Trends in Writing, The Arts, Regional Events, and High Desert Living

Posts tagged Blog Networks

Share Your Event with our Blogging Network

Like a Pebble Dropped in a Pond

Like a Pebble Dropped in a Pond

Does your business have a new event to share or mile marker in its history? A celebration? An anniversary? Get the word out to hundreds of blog readers who follow on High Desert then tell them about your shop.

How long have you been in business? What is your specialty? Are you only online or do you have a storefront as well? What’s your address? Do you sell to a certain age group or specific interest? Do you have an active web site? Please share with us.

What days are you open?

What hours are you open?

Do you have sales days or use coupons?

Can shoppers use credit cards, debit cards, or gift cards?

What’s your shop’s telephone number, fax number, and do you have a toll-free number?

These are the basic questions that readers ask us.

Don’t forget to list all of your supported social media connections. Facebook. LinkedIn. Twitter. The list goes on …

In every case, you’ll find a new shopper, a new friend, and a new connection. That’s what blogging and networking is all about? Like dropping a pebble in a pond.

If you feel that networking and blogging are taking too much of your time, you can hire someone to do that task for you. Virtual Assistants and  business bloggers are all around. Let us know if you need some help.

Rusty LaGrange

How Do You Use Conference Time to Your Benefit?

Everyone hears that to promote your company, your idea, or your service, you should network with other business owners. So you’ve just returned from a 3-day conference at “Universal Whatcha-Call-it.” You’re tired and just want to relax. Then you see the pile of business card you judicially collected during the weekend.


business cards Overwhelm

How Can You Manage Business Cards When You Get Home?

Don’t ignore them. They’re gold.

Here’s some ideas that will help you collect more than paper:


Business cards – Those simple cards are really each prospect, a live person that seemed interested in what you had to offer. Image that each card you collect is filled with the expectation that you generated. Will you follow up? You bet. They expect it.

Write a “selfie” prompt
– A keyword or two will help you remember.  Take time right now and write an association word on each card that can trigger your memory later. Your brain is still on overload. Just make a note so you can have peaceful sleep.

Shuffle the deck
 – Decide on four classifications that you can place a business card into. Use color coding with a marker across the top, or a rubber band. Consider these categories: a) a good fit, b) maybe an affiliate or Joint Venture, c) too general to be different, and d) not interested or way out of the categories that you feel comfortable in. Make the first two groups your contacts but make the first group a high priority.

Journal your thoughts or conceptions
 – You’re going to get some brilliant ideas that you will lose as soon as you leave the conference room. Those little thoughts that sprout into a Joint Venture are often captured in written notes, tapes, or personal recorders. Although, some use recorders, it can be intimidating; some use index cards and sort them easily. You decide.


Take lots of pictures and upload online – One of the newest trends is to take photos, associate them with the client prospect, and post them on a convention gallery. People love to see and be seen at events. There are ultra small cameras now that you can use with discretion. Be sure to get their name, business, and website — ask first for photo permission.


Use your sincere interest and listening skills – It’s good business practice to listen to the prime speaker in any group. Take time to analyze the subject, add your two-cents when appropriate, then listen some more. Try not to interrupt just to hand that person a business card. That’s rude. Are you a good fit for that business? Ask them a question or two, then decide if you might form a new friendship. Tell them your aptitude for business that will enhance theirs. They won’t know unless you ask.


Be a person of change – While you may not do anything resounding while in session, you might take a carload of attendees to a nice place for dinner, showing them around town can break the ice later. Maybe two people that seem like a good match would not have met unless you brought them together. Watch for possibilities. It’s not just about you.


Mingle in and out – Place yourself in an unfamiliar group. It’s tough for some to do, especially when they don’t see any friendly faces. Move on to another group. Cliques form quickly, so maybe you’ll find one by cruising and using your networking skills.


Take time to shop from the display tables – Sure there’s a lot of self-promotional materials there, but you’ll also find reduced prices, a speaker’s course options, and book sales. Bringing home a book from your favorite speaker will be more beneficial down the road.


Spend quality time to send out notes – Did you know that 90% of attendees never follow-up with a card or email note? You have all those business cards and connections. Remember how your classified cards and notes were arranged? Now it’s going to be easy for you to follow up. Send out a short, friendly email to categories, “a”, “b,” and “c”. If you can personalize it with a memory, do it. E-mails will be ignored just as fast as you scan through your email subjects after a long weekend. Take the time to catch their attention in the subject line. Warning! Never automatically send emails to all persons at once without using the “Blind copy” line on your email window. Business people abhor the overflow of spam and linked emails.


