Tonight (2/6/14) I will be 1 of 4 guest panelists discussing online publishing at the Knoxville Writers’ Guild’s monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m., at the Laurel Theatre.

Below are my discussion notes and more, including my favorite books, articles and websites about content creation and writing motivation.

The Website

My business partner and husband, Buck Kahler, and I created the concept for KNOXzine in February 2013. We purchased the domain name and created KNOXzine’s gmail account that night.

KNOXzine is a Word Press site.

Template: Urban News

Webmaster: The Village, in the New South Collective building, at 123A S. Gay Street. The Village also created KNOXzine’s logo.

The site took about 3 months to build. While it’s based on a magazine template, we required code to embed our videos, etc. Having a webmaster is great during emergencies like a virus attack and other technical difficulties.

While we were waiting for the website to be completed, we created a KNOXzine Facebook page. The Facebook page focuses on off-the-beaten path local and surrounding area events. The magazine focuses primarily on interviews or first person narratives regarding social issues, arts & culture, travel, entertainment, history, hobbies, and professions.

We chose MacHighway as our web hosting service. Our site ran slowly and MacHighway had frequent technical difficulties. We recently migrated KNOXzine to Site 5.

KNOXzine launched on May 14, 2013.

We track our progress and demographics with Google Analytics (free).

To date (02/05/14) KNOXzine has had over 22,000 page views.

I use my website’s SEO (search engine optimization). Mine is located on my Word Press dashboard under Appearance/Theme Options. You don’t have to understand everything about SEO to use it. SEO helps people find your articles when they use Google searches.

Net Neutrality

If you own a website, you need to stay current on threats to Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality “guarantees a level playing field for all Web sites and Internet technologies. But all that could change.

“The biggest cable and telephone companies would like to charge money for smooth access to Web sites, speed to run applications, and permission to plug in devices. These network giants believe they should be able to charge Web site operators, application providers and device manufacturers for the right to use the network. Those who don’t make a deal and pay up will experience discrimination: Their sites won’t load as quickly, and their applications and devices won’t work as well. Without legal protection, consumers could find that a network operator has blocked the Web site of a competitor, or slowed it down so much that it’s unusable.

“The network owners say they want a “tiered” Internet. If you pay to get in the top tier, your site and your service will run fast. If you don’t, you’ll be in the slow lane.”



Choose Yourself by James Altucher This book has done wonders for me as an individual and as a business owner/content provider. At first, Altucher comes off as a jerk, but once he begins offering his direct and creative advice, you’ll be hooked. He’s also funny and does not engage in fluff or filler. Like Twyla Tharp’s book listed below, Altucher is a believer in maintaining a daily practice of self-care to improve your ideas/creativity. Right now, this book is available for $2.99 on Amazon Kindle.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This is a good book about overcoming fear and procrastination.  While the last 1/3 of the book is all fluff, it’s still a worth while read. It’s available in the Knox County Public Library System.

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. This is an excellent book about the value of rituals to boost your creativity and to keep you sanity. Tharp promises that dedication to a daily activity like exercise, gardening, knitting, or reading fiction will improve your mood and your thought process. This daily dedication will create momentum with your art, too. Tharp generously shares hard lessons learned about not trusting her gut, and the necessity of revision, including a chapter devoted to the painful revamping her Tony Award winning musical “Moving Out.” This book is also available in the Knox County Public Library System.

WEBSITES   Human stories boldly told through in-depth articles, video, and photo essays. This was the major inspiration behind KNOXZine.

CREATING CONTENT & MARKETING  I’ve read every free article on this site; it is very helpful for a beginner like me.

Stephen King’s 20 Tips to Becoming a Frieghteningly Good Writer by Jon Morrow. This is a good summary of  King’s book On Writing. Morrow’s comments are motivating.

How to Write 16 Knockout Articles When You Only Have One Whimpy Idea by Stephanie Flaxman. This article changed the way I listen. Article ideas are everywhere.

The 5 Best Pieces of Writing Advice I Didn’t Get in School by Gladstone. Funny and insightful.

How to be a Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers by John Morrow. I subscribe to Morrow’s excellent blog. Quality blogging requires reading fiction, non-fiction, and articles or books about writing. I spend at least 10 hours a week reading about content creation and marketing.


My First Mistake by Simon Winchester  This is an example of terrific story telling that leads to a punchline.


Alarmist & fear mongering headlines/articles.

Topics that are trending – I don’t care what’s trending – I write about topics I’m interested in. I’ll never write about Justin Bieber, twerking, etc.

© Debra Dylan, 2014.

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