The Year of Commitment is available! (2 Days only)

You Don't Have to Feel Overwhelmed or Stuck - Find Out How You Can Have An Amazing Year

With the end of March comes the end of the first quarter of 2017. The end of a quarter is the perfect time to evaluate how the year is going so far.

Have you ever wondered how some people can accomplish so much in life? How would you feel if I told you it wasn’t all in their abilities?  If you could have similar results, would you want to learn the techniques?

Imagine having a healthy work / life balance and not feeling overwhelmed by all you have to accomplish in life.

I, like you, wanted those things too, that’s why I created The Year of Commitment.

The Year of Commitment will help you

  • put a plan in place for a great year
  • take steps to put action to your dreams
  • create a work/life balance
  • get unstuck
  • set aside time for the important things in life (relationships, time with the Lord, etc.)
  • set and obtain goals which are honoring to the Lord but also are in alignment with your priorities

The Year of Commitment is a workbook, along with other materials which will walk you through the process of planning out your year and setting goals. Many successful people the world over regularly go through the process of planning. This is what one well known author has to say about planning.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

— Alan Lakein

What’s included you ask?

The Year of Commitment comes with:

  • The 21 page Year of Commitment Workbook
  • Video: For the Workbook
  • BONUS ITEM: Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • BONUS ITEM: Bible Study 'What Scripture Says About Planning' by: Shelley Howland

Who am I and why did I develop The Year of Commitment?

I once felt stuck too. I used to feel overwhelmed by all I had to accomplish. I use to wish I knew how to find time in my busy schedule to do the fun things, the little things like have lunch with one of my kids, or to write for my blog, or even to pursue dreams.

At one point, I said, "enough is enough" and then, over a ten year period of trial and error, I developed The Year of Commitment. This is the exact same planning process which my husband, myself, and now many other people use to put their ideas, thoughts, and dreams into action. This is the exact same planning process I have used every year for the last ten years to grow a company into having over $1,000,000 in revenue.

I know you may be thinking, “But, I’m not starting a business” or “I’m not after big, huge dreams and goals.” 

That’s ok! Up until this past September I was a homeschooling mom (for 20+ years). I used this same planning process for

  • setting goals for our homeschooling
  • my household projects
  • and any ministry projects in my life

I also used it to set goals for how many times a month I wanted to take one of the kids out for lunch and other small, but important things like that. The Year of Commitment will meet you wherever you are in life and guide you to set plans in those areas.

When you have completed The Year of Commitment workbook, you will have set goals in each area of your life, and you will have a plan in place to make those goals happen…that’s a good feeling, trust me.  

It doesn’t matter if what you want to do with your life involves starting a business, blogging, working in a ministry, homeschooling your kids, or anything else, you’ll have a plan. You will also have committed your year to the Lord. I have used many different versions of yearly planning material and I have yet to see one which approaches planning from that starting place. I believe this is of utmost importance in the life of a believer. This is how you create a healthy work/life balance.

To access 'The Year of Commitment' go here:   https://faithful-bloggers.teachable.com/p/the-year-of-commitment-yearly-planning

Don't Forget Your End of Quarter Review

With the end of March comes the end of the first quarter of 2017. It's time to evaluate how your first quarter has been. Are you happy with the direction your year is taking?

As my husband and I sit down to do our quarterly review as we do each and every quarter of the year we ask ourselves the above question as well as: Are we on track for the plan we set? If we are, what adjustments might be necessary? If we're not, do we need to adjust the plan or adjust the actions in order to get back on track? 

Planning and reviewing are excellent practices to put into place in your life. Planning and reviewing help you to:

  • get unstuck 
  • make time for important things in life
  • move things forward with purpose
  • and so much more

If you've ever wondered how some people can accomplish so much in their life and yet you seem to remain stuck, they are probably using the practice of planning. Planning is purposeful. It is purposefully putting a plan on paper and creating steps to help you accomplish your goals. 

With the end of this quarter I want to encourage you to consider how your year is going and if you haven't written a plan for the year, go ahead and write one. The end of the quarter is the perfect time. Writing a yearly plan can taken place any time during a year, not only at the beginning. Next Tuesday we will be launching a new product called "The Year of Commitment", it is a faith based yearly planning tool. It will only be available for a limited time. This is the exact planning tool my husband and I use to write our yearly plan. 

In addition, if you'd like to join us, we will be talking about planning and our individual progress both on the Facebook page and in the Facebook group. Here's the link to the group https://www.facebook.com/groups/faithfulbloggers/

So, I encourage you to get busy either conducting your review or writing your plan. If you need a resource to help you accomplish that, watch for the release of "The Year of Commitment" on Tuesday. If you would like to read more about it you can visit this page: "The Year of Commitment"

 

Are You Using a Blog Post Checklist?

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Last week I wrote a post called "Why You Need A Blog Post Planner". Today I'm going to tell you about the second tool you need for publishing a blog post, it's the 'blog post checklist'.  As I mentioned in the other post, a planner is your tool for planning your post, but the checklist is used to make sure you included everything in your post prior to publishing. It also helps to ensure you complete all the tasks you need to complete as you publish your post. The checklist helps you to remember all the things like, adding meta tags or descriptions to photos, publishing to social media, resizing photos for quicker load times, etc.

Both the planner and the checklist are tools you can use in your blog planning. Watch for our planning tool called 'The Year of Commitment' to be released soon which can help you in planning all areas of your life including your blogging ministry or business. 

Watch the video for more information on blog post checklists. Fill out the form below to join the list and download the checklist.

If you missed the post on the blog post planner go here: 'Why You Need a Blog Post Planner'

 

When you submit the form below, you will be emailed a password to access our member area where you will find the blog post checklist and other helpful resources. 

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Why You Need a Blog Post Planner

Why You Need a Blog Post Planner

If you have not been using a blog post planner, boy are you missing out.

But a blog post planner is only a part of a larger system. With just the planner the same thing happens. You sit at your desk, you take out your blog post planner, you begin to plan a blog post aaannd…nothing. You are blank. So, I want to show you how I use a blog post planner.

Read More

Why We Moved from Wordpress to Squarespace

NOTE:  I am not being paid by Squarespace or Wordpress for this post. 

