Learning to Blog: Promoting Your Post

Written a great blog post  Here are 5 ways to promote it after its live to get the more traffic

Hey yall!  Welcome back to another post in the Learning to Blog series.  Yahoo!  Today we are going to be talking about what to do after you have written a post.  You had the great idea, you wrote it up – now?  Let’s talk about how to promote your post. 

Written a great blog post  Here are 5 ways to promote it after its live to get the more traffic

For me, I promote my post 5 different ways after its live.

  • Social media
  • Email list
  • Submission sites
  • Link parties
  • Group shares

Some of these are easy and just take setting them up (like the email list).  Others are a daily task that will help grow your blog.  But don’t feel obligated to do all of these to promote your post.  Pick what you are good at/enjoy doing and go from there.  If link parties aren’t your thing – don’t worry!  There are plenty of other ways to get your content out to world wide web. 

1. Social media – When we discussed picking a name for your blog, I mentioned that it would be best to grab the social media accounts with the same name as well.  Now that you have your blog post up it’s time to share it with your social media followers.  Let them know you wrote a new post and tell them a little bit about it to build interest.  My most used social media networks are:

  • Pinterest (my favorite!)
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • G+

I have found over the years that not all social media networks are the same and need to be treated individually.  What that means is don’t do a media blast of your new post with the same wording and picture on all of your social media networks.  Pinterest likes big pictures and longer descriptions.  Facebook prefers small images and descriptions.  I can dedicate a whole series to social media and blogging, so be on the look out for a follow up post.

2. Email list – Your email list is your most valuable asset as a blogger.  I repeat, your email list is your most valuable asset as a blogger.  Social media numbers are great and all, but they can be taken away overnight.  One small change in the terms of service on any of those sites can result in a lose of followers or traffic to your site.  Your email list is yours.  You can take it with you if you move to a new website and it can not be taken away from you.  (Unless you fail to pay your provider or obtained the email addresses illegally.) 

So find an email distribution provider that you like and get it set up asap.  Tell your followers that they can now receive email updates and direct them to your new email list.  Some of great email list providers are:

Some are more user friendly then others, but take a look around and find one that you like.  Then get going on building your email list!

3. Submission sites – There are many sites out there where you can submit your post for it to be featured.  If its featured you can potentially have a surge of new visitors to your site.  (Which is a great thing!)  There are sites for almost everything – food, fashion, weddings.  Find the one that you like, create an account and add your links. 

As you can see, there are plenty of sites to get submit your posts.  Maybe spend one day a week submitting your posts to these sites to help promote your post.  And if your post isn’t accepted, don’t feel bad!  Some of these sites are tough to be featured with, but that doesn’t mean your post isn’t great.  Keep trying and keep producing great content. 

4. Link parties – A link party is where one blog allows other bloggers to share their posts on their site through a “link up”.  It’s similar to a submission site, but everyone gets featured!  You add your link using a widget and your post will appear on their site.  It’s a great way to promote your post help increase traffic to your site.  Again there are link parties for everything so find one in your niche and get linking!

Here are a few to get you started:

5. Group sharing – In order to group share, you need to find a group of bloggers willing to share.  Get a group of your bloggy friends together, start a private Facebook group and promote each others posts.  It’s really simple and its one of my favorite ways to help grow my site. 

Why do I like it so much?  Well, because I get to find new content to share with my readers and I get to help out my bloggy friends.  It’s a win-win for everyone really. 

There ya have – 5 ways to promote your post once its live.  Is there anything you would add that you do differently?  We’d love to hear it!  Be sure to join our Learning to blog group and if you’d like, sign up for email reminders. 

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Learning to Blog – Post Layout Tips

Post layout tips!  How to layout your blog post and tips to get you started

Hey yall!  Welcome to another week in the Learning to Blog series!  We have covered a lot of great information to get you started with your own blog.  Here is a quick recap of the topics we have shared:

Now we get to put everything into motion and start writing. The first thing I suggest is to start a blog calendar or buy a planner. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but make sure you have something that you can jot down ideas and have an idea of when you are going to post what. 

