As I delve further and further into the world of freelance writing as part of my career, I find myself encountering something that many writers dread: writer's block. And it's honestly one of the most frustrating pieces of my job. Because some days, the creativity just flows, and I feel like I could write fifteen articles in a row, no problem. And then I have days where I really have to push myself to get just one or two pieces done. I've never noticed anything to really "trigger" writer's block - I think it's more of a combination of being tired and having too many things going through your mind at one time. So since there's no way to really Read more [...]

This is What Summer Fridays Are All About.

One of my fave things about Fridays: this is my office view. Although I work from home sporadically throughout the week, Fridays I'm guaranteed to be working from home. And I absolutely love that I can set up a little playground for Ricky on our deck, pull myself and my laptop up to the patio table and work away while he works away. Oh - and it doesn't hurt that we get to take a little trip to the park every now and again, either. Happy Friday! Read more [...]
I get emails at least once a week from people asking how they can build a successful blog. So let's just be honest here for a second - and talk about the stuff that a lot of bloggers don't want to hear - all of the things that take a lot of work if you really want to make your blog successful. And just to clarify, when we're talking successful, I'm referring to the type of site that both reaches a lot of people in a positive way AND produces money. Now, I'm going to preface this by saying that blogging is not an exact science. There's no magic switch that will make you successful. There are, however, a lot of things that you can do to make Read more [...]

Four Ways to Grow Your Audience and Make Money Blogging

Making a living as a blogger went from being a reality for the few and far between to being an actuality (and a serious career) for thousands of people across the country - and you don't even have to be a professional writer to be successful. There are really three major things you need to do to build your personal blogging brand online: Find a voice you're comfortable with. Be consistent about how often you post. Be persistent and work your ass off. I've already told you how to be good at the first two - in fact I have a bunch of posts here about how to be a successful blogger. But the third bullet - well, I haven't given you much on that Read more [...]

Blogging: Social Media for Mom Bloggers

Both in my blogging life and my work life, I get one question from clients and readers alike: where to I start if I'm really not that into social media? And like everything else, it really varies depending on who your audience is and what your end goals are. Since I have a lot of readers out there that ave personal blogs, and very specifically mom blogs for a lot of you, I thought we could focus our efforts there. This is actually a really good post for anyone who is looking to promote a lifestyle blog to a female audience between the ages of about 20 to 50. If you really want to drill down to details. Regardless...where should you start? 1. Read more [...]

Top ten blogging tips for a successful blog

It's no secret around here that I've been blogging for a damn long time. Since 2007, if you're keeping track. And yes, that would be about seven years of my life putting my innermost thoughts out into the world for ya'll to read. Which I thank you for, by the way! Anyway, outside of my blogging life I'm also a total SEO/social media geek. So because I've been have all of this weird internet stuff going on in my brain, I get a lot of questions from other bloggers. At least fifty percent of the questions I get revolving around blogging better somehow pertain to this: what are your top ten tips for the average mom blogger? So after a while, Read more [...]

Blogging: You are your own brand. Use it to your advantage.

I have a lot of friends who blog. I probably have a lot more friends than I actually know about who have a blog. By that basic statement - and the title of this post - you're probably thinking that the former is simply better at branding themselves. And yes, to some extent that's true. Here's the thing about blogs: they're really easy to start. They are NOT so easy to maintain on a regular basis. They're even harder to get a strong following on. And if you want to take your blog seriously - and you want brands to take your blog seriously - then you need to be intentional about creating a brand for yourself. Now, let's clear something up right Read more [...]

Blogging: How to use social media to your advantage

One thing I hear a lot - both from bloggers and my clients - is that they just don't "get" social media. Why it's important, how to use it and what it does for them in the long run. One thing I've realized about bloggers is that a lot of them don't want to use their social media accounts to promote their work. This happens for many reasons, but mostly these three: They're worried about clogging up people's newsfeed and irritating them. They're a little embarrassed or afraid of showcasing their work to the world. They use their social media for business AND personal use - and are afraid that their blog isn't business appropriate. As someone Read more [...]

