Product Review: Tommy John Go Anywhere Hoodie

Disclosure: I received a free Tommy John Go Anywhere Quick Dry Hoodie (valued at $75) in exchange for my review of this product. All opinions are my own. All blog posts on Go Ask Your Daddy may contain affiliate links, and I will be compensated for any purchases made through those links.

Product Review: Tommy John Go Anywhere Hoodie

Product Review: Tommy John Go Anywhere Hoodie

Hey guys! I’m back for another product review. Today, I’m reviewing the Tommy John Go Anywhere Quick Dry Hoodie. The great people at Tommy John were gracious enough to send me one of these hoodies at no charge (in exchange for my honest review). Up until today, I didn’t have any Tommy John products in my wardrobe, but had heard wonderful things about them so I agreed to try them out.

I’m a tall guy. Being over 6 feet tall means more difficulty finding clothes that fit me (and fit me well!). I was ready to see how well the Quick Dry Hoodie fit me. To my surprise, not only did it fit me well, but it was very comfortable!

 

About Tommy John

Tommy John was founded by Tom Patterson who had a mission to reinvent men’s underwear. The problem he always faced (and I can say all of us men have faced the same issue) was that he couldn’t get through the day without his undershirts, underwear and socks always bunching up, pinching him and sagging.

Tommy quit his day job and started Tommy John. He re-imagined the fit, feel and function of men’s layers. The resulting products were shirts that stay tucked in, socks that stay up and underwear that holds everything in place.

Tommy John broke tradition by using innovative materials, such as their patented non-piling micro modal. They are constantly looking for new ways to adapt men’s clothing to the constantly moving human body. Tommy John is focused on always changing and improving their products with an end goal of ultimate customer comfort, like their Quick Draw Fly.

The Go Anywhere Hoodie

The Go Anywhere Quick Dry Hoodie was designed to be a versatile, functional and comfortable hoodie that can either be worn by itself or paired with other layers. It comes in three colors: Black, Dress Blue, Heather Gray. Tommy John’s website allows you to select the right size based on chest measurement.

Features of this hoodie include:

  • Moisture Wicking and Fast Drying
  • Quick-Dry Fibers
  • Anti-Odor
  • 4-Way Stretch
  • Tagless Label

Opinion

Product Review: Tommy John Go Anywhere Hoodie

I was very excited to receive my hoodie in the mail a few days ago. I purposefully selected the hoodie since it has been so cold outside. It is so soft and comfortable on my body all day long. Normally, hoodies tend to ride up on me, but this one adhered to my body and stayed in place all day.

The hoodie is priced at $75 – a little above the price range I’d normally spend for a product like this, but I can’t deny that the comfortable fit and versatility it provides me is well-worth the investment.

Have you tried Tommy John products?

Have any of you guys tried Tommy John underwear and other products? What are your favorites? Sound off in the comments below.

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20 Blog Habits You Need To Kick

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a little bit of pocket change to keep this blog up and running when you make a purchase through them.  Thanks as always for your support!

Are you guilty of any of these bad blogging habits? I really hope you aren’t. But, maybe you are and you don’t know it. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or brand new learning how to start a blog, today’s post is all about kicking the bad habits that can hold you back from success. We all love our blogs, but little do we know it, are causing more harm than good. Let’s get started.

20 Blog Habits You Need To Kick

1. Constantly checking your blog stats

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I’m guilty of this one, folks. Having a bit of OCD doesn’t make this one any easier to avoid for me. I check my blog stats many times every day. It’s a good thing to want to see how your blog is performing and checking stats seems to be one good way to do that. By focusing on the daily stats, we are cutting ourselves off from doing other important blogging activities.

Blog stats are very important to me. They tell me what posts are getting views, what affiliate links are being clicked and where my traffic is coming from. While this data is important, try focusing on this data monthly/quarterly/yearly versus daily. It’s easier to see the bigger picture than to try to get down to the day-to-day activity.

2. Too many ads

I get it. You want to monetize your blog to keep your blogging hobby going on for a long time. Any blogger would agree this is a great way to do that. But, there’s a fine line between recommending a product your audience may love versus slamming ads and links in their faces.

My rule of thumb is one ad/affiliate link per 1,000 words. Any more than that opens up the risk that search engines, such as Google, will flag your site as spammy. I absolutely can’t stand to go to another blog’s site, only to be welcomed by a pop up that covers the post I’m trying to read.

Never force your readers to have to close an ad or popup to get to the post you worked so hard on to give them. They want to read the valuable content you have to offer – not view a bunch of popup ads. If you are going to use ads on your page, position them out of the way of your content, such as above or below it, or in the sidebar.

3. Talking about yourself too much

What? It’s MY blog! Aren’t I supposed to talk about my life and what’s going on? Well, yes, to a point, but if you are writing content to provide value and information to your readers, talking about yourself all the time is a good way to turn readers off from what you have to say.

To be a successful blogger, you have to be able to relate to your readers and come across as an expert in your niche. Posting your random happenings several times a day doesn’t help. It doesn’t provide value. You can, of course, use your daily life as examples in a bigger post if you are trying to make a point.

I’m not saying by any means never to talk about yourself. You created a blog because you have your own perspective on any give subject. Let your personality shine in your content. Don’t be afraid to hold back or be someone you’re not. But, limit the amount of times you write only about yourself. If you’re a food blogger and I’m looking for a great recipe for dinner, I want to be able to come to your site to find that recipe – and not 100 posts about what your dog did last night.

Some bloggers run a blog as a business and have a separate personal blog. It’s more challenging and time consuming to run multiple blogs, but it can be a great way to separate your daily life from your business. Consider this as an alternative if you are struggling to separate things out.

4. You don’t stick to a schedule

20 Blog Habits You Need To Kick

I get tons of emails from other bloggers every day asking to provide guest posts to my site. I also get sponsored post requests and product review invites from countless companies. It can be easy to go from nothing to do to overwhelmed in a matter of minutes. I use my phone’s reminder feature and calendar app to track incoming requests.

If you don’t stick to a schedule, it can be very easy to miss an important task or forget to hit a deadline. One of my main goals as a blogger is to respond to all emails within 6-12 hours. I flag emails where action on my part is required and set custom colors/text size to call out regular customer emails.

5. You are inconsistent

Some bloggers post 2-3 times a day, others 2-3 times a week and still others 2-3 times a month. Whatever your posting habits are, be consistent. I strive to write 2-3 high quality posts per week. Sometimes I hit it, sometimes I don’t.

