8 Things You Must Do To Every Blog Post

8 Things You Must Do To Every Blog Post

This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my full disclosure here.

I have been blogging for nearly a year now, and have learned a lot of tips and tricks along the way.  With that being said, I’d like to share with you 8 things I do for every single blog post, and why you should too.

1. Create a Title that Entices Readers

All of my blog post titles have keywords related to my topic and are written in such a way as to entice my readers to click on them and read more. The more interesting and well-thought the title is, the more likely it is that casual readers will become more engaged readers.

Your blog post topic must also be interesting and appealing to your niche.  I like to search the web to find out what other bloggers do to make their topics pop off the page. There are endless lists on Pinterest for blog post ideas, titles, and keyword.

2. Check Spelling and Grammar

There’s nothing more embarrassing than writing the best blog post ever, only to have someone point out numerous spelling and grammar errors all through the post.  Don’t rely on just hitting the spell check button.  Read and re-read the document yourself to identify potential grammatical errors the spell checker may skip over. I write all of my posts in Microsoft Word to do a detailed spelling and grammar check, then paste the correct version into WordPress.

If you don’t do anything else from this list (but I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t!), please please please double and triple check your grammar.  I can guarantee you anyone who visits your blog will never return again if it is full of spelling and grammar nightmares – even with outstanding images and content!

3. Edit Pictures with PicMonkey

I’ve used a lot of different programs (free and premium) to edit or touch up photos. PicMonkey has been my go-to lately for any image editing I need to do.  You can either stay with the free features, or upgrade to the premium version for more options. Today, I use the free version to edit, resize, touch up, and add text to all of my images. Some secondary programs I use for my images include Adobe Photoshop Express, PhotoScape, and Canva.

4. Make the Post Search Engine Optimized

Search Engine Optimization is absolutely essential to driving traffic to your blog. SEO, if done right, will drive loads and loads of search engine traffic right to you.  If you use WordPress like I do, you must get the Yoast Plugin!  Hubspot has a great FAQ page on exactly what SEO is.

5. Submit Post to Search Engines

One habit I’ve gotten into with every post is to submit to the major search engines – those that can surely drive traffic my way.  Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. are at the top of my list. For most search engines, it’s free to submit, but may take a while to be reviewed and approved. The more times your site and posts appear in search results, the higher exposure and volume you’ll see.

6. Submit to StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a fast-growing and popular site for viewing customized content from thousands of websites. I’ve seen StumbleUpon greatly increase my blog traffic.  My best unique view performance of a single blog post was 1,500 in one day.  As soon as I publish on WordPress, I immediately submit the post to StumbleUpon.

One tidbit you need to know about StumbleUpon is that you have to actively Stumble other people’s content before it really starts pushing your own.  Be active and stumble your favorite content. After all, this is what StumbleUpon is all about anway – discovering new content and sharing it with others!

7. Pin Post on Pinterest

Pinterest has become the mecca of social sharing which is why it is crucial to post to Pinterest regularly, and repost weeks later.  I’ve seen a great increase in traffic and followers come directly from Pinterest.  By creating pinnable images and quality content, Pinterest can greatly impact your statistics and blog growth!

I am just now starting to ramp up my Pinterest boards and making sure all of my posts are pinned.  I created a board specific to my affiliate products as well as a board where I pin quality blogger content.

8.  Share post to Facebook and Twitter

As a blogger, it is a MUST to have a Facebook fan page AND interact daily with your followers.  Don’t just share your links.  Respond to other blogger comments and generate discussion. Just by interacting with other bloggers through social media, you are directly advertising yourself and directing new traffic to your blog.

Although I don’t use Twitter as much as Facebook, I have read countless articles on how valuable Twitter can be in generating subscribers and traffic. I have started re-posting many of my older posts on Twitter several times a day. WordPress also automatically posts to Twitter for me when I hit publish.  As with Facebook, don’t just post the link and run.  Interact and find ways to communicate your message directly to users.

 

I hope these tips prove to be effective and useful for you as you continue on your blogging journey. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!  I’d love to connect with you!

How I Write and Publish Quality Blog Posts

How I Write and Publish Quality Blog Posts

This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my full disclosure here.

I’ve been blogging since November 2015 and have come into a good routine when writing new posts.  I thought I’d share that process with you all today.

Content Creation

I will admit that it’s not always easy to come up with new content, and when I commit to writing a blog post, I want it to be meaningful and worthwhile.  The purpose of my blog is to develop a connection with my readers and to engage in valuable conversation.  Some bloggers can’t go one day without posting something new.  This is fine, I guess, if you post valuable content.  I would rather post one or two really good posts per week than to throw together poorly constructed posts every day that don’t get any feedback.

