CassaStorm
By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.
– Edi’s Book Lighhouse

"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together."
- Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes

Available September 17, 2013
$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17670532-cassastorm
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Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.


54 comments:

Christine Monson said...

Oh my gosh, Alex! This post is amazing and so touching. I'm happy to be a ninja. Congrats on all your success and future endeavors.

Julie Flanders said...

Always great to get tips from Alex. Wonderful post and like Christine I'm also happy to be a Ninja. :)

DAVID WALSTON said...

Alex, I always enjoy reading whatever it is you write. I can tell you put yourself into it and that is what makes it special. I once just followed blogs of people and things I liked. Every blog I would visit you were there commenting. Seeing all the support the Bloggers had for each other let me have the confidence to start writing, and blogging. Keep up the Great work! Sorry for the long post.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Alex. As always, great tips. Thanks!

S.K. Anthony said...

Really awesome and simple tips, thanks Alex!

(though, it still seems like you have an extra hour or so in your day than the rest of us lol)

Six more days!!!!!! :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Christine!

David, appreciate that!

SK, just a few extra clones, that's all. And yes - six more days!

Heather M. Gardner said...

A true gentlemen.

Thank you, Alex!

Heather

Tina said...

Yup, that sums you up very well. Now hand over a clone, goshdernit.
Tina @ Life is Good

Pat Hatt said...

Agree in every way and i can blog from work too, allows me to go to a ton a day as well, even with one working arm lol

Crystal Collier said...

Aha! I was pretty sure you were online WAY more than I am. Now I know. Ooh...! ;)

L.G. Smith said...

I think I hit sixty blogs one day while co-hosting a blogfest. I was pretty worn out by the end of the day. That's a lot of reading and commenting. I bow down to your superior Ninja blogging strengths. :))

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great tips from a very generous blogger. Looking forward to CassaStorm!

Andrew Leon said...

I'm not certain that if I did nothing else but visit other blogs that I would be able to 100 a day. :P

Roland D. Yeomans said...

100 a day? How do you do it?

Julie Luek said...

You've done an amazing job finding your niche and developing a community. All the best to you in your book sales. I hope it's the best one yet.

Christine Rains said...

Excellent tips, Alex. I agree it's about connecting with others and giving back. I wish I had time to visit as many blogs as you a day. I suppose you're not ready to share your secret of how to make clones yet?

Liz Blocker said...

AWESOME post, Alex. I've often - and I mean OFTEN - wondered how on earth you manage to visit everyone, all the time. It's incredibly impressive.

The other tips are great, and really appreciated. Ticking up the follower count... one at a time...

Suzanne Furness said...

Always good to have an insight into the Ninja's tips. 2000 followers, wow!

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

I gotta say, that is the coolest author photo ever. And it goes so well with our color scheme on UB!

Thanks for participating, Alex. Much appreciated.

psssst--obviously you have Hermione's time-turner watch to help you comment. Where can I get one? I won't tell. Promise.

D.G. Hudson said...

Alex - It's amazing that you can reach 100 a day. I found it difficult during the A to Z in 2012. I think you have a routine and a plan that enables you, maybe a macro?. (especially if you can work, watch a movie and visit bloggers - you're a multi-tasker par excellence!)

Nice to see Alex in this space! Thanks for having the Ninja Master.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tina, right away!

Pat, you got that right.

Andrew, it's all in the reflexes.

Roland, clones and lots of them.

Christine, no, but I will let you have one pass through the clone machine.

Huntress, thanks again! Now, to get that watch, you have to go to Hogwarts...

DG, I have it down to a science...

Thanks everyone!

TS Hendrik said...

If I had a ninja army I would take back the night! I heard that in a movie once. Still not sure what it means...

Great tips Alex.

Al Diaz said...

The key for blogging success, easy and simple! :)

Sherry Ellis said...

You really do a great job of following and promoting other bloggers. And you're right - that's the key to your success!

Misha Gericke said...

Great tips! It's actually common sense. :-)

M Pax said...

The new book is almost out! Congrats Alex!

And congrats on your latest release, Jessica.

Melissa said...

You can blog from work -- THAT's how you do it. (I knew you had some secret advantage. :P)

Great post. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

TS, I don't know either...