The reason consistency is so important is that it shows search engines that you constantly put out fresh content. If I’m trying to boost my traffic, I’m paying close attention to my posting frequency. I read somewhere last week, and I’m sorry, but I forgot where, that some bloggers strive to post a minimum of 4,000 words per post. Wow! That’s a lot of content. Guess what? I wrote my first 4,000+ word post last week. It was easier than I thought it would be!

Search engines like detailed posts. Writing 500 words or less probably won’t get your content moved higher up in the Google blog search results. Focus on writing quality first then quantity. My personal goal is a minimum 2,000 words per post, but as I continue to grow my blogging business, I’m pushing that goal higher as I gain more experience.

Are you being consistent in your blog topics? Along with posting frequency is the types of posts you are writing. Experts in the blogging world say never to only write about one thing. Mix it up. Being a parent gives me so many different things I can write about at any given point in time. I can also mix up the blogging tips posts I write about because they are practically endless.

6. You are copying other bloggers

I can’t stand going out to Pinterest only to see the same exact types of blog posts. The way you stand out is by writing new and exciting content. If you are going to write on a topic that many other bloggers have written about before, mix it up, making it interesting and put a new spin on it.

I hope I don’t have to say to you never plagiarize other bloggers. Not only is this copyright infringement, it’s pathetic. If you don’t have the skills and know-how to come up with content on your own, blogging is probably not a hobby you should choose.

7. You aren’t active on social media

20 Blog Habits You Need To Kick

Bloggers who are successful at any level are active on social media. Your readers are talking, and they are talking on their social media accounts constantly. So, be present with them. If you see them asking questions about a topic you know a lot about, answer it.

Do you have your blog set up to automatically share to your social media accounts? If you are using WordPress, it’s easy to do. Be ready to get critical comments, though. Just because you think your post is golden doesn’t mean your readers will. I’ve been criticized many times about things I’ve said on my blog, but this is all part of the job. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – creating controversy is a great way to generate interest.

8. You don’t create a call to action

What’s a call to action? It’s a short paragraph usually at the end of the post where you ask your readers to do something such as:

  • Provide feedback in comments
  • Read related posts
  • Follow you on social media
  • Subscribe to your blog

If you aren’t telling your readers specific actions to take after reading your post, chances are they won’t do anything beyond the reading part. If you have an email course or eBook, here’s a great opportunity to promote it. Sharing percentages drastically go up if you specifically ask your readers to share the post. Why not take advantage of the numbers?

9. You don’t network

It can be very easy to get distracted by your daily blogging tasks and forget all about networking with other bloggers. Nearly half of my blog traffic comes from bloggers I’ve networked with at some point in the past.

One of the best ways to get your name out there with other bloggers is to simply visit their blogs and leave great comments on a regular basis. It’s so easy to forget how powerful it can be to swap ideas, meet new bloggers and share their content. The more you do this, the more traffic you will see.

10. Your blog design is confusing

Have you ever visited a blog only to be totally confused by its design and layout? I don’t think many bloggers realize how detrimental their blogs design is to their blog’s success. Many choose a simple theme and move on to producing content. Others use the default WordPress theme (what??!!).

When you are thinking about how to design your blog, take the point of view of one of your readers. What things would they want to see? What things irritate them? What types of menu items would they be looking for?

If your site isn’t set up to make it simple for your readers, you are actually hurting your blog. Design your blog so that readers don’t have to search far to find easy information.

Many bloggers tend to load up their sidebars with pointless information and widgets. While it’s a good place to put your sign up form, contact info, etc., it shouldn’t serve as a place to stuff everything from badges to endless ads. Keep in mind that the more you load into your sidebar, the slower load time your site will have (and the more cluttered it will look!).

11. You’re not using images

Studies have shown that readers love blog posts that include images. If you are writing a lengthy post, such as this one, you’ll want to break up the large amount of text with useful and relevant images.

There are so many ways to incorporate images other than just going to a free site and uploading it to your blog. Get creative! Create infographics, charts, graphs, freebies, etc. to spice up your blog post.

The one thing I will say about images is not to steal someone else’s work unless you have been given permission. Free sites, such as Pixabay or Pexels do not require attribution. A big no-no is going to Google, searching for a relevant image and downloading it for your site without permission from its creator. It’s a great way to get slapped with a lawsuit.

If you are creating your own images, make sure to include a watermark on the image to prevent unauthorized usage of that image on other websites. It’s happened to me before and it is infuriating! Don’t fall victim to this common practice. Protect yourself and your hard work!

12. You don’t proofread before publishing

20 Blog Habits You Need To Kick

This is one of my biggest pet peeves when reading other blog posts. WordPress was built with a great spell checker. Please use it. There is no excuse for posting a potentially great piece of work for it to only be ruined by poor spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Error-free work is especially critical if you are making your blog your source of income. No one will want to work with you if you are spitting out errors. I love to write my posts in a word processor first, run the spell check then post it to WordPress.

If grammar isn’t your strong point (it should be if you are choosing writing as a career!), I highly recommend a website called Grammarly.  Not only does Grammarly help you write perfect English, but it also can run a plagiarism check. This is especially useful if you accept guest posts on your blog and you want to be sure the content is the submitter’s original work.

13. You don’t use your mailing list

One of the biggest downfalls of many bloggers is that they fail to use their email newsletter (and if they do use it, they don’t use it effectively). Growing your email list and your followers should be one of the main goals you set every year as a blogger.

A goal of mine for 2018 is to include a sign up form in every one of my blog posts so that it’s incredibly easy for you to sign up. Collecting email addresses, though, is only half the equation. Good bloggers know how and when to send emails to their subscribers. Check out this fantastic post that tells you exactly how to do just that.

One good rule I follow is that whenever I have a new blog post, I copy the entire post into my MailChimp campaign and email it to my subscribers. Many bloggers simply send out a quick email with the link to the post. Why not send them the whole post so that they can read it then and there? My goal is to get my content out to as many people as possible and as quickly as possible.

14. You aren’t responding to comments

This is one of the biggest mistakes a blogger can make. Failure to respond to your readers shows a lack of respect for them. If you don’t do anything else on your blog for the rest of the week, respond to each and every comment that’s left on your site.

Respond to the short comments, such as, “Nice post” the same as you’d respond to a 2 paragraph response. Show every reader you truly value their feedback and appreciate them stopping by your site. This is a phenomenal way to connect with your readers and network with them.

My goal in 2018 is to respond to comments left on my site within 24 hours. This lets my readers know I’m engaged with them and value what they have to say. You aren’t always going to agree with the feedback left, but it’s feedback nonetheless.