Luckily, coming up with new content gets a little easier.  My 4 kids are always saying something or doing something cute, sweet, funny, annoying, or amazing.  I just let my kids inspire what I write and usually the content flows better than sitting down trying to think of what I’m writing next.   I also draw from local and national news, interesting posts I’ve read from other bloggers, or maybe a book or TV show.

The content is BY FAR the most important aspect of blogging.  This is why we write, isn’t it?  We have ideas we want to share and people we want to engage with who hopefully will become loyal and contributing fans of our work. Without quality content, nothing else that is done will matter.  You can have the best pictures and titles ever created, but if your content is lousy and not interesting, your post won’t get attention.  Content is where I spend 95% of my time during the blog post creation process.

Many times I will come up with ideas which I develop into post titles.  I don’t always have a full idea of what I’m going to write about at that point, but if I like the title enough, I’ll go ahead and throw it into a WordPress post and save it as a draft.  That way, the idea never leaves and I can take time to think about what I want to say, come back later, and write the post.  I write my posts in Microsoft Word so that I can do a thorough spelling and grammar check. I’ll then copy and paste the final version into WordPress.

Images

After I’m satisfied with the written content, I will add images.  This is my favorite part of building a blog post. Almost all of the images you see on my site come from my iPhone 6 Plus.  I’ve been very satisfied with the quality of the camera on the iPhone and find it convenient to be able to edit photos right from my phone.  If I’m away from my home PC, I use several apps to help me edit.  Adobe Photoshop Express is a really good app to do basic edits to photos and is FREE.   If I’m really satisfied with the original photo, I may throw it into Instagram for light filtering.  I have definitely learned the less editing and filtering done to a photo the better.  I like the pictures I take to be as original and raw as possible, but there are times when I do adjust for red eye, brightness, and other basic properties.

If I am working with photos on my home PC, I use several free tools (see a pattern, here??). If I’m not using a personal photo for my featured images, I’m usually on Pixabay.com choosing from thousands of free Images.

Once I’ve selected my featured image, I have several tools at my disposal to add text to them.  Picfont.com is a very easy to use website where you can upload your image and modify different aspects, including adding text.  I also downloaded a free photo editing program called PhotoScape.  PhotoScape has more options and features than Picfont, but depending on what I’m creating both suit my needs just fine.

Visual Presentation and SEO

After I’ve edited and formatted all of my images into the blog post, I do a quick preview of the blog post inside of WordPress to make sure everything is visually aligned and looks presentable.  At this point, I make any final edits to the texts and use the Yoast plugin for SEO optimization.

Before hitting the schedule or publish button in WordPress, I add my categories and tags.  I try to stick to no more than 3-4 categories and 5 or 6 tags.

Publishing/Social Media Engagement

I’m done with the post!  I sit back and let WordPress publish the post not only to my blog, but to FacebookTwitter, and other social media sites. I make it a point to share the blog post multiple times throughout the week through the Hootsuite app.  If I’m active in Facebook groups that week, I’ll share it with the group during the appropriate share time periods and use that time to engage with other bloggers.

There you have it, folks!  My simple and effective method for writing and publishing blog posts.

What steps do you follow to write and publish? I’m interested in your methods and any additional tools you may use that could be beneficial to my process.

 

5 Amazing Blogs You Have To Visit

5 Amazing Blogs You Have To Visit

Since starting blogging in November of 2015, I have found many new blogs and met many interesting bloggers.  Today, I’d like to share several of my favorites:

Dad and Buried – Dad and Buried is run by Mike, a thirty-something dad who puts a humorous spin on life as a dad.   Definitely one to check out.  You can tweet him @DadandBuried

FabYOUlous Life – Of course I have to give a shout out to the blogger who nominated me for the Liebster Award!  Melissa runs FabYoulous Life from the beautiful state of Colorado. Please please PLEASE check out her blog and tell her @goaskyourdaddy sent you her way. You can tweet Melissa @FabYOUlousLife

For the Love To – For the Love To is run by Iveth out of NYC. Her blog is always interesting and I am always excited to see what posts she adds to the weekly link up here at Go Ask Your Daddy – the Pleasantly Parenting Linky Party (Every Monday @ 8:00 p.m. Eastern).  Iveth blogs about parenting lifestyle, product reviews, and travel.  Check out her blog and be sure to join her weekly link up “A Little Bit of Everything” every Wednesday! Tweet Iveth @fortheloveto!

