Category Archives: For Bloggers

Website Writing: Ten Tips on Creating Fantastic Content Everyday!

What is good content?  There really is no set definition and it’s completely subjective based on what our readers want to look at, have time to deal with, and feel the desire to share.  We can’t control it in any way.  We are completely at the mercy of the whim of our beloved readers.  It’s easy and tempting to throw your hands up in the air pretty quickly, but don’t give up!  After some work, research and practice you’ll find yourself writing those articles that create repeat and active readers.  In the meantime, and for all times, don’t let that stop you from writing about things you enjoy.

This post will help you get on track to creating amazing content all the time, driving readers and customers to your site daily!

As bloggers and website owners, we all know that it’s hard work, it takes constant dedication, and an insane amount of creativity and a tolerance for annoyances so be sure and write articles you enjoy writing, at least from time to time.  My absolute favorite posts on my site are those I’ve written about psychology like this one on overcoming depression.   It came from my heart, was well researched and I find it well written.  It is not, however, one of my most viewed pages.  That’s okay.  I wrote it for me, I enjoyed it.  If it helps one other person, that’s enough for me!

Content Marketing for small businesses is essential whether you are a blogger, have an online store, or even a local business.  In order to stay relevant and attract attention, one must stay ahead of the curve.  If you ever figure out how to do that, by all means come back here and let me know!  I’m typically more of a haul butt around the corners and hang on kind of girl!  So in my ever evolving quest of self-improvement, both personally and for this site (check my post about domain authority and SEO), I’m putting together a post full of content marketing tips.

Whether you run a Lifestyle Blog, Parenting Blog, Wedding Blog or a brick and mortar business, we all have one thing in common: an Achilles heel made up of a balance between what they want and what gets their attention.   A fantastic marketing campaign can make us, break us or keep us on the bench but even the best marketing can’t save us if our content doesn’t draw people in and bring them back for seconds!  So, with that in mind I’ve brought you a top ten list, because everyone loves those, right?

Ten Tips on Creating Fantastic Content

I must note right now that I was on a role with this post, right up until I got to the point of the article.  Then my brain started going into the land of random thoughts.  Ugh.  I hate that land when I’m working.  Okay, back on topic….  Well…..  maybe just a quick break  THEN back on topic…  I swear….

More coffee….  That’s what I need….  Check out this totally irrelevant video I took on our trip to Silver Dollar City Attractions and the Branson Showboat.  That should keep you entertain long enough for my content brain storm!

Okay, back on track….

Let these tips help get you on track to creating content that everyone wants to read!

  1. Be bold!  Click bait is crazy effective in getting people to come to a website, though often it is not enough to keep our readers interested.  However, talking about content that will touch on our reader’s passion is always a good idea.  No matter what side of an issue your opinion lands on, it’s going to be controversial.  One doesn’t have to offend or alienate anyone in order to discuss challenging topics.  There will always be someone who passionately agrees or disagrees with you, it’s nice to hear everyone’s varying point of view.
  2. Do your Homework! It’s a bit easier to know what will be well received if you are a niche blogger or business.  A local bakery sharing some tricks of their trade is going to be a great way to both drive traffic and attract customers.  After all, who better to get tips from than a delicious baker and how could one not be attracted to patron a business who cares so much about their customers that they are willing to help them out.  I’d certainly be more likely to go to that bakery to try them out the next time I needed a delicious treat!  However, if you aren’t a niche business or website, then it’s time to get to your homework.  There are tons of ways to search for what’s being searched the most in order to find something your audience would not only be interested in, but is likely already looking for.  You could even spend some time checking out what’s trending on Pinterest!  That’s what I call fun homework!
  3. Be transparent! While it is possible to sit on the fence and get an engaged audience, as readers and visitors the majority of us would prefer to know where an author stands.  It helps to encourage a feeling of community to know where someone stands.
  4. Photo Identification: Be sure and put a good description in the alternative text of the image. After all, algorithms aren’t eyeballs reading your pictures!
  5. Photo Placement: Don’t put the photo at the beginning of your post. Those pesky algorithms are known to skip over pages that start with a picture as they are harder to classify.
  6. Keep It Simple! Don’t write super long paragraphs.  It’s easier to read a short paragraph than a long one and people are more likely to stick around for an enjoyable read than a labor intensive one!
  7. Writer’s Block? We’ve all ran into that wall at some point (as in my insane distraction above).  If you are stuck, search for writing prompts.  They will not only force you around your blockade, but they may also inspire some fantastic post ideas!
  8. Keep a Running List. I have a tendency to some up with ideas for posts at the most random times, make yourself a list and grab something off of it every now and then to mix things up!
  9. Get off your butt! (or on it technically) When you have a minute, write!  Whether it be on paper or the computer just write.  You can add it to your site anytime, but the inspiration gold may not stick around that long!
  10. Have fun! While blogging and coming up with content is a job, make sure you enjoy what you are doing and writing about!  It will reflect in your writing and your readers will appreciate it!