15. You don’t update old blog posts

I’m sure we’ve all written posts in the past where the information has changed. Rather than write a brand new post about the same thing, the best thing to do is update the original post with the current information.

A good reason to update old blog posts beyond making sure your site stays current is that it shows your readers you are committed to providing the most up-to-date information as possible.

There are so many ways to update your old blog posts. You can turn it into another form of communication, such as as printable or video. Or, you can turn it into an eBook or use it as an opportunity to host a Q&A session. The options are practically endless.

16. You don’t write enticing headlines

If you aren’t writing compelling headlines enticing your readers to read on, you’re missing out on connecting with them and drawing them in as a permanent reader. I really love this article from HubSpot. It gives great suggestions on how to end up with a title/headline that your readers will love.

When I’m thinking about my next headline/title, I think about what I would click on if I were searching for the information. Would I be compelled to click on the link? The closer your title/headline is to the actual content the better. It also works to your advantage in the whole SEO game.

17. You don’t offer any incentives to your readers

I will admit that this one can be difficult if you don’t have a physical product to sell or offer for free, but there are ways around this. Take for example, my 7-day email course on how to make money blogging. It’s starting to draw in more readers for me and is an easy way to give back to them. The great thing about this free email course is that after creating the actual course, it runs on autopilot for me. I can see all the great statistics for it in my MailChimp dashboard.

A goal for me this year is to write an eBook and offer it to my readers as an incentive for joining my mailing list. Down the road, as I build more and more eBooks, I’ll eventually sell them on my website.

Incentives don’t have to be as elaborate as an eBook or a physical product. You can also provide them exclusive access to a list of resources, products, tips, etc. in email form.

I’ve seen some bloggers enter subscribers into a giveaway for free services, products, materials, etc as an incentive for signing up for their newsletter. Whatever you decide to offer, make it worthwhile for your readers and ask for feedback.

18. You aren’t disclosing relationships/affiliate links

Most bloggers I know regularly receive free products or services in exchange for an honest review post. Most bloggers also participate in affiliate programs to try to earn additional income. There is nothing wrong with either of these activities as long as you are properly disclosing your relationship.

It can be very easy to miss disclosing the presence of affiliate links or a relationship with a merchant. Did you know that just one miss can cause the FTC to shut down your blog? Don’t fall victim to the FTC. Be sure to disclose every time. If a company or individual tries to persuade you to not disclose in the post, which has happened to me before, decline their request right away. Even if you are getting paid for the post, it’s not worth losing your blog!

If you look at the top of most of my blog posts, you’ll see my standard affiliate link disclosure. You are welcome to take this and modify it to suit your needs. If you are using Amazon Affiliate links, you must use their disclosure.

19. Your site is full of broken links

20 Blog Habits You Need To Kick

If you’ve ever started to read an intriguing article only to click on a link within the post that leads to nowhere, you can get frustrated enough to scream. With technology today and the available tools for bloggers, there really is no excuse to have even one broken link on your site.

Broken links are easy to find and easy to fix. I use a free tool called Broken Link Check. It’ll take a few minutes to scan your website, but soon you will have a list of every URL that leads to a black hole. I spent a few hours last week removing and/or updating all broken links on my site.

Why is this important? One, your bounce rate will be higher. Your goal is for readers to be able to navigate through your site by the links nestled within your post. If those links are broken, they are less likely to stay around. Two, it decreases the chance you’ll rank high in SEO results. Search engines like Google crawl your site to check for broken links. The sites with no broken links will get ranked higher than other sites.

I regularly review my blog stats in WordPress to see if any of my posts are poor-performers. If I see posts with less than 10 views, I delete them. Be careful if you do decide to delete a post. Any other post linked to that post will now direct readers to broken links. The Broken Link Check tool comes in handy for this very reason.

20. You’re unwilling to make changes

I know, I know. Most of us are creatures of habit. If it works, why fix it? Well, there are good reasons to make changes. Regular updates and changes to your site mean your readers are seeing you grow and evolve as a blogger.

Anything is open for grabs when you are looking to make changes. I regularly review my navigation structure, tags, categories, images, etc. to make sure they are functioning properly and are set up in the best way to make visiting my blog easy and fun.

Bloggers who refuse to make changes are actually holding themselves back for bigger and better things. In anything we do in life, finding better ways to do things is the name of the game. Our blogs are no different. What once worked for me 2 years ago may not work for me today.

Be willing to try. Be willing to fail. Be willing to take advice. Be willing to make changes. If you can do all of these things, you’ll find your blog will grow and your readers will stay with you.

Guilty of any or all of these bad habits? Make a change in 2018. I’m here to help!

Comment below to share your thoughts on today’s post and be sure to sign up for my mailing list below! Have an AWESOME DAY and an AMAZING 2018!

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25 Amazing Ways to Grow Your Followers

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a little bit of pocket change to keep this blog up and running when you make a purchase through them. Thanks as always for your support!

As a relatively new blogger, I’m constantly looking to improve ways in getting traffic to my blog. It’s not easy, and I’ve tried so many things to get things moving in the right direction. While many things I’ve attempted to do to get more followers have failed, I’ve have had some good success with others. In today’s post, I’m going to share some of my most successful tips on how I’ve been able to grow my followers. I hope some of these prove to be successful in helping you learn how to get traffic to your blog.

25 Amazing Ways to Grow Your Followers

1. Put effort into your blog’s design

You may be wondering what your blog’s design has to do with increasing your following, but it has everything to do with it. A blog that’s well-designed (theme and navigational structure) attracts more readers. Make it easy for your visitors to find what they need without having to swim through mountains of ads and links. Your menu should have the basics (home page, about me, contact me, resources page). You only have once chance to make a good first impression, so spend a little extra time setting up your blog’s appearance. Trust me, it’ll make a difference!

Another aspect of your blog’s setup is to make sure it’s fast. Is your page taking too long to load? There is a direct correlation between site load time and traffic volume. The easiest way to find out how fast your site loads (beside trying to load it yourself) is to use WP Engine’s free site speed test. Site speed has a big impact on search engine ranking. It’s worth it to take the time to investigate and repair anything that’s slowing your site down.

When thinking about how your visitors get to your blog, remember that not all visitors are using the same device. While some prefer tablets or personal computers, many visitors are using a smart phone. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile viewing. When using WordPress themes, you can filter themes down by only those that have been optimized for view on multiple devices.

2. Respond to comments

This goes beyond just acknowledging that someone responded to one of your blog posts. Your response should be meaningful. Don’t wait days or weeks to respond. Show your readers you are extremely interested in their feedback by responding immediately.

