5 Tips to Stand Out Online

In today’s online world, it can feel impossible to break the mold and gain followers. There are always people becoming famous seemingly overnight, while others take weeks, months, or even years to get where they want to be.

Why is that? What is it that makes people stand out and grow their platforms?

One answer is that they are unique. They have created a platform like no other on the internet, and have gained followers who are interested in the content.

This might not mean they have come up with a brand new idea that nobody has ever heard of before, it means that they have figured out what is popular online right now and tweaked it until it became their own.

If you’re looking to grow your online platform, you’ll want to be unique too. So, I’ve come up with five ways you can be unique online.

Remember that this isn’t a masterclass, and this isn’t a perfect science. Everyone has things that will work differently for them, but these are general ideas of what you can do to grow your platform.

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Find Your Voice

Probably the most important thing to remember when you are trying to be unique is to literally be yourself. Embrace your voice, your writing style, and your personality in your posts.

Adopt your voice and use it in the way you interact online.

Nobody can sound like you, no matter how much they try. Your voice and your writing style are almost as unique as your DNA.

By using your voice, you not only have a more unique interaction with your audiences, you also give your platform a voice that people can relate to and expect in the future.

Seek Relationships…Not Just Followers

People debate left and right as to whether your followers/stats are a solid metric on how to gauge success.

But, it is well known that having 100 followers that engage with you constantly is better than having 10,000 who ignore you.

Here are some quick ideas on how you can build relationships online

  • @mention people you reference in your social media posts
  • Answer questions people ask you as often as you can, and sound human, not like an automated reply
  • Reply when people @mention you or share your content — even just to say thanks
  • Don’t just Retweet and Like other people’s content; reply with a comment to start a conversation

Get Visual…With Your Own Flare

When in doubt, posting something visual is a great idea. It gives your audience something to look at.

BUT, don’t just post something visual just because you have no other option. If you do that, you’re not being unique.

Have a visual “signature”. Figure out your color palette, your visual identity, and whatever else you need to ensure people know it is you they are looking at.

Piggyback on What’s Trending

Jumping on what’s trending doesn’t sound too unique does it?

Well truth be told, it’s not.

What is unique about it, or what can be unique about it, is that you can add your own flare to it.

Take whatever trending meme, hashtag, dance, or popular topic and add your brand’s personality to it. That’ll give your audience an opportunity to see your platform’s personality in the things you post.

Just ensure that you are careful not to engage with controversial topics that can be seen as something negative. This could be end up being bad for you in the long run.


Create, Create, Create

If you want to stand out online, you can’t just copy the content everyone else is posting.

To be simple, you need to create something new.

Whether you’re trying to build yourself up as a thought leader or want to stand apart from your competitors, original content is how you’re going to make it happen.

This can be plenty of things, but some ideas that you can create that can be entirely unique are: blog posts, research or infographics.

NetGalley eArc Review: The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike

I received this book as an eArc from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

If you like this book review, make sure to follow Word Forge on social media for more bookish content.

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AD 573. Imprisoned in her chamber, Languoreth awaits news in torment. Her husband and son have ridden off to wage war against her brother, Lailoken. She doesn’t yet know that her young daughter, Angharad, who was training with Lailoken to become a Wisdom Keeper, has been lost in the chaos. As one of the bloodiest battles of early medieval Scottish history scatters its survivors to the wind, Lailoken and his men must flee to exile in the mountains of the Lowlands, while nine-year-old Angharad must summon all Lailoken has taught her and follow her own destiny through the mysterious, mystical land of the Picts.

In the aftermath of the battle, old political alliances unravel, opening the way for the ambitious adherents of the new religion: Christianity. Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the Christians and the pagans together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”

Bitter rivalries are ignited, lost loves are found, new loves are born, and old enemies come face-to-face with their reckoning in this compellingly fresh look at one of the most enduring legends of all time.

