Last Updated February 27th, 2018

20 Ways To Get Ideas For A Blog Post

20 Ways to Get Ideas For a Blog Post

Writing content for your website is difficult at times. Sure, there are days where the ideas just flow, but other times you can sit and stare at your monitor trying to come up with something to say. That’s just the life of a writer. Here are some ways to get ideas for a blog post that you may not have considered lately.

1. Comments From Your Social Media Pages

Did a recent post generate discussion on your social media pages? Take off from that and cover whatever new angles the comments brought up. Give credit where credit is due, but take the ideas further.

2. Respond To Someone Else’s Articles

Sometimes the stuff you read elsewhere can inspire you. Don’t limit yourself to commenting on their websites; consider whether or not an article on your own site makes for a better response. Make sure you link back to the article that inspired you. They get a link, you get inspiration for more content on your site. Do it right and there’s some serious mutual benefit.

3. Refresh Old Content

Your old posts may still be good stuff, but often enough there’s something more you can add to it or update. Little changes make a big difference. It’s also a great way to bring up a familiar to you topic to new readers who may not be aware of it.

As a matter of fact, this post is an updated old post from 2012. I went through my archives to look for posts that were good, but outdated. I made some changes in recommendations and added new information.

The other advantage to this is that the post has probably already been indexed, and depending on how old it is, may even have some social media activity on it. The search engines love seeing updated posts – it shows that you aren’t neglecting the older content on your site.

4. Answer Frequently Asked Questions

If people email you a lot of questions or post a lot of questions in your comments, you probably have some you see over and over again. Write up a good blog post. You may be able to write an entire post on a single question or cover a bunch of them in one shot, depending on how much detail is required.

Around here, I often get people asking how they can find a work at home job. As that’s usually all the information they give me, I send them to my blog post, How Do You Get Started Working From Home? That usually gets them off to a good start. That post itself was updated from its original version and has had links to relevant newer posts added since then.

5. Read Related Forums

Posting on relevant forums with a signature line can be good marketing, but it can also help you get ideas for your blog. Look at what people need from the forum. What do they talk about? If it’s relevant there, you can probably work it into a blog post.

If the forum permits links, you may be able to refer to your post when answering questions. Even if you can’t, odds are that similar questions are being searched for on Google and such.

6. Check Your Analytics

How do people find your website? The search phrases people use can tell you a lot about what people want from your site. Write more about those subjects.

Google Analytics is what I use. You can use whatever analytics your hosting company gives you, but I like Google Analytics better. It’s very detailed and free to use. It will take some time to learn to take good advantage of some features, but it’s worth it.

7. Check Relevant Hashtags

Twitter hashtags are great for finding out what people think is relevant to what you do. Keep an eye on what’s getting tagged as relevant and figure out how to use it.

You can use a hashtag generator to come up with hashtags if you aren’t sure what to use. There are quite a few out there. I keep a list of my favorites for various topics so that I don’t have to keep generating them. It’s a long list so that I can use a variety.

8. Do Keyword Research

You don’t have to have a fancy tool like Market Samurai (although I love it!) to do keyword research for your blog posts. I recently learned about Answer the Public, which gives an amazing amount of information to queries. Put in the keywords and see what happens.

If you get more ideas than you can use right now, great! Make a list and you’ll have blog post inspiration for a while. Who doesn’t need extra ideas?

9. Use A Blog Title Generator

If you have a keyword for your post, but don’t quite know what to do with it, a blog title generator can be surprisingly helpful. They mostly use the same basic titles over and over, but the good ones have a long enough list that it isn’t a huge problem.

I’ll usually change the title somewhat from what the generator gives me. Every here and there, I’ll be going through the list and realize that it has given me a great angle on a topic.

10. Compile Great Information On A Topic

Your posts, someone else’s posts, whatever makes the list useful. Linking out to other sites can be good for your site, and linking to your own information can help your readers find information they didn’t know you offered. A well compiled post can itself be a great resource for your readers.

If you want to do this regularly, consider joining a roundup post group on Facebook. People post about the kind of roundup posts they want to do, and other members share their relevant links. It can save you a lot of research, and you can usually get information to use an image from their posts if you need to.

11. Ask Your Readers What They Need

The people who know best what they’d like to hear from you are your readers. Ask them in your blog, on your Facebook page, your Twitter stream or wherever else, what they wish you’d blog about. Some days it’s much easier to get ideas for a blog post from your readers than to come up with one on your own.

