Lending A Helping Hand With Your Kid’s First Car

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As a new drive, it can be very hard to find the best car for your new driving career. This puts a lot of young people in a bad position. And, this will usually lead to silly decisions being made. As a parent, you have the chance to help you kid in this pursuit. Your advice and support could be invaluable during this time. But, how exactly do you support someone through this decision? This post will be going through some of the ways that you can ensure that your kids have the best chance of getting the best car.

When you first start your search, you should talk to your kid. It’s important that they have a good amount of say in the car that they get. Of course, when you’re buying on a budget; you will have limited options. But, they will have some room to be picky. These decisions should be discussed. This will give you a chance to make sure that they’re not ignoring a good option that might suit their needs. You should make sure that they aren’t choosing their car just for the way it looks. It’s easy to fall into this trap. And, it can cause loads of problems in the future. Your first concern will probably be safety. And, this area is very important. Check out websites like NCAP to find information about the safety of individual cars.

Once you have a few options on the table, you need to go an see them with your child. It’s important to make sure that the car is in good working order at this stage. So, if you’re serious about an option; it could be worth bringing someone with some mechanical skills to check the car. Both you and your kid should test drive the car. You need to do this to make sure nothing feels wrong, that your kid might not notice. And, your child needs to try it to make sure that they will get on with it. It’s very important that a first car is a good fit. And, it’s also important that it lasts as long as possible.

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When it comes to buying the car, a lot of parents will buy it for their child. This isn’t always the best way to go about things, though. They will never feel as though the car is their own. And, even if they don’t realize; they will benefit greatly from paying something like this themselves. You can help them to find the best car finance deals so that they don’t have to save too much. And, then, you can help to cover their insurance and tax on the car. This means that you’ll still be helping them; but, they will be paying for the car.

Hopefully, this will give you the helping hand that you need to make sure that your kid gets the best car for their money. It can be hard to shop for a first car. And, it can be stressful as a parent. But, you have to remember; this will be their first step to the freedom of adulthood. So, it’s very important that it’s done right.

How to Write a Stellar About Me Page for Your Blog

How to Write a Stellar About Me Page for Your Blog

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

One of the most viewed pages on your blog will be your “About Me” page.  As your following and readership grows, so will the number of people who want to know the super-cool mastermind behind the blog!  It’s very important as a blogger to engage your readers and help them truly care about you.  If they don’t care about you, they won’t care about what you have to say or offer.

Your “About Me” page is the most important page on your blog. Not only does it do the job of introducing you to the world, but it is key in providing vital information about what you can offer to your readers and why they should stay around and click (and hopefully subscribe!).  Get your “About Me” page wrong, and you can be sure to drive AWAY traffic to other sites instead of retaining that traffic.

Today’s post is all about setting your “About Me” page up for success. While I don’t believe it will ever get up to a perfectionist level, there are things that can be done to it to make it ASTONISHING and WONDERFUL!  So, let’s talk about what you should and should not include on your “About Me” page.  While there is no one-size-meets-all formula to creating a stellar “About Me” page, there is information that you should include without a doubt.

Your Bio

Who are you? How did you get to where you are today? Share your goals and values.  Let your readers see the real you. Being yourself is key to gaining your readers’ trust and confidence that by reading what you have to say, they can find value.

Talk about the parts of you that make you a unique blogger. You don’t have to give a chronological explanation of everything you’ve gone through in your life, but do include those skills, experiences, and successes that make you an expert in your niche.

Include a Photo

While you may already have your photo in a sidebar, you should also include another photo on your “About Me” page. By all means, do NOT include a photo that would embarrass you, your family, or your readers. Make sure you are dressed professionally/appropriately for your blog’s niche. If you’re offering professional services, don’t show up in shorts and a t-shirt. Wear a suit.  Get the point?

Describe your blog content

So now that we know about YOU as an individual, we want to know what your blog is about, and why we should spend our valuable time on YOUR page vs the millions of other pages out there. Draw us in to what makes your content special, valuable, and time-worthy. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this page needs to SHINE!

Show how you can help your readers

Your readers may have landed on your site because they did a search for specific information. This is your opportunity to clearly explain what you can do for them to help them meet their needs.  As a parenting blogger, I try to provide valuable information to new parents or those who are seeking new ways of doing things. By providing new perspectives and ideas, we can draw our readers in for wanting more. Don’t just recycle information most people have heard before. Create new, exhilarating content that your readers will remember, love, and share with others!

Provide examples of how you have helped others

Above we talked about the importance of telling your readers how you can help them. Now’s your chance to talk about your success stories! Do you have a portfolio or project? Share it! Provide specific examples, numbers, data, and photos. This lets your readers see tangible results they can expect from you as well.  Walk the walk if you are going to talk the talk!

Your contact information

This may seem dumb and/or obvious, but don’t forget to include the best ways to contact you for more information. I’m not saying you have to include every single social media account URL.  The best way to provide contact information is through a separate “Contact Me” link. Check out my contact page as an example.  I have a simple contact form as well as my social media account links.

