In honour of Take Your Kid to Work Day (Nov 5) I wanted to talk about tips for working on your blog when you have kids at home that can’t take care of themselves. For some of us, every day is take your kid to work day!
Get in a routine so your child can get to know your routine and know what to expect and when. Whether it’s work during nap times which are consistent because wake time and meals are consistent or after lunch is work time and the child has a set activity to do then, there needs to be some sort of routine.
If you are going to have to blog during times other than nap or bed time, you are going to need some special activities that your child uses only when you are blogging. It might be a certain toy, set of books and puzzles or colouring book or a combo of all of them but these activities can ONLY be used while you are blogging. As soon as you finish blogging, those activities go away until the next time you blog. That way they will keep your child’s interest longer.
This is especially important for the younger kids. Have everything you will need to take care of your baby or young child within arms reach of your desk whenever possible. Have bottles premade in the fridge so you can grab and go or have your nursing pillow and receiving blankets on hand next to your chair. Have your blogging only toys handy (see above). Make sure you have anything you would put in a diaper bag, in your office such as diapers, wipes, change of clothes, blankets, toys, etc. Save time from having to go get things.
Plan which blogging tasks you can do with the kids around and which ones you absolutely can only do during nap or bed time. Figure this out beforehand so you know what to work on when.
Encourage Older Children to Blog too
If you have children 7 and older, why not encourage them to start a blog too? You can set it up for them and get them going but they can write posts on their own and take their own photos with just a few moments instruction and then they are off!
To be successful in blogging you should give up your shoulds. Today is Give Up Your Shoulds Day so I wanted to talk about shoulds.
Common Shoulds Regarding Blogging
How many times have you heard some of these shoulds either from the mouths of other bloggers or in blog posts or websites or even at blog conferences?
“You should post more often, You should post less often, You should get a better blog design, You should promote all posts on Google+, You should never promote on Google+, You should have a Facebook page, You should not have a Facebook page, You should only have one blog, You should send auto DMs on Twitter, You should NEVER send Auto DMs on twitter, You should spend more time blogging, You should spend less time blogging, You should do what successful bloggers do, You should go your own direction and not copy what other bloggers do, You should listen to my blogging advice, You should listen to (fill in the blank’s) blogging advice, You should read this blogging book etc…”
Give Up Your Shoulds
They go on and on and on. I’m certainly not against blogging advice or I wouldn’t write about blogging, but I give you information so you can take what makes sense to you and scrap the rest. There is not one thing that works for everyone in blogging or in the rest of our life. So give up your shoulds and make decisions and then stick with them.
If the should is from your own ideas such as you want to blog more often because you believe it will be helpful, then stop saying should and start planning to make it happen. Schedule it in and make yourself do it so you can’t say I should.
What’s Wrong With Shoulds?
What’s wrong with shoulds, aren’t they just a to-do list? Worrying too much about shoulds is not good for our mental health and can affect our physical and emotional health as well. Shoulds are a list of things that are never quite done well enough and when they aren’t completed, they nag us, making us feel bad for not doing something we should. Shoulds make you think it’s something that must be done without letting you think about it and decide for yourself if it’s important to you. It’s better if we just don’t use that word at all.
The Definition of Should
Look at the first definition of Should and you will see why it’s not a great word to be using.
“used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.”
Exactly. It’s not used in a nice manner. It’s used to criticize someone. Do yourself a favour and nix it from your vocabulary and next time someone else tells you that you should do something, tell them you will take it into consideration and decide if it’s right for you.
You do sponsored posts to monetize your blog but just sitting and waiting for the offers to pour in isn’t working so well. How can you find more sponsored post opportunities?
How to Find More Sponsored Posts
Respond to Press Releases and Media Alerts
Although press releases and media alerts are usually being sent by those seeking editorial content (aka not paid), they sometimes have a budget for advertorial posts (paid) or they can bring the idea back to the company who may go for it, or they can transfer you to the advertorial department of the company.
I respond to every press release or media alert and I’d say about 35% of them turn into paid work. That’s 35% that I wouldn’t have without responding. Respond with something like this (alter to meet your needs):
Hello [insert name from press release]
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I like [the idea, the product, etc] and think it would be perfect for the audience of my blog at [insert blog url]. Is there a budget for this campaign? I accept sponsored posts and social shares and am open to other advertorial options.
