How To Write Attention Grabbing Blog Post Titles

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attention grabbing blog post titles One of the very things I struggle with is one of the most important pieces of your blog - the blog post title. You have a very small window of opportunity (we're talking seconds here) to grab the reader's attention. This means you have to create titles that catch the reader's attention and make them want to know more so they'll read the content. Let me be blunt - if you have a sucky title it doesn't matter how awesome the text in your post is, most people won't take the time to read it...well unless your mom or best friend reads your blog, they probably don't care how crummy the title is ;-)

Not only is a good title important so you capture the interest of a reader, if you want search engine traffic a good title is also important. Using the right keywords in your title will help ensure your content gets ranked in the search engines. More about this a little later.

Alright, now let's get into the meat of this:

How do you write attention grabbing blog post titles? 

One of the first recommendations I have, which doesn't always work for me - sometimes I do this last, is to start with a title and then create the text of your post. Remember, this is just a working title so you have an idea of what the content is going to be about. You'll finalize the title once you follow these tips suggested below.

Make it Interesting but Don't Exaggerate 

The worst thing you can do when it comes to writing an attention grabbing title is to exaggerate or hype things up too much. Don't over exaggerate or hype things up too much just to make the title catchy. Sure, that might ensure you get some extra click-throughs but you'll end up losing credibility which is what we don't want. You may have seen some titles like this before on social media where a title piques your interest so you click through only to be disappointed because the content had nothing to do with the title.

Instead, make it interesting without the exaggeration or hype. One of the best ways, I know, to do this is to think about it from your readers point of view.

Keep It Short and Engaging

It isn't always easy to keep a title short but shorter is better. Short and sweet as I like to say. Try to be as to the point as possible with as few words as possible. Again, this isn't always easy but best if you can make it happen. Ask a question, use numbers (example: 7 best tips for...) or make a thought provoking statement.

Something I've been doing for awhile and recommend to my clients is to create a swipe file. Anytime you see a title that grabs your attention, copy it down into this swipe file. See if there's a way you could tweak them and use them for your own needs.

Work In Your Keywords

And last but certainly not least, let's talk keywords in your title. I always do this last and honestly, sometimes I don't even worry about it. Instead, it's more important to me that I provide quality, helpful content for my readers. But when I do use keywords in my title it's the very last thing I even think about. Ranking well for something your readers don’t want to read or don’t want to click on doesn’t do you much good. Focus on your audience and then optimize for search as an afterthought and you’ll do well.

Now that you have these tips to help write attention grabbing blog post titles, start paying attention to what's working and what isn't. Each market, blog, and readership is different - what works for one, won't work for another. Use these tips as guidelines to help you find your own style that resonates well with your audience and gets you the results you want.

This is part 1 of a 10 part series on how to write a good blog post that engages people.

25 Ways To Put PLR To Good Use

PLR content also now frequently being called 'done for you' content, can be a huge time saver when it comes to content creation...that is, if you actually put it to use and don't let it sit around collecting virtual dust. Not that I would know anything about buying something, letting it sit on my hard drive and well - oh, never putting it to use ;-)

What is PLR?

If you're not familiar with PLR, it's content that has already been created and you purchase the rights to it. Meaning you can then tweak it, brand it, etc. to fit your needs. Different sites have different rules of how it can and can't be used so it's always important to read their guidelines first.

I've bought PLR but now what? 

Excellent question and one I think all of us have wondered at some point or another. Heck, even after being a Virtual Assistant all these years and being hired to rewrite PLR content and then post it as blog posts, social media blurbs, etc. I sometimes wonder what to do with the stuff I have bought!

There really is a lot you can do with it. My friends Tracy & Susanne over at Piggy Makes Bank have an excellent resource of 25 things you can do to put your PLR to good use. Their article is referring to one basic PLR package that comes with 10 PLR articles. Also, when reading the article keep in mind that while they're referring to one specific PLR bundle about bone broth, the list can be used with any topic.

