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Did you know?
The average income for home office households is $59,000, versus $45,000 for total households.
Blogging is the best job in the world, but can also be challenging. You get to stay at home, and tell the world about your day. You can talk about your family, your children, your career, education, hobbies, pets, favorite recipes, crafts- really, anything you want, and get paid. But, you also have to keep readers interested and coming back for more. You may have some extremely popular posts, and some that are not-so-popular. Coming up with new content constantly is hard! That’s why a common strategy when you have blogger’s block is to refresh an older post. For tips on optimizing old content, read this post by Jamie at Blonde Mom Blog:
-Add a pinnable image
-Create a “wrap up” post
-Update your readers on the status of a situation you blogged about – a career change, a new puppy, a move to a new city, going back to school, etc.
-Write a before and after post
-Survey your readers- ask for feedback on past posts
I assume that everyone reading this post is human (at the risk of sounding “speciesist”-sorry aliens!), and humans make mistakes. Sometimes we don’t even know that we’re making. For example, using the word “speciesist” in any context is probably a mistake. When blogging, people face a few challenges: creating good, original content, making people want to click your posts, and keeping a loyal readership. There are lots of things that some bloggers do that sabotage these goals. Check out this post by Melissa at Freeing Imperfections for ways to improve your blog. Avoid these mistakes:
-Ignoring social media
-Not commenting on every other blog you visit
-Publishing at the same time every day
-Writing in blocks
Why do we blog? Because we love writing, but don’t want to feel constrained. To put our ideas into the world. To reach readers, and help other people. So, you spend some time and pour a bit of your soul into every post….then what? How do you get the word out? It’s especially important if you receive compensation from a company sponsor or from advertisements. Usually, more readers = more cash. If you are interested in growing your blog’s reach, check out this post by Michelle at the Michelle Shaeffer blog:
-Proofread and test links
-Get busy on social media. Post it everywhere! Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Google+.
-Send out an email to your list
-Get family, friends, and colleagues involved
-Connect with readers and respond to comments
-Consider how to build on your work
Blogging is such a weird field of writing. You’re writing about your life, to entertain or educate other people. It’s kind of a mix of journaling and nonfiction, and it also comes with all types of new things you’ll need to learn to write: About mes, comments, sponsored posts, and, you guessed it, disclaimers. And there are very precise ways to how they need to be done. I’ve been feeling under the weather lately (I went to the doctor today and found out I have a really bad sinus infection- yay!). Before I did that, I was desperate to clear up some congestion (and I’ve gotten on a bad “homemade soap” phase lately), so I tried these decongestant shower tablets by Heather Smith at Our Kids Mom. The discs worked great, and the steamy shower did wonders. However, I was also really impressed with her disclaimer- she stated that the vapor rub can make your shower very slippery, and that the article was for entertainment purposes only. What a great way to keep yourself covered! And unless you are a doctor giving medical advice, you need a disclaimer as well! For tips on writing your own disclaimer, check out this post by Nienke Krook at The Travel Tester.
I am a terrible photographer. My mom has such an eye for it, so I have no idea how all my pictures end up blurry, unflattering, badly lighted, and just…terrible. That’s why I get most of my blog photos from creative commons sites like Flickr, Free Clipart, and the Creative Commons search engine. However, every once in a while, I just can’t find what I want. I also love crocheting, and will post (bad) pictures of things I’ve made. And, with blogs, it’s so important to post great pictures to get views. So, that’s why I was excited to find this post by Jennifer at Memory Journalists. It has links to 31 articles about taking better blog photos. Reading the entire thing was almost like getting a free online course on photography! Check out some of the lessons:
-Day 3: What is depth of field?
-Day 4: What is shutter speed?
-Day 10: Rule of Thirds
-Day 21: Using Symmetry
I wrote last week a bit about “blogger burnout”. You get in a rut, have writer’s block, procrastinate, and just can’t think of new ideas. I’m no stranger to writer’s block- I blog, and I also run a creative writing workshop. Every meeting, we do a new writing exercise or story prompt to keep the creative juices flowing and fresh! So, why didn’t it ever occur to me that you use prompts for blogging? Because you totally can! And blog post prompts work just as well as story prompts. Check out this extensive list of blog post titles at Brenda’s Blog Tips that will get you pumped to write! Bonus- you can make them work for a blog about practically anything. Here are some of my favorites:
-(#) Rules For ____
-(#) Habits of ______
-(#) Super Tips For _____
-Beginners Guide: ________
-How ____ Can Inspire Your _____
-What No One Tells You About ______
We all get writer’s block. It’s totally natural: you can only post so much, and come up with only so many new ideas before you just get burnt out. Especially if you work from home- sometimes, all you want to do is just curl up and sleep all day. It’s really hard in the winter- the weather is gloomy and cold and completely uninspiring. It’s easy to put off work and procrastinate when you have access to your bed, pajamas, and Netflix. But, you have to make yourself push through it! If you’re going through a slump right now, this post by Melyssa at The Nectar Collective should motivate you! (some NSFW language in link)-
-Figure out what you’re afraid of- Will something take a long time? Do you think your results won’t be spectacular enough? Figure out your fears, then tackle it from there.
-Cut yourself off from social media- Turn off notifications on your phone. Set specific times that you’re allowed to check social media sites (and ONLY check at these times).
-Create rewards for yourself for completing projects/ posts.
-Organize! Having a put together workspace will help motivate you.
-Know when to give up, and don’t beat yourself up. Some days you’re just not going to feel it and pushing yourself to work when you absolutely CAN’T will probably only result in mediocre results and even more overwhelm. Play hooky for the day or a few hours. Relax. Take a freakin’ break.
WorkShakWorking from home? You've come to the right shak..