Recent/Popular Posts

Never miss an opportunity to show off your best work. Create a list (3-5) linking to your highest performing posts. Show your readers what they have to look forward to by subscribing to your blog.

Now what?

You’ve followed my suggestions above and put together a stellar “About Me” page. Now what? Continue to update it. Don’t let it sit unedited. Update your information as you grow as a writer, and as your readers’ needs change. Refresh the popular/recent post links and look for opportunities to update your photo.

Share with me!

What’s on YOURAbout Me” page?  Do you have more ideas for a stellar “About Me” page? Share in the comments below!

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links
Save 10-20% on select Majestic Cool Base and Flex Base jerseys + Free Shipping on Orders over $50 at MLBShop.com through 3/17

Have you ever wondered how all of these other bloggers are becoming so successful with affiliate marketing? If so, this is the post for you. Affiliate marketing can seem so overwhelming at times, but it doesn’t have to be.  I’ve put together a detailed guide on how to sign up with ShareASale so that you too can be on your way to success.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

To keep it simple, affiliate marketing is when bloggers like you or me sign up to promote a merchant’s products and services in exchange for a commission.  When I place a merchant’s links within my blog post (or use banner ads), I get commission when a reader clicks on the link and that click leads to a purchase.

There are all kinds of merchants available for promotion. The good thing is that there are so many merchants that we have the ability to only sign up for programs that interest us.  As a daddy blogger, I look for merchants that sell products related to my niche.  I never promote or recommend products I don’t believe in or use.

Why Would I Want To Spend Time On This?

Affiliate marketing allows bloggers and site owners to earn income based on their sales performance with their merchants. While starting off can be a little slow before you start seeing income roll in, it’s a great method to earn extra passive income.

I won’t lie to you today about the work needed to succeed in affiliate marketing. It takes a lot of time to craft blog posts in such a way to make your readers not feel like you are just trying to sell them something. Trust me, the first time they feel that way, it’ll be the last time they visit your site.

Hopefully, you started blogging because you are passionate about something. You want to share that passion with others. From time to time, you have products or services to recommend your readers that will be a value for them.  This is where affiliate marketing is at its best. By blending in the links with your blog posts, you can make your readers feel like you are truly offering a product or service to them that will better their lives.

Throwing up banner ads like there is no tomorrow, or putting a million affiliate links all over a blog post may eventually lead to sales, but it won’t lead to reader loyalty. Be smart about when and where you place the links.

I didn’t receive my first commission until November of 2016.  I spent months perfecting the best ways to introduce those products to my readers. I will say that persistence pays off with affiliate marketing – just like anything else in life.

How Do I Join An Affiliate Marketing Program?

Joining affiliate marketing programs is easy.  The first step is to choose which affiliate marketing site you want to use. You don’t have to narrow it down to just one, but for the purpose of this post, I’m going to talk about ShareASale’s Affiliate Marketing Program (see my recent review of ShareASale).  

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Once you have signed up to be an affiliate with ShareASale (join here using my referral link), you can select from thousands of merchants and apply with the click of a button. Most of the merchants manually review applications and usually respond within a few days. Some of them automatically approve you. Aside from a few occasions, you should receive approval for every program for which you apply. Don’t be surprised, or discouraged, though, if you do get declined from a program. Many programs have minimum guidelines you have to meet for them to accept you, but these are few and far between.

In ShareASale, click on the Merchants tab and then Search For Merchants

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

The Merchant Search will allow you to search for merchants based on popularity, age, sales volume, etc.  You can either type in a keyword into the search field, or click on any of the links.  I like to look at the Top 100 PowerRank on occasion and see if any of those high performers fit my blog’s niche.

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

I performed a search for Major League Baseball because opening day is a few weeks away and I wanted to see if there were any affiliate programs with great deals on merchandise to coincide with opening day.  When I hit search, I get a list of 41 affiliate programs associated with Major League Baseball.  The list tells me if the merchant is in the Top 100 PowerRank, when they were activated on ShareASale, their merchant ID, commission structure, and more details about the program.

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

I’m interested in joining MLBShop.com’s affiliate program, so I clicked on the link to the left that takes me to their program’s affiliate application.

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

A pop-up box will appear with the merchant’s affiliate program agreement. READ THIS!  It is important information you will need to know in order to remain an active affiliate for this merchant’s program.

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Once you’ve read the program agreement, you will need to click the radio button that confirms you agree to the merchant’s agreement and then hit Join This Program. This particular merchant also requires that I agree to release my email and phone number as a part of the program application.

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Once you have submitted your information, you will get another pop-up that tells you your current approval status.  Most of the time, it will say Pending.  If an affiliate automatically approves you, it’ll say Approved in green.

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Once a merchant has approved you as an affiliate, you get access to promotional tools you can use to promote the merchant’s products in your blog posts, social media, or email campaigns. Promotional tools include banners, coupons, or promo codes. Adding links is as easy as copying the special tracking URL assigned to you and pasting them into your blog post.