SEO & Domain Authority: Easy Ways to Get them Growing Today

SEO scores and a good Domain Authority are crazy important for websites.  They let search engines know that your site should be mentioned first, which of course will drive more traffic to your site.  Increasing views, revenue and so on.  But how do we get that score up?  There is a ton of information out there and it can be overwhelming trying to learn.  Since I’m working on building my score, I thought I’d share with you some things that I’ve found.  In order to gain domain authority, one has to legitimately build a higher SEO score.  How do we do that, well….

  1. Find terms and phrases, AKA keywords, which generate traffic to your website. This can be challenging and may take some experimentation.  Don’t give up!
  2. Wondering the do’s and don’ts of keyword usage? com suggests the following: use your keyword in the title at least once (preferably at the beginning), once prominently at the top of the page, 2-3 times throughout the body, at least once in the alt attribute of an image on the page, once in the URL, and at least once in the meta description tag.  Do not use them in link anchor text!
  3. Learn what your target blogger opp section, as you want their search terms to bring up the link to your website.
  4. Make sure all images have ‘alt text’, this will help search engines understand and therefore be able to find them. If there is a video or soundwave, add a transcript to them. Search engines are not good at knowing how to describe pictures, so they often skip over them.  How funny that the search engines seem to throw their hands up too?  Ha!
  5. Limit your links. Links on pages that have hundreds or more links are probably not going to rank. Remember that the search engine has to look at all of these links, and they get sick of clicking every one too.  It’s best to have fewer, quality links rather than a ton.  If you want to do a post with a ton of links, consider making them ‘no index’ so as not to annoy the search bots!
  6. Eliminate errors on your pages. I will admit I’m sick and tired of going back through my old posts to fix my earlier ignorance, but it must be done.  Unfortunately, errors inhibit and prevent search engines from crawling around sites and ranking them.  Google’s Search Console can be used to check your site for free.

Of course, if you are having trouble getting it, be sure and embrace blogger outreach!  There are a ton of networks out there, which help without charging.  Not to mention the fact that a good blogger friend network is a priceless resource!  You can also check out my blogger opp section, or get automatic alerts by joining our Blogger Exclusive Newsletter!

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (found here) has helped me with most of this information and there is far more there for you to discover, I highly recommend heading there to get more of an understanding.  In the meantime, this should help you get on your way to a higher SEO score and a better Domain Authority!  I’ve included a few additional links that I thought you might be interested in.  I’ll be sure to come back and add more.

 

I’d love to hear your tips and success stories,

Increase your domain authority and improve your SEO traffic with these easy steps that anyone can do!

 

please share them with us!

Blogger Resources

Paid Blogging Jobs

4 Ways to Enforce Your Copyright

 

The Sunshine Award

sunshineaward

Here are the rules for the award:

 

  1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.  (Patience In The Jungle)
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer 11 question the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers who you believe deserve to be nominated and recognized.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all of those bloggers know that you nominated them for The Sunshine Award. (You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you).