Post layout tips!  How to layout your blog post and tips to get you started

Start by writing a few rough drafts posts so that you get use to your blog behind the scenes.  It may take some practice, but you will get the hang of writing posts in no time!  Until then, here are a few tips for posting:

  • Be consistent in what and when you post. You don’t have to post every day but have a schedule that you and your readers can follow. If you want to start with once a week and work your way into more posts – great! Just make sure you are staying true to your niche and your voice as a writer.
  • Create a list of posts to write about. Sit down and write up as many post ideas as you can in an hour. Some of them will be duds but some will be great ideas that you can run with. Just give yourself some to think of new ideas and also a list of topics you DONT want to blog about! 
  • Use holidays to help schedule posts. You don’t have to write about the holidays but let them help you create your editorial calendar.  The rule of thumb is write about a topic 6-8 before the event. So if you are a craft blogger then you might want to start posting about summer crafts in April.  This rule is not written in stone. If you want to post about Christmas in July – go for it! Just be aware that particular post probably wont get much attention until closer to December.
  • Always have a notebook handy. Some of your best blog ideas can come out of no where. Make sure you have a notebook or an app on your phone to jot them down. Some of my best ideas come when Im getting ready for bed, grocery shopping or just playing with the kids.
  • Write, write, write! If you forget everything else, just start writing! The more you write the more you get into a rhythm and the faster the ideas start to flow. Set out 30 – 45 minutes a day to just write out your ideas. You’ll be amazed at how many things you write/type up in that dedicated amount of time.

Now here are a few tips on what a typical blog post should look like. 

  • Intro – Chit-chat and the main idea of the post. Let people know what they can expect to read throughout the whole post. “Im going to share how I made this super easy craft but giving you a step by step and..”  This does two things – it draws the reader in and it lets search engines know what the post is about.
  • Body – This is the easy part. Write your post in your voice. Make sure you do that you promised in the intro. Include pictures relevant to the post.
  • End – Close your post with a sign off. Include links to similar projects/posts/ideas and have a call to action at the bottom. A call to action can be as simple as your social media links at the end of your post. Give the reader somewhere else to go that is connected to your blog.

And there ya go!  More tips then you probably ever wanted on writing a post for your blog!  [Just kidding.]  If you have any more questions, join our Facebook group and fire away!  We are here to help.  And feel free to sign up for our email updates to stay in the loop!

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Learning to Blog – Blog Design Tips

Blog design tips that will help make your blog more professional

Hey yall!  Welcome to the next installment of our Learning to Blog series.  I’m going to go over some blog design tips!  [Woohoo!]  You can start writing up posts once you’ve picked your platform but I suggest one more thing before you go live with your site. Besides your title and blog name, your blog design plays a big part in the first impressions of visitors. A well set up blog is essential to success and won’t cost you much more then your time.

Blog design tips that will help make your blog more professional  

Here are a few tips to creating a streamlined blog:

  • Keep your background neutral. Make sure that your background isn’t distracting. I have clicked off of pages because their background gives me a headache. It may be cute, but think of the reader before putting it up.  Also, black background with white text is hard to read.  It turns readers off as well. 
  • Pick coordinating colors.  One of my favorite sites to find great color combinations is Design Seeds.  I could spend hours looking through their site! 
  • Stick to 2-3 different fonts.  It’s distracting trying to read through a blog with 10 different fonts. 

And here are what I would consider the basic elements of any blog.  Pick your favorite blog and see if you can spot these 6 things.  I bet you can!

Basic elements for a successful blog:

  • Header with your blog name – the simpler the better. Make it fit your blog and your style though. Also, don’t make it so big that it covers the whole front page of your blog.
  • Search bar up top – you want people to be able to find your posts! Make it easy for them to do so!
  • How to contact you – this can be a separate page or an email me button. This is super important! You want people to be able to get in touch with you!
  • About section – People want to know who you are and why they should read your site. Give them a few details about who you are. Make sure to tell them what you blog about and provide links to examples, if you have them.
  • Menu bar with topics that you blog about – so many times I stop by a blog their menu has three things “Home, About, Advertise”. Great. I have no idea what you write about. People need things handed to them (myself included!) Add menus topics with things you write about often to keep people interested and on your site longer. Trust me, its a good thing.
  • Social media links – If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc for your blog make sure you have those on your site. We will go over these later but again, make it easy for people to follow you!   This includes your email list – make a place up top for it! It’s important!

These are the most important elements that I feel every blogs needs. You can add other things to make your site unique, but most blogs have the basic elements above. 

