Archive for the ‘mommyblogger’ Category

Ever need a break?

Dream2

Sometimes in life, we all have to take a break. So far, in the last 7 years as a Work at Home mom (WAHM), I haven’t taken many breaks, actually none at all from work. I have learned that when you are too busy to do the things you love and help others, you are just plain too busy. I have always had a hard time saying, “no” which meant I did way more than I ever needed to. This being said life has a way of slowing you down. I have learned to focus on my strengths and work on the things that I love! How is work, work when you LOVE it! I love social media and marketing more than anything – blogging, graphic design, photography and being crafty all come in a very close second! Naptime Design is not going away at all – we took a break, caught our breath and have so much more focus now on what our true vision is. If you want to continue to do what you love, let us worry about your online imagine, blogging or social media. I love keeping in touch with customers and hearing all about their experiences with your business. Do what you love and so will I! Stay tuned many great things are coming your way!

{Repost}10 tips for bloggers from writing pros

What a great information from those who know writing best, professional writers. I hope this article gives you some insight into great ways to hone your craft of blogging or writing in general. Let me know your thoughts. Did you learn something new, change your opinion on blog writing or think up a few new ways to tweak what you are already doing? If not inspired by the words you read, why not? Tell me – I’d love to know.

http://holykaw.alltop.com/10-tips-for-bloggers-from-writing-pros?tu4=1

SITS Girls Bloggy Bootcamp 2012 Dallas – Top Ten

Way back in September (I wrote this immediately following the conference, but life’s been a little busy since),  I had the great pleasure of attending Bloggy Bootcamp 2012 put on by the SITS girls! What an amazing weekend! Not only did I learn more than I ever anticipated, I met so many familiar faces from my years of blogging, social media and twitter friends! There is nothing better than putting a warm smile to the face you’ve interacted with via twitter, etc for so many years. The familiar faces, sweet friends, great company and food, and the invaluable information shared by fellow bloggers.

 

Here are the top ten things I learned:

  1. Identify a few critical tasks that contribute most to income, scheduled with short and clear deadlines.
  2. Multiply your strengths – outsource the rest.
  3. Have office hours and strictly abide by them.
  4. Hyperlink, Hyperlink, Hyperlink (Backlink to previous posts.)
  5. Don’t spend time, money or effort on things that don’t give a return (PERIOD).
  6. Tell a story with photos and always, always, always brand those photos.
  7. Don’t fear eBoooks – we all have great information to share.
  8. Solving someone else’s problem will make you successful.
  9. Learn your readers and rely on SEO strategies to improve traffic.
  10. “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of wills.’ Vince Lombardi

And what do I plan to do with all the pages and pages of notes I took and wealth of knowledge I walked away with…

Here are my top five goals (for the next 4-6 months):

  1. Increase my blogging (at least once per week/per blog – that’s a good amount of blogging)
  2. Brand all photos (this is still a work in progress for me)
  3. Hire designers to help give my blogs a fresh look (I can no longer bear what I’ve toiled for months on).
  4. Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the others gold – Network!
  5. Do what I love, love what I do!

 

Mack Collier’s “A No-Nonsense Guide to SEO and Content Creation for Bloggers”

Mack Collier, of mackcollier.com says it best in his article re-pasted below. In the New Year my goals are to ensure my blogging doesn’t take a backseat – how about you? What are your go-to buckets?

A No-Nonsense Guide to SEO and Content Creation for Bloggers

Two of the most common complaints I hear from bloggers, especially during #Blogchat is:

1 – I wish I could figure out how to post more often and create more content
2 – I wish I better understood SEO and how to optimize my posts for search

I’m going to show you a ‘trick’ that will hopefully help you with both of these issues.  First, we need to pick 3-5 Topic Buckets for your blog.  These are 3-5 key areas that you want to focus on with your blog content.  For example, my Topic Buckets for this blog are:
1 – How businesses and individuals can improve their blogging
2 – How businesses and individuals can better use Twitter
3 – How businesses can create and improve their Social Media Strategies
4 – How businesses can better embrace and empower their fans
5 – Catch-all (Facebook, Social Media Monitoring, everything I don’t want to blog about quite as much goes here)

Now the great thing about this approach is that notice since I have 5 Topic Buckets, if I just write one post a week from each bucket, I’ve got 5 posts for the week!  Or I could spread those 5 posts out over two weeks, so I have 3 posts for the 1st week, then 2 for the second week.  And if I wanted I could add a 3rd post in that second week, either from one of these buckets again, or maybe I want to let you know about a Live #Blogchat coming up, or an event I will be speaking at.

But once you’ve created your Topic Buckets, it makes it MUCH easier for you to organize the content you create on your blog!  And if you want to be super-organized, you could say pick 3 Topic Buckets for your blog, then write a new post for the 1st one every Monday, the 2nd bucket would be every Wednesday, and the 3rd Topic Bucket’s post would be every Friday!
So thanks to Topic Buckets, we’ve tackled the issue of how to create more content.  Really, the biggest issue you will have with this is deciding on what your Topic Buckets should be, and how many you should have.  I think 3 is the perfect number, if you get over 5, then you should probably consider spinning some of them off into a new blog, or eliminating some till you get back down to 5 or less.

