Friday, August 31, 2012

August is Awesome Because of Alex Cavanaugh

The time has come to wrap up this awesome August.  It's been a wonderful month and I am beyond satisfied.  I have introduced to you a total of twenty-seven awesome people this month. If you missed any of them, check the Interviews / Guests page and get acquainted.  You owe yourself nothing less!

My sincere thanks to each and every one of them!

And now... let the drum-roll commence...

I have the privilege of concluding this Awesome August by introducing an awesome Ninja!  (Yes, the capital N is indeed warranted.)  In fact, Super Ninja is less than an adequate description for Alex Cavanaugh.

I can't tell you how thrilled I was when he accepted my invitation.  I would normally feel a bit guilty about exposing the identity of a ninja, but the only true secret here is how Alex manages to do so much for so many.  

There exists more than one blogger who would be hard pressed to give a definition of "supportive" that didn't include his name.  He's just that awesome!


Successful Blogging
by
Alex J. Cavanaugh

Jeff graciously asked me to contribute to this month-long awesome feature and I’m here to talk about blogging. You’ve already read so many great tips from other guests this month. You know about turning off word verification, getting involved in blogfests, making it easy for others to follow you, short posts, etc. What more could I add?

I can’t add a lot. But maybe I can give you something new to think about.

What does it take to be a successful blogger?

A blog with a purpose – Your blog needs a focus. And it doesn’t matter what the focus. Don’t feel obligated to offer writing tips if you’re a writer. (Lord knows I don’t!) What topics excite you? What are your passions? Make those the focus of your blog and you will never run out of enthusiasm or material.

Followers – Without followers, we are just talking to ourselves. (Which is really weird if you think about it.) But you can’t gain followers just by following others. You need to engage. You need to follow and comment on the blogs of others. Go make some real friends.

Involvement – You can’t just follow a few people and expect everyone to show up to your party. (Unless you’re offering free food and drink of course.) You have to get involved. There are so many blogfests, challenges, campaigns, and other opportunities in which to meet other bloggers. Involvement means getting to know your fellow bloggers as well. Become part of this awesome community.

Support – Give your support to others. Be a positive force, not a negative one. Encourage your blogger buddies. When they achieve something great, cheer them on. Mention their accomplishment on your blog. Send out a Tweet on Twitter. You have to be willing to give to others if you hope to succeed.

Being genuine – You must be true to you and true to others. You need to be honest but with tact. You need to be transparent without sacrificing your privacy. You need to be positive but not sticky-sweet fake. You need to be consistent in all things. Be the light everyone wants to follow.

Everyone wants to know the secret to blogging success, but there isn’t one. Be a friend. Be a genuine friend. Be someone who is consistent and dependable. Be the person you’ve always aspired to be!

And if all else fails, free Hot Tamales are always an option. (Hey, works on me!)


About Alex J. Cavanaugh:

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 Amazon Best Sellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Connect with Alex at:
His Blog: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlexJCavanaugh



Alex's Books:
CassaFire - Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Book Trailer - On YouTube

CassaStar was only the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves, the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:  It's available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Amazon Kindle, and B&N Nook

CassaStar
Book trailer - On YouTube

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

CassaStar is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Amazon Kindle, and B&N Nook

73 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder of the basics. Many people, myself included, get so wrapped up in making their blogs look good that they forget the very basic principle of blogging. Socializing!

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  2. This is really great advice! I would also add not taking yourself seriously ALL the time. I think some people get so caught up in trying to post these poetic and super deep messages that they don't realize that they can have fun with their blog.

    Great post! August is awesome has been...well, awesome!

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    1. I'm glad you found August to be awesome, Samantha. I sure did. I loved every minute of it!

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  3. Thanks again, Jeff!

    Samantha, I'm all about the fun!

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    1. Totally my pleasure and honor, Alex! Now I can tell all my friends that I hosted a NINJA! (That would have sounded so much more cool, say, a few decades ago back in junior high.) ;-) But seriously, I am honored and very grateful that you and the other twenty-six awesome people have made August so awesome.