 

Random Facts

 

  1. I have a line that grows down the middle of one fingernail and causes it to break every stinkin’ time.  (I’ll take any tips to get rid of that you have! LOL)
  2. My favorite color is orange but I have an affinity for bright ocean colored blues.
  3. When I’m trying to do something and my dogs won’t leave me alone, I do whatever they want so they’ll shut up.  Don’t judge me.  LOL
  4. I always tell our daughter to focus on whatever task she is doing but if I get distracted I go on doing whatever it is that distracted me and frequently don’t finish the original task.
  5. I can’t help but psychoanalyze everything I come across – thank you psychology.
  6. I have a hard time not getting deep with these things, but I’m sure you noticed that.  😛
  7. My absolute favorite food is a salad so long as there is a good salad bar.
  8. I obsess over earning on swagbucks.  LOL.  Run back and forth to play videos while I’m cleaning.  I rationalize it that I’m earning money and exercising more by doing so.  Again, don’t judge…  😛
  9. My ‘office’ is in the laundry room.  It doesn’t help me get the laundry done.
  10. If I don’t know what I’m cooking for dinner early, I freak out about it all day long.

 

Patience in the Jungle’s Questions:

  1. Why did you start your blog?  I started my blog to vent my frustrations with my narcolepsy and cataplexy, then I realized I didn’t need a platform for that and found my love for reviews, crafts, and sharing!
  2. What is your favorite recipe?  My favorite recipe at the moment is my Coconut Lime Chicken Soup.  If you haven’t tried it, give it a chance.  It’s amazing! No coconut flavor, so don’t worry about that.
  3. Where is your favorite place in the world?  My house, I know, lame.
  4. What is the best piece of advice you have received?  Pray about it.
  5. What is your goal for your blog?  Oh, that…  People keep saying I should have a goal, it’s on my to do list!
  6. Do you have any secret talents?  I can read people and seem to know what to say to them to make them feel better.
  7. What would your last meal ever be?  Delicious!  No idea other than I would want it to be really good!  Maybe a combination of things: nachos, fajitas, ice cream, spaghetti, my husband’s jambalaya chicken, ice cream, strawberry shortcake and tiramisu.  Yep, all in one meal.  Might as well go all in.  Not like feeling sick will matter!
  8. What is your favorite holiday and why?  Christmas.  I love the reason for it, with all I am.  I also love decorating for it and how everyone gets so much nicer!
  9. What is your guilty pleasure?  trashy TV shows I’m not ready to admit yet…
  10. Who is your favorite artist?  Reba MacEntire
  11. Who is your favorite author?  Toni Anderson.  She is great!

 

My Questions For The Nominees

 

  1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  2. What is your best kitchen/cooking tip?
  3. How do you get your mind off of things when you are stressed?
  4. What is your favorite quote?
  5. What is your best parenting or life tip?
  6. What is your go to meal to cook for dinner?
  7. What is your favorite song?
  8. What is your favorite quality about yourself?
  9. If you weren’t limited by anything, what would you do for a career?
  10. What is your all time favorite movie(s)?
  11. What is the most silly superstition that follows you?

 

The Nominees That I Have Chosen Are…..

 

  1. Journeys of the Zoo
  2. Emily Reviews
  3. Planet Weidknecht
  4. Mom and More
  5. Hanging off the Wire
  6. A Year of Jubilee Reviews
  7. Afternoons with You
  8. The Kids Did It
  9. Obsessed with Scrapbooking
  10. Courtney Lane Designs
  11. Leah Says Views

 

Congrats you all have amazing blogs and I’m so happy to nominate you for an award!!

 

Originally posted 2013-10-21 11:01:58.

Atn Bloggers: Mother Finds Own Child For Sale Online

Hey Everyone. I was doing some research on adoption from the children’s perspective on youtube and came across this video. I’ll be adding watermarks to my images from now on! This is insane. Makes me worry about my family and my fellow blogger’s families. Always someone out there to hurt others!

Hey

Originally posted 2012-10-30 16:43:00.

Social Media Warriors

If you’d like to join The Social Media Warriors, or simply be emailed about these opportunities, sign up here.