And here are some more blog design resources:

That’s all for today friends!  Feel free to join our Learning to Blog Facebook group where we continue the blogging conversation!  Oh and sign up for emails to get these posts delivered to your inbox!

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Learning to Blog – Adding Your Custom Domain

Adding a custom domain

Hey hey!  So happy to have you here for another post on Learning to Blog.  Last week I shared how to buy your custom domain – woohoo!  Today I’m going to go over how to add your custom domain to your blogging platform of choice.  It’s easier then it sounds, promise! 

 Adding a custom domain

Adding a custom domain to a blogger.com blog –

1. Log in to your account and go to settings

custom domain

2. Scroll down to “Publishing” and then “Blog Address”. 

3. Click on “+Setup a 3rd party URL for your blog” 

Note – you can also buy your domain directly from blogger.com.  I have not done this before since I have always used GoDaddy.  But it is an option!

custom domain2

4. Type in your blog domain in the box and hit save.  Be sure to type it like this – www.yourblogdomain.com.

5. You should see an error after you hit save.  You need to verify that you own the domain you are trying to use.  Keep that page open and then login to your domain registrar – like GoDaddy. 

custom domain3

6. Find your DNS area and look for “Host”.  Click edit (the pencil in GoDaddy) and enter ghs.google.com where it says “www”.  Save.

custom domain4

7.  Next hit “Add Record” on the top left above “Host.” 

custom domain6

8. Enter the first set of symbols from your blogger profile in the “Host” and the second set in “Points To”.  Click finish.

9. Now you have verified that you are the owner of the domain you are trying to register!  You need to wait an hour before finishing though.  Sometimes it may take a little longer. 

10. After a bit, go back and repeat steps 1-4 again.  Your new domain should be active now! 

 

Adding a custom domain to a WordPress.com blog –

1. Log in to your WordPress.com blog and then go to https://wordpress.com/domains/. 

custom domain for wordpress

2. In order to add your custom domain to your WordPress.com blog there is an annual charge of $13/year to do this or you can purchase your domain through WordPress.com. 

I would assume the process is similar to the blogger.com setup on configuring your custom domain that you already own.  You need to set the login into your DNS file and change your host.  Since I don’t have a WordPress.com blog, I wasn’t up for paying the $13 to find out the exact steps.  You can find more details on here on how to set it up.

 

Adding a custom domain to a WordPress.org blog –

1. In order to add your custom domain to a WordPress.org blog you need to have a host first.  I highly recommend RFE hosting!  You can also sign up through GoDaddy or any other hosting company.  (Blue Host, Host Gator, etc.) 

2. Once you have hosting, you have to point your domain address to your new host.  Log in to your domain registrar account and your hosting account.  You will need information from both. 

3. Find your “cPanel” on your hosting site and head to your “DNS” section in your registrar.  I’m not going to lie – the cPanel scares the pants off of me!  I don’t want to break anything and there is A LOT of information back there.  But fear not!  You only need a few easily accessible things to set your domain. 

custom domain for wordpress4

4. Scroll down until you see “Shared IP Address” on the left hand side under “Stats”.  Copy that IP address down. 

custom domain for wordpress2

5. In GoDaddy, click “Add a Record” in your DNS Zone file on the top left.  The window above pops up.  Enter “@” for Host and the IP address for Points To.  Click save. 

6. Give it a few minutes to transfer then head back to your cPanel.  Find the WordPress icon at the bottom.

custom domain for wordpress3

7. Click Install then find your domain where it says “Choose domain”.  Change the “Site Name” and “Site Description” under Site Settings.  That is what will show up on the menu bar of your website. 

8. Create a username and password for your WordPress.org blog and click install.  It will run for a minute or two and then you should be all set up!

9. To login into your new blog you go to yourblogname.com/wp-admin and use the username and password you just picked out.  You are now ready to start designing your blog!  Woohoo! 

Holy cow!  Are yall still with me??  I hope so!  I also hope that you were able to set up your custom domain as well!  If you have any questions or comments or need a little more help, join our Learning to Blog Facebook group.  I’ll be back next week with another post on setting up your blog design! 

And if you don’t want to miss a post – sign up for our emails!

