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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How To Grow Your Blog

How to Grow Your Blog


If you're reading this post you may be wondering how to even start a blog and I have to say there are great tutorials out there on the internet for that  But when it comes to growing your blog, that's a whole different story.  You may have a blog to go with your shop or store or you may have a blog that helps boost your income.  Maybe you even have a blog that's just for fun.  No matter what reason you have for starting a blog, every blogger can benefit from growing their blog.  Maybe it means more sales, more traffic, or more clicks on your affiliate links; but no matter what the benefits are, you have to put in the work.


The following tips are great for bloggers just starting out but also a great refresher for those of us that may be feeling stale with our traffic and our post content. These tips are ones that I have tried and succeeded with and even some that I need to work better at.  I've collected this advice over the last 8 years of blogging from conferences, other bloggers, and my own experience of seeing what does and doesn't work.


Fulfill the Need of Your Reader

In order to put content out that attracts readers you need to put yourself in their shoes.  What needs do they have that you can fulfill?  Maybe they just need a laugh, maybe they need fashion advice, or maybe they need to buy some beauty products that you just so happen to hand make.  You need to market yourself and your blog so that it serves a purpose.  For me as an advice blogger I try to solve common problems that people have whether it has to do with money, getting organized, or staying fit and healthy.  You don't buy a book just because you saw it on the shelf, right? You generally have an interest in the topic, so just remember that when you create blog posts.

Work with Other Bloggers

Working with other bloggers in collaborations is a great way to get their readers to become your readers as well. Sometimes I link to a random blog post from another blog I enjoy reading.  I've also teamed up with other bloggers for giveaways and I always interact with them on social media.  A very important way to get yourself noticed is by visiting other blogs and leaving GENUINE comments on their posts.  Now, when I say genuine I mean more than just "Great Post" because trust me as a blogger, I hate that and I totally know when you're commenting just to get more traffic.  Read my post, process it, and make a genuine comment or add your 2 cents but don't be generic.  When other people see that they aren't going to want to check you out.  At the end of your comment make sure you link to your own blog.  This is how other people may stumble upon your blog from another one.  Also, reach out and find your blogging bestie.  For years now I've been meeting up with Monica of Jersey Girl, Texan Heart to spend time together and we've actually become best friends. She was even at my wedding reception!  


Run Good Giveaways

Giveaways are a great way to boost your traffic on your blog and on social media.  You can ask readers to subscribe to your newsletter, follow your social media sites, and even leave a genuine blog comment on your post in order to gain entries.   One of the keys to a good giveaway is a decent prize.  I know that some of you may work with a company that wants to run a giveaway and that's great but sometimes the prizes are LAME! I will confess that even I used to run lame giveaways.  Winning a coffee mug is just boring and most people would rather spend the money on it than waste the time trying to enter and win.  That doesn't mean you can't giveaway the mug from the company that is working with you but try adding something else like maybe a $10 gift card to Starbucks.  Make the prize worthwhile for those entering.  Everyone has a busy life and people won't want to waste their time if it's not going to be worth it.

Make Your Blog Attractive

This is a very important aspect of blogging.  Choose a nice clean layout and a simple background.  And make sure you have an attractive logo and/or header. This is where you may need to invest a little bit of money to have a graphic designer help you out but trust me it's worth it.  If you have low traffic it's either because your content is boring or your blog is "ugly". Sorry, but it's the truth.  Take a good look at your blog.  Then go look at other blogs that seem to be doing well.  Who has a nicer layout and cleaner look when you visit the blog?  When you visit a blog there shouldn't be any pop ups or broken images that don't load.  Clean your blog up.  Don't have a ton of things going on in your sidebar.  Keep it nice and uniform. I've worked really hard to get this right over the years so if you need some inspiration, take a look at mine.

Respond to Comments

When someone comments on a blog post, make sure you respond in a very timely manner.  Don't just give a generic thank you but instead thank them for visiting and respond to their comment acknowledging that you're paying attention to what they are saying.  This is a great way to make readers feel appreciated. 


Attend Conferences and Trainings

I've attended a few blog conferences and the benefits are endless.  Not only do you learn a lot but you meet new people and you have more confidence as a blogger.  If there are no conferences around you then just look for online trainings for growing your blog or even polishing up on your social media skills.  You can write the expenses off at tax time and the money you invest will be well worth it with the information you get out of the training.  And if you don't have the money for that then find posts from other bloggers about how to do better.  Just last month I did a post about how to grow your Instagram

Create a Work Zone and Get Organized

Make sure you have a little area of your home that you can get some quiet and focus on writing your blog posts. This will help you get in the zone and avoid distractions.  I have a little office area with no TV or music and that's where I go.  Sometimes if it's nice out I'll sit on the porch and do some blogging on my laptop.  You also need a way to stay organized as a blogger so consider getting a planner book where you can brainstorm ideas and schedule when your blog posts will go out. 