Free & Paid Blogger Opps
Lugz Giveaway
Twin Zzz Sleep Pillow Giveaway
Adagio Teas Giveawa
Ninja Squirrels Game Giveaway
Marlo’s Bake Shop Giveaway

Versatile Blogger Award

I am so excited to be given this honor!!!  😀  The Zoo surely qualifies, as we have to be versatile or else!  LOL.  
I’ll start off by thanking, with total excitement and gratitude, Sew Stylish Boutique for honoring us with the award!  I really love their stuff, you should check them out!!!
Seven things about me….  Hrmmm….  The Zoo would be so much easier to describe!  LOL
1. I have narcolepsy with cataplexy. 
2. I am from Oklahoma but no longer live there!
3. I met my husband of 4 1/2 years online and we are in the process of buying our first house!
4.  I am currently working on deepening my relationship with God
5.  I have a degree in Psychology
6.  I send cards/letters/packages to soldiers, we adopted 3
7.  I absolutely love chocolate and occasionally make middle of the night runs with my hubby for fast food while our Monkey is sleeping (we have someone here while we are gone)
Ha!  I did it!  7 things!  😀  Quite proud right now!
Okay, 7 blogs I have recently found…
Check out all these blogs, They all have amazing crafts, food, sewing, diy, the list just goes on!!
Congrats to you all, you deserve the Award.
xoxo

There are some Rules with this Award:

Rule 1: Thank the person who gave you the award. 🙂 Plus Link back to them in your post.
Rule 2: Share 7 things about yourself… 
Rule 3: Pass the award on to 7 blogs (that were recently discovered – and contact them to let them know)

Originally posted 2012-01-02 18:58:00.

The Versatile Blogger Award -Thank You Lisa!!!

I’m going to start with a big huge thanks to Lisa over at Memories in the Making for being my first guest blogger!!!  I just LOVE her site, and I know you will too if (when) ya check it out!  Lisa is so very talented and so sweet!  As soon as her button is up, I’ll get it on our list!

Also, she has passed on this award to me!!!  (YAY, my very first!!!  Thanks again Lisa!!!)

This one comes with a nifty set of rules, so here goes!

The rules are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Answer 10 questions
3. Pass it along to 7 blogs you’ve recently discovered and enjoy
4. Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award

And the 10 questions are:

1. Why did you create this blog?
I was inspired by the first blog I found (Everyday Cricut).  The ladies there are really great at what they do, and there are so many projects they do that I just HAD to do.  So, thanks to their inspiration, I decided to start my own blog.  One thing I found issue with on various sites was that I didn’t have the resources in my scrap collection to do some of the projects, so I wanted to create a blog that used stuff I had laying around the house so that anyone could do them.  So, here we are!!!

2. What kinds of blogs do you follow?
Crafts, DIY, scrapbook….  I like to randomly find new ones, typically off of links I find on sites I already like.

3. Favorite make-up brand? Avon, but honestly I don’t wear make-up.  I’m too much of a tomboy.  LOL

4. Favorite clothing brand? The only reason I know there are so many brands is because I do have to buy clothes.  Needless to say, no favorite brand!

5. Indispensable makeup product? Does chapstick count???  I LOVE CHAPSTICK!!!  Pretty certain I have at least 20 tubes lost in various places around my house, van, and my husband’s truck!

6. Favorite color? ORANGE!!!  I can’t get enough of it!  I read somewhere that the color orange makes people happier (I’m a psychology fanatic and have my B.A. in it).

7. Favorite perfume? I am ashamed to say I have no idea.  I know it’s Avon, does that count???  LOL.  (Do ya see a pattern here???)

8. Favorite film? Fighting Temptations….  Coal Miner’s Daughter…  Pretty much all of the Brat Pack films (I love all 80’s comedies)….  Ummm….  Most recent movie that I just love is RED…

9. What country would you like to visit and why?  Good One….  Ummm…  I would love to visit any tropical island paradise.  I love exploring cultures, and beaches are just gorgeous!!!

10. Would you rather forget to put mascara on one eye or forget blush on one side of your face?  Let’s see, when I did wear make-up, I didn’t need mascara (I have really long eye lashes)

Let’s see, I have the links to a bunch of sites that I love on my page so I’m going to do some searching for some new sites…

1. Musings of a Housewife 
(she has helped me so much through her blogs: she taught me to make that adorable button on the side of the page!  I really appreciate that!)
2. The Idea Room (She is SO talented and has a lot of really great projects on her blog.  She makes me feel like maybe I can actually do them!)
3. Bitten By the Bug 2 (I’ve been watching this one for a while.  It’s great!!!  Every week she has challenges, which really make you want to create some great stuff!)
4.Busy with the Cricky (Recently found this one and LOVING it!!!)
5. Scrapbook Sisters(This site is adorable!!!)
6. Scrapbook {Express}ions (Great challenges that help push your creativity without controlling it!)
7. Scrap Scene (Recently found this site, it’s really cool because it links to a lot of other sites and has some great projects!)