Title: The Forgotten Kingdom
Author: Signe Pike
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 496
Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Capitalize on Your Genre

Every genre has its strengths and weaknesses. A good author knows how to utilize the strengths, compensate for the weaknesses, and break the rules with the two.

Signe Pike did a great job with The Forgotten Kingdom when it comes to utilizing the genre.

Historical fiction allows a story to take place in any time period. I find that often, the stories take place during time periods or events that we don’t fully know the truth of. We usually have hints and ideas to the events in history, but the specific story fills in a potential hole that could have happened during that time.

Pike blends historical events that we know took place, and mixes them with the fantastical tales of King Arthur.

I’m not usually a fan of the Arthurian legends, but I will admit that Pike does a great job at approaching the tale. He doesn’t directly tell the story of Arthur and the Pendragons, but we get the stories of people living in their world, and we see how the Pendragon story unfold through their eyes.


Careful with Time Skips

Books often happen over long periods of time. Some books are a collection of events that happen one after the other, and those books make sense. Most books, especially longer form books, skip over days, weeks, or even months. It’s normal for a day or two to skip by, with a sentence or an assumption of events to explain what happened.

Some times months go by in a book. I don’t find this often, but a few instances come to mind in the Wheel of Time series. The problem with time jumps like this is that if there isn’t a good explanation of events over that time, the story can start getting plot holes.

I don’t think Pike’s time skips benefit the story at all. When they occur, they make sense. They come when there would be a lull in the story, so skipping years in the future would take us to the next interesting event.

BUT, the scenes that happen after the time skips wouldn’t make sense with rational people. The characters skip years in the future, but threads of their stories are left in a time before the time skip occurs.

If they were as smart as Pike claims them to be, they wouldn’t let certain events occur, or they would have acted differently after years of living with certain knowledge.


Interweaving Stories

Different perspectives in a book are often a good thing. They give us a different viewpoint on the story, and can give us tension. One character can learn of an event, while the other perspective characters have no idea of what occurred. This gives the reader the knowledge they need to know in order to build tension for the end of the story.

Pike does a good job of giving us different perspectives of characters that are on different side of events.

Though our characters may get along with each other, the people they love and fight for don’t.

This brings a sense of tension between family members because their allies aren’t going to get along with each other, so the characters we follow are the only ones that can stop a massacre from happening.

It did feel a bit too safe at times, because I was never really worried that something bad would happen to the main characters. I do however think that there was a nice bit of tension with each character because I was never sure of what would happen next for them.


Final Thoughts

The Forgotten Kingdom was a big improvement from the previous book. It focuses less on an unrealistic love story, and gives readers a better focus on the tension and drama that comes when a family is on opposite sides of a world-changing war.

There are parts of the book that I didn’t enjoy: time skips and the unwanted romance, but there were quite a few parts of the book that made it more immersive and fascinating to read.

Quote of the Day: Perfection

Here is a collection of quotes found on Goodreads revolving around the theme: Perfection.

If you like this content, make sure to follow me on social media for more, and if you have any other quotes about Perfection laying around, feel free to share them in the comments.

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“Who are you to judge the life I live?
I know I’m not perfect
-and I don’t live to be-
but before you start pointing fingers…
make sure you hands are clean!” 
― Bob Marley


“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” 
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

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“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” 
― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

“I abhor the idea of a perfect world. It would bore me to tears.” 
― Shelby Foote


“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.” 
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Don’t mistake activity with achievement.” 
― John Wooden

“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.” 
― Criss Jami, Killosophy

“[F]or just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever.” 
― Lev Grossman, The Magicians


“Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence.” 
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” 
― Michael J. Fox

“Nobody’s perfect. We’re all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels.” 
― Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses


“If people reach perfection they vanish, you know.” 
― T.H. White, The Once and Future King

“There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.” 
― Shannon L. Alder

“Too late, I found you can’t wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.” 
― Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

5 Tips for Promoting Your Content on Social Media

It can be tough coming up with new content to promote on social media. With so many seemingly great ideas out there, it can be tough to think of new ideas.