12. Make A How Not To Post

How to posts are common. Have a little fun and make a how not to post. I did this some time back with my how to fall for a work at home scam post some time back – most posts are about how to avoid falling for work at home scams, so I twisted that around just a little bit for the fun of it.

13. Share Your Milestones

Have you reached a great milestone in your business? It can be as simple as an anniversary or as big as reaching a certain goal.

Readers love hearing about success. This is why so many bloggers do monthly income reports. They get attention.

14. Discuss A Myth

Most industries have their myths, such as the notion that running a home business is always ridiculously easy, what with the fancy house and cars. Discuss a myth relevant to your site and explain why it just isn’t true.

I wrote my 12 Blogging Myths You Can Ignore post a while back, for example. No matter your niche, there are probably a lot of myths.

15. Check Pinterest

What relevant pins are trending in your industry? This works better for some subjects than others, but can have great potential, especially if your take on it is highly pinnable.

Don’t copy what the established posts are saying – come up with your own perspective, and give credit where credit is due. You have to stand out with new information if you want to get anywhere.

16. Share Photos And Other Images

People love to share photos. That’s why Instagram is so popular, as well as the other visual social media sites. If you have a great photo, make a blog post around it. Use it to illustrate a point.

The best photos are ones you’ve taken yourself – you don’t have to worry about having the rights to it. Next are Creative Commons Zero photos, and there are a number of sites where you can find these. Whatever you do, make sure that you have the right to use the photos, both on your site and on social media. Getting this wrong will make your life difficult eventually and may get expensive.

17. Make An Infographic

A good infographic is hard to make, but can be utterly worthwhile. Share some great information in an infographic and make sure it’s easy to share. Include code for those who want to embed it on their own site.

Coming up with a good infographic can be difficult. Design can be challenging, but tools such as Canva and Picktochart can make it a little easier.

18. Use Quora

Quora is a wonderful place to discover what people want to know and get ideas for a blog post. You don’t have to answer questions on the site itself – if someone’s asking there, odds are people are wondering the same thing elsewhere and using a search engine to find the answer.

That said, answering questions on Quora can also be a good way to generate traffic. Keep your answers relevant, and don’t just say “check out this post” – give solid information so that people want to go to your site for more information. It’s a good way to become a trusted resource.

19. Check Current News

Is there anything happening in current news that you can relate to your subject? Be sensitive to what’s going on, but relating to news stories can bring in a lot of visitors. Consider how a particular bit of news will impact your readers or your business, for example. Done right, this can bring in a lot of traffic.

This can backfire if you aren’t sensitive, of course. People will view you and your business more negatively if you seem to be taking advantage of a tragedy.

20. Use Videos

Make your own video or embed a relevant one from YouTube and discuss it in your blog post. You don’t have to have a perfect setup to record something all your own to make use of video. Just find something and include it in an article. Making your own is most effective, of course, but it’s not for everyone.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 13th, 2018

Why Your New Blog Is Struggling (And How You Can Improve It)

Why Your New Blog Is Struggling (And How You Can Improve It)

Starting a new blog is difficult. You may have some great ideas, but new blogs usually lack an audience, which gets frustrating. It’s often hard to think of what to do next. Where is everyone, anyhow? You and your new blog are struggling, and you’d like to make it better.

Blogging is never as simple as it sounds at first. Your new blog seems like something fun in the early days, but the reality is usually far more work than you expected, especially if you’d like to make a living from it someday.

You Need More And Better Content

Creating great content is a constant struggle. Not only do I look back and shudder at the quality of some of my oldest content (admittedly well over a decade old by now), but sometimes I’ll see posts that are only a couple years old, and wonder what I was thinking.

Blogging is a learning process, even if you’re a pretty good writer already. You have to experiment to find the right style and tone for your blog, along with the kind of information you want your readers to expect from you.

There can be a constant battle of quality vs. quantity. Sources will tell you that posts should be over 1,000 words and that you should post every day. That’s not possible for everyone, at least not if you want to keep the quality up. It also doesn’t work for everyone.

Sometimes giving a day or more between posts gives people more time to interact with the post, and that can be an advantage. Other people may find that shorter posts work best in their niche or writing style.