Let’s take a look at one of my existing merchants that I promote – NFLShop.com.  I really love this particular merchant’s program because they almost always have great deals and coupons to offer readers.

Once I’ve opened up the program from my dashboard, I see several tabs across the top of the page – Text Links, Banners, Deals/Coupons, Datafeed Products, Product Showcase, Make-A-Page, and Create Custom Link.  Not all merchants will have the same tabs at the top.  It all depends on what they have chosen to offer to their affiliates.

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Text links

This is the tab the site defaults to when you open up the merchant in your dashboard. It is just what it says. As you can see, I get the text link’s individual ID, the description of the text link, its category, a preview of what the link will say, when it was modified, and a link to get the html code.As I look through the list, I try to find a link that fits within the blog post I’m writing. For this example, let’s say I am writing a post about Eddie Lacy. He’s been in the news lately so I want to talk about it with my readers.  I see that NFLShop.com has a 2017 NFL Free Agent Class Seattle Seahawks Nike Game Jersey.  You can either do what I just did – add the link to custom text, or use the html link and plug it into your html editor in your blogging platform (for me, that’s WordPress) to have the link automatically show up.  You can do it either way. I love this because it allows me to be creative in how I promote this product to my readers.

The custom link that I copied and pasted as a hyperlink inside my custom text is the link that will record any clicks, and more importantly, sales, that have been generated by readers who have clicked them. This is why it’s very important you copy and paste EXACTLY how they appear on the merchant’s site. You don’t want to lose any potential sales!  Here’s what the actual hyperlink looks like when you copy it from the merchant’s page. Don’t ever paste this link by itself in a blog post. It looks unprofessional.  Always, always, always embed the URL inside custom text!

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=983219&U=1350177&M=52555&urllink=

When you click on Get HTML Code, you’ll open up both links. If you are familiar with HTML code (you really don’t need to know much more about it other than how to copy and paste it into WordPress), choose the first code in the top box.  Note: If you want to add your ShareASale hyperlink to custom text, this is NOT the code to use for that. The key to knowing whether or not it’s a hyperlink is to look to see if there is http:// in front of it.  Notice how the first code starts with “<a href=.”  This will let you know that it’s html code and you should copy and paste it into the html editor of your blogging platform.  I did NOT choose this option. I chose the 2nd option, which is the hyperlink version I showed you above.

How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Banners

Banners are good visuals to use in addition to text links. I like to put some of my affiliate banners in my blog’s sidebar, and if a banner corresponds to a blog post I’ve written, I’ll stick a banner either at the top, middle, or bottom of my post to draw my readers’ eyes to it.  Banners work the same way as text links, in that you have to copy and paste the code into your html editor to get them to appear on your site. NFLShop.com has 302 banners available for me to choose from. Left-click on the banner that you want and it’ll take you to the same code as before. So easy!

Deals/Coupons

Some merchants offer deals/coupons to their customers, while others do not. As we can see from our tabs, there are 8 current deals/coupons offered by NFLShop.com.  When we click on this tab, it takes you to the detail list. It’s important, above all, to look at the start and end times of the coupon.  We definitely do not want to offer our readers a coupon that has expired!  We see that this merchant has some that never end, and some that have an expiration date. These links work almost exactly like our text and banner links work.  I like to offer these coupons to my social media followers a lot of times, so I’ll customize my message about the coupon and then provide them with the tracking link they click on to get the deal.  You can also use custom text inside your blog posts and embed the tracking link as a hyperlink behind the text.  Again, make sure you copy and paste the code exactly as it appears.

Datafeed Products

Whoa! There are 86,992 data feed products for NFLShop.com. What in the world is this? And do you need to be concerned with it?  Data feeds are files provided by your merchant to help you better promote and sell their products.  (IMPORTANT!).  We all want our content to show up at the top of search engine results, right?  Well, data feeds are there for that purpose. Data feed files are changed over into individual products which contain descriptions about those products, links for the images, visitor links, pricing, etc.  What does this mean for you and me?  We will take this information and build individual web pages for these products, or even combine them all into each page.  We want to use data feed products if they are available because they will help give our site more search engine exposure.

Product Showcase

The next tab over is the Product Showcase tab. Product Showcases are dynamic creative that show product results for a search term or category. Whenever a search is performed, it provides real-time results and will differ each time the creative is viewed. ShareASale allows you to create a showcase either for a single merchant, a group of merchants, or for all of your merchants.  I haven’t really played around with this feature yet, as I almost always use the links within my blog post to refer readers to products that may interest them. But, this feature is there, and may be worth checking out.

Make-A-Page

Make-A-Page is a feature that allows you the ability to easily find relevant products and create pages for them. You can either search by keyword, or select from the category list.