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Learning to Blog – Buying a Custom Domain

How to buy your own custom domain with step by step instructions and screenshots to help you out!  Super easy tutorial

Hey yall!  Welcome to the next installment in the Learning to blog series – buying a custom domain!  Dun dun dun!  To a new blogger it sounds complicated and mysterious, but it’s actually super simple and slightly addicting.  Hi, my name is Kelley and I am a domain hoarder!  [Hi Kelley!]  I’m going to show you how to buy your own custom domain for your blog in a few easy steps.  Here we go!

  How to buy your own custom domain with step by step instructions and screenshots to help you out!  Super easy tutorial

1. Pick you name – First things first, make sure you have picked a name for your blog.  [Here are some tips for picking the perfect name!]  That was easy, right?  Onward!

godaddy

2. Check availability – You can use any domain registering service you like, but I prefer GoDaddy.  The commercials may not be my style, but I love how easy the site is to navigate.  And their customer service is pretty good too.  Head over to GoDaddy and type in your potential blog name in the box up there and search. 

If your URL is available – great!  Add it to your cart.  If not, try a few different variations.  So if you are trying to register FoodWebsite.com and it says its unavailable, try myfoodwebsite.com or thefoodwebsite.com or even foodwebsiteblog.com.  Get creative with it! 

register

3. Buy it – Once you have your custom domain in your cart you will see a screen like the one above.  I want to point out a few things before you actually buy.  Make sure you term is set to 1 year or however long you want.  GoDaddy automatically sets it for 2 years when you add it to your cart.  If you feel comfortable buying for more then one year – go for it!  But I just want to point out that they have it set to 2.  Just be sure to either renew or have your URL set to auto-renew if you only select 1 year but want more!

Also, if you want to make your information private, click the second bubble under “Protect your personal information.”  I have a few domains that are public, and I have a few that are private.  I decided to make my business sites private to ensure that people can’t find my home address through the WhoIs look-up.  WhoIs is a website that pulls public records from domains.  It can have information like your email and home address.  If you want to keep that private, be sure to buy the protection!  Below is an example of my WhoIs report for the Grant life.  And yes, I have the protection. 

whois And the third thing before you finally buy – double check your price.  Make sure everything adds up and then head on over to the purchase screen.  You will have to either create a new GoDaddy account or enter your existing customer information.  You can then either pay with a credit card, PayPayl, gift card or even a checking account.  Read and agree to the terms and hit “Place Your Order”

Congrats!  You have officially bought your first custom domain name! 

Next week I’ll show you how to set it up with a Blogger or WordPress blog, so be sure to either join or Facebook group or sign up for email updates below.

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Learning to Blog – Blogger vs. WordPress

Learning to blog - blogger vs Wordpress.  Which platform to choose and the proscons of both

Welcome, welcome!  Today is the 3rd installment of the Learning to Blog series here at the Grant life.  [First part was where to start and second was naming your blog.]  I was going to go straight to how to register a domain but I realized that I needed to take it down a notch and talk about picking a platform first.  I’m just going to cover the two most common ones (and the ones I have the most experience with) blogger vs. WordPress.

Learning to blog - blogger vs WordPress.  Which platform to choose and the proscons of both

A blogging platform is the actually place where you write and share your content. It all may look intimidating at first but once you start using your blog regularly everything becomes routine.  But which platform do you pick?  Today I’m sharing the pro’s and con’s of using a Blogger.com blog and both versions of WordPress. 

Option number one – start a free blog on Blogger.com

Pros –

  • Its free! You literally sign up and start writing. They even walk you through the design process with free basic templates.
  • Its user friendly. Very user friendly. The dashboard is easy to navigate and contains everything you need to write a post. Also, the design side is easy to customize with a few simple tutorials.
  • Its common. The majority of bloggers that I know start on a blogger blog and some very successful bloggers still use and love blogger!
  • You can monetize it. You can put Google Adsense or outside advertisers on your blog to help generate an income.

Cons –

  • Its owned by Google. Which means Google owns all your content on your blog. Yes, you wrote and published it, but since you are using a free service provided by Google, they technically own your content. And can shut your site down at any time. I have had this happen to friends and its scary. One friend almost lost 3 years of content because Google wrongly shut her down. Not trying to scare anyone, just letting you know all the facts first. 
  • Not as SEO friendly. SEO means search engine optimization or how people find your site through search engines. (Ie google or yahoo) SEO has to be hard coded into your website which should be done by a professional.
  • Switching later is tough. If you ever want to switch off a blogger you either need to read up on it or hire someone to do it. It can be costly and you may lose content. 