Thank you Sherry.

Mary, yes - six days!

Melissa, it does help.

Helena said...

Alex my dear, what you didn't say about successful blogging is that you're a natural at it because you're naturally friendly, supportive, generous and funny.

Michelle Wallace said...

Great tips!
It's that easy... plus being able to blog from work does help.
You rock Alex!
Writer In Transit

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing your secrets, Alex. And I like that you gave us a goal we can manage if we can't blog from work. You sound like you have a dream job.

Jo said...

Great post Alex. Only just learned, from Jeff, that you lived in SC. Pity you couldn't have made it to the meet as well.

Looking forward to the 17th.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great post. Love the Cap'n's philosophy.

"I learned how to be a better follower and commenter. I don’t follow every single person back (as sometimes I can’t find a blog to follow) but I follow most. If someone comments on my blog, I visit and comment on his. It’s about being willing to make friends."

That's why I've had to limit how many days I post (except this week...and others). If people visit and comment on my blog I will comment back if I can find their blogs and follow if that's an option. If I do that every day, there's no time for writing. :D

Bish Denham said...

You aren't called The Ninja for nothing. And a BIG HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on your THIRD BOOK!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Helena.

Natalie, I do!

Jo, actually North, in the middle.

Donna, exactly! That's why I only post three days a week.

Thanks, Bish!

Ella said...

Alex you rock! You have earned the Ninja star ;D I wish I had your skills. I might have a chance, when my life shifts next year. Right now, it appears I live in a loud frat house. (My kids are fun, so I will enjoy the crazy!)

Three is key! Congrats Alex :D

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks for describing your process of providing an amazing site for blogging and so much more!

Nancy Thompson said...

Alex, you are definitely the King of Blogging! I seriously don't know how you manage to write, edit, blog, & promote without drowning. You need to write a book on that!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Okay, I've got the caring part down...now to make my brain work faster and read more quickly.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ella, I get a Ninja star? Very cool! Just enjoy your kids.

Nancy, if only I were to keep writing.

Elizabeth, ironically I am a slow reader and even slower typist.

klahanie said...

Good grief and credit to Unicorn Bell for having the ninja dude or dudes, come a visiting :)

I'm impressed and I share your ethos, Alex. One big difference is that I'm much more in the background doing similar to you.

We both want to realise the true ideals of a sharing, caring, all equal, all different blogging community.

I believe I could comment as quickly as you if I didn't comment so fully on my own site to everybody who comments. I also could leave shorter comments on other sites. That would help, me thinks. I also need a faster computer and a clone!

Excellent stuff, Alex. Kudos to you, my friend. And kudos to Unicorn Bell.

Gary :)

Tara Tyler said...

of course. alex is awesome!
i wonder if that's really his silhouette? The most anyone has seen of the mysterious blogging ninja master...

happy book launch!

Kirsten said...

Some great thoughts here, and I agree with all of them, especially about commenting and following back. I don't post either if I don't have time to comment back--although unfortunately that means my posts can be sporadic.

Huge congrats on CassaStorm! I can't wait to get my copy. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Gary, you do an excellent job and are a shining example of a giving and a great attitude.

Tar, that's really me and my Les Paul guitar! One of them anyway.

Thanks, Kristen!

Medeia Sharif said...

That's a great way to blog. I follow and comment back.

I just purchased book 3. Yay, I have a copy.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Alex knows how to do it right.

Yolanda Renee said...

Great advice, definitely trying to follow it!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great tips, Alex!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Thanks Alex for these wonderful and simple tips. I have always found you eager to share other bloggers' good news. Your blog is less about you and more about us(your blog buddies).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Medeia, thanks!!

Rachna, that's how I like it.

Thanks everyone!

Jeremy [Retro] said...

I don't know how he does it, great dedication and a whole amount of talent. Alex is one of those people the people want to know. Great Post to you Alex and thanks for letting him host.

Brandon Ax said...

It is awesome to peak behind the curtain of the master. Good stuff here.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I agree with Brandon! It's amazing how you make it look so easy!

Julie

T.F. Walsh said...

Fantastic insight... thanks for sharing with us.

Congrats, Alex:)