Create Custom Link

If you want to create a custom link for a product, ShareASale gives you a tool that allows you to do just that. Again, I just use the URLs provided in the text/banner tabs, but if you want to create your own you can do that as well with this feature

Tracking Your Activity

Now that we have a good idea of some of the tools merchants can provide you to promote their products, how do we know when someone has clicked on one of our links?  And, how do we know if that click led to a sale?

ShareASale’s Reports tab at the top left corner of your dashboard is the place to go to get your individualized stats. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.

If I hover my mouse over Reports, it’ll give me a lot of options to choose from:

Activity details

This report tells you your sales history.  You can filter down to a certain time period, or view all transactions.  You can also drill down to a specific merchant, transactions, paid date, etc.  I like this page because it tells me when a link or banner was clicked, what the total sale amount was, and what my commission was.

Merchant Timespan

If I want to see my commission totals for a specific merchant, or all merchants, within a specific time frame, I can do that with this report.

Today At A Glance

I check this report daily, sometimes hourly, if I’ve pushed posts out with affiliate links recently.  It tells me if there have been any clicks on those links, who the merchant was, my status with the merchant (approved), any commission that I may have earned from that click, unique and raw hits, sales, manual credits, conversions, reversals, and earnings per click.

Traffic Report

This report is useful if I want to see my traffic levels for my merchants. Again, I can filter down to a time frame, individual or all merchants, and sort by several categories. I usually sort by Unique Hits, then high to low. This tells me which of my merchants get the most traffic, which is useful because I can focus on them more to try to drive in more sales.

Download CSV

If you want to download your transactions to a .csv file, you can do that with this feature.

Payment Summary

Shows any recent payments that ShareASale has made to you.  In your account settings, you have the option to set a payment trigger. I chose $50. Whenever my commissions reach at least $50, it’ll automatically perform an ACH Direct Deposit to my bank account.  Go to your account settings to adjust the trigger level and method of deposit.

Merchant Status

I love this report because it gives you a run-down of your merchant status.  This report gives me the option to quit a program, tells me what status I’m in (Approved, Declined, etc), my commission totals, hits totals, sales totals, conversions, EPCs, merchant info, links to contact that merchant, and a link that takes me to get links or banners for that merchant.

More…

I won’t go into detail about the More section, but it does have additional reports you can run to help you with your affiliate marketing.

How to Make the Most Out of ShareASale

It’s easy to drop in a few links, promote links through social media, and add a few banner ads to your site, but there’s a lot more to it than this. Don’t sell yourself short by promoting products you don’t believe in just to make a few bucks. Focus on promoting only those products you use.

Be creative!  Don’t be afraid to try new promotional methods. For example, I will be making a video tutorial of this blog post in the near future.  I can add these links to YouTube to drive traffic to my merchants.

The amount of income is only limited to the amount of time and effort you set aside for it. It may seem like a long shot to hit in the thousands per month, but it can be done.

FTC Requirement: Disclosing Affiliate Links

Before you hit the publish button on that fancy new blog post with shiny affiliate links, you have to clearly disclose that there are affiliate links on your blog.  Put your affiliate disclosure at the top of your blog post before the first affiliate link appears. If you are sharing your affiliate links on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, you can disclose them by stating #ad or #aff. I’ve also seen bloggers write “Disclosure: Affiliate links.”  As long as you clearly disclose the presence of affiliate links, you’ll be compliant with the FTC.

Here is how I disclose affiliate links on my blog:

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Some Amazing Programs You Need To Join

I’m very happy to share with you some of the programs I’ve joined and their commission structure. Please note that merchants change their commission structure on occasion, so be sure to review each merchant’s full profile on ShareASale. ShareASale is also very good about emailing you about commission changes as well.

Blurb – Make your own professional-quality books, magazines, or eBooks. They offer 15% commission per sale and a 120 Day Tracking Cookie.

Book Outlet – Book Outlet has been in business for over 10 years selling books all over the world.  Books are offered at 50-90% off the list price. Book Outlet offers 10% commission, a 45-day cookie, seasonal and monthly promotions, performance incentives, full data feed, and dedicated program management

Candy ClubCandy Club is one of my newer merchants, but offers a monthly subscription service to deliver the freshest candies right to your door. They offer $20.50 commission on all 1, 6 and 12 month subscription sales, $30.00 commission on all 6 and 12 month prepaid subscription sales, one free Candy Club package to review on your blog/site upon request, and a bonus commission structure based on your performance.

Canva Press – Provides canvas prints, photo paper prints, and wall murals customized for each customer. They offer commissions between 10-14%,  a 30 day tracking cookie, discount and dollar off coupons, an auto-deposit feature, and dedicated program management.

Corner Stork Baby Gifts – Affordably-priced baby gift company founded by moms from Atlanta who seem to get invited to a baby shower or birthday party every week. Corner Stork offers the best of bath toys to room decor, personalized gifts to clothing, etc. They also price-match! The offer sales commissions of 10%.