The key here is to pay attention to what works for you. It can take time for a new blog to work up enough data to prove that a particular approach to blogging works, but you won’t know what works if you haven’t tried and tested it.

You Don’t Have An Audience

Don’t we all wish it was easy to get an audience for our blogs? It would make things so much easier!

But when your blog is new and doesn’t have an audience yet, blogging can be frustrating. It can feel like a lot of effort for minimal results. No one likes that, yet you know you have to keep trying. If you don’t your blog will never take off.

There are some steps you can take to start building an audience. They aren’t a fast solution (nothing legitimate is), but these tips can help you get things moving.

Social Media

Using appropriate social media can be a huge help to your blogging efforts. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are popular choices for when you start out. Odds are good that you have some family or friends that would be willing to help share your posts on Facebook at the very least, and possibly on other social media sites.

Make it easy to share your blog posts on social media by using a plugin such as Shareaholic. I like that one because it’s free.

You should also make it easy for people to follow your social media pages by including links to your profile on your blog. These usually go in the sidebar.

That said, don’t overdo it on social media. Allowing social media to take up too much of your work day is one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make. It’s so easy to get interested in all of the things happening on social media.

Your basic posts on social media can be handled with tools such as Hootsuite. I use it to automatically share each of my new posts on various social media accounts. It also lets me see what’s happening with my accounts on the various social media sites. Hootsuite is a huge time saver.

You will still need to handle parts of your social media directly. You can’t automate it all, or at least you shouldn’t. Check up on your accounts and look for ways to interact with people during the part of your day that you let yourself use social media. Then leave it alone and work on more important things.

computer and flowers

Connect With Other Bloggers

There are a lot of Facebook groups that you can use to connect with other bloggers. These are great for promoting each other’s posts, learning from each other and getting support.

I mostly use groups which focus on promoting each other. Once in a while, I’ll post in one of the groups that’s more social, but even online I’m a huge introvert and not that good at conversation. When I see something I can respond to, I do try.

Here are some I like. Most of these are closed groups, and you have to apply to get it. It’s usually fairly easy. They mostly just need to be sure that you’re a blogger.

Bloggers2Brands
Grow Your Blog
Bloggers Sharing Links For Roundups
The Blogging Crew

Connect With Your Readers

When you do start getting comments and questions, respond to them. Don’t leave your readers hanging. They’ll leave you.

You don’t have to send them a personal email, although some bloggers do. A reply on the post them commented on is enough in most cases. Sometimes a really good question will even become a full blog post. If you make the question into a post, you may want to mention who asked by name, so that they know you’re paying attention and giving credit where credit is due. Other questions will be so common that there’s no need to say that “Sam, Joe, Anna, Christine, Yona, and someone who calls themselves ‘The Cat Who Walks Through Walls’ all asked this same question.”

You Don’t Have A Blogging Schedule

You will probably find having a blogging schedule helpful. What a blogging schedule means to you, however, may be different than what it means to others.

Many bloggers will talk about their editorial calendars, where they plan out their blog posts for months in advance, or maybe the entire year. That has never worked for me. If I plan more than a few posts ahead, I quickly get to the point where I’m throwing ideas out because they aren’t what I want to do anymore.

Instead, I keep a list of ideas. This keeps me from struggling to come up with ideas without feeling as though I have to write on one particular topic.

There are times that I have planned out posts farther in advance. If I do a series on something, that gets carefully planned so that I can keep up with the posting schedule for that series, and so that it makes sense as a series.

My schedule is basically the time I put aside for blogging, more of a daily routine than anything else. I schedule time for posting, promotion, and reading. It has to fit in around the routines of each day, such as when I drop off or pick up the kids at school, when errands need to be run, and so forth.

Your Images Are Awful

Very few blogs these days can get by without attractive images included in the posts. Images can be used to illustrate points and to break up the wall of text your post might otherwise appear to be.

Social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram rely on images. If you have few or no images to be used on those sites, you aren’t going to get much good from them. In some niches, that’s a huge disadvantage.

You can use free stock photography if you like (that’s what I use much of the time) and use an image editor to make it suit your needs.

On the other hand, you may find it better to improve your photography skills so that the images on your blog perfectly suit your needs and are unique to your blog. Once again, you can use an image editor to add text or use filters to make your photos look even better.

If you’re posting recipes, for example, you will almost always want the images to be your own. You should be taking photos as you make the recipe.