Respond on other blogs as frequently as you respond to comments on your own blog. Most of the time, you have to enter your name, email and website whenever you comment. Hello??!! Free advertising!

3. Get to know other bloggers

Do you know other bloggers in your niche? If so, network with them. Engage with their blogs and provide them valuable feedback. By doing so, you are getting your name out there and creating a positive reputation. There are many ways to get to know other bloggers. Search for blogging groups on Facebook. These groups have been extremely helpful for me as I have grown my blog. Not only do you get to share your content, but you get to see other bloggers’ content as well. I get a lot of good feedback from the groups I’ve joined.

Social Media

One good piece of advice I was given is to be where your readers are. Social media is the number one place to do that. If you aren’t an avid user of Facebook or Twitter, get started today. Twitter really is a gold mine. Up until about a year ago, I wasn’t using it more than just to share my latest post. Unleash the real power of Twitter by commenting on other bloggers’ tweets. What I’ve found is that nine times out of ten, if I show engagement on other blog posts, that blogger usually reciprocates. If that blogger has 10,000 followers, all of a sudden I’ve shared my content with 10,000 more people! Amazing!

Hey, one more thought about Twitter. The great thing about it is that it’s easy to mention other writers. If you do mention or thank other bloggers who are on Twitter, make sure you include their Twitter handle in your post. By doing so, they get notified that you mentioned them (and all of their followers also see it in their feed).

4. Write more

I know some bloggers that post 2-3 times a day, while others post 2-3 times a week. I can’t give you an exact formula for success, but it has been proven that the more VALUABLE content you write, the better chance you have of driving more traffic to your blog. If this means you can spit out 1 or two valuable posts per week, then you’ve found your answer. For me, it’s been 2-3 on average.

When you start to think about increasing your writing frequency, you also need to think about increasing your social media posts as well. Plan ahead by making your own social media schedule and stick to it. The more blog posts you write, the more time you’ll need to share that content on social media. I use a scheduling tool called Hootsuite for my Facebook and Twitter posts, and Tailwind for my pins on Pinterest.

5. Create a freebie

Have you considered making a freebie for your readers as a perk for signing up for your mailing list? There are really so many ideas out there! While I don’t have a freebie for my own mailing list, I do have my own 7 day email course teaching bloggers how to create a profitable blog. I use MailChimp to create the campaign and have it set for emails to go out each day for the next week. Each email has a different tutorial on creating a profitable blog.

Another popular freebie idea is to create a eBook. Think about it. If you already have hundreds of blog posts, why not take that body of work and convert it into an eBook? You can start out by making the first book free and subsequent books can be a paid product. If you are going to use a third party to help design your eBook, I highly recommend Blurb to help with that.

6. Build a YouTube channel

If you are anything like me, the idea of watching myself in a video isn’t very appealing, but, getting your face out there to your audience is key in increasing engagement and followers. A lot of bloggers have their own web series in addition to their blogs. Videos don’t have to be very elaborate or long. Create a video to serve as a companion video to your blog posts.

You will be surprised at how many people actually prefer watching videos on a topic versus reading about it. Here’s an example: I needed to install a dishwasher I bought and wasn’t willing to fork out the money for a plumber to do it. I started out by doing a google search, but was left dumbfounded by the few posts I found that were partially helpful. So, I turned my search over to videos and immediately found a ton of them that were of high quality. I was able to see the work done and was able to use that information to install my dishwasher. (It’s still running today!) Again, you don’t have to go the elaborate route with a video, but make sure you have good lighting, good volume and of course, valuable information to provide to your audience.

If you do decide to create videos, make sure you include a call to action just as you do in your blog posts. Invite your audience to subscribe to your blog and social media accounts. If you come across as a trustworthy source, you will get followers. I guarantee it!

7. Allow guest posts

If you’ve blogged for any length of time, you’ve probably seen emails come in asking to guest post on your blog. Now that my following has dramatically increased, I get maybe 5-10 requests per day.

Allowing guest posts is a great way not only to get to know other bloggers and share their content, but it allows your blog to get in front of more readers. Most bloggers asking to guest post on your site will share their post with their followers. If they have thousands of subscribers, your blog suddenly gets more exposure.

If you do allow guest posts, make sure you create clear guidelines as to what is acceptable and what is not. Will you allow do-follow and/or no-follow links? How about length? I usually expect my guest posters to provide a minimum of 1,000 words.

Remember, you want to remain the dominant voice of your blog, so limit the number of guest posts that you accept. Proofread and reject posts that don’t fit your guidelines. Definitely don’t accept guest posts where advertising is the primary content. You don’t want your blog to appear as spammy and the same goes for the guest posts you publish.

8. Don’t publish garbage

Only write a new post if the content is going to provide value or a solution to a problem. Don’t publish just to publish. You’ve seen me talk about a blogger who only posts about running marathons. How does that benefit their readers? Oops, it doesn’t.

Don’t write garbage. Think of your blog as a marketing tool. If you were shopping for a new car, would you go into a run down building where everything was falling apart, and the salesman wore a tshirt and jeans? Probably not. If you’ve ever been in a car dealership, you are probably impressed by the quality of the showroom. The same holds true with your blog’s content. Post to impress. The more value you provide to your readers, the more trust you establish. The more trust your readers have with you the higher level of traffic you will see.

9. Make your readers want to return

Ok, so you’ve brought a new user to your site. Great. Are they eager to return? A good habit is to find ways to entice your readers to come back later. One way to do this is to run a good contest or giveaway. The more of these you host with quality products, the more interest you are going to see from repeat visitors.

Another way to make sure your readers return is by utilizing your newsletter. Have a good deal your readers will love, or offering up a freebie? Now’s a good chance to let your subscribers know. Make sure to encourage your subscribers to forward the email to their friends. You’d be surprised at how many people want the information your providing. If that information is provided on a regular basis, you’ll see a boost in traffic volume.

Would you want to return to a blog that had countless pop ups and ads all over the place? I’m not talking about one or two ads in a post, but pop up ads that cover up the content. I certainly would not return. If I’m searching for information and it leads me to your blog, the last thing I want is to have to close a bunch of windows just to read the content.

If you do choose to go with a popup for your email subscribe form (which does increase signups), make sure it is non-invasive and easy to close. A lot of visitors (like myself) immediately close out of popups. I am usually in a hurry when I’m searching for something and don’t want to have to spend my time getting past pop ups and ads.

10. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe

If you are serious about gaining more followers, one of the easiest ways to do that is to make it simple for visitors to sign up for your newsletter. If you are using WordPress (if not, why not?), you can put a sign up form in your sidebar (see mine over there??). You can also use Mailchimp to create custom sign up forms and embed them in blog posts.

Create solid call to action statements at the end of every blog post, and make encouraging your readers to subscribe a regular practice. The more you promote it, the more response you’ll get. You can also coordinate signups with your Facebook page. See mine as an example.

11. Update old blog posts

We all have those old blog posts sitting in our site from 2 years ago. More than likely, your knowledge of that subject and maybe even the subject itself has changed. By regularly reviewing your old blog posts and updating them, you show your readers you are committed to keeping your information relevant and current.

Reviewing old blog posts can also reveal how much traffic they are getting today. If you are in WordPress (again, if not, get on it!), you can go to your site stats and look up the post to see how well it’s performing. If the post hasn’t had very many views, why? Find out what’s happening and fix it. Or, if the content just flat out sucks, don’t be afraid to delete the post altogether.

12. Ask for feedback and suggestions

Have you ever wondered if the content you are providing is something your readers actually enjoy and want more of? If you aren’t asking them, how can you know for sure? It’s a great idea to ask them through social media or through polls on your blog. You’ll be surprised as to how many actually respond. If you are opening yourself up for feedback though, be prepared for the negative comments as well. Just because you are getting negative feedback, don’t get upset. The feedback you are getting is going to be used to make adjustments to your blog.

13. Pick the right niche

Ok, so maybe this one should be at the top of this list, right? What I mean by this is if you pick a niche that you don’t know much about, or, there isn’t a lot of interest in, you aren’t going to be able to write regular posts (and posts with quality). Pick a niche that allows you to write about something you love. For me, I love helping others succeed with their blogs. I know a lot about how to do that and love sharing my experiences and expertise with them.

You want to pick a niche where you can write about something new every time. While it’s okay to focus on a subject in your blog, make sure you put a new twist on it so that the content is fresh and exciting. If I’m a food blogger writing about baking brownies, posting about brownies over and over will get old fast. Mix it up and make it new to your audience. How do you do that? Make a video or info graphic. Offer a free tutorial. Do something that generates interest above just writing about it.

14. Make yourself available to your readers

How do you interact with your readers on a regular basis? Skype? Email? Facebook? Blog comments? Let your readers know the best way to contact you, when to contact you and how long it will take you to respond. A great place to put this information is both in your call to action and in your Contact page.

Making yourself available is more than just posting your social media links and contact me form. When someone does contact you, you have to be able to provide a valuable response. Always respond professionally and respectfully. You’re going to get very weird emails from time to time. Remember to not let it get to you personally. Turn a negative into a positive. If someone is complaining about something on your site it means that you have pushed a button. It’s good to generate a little heat from time to time, but be ready to support your readers and keep things as cool as possible.

I once wrote a blog post about the misconceptions non-Catholics have about Catholics. Since I’m a Catholic convert, I once believed some of those misconceptions too. The post I wrote about it generated a little heat and I got a lot of questions from my readers. It’s good to create a little controversy. It means readers are engaged with your topic enough to strike a nerve. But again, be prepared to defend your answers!

15. Offer a service

Offering a service is something every blogger needs to be able to do, and do well. If you’re good at photography and graphic design, offer up your services to your fellow bloggers. If you are good at training and leading others, create a webinar or video tutorial series. If you do this and do it right, your following will increase as your reputation gets around with other bloggers.

16. Share with family and friends

Sharing your content with your family and friends (and asking them to share) is easy. A lot of bloggers get embarrassed to do this, but in reality, they are your greatest support circle. Tag family and friends in posts on Facebook and you’ll see an increase in likes, comments and hopefully subscribers to your blog.

17. Create an epic resources page

A resources page is an opportunity to provide your readers with a list of everything you find valuable and useful. If you click on my link above, you’ll see my own resources page. It’s kind of small and growing at this point, but as I learn about new blogging tools and products, I make it a habit to update my resources page. Share your resources page regularly with your readers. Whenever you add something new, share it! Don’t forget to give a shout out to the creator of the product on social media. Again, do everything you can to bring in views.

18. Make your About Me page stand out

Would you say today that your About Me page stands out above the others? I’ve read in the past that it’s the most important page on your blog. It’s the opportunity to tell your readers about how you can help them. It’s NOT an opportunity to self-promote. Consider your About Me page like a brochure. The whole purpose of your About Me page is to draw your readers in to what you can offer them and why they can trust you. Provide links to some of your most popular posts, and of course, list ways on how they can contact you.

19. SEO is everything

I know, I know, you’ve heard a lot about SEO. So have I. I’m still trying to become an expert at it. It’s a difficult concept, but so important in generating traffic. I use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress that does a lot of the work for me, but there are things I need to do on my own to increase SEO rankings. Things like:

  • Use keywords in post titles and meta tags
  • Use headings and subheadings (and include keywords in them)
  • Limit affiliate links and ads in posts. The more you link to these the harder it will be for sites like Google to rank you high in search results.
  • Link out to other good sites. If you are writing an informative post where you may have gathered information from other bloggers, link out to them (and make sure to give them credit in your post).
  • URLs should be short and contain keywords. (Yoast SEO helps with this)

20. Use images

Integrating images into your posts is a good way to break up the content for your readers. I make it a rule not to use low-quality images. Any image I use is directly related to my content and is a good visual aid for my readers.

When using images, make sure to name them something related to your blog post topic. Did you know search engines can find images? Don’t name them some oblivious name. Make sure you are also include alt tag descriptions that relate to your post as these are also crawled by search engines.

Alongside images, you can also include videos, charts, graphs, info graphics and slide show presentations. Vary it up the best you can, but don’t over do it. The more images you have on your site can actually hurt you as they take up space on your site, cause your site to load slower and may detract your readers from staying focused. My rule of thumb is 1 or 2 images for every 1,000 words.

21. Participate in affiliate programs

You’ve seen me go on and on about affiliate programs and how they have increased my blog income. Yes, they are a good source of passive income, but offering high quality products on your blog is a great way to generate interest. There are many different affiliate marketing sites, but the one I use the most is ShareASale.

Of all the affiliate programs I’m a member of, the top income producer for me has been Candy Club. Have you read my review of Candy Club? If not, you should. I got the chance to sample the candy and fell in love with it immediately! It’s one of those products that have sold very well through advertising on Facebook and Twitter. I usually see a few sales come through every time I share my review post.