CellSavers – CellSavers is a convenient device repair service.  Their technicians can meet you at your preferred location and time to repair damaged cell phones.  All repairs come with a lifetime warranty and high rated customer service. See my earlier blog post about CellSavers. CellSavers offers a $10.00 commission per lead, a 15 day cookie, $10 affiliate referrals, award-winning affiliate marketing management service, and monthly newsletters with updates on promotions, contests and sales opportunities.

Cricut – Cricut.com offers Cricut® machines, 50,000+ images to cut, and project supplies ranging from cardstock to iron-on film—plus inspiration, ideas, and a creative community!  The Cricut Explore™ machine lets anyone create amazing DIY projects. With world-leading technology, we make it easy for novices and professionals alike to make something they can feel proud of. Cricut offers a 12% base commission and 15% commission on orders $100+, a 45 day cookie, $10 affiliate referrals, award-winning affiliate management team from Acceleration Partners, and weekly newsletters with promotions, incentives, and the latest offers designed to help affiliates earn higher commissions.

Dancewear Solutions – Dancewear Solutions offers a large selection of the latest dancewear, dance shoes, leotards, dance shorts, tights and dance accessories. They carry most of the major dance brands such as Balera, Bloch, Capezio, Danskin, Sansha, Urban Groove and more. Dancewear Solutions offers a 6% commission rate and their average sale is $70.

Gymboree, Crazy 8, Janie and Jack – Gymboree’s clothing and accessories are created to celebrate kids being kids in unique, head-to-toe looks. Gymboree clothing is designed with colorful, high-quality fabrics and detailed touches throughout. Crazy 8 offers fashionable outfits at a great value for girls and boys, sizes 3M to 14. Janie and Jack offers classic children’s clothing rich in fabric, design and detail for girls and boys up to size 12 online. Heirloom-quality looks feature finely-crafted details such as hand-embroidery, hand-smocking and special prints. They offer 8% commission, a 30 day cookie, product datafeeds for both Gymboree and Crazy 8 that are both updated daily, and regular newsletters with updates on promotions, contests, and sales opportunities

Little Passports – Little Passports delivers a travel adventure right to your door! Choose from the Early Explorers (ages 3-5), the World Edition (ages 6-10), or the USA Edition (ages 7-12). Each subscription will have your child rushing to the mailbox, waiting for packages highlighting a new global destination or US state. They’ll receive letters, souvenirs, pop-out models, activities, stickers and more. Inspire a life-long interest in travel, language and world cultures with Little Passports! Little Passports offers $15 PER SALE commission rate on all monthly payment and 12 month plans. as well as $8 PER SALE commission rate on all 3 month and 6 month plans, a 90 day cookie for conversion tracking, regular newsletters with promotions, incentives and content, and a dedicated affiliate team.

NFLShop.com – NFLShop.com is the official online store of the National Football League and offers the biggest selection of officially licensed NFL apparel and merchandise online. They offer up commissions of up to 6% of sales, a 7 day cookie, 50,000+ product datafeed, top name brand products including Nike, New Era, Mitchell & Ness Cutter and Buck and more + authentic collectibles from Fanatics Authentic, great tools for bloggers and social media affiliates, great selection of text links and banner ads as well as “build your own” capability using Product Showcases, Make A Page and Custom Link builder, and dedicated management by Wade Tonkin.

 

Being A Good Husband Means Taking More Responsibility

When you start living with someone or you get married to them, it becomes clear that a relationship is no longer just about wooing someone and winning them over. You’ve already done that. Now it’s about maintaining a friendship with someone and creating a life with them. That’s not always about being touchy-feely, either. It’s about taking responsibility for your part as the man of the family and finding out what that is.

Being A Good Husband Means Taking More Responsibility

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Don’t make any assumptions about places in the household

We don’t live in the same world that our parents used to live in. In case it’s flown over your head, women might still face barriers in some careers but they have just as much opportunity as a man. Yet many men are still assuming that their career will take precedence in a marriage, especially where children are involved. It’s important to fully discuss career futures and not let any lingering bias lead you to assumptions that will not only cause an argument but give your wife real cause to think that you don’t respect her aspirations as much as you respect your own.

No, women aren’t solely responsible for children

When it comes to some issues, a woman’s body is her own and she naturally has the most choice over what she does with it. When it comes to deciding whether or not to start or add to a family, the man should have as much say in the conversation. Whether or not you want kids is something you should decide before getting married. But there are changes later in the relationship that will demand that you revisit the conversation. For instance, the potential of a vasectomy if you don’t want any more. Or the process of adoption if you are unable or don’t want to conceive naturally. Family plans are something you need to find agreement on, especially if you have to potentially undergo some surgery to make them happen.

Being A Good Husband Means Taking More Responsibility

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Money needs to be a joint effort

When it comes to the household finances, whether you’re earning or not, making more or making less, you have an equal say in the conversation. The same goes for your wife. You need to figure out what your shared plans are, from pensions to college funds, and how you reach them. It’s important to think about what money is put toward personal enjoyment, too. From joint vacations to solo spending money. A lot of arguments can be avoided if you create a plan together and stick to it.