So you’ve made it through another long and busy weekend. When you begin calling on your potential prospects, don’t slam your foot in their door. Always be respectful and professional in order to gain new and beneficial contacts/clients.



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A Flair For

A Flair For the Old

My Rusty Bucket

A Blogger’s Interferences

Angie's Facebook PhotoWhat can a blogger do when faced with impossibilities that hinder blogging? Frustrations like major computer problems can be a major setback. Sometimes you just have to wait. Put blogging on hold when circumstances do not allow for posting.

Recently my computer started freezing up. A friend was so kind to work on it for me though he recommended that I purchase a new computer. Blogging became impossible. The computer continued to freeze up after 20 or 30 minutes. There was the possibility of going to the library but no time in my schedule to do so. Friends would offer to let me use their home computers. Half an hour occasionally might be fine, but blogging takes more than thirty minutes per week. There was nothing to do but wait until I could get another laptop, an investment I consider necessary for a person who is serious about blogging. Off to Black Friday computer sales I went with my daughter and son-in-law and my tiny-tot granddaughter.

I was reminded of an important lesson during my few weeks of slacking in blog posting. When events happen that you can’t control and that you can’t back up to do differently, you have to face the inevitable. You must deal with the reality of your situation and go forward. Do something inspiring. For instance, I chose to participate in the annual November fiction and nonfiction writing. Although a goal of 50,000 words I didn’t reach, I did accomplish a decent word count for my next book about blogging.

Technical computer difficulties, busy schedules, holidays or vacations may cause your blogging to come to a halt. You can ask others to submit guest posts for you during this time. If you have a network of consistent bloggers, ask for their assistance. Accept the change that has set you back, and look for ways to become creative. Read books. Listen to music. Meet people. Visit with friends. All of these can inspire you. Once you’re back to blogging, you’ll be ready to inspire others.


High Traffic Linking Exposes Your Web Site to More Visitors — Strategy #7

One of the ways to generate new links to your web site, your blog, or your service, is to think about sites that would benefit from linking to you but don’t. Why not? Because they may not know you exist.

This might seem like you’re doing the other person’s work here, and you are, but it will benefit you in the long run.

For example, if your site is about traveling in the High Desert, and you come across other sites that offer, let’s say, camping ideas, one-day excursions, how to save money while adventuring in the High Desert, and let’s add, desert survival tactics. In each of these diverse possible web sites lay the potential to develop a venture partnership.


STRATEGY #7 — Go after higher traffic sites that will enhance both your’s and their’s

Venture partnerships don’t need to include money or investment, just the mutual assistance of each other’s storefronts. You won’t be shackled to them forever, just enhancing the mutual sharing of interests. First off, send them a polite and business-toned, simple email and see what they say about it. If they aren’t sure, ask them if you could make a guest post on their site to “test the waters.” Linking is enhanced networking that stays on the page, giving longevity to the link.

While some web creators overload their pages with links. You know one when you see one. A good link strategy is less overwhelming and specific to your theme or business. Less is more. Quality over quantity.

After this first contact, go visit their site and make helpful comments to their readers to show that you do care and read the other site. This basic and friendly gesture is usually met with a friendly gesture in turn. After awhile, test to see if your mutual linking is benefitting both of you. If not, kindly say that the linking is not broadening your viewership. Ask for any new links that they may share and be sure to reciprocate the offer.

Even after that, linking partnerships may dissolve, be friendly and move on to other potential ventures.

It’s wise to keep a folder of the contacts you’ve made, the business person who gave you the links, how well it did, and the email response they first gave you. The next time you look for a good link, you’ll already have half the work complete — a great intro email letter.

 Rusty LaGrange


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Keywords are Just One of 15 Ways to Bring More High Desert Links to Your Blog

In this third installment, I will share another good strategy to strengthen your  audience followers. So, if learning the basics of linking has you stumped, then follow along for the next few weeks as I help you navigate the new trends.

 Strategy #3


Source: via Janice on Pinterest

If you’re aware of how links are set up, you’ll find that links go hand-in-hand with the use of “keywords”. If your blog is about a garden, you’ll need to narrow your keywords to the more specific words that will direct readers to you. So, is it a garden of flowers or herbs? Does it attract certain birds or butterflies? See? It could be one of hundreds.