You can also visit merchants directly to see if they have an affiliate program. The application to join is usually at the bottom of their website. Keep in mind to limit the affiliate programs you join to only those you use and truly believe in. Don’t over do it. The last thing you want to do is come across as an advertiser only and not a niche influencer.

22. Showcase your popular posts

Your blog is a prime place to show your readers everything you have to offer. Why not showcase your popular posts? There are great plugins and widgets for WordPress that can put your most popular posts in your sidebar. I use a free widget called Top Posts & Pages. This widget automatically looks for posts that have had the most activity over the time period you specify and puts them in your sidebar. I limit mine to only 5 top performing posts (not pages or categories). There are other good plugins and widgets out there, so find one that suits your needs and get it up and running.

23. Reference your other posts regularly

The longer readers stay on your site will reduce your bounce rate. This is definitely a plus for you. A good way to keep readers on your site is linking to your other internal posts. You can see examples of that in today’s post. I’ve found ways to route readers to more information I’ve written about these tips that will be of value to them.

If you are going to do refer readers to your other posts, this goes back to tip number 11. Make sure you are keeping the other posts you are linking to updated and accurate. The better organized and updated all of your posts are, the more trust you are going to build in your readers, and your traffic volume will increase.

24. Stay mobile

One advantage to running a blog is that I can do it from just about anywhere. I use the WordPress app to keep my blog updated when I’m on the go. Whenever I go on vacation, I don’t have a laptop, but I can use my tablet or smartphone to respond to comments, write new posts and answer any emails that come in. Being mobile helps you to stay connected and visible to your readers.

25. Use a consistent profile

Every single medium you use to promote your blog gives you the opportunity to create a profile. Do everything within your power to make every profile as consistent as possible with your other profiles. Doing so makes you look more professional. Profiles are also a great opportunity to gather email sign ups. Even if you can’t gather them in the post, you can still ask your readers to sign up using the form on your site.

Are you ready to boost blog traffic?

I hope today’s post has provided you with a ton of useful information and sets you out on a course to seeing a rise in traffic. I’m here to help, so please reach out to me at jeremyatkins1@outlook.com or in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help.

Facebook Group

Want to be a part of my Blogger Share and Promo Facebook Group? Click here to join. There are daily threads giving you the opportunity to meet other bloggers, share your content and boost your traffic.

Pinterest Group Board

I also have a Blogging Tools and Tips Pinterest group board with over 12,000 pins and more than 140 contributors. I’m always accepting new contributors so please follow me on Pinterest then fill out my Google form to request contributor access to the group board. You can share as many pins as you want as long as you share another blogger’s pin for every pin you share.

Please share this post with your readers and get it going viral!

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Win a $500 Gift Card to My Gift Stop for Valentine’s Day!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of My Gift Stop. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How would you like to brighten up Valentine’s Day this year? I’m taking $500 big ones to spend on that special someone! To celebrate the upcoming holiday, My Gift Stop is giving one lucky winner a $500 gift card to mygiftstop.com just in time to use it to buy that special someone a gift they will love and cherish forever.

If you are like me, getting out to the stores or malls in the middle of winter to try to find a Valentine’s Day gift is hard to do. With 4 kids, a full time job and numerous activities going on throughout the week, I just don’t have the time to spend 2 or more hours going store to store looking for that perfect gift.

My Gift Stop is an online store that offers luxury items, such as jewelry, watches, handbags, sunglasses and more. The site offers an easy and quick shopping experience, plus a great rewards program that will help you save money!

Men, if you are looking online for Valentine’s Day gifts for women, look no further. My Gift Stop has everything she’ll love (and even if she doesn’t, their return process is simple!). Also, with every purchase you make through My Gift Stop, they’ll donate 5% of the profits to Disaster relief. Not only are you buying a gift for your special someone, you are helping others in need.

 

One of my favorite items on the site is the Luminox 3059.SET Men’s Scott Cassell Orange Dial Dive Watch & Interchangeable Strap Set. If you like to dive and spend a lot of time in the water, it’s water resistant down to 200 meters. It’s on sale right now for an amazing $173.04 (regular price $450).

After you enter the giveaway below, hang around My Gift Stop and use promo code INFGOASKDADDY5 to receive an additional 5% off your order.

Giveaway Rules:

  • No purchase necessary.
  • One participant will win a $500 Gift Card to MyGiftStop.com. All other participants will receive a 10% off coupon via email good towards any products.
  • Open to domestic and international individuals aged 18 and older only; void where prohibited.
  • Entry closes on Monday February 5, 2018 at 11:59PM EST
  • Winner will be selected in random on Thursday February 8, 2018.
  • Winner will be notified by email, so be sure to add mygiftstop.com to your safe list.
  • Prize unclaimed after 48 hours from notification is forfeited and My Gift Stop reserves the right to select another winner.
  • Winner agrees to allow My Gift Stop to publish his/her name as a giveaway winner and to promote future giveaways and promotions.
  • Participant agrees that his/her email will be added to our email newsletter to receive private sales, new product updates, and other marketing emails. Email is never sold or shared. Participant may unsubscribe from newsletter at any time.

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway!

 

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How to Make Money Blogging

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a little bit of pocket change to keep this blog up and running when you make a purchase through them.  Thanks as always for your support!

How to Make Money Blogging

Hey gang! I am super-psyched about today’s post because it’s all about how to make money doing what we all love – blogging! The tips I give you today are a combination of things I’ve learned on my own plus tips I’ve picked up from other bloggers along the way.

I only made about $1,000 in my first year blogging and then about $5,000 in my 2nd year. Whatever I’m doing seems to be working, so I’ve captured everything I do into this little post just for you.

By no means am I at the point yet where I can make writing/blogging my full-time income, but I really believe one day in the near future, my blog income will be sufficient enough to support my whole family.

The great thing about blogging is that you can be your own boss, set your own hours, work from anywhere in the world and get paid to do what you love. If all of these things sound amazing to you, then you are in the right place!

Let’s get started…

1. How to get started blogging

This may be a stupid question, but it’s really not if you think about it. Before you can start creating content, developing a following and earning income, you have to set your blog up the right way. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve hopefully read my other posts about how to start a blog.

You can’t focus on earning income in the beginning. The first thing you have to do is decide on a blogging platform. There are several big ones out there, but to me, WordPress is by far the most superior one of them all.  Click here to view my detailed post on how to start a blog.  I also have a free 7-day email course designed to help you start a profitable blog. Both of these tools are great starting points if you’ve never dabbled in the blogging world before.

Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of how to set your blog up, you can get started on your way to creating amazing content!