      (I'm really gonna have to rein in the use of that word for a while though. LOL. I'm thinking September might be spectacular.)

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  4. Awesome interview, with some wonderful advice.Thank you.

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  5. You can't talk to yourself? I do that all the time. :) You're right. It's so much nicer when people respond with comments.

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  6. Ha! My interest in Hot Tamales picked up after Alex mentioned them. I think the topic had to do with our favorite things or a favorite sweet or something.

    Alex is awesome, supportive and all the things he mentioned here - a doer, not just a talker.

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  7. Why didn't you say so before? If tamales work, my dwarf minions fix delicious tamales (and they are the original Mexican ones). I'll make a party. We'll have tamales and dwarf tossing. :)

    Excellent post, Alex. Excellent month, Jeff. Thanks for the ride. It was brilliant. With so many useful information I can talk some sense into myself, hahaha.

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    1. After visiting your blog, a question just came up to my mind and I really have to ask. How much time do you devote daily to the whole blog thing? I mean, involving reading other blogs, leaving comments, interact and post on your own blog? How many hours are we talking about?

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    2. Thanks, Al. It was a fun ride indeed.

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  8. Well Brinda, you can talk to yourself if you like!

    Thank you, Angela.

    Dragon, that sounds cool! And as far as time, anywhere from three to five hours a day. But I get to blog from work, which helps!

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  9. "Be a friend. Be a genuine friend."

    Not just a blogging tip but the best social media tip EVER.

    "A man who has friends must himself be friendly..." Proverbs 18:24

    And thanks, Jeff, for this AWESOME August. :)

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    1. You're welcome, Linda. And thanks to you for making it even more awesome!

      And being a genuine friend really is the only way to go, isn't it?

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  10. I talk to myself all the time, but it's more fun if other people listen in.

    I think Awesome Jeff needs to talk about himself now. :)

    Lauren

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    1. Oh dear. Me? And scare away all these wonderful people that I've so recently met? We'll see. ;-)

      People don't bat an eye anymore at hearing me talk to myself or even answer my own questions. A few brows still rise, however, when they hear me contradict and argue with myself. I just grin and let them wonder. :)

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    2. As long as YOU don't wonder, you should be fine.

      "It's not talking to yourself that's the problem. It's when you ask yourself to repeat the question."

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  11. Great to see you here, Alex. Thanks for introducing me to Jeff's blog, too. You're spot on about blogging and what makes a blogger successful. Glad to see it all set out in a nice piece. Will enchiladas work. I have those. I'm out of tamales.

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    1. It's great to meet you, Lee! Introducing new people to others was my objective for this "August is Awesome" series, but I never expected I'd meet so many new people myself. It's been a fantastic experience, no doubt about it.

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  12. Linda, Amen to that!

    Lee, I'm a guy - we can always be bribed with food.

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    1. And this guy has a soft spot for breads and anything Italian. (Just wanted to throw that in should the opportunity arise when you might wish to bribe me!)

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    2. I'm assuming e-pizza doesn't count?

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    3. e-pizza works for an e-lunch, but for dinner, I want pepperoni without an "e" prefix! LOL

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  13. You definitely know and have what it takes to be a successful blogger! I wonder how free food and drink would work...Hehe! ;)

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  14. Alex has been one of the few bloggers whose interviews interest me to read them through and check out the guests on them. Now I get to add you Jeff to the list. The quote on your blog: 'When this world doesn't suit you, write a world that does' has clinched it for me. Say hello to your new follower #175. Will be back to check out more interviews Jeff, nice blog.

    Back to the interview. Glad you chose Alex to talk about blogging. He has a great blog and is right that they're several avenues to having a great blog. But his tips are very good and me being a small blogger myself love seeing bigger blog owners like Alex give back and offer support around the blogosphere. Keep up the excellent work Alex and great interview Jeff.