The relationship must be crucial

It can all sound very businesslike, having the kind of conversations above and aiming toward those shared goals. But what’s important is the bond that makes it worth sticking together as a family. When you’re dating, lust, curiosity, and excitement take the lead. When you’re married, friendship needs to steer the ship. Make sure you keep the friendship in the marriage by taking the time for one another even if you can’t find enough time for proper dates.

Responsibility is crucial if you want to be able to keep any relationship going smooth. You have to know your own mind and be open to your wife’s side of the story, as well. Without a frank look at responsibility and cooperation, communication will break down all too easily in the family.

Quality Time Is The Best Time With Your Children

Kids grow up too fast, we all know that. It only seems like yesterday that they entered the world and you were carrying them around in your arms, and now they are running around, developing into adults and even teaching you a thing or two! When we look back on our children’s more younger, formative years we can tend to get a bit emotional and also feel a sense of pride in knowing that our children have been brought up to be the best little people that they could possibly be, and we may feel like we need to spend more time with them so that we do not miss out on any further aspects of them growing up. With us leading busy lives, it can sometimes be hard to spend as much time with our children as we would like. We work full time jobs, and leave early in the morning and come home late at night when they are tired or already in bed. The only time that we realistically have with our children now is at the weekends, and we should do all we can to spend quality time with them and reconnect with them.

Quality Time Is The Best Time With Your Children

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A day out with the children is always a good idea. It gets you, your partner, and – of course – your children out of the house, and you all get to experience something new and have a lot of fun together. This does not have to be expensive, though, or even grand. It could be something like visiting a local park together and taking a picnic, or even visiting the beach. Depending on the personalities of your children, you will need to think about what activities they would like to do: would they like to go to Nitro Swimming or would they prefer to chill out with all the family while you all take a long walk together? Would they really enjoy being taken out for a treat such a meal? You will need to put thought into all of these aspects and ensure that your children will be happy and that they will enjoy spending time with you, in different places.

Quality Time Is The Best Time With Your Children

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If your children really enjoy sport, then you could book some tickets to go and see a game. If your children have not seen a sports game live before then there is a good chance that they will absolutely love going to see their favorite stars do their thing live, rather than on the TV. If your children really enjoy playing video games, then you could take the time to scope out games conventions and travel with them to go and experience something like that.

Make sure that the time you spend with your children is a positive time and that nothing is forced upon them, that they may not feel comfortable doing or enjoy doing. Allow them to have a say in what they would like to do, and even if you do not like the idea take the time to experience their enjoyment while you can.

How to Revitalize Old Blog Posts

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Are you struggling to come up with new, high-quality content?  Do you have writer’s block? Guess what?  You already have content on your blog just begging for your attention.  Today’s post is all about showing some love to our old blog posts by revitalizing them.

I don’t know about you, but old posts seem to still get some hits on my blog. That got me to thinking – what if that content is outdated?  What if my writing wasn’t that good?  What can I do to improve them?  I think it’s easy for us as bloggers to forget about our old blog posts because we want to continue to pump out new content. One forgotten blogging strategy is to keep content updated.

Reasons why you should start doing this TODAY:

You’ve learned new things

I’ve been blogging since 2015, and I’m pretty sure that I knew how to write well back then, but that’s about all I could do.  I didn’t understand how to include keywords for SEO, proper placement of affiliate links, or including links to other content to keep readers on my site much longer than a few seconds.  I can definitely tell you it’s frustrating to spend a lot of time perfecting a blog post to not get many views or shares.

The good thing about blogging is this:  The more you do it, the better you get at it. I’m sure I have plenty of old posts that were good ideas, but were terribly written. It’s time to update them!  And, not only will I update these posts because I care about the content on my blog, but I will also share them again.  Who knows, maybe they will go viral! Learning as you go is good for new posts, but this education can definitely apply to the oldies on your site as well!

You have more followers

We all probably don’t have the same number of followers we did 2 years ago – at least I hope not! Hopefully, your following has continued to grow.  If it’s not, then you aren’t really succeeding as a blogger.

New followers usually read your most recent content, and probably don’t have your site’s archives memorized like you do. So, you need to continue to direct them to these older posts by linking within newer posts and by setting up a sharing schedule on social media (I use Hootsuite). Chances are, your original followers fell head over heels for your old stuff – so, let your new followers experience the same thing!

You’ve experienced more

If you started blogging 5 years ago, chances are you’ve traveled to new places, met new people, learned new things, and made more memories. If you wrote a post about traveling to London years ago and you went again a few weeks ago, why not update the original post to include the new experiences you learned from your most recent trip?  By doing this, you are showing your followers not only do you care about your older content, but you continue to travel and learn new things.

When you experience more, you have more to say. Find opportunities with your old blog posts to update the information you originally shared and add new content that your readers are sure to love!