Moving to Squarespace

There have been lots of exciting things going on behind the scenes here at Faithful Bloggers. We've been planning and prepping but in addition to all that, we've been super busy with moving. By moving, I don't mean an actual physical move, I'm talking about a move from one web platform to another. We moved from Wordpress to Squarespace. I have moved (physically) a great big number of times and although a physical move has it's challenges, a web platform move has it's own unique set of challenges, none of which are any fun at all.  As you all have read, Faithful Bloggers changed ownership. At the time of purchase, Faithful Bloggers, Faithful Devotions, and The Faithful Bloggers Directory were all on Wordpress. I wanted to make that work, really I did. But I just couldn't. I know I'm probably about to get a bunch of you upset with me, but before all you Wordpress diehards get all hot under the collar, hear me out and read this entire post, because I really do believe Wordpress has a place, just not for me. And I think it may possibly not be the best choice for many other people, depending upon what they are looking for. You also should know, this was not my first experience with Wordpress, I've been there before. 

I know there are about a bazillion websites on Wordpress, I know it's a great platform, but it is not the only platform. I believe it really depends on what you are looking for whether Wordpress is the place for you to call home. Below is a run down of the pros and cons of the two platforms, so if you are just starting out, you'll be able to make an informed decision. And if you are dealing with any frustrations with either platform, you'll have an idea of what the other offers. Please note: Any time I mention Wordpress, I'm talking about a self hosted wordpress site. 

So why did I move?

Basically it boils down to the fact that I want to write, blog, and create great products, not work on a website. Squarespace allows me the luxury of doing just that. Let me explain further. Here's a few of the reasons I moved:

  • Squarespace has an incredibly clean, clutter free interface. It's also easy to use. Like any sort of software it does have a learning curve, but it's click and drag format is generally user friendly. Also, if you are just starting out, you should know that there will be a learning curve on either platform, but I feel it's fair say, you will have a longer learning curve on Wordpress. 

  • Live Chat!  I love this about Squarespace. When I have questions, I can just hop on live chat and get assistance immediately. Granted, their live chat is only available during daytime hours (eastern time zone), so you 3:00a.m. bloggers may not find this a benefit (unless of course you're a 3:00 a.m. blogger around the world from the eastern time zone). 
  • Domain, Design, and Hosting all in one location. I cannot say the transfer of the domains to Squarespace or the transfer of the entire site to Squarespace was the easiest thing I have ever undertaken (it isn't even in the top 10 easiest things). In all honesty, I didn't have to move the domains to Squarespace, that was a choice I made to have everything in one place, taken care of by one group of people. I know, Wordpress is free, but hosting is not and I'm paying similiar for Squarespace as I was for self hosting with Wordpress. The other thing that is not free (if you are considering Wordpress) is if you need someone to fix code or anything else for you. With Squarespace you are a paying customer, so unless you've monkeyed with the code on your site, they are there for you. If your Wordpress experience has been to email on a regular basis with your hosting company to get things fixed, you'll probably love Squarespace. I tried to recall if there had ever been a time when I had to email Squarespace, and although I can't say for sure, I don't remember any. I have used their live chat a few times. 
  • I HATE CODE.  I mean, I REALLY hate it!  Some people love it, some people tolerate it, some people hate it, I'm definitely in the third group. I have no business playing around with the inner workings of my website, nor do I want to. With Squarespace I don't have to deal with code. There are times I may have to copy and paste a portion of generated code into a code block but other than that, no code. This does not mean that those people who love code, can't access coding on Squarespace. If you are of the "I Love Code" camp, you can code to your hearts content on Squarespace. Here however is where I think Wordpress has a place. If you are the type of person who absolutely has to have the ability to manage every detail of your website, and you love that stuff, Wordpress will probably feel like home. But if what you are looking to do is write and blog and not have to deal with code hardly at all, you might want to consider Squarespace. 
  •  No 3rd Party Plug-Ins. There are about 5 million plug-ins (I might be exaggerating just a little) available on Wordpress. They are used to get your site to do just about anything you can imagine, there are probably plug-ins to get your site to do your laundry for you. Having so many options has it's positives and negatives. On the one hand, you have options. Options are good. Except at times, I found the options overwhelming. On the other hand, Wordpress is an open platform and anyone can author a plugin and make it available on Wordpress, this too is good and bad. Once your Wordpress site is up, you are going to load lots of plugins on your website, because you need them to do things like add forms to your site and numerous other tasks. These plugins are all authored by different people and they all need to be updated. If you overlook updating them, this is where issues occur. This is the open door hackers use to hack Wordpress sites. When I purchased Faithful Bloggers, it had been hacked and neither myself nor the prior owner, Tishia, were even aware of the hack till I started poking around in it. 
  • To some people, these next two things might seem nitpicky, but I'm creative and very visual so these were big for me. There were a few things design-wise in Wordpress that drove me batty. The first is the themes. Even though there are thousands of them, you read the description and it says "custom color", but then you load the theme and begin the preview and by "custom", they meant you can choose from, blue, red, pink or green (or some other limited selection depending upon the theme), that's not "custom". Granted, there are some which offer true "custom color" but why on earth do I have to go through the process of loading them and begin the preview process in order to know that for sure. The other design thing that drove me nuts is when I was choosing a font in the theme, which you can't do in all themes, the drop down menu just had the names of the fonts, all written in the same font, not in their own font. So I had to actually try the font in order to see what it looked like. I know there are premium themes which you can buy on Wordpress and they probably offer more flexibility, but it seems to me that out of thousands of choices, there should be a couple that don't drive me nuts. Wordpress does offer tremendous flexibility, if you know code or are willing to pay someone to make the changes you are wanting. Squarespace uses templates as well, and there are many less templates to choose from, however, I have found they are much more customizable for someone who doesn't want to deal with code. The font on any part of my website can be any font I want it to be and the color is truly customizable. I need to have the capabilities to do these things myself, to do them quickly and efficiently, and without having to play with code, Squarespace offers me that.
  • It's Just Easier. Less monkeying around with back end stuff frees up more time for writing and blogging.  As I said before, I'm looking to write and blog, not play with my website. When you write a post on Squarespace and you need to insert anything, a form, code, a calendar, a map or a whole slew of other options, all you do is click to add it right there in the text. You don't have to go to a plugin to get your form. See this videofor more details.
  • I have another site on Squarespace which I have had with them for 7 Years. In that time, I have never had my site go down, and I've never had an issue with messed up code. It's also never been hacked. I know there are first times for everything and I may just have been fortunate but it's a pretty good track record.

A couple other things you might want to know about Squarespace.