Girl About Town Dayton – As a local to the Dayton area who has lived here for just over ten years, I have come to appreciate finding new and exciting things to do in this area.  Lauren runs Girl About Town Dayton and does an excellent job providing the best of all there is to do in this area.  I especially like her restaurant reviews as my wife and I are always looking to try new and exciting places to eat.  Go ahead and visit Girl About Town Dayton today!  You can tweet her @girlaboutdayton

That Dad Blog – Alan is a dad of 6 kids and runs one of the funniest blogs I’ve ever read.   The work he does with Photoshop is AMAZING!  I love his real-life Elf on the Shelf pictures he creates with his baby.  You HAVE to check him out!  You will love it!  You can follow That Dad Blog on Facebook.

I’ll make it a goal of mine to review 5 blogs a month.  If I haven’t mentioned your blog yet and you would like to be just email me and I’ll check it out.  I really want to feature parenting, travel, local, marriage blogs as that is the primary traffic I get here at Go Ask Your Daddy.

10 Ways to Improve Your Resume

10 Ways to Improve Your Resume

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Hey parents! Are any of you in the job market? Are you not getting much, if any, response from hiring managers? Maybe the problem is your resume. The good news is it’s most likely an easy fix! As a manager, I have interviewed many candidates and have come across road blocks that are so easily fixable. Here are 10 suggestions for you to improve your resume and increase the chances of securing an interview for your dream job.

1. Cater the Resume to the Specific Job

Applying for a management position? Make sure your resume speaks to that and don’t use an old resume that you used for another line of work. The resume should market your interest and experience to the specific position.

2. Get Rid of the Objective Statement

Your objective is to impress me and show me why I should consider you above all other candidates. Precious space on your resume should not be taken up by an obvious objective statement. Your objective is to get a job. My objective is to hire the best candidate available. Use your space wisely and write a powerful “Professional Summary” detailing your career accomplishments (not job duties!!), experience, education and goals.

3. List Accomplishments, Not Job Duties

Your resume’s purpose is to market your skills and accomplishments so make use of the limited space you have to bring all of those skills and accomplishments to light. A hiring manager is more interested in what you have accomplished than the day-to-day job duties you performed. If you worked in fast-food what did you do to go above and beyond to serve the customer? Did you exceed goals? Did you win an award? I want to know about that. Don’t list that you ran the cash register or cleaned the kitchen. Those are obvious job duties that every hiring manager already knows. Tell me what you did in that fast food job that will wow me. I can hire just about anyone off of the street that could do the day-to-day duties. So why should I choose you above them?

4. Don’t Make Up Positions or Lie About Positions You’ve Held

This is a big no-no. Almost every company will perform a background check and check work history with former employers. Lying about positions, compensation or length of time in a position is a sure fire way to get you resume trashed. Hiring managers want to hire honest and trustworthy employees. Fibbing about your work history is not the way to get hired.

5. Quantify Accomplishments

You saved the company money? How much? $1 million? or $100? By how much did you cut expenses? 10%? 20%? How many people did you manage? Hiring managers and recruiters like to see numbers. Do whatever you can to quantify your achievements.

6. Don’t Go Beyond Ten Years

I’m interested in what you have accomplished within the last 3-5 years to help me in determining if you would be a viable candidate for my position. The common rule of thumb is to limit your work history to the last ten years, unless work history older than that directly relates to the job you seeking. Even if you have related work history that goes beyond ten years, use caution when including it on a resume as job functions, skills, and technology requirements change. What was once a necessity in a job over ten years ago may not necessarily be a necessity in the same job today.

7. Leave off “References Available Upon Request” Statement

There is absolutely no reason to put this on a resume. I know you will have references available and if I want to see them I’ll request them. Why take up valuable resume space with this useless statement?

8. Check Spelling and Grammar Ahead of Time

When your resume arrives on my desk, I should not see any spelling or grammar errors. Take the extra time to check, double-check and triple-check for mistakes. Have a peer or friend check it as well. Don’t let spelling or grammar errors keep you from getting the job. Use the spell check on Microsoft Word, but double-check it yourself to be 100% sure there are no errors.

9. Use Proper Formatting

Microsoft Word and other platforms have the ability to create bulleted lists. I’ve seen many resume that just have rows of text with no bullets. Your goal is to call attention to all of your accomplishments. Bullets do a great job of that so use them to your advantage! Be careful with font size and type. Don’t use any frilly fonts and stick with standards such as Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial.

10. Include Key Words from the Job Posting

Modern HR software utilizes keyword searches to pull resume that match those keywords. Since you have the job posting on your computer, try to incorporate as many of them into your resume as possible. Doing so will increase your chances your resume will get flagged and a call from a recruiter.

What tips or tricks have worked for you?  Share in the comments below!

 

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