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    1. Thanks, Sheena! Drop by and make yourself at home here as often as you like. You're most certainly welcome. I'm glad you like my little quote. It really does sum up quite a bit of my personality.

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  15. Great post! Yes, being successful in the blogosphere is about cultivating relationships. Alex certainly does that! He's an inspiration to all.

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  16. This is a great post and advice, Alex! Thank you!

    I've been doing all those things above (eg. follow, involvement) to my best of my ability I enjoy starting conversations with fellow bloggers\writers. It's so fun but the hardest part is being truly genuine online.

    I agree that I don't like talking to myself online. It's sorta awkward.

    Jeff - this has been fun, looking at the new blogs! Thank you!

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    1. I'm glad you've enjoyed it. It's been a blast for me as well.

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  17. Hot Tamales? Really? I don't think I can get behind that. I mean, those don't even have chocolate.

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  18. Thank you, Sheena-kay - I shall continue to do so!

    Livia, genuine is what matters.

    Andrew, but they have HOT!

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  19. Well, what about HOT chocolate, then? I can even make it spicy :)

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    1. Hot chocolate works for me! (Easy on the spices though! LOL)

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  20. Hot Tamales - I wish agents were so easy to bribe. Great guest post Alex! I also love your "August Is Awesome" concept, Jeff. Great idea!

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  21. Blogging is a powerful social network if you engage. Alex, is definitely the master Ninja at it.

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  22. Ha ha, now I want to do a food giveaway on my blog, if followers will come for food. How funny would that be? ;)

    Curious, who animated your trailers?

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    1. "Italian," Jeff whispered in Charlie's ear, hoping she'd believe it was her own brilliant subconscious making the suggestions. "Bread. Pasta. Pizza. And lots of it." Jeff leaned back in his chair waiting, hopeful that his Jedi skills remained sharp. Begging was so unflattering.

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  23. Kimberly, they should be that easy.

    Thanks, Mary.

    Charlie, my publisher made them.

    Thanks again, Jeff!

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  24. Hi Jeff! Late to the party, but wanted to say that Alex supports his fellow bloggers and entertains us as well. We hear about other bloggers, movies bits, and blogfests from the Capt'n. He's always surprising us.

    Thanks Alex, for sharing your blog tips.

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    1. Hey there, and welcome! Here, you're never late for the party because the party never ends when friends gather together.

      Yes, Alex is indeed one of the most supportive people I've met online. Always positive, always helpful, and apparently always around. :)

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  25. I seriously believe that Alex has somehow invented a machine that allows him to squeeze more than 24 hours into a day. How he manages to do everything he does, both on his blog and in the blogosphere, while still being able to find time to write, is beyond me. Congratulations, I say.

    P.S. If I did happen to correctly guess your secret, I'd be more than grateful if you could send a copy of the blueprints my way.

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    1. I briefly considered that he might have cloned himself a few dozen times. Time travel or manipulation of the space-time continuum is also a possibility.

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  26. As always great words of wisdom from Alex. Absolutely one of the most supportive bloggers out there.
    I've learned so much from you, now only to apply it all...
    Have a great weekend everyone!

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  27. Thanks, Jeff, for having Alex as your guest today. Just jumped over here from his blog.

    Alex, you get better and better at giving blogging advice. I think you'd qualify as an expert! Well done!

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    1. Glad to meet you! I'm just glad Alex was able to work me in to his schedule. He's one of the few guys I've seen who seems to adore his wife as much as I do my own.

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  28. Hi Jeff, Hi, Alex,

    Nice to meet you Jeff. I am a blogger buddy of Alex's. Thanks for featuring our Ninja captain!

    ALex,

    Thanks for spelling out what we all need to do to keep our community the WONDERFUL and AWESOME one that it is!

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. Likewise, Michael! I visited your blog today for the first time. I hope to spend more time there over the next few days now that my vacation has officially started. Yipee!!!!

      Seeing the admiration people have for folks like Alex is so wonderful. It's nice to know that people truly appreciate the effort people make on the behalf of others. Good still resides in our world.