Here's a couple of the tips they share:

7. Turn all the articles into a small paid eBook. 16. Use small excerpts of the articles as Facebook posts and tweets.

Head on over to Different Ways To Use A PLR Bundle now for the rest of their 25 ideas. 

 

 

Help Someone Face Today With God's Word

Devotions are bite sized chunks of the Word paired with thoughts that apply to real life in a special way. I can't tell you how many times I've turned to a book of devotions for a dose of light during a dark time or encouragement on a rough day.  There's nothing like finding 'just what I needed' on the page.  Those brief moments connected me to my Father's heart and gave me courage to face the world.

I'm so glad the authors were so faithful to write them - so brave about putting their work out there for publication.

What if they had not?  

What about you?

Have you thought about creating devotions yourself?

In my many years working at church, heading up our women's ministry and writing for print and the web, I've personally written hundreds of devotions aimed at ministering to the hearts of women and another small collection just for entrepreneurs.

I believe devotional writing is one of the most important types of content we can lend our words and creativity to.  The world is so busy, people are so rushed and pressed for time.  Some only have a few spare moments - and a devotion is perfect.

I feel so strongly about this, I've decided to deliver a training - to share my simple formula for creating devotions in five steps.  Click here to learn more.

powerful-devotions

3 Social Media Management Tools

Hootsuite, Buffer, Edgar, eClincher, Sprout Social...oh my! Goodness, it seems like new social media management tools pop up every day. Okay, not that often but there's a lot of them out there - old and new ones!

I'm in the process of trying two new ones right now. (If you're a part of the Facebook Group, you may have noticed some of the daily posts coming from Edgar or eClincher). Here's a quick review of the one I used to use and the two I'm currently testing out. This isn't a very in depth review of them - I'll post more in depth reviews about each one later!

Hootsuite

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This appealed to me because it was free and for what I needed to do, the free option was perfect.

My problem with Hootsuite?

It was such a pain to have to go in every month and keep loading up my posts because after they're posted once they're gone.

Off the top of my head, I know Hootsuite currently works with these social media platforms:

  • Facebook profiles
  • Facebook pages
  • Facebook groups
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

I haven't looked in awhile but I know they offer integration with quite a few social media platforms. Something I should probably look at again ;-)

Meet Edgar 

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I've been drawn to this social media management tool for several months now, ever since I first learned about it from one of my Virtual Assistant clients who had me do some work in her account. Unfortunately, I wasn't willing to invest (at $49 a month for the option I needed, I wasn't sure it would be worth it) in them...until now.

The more I started tracking time I was spending on having to upload things into Hootsuite, I started to realize that the $49 a month was worth it. So I signed up on March 12th and spent 3 hours loading all the content into the library, setting up categories, setting up the schedule, etc.

3 hours may seem like a long time but the awesome thing? That content never has to be loaded into Edgar again! They reuse all the content in my libraries.

SWEET!

In other words, it's pretty much a load it up and 'forget about it' sort of thing.

I love how user friendly the interface in Edgar is. It's easy to set up categories (to keep content organized), scheduling is easy, connecting social media accounts is easy.

Currently Edgar works with:

  • Facebook profiles
  • Facebook pages
  • Facebook groups
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn company pages

They offer a 30 day guarantee so even though you have to pay the $49 to sign up, if at any time during those first 30 days you decide the software isn't for you, they'll refund your money.

One thing I wish I had thought about before spending all the time I did setting things up, to only load a few things because I am not 100% positive I'm going to keep using them. So if in this 30 day "trial" I decide to leave them, I'll have lost all that time I spent setting everything up.

eClincher

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I don't know how long this one has been around but I just heard about it on Sunday so to me, it's brand new. This one also comes with a hefty monthly price tag but comes in a little cheaper than Edgar - $40 a month.

They offer a free 14 day trial so I signed up for that yesterday (March 14th). They also offer the same thing that draws so many people to Edgar - the ability to load content and have it reused over and over.

One thing about eClincher that far outweighs Edgar is they offer more social platform posting abilities.