To drill down to the specific keywords, think about how your readers may have found you. Did they type in High Desert Gardens into the search bar? Or did they find your blog by specifically looking for “yellow desert cacti blooms”?

You’ll need to place yourself in your new visitor’s shoes. Bring them to you with the keywords they might use to find you. Once you have these in a list, now it’s time to search for other sites that you have in common. Use your keywords to find other sites that would be a strong natural link.

Your search may find appropriate links from a corporate site, a YouTube video, a testimonial on Amazon, or even an industry blog about the garden topics you both support. If they are getting good traffic to their site, then it will be a better fit for you, too. Ask to link and begin a new source of traffic to your blog.


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sites at:
and my newest site

Better Ways to Link and Draw More Readers in the High Desert

In this fourth installment, learn how good diversified strategies can strengthen your  readership. So, if learning the basics of linking has you stumped, then follow along for the next few weeks as I help you navigate the new trends.

Strategy #4


I’ll admit that I am not the best “techie” when it comes to using new audio / video links and making them useful. However, I know that if others are using new technology to bring readers to their blogs then I can take full advantage of their linking to help my blog.

This next installment is about how many different tools can strengthen your audience.



Remember back in school when teachers taught students with different methods of teaching? Like those with visual learning loved to watch movies. Those with dexterity loved to write the lessons out.  Some students didn’t have a clue until they were introduced to a new teaching tool that worked for them. Many students strived once the computer was introduced as a teaching tool.

It’s the same way today. If you can catch more visitors by using video on your site, then that’s your best strategy. Large graphs and cool photos are often enough to trap a visitor for several minutes. And, that’s enough time to make him see what you have to offer on your pages or post.

You can create a newsletter, some PR articles, and a testimonial for a product you have. The best strategy is to add links to each of these separate tools so your readers will return to your pages to see more of what you have to offer. Remember the influencers we talked about earlier? Now it’s time to ask from them a testimonial on your behalf.  Learn how to add ALT links on to your photos. When someone “mouses” over your photo, they will see a link back to your pages. Alternate links can be embedded almost anywhere.

And if you don’t know how to use these new tools, ask someone who uses them. Or search for keywords that will help you find tutorials about using these tools. It’s just like that new cellphone you own. Asking your grandson to help you with contacts, will make some progress but learning how to use the cellphone by yourself is much more productive.

It’s time to go back to school.


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Gearing Up For BlogStorm 2012


Just six more days until our Blogging Workshop…

Will you be there to learn how to optimize your current blog? Have you started a blog but not really sure how to keep it going strong? Does your blog seem to bog down?

Get some great techniques, network with others, and become a more confident blogger with a plan. At the BlogStorm 2012 workshop you’ll be among four blogging entrepreneurs who can help you:

*  design your blog

*  organize your next ideas

*  get resources to propel your blog to the next level

*  drive more traffic to your blog

Just scroll down or click over to BlogStorm 2012 page and sign up. Pay now and guarantee your place. Seats are limited.

So, if you’ve thought long and hard but just don’t know how to start your blog, you’ll get hands-on help to get you blogging up a storm of informative posts, and networking with High Desert’s best.

Join us.


Blogstorm Workshop, Hesperia

Date: Saturday, March 31, 2012 Time: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Place: Holiday Inn Express, Hesperia  Cost: $70.00
Opportunity to network your blog/business/product/service at workshop. Exciting blog critique sessions planned. You will learn how to:

  • find your niche
  • start a blog for personal or business,
  • drive traffic to your blog,
  • network,
  • make money blogging.

BlogStorm Workshop 1 Person

Workshop 2 Family Members

Contact Angie at for more information.

Rusty LaGrange

Need Traffic for Your Blog? Join High Desert Blogging Network

Problogger Bill Belew

Do people still make money blogging? Bill Belew does.

He pays his Silicon Valley mortgage through “advertising revenue ONLY generated purely from traffic to his blogs.” Who is Bill Belew? Author of How to make money blogging (50 steps to effective blogging and serious web traffic) and mini-series on How to Create a Blog. A problogger who blogs daily. Blogging coach and author of blogging advice tips that you can have access to when you join High Desert Blogging Network.