So if you polish up on some of these skills, and keep this in mind as you blog in the future you should see some improvements in your traffic and readership.










Staying Safe On The Road This Spring



Spring is almost with us and most of us will be taking to the roads on day trips and family holidays over the Easter period. With the rise in the number of roads users around, the roads can become a dangerous place to be. To keep yourself and your family safe on the road, follow some of these simple tips.



1. Leave the winter tyres on


Even though it is almost the end of winter, the temperatures will still drop pretty low. Because of this it is best off that you leave the winter tyres on for a while. The last thing you want is to skid out of control and have to call a lawyer like www.seveydonahuetalcott.com to get you out of trouble.


2. It could still snow


In February and March we are still very likely to get some snowfall in areas, and because of this we will still need to stay vigilant of ice and snow on the roads. With the warm spring sun beating down on snow and ice, you will see a lot of melt water which can freeze in the shade and cause issues on the road. Slow down while on the roads to make sure that this isn’t an issue.


3. There will be lots of cyclists


In the spring, cyclists and motorcyclists once again grace the roads and this can pose an issue for drivers. Make sure that you stay alert at all times and be careful around smaller road users. Look out for cyclists on small lanes and make sure to always check your blind spot before turning.


4. The same applies for cyclists


If you are a cyclist, you will also need to carry out measures to ensure you stay safe on the road. Always wear brightly coloured clothes while on a bike as well as a helmet and stay close to the pavement. You can even get a bike light like this: https://www.jmldirect.com/at-home/utensils-and-gadgets/wheely-bright-led-bike-wheel-and-frame-lights/


5. There will be children


Once the days start getting longer and warmer, you will see a marked increase in the number of children out on the streets and road playing with their friends. Be very careful when passing both schools and residential areas, ideally you will want to slow down to make sure that you can control your vehicle easier. Children can be easily distracted so they might not notice you, which is why you must stay alert to notice them.


6. Changing temperatures


During the transition period of winter to spring you will see a large fluctuation in temperatures. It could be warm and sunny during the day, but the night will likely be icy and first over. This means that the ground will constantly freeze and thaw, which can cause the ground to crack open into a pothole. Be careful when driving and always stay far back behind the car in front in case they swerve to avoid a pothole. This way you will know to avoid it yourself. Be careful and always keep some de-icer in the car just in case it freezes over during the day time.











Monday, February 19, 2018

How To Avoid Those Common Aches And Pains





Image source: Woman suffering from a headache


In our day to day lives we will experience all kinds of aches and pains, and while sometimes they can be a symptom of something more serious - a lot of the time they are just randomly brought on because of your surroundings. This may be the weather, the temperature, your sleeping pattern, or even stress. Because of this though, it leaves it down to us to avoid having these pesky problems.


So here are all the most commons issues, and what we can do to avoid them.


Backache

A backache can be caused by a whole number of things. It may be from the way you slept, or picking something up the wrong way, so the sooner you identify what the issue may be, the easier it will be to treat it. If you are very concerned, you should make an appointment with your doctor straight away, but in most cases, you have probably just pulled a muscle. You can try icing the area, or the opposite and heat it up. A warm bath may soothe the pain as it will relax all of your muscles, so any tension that is being held there should disappear. You can also try stretching, but you don't want to risk making it any worse than it is, so be very careful when doing this, and don't push it if it doesn't feel right.


Headache

Headaches are awful, and can range from a little niggle, to a full-blown migraine. While taking painkillers can help at times, it really depends on the kind of a headache you're having. You should make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day, and make sure you've remembered to eat something too. Headaches are not the same as migraines though. While the head is affected, the pain is drastically increased, as well as your vision, and you can also feel very nauseous as well. There is no cure for migraine sufferers, only preventions. Telemedicine for migraines is a great way of stopping the triggers before they lead to an episode.


Tummy ache

In women, tummy aches can happen for all sorts of reasons that often stem from it being that time of the month. But you may also be suffering if you've eaten too much, haven't eaten enough, or are struggling with going to the bathroom. While there are many different types of medication to cover all of these areas, sometimes it's as simple as having a water bottle to soothe the pain away. Ginger is also a natural ingredient that does wonders for the stomach. You can buy it in root form and then boil it in water to make a natural tea. You can then add honey and whatever else you like to alter the taste.


So the next time you find yourself suffering and you know it isn't anything too serious, experiment with the things you have at home to make your own go-to remedies that will make you feel better. photo ScreenShot2014-06-25at102225PM_zps4fdda517.png







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