Now, let’s talk about optimizing your posts for search and SEO.  Let me say up front I am NOT an SEO expert, the following is good old-fashioned ‘common sense’ advice that I learned by reading SEO experts, then experimenting with my own content here, and seeing what worked, and what didn’t.  This is 101-level stuff to get you started.  I would recommend that you try this, and then when you see the positive results, that will probably whet your appetite to want to learn more about SEO.
First, learn to write better post titles.  Seriously, this was the biggest improvement I made in my blogging this year.  But it goes beyond simply writing a ‘catchy’ headline, you need to seriously consider what words you use in your headline.  Because what you want to do is use certain search keywords and terms in your post’s title.

For example, lets say we want to write a post on how businesses can use Twitter.  Before you start writing the post or even the title, ask yourself ‘what would someone type into Google in order to find this post?’  Put yourself in the shoes of the marketing manager at a mid-sized company that’s trying to decide if her business should start a Twitter account.  Some of the things she might put into Google could be:

  • ‘How do businesses use Twitter?’
  • ‘How can Twitter help my business?’
  • ‘Does my business need to be on Twitter?’
  • ‘How do you get started using Twitter?’

You get the idea.  But notice she is Googling QUESTIONS that she wants the answers to!  Think about it, isn’t this how we usually use Google?  We have a question we want answered.  So taking the marketing manager’s questions in mind, here’s some possible post titles we could go with
1 – Four Innovative Ways Businesses Are Using Twitter
2 – Should Your Business Be on Twitter? Here’s How You Can Decide
3 – How to Start a Twitter Account For Your Business in 5 Minutes!

See how those post titles closely resemble what the marketing manager was Googling?  If you can use the same or similar keywords and phrases in your post title as what others are searching for in search engines, you will greatly increase your post’s chances of ranking high in search results for those words and terms.

Another tip:  Use your keywords as close to the start of the post title as possible.  This helps, but isn’t an absolute.  For example, the first post title of ‘Four Innovative Ways Businesses Are Using Twitter’ could be changed to ‘How Are Businesses Using Twitter? Here’s Four Innovative Ways’.  You may want to make this change because the term ‘How Are Businesses Using Twitter’ will be what more people are searching for.  Personally, I think the 1st version of the post title flows better.

Finally, use the same keyword/phrases in your post title, in the post itself.  Ideally, you want to use the keyword phrase, such as ‘How are businesses using Twitter’ up to 3 times in the post.  Or at least once at the start of the post.  You want to do this because this helps Google and other search engines correctly identify what the post is about.  Google will scan the post and if it sees the same or similar words and phrases repeating in the post, then it assumes that’s what the post is about, then when someone searches for those same or similar phrases, your post will rank higher in search results!
So that’s enough to get you started.  Start creating Topic Buckets for your blog, then start beefing up your post titles with the proper keywords and phrases.  I think you’ll be pleasantly pleased with the results you see!

 

 

 

 

10 Things I’ve Learned…

The past couple weeks have been a lot about learning…

Let’s just say I learned more than ten things, but I have to start somewhere, right?
1.  Networking is always key – grow, socialize, learn – make friends, be a good friend, work together…
2.  Blogging can change your life – think it, blog it, share it.  I feel, I now think in terms of blog posts, Facebook status updates and tweets – do they always get written, not exactly, but I am certainly growing toward that. I think all my thoughts recently consisted of less than 160 characters. LOL
3.  Just like INXS said there is “Not Enough Time” – The days are never long enough, but sometimes we should just accept that what we don’t finish today will still be there tomorrow and if it’s not, then it wasn’t meant to be. 
4.  SEO and Klout scores mean everything – not sure what these items are – well, if you work in or near social media and online marketing, you absolutely should and then you should read everything about how to make improvements. 
5.  Working from home (with kids present) isn’t for the faint of heart – I love my work flexibility, love my clients, and love being able to work with my kids playing alongside of me – but let’s just say it isn’t for everyone and some days I ponder renting my own office space away from my house. :)
6.  Take care of #1 – so cliche, but so true. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you run a business or better yet someone else’s business.
7. Organization will help your productivity levels soar. I know sometimes this is a tough one, the papers pile up, the work piles up, you can no longer see your desk and then simple tasks become difficult. Staying on top of the organization process definitely minimizes stress in the long run.
8. I’ve never been diagnosed ADD, but sometimes I don’t think I could do what I do, without having it. The biggest question clients always ask is how many hours did you work on this or that – honestly, I usually cannot give an exact number. I dabble here, I dabble there – I dabble a little everywhere (Dr. Seuss-ish right?) – so clocking in specific hours per project is tough for me, but the truth is I spend a lot of time doing what I do and love each and every minute.
9. Education/Learning never ends – Graduate from college and you know everything and then you enter reality, where in reality, you know nothing. I am still learning each day – constantly, making sure I keep up with the latest news in design and social media – ensuring that I don’t lose touch with the reality that is social media and it’s ever-changing platforms.
10. There is a word called “No”. I know, big shocker here – I learned new words this week, “No” and “I’m sorry”. I would love to be able to help everyone, I love helping everyone, but there is only so much time I have available in days and weeks. 
Hope this brought you some insight – I know I could keep going, but my pillow is screaming my name. 
Cheers,
K
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