The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Office cat’s guide to blogging

Office cat’s guide to blogging

Hi there, I’m Office Cat.  My pet, Kai, has graciously allowed me to come onto her blog today to introduce the ‘office cat guide to

Blogging’.  But first, may I offer my feline feliciations and give you an idea of who I am


Kushie, the Office Cat

and my (blogging) pedigree.

My name is Jenuine WildTansy, and I am an F4 Bengal.  But my mom (and pet) calls me Kushka, or Kushie, or Fuzzbutt, which is very undignified.

But what my pet has told me about Blogging is *really* valuable, so valuable in fact that I wanted to share.  She’s doing the 30 day challenge, and so am I!

From now on, the ‘Office Cat’s guide to Blogging’ will appear on WPforAuthors, but mom has graciously allowed me to start on her blog first, and get everyone interested.

And here’s my first tip.

1) Personality

Forget worrying about SEO, forget worrying about domain names, the first thing you’ve GOT to do is find your gorgeous voice.  Like my piercing stare, a gorgous, sleek voice will be strokable, skritchablle and entirely memorable.  Once you’ve got your voice, you can plan your blog.

Remember, I’m appearing DAILY at Wpforauthors, and I hope you’ll join me there from tomorrow!

Till next time!  Kushie, the Office Cat

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10 must have plugins for my blog

10 must have plugins for my blog

Zelfgemaakt captcha voorbeeld.
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been emailed lately about my tech ‘stuff’ after I accidentally outed myself as a WordPress aficionado in a community that thought I was ‘only a writer’. Oooops 😉

I’ve got about 23 plugins on this blog now – some are because I’m looking to see if I can replace a plugin that’s not quite doing what I want. But I’ve got a set of ten plugins that I like to use, and in the coming weeks, I’m going to try to put up some in-depth tutorials at my WPwonderwoman site. For now though, the ten recommendations 😉

  1. All in One SEO – whether I’m using Thesis or another theme with built-in SEO or not, I prefer to use All in One SEO – because I’m fickle when it comes to themes, and like to mix them up as often as I can. This way, I’m not losing all of my SEO fun stuff because I’ve suddenly disabled the theme that’s using it. It’s also number 1 because though SEO isn’t my top priority on this blog, it is in other places, to make sure the information gets spread out as far as it goes (such as bi-polarbears)
  2. After the Deadline – I discovered this plugin recently and it’s been something I’ve been looking for, for a while. Basically, it’s your ‘word’ grammar and spelling check – on your blog.
  3. Akismet – don’t overlook it just because it’s pre-bundled into WordPress (conversely I drop ‘Hello Dolly’ as soon as I start adding plugins). This small, but mighty plugin takes care of all my spam problems for me.
  4. Contact Form 7 – One of the biggest problems I’ve encountered with contact forms is spam. Contact form 7 lets me work on my site and have a contact form, without worrying about waking up to a bazillion spam messages.
  5. To make contact form 7 work, you need ‘Really simple CAPTCHA‘. If you’re having problems with spam, you can add the CAPTCHA to your comments too – there are instructions bundled with the plugin.
  6. Instant weekly roundup – this is a lifesaver plugin when you’re having to run a roundup of what you’ve done on your blog – it’s something I’ve missed about my blog lately, but this plugin makes it a snap. Just a couple of clicks and et viola – a ’roundup’ of your posts, with links so people can see what they’ve missed. Deep linking for the win!
  7. Zemanta – You know all the images and links in my post? I don’t search for them – they’re provided automatically based on what I write by a really neat plugin called ‘Zemanta’. It pulls information and presents it to you – you can then choose to insert or use the bits you want. It’s fun to watch the images at the side update too 😉
  8. Google XML sitemaps – absolutely must have to go with any SEO effort, this gives google a machine readable ‘site map’ outlining how your site links to pages etc. Perfect for hands off automation.
  9. WordPress Editorial Calendar – Gotta have this, especially as my goal now is to get material set up and ready to post in advance. Was recommended right at the beginning of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge and it’s been so worthwhile.
  10. Anything that tracks stats – I like WordPress Statistics, which gives me the opportunity to make sure that I’m getting traffic, and what’s popular so I can adjust what I’m posting.