Thanks to all the wonderful inspiration y’all provide! Keep up the awesome work!!!

Originally posted 2011-02-14 23:43:00.

#BloggerOpp, Gift Guides, & So On!!!

Hello All!  Cordially inviting you to join our team!  Whether you are interested in joining up for gift guides or just being informed of giveaways opps you can promote with, we would love to have you!  Sign Up Here2017 Gift Guide & Blogger Opp today!!!  This team is ongoing, we want to grow and grow.  Looking for honest, talented, dedicated team players!

#BloggerOpp BTS Giveaway

 Blogger Opp Back To School Giveaway
1 Winner
Sponsored by:
Mead Five Star
Zest
Salon Graphix
(more are being added this week)
Hosted By
Amy & Aron’s Real life Reviews
Each blogger will receive up to 3 Free links  
for posting and promoting this giveaway 
Giveaway Date
8/9 to 8/23
Open to US
 Giveaway will be 2 weeks long. Make sure if you are purchasing links they will be valid that long. We don’t want blank entries.Prizes: 
Mead Five Star Backpack with an assorted bundle of supplies
Zest shower gel
Salon Graphix hair care products and more will be added
(and more)
The more bloggers promoting ~ the bigger the results ~ the more giveaways we get to do together.Sign Up Here or Below


Co-Hosts spots are unlimited, Co-Hosts Needed


Co-Hosts
$5 for 5 additional links (up to 8 total) plus backlink to your blog.Custom links available:
Adding social links $1 each limit 3

 (link to specific post required)
This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, etc
Daily links $2 each or 3 for $5 (Limit 3)
Daily Comments, retweets, post shares, email sign ups, secret word, etc
(link to specific post required)
Any payment needed please send to grovesamy81@gmail.com as a friend/gift, BTS in the notes

Please let them know My Crafty Zoo Sent you!

Posting will be required within 24 hours of launch.

 

I hope to see you there.
If you have any questions about this giveaway please email Amy at grovesamy81@gmail.com or amy@aarlreviews.com

Blog Buddy Review

Blog Buddy If you are a blogger, you know the importance and headache of organization.  I use to have notes and reminders all over my house, purse, wherever.  Of course, this doesn’t do much to keep my chaos in line.  Not too long ago, I came across an aspiring company who seemed to have the answer to my problems: The Blog Buddy.  While my old habits of the 2 million notes everywhere hasn’t completely stopped, things have gotten better and I foresee an eventual *gulp* elimination of blog related sticky notes…  If you are a blogger, you will want this book.  It helps- trust me!  Plus, if you are super organized already, this will have your office streamlined!  Oh, how I dream of being that organized one day!

 

 

 

 

Blog  Buddy

Blog Buddy Specs

A FULL 24 Month Calendar! (January 2014-December 2015)

2 Page Spread Monthly Calendars (finally no tiny useless squares!) 

Guided To-Do Lists and Blank Notes pages 

Post Completion Checklists (track multiple posts completion at a glance) 

Reviews & Giveaway Tracker 

Guest Blogging Opportunity Tracker (track posts pitched, written, published, etc) 

Potential Advertiser Tracker (track contact and follow up dates easily) 

Current Advertiser Tracker (track rates and renewal dates) 

Blog Statistics (compare a year at a glance for all statistics you want to track) 

Monthly Expenses (keep track each and every receipt!)

Revenue & Expense overviews (compare a year at a glance for revenue & expenses) 

Quarterly Balance Sheet with Estimated Tax Payments (see your finances at a glance)

Buy Now

Use the code SHIPMEFREE to get $10 off the planner

Disclosure: I did not receive this product for free.  I purchased it.  The opinions contained in this post are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.