Currently eClincher works with:

  • Facebook profiles
  • Facebook pages
  • Facebook groups
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Google Analytics
  • Instagram
  • Youtube
  • Blogger
  • Feedly

Clearly, eClincher offers way more social media platforms than Edgar which is why so many people have been drawn to them.

So far, at quick glance and first attempt to set things up - eClincher interface is not very user friendly at all. Edgar definitely beats them in this department!

In the end, I'm sure I'm going to end up with eClincher or Edgar but I'm still not 100% sure. Hootsuite still appeals to me just because it's free but man, the time it takes to post all the content I need to post every single month - it really is a pain.

In closing, the one thing I want you to remember is that just because something works for one person doesn't mean it's going to work for you. You have to decide what fits your needs best and go with that. Be sure to choose something that you're going to actually use!

Now it's your turn - I want to hear from you: are you using a social media management tool right now? If so, what one? What are the pros/cons to it?

 

Your Life…In Jelly Beans?

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Have you ever seen the jelly beans video? It's a quick (almost 3 minutes) video and you can watch it here:

When I first saw it a few years ago I wasn't sure what I thought of it. Then I recently watched it again and it really struck a nerve with me. Maybe it impacted me more this time, versus a few years ago, because before my grandma passed away this February we had a conversation about how I've let fear hold me back from doing so many things I want (traveling alone, speaking - just to name a few).

One of my favorite conversations I had with her was a month or two prior to her passing and it's something I've been thinking a lot about. She said:

"Tishia, only God really knows how many days you have here but life is short so stop worrying about what everyone else things and please quit living in fear. Get out there and enjoy life!"

We went on to talk about how proud she was when I took a leap and started my Virtual Assistant Business back in 2006. We talked about how God has provided so many great opportunities for me since coming online. We talked about how there were so many things she was proud of doing (her missions trip in Guatemala just to name one) in her lifetime but the thing she regrets the most...all the things she didn't do!

And once again, after her passing, I sat thinking about how three or four years ago I told her:

"Grandma, I feel life is passing me by and I'm sitting on the sidelines watching everything happen but I'm not participating."

And while I've changed a few things since sharing that with her, I'm still watching from the sidelines. The main reason...I'm scared. I want to head out and explore (I'm not even talking heading to the other side of the world on some big travel adventure - I'm talking local travel right here in Michigan...there are sooo many places I haven't experienced, and some other travel adventures like hopping on a train and just going somewhere, etc.) I know single women travel alone all the time, but there's a few people around me that don't think it's a good idea. And Lord knows I spend way too much time worrying about what everyone else thinks Tishia should or shouldn't be doing!

Once again I let fear stop me in my tracks

A perfect example of fear stopping me would be this past weekend. It was beautiful out here in Northern Michigan so I decided to head on up to one of my favorite places - Mackinaw City. I've never actually seen the bridge when Lake Michigan is frozen and has snow on it so it was a new experience and it was beautiful:

Mackinac Bridge March 2016

I wanted so badly to cross the five mile Mighty Mac but the thought of driving over it sends me into full on panic mode. There are sooooo many things in the U.P. (upper peninsula) I want to explore but I can never actually get over the bridge to get there. Yes, I've been on the bridge before...as a passenger and that's bad enough. So once again, I left and headed back home.

As I drove home and even after I got home, I was so disappointed in myself. I just knew that my grandma would have cheered me on and told me I could do it had she been alive and I called her while in Mackinaw City wanting to get to the other side. She would have encouraged me but most of all she would have prayed for me and told me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (which ironically is the exact same thing a Facebook friend posted when I shared about it on there!)...

I'm sooooo tired of living on the sidelines. I so desperately want to get out there and enjoy the "game" and I know God doesn't want me living in fear. So, I'm bound and determined to start taking baby steps and within the next few months I WILL cross that bridge with God guiding me safely!

Anyway, now that I've rambled on I'll leave you with my final thought about the video (because that's what the post really was about LOL) and a question for you:

I never thought I'd be learning life lessons from jelly beans! But what a creative way to get the point across!

What do you plan on doing with the rest of the time you have?