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  29. DG, I am here for your amusement!

    Ken, no clones, and I really wish I had teleporter blueprints. (That would be awesome.) I try to get to as many friends in a day as possible and often I don't fully succeed.

    Thanks, Marta.

    Lynn, thank you - does that mean I'm getting smarter?

    Michael, thanks, and you do it just as well as I do.

    Jeff, thanks again. And you're right - there still is a lot of good in this world.

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  30. Back again, Jeff, to reciprocate on the follow. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully those I have scheduled for while I'm on vacation will please.

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  31. Greetings Jeff,
    And very pleased to see our blogging friend, Alex, over here at your most interesting site.
    I do understand these blogging points. And I agree about a focus. Mine, whatever I write, has an underlying theme about removing the stigma still surrounding mental health issues.
    Followers, which is a word I wish we could change, is an important aspect. However, the number of followers is not always indicative of the amount of interest a certain blog gets. Alex knows to what I refer.
    Quite right, being proactive and being interactive are key elements to a successful blog. Sincerity, transparency and displaying genuine caring for others is something that Alex does and I certainly adhere to. The most important thing, I believe, is that we are all here for each other in a sharing, caring blogging community. Rejoice in the diversity and know that we are all different, all equal.
    Much respect to the both of you.
    In kindness, Gary

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    1. Pleased to meet you, Gary! Excellent point you raised about the term "Followers" there. I tried for months to come up with a witty little caption for my GFC gadget, finally letting it slip from my mind. Your reminder, coupled with the past month here, finally helped me decide what I wanted it to say. And I've already changed it to do so.

      There is strength in diversity. And there is strength in community. But they're stronger still when the diverse community is sincere and respecting of the others.

      By the way, I loved the tribute you gave to your mother on your blog. She sounds awesome!

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    2. And delighted to meet your good self, Jeff. I've always struggled with the usage of the word, "followers". Maybe 'adoring fans' :) "AWESOME FOLKS". Indeed!
      We share a positive ideal, my friend. The ethos of this diversity and mutual respect, goes some ways to bringing further awareness and understanding of us all.
      Thank you for the very kind words in regards to the tribute of my mother. She is the awesome inspiration that kept me going through the toughest of times.
      With that, my 'electric friend', may we all continue to be an 'electronic tonic' and continue to be here for each other.
      Take very good care.
      Gary

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  32. Gary, you understand that it is not the followers, but the friends and those we interact with, that matter most!

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    1. I totally agree! Very well put and much respect to you!
      The positive interaction and the treasured sharing amongst blogger friends is indeed a powerful and profound force :)

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  33. Great advice, Alex. I think a lot of us take our cue from you.

    Hi Jeff *waves* Awesome interview blogfest you have going:)

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    1. :::waves back and jumps to be seen over the crowd:::

      I had a ball during August, no doubt about it.

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  34. I m glad Alex sent me over Jeff! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us Alex! Julie

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    1. As am I, Julie! Awesome people are like magnets, attracting more awesome people to them. And Alex has attracted quite a few!

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  35. What a wonderful idea, Jeff. I'm glad Alex shared your link.
    As always, great advice, Alex. Your giving nature comes through in every post.

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    1. Hey, Cate! Glad you were able to drop by!

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  36. I love your advice, Alex. It's easy to trust because you model what you preach. Great idea, Jeff.

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  37. I love the light idea! So well said~ We have to remain true to ourselves~ Well Done Alex :D

    Nice to meet you Jeff! I love your idea and will play catch up reading the others~ :D

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    1. Same here, Ella! And welcome! You'll catch up with some awesome people and posts!

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  38. Thank you, Cate!

    Susan, I try.

    Ella, being ourselves is so much easier anyway.

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  39. You are obviously a Ninja of the blogging world. You have a great balance of supporting others while still promoting your books. That takes talent.

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  40. Very late to the party. Alex knows his stuff and it shows.

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    1. Yes, he does. People just can't hide awesomeness.

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