A blog like this one, on the other hand, just needs nice looking images, and stock photos work pretty well. There are times that I use my own, but most of the time it’s not necessary. All I need to do is edit the images with appropriate text or to crop out portions that I don’t need.

You Aren’t Optimizing Your Posts

Optimizing your blog posts for the search engines and social media can be overwhelming at first, and the process may not always make sense. There are some basics that you should work on for every post.

The first is to know what your keywords are. These are the main words you hope the search engines will let people find your blog posts under. They should vary by blog post. A keyword is usually more than one word. It’s really hard to rank for most single word searches.

These keywords should be used naturally throughout your blog post, in your blog title, and in the alt tag of your images as appropriate. You don’t want to overuse your keywords, but they should be present.

There are a lot of keyword research tools out there, but one simple way to come up with related keywords to your topic is to look on Pinterest. Type in your keyword in the Pinterest search bar, and see what words it comes up with that are related. This won’t tell you anything directly about how much search traffic the phrase gets, but it can help.

You should also install the Yoast SEO plugin. The basic version is free. It adds a box below where you write your post in WordPress, and you can tell it what your keyword is. Yoast SEO does some basic analysis on your post and gives tips on how to improve the SEO of the post.

Your Goals Are Unclear

What is it that you want from your blog? Is it a replacement for a job or just a hobby? Are you trying to create awareness about a cause or promote another business? If you don’t know what your goals are for your blog, it’s very difficult to push toward them.

Figure out what you want from your blog. With that in mind, you can set short and long term goals that will help you reach your larger goal. These smaller goals will make it easier to see the progress toward your primary goals.

You Ignore Analytics

If you set things up right, you can get a huge amount of information about how your blog is going with analytics.

Start out with Google Analytics. It’s free and will give you huge amounts of information about your traffic and how visitors found you. It takes some time to learn to use Google Analytics, but you won’t regret signing up for it.

Also, make sure you have a business account where possible on social media. Pinterest, for example, gives business users some very useful analytics so that you can track which of your pins are doing well.

You’re Stressing Out Over Too Much

Sometimes you have to take a step back and relax just a little. All of these details are very helpful to improve your blog, but it can also be overwhelming. That’s when you need to give yourself a bit of time to relax.

You don’t have to look at your analytics every day. You don’t even have to blog every day. Creating a lot of content is helpful, but the quality won’t be there if you’re too focused on quantity. If you need an hour or a day off to relax, take it.

Don’t stress out if you fall behind on your blogging schedule or when other minor things go wrong. Take a step back so that you can get a better look at things. Some of your best ideas may come from doing something that wasn’t planned at all.

While there’s a lot to learn when running a new blog, and it’s a struggle for most people to get things going well, you can learn to blog well. Give yourself time. Don’t try to learn it all at once. If you focus on the most important parts, such as great content, your new blog may eventually become an established blog that you’re proud of.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 6th, 2018

Powerful Ways To Improve Your Social Media Strategy

Powerful Ways To Improve Your Social Media Strategy

Having a social media strategy is a huge help in building your social media presence. The better job you do thinking out your plans, the better you’re likely to do when you take action. If your social media isn’t doing much for your blog, you need to look at ways to improve your social media strategy.

Plan Your Social Media Strategy

A really solid social media strategy requires planning. This helps you know how often to post on each social media platform.

Different social media platforms do well with different numbers of posts per day. Many people say that you should post no more than 1-2 times a day on Instagram, for example, but some accounts do very well posting quite a bit more than that. Pinterest and Twitter, on the other hand, generally need quite a few more posts per day.

Do not treat each platform as though it’s the same. Not only do the best posting times vary quite a bit, so do the best image sizes, writing style, and the best post length.

LinkedIn, for example, is a very professional site, and your posts should reflect that. Facebook, on the other hand, can have a much more personal feel to it. Instagram requires an excellent visual presentation for a post to succeed, and what you write there will only get attention if the visuals are good enough.

Make Your Content Shareable

Whatever else you do, be sure your content is easily shared. If people share your content on their social media, they’re doing some of your social media marketing for you. You want that.

There are several plugins available to make this easier, both free and paid. I use Shareaholic, which has lots of really useful free options. The paid options can be useful as well, but you don’t have to use them to have a good experience.