  • Your website doesn't have to be a blog. This wasn't important for me for the Faithful Bloggers website but it is for the other business my family owns, and it might be for one of my readers so I'm including it. On Squarespace your website can just be a website. Our family business website does include a blog but it has a non blog front page as well as many other pages. If you'd like to check it out visit www.homecareNHME.com.  You may notice it has a similar layout to the new Faithful Bloggers site, you should know this was intentional, not required, there are plenty of other templates. I used the same template for simplicity for myself. I felt that because the sites were so unrelated industry-wise, no one was going to say "boy your site has a similar layout to the Faithful Bloggers site", (except, all of you now). I also could have made that same template look very different. One other thing you may find useful to know is that on Squarespace you can have more than one blog on your website. If you want to see why anyone would want or need that, take a look at this very website. The main Faithful Bloggers website is set up as a blog, but if you click on the "Directory", that is also set up as a blog. 
  • Just because I discuss the ease and simplicity of Squarespace, does not mean that a Squarespace website can't have all the bells and whistles. You can build a very dynamic and professional site on Squarespace (again, see the website I mentioned in the prior point, it has pretty scrolling images on the front page).  

A few things about actually making the move.

  1. I mentioned earlier that the move was not easy,  but don't let that scare you. If you have a straight forward blog with minimal things which would make a move challenging such as signup forms, etc., then if you decide to move to Squarespace it will be relatively easy and straight forward. The things on the Faithful Bloggers site which made it difficult were things like the forms, and the directory and a few other challenges like that.  

  2. If you decide to transfer your domain to Squarespace (which is not required), you should know the  transfer can take from 1-15 days, my tranfer took 6 days (I'm not very good at waiting).
  3. If you have a mailing list, Mailchimp integrates better with Squarespace than Aweber or other email services. You can use the other services with Squarespace but Squarespace is set up so you can automatically connect to Mailchimp when you load a form. I moved  the entire mailing list from AWeber to Mailchimp which made the move more challenging.

In summary:

If you are the code loving, website fidgeting type I would recommend Worpress for your platform. To go along with Worpress I would recommend MomWebs.com for hosting (their tech support is very quick to respond). I also recommend AWeber for your mailing list. 

However, if you are the, "I just want to write and blog and not monkey with the backend" type, I recommend Squarespace, and for your mailing list, I recommend Mailchimp.

Blog Survey Results Are In ....And We Have a Winner

The blog survey we sent out last week proved to be even more informative to us than we had hoped. The results gave us invaluable insight as to what our fellow bloggers are thirsting for. As a result, going forward, we will have more direction and be able to help you in more specific areas and with more intentionality.

Among other things, the survey showed us that many of you are struggling to balance your work/life/blogging schedules. It seems, finding time to blog can be a frustration rather than an enjoyable part of your routine. Blogging should be something you look forward to...not a burden. See my last post to read more on this topic "Blogging For Ministry or Business - Be Yourself".

With that in mind, keep an eye out during the next few weeks for resources geared towards helping you plan and schedule your time so that your everyday routine is approached with more intention and a clearer mind.

In return for your help with our blog survey, we promised a gift card to a random participant. The winner is Lou Ann Keiser. Congratulations Lou Ann!!! Lou Ann blogs at https://intheway-lk.blogspot.com. Here's what she has to say,

"My blog, “In the Way” explores many themes from a biblical viewpoint. I'm a pastor's wife, mother of two, grandma, teacher, author, and blogger. I live in a quaint little village in the beautiful Basque region of northern Spain"

Be sure to stop by "In The Way" to say hello and offer up some congratulations.

Thank you all for your help. We look forward to putting the survey results to good use.

Blogging for Ministry or Business - Be Yourself!

Blogging Ministry

Our recent survey showed that the largest percentage of our subscribers are blogging for ministry purposes or to share testimony. This, among other things, stood out to me and I want to thank those who took the time to participate. The survey results have been immensely helpful to us in getting to know you all. Because we have to contact and confirm the winner, the winner will be announced sometime next week. I'm sure you can agree, it's incredibly exciting to think about all that work being done for the Kingdom.

In the survey, many of you expressed feelings of "overwhelm" from trying to maintain balance in your life or from trying to keep a consistent blogging schedule "like the experts say you should".  

I get it, I really do. I've been there. Why do we pressure ourselves like that? Why do we compare what the Lord wants to do through us with what He is doing in the lives of other people? We think "I should be doing this or that because they are", when, in reality, what we should be doing is what the Lord leads us to do. God has a plan for your life which is completely different than the plan He has for the life of the "experts". I know and understand that there are guidelines for best blogging practice to increase traffic whether blogging for ministry or business. However, if you are experiencing feelings of "overwhelm", it might be time to get back on your knees and give the whole thing back to God till you have clarity.

Let me tell you a little story. A number of years ago the Lord laid a ministry on my heart. He told me to do some prep work, writing and such. When I completed that portion, I felt it was time to move forward with it. So I attempted to. I experienced one road block after another, along with all those feelings of "overwhelm", just like some of you expressed. I eventually gave it back to the Lord and He told me to wait. It hasn't been easy, the waiting. At times my flesh has wanted to move it forward. But I waited. Recently a number of things changed in my life and I found my schedule opening up some. I asked the Lord for guidance in moving forward and He said "now".

Around this same time, I saw that Faithful Bloggers was up for sale. My husband and I felt it fit well within the plans the Lord was showing me, so I contacted Tishia (the prior owner). I have to tell you God is not only an amazing connector of people, but when you wait for His "now", those feelings of overwhelm are greatly reduced. There have definitely been frustrations (glitches with the transfer of ownership, etc.), but I can beyond a shadow of a doubt see the Lord at work.

I'm telling you this to encourage you in your blogging ministry or business, but that's the point, it's YOUR blogging journey, no one else's.  Maybe the expert you're reading says you should be posting daily, or 3 times a week but after prayer God tells you 1 time, then 1 time it should be. Don't try to be someone else, be who God created you to be. You are incredible, unique and have your own story to tell the world. It's your story, tell it in your own way. Be yourself. If God can part water, heal the lame, and drive out the powers of darkness, then He can certainly use your once a week posting schedule to do mighty things.

When the timing is right to move your project forward, you can find many resources here at Faithful Bloggers to help guide you and teach techniques for driving traffic, or increasing followers, etc. These materials are meant to assist you in your Kingdom work. We hope you find them useful on your journey.

Where are you on your blogging journey, clarity or overwhelm? How is the Lord directing you today?

Happy blogging.