Keep your readers engaged

Updating old blog posts brings back memories of the first time a reader reads a memorable post. If you bring up new perspectives, ideas, links, and suggestions, you’ll keep your readers interested in what you have to say next.  Revitalizing old blog posts is a great way to put a new spin on an old topic to draw readers back in to your site.  It doesn’t matter how old the post is – 100 years or 100 days – do it to all of them!

Ready to get started?  Here’s how to do it!

Make a list of all the posts you want to update

The first place to start is by scouring your blog for those posts that you want to update. This may take a few hours up to a few days, even weeks, but is worth it!  It all depends on how many posts you have made, and how many are worthy to be updated.

Do you have posts that fit within the current season? For example, if I wrote a piece about Black Friday, which I did, chances are I’ll get more shares if I update it right before the holidays start.

Focus on posts with high views

If you use WordPress like I do, you have a nifty feature that tells you exactly which posts have had the highest number of views. Focus on these!  The reason they got high views is because you gave your readers something they were interested in.

One of my most-viewed blog posts is 100 Blog Post Ideas. Chances are, I can update this post to 500 Blog Post Ideas!  Surely I’ve come up with more interesting ideas since I originally wrote this post. It’s a useful post for bloggers to read to PROVIDE VALUE to them. Updating this post only makes sense!

Clean up the post

Go back through your post – word for word.  You are looking for grammar errors and sentence structure. Shorten paragraphs that exceed five sentences and eliminate repetitive phrases. I like to use the newer version of Microsoft Word for this. It searches for repetitive phrases and suggests a better way to say them.  It also keys you in on those phrases and teaches you to modify your craft. I tend to say “all of” a lot.  I would have never picked up on that had I not closely monitored my grammar and sentence structure.

Verify links still work

Chances are you probably have a few broken links within your blog. Broken links are a good way to prevent traffic from staying on your site. If your readers don’t find what they are looking for, or the content is missing, they’ll move on to the next site. Don’t be that victim!

I recommend a site called: Brokenlinkcheck.com to review all of your links.  It may scare you to do this, but YOU NEED TO KNOW!  Fix these links immediately, or delete them!  I ran my site through it today and I had 143 broken links!  I couldn’t believe it, but now I have a list to go through to clean them up!

Use Yoast SEO

I’ve used Yoast ever since I started blogging.  Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that helps you optimize every aspect of your posts to position it to be as SEO-friendly as possible.  It’s a free plugin (with optional premium features).  If you aren’t using it today, why not?  Take every advantage to update old posts to fit the mold of the rest of your site.

Update the content

Did you write a recipe post 5 years ago?  Did you modify it a month ago to make it better?  Update the original post with the new content and indicate at the top of your post the date that you updated it. Show your readers you are continually trying to improve what you’ve already written. There’s no better way than to update the content to match your new knowledge.

Recreate the post in a different medium

Most of us write posts only as a regular post seen on our blog, but how many times have we thought about creating it again in a different medium? What do I mean by this? Take my post, How to Make A Spectacular Media Kit. It’s a GREAT candidate to convert to PowerPoint!  Did you know that you can move your blog posts into a PowerPoint format and share on SlideShare?

Not only can you recreate your posts into PowerPoint, but you can also make one giant eBook of all of your blog posts.  I’m doing that right now with all of the posts I’ve written about blogging. Creating an eBook is a fantastic way to share your content as well as offer an incentive for readers to sign up for your mailing list.

Another medium many bloggers forget about is infographics.  Does your post contain a lot of stats or steps?  Create a free infographic to go along with the original post.

Remove bad posts

As much as we would hate to admit it, we have all probably created posts in the past that we hate. Why leave them on the site?  If you can’t figure out a way to revitalize and repurpose them, it’s time to hit the delete button.  My suggestion is to copy/paste the post into Word in case you want to revisit the post later down the road.  If you are in WordPress, you can always revert the post back to a draft status.

Optimize images for Pinterest

Make sure that every image on your site is optimized for Pinterest. Remove images of low quality.  Pin these images to the many group boards you have joined (I hope you have!  Pinterest is awesome for traffic!)  Research shows images with red colors do better than any other color.  I really don’t know why (maybe this is a good topic for a future post!).

I love Pinterest because not only does it provide valuable content to me personally, but it’s such a great platform for sharing blog posts.  I have created my own Pinterest Board for all of my blog posts. It’s a great way to share content even more.

Link to your other posts

There’s no better way to keep readers interested and engaged on your blog than to link to your other posts. Chances are, you’ve written similar or relevant posts that would be perfect links in your old content.  I’ve linked to my older content in this very post.  Did you notice?

Increase word count

It has been proven that search engines love to find web pages that are rich in detail. If you have any posts that are less than 1,000 words, consider reworking those posts to increase the word count. While it may not be possible in all situations, making sure the word count works in your favor is a great way to keep the post rising up in the search results.