[insert signature here]
I usually change it around to match the tone of the message I received. If it starts off as Hi, I use Hi. If it’s Hello, I use Hello. I talk less professionally if the message is.
You May Be Interested – How To Write a Professional Email
Get in Touch With Past Contacts
Have you received sponsored post offers from someone before but you haven’t heard from them in a while? Send them an email and see if they have any new campaigns. The email should say something very similar to that. Something about not hearing from them in a while and you were just wondering if they had any current campaigns you would be good for.
Sign Up For Groups That Offer Sponsored Posts
There are tons of groups out there, at least for those in the US and Canada. Ask your blogging friends for suggestions. Some of them don’t have very high pay rates so shop around and only accept posts that are worth your time and effort. I personally make way more money working directly with companies or with PR agencies but some campaign networks aren’t bad.
These are just a few ways to increase your sponsored post income.
For more posts on sales and selling, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:
- How to Sell an eBook on Your Blog Easily by Ellen Blogs
- What is Affiliate Marketing and Will I Actually Make Money by Day by Day in Our World
- 5 Ways to Earn More Affiliate Income by Sunshine and Sippy Cups
- Blogging for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Pretty Opinionated
- Sell Yourself on Yourself by Mama Knows It All
Also linked up here:
Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work or School Day is the second Wednesday in October which for 2015 is today!
Snap a photo of your Teddy bear at your computer, in your office, or wherever you blog, post it on your blog or on social media and link up below! Don’t forget the hashtag #TeddytoWork !!!
Consider visiting some blog posts or social media posts below and give them some love, but it’s all optional!
Today is Google’s birthday, sort of.
The exact date of Google’s birthday has changed and been debated a bit through the years. Google filed for incorporation on September 4, 1998, was established three days later on September 7, and the Google.com domain was registered September 15. All have been considered Google’s “birthday” at one point, but Google has officially chosen September 27 as their day. – Search Engine Watch
In honour of the day, I’d like to present the many ways Google can be used by bloggers including research, SEO, traffic and more.
As you should know, when you are searching Google, it auto completes some ideas of what you might be searching. You can use these completes to form new post ideas. Start typing in words or phrases related to your niche or that are generic such as How To and see what shows up. Try different forms of HOW TO, WHY DO, WHY IS, WHY YOU MUST, REASONS TO, GOOD REASONS, DON’T DO, WATCH OUT FOR, WHAT IS, HOW DOES and ones like that.
Google has its own social network in the form of Google+. Even if you don’t feel you have time for another network or don’t plan to use Google+ for more than sharing your latest posts and some from your friends, its worth it. If you have a Google account you already have a Google+ account anyways. Google+ posts show up in the search results unlike Facebook posts. I’ve searched for things many times and I have seen a fellow blogger’s G+ share show up in the results, often page 1.
This is a MUST as far as I’m concerned. It’s the best and most accurate way to measure site traffic. It can tell you how people got to your site (such as Google search, a social media site or a link from another blog), where in the world your traffic is from and where they went next.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization has to do with helping a search engine to find your blog and your posts. Since Google is one of the main search engines, if not the main search engine you want to pay attention to Google. Learn a bit about SEO and make sure you are optimizing your posts. Did you know that what you put in the ALT section of an image’s HTML is how an image is found in Google image search? Make sure you make the ALT of an image the keyword you want to be found for. As mentioned above, with Google Analytics you can see how much of your traffic is from Google. If it’s not very high, work on your SEO to increase your search traffic.
The Google keyword tool can be helpful to see what keywords you might want to use. It’s designed for those who are buying ads so it’s not perfect but it can still tell you what keywords from your post are being searched for a lot.
For example, in the below photo I added the following keywords: games, gaming, gamer
These are their ideas under those keywords. For each keyword, it tells me the average monthly searches and it’s competition rate. High monthly searches means it is searched for a lot and that is what you are aiming for. HOWEVER, if you also have high competition, that means there are tons of sites that show up every time that keyword is searched so your site probably won’t rank very high. If you can find high monthly searches with a low competition rate that’s the best. It means its searched for a lot but there are only a few sites that show up so you have a chance to rank.
For more information on how to use the Keyword planner check out this post by Midwestern Moms.
There are of course other ways to use Google including PageRank, Google Calendar, GMail etc but most of those have been covered a lot more.
How Do You Use Google?