Content Curation Series - Link to All Posts

The other day I shared the first blog post in a series all about content creation. But then I realized that I was trying to re-create the wheel. In other words, I already have a whole content curation series over on my virtual assistant blog. So, if you’re interested in reading the series just click on the links below.

  1. 7 Content Curation Tips to Follow
  2. 3 Tips on Finding Content to Share
  3. 3 Tools to Use for Filtering and Finding Great Content to Curate
  4. Four Unique Content Curation Tools
  5. Content Curation Challenge Results(this post shows my results of 21 days of posting curated content on my site for a challenge I was participating in)

I hope you enjoy the series. And if you’re interested in learning even more, be sure to pick up a copy of Kelly McCausey’s Smart Curation Skills!

What Is Content Curation?

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content curationAfter posting Build Traffic, Be More Visible & Build Relationships With This One Strategy I received some questions from people. They were still confused as to what content curation really means/what it means to be a content curator. So this post is the first in a series all about... you guessed it content curation ;-)

What Is Content Curation?

Content curation means pulling together content from various sources and presenting it to the reader in your own way. It may be easier to understand content curation by defining what it is not. Content curation doesn't mean presenting a list of stories or a weekly roundup of links. It's definitely not going and copying, word for word, someone else's content!

The idea is to take the information available and make sense of it for your readers. This means you'll have to take time to sift through all the content that's out there and choose what you think is the best and most valuable for your readers.  Once you've done that, you create bite size nuggets of info about that piece of content and point your readers to the full piece of content.

Why Curate Content?

One of the questions people asked was what's the point in curating content? The content is already out there, my people will eventually find it on their own.

True. The content is already out there. But the key point to curating content is that it's not just a pile of information. Every minute of the day all of us are inundated by large amounts of information thanks to the internet. And while the internet is a great thing, it also leads to overwhelm. Everyone has to sift through all that's out there to find what they're truly interested in reading. A good content curator does this for you!

How Content Curation Helps You

One misconception, and a big one, when it comes to curating content is that people choose to do it because it's a way for them to not have to come up with their own content - since you're pulling together content from different sources, this offers a shortcut to writing it all yourself. However, this isn't true. The content you curate can help you establish authority and create a connection with your readers.

Think of it from the reader's point of view. Your blog or website is a source of the exact information they want on a regular basis. It saves them from having to do their own sifting online. Over time, they come to see you as a go-to source for their information. They see you as a knowledgeable expert in your field. An automated program that uses keyword algorithms to suck up content from other sites won't do that.

If your content is relevant and helpful to your readers, they'll keep coming back for more. It doesn't matter to them whether you're the actual content creator or have taken the time to weed through all the info out there to find and share the best and most useful to them.

Curating content should be taken just as seriously as creating your own content from scratch, but one of the advantages of this approach is that it is easier and more cost effective than writing your own content or hiring a writer. It's just a matter of understanding your readers well and choosing the right content.

Ready to learn even more about content curation? 

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Build Traffic, Be More Visible & Build Relationships With This One Strategy

smart-curation-skillsBlogging is hard work. It takes persistence, time, a will to not give up when the going gets tough. And of course as faith based bloggers - it also requires lots of prayer! Starting your blog is the easy part. Building a successful blog is the hard part. A successful blog requires: 

  1. Traffic
  2. Visibility
  3. Community/Relationships

While that list could be bigger, I believe these are three of the most important elements. But if you're not creating content on a regular basis all three of those areas are going to suffer.

I don't know about you, but my biggest struggle when it comes to blogging is...well blogging. At least blogging on a consistent basis ;-) And that's an issue. Without consistent, fresh content we'll lose traffic, visibility & our community may stop coming back if they regularly look for new content only to find none.

To prove my point, look at this snapshot of Faithful Bloggers statistics from January and February. I posted nothing in February and my stats took a nosedive.

January 2016 Traffic 

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February 2016 Traffic 

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Without consistent activity on your blog there's nothing for you to share. And as the two images above show, when you're not creating content and sharing it, your traffic suffers. Search engines love fresh content!

But what do you do when you've hit the dreaded writer's block and can't come up with anything to write about or you just don't have the time to write your own blog post? 