Thousands upon thousands of posts go live on social media each day, some from family and friends, some from businesses trying their best to grab your attention.

Here are a few ideas you can use to start creating more content on social media and promoting your brand.

If you like this content, make sure to follow me on social media for more ways you can grow your brand!

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Call to Action Buttons

Donations, followers, comments, stories. There are plenty of things you can ask people who see your content for.

Usually, a call to action button asks people to learn more information, or browse your products, but it is possible to make a button that can do just about anything.

Giving followers an opportunity and an easier way to explore your content instead of making them go searching for your website.

There are plenty of amazing examples of Call to Action Buttons, and some tips on how to write a good one, that you can find here.


Different Content for Different Channels

Each platform has its preference of content.

Just because something works on one platform it doesn’t mean it would work on another.

It’s important to know what each platform prefers and what works on those platforms. Instagram might be good for short videos, where Facebook prefers longer.

Do your research and make sure you know what content you need.

It doesn’t always need to be a brand new idea, but maybe think about changing how the message is given to audiences.


Use Appropriate Hashtags

There is a hashtag for everything. No matter what your content, there are trending hashtags that are used commonly by people in the industry.

Research your industry and find those hashtags to find out what people are using. This will put your content in front of others who are interested in the genre.

Usually there are more than one hashtags that are popular in the industry, so do your due diligence to make sure you can find the most effective ones.


Fill Out the Profile Information

This may seem like a simple idea, but filling out your profile information will give people a way to contact you, and better understand what to expect from you.

Even filling out basic information like the ‘About’ page and contact information will mean people will need to do that much less work to find your content.


Add a branded hashtag

Like I mentioned before, hashtags are a way to find people who are interested in a certain type of content.

The same can work for your profile. On most social media platforms, you can add a hashtag to your profile so that your profile pops up when someone searches that hashtag.

It’s no guarantee to be seen, but it gives you a better opportunity to be seen by people in the same field as yourself.


NetGalley eArc Review: The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky

This is going to be a short review, because honestly I don’t have anything to say about this book other than why I didn’t like it.

I try to find the good in books, but this is probably the worst book I have ever read.


Title: The Seventh Perfection
Author: Daniel Polansky
Page Count: 176
Genre: Fantasy Novella
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

When a woman with perfect memory sets out to solve a riddle, the threads she tugs on could bring a whole city crashing down. The God-King who made her is at risk, and his other servants will do anything to stop her.

To become the God-King’s Amanuensis, Manet had to master all seven perfections, developing her body and mind to the peak of human performance. She remembers everything that has happened to her, in absolute clarity, a gift that will surely drive her mad. But before she goes, Manet must unravel a secret which threatens not only the carefully prepared myths of the God-King’s ascent, but her own identity and the nature of truth itself.

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The Seventh Perfection was 176 pages of a waste of time. Throughout the entire story I didn’t figure out what the point of the story was, where it was going, or how any of the stories overlapped.

I had no idea what was happening at any point, I wasn’t even sure if our main character was male, female, or human half the time.

When I thought I understood what was happening, something would happen in the story and I would be more confused and lost than before.

I’ll give the author credit for writing a story in the second perspective. It’s a very rare situation, but honestly not sure it was worth it.

Maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the reason the story didn’t make sense, but I can honestly say the only thing that I liked from the book was the idea that people spent their lives learning these different “perfections” to serve the ruler.


I am sorry to disappoint everyone with this review. I don’t have the best luck for books I look out for on NetGalley, I seem to always be disappointed in them, but one day I will find one I enjoy!