Shelley

63 Emails Later...

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Wow, it's been a whirlwind of a week. As most of you have heard The Faithful Bloggers Family of Websites is under new ownership. It has taken a tremendous amount of work to get the ownership transferred. Over 63 emails have gone back and forth between Tishia, myself and the hosting company in one week. And that number doesn't even include the emails to other places such as Aweber, and other places that had to be involved. There have been many details to work through and we are not quite done yet. We're excited about moving forward. Here's a peak at some of the things you will see in the near future:

  • We've been busy putting a plan in place for Faithful Bloggers and have been charting a course. Over the next couple weeks we'll be sharing with you the planning process we have used for that.
  • We'll be sharing some resources to help you with your own planning.
  • I will be writing a review of some resources to help you in blogging journey.
  • I will writing an honest list of thoughts and suggestions on purchasing an existing website and all that is involved.

Stay tuned for all that and more as we move forward. Don't miss out on the updates, sign up (over on the right) to receive our emails.

I can't thank you all enough for your prayers, support and patience during this transition. We have received numerous warm welcomes in our email and we thank you for each and every one. If you sent Tishia an email wishing her well as she heads in new direction, please know she did receive it. Let's all cover her in prayer for her new adventures.

What have you been up to this week on your blogging journey?

Happy New Year!

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Welcome to 2017!

I'm excited to see what this year and God has in store for me. Last year was a pretty good year, minus a few bad things. In the past, I would always be one of those people that couldn't wait for a year to end if anything bad happened and looked forward to a new year with only good things to happen...of course that's not how life works - it's never always just 'good' things that happen.

Each year is and will probably continue to be full of ups and downs. But now I have a different perspective and it makes going into a new year even more exciting because I know that no matter what comes my way, I CHOOSE my attitude and how I react to every situation - good and bad. (Sadly, it took me quite awhile to 'grow up' and realize this!)

Here we go, bring it 2017!

Fun and Quirky Things About Me

I decided it would be fun to write this post after reading a post a friend of mine did sharing weird and wacky things about herself. Here we go, some fun and quirky things you may not know about me!

 

  • I cried when, not long after getting my drivers license, I hit a bird & it got stuck in the grill of my car. (Why a friend took a pic of this I have no idea. Why I still have this picture is beyond me - see it to the right, the red circle/arrow are the bird...creepy!)
  • Again, going along with the driving theme...not long after the above bird incident, I backed into a white post and chipped the green paint off the car. My little sister was with me so I decided to "bribe" her into not telling my parents - she made out like a bandit at the store that day. Guess what she did the second we walked through the door? Yep, she told anyway!

 

  • I was taken to Hawaii as my senior trip...but I was only in 10th grade when we went. I enjoyed all the sights on that trip. See for yourself ;-)
  • I graduated from a very small school - there were 19 in my graduating class (k-12 was and still is all in one building).
  • I'm a little OCD. As an example, my closet is organized in a very specific way: (a) it starts with tank tops, then moves to short sleeve shirts, then long sleeve shirts & then sweatshirts (b) the hangers have to go in a specific color pattern - pink, blue, pink, blue, pink, blue...you get the picture.
  • I once dyed my best friend's hair (many many moons ago)...let's just say dying hair & drinking Boone's Farm wasn't a good idea! Okay, okay, it really wasn't that bad - although she may tell you differently.
  • I've had to use one of those bags on an airplane for people who get sick. It was an awful experience, I'll spare you the details.
  • My son was 11 days over due!
  • That 11 days over due "baby" (who is 17 at the time of this post) weighed in at 9 lbs. 13 1/2 oz. and was 22 1/2 inches long. I had a c-section.
  • I was named after a dead dog.
  • I love tattoos & at the time of writing this, have 7 of them. My newest one is on my arm and I got it in June (2016) while on a business retreat with a couple friends:
  • I am lucky to be alive. Seriously. I was in a horrible drunk driving accident in 1997. I was the drunk driver.
  • I've never broken any bones.
  • I was a cheerleader for several years.
  • I hate spiders. And snakes. Anything creepy crawly, I don't like.
  • Bridges scare me. I live an hour from the 'Mighty Mac' (Mackinac Bridge) and have never driven over it because I'm too afraid. (It's the longest suspension bridge in the Americas, with a total length of 8,614 feet suspended. It is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world. Source: http://www.mightymac.org/bridge.htm)
  • I'm petrified of public speaking...until I get a chance to grab a microphone and talk for a few minutes. Then I come alive and don't want to give that mic up ;-)
  • I love trying new things with my hair. Once I cut it short and had it dyed almost blonde. I figure it's only hair and it'll grow it back/the color will grow out. Hmmm...speaking of hair, it's time for something new!
  • I sometimes struggle with still being single. All I've ever wanted is to be a wife and a mom.
  • I have a quirky sense of humor and can easily amuse myself. These pics are not only proof of that, but could be why I'm still single ;-)
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YOUR turn! Share with me some fun facts about you below in the comments section. Or better yet, write a post like this and then leave a comment with a link to your post!

7 Days of Kindness Challenge

Faithful Bloggers 7 days kindness challenge
Faithful Bloggers 7 days kindness challenge

It started with one person - one random act.

Hot, humid, sticky...and impatient!  That's how I was feeling (hot, sticky & impatient) one recent sunny Northern Michigan summer afternoon. Let me back up a little and explain.

All I wanted was a Diet Coke, but not just any Diet Coke - it had to be a fountain pop (call me crazy but there is a difference in taste between a fountain drink and a canned/bottled one!). And in my small town there's two options - the gas station or McDonald's.

Thinking it would be quick (and well easy - no getting out of the car, going in, etc.) I opted to go through the drive through at McDonald's. The line up of cars to order was a bit long and I could have chose to drive away but I didn't. Instead I got stuck in the line of traffic and found myself getting hotter and more impatient and irritable as the time ticked by.

Once I made it to the window to pay, I was irritated that it had taken so long. I wanted to pay, be grumpy and get on my way. But something happened that immediately convicted me of my poor attitude. The girl at the window was grinning from ear to ear and bubbling with excitement as she shared the news - the person in front of you paid for your order.

And she got even more excited and more animated as I handed her cash to pay for the person behind me. She went on to tell me the story:

It started several cars ago - a person paid for the car behind them and told me to tell them to have a great day and to pay it forward. And they did and so did the next person and the next person and the next person and so on. You are now making the person behind you car #7 that has had the pay it forward experience!

It gave me goose bumps and a huge attitude adjustment. And good grief - why was I choosing to be irritated and impatient when I made the decision to stay in the line in the first place (knowing it was long and not moving very quickly!).

I'll never know how many pay it forward experiences there were that day but I still get goose bumps thinking about it. And now every time I go for my Diet Coke - don't judge ;-) - I continue to pay it forward.