Curate content!

I fell in love with the idea of curating content when I heard about it a couple years ago from Kelly (McCausey).

Content curation is a great content supplement to help ensure you're posting on a consistent basis. It's an easy way to quickly add a piece of content to your site. But don't make the mistake of just throwing up a curated post for the sake of having new content added.  Instead, it's important to curate content that will benefit your audience.

What exactly is Content Curation? 

Content curation is organizing and sharing content with your audience.

Yes, it's that simple! If you're interested in seeing an example of how I curated a piece of content, check out this post here.

Looking for tips on how to curate content to maximize your blogging time? Try Smart Curation Skills and you can save hours each week.   (I even got Kelly to throw in a sweet discount! If you use coupon code LETSCURATE at checkout, you'll save $12!) 

Sneak Peek Into Image Monthly

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Image Monthly Membership-Graphics that are appealing to the eye are important when it comes to blogging. Not only do they need to be appealing to the eye, but they should be social shareable friendly - you want people sharing your content! I don't always have time to look for graphics to use in a blog post. It can be time consuming looking through public domain images or using a site like Pixabay.com to find an image.

That's why I LOVE Kelly's Image Monthly subscription.

She launched back in 2014 (if I remember correctly, it was 2014) and I've been a subscriber ever since. It saves me time and that is priceless! It was a little challenging to try to put into words everything you get as a member.

Instead, I created a video to show you - I even showed you how quickly and easily you can add your domain name, text, etc. to the images they provide each month.

For me, it really is priceless to have a membership to Image Monthly. There are so many resources it comes with that I can't believe it's so inexpensive. Thankfully I'm grandfathered into the lower price because Kelly is raising the rate to $12.97 (per month) at the end of this month.

If you think this resource could be beneficial, I encourage you to sign up now! order-now-red

A quick recap because I didn't really mention this in the video, but I did show you all the images, etc. Each month you'll get a new issue of Image Monthly PLUS:

  • 25 Royalty Free Stock Photos You Can Use Commercially
  • 10 Engaging Quotes Designed In Beautiful Typography
  • 5 Backgrounds & 5 Quote Bubble Templates

Again, I encourage you to SIGN UP NOW if you're even the littlest bit interested!

Side note: Word of caution - whatever you do, do NOT grab images from Google and use those - that's a big NO NO. You can end up getting sued, actually! Here are some posts that explain more:

 

No Resolutions. Words Instead.

I don't know about you but setting New Year's resolutions has never worked for me. I'd get all excited towards of the end of a year and gung ho about going full force on New Year's Day with whatever resolution I had picked (90% of the time it was always about dieting and losing weight) and by the end of January (sometimes I didn't even make it a couple weeks!) I was right back to old habits. So, I gave up on setting resolutions several years ago. Then I switched to setting goals instead. And, well you can probably guess how that turned out. You're correct if you guessed a few weeks into a new year and I had given up on the goals too.

Then, a few years ago, I was introduced to picking a word for the year - a theme so to speak. And this has worked for me. Of course, I'm a rebel and I usually end up with three words each year instead of just one ;-) Although, this year only two words 'picked me'.

If you're interested in learning more about picking a word(s) for the year, You can see this year's post here.  (NOTE - the resource mentioned in the post is a little on the "airy fairy" side as it talks a lot about manifestation and things like that).

I used the resource mainly for page 11 - idea generator list. This is where my two words came from. And what I mean by they 'picked me' is that those two words jumped off the page, they tugged at my heart strings, and felt right.

My 2016 Word(s) of the Year

I'm a little less excited about these two words than I have been in previous years about my words. But I know it's a good thing these are my words this year. There are definitely some things I know God wants me to work on and the theme for 2016 is all about:

2016-words

Focus & Clarity - I think those two words fit perfect for this year and things I have in mind :-)

Just for the fun of it, here are my words from a few previous years:

2015 words

  • Adventure
  • Choice
  • Freedom

2014 words

  • self love
  • confidence
  • change

Now, it's your turn!