What is High Desert Blogging Network, and who is it for? It’s:

  • a blog network that bloggers can join to grow their blogs.
  • for individuals who want to drive traffic to their blogs.
  • for entrepreneurs who want to advertise products and services to High Desert cities.
  • for authors who want to promote their books.

Do any of these fit you? Are you committed to making money through blogging? Maybe you have a service or product to sell but don’t have a blog. You can set up a blog and either do the blogging yourself or hire a blogger. Blogging works. It doesn’t work, however, if nobody’s blogging on the blog.

Ready to see your blog traffic numbers grow? We can help you make that happen when you become part of our blog network. Experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technicians do what they are good at. That is the tech stuff it takes to drive the traffic from our network to your blog, from your blog to our network. You don’t have to worry about figuring out the SEO tech info. Leave the SEO details to the techs and just blog.

How do you join the network? There is an initial set up that connects your blog to our network. Three set-up fee options are available. View options, and choose the one that is best for you.

Grow your blog. A blog that makes money has traffic.


High Desert Bloggers Meetup Networking in Apple Valley


High Desert Bloggers Meetup at Apple Valley

High Desert Bloggers Meetupgroup saw exciting networking results today at Starbucks in Apple Valley. It began with a Meetup sign we placed on the table. A gentleman walked over to our table and introduced himself as John.

John with Blankies and Towl's For Animals

I said, “Hi, I’m Angie. He said, “I know. I saw your sign and looked your website up on the Internet and on Facebook.” That was just the beginning.

Today our Meetup scheduled topic was “Network and Blog.” Instructions on our Meetup site for this meeting: “It’s a blogging session, so bring your laptop and blog with other High Desert bloggers. Blogging Q&A OK. Find out current High Desert blogging news.” High Desert blogging news found us. When John told us about his volunteering with Blankies and Towl’s For Animals,  my blogging teammate and husband High Desert Greg was busily blogging about the fascinating animal rescue experiences John was sharing.

After John left, High Desert Blogger Rusty and I worked on a few blogging Q&A’s and discussed our new blogging network about to be launched. A lady sitting next to Rusty had overheard our blogging discussion and asked what was the name of our business. We discovered that this lady, Miss Bertie, also blogs. She makes art out of recycled materials.

After Rusty left, two ladies sat down at the table next to me. Recognizing one of them as a lady I had met once at an antique shop, the Blue Goose in Hesperia. What a coincidence. Or was it? I’m of the opinion that things happen for a purpose. I started this day with a purpose – network and blog. The purpose was fulfilled, and I met two new interesting High Desert individuals who will be presenting their stories in the near future to High Desert Blogging. To top it off, I connected with a lady named Kim that I had only met once previously. This is an example of how blogging goes hand in hand with face-to-face networking.

Keep blogging – and put a face to your networking.

How Do You Decide What to Blog About in the High Desert?

High Desert Bloggers, a Meetup group, at Bodacious Bundts, 17051 Main St., Hesperia

High Desert Blogging is about exactly what it says. High Desert and blogging. I love to blog, network with bloggers, and learn about the people and places in the High Desert. How I often decide what to blog about is think about the people I’ve met, places and things of interest, and my niches.

Do bloggers experience writers’ block – or bloggers’ block? No reason to. Let me explain why. There is a verse in the Bible, Proverbs 18:24, that says “he that hath friends must show himself friendly.” Now what does that have to do with blogging? Part of blogging has to do with sitting yourself down and writing every day. But meeting people face to face with a friendly greeting and smile is also part of blogging.

What would the desert be without the people? Think about what you can blog about that has to do with meeting people. Interviews. Ghostwriting. Social networking.

Get out a piece of paper. Write numbers one through ten. Make a list of things that interest you. It can be what you’re an expert at or something you’re curious about and want to learn.

I’ve made a list of ten things to blog about and have more that I didn’t list here. When you think you’re getting bloggers’ block, get that list out and start blogging.

Meetup.comHigh Desert Bloggers Meetup

    1. Blog Networks
    2. Making money blogging
    3. A blogger’s office
    4. Meeting High Desert bloggers
    5. Blogging at Starbucks

      My "office" at Starbucks.

    6. Entrepreneurs that I meet in the High Desert
    7. Libraries in the High Desert
    8. Inspiring teaching I hear at church
    9. High Desert California Writers Club Branch, Apple Valley

Write notes of things you see, like a coyote running across the road in front of you, and file the notes. When you start having a difficult time determing what to blog about, get the list out. Start blogging.

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