[tweetthis display_mode="box"]Isn't it time to be more like Jesus & love those around us regardless of race, religion, & more? [/tweetthis]

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Since that day I've been thinking about all the things going on around me (the horrible acts of violence, racism, and more) and how we all need to see and be a part of more kindness. Maybe we can't change the horrific things going on in the world, but we can still make a positive impact around us...one small act at a time!

7 Days of Kindness Challenge 

That small act of kindness at McDonald's did me in - I can't stop thinking about it and how I just want to show others around me love, kindness, and that they matter. So I decided to create a 7 day challenge for myself and got so excited about it that it made sense to invite others to participate too!

We don't have to do some over the top large gesture to impact the lives of those around us. In fact, sometimes it's the little things (like smiling at some one, holding a door open, etc.) that mean the most. So this challenge is all about doing small random acts of kindness.

Why 7 days? 

I chose 7 days because in the grand scheme of things, committing to do something every day for just 7 days isn't that big of a deal! Everybody can find time to commit to a seven day challenge.

I want in! 

Ready to be a part of the action to? Simply enter your name and email address below and for the next 7 days you'll receive an email from me that will give you a suggested act to do for that day. (remember - I'm just giving you suggestions, you're more than welcome to create your kindness acts!)

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JUST ENTER YOUR NAME & EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW: 

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Can't wait to hear all about your experiences over the course of the 7 day challenge!

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. -Colossians 3:14 (NLT)

Do You Have A Misery Attitude or a Mastery Attitude?

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This is a guest post from Kelly McCausey of Solo Smarts.

"I wrote this article years ago and stumbled on it while cleaning out some folders on my computer.  I couldn't help but think about how my own issues with Misery/Mastery Attitudes have impacted my growth as a Blogger & Podcaster.  I hope it blesses you :)"  - Kelly

Someone with a Misery Attitude has a poisoned perspective on life.  They find the negative in everything.  They live under a cloud and even when the sun shines they are looking for the next sign of rain.  Misery loves company but company rarely wants anything to do with Misery.

Someone with a Mastery Attitude has a heavenly perspective on life. They have mastered their emotions and choose daily to live life with a positive outlook.  The mature Christian sees the hand of God in all events and he knows that God will work all things out for good in their lives.

So do you have a Misery Attitude or a Mastery Attitude? [tweetthis]Do you have a Misery Attitude or a Mastery Attitude? Guest post from @kellymccausey via @FaithfulBloggrs[/tweetthis]

Misery claims: ‘I can’t help it, everything is going wrong in my life.  How can I pretend to be happy when I’m so miserable?’  ‘I just don’t have what it takes to be fake – when I’m down, everyone knows it.’  ‘I’m not negative – it’s just that nothing ever goes right in my life.  If I had Perfect Patty’s life, then I’d be happy.’

Misery, has it ever occurred to you that everyone has troubles?  Would it amaze you to know that the Perfect Patty has problems that she is facing too?  She doesn’t wear it on her sleeve for the whole world to see – but if you took a moment to ask her, she might tell you and even thank you for your concern.

But Misery doesn’t ask.  Misery is too busy worrying about herself.

We all know someone with a Misery Attitude – maybe we’re even realizing right this minute that we do.  That’s ok,  tonight, we’re going to find out that we don’t have to keep holding on to that Misery Attitude any longer.

Misery blames everyone and everything for their problems.

As a Christian, you can't blame anyone or anything for your attitude.

Things can contribute to your attitude – but what you allow to come across in your language, your facial expressions and your physical stance is entirely within your control.  To claim anything to the contrary is to say that you cannot control yourself.

As normal functioning adults, we can control our ‘state’.

[tweetthis]As a Christian, you can't blame anyone or anything for your attitude.[/tweetthis]

Small children can’t control themselves.  They feel something and it shows up on their faces and usually blurts out of their mouth.  As children grow up and are taught, they gain control of their state.  They learn that they can feel something and not saying anything about it if it is not appropriate or useful to do so.

Of course, not everyone gets the parenting and teaching that they need about this and they make it all the way to adulthood without ever having really developed impulse control.  If you’ve ever had to spend any amount of time with one of these ‘spoiled’ adults, you know it’s not very pleasant.  Watching a two year old throwing a temper tantrum can be amusing.  Watching a twenty year old in the midst of a temper fit is just ridiculous.

Good impulse control means that you can feel angry and not yell at someone.  It means that you can feel hurt and not have to hurt someone else.  It means that you can feel worry and not fret verbally.  It means that you can feel jealous and not try to sabotage someone’s success.

Someone with low or no impulse control is like a red bulb thermometer.  The red goes up and the red goes down – and their attitude goes with it.

So the first key to a better attitude is to accept responsibility for YOUR attitude.  If you can accept that YOU and you alone are in control of your attitude, you can then begin to change it.

Good things and bad things happen to everyone.  No one lives a charmed life, so why would anyone think that they can blame their bad attitude on circumstances?  Attitude isn’t a matter of circumstance.  It’s a matter of how you’re thinking about those circumstances.

[tweetthis]As a Christian are you taking responsibility for your own thought life? If you're doing this, you're NOT! [/tweetthis]

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 Paul wrote, "For although we are walking in the flesh, we do not wage war in a fleshly way, since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

It’s time for a reality check.  No one is in perfect control of their attitude every minute of every day.  Life can toss you some curve balls and it’s normal to feel like you’ve been knocked off center for a season when you’re in a crisis.  When tragedy strikes, your maturity in Christ will determine how quickly you regain control of your state.

A Story That Illustrates The Misery Attitude

Years ago when I became a home owner for the first time, finances were always tight.  It seemed to me that I was always taking one step forward and two steps back.  I rarely had any money in the bank but I had a good couple of months and it looked like I would be able to buy a few things that we needed.

Then a bazaar wind storm blew through my neighborhood and pushed two large trees over towards my house – close enough to be scary – but not close enough to do any damage.  I felt relieved and called my insurance company to see how I could get the trees removed.

The insurance man came over and took photographs.  He gave me some unexpected bad news.  Because the trees were not touching the house – they weren’t a covered expense.

I said ‘Are you crazy? The roots are all torn up – they could fall at any time!’

He said yes, they could and because of that I had to do something about them right away.  If they fall within 48 hours of the storm, the insurance will pay – but after the 49th hour – if they fall, the insurance would not only not pay for the trees – but they would not pay for the damage to the house because at that point, it would be negligence on my part.

I was stunned but there was no point arguing with them.  I called for bids to have the trees removed.  The lowest bid?  $1000.00.  I just about fainted.

There went all my money.  It was just awful.  And let me tell you – I had a bad attitude about it.  I was angry with the tree company, angry with the insurance company, angry with the wind and even angry with God.  He let it happen after all.