Option number two – start a free WordPress.com blog

Pros –

  • Its free! Again, you sign up and are walked through a simple design process before you start blogging. Takes a few minutes max.
  • It has plugins. Plugins are essentially apps for your blog that do different things. They are only on WordPress blogs and do a wide variety of things to help your blog. (More on plugins later)
  • SEO friendly. Unlike a blogger blog you can download plugins that help with SEO (search engine optimization.)

Cons –

  • You can not monetize your blog. WordPress.com blogs are not allowed to have any sort of advertisements on their site. Its against the Terms of Service when you sign up.
  • The plugins are limited. You don’t get the best plugins, although you do get a wide variety.
  • Less user friendly

Option number three – start a WordPress.org blog

Pros –

  • Fully customizable – Most professional websites and blogs are built on wordpress.org sites. You can totally customize your site using this platform.
  • Unlimited plugins. A WordPress.org blog comes with all the bells and whistles for optimizing your site. There are unlimited plugins available to use.
  • SEO Optimized – There are a bunch of different plugins that are based only on SEO (search engine optimization).
  • You own your content. No one can take your content from you. Its yours and you don’t have to worry about your site being shut down for good.

Cons –

  • Its not free! If you start a WordPress.org blog then you have to buy your own domain and hosting for your site. Granted its not a lot, but its money you have to spend out of pocket when the other two options are free.
  • Less user friendly then a blogspot blog. 

Most professional blogs are WordPress.org blogs, that’s just a fact. They offer the most options and control over your content. I started on a blogger blog and transferred to a WordPress.org site after a year. There was a slight learning curve but I am fortunate to have great friends that are willing to help.

–> Tip: Pick whatever platform you feel comfortable using. Just do your research on each one first. You can move from one platform to another but it may be a hassle (and potentially expensive) to change. <–

Hope that helps you make a decision on which platform to use for your blog!  If you have any more questions or want to join others in your blogging journey, head over to our Facebook page

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Learning to Blog – Picking a Name

Learning to blog series - picking a name!

Hey yall!  Welcome to week 2 of the Learning to blog series.  And thank you for the positive feedback from last week’s post on getting started!  It’s nice to see so many people interested in starting their own blogs.  Don’t forget to join our Facebook group so you can join in the conversation with us!  Ok, on to today’s topic – picking a name!

Learning to blog series - picking a name!  

I feel like the name of your blog is almost as important as the content you choose to write about.  It sets a picture in peoples minds on what you expect when they come to your site.  No pressure, right?! 

I spent a lot of time in the beginning thinking about my blog name.  I had a handful of names and I tossed them around for 2 weeks or so.  I asked my husband what he thought, I asked my mom, I asked anyone who would listen really.  Which was smart because I avoided some names that I thought were great but didn’t convey my topic properly.  In the end I went with the Grant life, and almost 4 years later I’m still happy with it!

The name of your blog is almost as important as the content you choose to write about

Like I just mentioned, I spent a lot of time thinking about my name – and you should too!  Think about it, toss around a few names and ask for opinions.  I would suggest giving yourself at least a week before you settle on one.  (Unless you have a totally awesome name and then in that case, ignore me and go with your awesome name!)

I know a few people that have changed names multiple times in their blogging journey.  It happens.  People change topics they want to blog about or they are just wanting to start something new.  Either way, when you change your blog name you have to switch over URLs, blog designs and social media accounts.  It’s a lot of work to change over everything!  I’m not saying this to scare you – I’m hoping to help avoid some frustration down the line. 