Shareable content is also right for the social media platform you’re sharing it on. Pinterest, for example, does better with tall images. Instagram prefers squares. Other platforms prefer images that are wider than they are tall.

This means you may need to make several versions of your images to use on social media. Use the right tools to make images for your social media, and this won’t be terribly difficult.

Build Your Social Media Reputation

Your reputation on social media means a lot to your success. People need to know what to expect from your business.

For most, this means avoiding controversial subjects, unless that’s what your blog is about. Getting controversial for most blogs is a way to alienate potential readers.

Beyond that, you also need a reputation of providing great information in your niche, even if you didn’t create it yourself. Share posts by other blogs and websites in your niche that people will find useful.

Don’t just stick to your own posts. Sure, you work hard on your blog, but other sites have great things to offer your followers as well. Take advantage of that fact. It will make you look better too.

Choose Your Social Media Platforms Wisely

You do not need a presence on every social media platform out there. Trying to use every site out there is a very poor social media strategy. It spreads your efforts out too thin.

Start out with the social media platforms your target market uses most. This may take some research. Also take into consideration which platforms you will feel the most comfortable using, especially when you’re just getting started. You may not feel ready to do live video on Facebook when you first start out, for example, but later on, you might choose to try it.

Pay Attention To Analytics

Social media analytics can be extremely helpful to your social media strategy. They’ll help you learn what’s working and what isn’t.

Each platform gives you information in its own way. In most cases, you’re best off signing up for a business account. That will give you the best analytics that platform has to offer.

You can also see where your traffic is coming from by using Google Analytics. Sign up and add it to your blog if you haven’t already. A good social following is nice, after all, but it doesn’t mean anything without traffic and income.

You can add campaign tracking to your links easily. This makes it easier to know at a glance where your traffic is coming from. The Google Analytics URL Builder makes this a painless process. If you really want to know how your traffic is converting from different sources, you need to do this.

It’s not necessary to look at your analytics daily, but you should look at them at least once or twice a month. Keep track so that you can see how interactions, number of followers, likes, shares and so forth go over a long period.

Make Sure Your Content Is Mobile Friendly

You may know by now that mobile is huge. It’s a major source of traffic for most websites.

If your blog theme isn’t responsive, it’s time to change to one that is. I know enough CSS and HTML to do it myself, but most people are better off finding a theme that does this for them.

If you want a fast solution, there are WordPress plugins that will make a mobile version of your WordPress blog. I don’t consider it an ideal solution (the results can be on the ugly side in my opinion), but it’s better than not being responsive at all.

If you want a really nice job done, pay a developer to design a responsive template for your site. The money spent will be worth it if it increases traffic to your website.

Be Responsive

Just as your blog needs to respond to the screen size it’s being viewed on, you need to respond to the people who visit your site or follow your social media.

If someone asks you a question, take some time and answer it. Some of my favorite blog posts have come from questions people have emailed me.

Making a blog post out of common questions makes being responsive to your followers easier. You can refer them to the answer you’ve already posted.

These answers can also be great social media posts. If someone is taking the time to ask you a question, odds are good that others have the same question.

You can also respond to other people’s social media posts. Ask questions. Give compliments. Add a little information of your own. Remember the social part of social media.

Try New Things

Don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again all of the time. Try new things. It’s the only way to learn what really works.

Change the style of your images occasionally to see if a new style does better. Different fonts, different font colors, and new kinds of images may result in very different responses. If it’s better than your old style, make a change. If not, go back to your old style.

Also, try posting at different times, test new hashtags, post more, post less, and so forth. There’s a lot of advice out there for the best posting times on different social media platforms, but that doesn’t mean those will be the best time for you. Test to be sure.

Use The Right Tools

You don’t want social media to take up your entire workday. For much of your social media use, scheduling tools such as Hootsuite are worth the cost. They’ll let you schedule out the basic posting side of things in large chunks, so that part of the job can be taken care of once a week or so.

Don’t schedule everything. You can’t automate direct interactions on social media. You have to see what’s going on to respond appropriately.

Hootsuite allows you to see responses to your posts on several different platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can handle much of your posting and interaction through Hootsuite, which is faster than going to the various platforms.

Remember That Social Media Shouldn’t Be Your Only Marketing Strategy

Social media is a wonderful marketing tool, and it can be an extremely effective strategy to use it. But you should do more than that. Try guest posting, blog syndication, commenting on other blogs, answering questions on HARO, and so forth.