Are you a resolution setter? Goal setter? Word picker? I want to know! Leave me a comment below...

Fun for adult coloring enthusiasts!

color-monthly-gift-passBack in July I needed a way to 'escape' reality. It had been three months since my, then four year old - now five, nephew Braylan had been diagnosed with leukemia. Around that time I started hearing about the adult coloring craze. Coloring was something I loved as a kid. Back then, I could get lost for hours with a coloring book and box of crayons. That's how I 'escaped' when I needed to as a kid...with a sometimes not so pleasant life.

So it didn't surprise me when I bought my first adult coloring book, how easily I was able to tune out everything around me and get lost in a stress-free, fun "kids" activity!

The Adult Coloring Craze 

Shortly after purchasing that first (and so far only one!) adult coloring book, along came Color Monthly - a really easy way to feed my coloring obsession! What I loved about this (and still love) is the fact that it's digital downloads, delivered monthly. So I get to pick and choose what ones I want to print out and color!

Then along came Color Monthly's premium packages - more coloring pages every month and a few other fun items to go with it. It didn't take me long to sign up for the subscription. I still pay every month to be a member...I love it that much.

If you're a coloring fanatic like me, then be sure to check out the Color Monthly 2016 All Access Gift Pass. For a one-time payment of just $37 you'll get access to ALL the color monthly premiere packs and extra packs too! (That's a value of up to $200!). The regular price will be $57 for this offer but if you act fast and purchase now you'll get the special price of just $37!

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This would also make a perfect last minute gift for a coloring enthusiast friend or family member!

Let's recap real quick: 

Purchasing the 2016 All Access Pass gives you immediate access to all Color Monthly Premier Packages AND all Color Monthly Extra Packages we release from now until the end of 2016! That's a whole lot of stress-releasing, reality "escaping" fun to be had! ;-)

2 Free Blogging Planners and Calendars for 2016

Free 2016 Blogging Planner & Calendar (1) I love this time of year. I get excited thinking about what the New Year is going to bring and what God has in store for me! I'm also addicted to planning...or maybe I should say I'm addicted to planners! ;-) I buy a few every year in hopes that this year I'll find the "perfect" one.

Usually the planners I end up purchasing don't work because they're not created with bloggers in mind. Thankfully I have some really smart online friends that have created some resources for us bloggers! Here are a few I like...

The Ultimate Blogging Binder 

I heard about this one back at the beginning of 2015. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I downloaded it and never did anything with it, eventually deleting it. I'm not even entirely sure I ever opened it! Recently I received an email that mentioned the blogging binder and I decided to download it again. I'm glad I did. It has a lot of resources in it - 264 pages worth!

Here is a sneak peek at what the ultimate blogging binder looks like and the specific pages I chose to download:

Click the image below to get your free copy of the ultimate blogging binder now!

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2016 Blog Planner and Calendar 

My friend Lynette has been putting out a free resource every year (and has for the last 8 years!) that's been a huge hit with bloggers (myself included).

Here is a quick inside peek at what the blog planner/calendar looks like:

Click the image below to get your free copy of the 2016 blog planner and calendar now!

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How about you? Do you have a favorite planner? I would love to know! Leave a comment below! 

 

 

Bloggers Blessing Braylan: Special Fundraising Event:

This is just a quick announcement to let you know about a special fundraising event taking place right here at Faithful Bloggers - Bloggers Blessing BraylanIt's taking place from November 23 through midnight November 30. This is my chance to help my brother's family in a small, but much needed way. But I can't do it without your help!

How can you help?

  • grab your affiliate link and help spread the word
  • make a donation of any amount here.
  • purchase the special bundle package for $27 here.

 

 

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Thanks for your support!

Tishia

Need Help Coming Up With Blog Posts? Try This!

primate-460871_640Wondering what to blog about can be one of the biggest roadblocks we bloggers face! Today, I came across another article about coming up with blog post ideas. Most of the posts I read about this are pretty similar - they all offer a lot of the same tips for doing it that I'm already familiar with. But this post from Lynn Terry at Click Newz! had a suggestion I hadn't really thought about before. It's a great idea so I wanted to share it with you!