So how do you pick the perfect name?  Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Make it unique.  – There are millions of blogs out there and probably hundreds of thousands in the niche you are writing about.  So how do you stand out?  With a unique name and content.  Make it something that reflects you or what you will be writing about.  Things not to do – find a blog you really like and make a play on their name.  Or copy their name completely and just change the .com to a .net or something of that nature.  Not cool and not unique. 
  • Make sure its available. – Do a quick Google search to see if the blog name you are thinking about is taken.  Check social media and then see if the domain URL is available.  (If you plan on having your own custom domain.)  It would stink to fall in love with a name only to find out a week later, it’s taken!  Do the research up front and see what’s out there.
  • Think long term. – There are a lot of fads that come and go and that can be reflected in some blog names.  Once the fad is over the name seems irrelevant and out of date.  Make sure you think long term when you are considering your blog name.  Think 2 or even 3 years down the line.  It will save you from having to change it later! 
  • Think it over.  – Like I mentioned, give yourself some time to mull over your new name.  If you are serious about blogging, then you have to be serious about a big part of your blog.  Ask friends and family and give yourself a week or two before you decide. 

Sounds pretty easy, right?  Now it’s time for some homework!  The fun kind though.  

  • Week 2 Homework – write down 10 different names that you are considering.  Add new ones to the list or delete ones that don’t work or are taken already.  Try and come up with a name you think will work long term and do a quick search to see if its taken. 

One other tip – buy a blog notebook.  Its great for brainstorming posts and ideas that you think you will remember but don’t.  (Maybe that’s just me?!)  I have a small one I keep in my purse and two or three big ones at the house.  They really help!

Ok so next week I’ll do a quick tutorial on how to register your domain and social media accounts!  Want more blogging tips?  Be sure to sign up for our emails and have them sent to your inbox!  And don’t forget to join or Learning to Blog group!

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Learning to Blog – Where to Start

Looking to start a blog  Where do you start  Here are some GREAT tips!

Hey yall!  I’m going to be starting a new series about starting your own blog this year.  From where to start to how to monetize and make money from your site.  Ill cover it all!  I hope to break it down enough that everyone who is interested in starting their own blog will be able to follow along.  And if you have a blog already, I hope to be able to help you take it to the next level!  [Whatever that may be for you!]

In a few months, I will have been blogging for 4 years!  Holy cow.  It honestly doesn’t feel like that long – but it has been so fun.  Trying at times, but something that I truly love learning to do.  When I started I knew nothing about blogging but I got this crazy idea that I could and just went for it.  I have made more mistakes along the way – but that’s how you learn, right? 

Looking to start a blog  Where do you start  Here are some GREAT tips!

 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing posts on how to get started on your own blogging journey.  Whether for profit, your business or just for fun – I hope you pick up something new and useful along the way. 

Ill be covering:

  • Naming your blog
  • Picking your platform
  • Buying a custom domain
  • Design basics
  • Social media basic
  • How to make money and more!

If at any time you have questions feel free to email me [thegrantlife@yahoo.com] and join our Learning to Blog group on Facebook!  Ill be giving “homework” after each blog post in the group. 

So let’s get started!

The most important thing to decide before you start blogging is what are you going to blog about.  I know it sounds simple but it will guide your whole blogging journey.  If you already know what you are going to blog about – great!  You have made a huge decision about your blog!  Still need a little help?  No worries!  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I love doing? 
  • What can I write about long term?
  • What will make me stand out in a crowded blogging world?
  • What do I spend most days doing/learning/reading about?
  • What am I truly passionate about?
  • What topic do my friends ask me for advice on?

I started blogging about everything.  Literally, everything.  Crafts, reviews, makeup, family, DIY!  I even had a fashion series at one point.  I tried everything because I liked it all.  Was I passionate about all of those things?  No, not really.  I enjoyed them and they were fun, but I didn’t have a passion for doing all of those things.  And it showed.  My recipe posts were far more popular then my crafts.  Or my fashion ones!  The ONE question I wish I had asked myself sooner is:

What do I NOT want to blog about?

I could have eliminated a lot of topics and started blogging about food and family sooner.  It’s great to set boundaries early and know up front what you don’t want to blog about.  It’s actually empowering to say “No, I don’t want to do that.”  Or “no, that doesn’t fit my blog.”  It’s 100 percent ok to say no to certain things and pursue what you truly love. 

Learning to blog - find what you truly love to do

Find your passion – no matter how big or small – and think if you can write about that passion long term.  If the answer is yes – then you have a winner!  Congrats! 

  • Week 1 Homework – Make a list of your hobbies and passions.  Ask yourself if you can write about each topic long term – think at least a year.  It’s ok to have more then one topic you want to write about, but narrow it down to 2 or 3.  That’s a great start! 

Check back next week for tips on naming your new blog!