I said ‘That’s it! That’s just the way things are.  You never get ahead in life.  You work hard, you make money and something happens to take it away from you.’  This was my attitude for quite a long time.  I spouted negativity just about every chance I got.

I not only resented the $1000.00, I resented the loss of shade and the big ugly stump they left behind.

It’s too bad that I didn’t choose to look at it differently.  I should have been praising God that the trees didn’t fall on my house and ruin my bedroom.  I should have been grateful that there were only two trees – instead of five or six of them that could have fallen.

It would have all been a matter of perspective.

Rough Things Happen in Life And In Business

I could tell you a dozen stories about difficult situations I've faced in growing my blog and building my business. Failed projects, disappointing promotions, lack luster reactions to something I was so proud of!

Fortunately, I've had more successful projects, profitable promotions and great reactions to my content.

Truth is, if I didn't foster a Mastery Attitude, I wouldn't have survived the failures to enjoy the successes.

Attitude is Everything.

A Misery Attitude can be silent but deadly.  Do you know this woman?  She walks into a room with the weight of the world on her shoulders, face downcast, looking like she’s about to cry.  Everyone in the room sees and responds to her sadness.

You might think, but she’s obviously in need of some comfort.  Yes – she is.  But what if this is how she walks into every room?  Every time you see her?  It’s one thing if someone is clinically depressed – they need to seek medical attention.  It’s another thing if they’re chronically needy.

Some have become addicted to the sympathy of others.  They like having someone pat them on the back and tell them that they’re strong and brave to bear up under the trials of life.  They enjoy the attention.  And maybe there is a lot going on in their life – but they’re not helping themselves to wallow in it all the time.

Here’s is a powerful quote I found: “Praise is more spontaneous when things go right, but it is more precious when things go wrong.”

[tweetthis]“Praise is more spontaneous when things go right, but it is more precious when things go wrong.”[/tweetthis]

We all admire a special someone in our life who has been through heartache and tragedy yet never broke under the weight of it.  I have a good friend who all the while that her husband was seriously ill – would always ask about me and my life before she would spend a minute talking about her concerns.

Philippians 2:4 says “Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.”

I believe she discovered the truth of those words and made it a daily practice to always care about others.  It helped her to maintain perspective and not fall into pit of depression.  It helped her to choose a Mastery Attitude.

How do you move from a Misery Attitude to a Mastery Attitude?

A better attitude starts with choosing to be more optimistic about life.

Optimism has to be practiced to be done well and feel genuine.  If you’ve been a lifelong pessimist, when you first try to practice optimism, you may feel ridiculous saying things like ‘I know God will work this too out for good in my life.’

It does feel awkward at first when we begin to confess the promises of God over our life instead of whining and complaining all the time.

[tweetthis]I’d rather feel silly standing on the Word of God than feel comfortable on the sinking sand of circumstance.[/tweetthis]

But you know what – I’d rather feel silly standing on the Word of God than feel comfortable on the sinking sand of circumstance.

Psalm 56:3 says: “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”  You could change that up just a little bit and say ‘When I feel SILLY as all get out, I will trust in You Lord!”

Changing your attitude and choosing to adopt a more positive outlook on life will have a strong impact in many areas of your life – some that you might not even expect right now.

First of all, if you’re used to complaining all the time – like I used to be.  You might find it’s hard to make conversation.  Think about it!  I used to burn up five or six hours a week on the telephone with my best friend.  I was complaining about my husband, my son, my mother, my other friends, the telephone company, the lady at the bank… you name it!  I could rant for a half hour about the smallest inconvenience.

When God started dealing with me about my negative attitude – I had to give up all the ranting and raving.  And you know what?  I found I didn’t have much to talk about without it.

Good grief! My poor friend!  I went from five hours on the phone to maybe a half hour total.  I just didn’t have anything to say!  The good news is that she was going through the same transformation so she understood what was happening.

I had to relearn how to have a conversation without having to fuss and bother about something.

I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m saying I’m totally cured – because I can relapse if I am not careful.  A good complaining session feels real good to the flesh, but we are supposed to exercise control over our flesh!

Changing your attitude will take more than just changing what you talk about and trying to control your emotional state.  You are going to have to start consuming more positive input on a daily basis.

This starts with the time you spend with God in prayer and in reading His Word.  If you’ve been living life in a bad attitude for 30 or 50 years – you’re not going to be able to make a change on your own.  You need God!  You need to saturate yourself in Him.

Start your day with Praise & Worship music.  Fill your heart with the Word and make it a goal to memorize some key scriptures.

Practice Mastery.

When you face personal failures, it is easy to fall back into Misery. But even in failure you can choose to have a Mastery Attitude.

When you fail, put it into perspective.  You couldn’t have failed if you didn’t at least try and it is always better to try than to do nothing!

Kelly McCausey is a Blogger, Podcaster & Solopreneur Business Coach.

NOTE FROM TISHIA: I wanted to mention, from a personal experience, how awesome Kelly is as a coach. I've coached with her over the years and without her help, ideas, support and the ability to tell me when an idea stinks I wouldn't be where I am today as both a blogger and business owner. If you're stuck and need help with taking the next step in blogging or building your online business, I highly recommend you connect with Kelly.

Why You Need A Mailing List

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How many times have you found some great blogs, bookmarked them and had every intention of going back to the site 'one of these days'...only to never end up getting back to it? It happens to me all the time. I've said it over and over (and I'll keep saying it!) - man I wish they had an email list (mailing list) I could sign up for. Had those sites had a mailing list, I could have opted-in and be reminded of them when they sent an email - and go back to their site to consume the great content I tried to remember to go back to. Keep this in mind  - for me and the vast majority of people that stumble across your blog and think we want to re-visit the site some day, will never make it back. And that's not very promising if you want to grow a loyal following/readership.

This is why it's so important to have an email list and get them on it! There are many different email marketing software options to choose from (Mad Mimi, MailChimp, Get Response, just to name a few) but I have used (since 2007) and always recommend Aweber.

Once you have people on your email list you can stay in front of them (in other words they won't forget you....as long as you email on a regular basis but that's a different post in itself) and get them back to your site.  When you write a blog post, share a bit of it in an email and invite them to click through to go read the entire post on your site.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Share some of your social media posts and profiles with your list and invite them to connect with you there. This is another way to help you grow your reach, build your relationship with your community and interact with them personally.