Here's a little blurb from her post:

Some of my absolute best blog posts have originated as responses to emails or discussions in forums & groups - or even phone calls. If you ENJOY your topic, you probably have no trouble talking about it if someone asks you a question. Whether it's in person, on the phone, via email or just a question you see somewhere on the web - the response likely comes natural for you without even thinking.

Wondering what the tip is? Head on over to Lynn's post How To Find GREAT Blog Post Ideas – Fast! and find out ;-)

 

 

Blog Tour Stop: Sheryl Siler from Cherished Magazine

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Interview with Sheryl Siler Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Cherished MagazineI am excited to have Sheryl Siler with Cherished Magazine over to the Faithful Bloggers blog today to interview her.  She is founder and editor-in-chief of Cherished Magazine, a digital magazine that reminds Christian women they are chosen, cherished & loved.  She is taking Cherished Magazine on a Cherished Everyday Blog Tour Extravaganza this Fall. I know Sheryl from attending a few live events and I am happy to have her here on Faithful Bloggers to ask her a few questions.  Here we go:

Since we met at events, do you think it is beneficial to invest in attending in-person events where other bloggers hang out?

I absolutely do think it is beneficial to attend the "right for you " in person events. I attended a few at the beginning that weren't the right fit. I wish I could give a little bit of wisdom of what makes it right-for-you,  I'm sure that I can but I'll try.  Ask yourself if the people putting on the event are like-minded and a personality that you jive with?  Another great question to research is the content of the event something you are looking to learn?

The point I want to emphasize is don't go to an event just to go because beyond the learning at an event, you can create some great relationships that continue on past the conference.

How important do you think it is to have the support of other like-minded individuals that you meet at events or even online? 

For me being around other online marketers and bloggers really encouraged me to take action on my ideas.   Some ideas really weren't my fit but if I did't have the camaraderie of others doing the same things I were doing I wouldn't have ever launched Cherished Magazine.  At an in-person event, I shared my God-sized dream to a roomful of like-minded women.  I got such a warm response, encouraging words and lots of ideas for Cherished Magazine (You know.  You were there).  Many of those in that room that day contributed articles to the magazine.  I may not have had the gumption to "Go for it" if it hadn't been for those amazing ladies.

Tell us more about what you called your "God-sized" dream - what led you to start it, when did you launch?

Doing a digital magazine was something I took an add-on class  in at an in-person event.  I was just getting my feet wet blogging at GrowBloomInspire.com at that time and thought a magazine would be pretty cool.  I got really excited and then got back from the conference, life took over and I sat on the idea for about a year.

In January 2015, the idea surfaced again.  This time with a yearning and a more focused idea of wanting women to know that they are Cherished...not because of what they do but  because of who they are in Christ.  In February I attended that conference where I got brave and shared the idea and the "Go for it" mentality took over.  My first issue was released in May 2015.  You can actually get a coupon to get our first two published issues for free.  Just enter your name and email on the form and we will send it to you.

Now I heard you mention that you tried other things and some of them didn't fit.  What was one of the biggest "failures" you've had as a blogger and what did you learn from it?

Ohh..one of the biggest "failures" .... well honestly I didn't know what I wanted or who I wanted to speak to.  One big failure at the beginning was not taking enough time trying to figure out what it was I was meant to do.  I thought of doing a blog that focused on doing things with your kids because I was a stay at home mom but didn't really find a passion in that.  Then I thought "I like scrapbooking" so maybe something that included faith and scrapbooking...not it.    I say not knowing what I want was one of my biggest failures but I'm not sure being an editor-in-chief of a magazine, a speaker or an author would have been on those first dreams of what I wanted without those failed attempts of  trying to "do something online".

My second failure I would say is not being consistent with all the parts and pieces it takes to make blogging and promotion successful and then just quitting on the idea instead of coming up with a new plan.  In hindsight, I think I would try to do something daily, wouldn't be able to do that and then wind up sort of quitting all together.  I have learned that consistent may start out with doing something once a week and as things become routine and you are able to hire help, you can move to increasing the frequency.