Head nod to Glennette who raised a great point on a Facebook discussion -backing up. It
s crucial that you install a backup plugin – there are several brilliant ones – and I mntion them and the rest of these plugins in my blog startup guide. If you’ve got any suggestions, chuck em in the comments 😉
If you need more ideas, keyword tracking, posting direct to Ezine articles and do follow plugins are a great place to start 🙂 One of the other ’30 Day blog challengers’ (Glennete) is also publishing overviews of each plugin, so you should check them out 🙂

Premium Web Design – All in one SEO

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The difference between writing for publication (traditionally) and blogging

The difference between writing for publication (traditionally) and blogging

One of the biggest discussions I’ve been involved in recently between some of my closer friends and some newbies alike, is what the difference between traditional publication and blogging actually is.
SO I thought I’d sum up what I’ve had explained, what I understand and how, if anything,  this changes your view on blogging.


Legally, once you’ve blogged something, it is considered published.  In the case of stories, or poems, this means that if your blog is public, you’ve just given away first rights.  If your blog isn’t public and it’s locked to a group of friends, your mileage may vary basically.  It’s pretty safe to assume that anything over 10 sets of eyeballs is first rights, that way, you’re erring on the side of caution.

(exception – you can *self publish* something in PDF format to distribute to a tight list of friends – no matter how big that list, they are your beta readers – most publishers find this perfectly acceptable, but are a lot more picky about groups and blogs).

Legally, as in publication, you can be sued for  libel, even if you’re telling the truth.  So it’s important to be as careful as possible when writing.


On a personal level, most blogs are supposed to be more conversational than other forms of publication, but it’s pretty blurry.  Blogs are now used to host articles from magazines, to newspapers – to teenage angst, to birth stories, to death stories, photos to diagrams and technical information.  All of this leads to lots of confusion.

How about professionally?

Professionally, blogs are designed to promote something, but as blogs are supposed to bring people to a level of personal contact not possible on a website, it’s important to understand and see how you can do that, and still remain professional – yet personable.  It’s difficult basically.

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Ten more topics almost anyone can use

Ten more topics almost anyone can use

Gardener Gardening

Image via Wikipedia

After the vast amount of comments and attention the ‘topics anyone can use’ series has generated, both on my blog and in private on the mentoring group where I was the guest speaker this week, I thought I’d kick off my site ‘the status report’ with ten more topics here – and invite you to add ‘the status report’ to your RSS feeds.  I’ll talk markets (for fiction and non fiction),  timely topics with a couple of suggested slants, and, best of all, I’m going to feature one reader every week and talk about things they might want to talk about.  That’s right – you, oh faithful reader, can ask me what you might like to blog about.  And get traffic from ‘the status report’ to make you accountable 😉

You can find information on how to get in on the action on my blog feed later in the week but for now, as promised, 10 more topics almost anyone can use.

I’ve split the suggestions into tech (3), hobby (4) and general (3)


  1. There’s an app for that – solving a common problem in your community using (x) apps.  Don’t think of it as advertising (because it is a little) but more adding value and ability to your brand (YOU!).
  2. Latest advances in (your community here) – whether you’re a blogger, a soap and candle maker, deal in kid safety or internet safety or an internet consultant, your community is probably constantly evolving.  Highlight something and talk about whether it’s changed anything for you.
  3. How tech has changed your life…..anything that shows your readers what you use your ‘tech’ for is probably the best type of techie post that doesn’t require actual in depth technical knowledge.


  1. My desert island must haves – you have to run your business from a desert island – you can’t have all of your gadgets and things that make your life easier – how would you do it?
  2. (X) things I can’t live without – conversely, is there something that you just can’t live without?
  3. Great books in the hobby – great tools in the hobby – great materials – shout out to the things you appreciate most.
  4. Music to hobby by – give people an idea of what makes your environment perfect to work your hobby. (and don’t be afraid to tell them if your hobby is also for sale!)


  1. A big family adventure (if you’re comfortable posting about your family that is.  My family aren’t ‘named’ on any of my public areas – she’s PrincessPink (9) and he’s Teeniboi (11) because that’s where I’m most comfortable.  If you’re not comfortable sharing, how about showing off non identifying holiday photos?
  2. Do you (x) – kinda related to your hobby – in my case it would be either ‘do you game’ or ‘do you knit’ – both of which I’m a guest blogger on big blogs for.
  3. Share a cooking recipe – showing your roots is often a great way for people to feel instantly more connected to you and might answer something that people have looked for.  I’ve posted traditional Scottish recipes in the past and garnered bigger followings, so it does work.

Remember, you’re blogging to share with people, so it’s not *wrong* to keep your eye on subscribers, but you shouldn’t blog just to get more people interested – adding and sharing value with those already reading will allow you to spend time developing key online relationships and gain more blogging link backs.

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