As you begin to build relationship with your community and mail regularly, they'll get to know you better. This leads to them knowing, liking and trusting you. Once you've built that know, like and trust factor you can make offers to them (either your own products/services or affiliate offers) and they'll be more likely to take you up on those recommendations.

I've had several people ask me about how they can monetize a blog post. While it can be done (product/service recommendations, product reviews, affiliate offers, etc.) While I'm not against that and do encourage it sometimes, I always tell people the best way to do this (earn money blogging) is by building that list and making offers to them. You can do it ethically and without spamming people or sounding like a used car salesman. Share relevant, helpful information and then invite them to learn more or implement (something you shared - a tip or strategy) it with a product you're recommending.

Let’s recap why it’s so important to your blogging success that you focus on building an email list first.

  • It allows you to bring readers back to your blog whenever you’re publishing a new post.
  • It allows you to grow your social media reach by inviting readers to connect with you on social media.
  • It allows you (by staying in touch regularly) to build a relationship with your audience.
  • It allows you to make offers for products and services and make some money from your blog posts and emails.

If you would like to learn more about list building, check out Skill Building Intensive: Starting Your Own Mailing List where you'll get step-by-step video walkthroughs of setting up a list using Aweber & Mad Mimi. 

This is part 10 of a 10 part series on blogging.  

How to Monetize Your Blog

In writing this post I'm making a major assumption - you're blogging and want to make money with it. If you’re putting in the work, doing the research, and growing the audience, chances are you’d like to get paid for your hard work. It can be done by monetizing your blog. Here are three ways you can start earning:

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Product Recommendations

This is probably one of the quickest and easiest ways to start making money with your blog. There's a couple different options when it comes to making product recommendations:

  • use your own products
  • an affiliate product

Depending on where you're located, Amazon's affiliate program is one you should check out. Unfortunately their program isn't available to residents in some states. It's an easy way to promote things as an affiliate. We're all consumers using some sort of electronic gadget, household gadget, reading books, etc. Those things can be found on Amazon, your affiliate link grabbed and added to a blog post - easy peasy.

For example let's say you're a health blogger and are following a new exercise regimen. You could find products on Amazon you're using (the exercise DVD, weights, etc.) and include your affiliate link to them in the post. A Christian blogger could link to a devotional book, Bible, etc. - things people would need to study the Bible or do a Bible Study. The possibilities are limitless - write book reviews and link to the books on Amazon, if you're using a new tech gadget write a review about it, you get the point.

Brands

I don't generally work with brands but from time to time I have. For example, many years ago on a weight loss blog I owned I was being contacted regularly by brands wanting to give me free things in exchange for an honest review. One time I got a fancy, expensive bathing suit from a company that specialized in plus size women's bathing suits. I decided to take them up on their offer and enjoyed the bathing suit and writing my review about it. Here at Faithful Bloggers I was recently contacted by a pretty large brand about partnering with them in promoting their stuff but for the most part, it's authors wanting me to review their books.

In my opinion, the best place to start if you're interested in working with a brand(s) is social media. Find them, connect with them, and start interacting. There are also sites out there that will connect bloggers and brands. They will often pay you to write a blog post that mentions one of their products. Don’t be surprised to work for free products or low pay in the beginning though.

It takes time to build a relationship and show the marketing person that you have the reach to influence a group of people. And of course as your audience grows, you can expect to get paid better to be a brand ambassador.

List Building & Email Marketing

I've been blogging and running my Virtual Assistant business since 2006 and the most important asset (and continues to be!) has been my lists. I'll never stop talking about the importance of having a mailing list. It's been a way to build my relationship with my readers, share my expertise, get them back to my blogs, and of course make offers to them.

Keep your emails helpful with some recommendations thrown in and you'll do well. I always like to include a little personal blurb at the start of messages that gives my readers a chance to connect with me on a more personal level. For example, here at Faithful Bloggers one of the most important events that has been going on in my life since April 2015 is my now five year old nephew Braylan fighting leukemia. I've rallied prayer warriors from all over the world by taking the time to be open and share personally from the heart what's going on in some of my mailings.

An important note to keep in mind - you can't just set up a list and be done. It's important to continue taking action to build that list on a regular basis and then even more important than that - stay in touch with them on a regular basis! 

These are just three of the many different ways you can monetize your blog. I chose them because they're pretty simple, quick and fairly easy to get started with.

I'd love to know - what are you currently doing to monetize your blog? Leave a comment below. 

This is part 9 of a 10 part series on how to write a good blog post that engages people.

Adult Coloring Page: Gods Grace

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christian adult coloring page Did you enjoy coloring as a kid? I loved it. And I'm happy to say that as an adult in my 40's (early 40's by the way lol) I've started, over the past couple years, to take the time to do more of it.

Yes, I've jumped on the adult coloring craze train! And it's a craze that's for sure. Have you seen all the Adult Coloring items that come up in Amazon? It's page after page after page of results - coloring books, pens, pencils, etc.!

As I'm writing this, I realized it's been several weeks since I've done any coloring. Guess I better change that ;-) And thanks to Kelly McCausey I have a new page to color. She sent me a new design she created just for Faithful Bloggers (see the image above) called God's Grace. I can't wait to get started, wanna color it too? Just click the image below to get the coloring page:

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And in case that isn't enough to feed your inner child coloring enthusiast, check these out too.

Other Adult Coloring Page Freebies

Did you download the other free Christian adult coloring pages I've shared in the past? If not, you'll find them here:

Enjoy!

Tishia

How to Create a Good Blog Post Call to Action

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How many times have you come across a really great blog post and then get to the end and feel frustrated there wasn't more? Not even necessarily more of the content of that post, but just more in general - like you were left wondering "now what, what next?" It happens all the time - bloggers leave their readers hanging, wanting more but not giving them a call to action inviting them to do more! Heck, I'm guilty of this...way more than I should be considering I've been blogging and running an online business for 10 years (at the time of writing this) ;-)

Put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Why not give them something more. What if they wouldn’t mind learning more from you or connecting with you via email or social media or even take you up on a product recommendation?That’s what a call to action at the end of your blog posts is all about.

Encourage Them To Comment 

One of the easiest, and oldest, call to actions is simply asking your readers to leave a comment. Ask them to share their opinions about the content of the post.

Example: What are your favorite ways to end your blog posts? Do you use a particular call to action? Leave me a comment below and let’s talk.

Invite Them To Connect Via Social Media

Do you want to grow your social media reach? Then add some calls to action where you ask your readers to like the post on Facebook, share on Twitter, etc. Or share one of your social media profiles in the call to action and invite them to join you there.