A broad marketing strategy gives you more protection from problems than a narrow one. Make time to do different things so that you get results from many places. You’ll improve your chance of success if you do so.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated September 25th, 2017

Quick Blog Tasks For When You Know You’re Going To Be Interrupted

Quick Blog Tasks For When You Know You're Going To Be Interrupted

One of the hardest things about blogging or running any home business is finding the time to do it all. There’s always something you should be doing, whether for your business, your family, your home, or maybe even a regular job. When you need to keep up with the needs of your blog, it’s helpful to know which quick blog tasks you can do when you know you’re going to be interrupted.

Doing these quick blog tasks won’t replace the larger and more time consuming things you need to do to run a successful blog. They are, however, also important to your success as a blogger.

Most of these tasks should be easy to do in 15-30 minutes. They’re also easy to drop in the middle if you have to.

Post On Social Media

Whether you schedule your social media posts or share them as soon as you create them, it only takes a short time.

I recommend using a tool such as Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts. Using a scheduling tool allows you to plan out your social media posts at any time, and share them at better times.

I also keep a spreadsheet of social media posts of varying types. Hootsuite allows you to bulk import posts into your schedule, so having posts ready for scheduling is a huge help.

Don’t just plan to share blog posts. Share quotes and ask questions too. Post tidbits about your day. Be a person as well as a business.

Remember the social side of social media. Sometimes when you have only a little time for social media, try being social. Reply to someone else’s post. Post in a Facebook group relevant to your niche, whether you ask a question or answer someone else’s. Post links to your blog if relevant and permitted by the group.

Look For Guest Posting Opportunities

Guest posting on high quality, relevant blogs can bring your blog significant traffic. The keys here are high quality and relevant.

A relevant blog doesn’t have to be in your exact niche. You only need reasonable overlap between your audiences. If you blog about recipes on your blog, for example, you might write a post about meal planning for a parenting blog.

High quality is the other concern. If the other blog is nothing but guest posts with little apparent concern for quality, you will probably do your blog more harm than good by guest posting there. Be picky. Go for the good websites.

If you don’t have time to craft a pitch, bookmark or follow the blog so that you can come back to it later. It never hurts to spend some time reading a blog you’re hoping will accept your guest post.

Comment On Other Blogs

Commenting on other blogs is a quick way to build links to your website and to bring your blog to the attention of your fellow bloggers. You may even get the attention of their audience if your comments are sufficiently interesting.

“Great post!” is never a sufficient comment on someone else’s blog. Some bloggers won’t allow those through at all. You need to make comments that contribute to the discussion and show that you are knowledgeable about the subject, or that you can ask intriguing questions when you don’t know enough. Be a real person when you comment, not a marketing automaton.

Brainstorm

How often have you had trouble coming up with blog post ideas when you have time to write? It’s a common problem.

Brainstorming ideas when you don’t have time to develop them is a big help. I keep a file of post ideas to go through. Some I will later decide aren’t worthwhile, but that’s not something you should worry about while brainstorming. Just come up with ideas. Worry about quality when it’s time to write.

There are several ways to get ideas. You can do some reading on other sites in your niche. You can check what’s happening on social media in your niche. You can do keyword research and see if any new keywords spark an idea. You can read through your old posts and see if you can expand on an idea in one of them.

Ideas are everywhere. You just have to find them. This is one of my favorite quick blog tasks because there are so many possibilities.

Keyword Research

Keyword research can be a part of brainstorming, as I mentioned above, but is also its own activity. It’s helpful to know keywords you should consider using on your blog even when you aren’t ready to connect them to actual post ideas yet.

Outline A Blog Post

Once you have a blog post idea and keywords ready to use, you can outline the basics of a post with relative ease. Note the topics you want to cover, choose your subheadings and note any resources you want to link to.

This will make it much faster to write your posts once you have the time.

Plan A Blog Series

Some blog post ideas are better off as a series of posts, rather than a single post. Take some time to break down your series ideas into individual post ideas, then follow the outline ideas above.

This can turn from a quick blog task to a highly detailed process, but getting your ideas started shouldn’t take much time at all.

Edit Pending Blog Posts

If you have blog posts written but not posted yet, review them. Use a grammar checker to see if you’ve made any mistakes.