Blogging Better: How to create content consistently

I have a lot of friends who blog. Some do it for fun, others to share their lives with family that lives across the country and others do it professionally. No matter who you are or why you do it, there's one thing that seems to be a universal struggle for bloggers: being consistent with their posts. If you're looking to take your blog more seriously - or looking for brands to take your blog more seriously - then you need to take note. Start looking around the 'net at all of the successful bloggers you know of. None of them are perfect. But they all blog consistently. Here's what posting consistently on your blog will do for you: 1. It shows Read more [...]
Last week, my SEO cohort (Rachel Gold) and I recorded a little impromptu video on how to work SEO - and more specifically, how the Google Hummingbird update - will affect your blog. One of the big pieces of this update is the shift to incorporating longer content into some of your posts. Now if you've ever tried to go from writing, on average, 500 word posts to something more around the 1,400 word mark, you know that it's not exactly an easy feat. And not every subject is actually worth writing that much stuff about. But because this bit of information is going to become more and more integral to your blogging success, it's going to become more Read more [...]

Live SEO Chat: How will Hummingbird affect your blog?

Yesterday, Rachel Gold and I chatted live about the Google Hummingbird update and how it can impact your blog {slash content in general}. Key highlights of the conversation include: How longer content is becoming more important - and how to build longer content into your site Why social media is important for conversational search and how to choose networks to participate in How forum sites can positively impact your readership Why keywords are still an important piece of the SEO puzzle I'll also be highlighting these pieces in a written post next week, so if you're looking for more details on specific items be sure to leave a comment Read more [...]
In my day job, I work as a marketing consultant. While I focus on several core areas, one of my main geekeries is SEO and content marketing. While my knowledge is vastly applied to helping professional service firms grow, I do get a lot of questions from my blogging friends about how the latest Google updates affect how they blog. And if you've been wondering the same thing - well, you're in luck. Because I'm going share some knowledge with you. And if you're already a SEO snob...then you probably already know all of this. But for those who don't...behold: the five things you need to start doing to help build your blog's Google after the recent Read more [...]
If you've read a lot of my posts about being a great blogger, you know that one tip I give is to try to guest blog on other sites and accept posts on your own. So you might be thinking that it's completely contradictory for me to blow off emails from people wanting to submit posts to my site. So let me divulge a little secret to you: There are companies that create content that they want to post on your site. And they want to post it on your friend's site. Other sites like yours. Basically, they want to re-post that content (and a link back to their own website) on as many blogs as they possibly can. For free. Because, over time, it will increase Read more [...]

Blogging Tips: Ten Things You Should Be Doing Right Now

Did ya'll know that part of my day job involves teaching people all about blogging and social media? Well, it does. Which makes me at least a semi-expert in what you should be doing right now to improve your blog, curate your audience and just generally leave a larger impact on the world wide web. So what does this mean today? Well, it means I'm going to sit here on my couch, eat some Cheez-Its and tell you ten ways to help you do all of the above. 1. Get your own domain. If you're serious about blogging and you're not a complete newbie to the industry, then get your own domain. It's fine to casually blog on a non-self-hosted site like blogger Read more [...]
I get this question all the time: HOW did you learn so much about social media? Well my friends, it was a hobby that morphed to a passion that morphed into my livelihood. And tonight, my knowledge is your power. I'm going to tell you all about the biggest social networks, why I do or don't like them and why: LOVE IT: Facebook: I love it. It's great because it offers a way to stay in touch with people you actually know - i.e. you don't have to worry about that crazy guy from three cities over stalking your every move. And from a blogging perspective, the people you're friends with should be the people that care about what you're up to - which Read more [...]

A Guide to Guest Posting on Mommy Blogs

There are a lot of reasons why people want to guest blog. Maybe they're trying to build their online reputation. Maybe they love to write but don't want the maintenance of a whole blog. Maybe they want to connect with your readers...the list goes on. Whatever your reasons are for guest blogging {or accepting guest blogs on your own site}, there are some basic rules you should follow before entering into a blogging agreement with a total stranger. And as a long time blogger, guest blogger and freelance mommy writer, I'm going to tell you ALL about it. If you're looking to submit a guest blog to another site: Search for blogs that have been Read more [...]
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