Cherished Magazine October 2015 - Magazine for  Christian WomanSheryl thanks for taking the time to answer my questions today.  I heard you were having a special yearly rate for the length of your blog tour.  How does someone get it?

Yes I do!  Just go over to the Cherished Everyday Fall Tour Extravaganza page here.  You will find the special as well as where we have been on the tour and where we have been next and information if you have a blog and would love to have me come on over for a blog post, interview, podcast guest or giveaway.

FotoJet Review

I was recently contacted by someone on PearlMountain Technology's team about a new free online collage maker  - FotoJet. Being that I'm as graphics challenged as I am, I'm always on the lookout for something quick and easy with templates I can edit to add my own text/images to use for social media posts, blog posts, etc. I've been using Canva for awhile and once I familiarized myself with their software, it was pretty simple to work with. But as I read this email about this new software, a few things caught my attention:

FotoJet is a free online collage maker that enables users to quickly create amazing photo cards, collages and posters without the hassles of downloading or installing. It’s as easy as 1,2,3 to use it:

  • Choose from 320+ templates for collage, photo card, poster and social media to get started.
  • Add photos and freely customize the collage as you wish.
  • Freely save collage as JPG/PNG or directly share it via Facebook.

So, I decided to put FotoJet to the test...check out this screencast video as I use the FotoJet software for the first time:

Now that I've attempted to use their software that's "as easy as 1,2,3 to quickly create amazing collages, and more" - I can't help but chuckle. As you can see from the screencast video, I did not find it easy to work with. There were definitely some limiting capabilities (not being able to move text boxes was the biggest drawback for me). I may spend a little more time playing around with the software to see if I can figure things out better but my first reaction is to stick with what I already know - Canva - and pass on FotoJet.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Have you used FotoJet? Did you find it easy to work with? Any tips for me?

 

Where to Promote Christian Books

Recently I've started receiving some emails about promoting Christian Books. While I'm not opposed to reading and doing a book review (I love to read!), these particular requests were looking for something more - places to promote their books that would reach a larger audience. So it only made sense to find out what resources award-winning and internationally best-selling author and owner of  Author Audience Academy Shelley Hitz had in her 'rolodex' of tools.

She has a great blog post full of tons of places to promote your Christian book. I highly recommend you check out 100+ Places to Promote Christian Books.

Five Ways to Beat Writer's Block

The dreaded writer's block. At some point you've probably faced it - staring at a blank screen urging the words to come but they don't. When you're a blogger, podcaster, author or any kind of content creator this isn't a good thing. I'm always on the lookout for ways other people deal with writer's block. And today I wanted to share with you a post someone shared with me recently. While I'm not a fan of the 7 minute video (I'd rather have text to scan/read through than watch a video), she shares five great tips.

If you're stuck coming up with topics for your blog, podcast or other content head over to Rachel Rofe's blog and check out 5 oddball ways to get more topic ideas for your blog or podcast.

I'd love to hear your thoughts - what do you do to overcome writer's block? 

Coloring Isn't Just For Kids

2015-07-03-12.20.49-1024x576 When I was a little girl I loved to dump out and spread all over the floor a box of crayons and grab one of my many coloring books. I would get lost in the moment and before long hours had passed. Hours of outlining everything in black and then carefully choosing the perfect color to fill in the outlined shapes or characters. As I got older and grew up, coloring was for 'kids' and my box of Crayola crayons and coloring books were pushed to the back of my closet where they sat with other things I had gotten 'too old' for.

Who says coloring is just for kids?

I've started to embrace my love of coloring again recently. With adult coloring books all the rage lately, it seemed the perfect time to get back into it! Check Amazon for adult coloring books and you'll be greeted with numerous options to choose from - animals, beach scenes, flowers, and more!

Or why not just print out this free Christian Adult Coloring Page instead? I've got mine printed out and ready to go. I just need some new markers...guess I'll have to make a trip to the store this week, oh darn ;-)

Be blessed!

Tishia