Once you’re certain the post is well written, double check the search engine optimization (SEO) of your post. Is your keyword in your title? Is it in your first paragraph and few times after that? Did you use your keyword in at least one subheading?

Does your blog post have appropriate images for various social media websites? Should you make extras to keep things interesting? Are your keywords in the alt text for your images?

The Yoast SEO plugin is a good choice to help with the basic SEO for your blog post. It will tell you what you’ve missed by its standards.

It’s a good idea to reread blog posts a few days after writing them. I rarely post something I’ve written immediately after finishing it. Editing is easier when it is separated from the original writing process by time.

Update Old Posts

As your posts age, many will become less accurate. Take some time here and there, pick an old post and bring it up to date.

Sometimes it will be worth changing the date and presenting it again as the most recent post on your blog. Other times it may not be. Updating a post can require significant changes if the subject has changed enough. Other times, you might only change the occasional dead link.

It’s very worthwhile to update old posts. It helps control the number of dead links on your site and keeps the information you present more accurate. You can also update the SEO of the posts if it’s not up to standards.

Don’t forget to review the monetization of the post. Are all affiliate links current? Are they still the best products for the post? Can you add links to products you’ve created? Is there anything you can add that makes sense with the content and might add to your income?

You should also look at the images you used. Are they suitable for social media? I know a lot of my old posts have images that are simply terrible for use on Pinterest. You may want to change post images completely or add some new ones to help the post perform better on social media.

Seek Out Stock Images For Blog Posts

I keep a supply of stock images ready for use in my blog posts. It’s much easier to have a ready supply than to have to search for them every time I post. I do a little filing by type of image to make it easy to find the images I want.

You can get free stock images from sites such as Pixabay. I have a longer list of free image sites available as well.

To make these into images for your blog posts, you can use Canva, Adobe Spark, or Gimp. Gimp is my personal favorite, because it’s the most flexible. It can be faster, however, to use Canva or Spark, especially if you haven’t made a lot of blog graphics on your own.

Review Your Email Marketing

How well is your email marketing working for you? Are you getting subscribers? Are they opening your emails and clicking your links? Are you delivering everything you promised? Are they buying the things you offer?

A quick check can reveal any problems your email marketing may be having, but some problems will take a little time to fix. This is a quick blog task you should do regularly so that things won’t get too out of hand.

Review Your Income Sources

Where is your income coming from? Which streams are producing well? Which ones are falling off? What can you do to bring in more income?

Some products will be worth recommending for a time, but become outdated or are no longer offered. These need to be replaced with more current offerings. Others will be worth recommending for a long time, but updates to the product may mean you should change what you say about them.

Monetization can take a lot of time and effort to do well. A review of what’s working and what isn’t can help you find the things that need a little more of your attention. It’s a quick blog task that might mean a lot to your blog’s bottom line.

Seek Out New Income Sources

Look for new products and services that would benefit your readers, and see if they have an affiliate program you can join. This may also help generate post ideas as you consider ways to promote these new sources.

When you blog at home with your kids, interruptions may be inevitable. Having a plan to work on quick blog tasks despite the interruptions can help you remain productive. Save the focused work for those times you know you can keep most or all interruptions at bay.

Can You Think Of More Quick Blog Tasks?

What quick blog tasks do you do when you don’t have a lot of time or you know you’re going to be interrupted? Are there other things you find are okay to work on when you know someone will interrupt your train of thought?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated September 11th, 2017

12 Blogging Myths You Can Ignore

12 Blogging Myths You Can Ignore
Blogging is one of the easiest home businesses to start, but that ease comes with a lot of myths. Some make blogging sound easier than it is, others make it out to be more difficult. For the most part, you’re better off ignoring the blogging myths and working on your blog in your own way.

Blogging Is Easy Money

The people to treat blogging as easy money for anyone who tries it drives me up the wall. It’s not realistic for most people, especially within the first few months. It can take months to get a small income from a blog, never mind a full time income.

Yes, some people make amazing money with their blogs, far better than they could from a typical job. They aren’t most people. Odds are that you will have to work long and hard to make a full time income from blogging.

It’s a great goal. Go for it. Just don’t assume you’ve failed if it doesn’t happen in your first few months or even you first couple years.

You Must Blog Every Day

People hear that posting more is the way to get more traffic, which means more opportunities to earn money. It sounds reasonable.

