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Talking With MaAnna Stephenson

Yesterday, I introduced you to a wonderful set of books titled Just the FAQs. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing with you a conversation I had with the author of this series, MaAnna Stephenson.

1. MaAnna, can you first tell us a little about yourself?

By trade I’m an electronics engineer and, as such, have been creating all sorts of technical documentation for decades. I’m also a geek and have created sites for non-profit organizations and small businesses for over a decade too. My dad’s entire family were professional musicians, so I started playing as soon as I could sit up in someone’s lap. As a teenager I was already a multi-instrumentalist and composer. My music was first published in the 1980s with international airplay. I’m also a woodcarver and have been featured in national magazines including Woodcarving Illustrated. My first book, The Sage Age – Blending Science with Intuitive Wisdom, was published in September 2008 and featured in Publishers Weekly a few weeks later. I compiled the material for the Just the FAQs series while I was developing an online presence for The Sage Age.

2. The Just the FAQs series includes five books, what are they?

There’s a book for blogs, one for RSS feeds, and another for article marketing that are all step-by-step guides that will dramatically reduce your learning curve in these areas. The websites book teaches you what you need to know to develop a site that works well and gets results. It contains three printable worksheets and information that will help you avoid expensive pitfalls. The Quick Step Guide is available for free download and covers the basics of setting up a blog on Blogger and RSS feeds with FeedBurner.

3. What prompted you to write this series?

I took four years off from developing sites to do the research for The Sage Age. When I began creating an online presence for it, I discovered that Web 2.0 had become all the rage and I had to get up to speed with the new technology. I was appalled at the lack of good documentation available on these topics, so I created my own as I went through the process. My editor found the information so helpful that she suggested I publish the material. That’s how the blogs, feeds, and articles books came to be. The book on websites comes from my years of experience working with clients to help them build sites that look nice and get results as well as educating them to be confident site owners and avoid expensive pitfalls.

4. You have a special deal available to those who purchase a set of three or the entire set. Would you please tell us about it?

You can purchase each book individually or in bundles at a discount rate. The blogs, feeds, and website books are available as a bundle, and then the entire set is available as a bundle. The blogs, feeds, and articles books are available as a bundle with the class series.

5. You are offering classes in conjunction with the books. Please let our readers know where

they can find more details on this? (Readers-find out at the bottom how you can win a chance at a free class).

The classes offer extra support and step-by-step guidance for blogs and RSS feeds. They also contain advanced tips and tricks not covered in the books, like adding analytics to your site. You can find more information at http://www.JustTheFAQs.net/classes.shtml

6. Can you tell us a bit about your JTF podcasts?

I’ve had the good fortune to meet so many wonderful folks who are experts in some facet of online promotion. I wanted to share with others the great information these folks had shared with me. That’s why I created the podcast series. Videos are on the drawing board too and I hope to begin presenting them by this winter.

7. MaAnna, with all you do, how do you manage your time to get everything done so efficiently?

The number one question I get asked is, “When do you sleep?” My day is much like everyone else’s. I begin work at 7:30 a.m. and go quiet by midnight seven days a week. I probably should have been an efficiency expert. I have plenty of time to visit with friends and family as well as participate in local MeetUp Groups. I also spend time on my deck watching sunset most every evening. It’s one of my favorite things.

8. Are there plans for more books in this series?

Yes, more books are in the works. My development background has been in enterprise-level sites. I’m spending the summer learning to be a WordPress developer so that I can create my own templates and widgets and go well beyond what’s offered in the raw code. I’ll be expanding the series to include WordPress documentation. Of course, I’m documenting the process of getting started with podcasts and videos too, which are very hot marketing tools now. And, I’ve entertained the idea of offering a free teleclass to help folks get started with the basics of online marketing. No one is born knowing this stuff, and having it translated into plain language is something I don’t see many folks offering.

9. Where can people find your books, sign up for classes, or listen to a podcast?

Folks can find all that information at http://www.JustTheFAQs.net

They can also find plenty of articles, free downloads, and links to trusted service providers on the Resources page at http://www.JustTheFAQs.net/resources.shtml

10. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Most folks are on a budget and don’t have big bucks to pay someone to create an online presence that they don’t fully know how to manage or update. Just the FAQs ebooks can help folks learn how to do it for themselves even if they have no prior technical experience. I’m a big believer in education and resources from JTF can help folks become confident site owners and create an online presence that works right the first time.


Thank you for being with us today, MaAnna. Folks, I had the pleasure of reading both the Blog and RSS books. I am one of the most technically-challenged people, yet I found the books easy to understand and put into practice. MaAnna has created a set of books for everyone wanting to make a presence on the Internet. This set of books definitely receives a perfect rainbow of seven colors on the Rainbow Scale of Excellence.

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MaAnna Stephenson said...

Joyce, thank you so much for hosting me today and the wonderful review and interview.

Each person who posts a comment will be eligible for the drawing at the end of the tour to receive a free class from Just the FAQs. Everyone can download the Quick Step Guide for setting up a blog on Blogger with RSS Feeds from FeedBurner right now at http://www.JustTheFAQs.net

Betty Sullivan La Pierre said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about MaAnna Stephenson. What a muti-talented woman....
A joy to meet you.

Betty Sullivan La Pierre
Author of the renowned 'Hawkman Series'

Betty Sullivan La Pierre said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about MaAnna Stephenson. What a muti-talented woman....
A joy to meet you.

Betty Sullivan La Pierre
Author of the renowned 'Hawkman Series'

Joyce Anthony said...

MaAnna has visited us previously with The Sage Age and she truly is a remarkable woman. MaAnna, I am honored to have you here--your work is something I feel good about promoting!

MaAnna Stephenson said...

Thank you both for your kind words. I certainly enjoy being in the company of good folks.

orcalover said...

Writing technical issues for the common non tech person is difficult. I am glad to see this set of books and videos.

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