Share it again

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I use Hootsuite to auto-schedule my already-published posts. Make sure you are doing this regularly.  Don’t let the fact that your posts are years old detract you from sharing them again.  If readers found them useful back then, and you’ve followed my steps in this post, the age really won’t matter.  I focus on the major social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.  Another good idea is to write a new list post sharing the newly updated posts with your readers.

Ask your readers for feedback

What better way to find posts that need updated than to survey your readers?  Share a post to your email list and invite feedback on how the post can be improved? Your readers know what they are looking for, so use that to your advantage. Make it clear that you welcome positive or negative feedback.  Oh, and make sure you SHARE the updated post and give credit to the readers that provided the suggestions!

Insert affiliate links

By now, I hope you have joined some of the great affiliate programs out there to help you earn extra income as a blogger.  Most bloggers just focus on the new posts and find ways to insert affiliate links whenever appropriate.  You would be surprised how many of your old posts can give you that very same opportunity.  Scour your old blog posts and find ways to incorporate the affiliate links.

If you aren’t participating in affiliate marketing today, why not?  I highly recommend ShareASale. I actually wrote a recent review of ShareASale so check it out today if you are interested in joining. Joining is FREE and there are thousands of merchants to choose from when deciding which brands to promote.

Be careful which merchants you choose to work with if you do go the route of affiliate programs. Some of them have very strict rules about how they want you to promote their products.

Lather, rinse, repeat

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post (and other posts on my blog for that matter!). No matter how old your blog is, never stop updating your content. It’s a process that’ll continue for the life of your blog. Trust me, you will reap the benefits of a well-maintained site.

It’s time for ME to live up to the advice I’ve given you today to go update my old posts. Stay tuned for a grand list of everything I updated.  I look forward to seeing what YOU have done in the past with your old posts. Share in the comments!

Teach Your Kids to Eat Healthy and Keep Your Sanity

Teach Your Kids to Eat Healthy and Keep Your Sanity

There are so many things to take care of when your children are at stake – how they behave, how they eat, how they sleep and everything in between constantly asks for your attention. Every aspect of raising children requires a lot of energy and patience and seeing that you’re shaping a human being, the pressure is on too.

However, you shouldn’t stress over the future, but focus on the present moment and how you can help your kids develop in a healthy environment. Nurturing good eating habits isn’t that difficult if you start from an early age, and we’ll give you some guidelines how you can inspire your little ones to eat well without pressuring them to do so.

What Kind of an Example Do You Set?

Teach Your Kids to Eat Healthy and Keep Your Sanity

It’s grand to talk about how you want your kids to know and understand the importance of eating healthy, but you need to put your money where your mouth is. Even if you’re not used to eating super healthy, now that you want to set an example, you will have to start with yourself. You know very well that kids always strive to be like their parents, and when they see you truly taking care of what you’re consuming on a regular basis, it will come natural to them to do the same. This is probably the most important piece of advice anyone can give you – if you’re prone to emotional eating, are constantly trying to keep a diet or snack on sweets, you can’t really expect your little ones to do better. This is why it’s important to teach yourself to eat and live healthy too, and that genuine view on life will then naturally transfer to your kids as well.

Innovate in the Kitchen

Teach Your Kids to Eat Healthy and Keep Your Sanity

If you constantly bring out the same old dishes, you can be sure that kids won’t be thrilled, no matter how much they love your cooking. That is why we invite you to spice things a bit, include new products into your cooking, explore different cuisines and experiment with new, interesting ways of serving meals. Sometimes all you need is good presentation of kale to make eating it much more bearable, especially when the kids are young. Even when you’ve got a lazy family night and you order food in, choose good delivery services that will provide you with high-quality meals that match home cooked ones. You can splurge on a pizza every once in a while, just don’t let it turn into a routine.

Healthy Food Everywhere

When you’ve got sweets and sodas lying around all over the house, but you don’t allow your kids to have them, they won’t see it as a temptation to resist, they will see it as a challenge to rise to. That is why it’s vital to clean your house from all processed and sugary food that in no way benefits healthy development of your little ones. Instead, make sure that there’s always fruit in the house, as well as healthy and nutritional snacks that will replace the much desired junk food. Surrounding your kids with healthy food leaves them no choice but to give it a try, and sooner or later, they will find things they like. Don’t let them choose between a chocolate bar and an orange, they will always go for the chocolate. Ask them if they want an apple or an orange, that way whatever they choose will be good for them.

Mind Your Tongue

Teach Your Kids to Eat Healthy and Keep Your Sanity

Do not, and we repeat, do not pressure your kids into eating all the veggies on the plate or else… This kind of pressure and negative food talk will lead nowhere and children will only be more resistant to the whole idea of eating healthy. Mind your tongue and constantly serve hearty and healthy recipes, your kids will eventually accept it and your actions will have much more success than your words.

Keeping your kids healthy is a 24/7 hard work, but implementing good habits will make your life easier later on. Try out these tips and you’ll definitely see some positive results. – Theresa Brawner

 

Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for www.diet.st. in her free time. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.