It really isn’t.

For the long term, quality matters far more than quantity. Post high quality whenever you can (although there is a place for quick posts). Give each post the time it needs to be a good post.

Being the most recent post for a couple of days can help a post get more traction on social media. It doesn’t get buried too fast for your followers to notice it. You get more time to promote it. All around, it’s often better to give it a day or two (three? four?) between blog posts.

You Must Be An Excellent Writer

Start reading blogs, and you may realize that many bloggers aren’t particularly good writers. While you should be able to avoid the worst mistakes in your writing, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Some of those imperfections give your posts their style.

This blogging myth doesn’t mean you can be a terrible writer, of course. Your readers need to understand what you write and enjoy reading it. That allows for a more relaxed writing style than you might think.

Always Stick To Your Niche

Having a niche is a big part of success for most bloggers. It helps readers know what to expect from you, which makes them more likely to subscribe or otherwise follow your blog.

There can be times when stepping out of your niche can be appropriate. Don’t overdo it, but don’t feel awful when you decide it’s appropriate.

SEO Matters Most

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important factor in getting traffic from search engines. It matters. But it’s not the most important thing to consider. The needs and interests of your readers matter most. From there, work on your SEO.

Some posts honestly won’t need much in the way of SEO because they aren’t important to your blog in the long run. When you go off topic, announce a giveaway winner or do anything else where you don’t need to worry about what kind of traffic it gets from search engines, you can skip the SEO.

Use ALL The Social Media

Used correctly, social media is amazing for blog traffic. It’s more ways to get in front of current and new readers. People always have opinions on which social media sites you need to have a presence on.

You’re best off focusing on just a couple social media sites. Which ones depend on the results you’re getting for the time you spend on that site. You can consider Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and many more, but which ones you actively use should be determined by the ones that get the best results.

Traffic Is Everything

Traffic is very important to the success of your blog, but it is not everything. If you’re serious about your blog as a business, the only traffic that matters is the traffic that converts well.

In some niches, a small amount of traffic is all you will ever get. If you can get good engagement with that traffic and convert that into income, that little bit of traffic can be enough.

There’s Too Much Competition

There’s a lot of competition online in pretty much any niche you can think of. It can be overwhelming. Don’t let that scare you off, so long as you can bring a new perspective.

Your perspective doesn’t have to be completely unique, just so long as you make your content interesting.

If You Build It, They Will Come

If you put up a blog and don’t promote it, don’t expect much in the way of traffic. You may get a visitor here and there, but without some effort put into promotion, you won’t see a lot of visitors.

Your Posts Must Be A Certain Length

There are a lot of statistics out there about which posts do best. Longer ones (over 1000 words or some such) have been found to do better on Google. Others will tell you that your posts need to be 300-700 words.

These may not be bad guidelines, but considering them to be rock solid rules is not a good plan. Sometimes what you need to say will take more words. Sometimes it will take less. If you force yourself to stick to a certain number of words, the quality of your posts will suffer.

Using A Free Host Is Fine

Many people start their blogs on a free host. It’s a way to find out if they enjoy blogging and can build a following without spending any money. There’s a certain logic to such a plan, but if you’re serious about running your blog as a business, it’s a bad idea.

The first problem is that many free hosts limit how you can monetize your blog. If you want to be a business, this is huge. Some free hosts will let you monetize in quite a few ways, so this is less of a problem in those cases.

The biggest problem comes when you decide to move to paid hosting. Odds are that you will lose a lot of traffic and followers when this happens. It messes up your indexing in the search engines, and all your old social media links now point to the wrong site. Changing things over is tedious, and a poor use of your time. Hosting is very affordable, as are domain names. Take the chance and spend a little right from the start.

I like Host Gator. I’ve used them for years with very few problems, and decent help when I have had a problem. They’re very affordable.

You Just Need One Viral Post

Most businesses look forward to having a post go viral. It can be a huge boost. If you’ve monetized your blog, it might even be a big money earner.

But a viral post is not the end all, be all of bringing traffic to your website. They’re a help, but in the long run, you need the steady traffic that comes from producing quality posts on your blog regularly more than you need the traffic from viral posts.

There are a lot of things you need to learn to be a successful blogger. Perhaps the biggest is to not fall for the blogging myths. There are so many more important things you should focus your energies on while working toward your goals.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.