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Blogging Tips: How to get Featured by Pinterest

Tips to getting featured by Pinterest

Something pretty amazing happened this week – my “Easy Thanksgiving Ideas” board was featured by Pinterest.  To be honest, I didn’t even know it had happened.  My friend Bobbie messaged me and said I better check Facebook, so I did.  People were congratulating me on the feature.  My hands went numb and I my mind started to race.  No way.  There was no way that I was featured again.  Yes, again.  My “Easy Halloween Ideas” board was featured not even a month prior.  So I sat down and started thinking.  Why was Pinterest featuring my boards?  I came up with 5 points to help get you noticed by Pinterest. 

  Tips to getting featured by Pinterest

1. Board Names are Key

Your boards need to be unique, searchable but also stay within your blog’s branding.  A board called “Food” is not going to get noticed by anyone.  Think about what words you use when you are searching for something.  Use those words in your board titles.  All of my boards focus on my blog’s brand – easy and homemade.  Those are also words that I use when Im looking up ideas for crafts or recipes.  So I made them my board names  Makes sense, right?  Clear as mud?  Great.  There’s more.

2. Board Descriptions Help Too

When someone is searching on Pinterest they are showed a pin from your board based on your board title or your board description.  [If they click “boards” up top.]  So expand on your board name in the description field.  I made sure to use my keywords over and over.  ‘Easy”, “homemade” and “ideas” are consistent in all of my board names and descriptions.  I think Pinterest gets it that I like “Easy homemade ideas”.  And that’s a good thing! 

3.  Arrange your Boards to Perfection

I have my boards in seasonal chronological order – meaning the most current holidays or events are up top.  Those are the boards that people are most interested in so give the people what they want.  Personally, I hate seeing group boards and “My blog posts” boards up top.  Move those to the middle or bottom to make room for the boards that people are searching for at the moment. 

4. Board Images Need to be Relevant

And not only relevant to the board but eye catching as well.  Make sure it draws the reader in long enough to click follow and repin a few things.  Also, be mindful of the size of the image you pick.  Don’t pick a beautiful image that is cropped in half.  Choose one that fits the preview window and amplifies what the board is about. 

5. Keep it Simple

Pinterest is a great tool for bloggers because it drives traffic to our sites.  [Tons and tons of traffic!]  It can be overwhelming to think about everything you need to do in order to be featured, gain new followers, increase your traffic, etc.  But you know what I did special in order to be featured?  Nothing.  I didn’t pump up my boards or pin a ton of things at once at peak times.  I stayed true to my blog and my brand.  That’s it.  Sometimes simple is best. 

Easy enough, huh?  Just a few simple changes to your Pinterest account and you could be well on your way to being featured.  And I hope you do get featured, because its pretty awesome! 

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Grow your Blog: G+ Link Up

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Hey yall!  Im back again with another way to grow your blog – Google +!  I wish I could tell you home important G+ is for bloggers, but that would be a long, long post.  Just know that it helps with SEO [search engine optimization] and authorship.  That means more people that are searching for what you write about, are able to find you.  Which means more page views and so on.  Its a good thing!  If you don’t have a G+ account and you have a blog, I would put that on your ‘to do’ list asap.  Start slow, but once you get the hang of it you will definitely see the benefits. 

GooglePlusLinkUp_2

Anjanette of MommaYoung at Home | Google Plus: @MommaYoung
You can also find her here:  Blog Facebook Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Candy of Candypolooza |  Google Plus: @Candypo
You can also find her here:  Blog Facebook Twitter Pinterest | Instagram

Bobbie of Clumsy Crafter|  Google Plus:  @ClumsyCrafter
You can also find her here:  Blog Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest | Instagram

Kelley of The Grant Life |  Google Plus: @TheGrantLife
You can also find her here:  Blog Facebook Twitter Pinterest | Instagram

Brinn of BoldButterBaby | Google Plus:  @BoldButterBaby
You can also find her here:  Blog Facebook Twitter Pinterest  | Instagram

2. Link up your Google+ Profile:
(Please choose a picture you can upload from your computer or use the direct URL to your image. )

3. Please add some of our Link Up friends to your circles, I will add everybody.
Be sure and tell them you found them through our link up.

4.  Spread the word!
Tweet about it, share it on Facebook or post about it on Google+.