Make your blog design amazing

With WordPress, there are unlimited options to customize your blog. If you don’t do anything else with your blog’s design, make sure that you don’t use the default WordPress themes. Not only do they point you out as a newby, but they can also make you appear lazy. Thousands of people are already using the default WordPress themes, so why be one of them?

Here are some tips on how to make your blog’s design perfect for your readers

  • Make fonts easy to read
  • Steer clear from wild or multicolored backgrounds
  • Create your own logo
  • Newsletter sign up form is easy to find
  • Sidebar contains only the most crucial information
  • Make images vibrant
  • Top posts are easy to find
  • Commenting process is easy

Go the self-hosted route

You may hear “free” vs “self-hosted” a lot when researching WordPress. Here’s the low down – there are two versions of WordPress. WordPress.com is the free version. It’s ok if you are starting out with no intention of growing and monetizing your blog. WordPress.org is the self-hosted route. By self-hosted, I mean you are using WordPress with a web hosting provider from which you have purchased a hosting plan and domain name. If you need a domain name, you can register one right now from NameCheap.com starting at $.88 cents! For web hosting, there’s really no better one in my opinion than SiteGround. I switched to them towards the end of 2017 and have been extremely pleased – both with the price of their service and with their customer service!

Related Post: Why I Moved My Site To SiteGround

WordPress Themes with a bang

2. Drive traffic to your blog

There are so many popular ways to drive traffic to your blog:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • StumbleUpon
  • Flickr
  • SEO
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Instagram
  • Email Marketing

One of the biggest drivers of traffic to my blog is Pinterest. In 2017, I signed up for the unlimited plan with Tailwind. I pin about 100 pins throughout the day. The rule I made up for myself is for every pin I share from my own blog, I repin 3-5 pins from other bloggers.

As you can see from my list above, Pinterest is just one of the many ways you can drive traffic to your blog. My recommendation is not to try everything at the same time. Pick one or two and focus on building a strategy to drive traffic. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to mix it up.

When you are trying to think about the best ways to build traffic, think about the places you go to find traffic. Do you go to forums? Facebook groups? Twitter? Think like your audience!

Related Post: 15 Little Tricks to Get More Blog Traffic

3. Write stellar content

Like I’ve said before, anyone with an internet connection and time can sit down and write a blog post. Not everyone can sit down and write QUALITY blog posts. This is where you come in. Write valuable and shareable content. What are people looking for?  What type of information are they seeking? If you write about things that don’t get a lot of attention, you aren’t going to see much traffic.

If you are planning a blog post about new cars, do a quick search on Google or Pinterest for new cars. Then, you’ll be able to see what readers are looking for when they search for new cars. Are they looking for trucks? Mini vans? Blue cars? Red cars? Cars under $30,000? Do a little keyword research and find ways to insert those keywords into your content.

Like I said above, anyone can write and take up space, but it does take experience and planning to really make a blog post a successful blog post. Listen to your readers. What things do they want to know more about? What types of questions have you received from them before? These types of things are gold mines for potential blog posts.

Another crucial aspect of writing a great blog post is organization. Every blog post should contain a catchy title, a compelling introduction, short 3-4 sentence paragraphs, and a call to action. If you use this format with every post you write, your site will appear more organized. You want your readers to know you have a purpose for what you are writing.

Related Post: How I Write And Publish Quality Blog Posts

4. Don’t write just to write

I can’t stand when bloggers just write a post to write. You know, the ones that have no purpose for the audience other than “hey, look at what I just did!” I often refer to a blogger who only posts about running in marathons. Enough of the bullshit. If you want to chronicle your life like that, get a diary. If you want to serve a purpose and get readers interested, your posts need to accomplish something for THEM, not YOU.

Focus your posts on the needs of your readers 100% of the time, and you will be surprised at the results. Don’t try to shove your personal life down our throats. We already see it every day on social media. Solve a problem. Provide a tip. Write a tutorial. Record a how-to video. You see where I’m going with this?

5. Only promote relevant/high-quality products

Once you sign up for sites like Amazon Affiliate or ShareASale, the temptation is going to be there to sign up for many different programs that promise a good commission. Resist! I make a rule to only promote products that are relevant to my readers, are high-quality or are products that I have used myself. If you promote lingerie on your sports blog, you probably aren’t going to see much commission.

Please, please please do not shove your affiliate links or banner ads down your readers throats. You are trying to build their trust, not turn them away. Find creative ways to integrate your products into your posts. The more you build trust with readers, the more conversions you will see.

Wondering how to make money with affiliate links? Check out this post.

6. Create a Tools/Resources Page

If you don’t already, create a separate page on your blog for tools and resources you use. You can also include products you recommend. This should be a page that is regularly updated as you learn of new products and find better tools to blog. Take a look at my resources page for a good example.

Your resources page should NOT be a page full of affiliate links and ads. While you can include some affiliate links to products you use, make sure you create a good balance. The primary focus of your resources page is to help others – not yourself.  If you run a parenting blog, a list of good parenting tips, books, baby products, etc. is a good idea to start with.

Add to your resources page regularly, and make sure you put a “last updated” date on your post to let your readers know your page is constantly updated.

7. Be yourself

I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve read in the past where I could tell the blogger was writing to try to impress someone. My rule of thumb is that I’m no different writing a blog post than when I’m talking to someone. The more truthful and genuine you are, the more your readers are going to trust you and your expertise. After all, you started a blog because you are an expert in some field, right? Let your voice shine and don’t try to be someone you aren’t.

The key to making your connections real with your readers is truly to be real. What they see is what they get. Don’t try to deceive or hide something from your readers. Be honest, forthcoming and be willing to take criticism. You are the voice of your blog, so let that voice speak when you are writing your next blog post.

8. Implement a solid email marketing plan

I don’t care which email marketing tool you use to gather user emails and to send out your newsletters as long as whatever you are doing is consistent. I personally use MailChimp. It’s got great free options until you get a large number of subscribers, and it is very useful if you are trying to create an email course like mine.

Email marketing doesn’t have to be spammy. I talk to other bloggers regularly, and the one thing they say that holds them back from implementing a successful email marketing plan is that they are afraid they are spamming their readers.

So, what types of things can you share with your subscriber list? Your latest post, a new tool you use that is valuable to them, a phenomenal product you found that relates to your blog and much more. The possibilities are endless. I highly recommend steering clear of advertising your affiliate links to your readers. You’re hopefully already including them in your blog posts, so don’t go overboard and shove it down their throats.

