The Ugly Side Of Blogging No One Talks About

Are you a new blogger? Are you a veteran blogger? Have you thought about quitting your day job to be a blogger? Read this fantastic post first from my friend, Elena Peters. She tells it like it is, folks. The take-away? Blog because you LOVE it!

Elena Peters

Scroll through my feed on Pinterest and you would think that tons of bloggers are rolling in money, free travel and products.

Scroll through my feed on Instagram and you would think that most bloggers have fabulous lives, perfect homes and families, and look amazing ALL THE TIME.

Scroll through my feed on Facebook and you would think that a lot of bloggers are oozing self-confidence and that they always know what to say and what to do with their blogs and businesses. And if you pay for their courses and copy their formula, you will have success too. Easy. Peasy.

No wonder the world of blogging has exploded and people are starting new blogs in droves. I mean, who doesn’t want to start their own business, be their own boss and earn a full-time income for part-time hours? Where do I sign up for that? No, seriously, where?


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Out of the Shadows

This week’s photo challenge asks us to depict Shadow.

Not only did I get some great shots with the new camera, I got double pleasure with shadows and reflections at Coronado’s dog beach in San Diego last December.

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection.

Legs cast shadows and reflections

Legs also cast shadows and reflections.

But, wait, there’s MORE!

In my post, How to Get 100s of Free Photos for Your Blog, I got a wonderful response and several bloggers found great uses on their blogs for some of my donated images!

Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life used one in her post, Weekly Image and Haiku—From a Grateful World and wrote a lovely haiku with it.

Blogger Marje from Kyrosmagica used a photo as her featured image (with some Canva editing), which featured me on her Author Spotlight!

Fellow blogger, Allison, at Allison D Reid, contacted me and asked to share her vast collection of gorgeous images of forests, streams and other natural settings. Like me, she has oodles of photos “collecting virtual dust” as she cleverly put it! You can also find the file of her images from South Chagrin Reservation in Bentleyville, Ohio.

Here is a wonderful example of one of Allison’s photos. It happens to fit the WPC shadow theme (but the credit is hers)!

Forest in Shadow
image by Allison D. Reid

As I said, FREE images really are available. No sign-ups, no passwords to remember, no gimmicks. Just click on FREE BLOG IMAGES for the link or visit my new page Free Photos for Your Blog.

Help us bring our unused photos out of the shadows!

Current folders include landscapes, flowers, animals, cityscapes and general office. Visit on a regular basis for new folders and photos added weekly.

New to the folder this week are the following:

  • “Donated Images, with subfolder, “Donated by Allison.”
  • Sports with subfolders: Climbing, Cycling, Group Games, and Water Sports
  • The folder “Landscape” was also updated to include a subfolder “Water.”

Do NOT be shy about using these. It will be up to you to choose and edit them for use on your blog.

I know many of you take quality photos! If you are a blogger with unused digital images laying around “collecting virtual dust” and would like to donate them to the blogging community, please contact me and let’s see if we can add them. I use the Pro edition of Dropbox with plenty of room, (so no worries on space!) and it is very easy to share.

Bring these photos out of the shadows so we may all enjoy them!


Author/Blogger Spotlight: Second Wind Leisure – Terri Webster Schrandt

I am more than honored to be the featured guest as the Author/Blogger spotlight on Marje’s blog! She even used one of the free photos I am offering to bloggers!



Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Terri Webster Schrandt, author, blogger, leisure expert. This lady knows all there is to know about spending our precious leisure time wisely and to add to her many accomplishments she has recently released an e-book entitled – Better Blogging With Photography.

Being a huge fan of photography I couldn’t agree more, there’s nothing quite like an appealing photograph to catch the readers eye. Without it, a blog post can be easily overlooked.

Why oh why didn’t I think of writing a book on this subject? Ah, I really need to get a grip….Terri, you stole this possibility from my grasp, how could you? LOL !!! It must be all that time you spend pursuing a diverse range of leisure activities – ‘windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), camping, reading, writing, teaching, walking the dogs, traveling,’ that’s quite a list, Terri. Means you must be…

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How to Get Hundreds of FREE Photos for your Blog

Hundreds of free photos await you!

For those of you who have followed me for years or just recently, you may know that I am an avid, hobby photographer.

Frustrated with “free” stock image photography sites that promise photos that need “no” attribution, I take all my own photos for my blog and websites. My phone and now, my new camera, go everywhere I go. I’m always looking for interesting photo ops!

Truth be told, I am leery of stock photo services offering free images. Recently, Margaret at Sticky Readers mentioned Unsplash, a site boasting free stock photos.