Quote of the Day: Mysteries

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“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
― Albert Einstein

“Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.” 
― John Green, Paper Towns

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” 
― Anais Nin


“Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.” 
― Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

“Nothing whets the intelligence more than a passionate suspicion, nothing develops all the faculties of an immature mind more than a trail running away into the dark.” 
― Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret and other stories

“The sweetest smiles hold the darkest secrets…” 
― Sara Shepard, Flawless


“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.” 
― Cormac McCarthy, The Road

“No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith.” 
― R.A. Salvatore, Streams of Silver

“Well, good-bye for now,” he said, rolling his neck as if we hadn’t been talking about anything important at all. He bowed at the waist, those wings vanishing entirely, and had begun to fade into the nearest shadow when he went rigid.
His eyes locked on mine wide and wild, and his nostrils flared. Shock—pure shock flashed across his features at whatever he saw on my face, and he stumbled back a step. Actually stumbled. 
“What is—” I began.
He disappeared—simply disappeared, not a shadow in sight—into the crisp air.” 
― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses


“In my experience, boys are predictable. As soon as they think of something, they do it. Girls are smarter—they plan ahead. They think about not getting caught.” 
― Eoin Colfer, Half-Moon Investigations

“Every solution to every problem is simple. It’s the distance between the two where the mystery lies.” 
― Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant

“Love is an endless mystery, because there is no reasonable cause that could explain it.” 
― Rabindranath Tagore


5 Things You’re Doing Wrong on Social Media

If you’re using social media to promote or market anything, you’ll want them to reach the most people as possible.

But, in these times when social media rules seem to be ever changing, there are plenty of things you could be doing that can hurt your social media presence instead of helping it.

I’ve given you 5 things you might be doing wrong, but there’s no shame in it.

This isn’t an exact science, so what’s wrong for one person might be right for another. These are just general guidelines to follow to get the most success possible.

If you like this content, please follow me on social media for more!
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1. You’re Not Engaging in Your Community

A big part of growing on social media is knowing and interacting with the community. Like similar content, comment on posts, reply to other’s comments. These simple things will get your name out there for more people to see, plus it often leaves you in a positive light with others in the community.

If you ignore the community, your social channels will likely not grow as quickly.

A bonus of engaging with the community is that you can get a sense of what content they enjoy and what content they don’t.


2. You’re Over Posting, Under Posting, or Posting Inconsistently

Platforms like Twitter allow you to have a conversation by posting more tweets. That’s not the same for platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Posting too often on Facebook or Instagram might annoy your audiences, but posting too infrequently, your audience won’t be interested in what you have to say.

A consistent schedule allows your followers to know when to expect your content, even if they don’t realize it.

It’s tough to find the perfect amount of times to post per week, but its best to test it out before you go too crazy in either direction. Try posting 2-3 times per week at first, and make notes of the stats on those posts.

Then, post more or less often and examine those results. You’ll likely notice a positive or negative change. Use those results to find the perfect posting schedule for your content.


3. You Haven’t Put Much Thought Into It

Not every social media platform might work for you. Just because Twitter is popular, doesn’t mean its right for you. The same applies to all platforms.

You don’t have to join a certain social media platform just because “everyone else does.” Take the time and find the social media platforms that will work best for your style, and the style of your content.

Focus on one platform at a time. Understand how it works and build it up. Once you’ve established yourself to a level you find comfortable, then you can focus on a second platform.

The same applies to your content. Many people don’t find success on social media because they aren’t posting relevant content.

Take a few hours at the beginning of every month and plan your content for a few weeks. It might change if things come up or become impossible to do, but scheduling your content before hand will leave you less stressed and posting more relevant content.


4. You’re Not Telling People Where to Find You

If you’ve heard of the movie Field of Dreams, you might assume “If you Build it, They will Come” is true for everything.

That’s not how social media works. You can create the best content in the world, but if nobody knows it exists, it won’t be seen.

Share your content on other platforms. Let people know on your blog, in your videos, or wherever you create content.

It will let them know your social media channels exist, and remind them if they haven’t followed you yet.


5. You’re Not Willing to Change

The biggest part of growing on any platform is the ability to change. You need to adapt to new interests, changes in your audience’s likes and dislikes, as well as new trends in the community.

If you’re not allowing yourself to change and learn from your past, you’re not going to get better. Your content will become old and your numbers won’t increase.

Don’t shut down any criticism. Accept it and learn how you can change from it.