I don’t send a lot of emails to my subscribers every week. I’ve found that anything over 2 emails a week and I’m seeing unsubscribes rise. It doesn’t mean that the 1 or 2 emails you send every week can’t be powerful. Ask your readers a question, announce a giveaway or simply share what’s new on your site.

Related Post: How to Skyrocket Your Email List in 30 Days

Ready to start writing?

You can do it! It’s time to bear down and do the dirty work that will eventually pay off. I hope these tips help steer you in the right direction to better and successful blogging. Don’t forget to share your posts on social media and look for ways to network with other bloggers. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

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How To Start A Blog in 2018

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a little bit of pocket change to keep this blog up and running when you make a purchase through them.  Thanks as always for your support!

Web Hosting

Happy New Year to you! I hope that 2017 was a very successful year for you, and that 2018 is even more successful. Are you ready to finally start that blog in 2018? If so, I’ve provided some tips in today’s post that will help drive you to success. Some of these tips come from my post, “How to Start a Blog in 2017” and some are brand new!

Why start a blog?

Before we really dive into the steps on HOW to start a blog, we need to talk about WHY you should start a blog. If you already know why you want to start your blog, you can skip ahead in this blog post. If not, here are several common reasons why people like you start a blog:

  • You want to share information on topics you know a lot about.
  • You want a way to chronicle your life.
  • You are looking to become a better writer and communicator.
  • You want to supplement your income or even make writing a full-time job.

Blogging is fun, but there is a lot of hard work involved in making it succeed. Anyone can sign up for WordPress, find a web host, and post content. Only those who are committed to continual success will find success. If you need any help along the way, please contact me and I’ll be happy to help. 

How to Start Your Blog

  1. Decide which platform to use
  2. Select a web hosting provider and domain name
  3. Set up your blog
  4. Write your first post
  5. Share your post with the world
  6. Monetize your blog
  7. Useful tools and resources

1. Decide which platform to use

There are several well-known and widely-used blogging platforms out there today that will suit your needs. For me, there really isn’t any other choice other than WordPress. WordPress is the standard in the blogging world. Over 80 million bloggers use it today. You can’t go wrong with it!

WordPress can take a little time to figure out how to work, but once you get comfortable with it, there are so many possibilities with it that you won’t want anything else. With thousands of plugins and themes, it really is the best bet for any serious blogger.

You’ll see two types of WordPress sites out there today. WordPress.com and WordPress.org.  Wordpress.com is not a self-hosted option, which means you are limited in what you can do and the income you can earn. WordPress.org means you are self-hosted and can do more in terms of options and income.

2. Select a web hosting provider and domain name

If you are looking to make money with your blog, you must go with a self-hosted WordPress blog. Before you can really dive into monetizing your blog, you’ll need your own domain name and a web hosting provider to host your site.

  • Domain Name: The domain name is the URL of your blog. Readers will type your domain name into their browser to get to your site. I highly recommend Namecheap.com for domain names!
  • Web Host: The web host is the company that houses all of your files for your site and displays the site on the web for you. For web hosting, you definitely can’t go wrong with Siteground. If you do sign up with Siteground, they have a very easy WordPress install process.

3. Set up your blog

Here’s where the fun begins! Now that you’ve purchased your domain and hosting accounts, you can dive in and design it to your liking. If you are using WordPress, you have access to thousands of free and premium themes. I highly recommend ThemeIsle for a great selection of themes that will make your blog stand out.

I usually opt for a clean theme that allows me to customize the look to suit my niche. There are some themes that will allow for full customization, while others are limited in the number of features you can customize.

Wordpress Themes

4. Write your first blog post

Now that your blog is ready to go, it’s time to write your first post. I do want to admit that my very first post sucked badly. This is because I had no clue in how to structure a blog post. Now that I’ve done my research on the best ways to structure blog posts, readers have given me positive feedback. My trick in structuring my blog posts is by using an outline. An outline allows you time to think about where you want to place your headers and links, and gives you time to analyze the structure before you write it down. Outlines do take a little extra time, but in my opinion are worth every second because it makes the post much easier to read and follow.

In WordPress, you have the option to save as a draft, which is a great feature if you like to write in pieces and then come back to finish up. There are several other options you’ll want to pay attention to as you are creating your post.

  • Categories – Categories are like the table of contents in a book. Let’s use my site for an example of how categories work. Look to the right of this post into my sidebar. You’ll see a drop down menu called “Categories.” Let’s say you want to see every post I’ve written about sports. I created a “Sports” category and selected it every time I wrote a sports-related blog post. If you select “Sports” from the Category menu, you’ll be presented with any post I’ve written about Sports. Go ahead and try it, but come back to this post!
  • Tags – Tags are more like an index than a table of contents. Tags are keywords that tell the reader what the post is about. Go ahead and scroll to the bottom of this post. You’ll see I’ve included several tags that tie to the subject matter of this post. Tags are also a good way to group related posts. Think of them as being just like hashtags on Twitter. If you click on a hashtag in Twitter, you’ll be presented with any posts that include that tag. It’s a great way to read related content.
  • Featured Image – The featured image is the image that will show up at the top of your blog post.  Look at the top of this post. Do you see the very cool image I’ve created for this post?  That’s the featured image.  Whenever you share your post, unless you’ve told WordPress to use a different image, by default, it will use the featured image. I use a creative featured image for every blog post.
  • Sharing –  Under the featured image is an option to select which social media sites you want to share the post to once you’ve hit publish. While you can connect to any service you want, I usually share to the big boys – Facebook and Twitter.
  • Post format – I don’t mess with this feature very much, but can be useful depending on the type of post you are writing. If you are only posting an image or a video, this feature will format the post to that particular medium. Since I primarily post in regular text and images, I leave this setting at “Standard.”

5. Share your post with the world

You’ve spent hours writing and perfecting your post before publishing it. The next step is critical in getting readers to it. I always share my posts through a variety of mediums: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Flipboard, etc. I take the extra steps in sharing my new post inside the many Facebook groups in which I participate.  For Pinterest, I highly recommend you try out Tailwind. It is doing wonders for my blog traffic and engagement!

6. Monetize your blog

If you are looking to make income with your blog, and don’t want to rely on Google Adsense, affiliate links are fantastic income producers. If you find the opportunity to incorporate an affiliate link to promote a product that relates to your post, do it. I wrote a very informative post on how to make the most of affiliate links. I recommend checking it out, as well as my post on how to make passive income with affiliate marketing.

7. Useful tools and resources

The following articles are tools and resources to help you in your blogging journey:

That’s it! I hope these tips will help you on your quest to starting and running a very successful blog!

Have fun!

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