I decided to check it out and found this article from 12/16 on Snappa Blog, 21 Amazing Sites with Breathtaking Free Stock Photos.

Many of these photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. However, some photos may require attribution.

We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.” (emphasis my own).

No thanks, who has time? So much for “free!”

I did, however, open a free Unsplash account. While the images are free and stunning, they are not searchable. Subscribers get 10 new photos a week. I downloaded a few, not sure if I will use them on my blog. I’m an educator, so I feel comfortable using these images for my power point presentations, since they are not being published on my website.

Snappa Blog’s article states “All photos on Unsplash are released under the creative commons public domain license.”

creative commons public domain

A lot of “lawyer-speak” here about Creative Commons public domain licensing. This is tricky business as a growing number of lawsuits are pending for copyright infringement violations of intellectual property.Better Blogging with Photography

Let me share an excerpt from my eBook, Better Blogging with Photography: Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images

In reference to copyright infringement…

A graphic artist friend, who is in this business, said this is the new, trending lawsuit. Other bloggers have described their terrible experiences of innocently using a random photo on their blog post and being sued.
Even posting the following so-called disclaimer on your blog is basically useless.

“This blog claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog belong to their respective owners. If there is an image on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail us with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.”

I still read wonderful posts from a LOT of bloggers using photos and images from the Internet. Most of these likely have copyright restrictions, so please BEWARE if you choose to use them. If you use images from the web, be careful. It is obvious that most of these images are professionally photographed.

Exercise extreme caution in using Google Images on your blog or website. Most images you see on Google are attached to someone’s blog post or business. Unless you get express permission to use those images, do not use them.

You may have heard of Creative Commons licensed images. Understand that although photo sites curate a host of images, not all of them are free, and some have restrictions on commercial use.

According to author Helen Sedwick, in her eBook, How to Use Eye-Catching Images Without Paying a Fortune or a Lawyer, “Do not rely on a Creative Commons license if there are recognizable faces, artwork, or trademarks in the image.”

Sedwick continues with this warning, “Creative Commons sites do not guarantee that they have the right to give you permission to use the image at all. You are using the images at your own risk.”

Again, what may appear to be free is not.

Even acknowledging the image’s origin may not be good enough. Most of us do not make money with our blogs, and having to pay upwards to $8000 for misuse of an image can be tragic.

By now you are saying “OK, I get it! How can I get quality images that are truly free?”

Why, thanks for asking!

But first…

A few months ago, I came across Gigi, a blogger who shares her own images in her weekly newsletters and on her website at A Warm Hello. She creates free, ready images for anyone who would like to download them. I am sure she would appreciate you visiting her site and subscribing.

But, back to the FREE images…

From her blog I got the idea of sharing my own images with other bloggers.

I have taken thousands of photos over the years and I am happy to share a variety of them with anyone who is interested.

I feel very strongly about this endeavor and would be comforted to know my fellow bloggers aren’t going to lose money in a random lawsuit over copyright violations.

This post serves as my announcement that FREE images really are available. No sign-ups, no passwords to remember, no gimmicks.

Just click on FREE BLOG IMAGES for the Dropbox link or click to visit my new page Free Photos for Your Blog

Current folders include landscapes, flowers, animals, cityscapes and general office. Visit on a regular basis for new folders and photos added weekly.

The images are untouched and un-edited. It will be your job to select and download them, then edit them using is a free online image editor. Many bloggers use Canva. I use the premium version of PicMonkey, but their free version works just fine!

Fellow blogger DG Kaye recently shared this post about Fotojet. I haven’t tried this one yet, as I am happy with PicMonkey. The point is to find an online image editor that works for you. 

I sincerely hope that you will take a look at the photos I have to offer. Let me know in the comments what kinds of photos you need for your blog…I may have what you need!



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 31st January 2017 – Dragons, Strong Women, Peace, Favourite Things and a Review

Huge thank you to Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord: Variety is the Spice of Life for featuring myself and other talented bloggers on her daily post! Please take a look at book reviews and other fine posts you will find interesting! Sally is a generous blogger who features other bloggers on a regular basis!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

How quickly January has gone… the day’s are getting longer thankfully and once we get into February there is the prospect of spring. Since this new series began on January 2nd 130 blog posts have been promoted. A number of bloggers who have a regular weekly post have featured but that still relates to over 100 bloggers promoted this month. My intention is to continue that for the rest of 2017.

You can help me achieve that ambition by making sure that you leave the link to your most recent post in the comments section of the post...all it costs you is about 30 seconds and then perhaps a few minutes responding to the comments that are left on your post on your own blog.

Anyway.. on with today’s selection of bloggers.


