A Blogger’s Little Toolbook™ — First Content Resources Book in New Series


I’ve just published the first book in planned series of content resources books.  It’s titled  A Blogger’s Little Toolbook™: Content Boxes for WP Posts. You can get it at https://www.amazon.com/Bloggers-Little-Toolbook-Content-Boxes/dp/198111663X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511824305&sr=1-1&keywords=blogger%27s+little+toolbook

This particular series, A Blogger’s Little Toolbook™, is obviously for bloggers.  The first volume offers reusable cut and paste content box templates.  I plan to do more books in this series, with a variety of content types.  And I plan to do more than one content resources book series.

But wait! What’s a content resources book?

A content resources book provides reusable content such as clip art, advertising swipe files, quotations, “how to say it” phrases and paragraphs, illustrations, layouts, music, story plots, non-fiction outlines, templates for both design and writing, and just about any other elements that you can imagine being useful in creating your own publications.

One good example of reusable artistic content is the Dover series of books.

The assets in a content resources book may be licensed for use as royalty-free with some
restrictions or may be free to use in any way you like, simply for the price of the book. Some content books may include instructions on how to use the content. Others may simply provide the content.

I’ve long planned to make content resources books.  Finally, I’ve got one done.  It’s much shorter than I planned originally.  I was going to make a greater number of templates available as an add-on to a blog post I made.

You see, as a kind of proof of concept, not long ago I made a long blog post of 26 templates for creating content boxes in individual WP posts.  If you’ve got the right theme or plugin, you can do this easily with WP pages, but it’s really difficult with just one post.  Unless you can code it yourself.  And have the right WP editor.

So, I created pre-coded templates for such content boxes as well as simple instructions on how to use them.  It was just cut and paste.  The post I made was entirely written in the code.  To prove that it worked.  None of the images of content boxes were actually images. They were just code.  All the user had to do was cut the code written on the post and paste it into a WP editor.

I’ve removed the post because I’ve used it to create a book.  And a free pdf version to go with it that makes it possible to cut and paste without having to scan the book or type it in.  I have colleagues who suggested that since it’s difficult to get pre-coded content boxes (except included in a theme) for love or money, I should stop messing around and start publishing with the ones I already had.  I know they’re right.  The reason I wrote my own is that I couldn’t just buy some already made.  So I followed the advice.

But even better than getting out a book, I now have at least a year’s worth of blog ideas about the trials and tribulations of self-publishing on CreateSpace.  That’s in addition to the experiences I’ve had publishing on Kindle. (Just kidding. I learned a lot and had some fun.)

Work Quotes and Misquotes: Thomas Edison

Well, Thomas Edison would know about hard work!


Thomas Edison has been misquoted as saying he tried 5,000 times to create the light bulb before succeeding. Sometimes the number has been reported as 10,000. But there is no evidence of him ever saying such a thing.

According to a publication from Rutgers University, The Edisonian – Volume 9 Fall 2012, the misquote may be based on the following statement he made in an  1890 interview in Harper’s Monthly Magazine

“‘I speak without exaggeration when I say that I have constructed three thousand different theories in connection with the electric light, each one of them reasonable and apparently to be true. Yet only in two cases did my experiments prove the truth of my theory. My chief difficulty, as perhaps you know, was in constructing the carbon filament, the incandescence of which is the source of the light. Every quarter of the globe was ransacked by my agents, and all sorts of the queerest materials were used, until finally the shred of bamboo now utilized was settled upon. Even now,’ Mr. Edison continued, ‘I am still at work nearly every day on the lamp, and quite lately I have devised a method of supplying sufficient current to fifteen lamps with one horse-power. Formerly ten lamps per horse-power was the extreme limit.'”

Another candidate for the misquote of the thousands of hours of work on the light bulb (again according to The Edisonian, and from Edison: His Life and Inventions) is:

“This [the research] had been going on more than five months, seven days a week, when I was called down to the laboratory to see him [Edison].  I found him at a bench about three feet wide and twelve feet long, on which there were hundreds of little test cells that had been made up by his corps of chemists and experimenters.  I then learned that he had thus made over nine thousand experiments in trying to devise this new type of storage battery, but had not produced a single thing that promised to solve the question.  In view of this immense amount of thought and labor, my sympathy got the better of my judgment, and I said: ‘Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’  Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results!  Why, man, I have gotten lots of results!  I know several thousand things that won’t work!'”

Regardless of exactly how many experiments his lab did, it’s evident there were quite a lot.

So, my favorite quotation attributed to Edison is the simple one in the poster above. Unfortunately, I can’t find any evidence he said that either!

But I can find plenty of evidence that work is essential to success.  How about you?

A few words on formatting posts.

Quick Update

I’ve spent some time in developing some blogging resources for you mini- and micro-entrepreneurs out there who do your own WordPress blogs.

Many of us have discovered how difficult it can be to find and adapt themes to our own styles of presentation.  Themes and theme-builders can get expensive.  Plug-ins for making the themes do what we want add up the $$ too.  And most folks don’t have time to learn how to use complex themes or plug-ins, not to mention learning how to modify WP manually.

Like many others, I’ve found it difficult to get WP Post Formats (like aside posts, status posts, gallery posts, etc.) to work with my favorite themes.  And I really want some variety in the way my posts look.  So, what I’m doing now — again, as I used to do — is simply adding html to my new posts to create the looks I want.

You’ll notice that this post is styled a bit differently than the ones below. It’s an example of a subtle change that can create more visual interest and attention.

In the next few days, I’ll be showing you examples of ways to present your content differently and add variety to your post styles with a quick and simple code.

You’ll get both the demo of the style and the code for it from the article.

(Also, in other posts, I’m still going to be expanding the elements of performance and productivity that I promised in yesterday’s post.)