Example: Got questions about creating a call to action? Let’s talk about it on our Facebook page. (Link to your Facebook page). (This would also work for a Facebook Group.)

Make A Recommendation

Sometimes it makes sense to make a sale and monetize your blog post in your call to action. This is also called pre-selling. You talk about a topic and then at the end make a recommendation for a product that helps your readers learn more or take the next step.

Example: There’s a lot more to be said about crafting a strong call to action. Take a look at this guide to learn more.

Invite Them To Join Your List

One of the most important calls to action you can use is the invitation inviting readers to join your list.Once you have them on your email list, you can invite them to come back and read other posts, comment on them, join you on your favorite social media platforms and of course make offers to your readers.

Example: I have a lot more to share on the topic of blogging and would love to email you with more tips and strategies on a regular basis. Just enter your name and email below and we’ll get started right away. As a thank you, I’ll even send you my guide to writing strong blog post titles that will grab your readers’ attention.

This is part 8 of a 10 part series on how to write a good blog post that engages people.

What's the Goal of Your Blog Post?

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question-mark-958881_640I have a request. One that needs to be completed before you write your next blog post. So, what is my request, what is it that I want you to do? STOP!

I want you to stop and think before you write your next blog post. I want you to think about what your goal is for that blog post. How will that post help you move forward/accomplish something in your biz/blogging journey?

Here are a handful of questions to think about/ask yourself:

  • Am I writing this post to have people share across social media sites to increase my reach?
  • Am I writing this post with a clear call to action inviting them to sign up for my mailing list so I can build relationship with them and stay in touch?
  • Am I writing this post to get the attention of a brand I'd like to work with?
  • Am I writing this post to engage my readers and get them interacting with me/each other?
  • Am I writing this post to sell a product or service?
  • Am I writing this post to share content (curated content) of a fellow blogger I would like to build a relationship with?

Each one of these questions pertain to some very valid goals for writing a blog post and I'm sure you can think of even more. The point I'm trying to make is that your next post (and every single post) should be written with a goal in mind. Know beforehand exactly what you want that post to accomplish.

After you've taken the time to stop and think about this, it's time to move forward. And now I'm going to go against the 'norm' and ask you to start with the end in mind. For example, let's say your goal for the post is to get the attention of a brand you're interested in working with. Think about how you can share your experience with a product (product review posts are great) of theirs.

Let's look at another example. Now, let's say you've decided that your goal for the post is to build your list and get readers to opt-in to it. Think about what your opt-in offer is and write about a topic complimentary to it. After you've written the content, be sure to invite them to sign up to get immediate access to the free report (or whatever it may be).

When you know beforehand what you want a post to accomplish, it's easier to craft goal driven text. This is pretty powerful, especially if you use blogging as a way to earn money. Knowing the post's goal ahead of time helps you create a strategic blogging plan. Write a post that helps you grow your reach. Then work on one that starts the conversation with new readers. Next work on getting them on your list and finally make them an offer. Intersperse this with posts that help you get the attention of potential JV partners and Brands and you’re all set to not only grow your blog and your audience, but make money blogging as well.

This is part 7 of a 10 part series on how to write a good blog post that engages people.

Engage Your Readers And Encourage Interaction

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When you started blogging did you have a vision of all these people flocking to your site that would leave comment after comment after comment? If I'm completely honest - I did! But that's not exactly what happened ;-) Sometimes I feel like I'm having a one-sided conversation. I pour my heart into a post, publish it and wait for the comments. And wait. And wait. And....yep, you guessed it, I keep on waiting. That's pretty normal in the blogosphere. Now a days it seems even harder to get people engaged and interacting on a post which sort of defeats the purpose of what a blog was designed for - to facilitate engagement (communication/comments).

Don't lose hope. Getting your people engaged on your posts can still happen - with a little encouragement ;-)  Combine that with a little social media interaction and there’s no reason you can’t turn this into a fully engaged conversation that will help you grow a loyal base of fans.

How do we encourage our audience to interact with us?

People want to be heard, to voice their opinions, so ask them to give it. Ask them some questions, ask them to leave feedback and encourage them to share their opinions! This can be done right within the comments section of your blog posts. At the end of the post, give them a call to action - ask them to answer a question, share their experience with whatever topic the post is about, let them know you want to hear their experiences/opinions and to leave a comment below.

Keep in mind that it's important to respond to those comments anyone leaves! Keep your readers engaged and interacting with not just you but each other too. This can help you not only have a great conversation with a reader(s) and build a relationship(s), it will show your readers that you value their input, them and really do care and want to hear from them.

This can also be applied to any social media interaction you're getting too. Now-a-days a lot of bloggers are finding that they actually get higher engagement on Facebook (for instance) than they do on the actual blog post. You still need to do the same as you would in the post and give people a call to action. What do you want them to do? Ask them to do it - share it, comment, like, etc.

This is part 6 of a 10 part series on how to write a good blog post that engages people.

How To Get Your Blog Posts Shared Socially

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We live in a social world where much of our news comes from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This isn't a bad thing. In fact, it can be a great thing when it comes to expanding our reach and getting our message in front of other people (that we may normally not be able to reach). It's just a matter of getting your current readers to start sharing your content on their favorite social sites.

Here are 4 tips to help you get your blog posts shared socially. 

Quality Content

Of course it all starts with quality content that your readers want to read and share. No one is going to spread a crummy post on social media. Start by writing the best blog posts you can and do some research into what your audience wants and needs.

In other words, serve your market well and they will in turn share what you’re writing with their friends and acquaintances.

Make It Visually Appealing

Make your post easy on the eyes! Remember - people tend to skim content so you want things that will grab their attention. Break up your content into small bite-sized chunks so it’s easy to read. Add some subheadings and formatting to make it easy to scan through. And don’t forget to add an image that captures the essence of your post.

Step away from your desk and then come back and look at it with fresh eyes. Is the blog post visually appealing? Does it grab your attention? If not, go back to the drawing board and see what you can do to improve it.

Make It Easy To Share

When your goal is to get people to share your blog post on social media, you want to make it as easy as possible to share. I have a social share plug-in that I use - if you look at the bottom of this post (and any other posts on the site), you will see that there are options for you to share a post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Tell Them What To Do

While making it easy for someone to share by having something like a WordPress plugin that gives people the otpion to click a button to share a post on their favorite social media site, that isn't always going to be as easy as it sounds. People need to be told what to do. In other words, if you want the social share - tell your people that. End the post with a call to action telling them that if they liked the post to please share on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Don’t forget to let them know how much you appreciate it when they share the love.

This is part 5 of a 10 part series on how to write a good blog post that engages people.