J.C. Wolfe is a fiction writer. Most is in the form of short stories and flash fiction…

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Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday January 18th 2017 – Links, Ambiance, Glimpses, All you can eat, Cee’s Challenge

Sally includes some wonderful bloggers in this round-up, including yours truly! Please take a moment and visit these bloggers and see what they are up to!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Debby Gies is a goldmine of information on blogging and social media and in this post, she covers the topic of links.. Amazon or otherwise so that your posts look neater and that they work effectively.

P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye

‘You know how we can sometimes get so used to doing some things that it can almost seem robotic? Well, it occurred to me, after reading my daily news articles on publishing, that just because some little tricks have become second nature to me, others may not be aware of this important tip on cleaning up your links.

This little nugget of information is important for authors and for bloggers who write posts promoting their books or featured guest posts of other authors and sharing the URLs of all books.’

Read on...


Terri Webster -Schrandt with some thoughts on making your blog more welcoming.. Does your blog have ambiance?

‘Ambiance is “the…

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Need More Inspiration? Attend a Blogging Event

Need more inspiration? Attend a blogging event

Have you ever wanted to meet a fellow blogger in person? For those of us who have had that pleasure, it is very much the treat you would think!

Here is a short list of bloggers’ events and conferences. At the end of this post, please leave a comment if you know of other events for bloggers.

Bloggers At Midlife (BAM2016)

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the Bloggers at Midlife conference in Las Vegas. This was a BIG two-day event with sponsors, speakers and swag! Really good swag.

I have never always been a little star-struck, but when I walked into the room at the preliminary cocktail meet-n’-greet, I was indeed star-struck. I heard myself saying out loud to my fellow traveler, Elena Peters from Canada, “Oh, look, that’s Carol Cassara,” and “hey that’s Kathy Gottberg!” I recognized their faces from their profile photos.

I felt like I walked into the Who’s Who of the blogging world. When a couple of bloggers recognized me, I thought I would die happy!

I know, I gush! But there is nothing like meeting people for the first time after spending months engaging with them online! Building a face-to-face relationship with other bloggers just makes those online friendships that much more dear!

BAM ConferenceAlthough BAM is not coordinating an event this year, you can keep up with information. The 2016 producers were: Teresa Kindred, Sharon Greenthal, Anne Parris, and Beth Rosen. See more on the BAM Conference Facebook page. 


The Third Annual Bloggers Bash, London

Many of you have already heard of the wildly successful Bloggers’ Bash held in London. This is the third year, to be held June 10, 2017. Even though it is a one-day bash, the group always looks like they are having a fun time. Visit Sacha Black’s blog for details.

U.S. Blogging Event

A Joyful Process announced a new US Blogging Event that takes place in Chicago, August 26, 2017. Votes are being taken on the blog now.

International Food Blogger Conference

Coming to my home town of Sacramento, California, on September 29-October 1, is the International Food Blogger ConferenceIFBC. Obviously I am not a food blogger, but you don’t have to be a food blogger to enjoy the conference.

Some of the sessions from the two-and-half-day 2016 conference included general topics like “From Blog to Business,” Marketing, Writing & Tech Breakout Sessions, Culinary Travel Writing, Learning About Corporate and Professional Blogging, Freelance Blogging. Of course, there were food-related sessions, too.

After all, the famous Northern California wine country is less than two hours away so attendees can count on tasting some extraordinary wines as well as craft beers! Oh yes, and food!

Interested bloggers can get discounted registration fees by agreeing to write three blog posts about the event. No problem-o! I’m already signed up!

All of these events take an enormous amount of work from committees mostly made up of volunteers. If you do get the chance to attend one, please thank the host committee profusely!

On the downside, attending an event or conference is not always do-able and creates a little blogging/travel envy. The above-mentioned events may be geographically challenging for many of us.

Sure, we love to see the video of the event afterward, being shared and re-blogged all over…really, we do!

What If You Can’t Attend a Blogging Event?

The next best thing you can do is to try to meet local bloggers from your own area, city or state. I have been very lucky to meet several fellow bloggers this way. I have found local bloggers by reading their “About me” page. Now you may see why those descriptions might be helpful.

There is just something about going to lunch with another blogger and talking about blogging that is super exciting!

I initially searched google and Facebook for bloggers’ groups in Sacramento. I discovered the Sacramento Bloggers  group and am now an active member. We are a small group but we have already met twice.  The other day, Maria of Sew Travel Inspired, one of the members, called me to talk about some blogging issues and ideas! It was great to just talk and not type for once!

Do you know of any blogging events coming in 2017 or 2018? Please share in the comments and I will update this post or write a new post to include those!