5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic

I wrote this how-to article initially as a guest post for my girl, Nigeria Lockley.  But, I recently stumbled across it in my computer files, while putting together my  writing portfolio for my new freelancing business. If you haven’t checked out my freelancing services, what in the world are you waiting for? In the meantime, my advice on increasing your blog traffic is still relevant two years later. Enjoy!


Blogging is not for the faint of heart, but it doesn’t have to be super difficult either. At its root, blogging is intended for two things: sharing a person’s personal thoughts on a variety of subjects and connecting with others. That’s it in a nut shell. But we all know that many folks use their blogs as a way to sell products, make a living by working with sponsors and/or building a platform for future endeavors. So whether your goal is to make connections, money or both, you need a steady flow of traffic from online visitors. Here are a few ways to help make that happen.

BE CONSISTENT–Nothing alienates a following more than posting inconsistently. Whether you post daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly do it regularly. The best practice is to clearly state your posting habits on your blog near your subscribe button. But keep in mind that you should under promise and over deliver.

PRODUCE GREAT CONTENT–They say knowledge is power, and blogging about subjects you’re an expert in is a great way to build, and keep, a solid audience. Invest time in researching and sharing relevant content on a regular basis. You should also focus on being entertaining. Plenty of blogs generate a lot of traffic simply because the blogger shares their personal life on a regular basis. If you have an engaging personality and you’re able to translate that with pictures and writing, you have all you need to keep people coming back for more!

TAG YOUR POSTS CORRECTLY–Neglecting to take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO) is something many bloggers overlook. Tagging your posts with key words consistently is a great way to put you at the top of Google and other search engines. For example, if you blog about easy quick food recipes, it’s probably a good idea to tag all your posts with the words ‘food’ and ‘recipes’. Then add specifics like ‘easy’, ‘enchiladas’, ‘30 minute meals’, etc. Do this often enough and your blog will be one of the first to populate in specific searches. When I first started blogging I Googled my name and I wasn’t even on the top few pages of the results. Then I started tagging every single post with ‘Faith Simone’. Now, my blog posts span the first couple of pages for that search. It works, try it!

COMMENTS–One sure way to increase traffic and comments is to comment on other blogs. Especially blogs that cover similar information to yours. Bloggers love comments like a mother loves her kids. I’m serious. Bloggers spend time and effort producing content for their blogs and usually don’t get a whole lot of feedback for it. A thoughtful comment makes a blogger’s heart sing. It means that not only is someone actually reading their content, but they took time to respond intelligently to it. Do this often enough and you’re on your way to building a sincere relationship with the blogger whose posts you comment on and with their loyal followers. Keep in mind that comments like ‘Great post!’ won’t fly. Be sincere and only comment when you have something meaningful to contribute.

SHARING– I was late to the party on this one, but I’m so glad that I recently came to understand the gift of sharing content. Taking just a minute to share a great post by a fellow blogger on Twitter or Facebook is an awesome way to build a relationship with fellow bloggers. Plus, it gives your social media followers access to more great content. It’s also reciprocal. Once you share a blogger’s content they’re more likely to share yours. You’re both helping each other reach new audiences. Sharing is indeed caring.

So that’s it folks: consistence, good content, effective tagging, sincere comments and social media sharing. Put those elements into practice and watch your visitor stats grow!


Are you a blogger/influencer? How do you drive traffic to your blogs and social media posts?

 

We Gave Our Baby Sister Away This Weekend! #BeachWedding

 

What’s up, Fam! I had to come through and share some wonderful family news. My sister was a radiant bride this past weekend and her beach wedding in Spring Lake, MI was beautiful. It was a pleasure to serve as her maid-of-honor and stand up with her as she married the love of her life. I’m so happy to welcome my new brother-in-law to the family! I pray that they’ll continue to be very happy together and that God blesses their union. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let them do the talking!

Until Next Time,

Faith

P.S. If you want to see video of my wedding weekend at the beach, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel! I’ll be posting there over the next couple of weeks. 🙂 Also, follow me on Instagram to have real time access to my daily shenanigans. Xoxo!

An Open Letter to the Brokenhearted on Mother’s Day

My Dear Sweet Friend,

What I have to say isn’t for those on a sentimental high of celebratory accolades and recognition. This isn’t your typical Mother’s Day blog post full of ironic humor and adorable pictures of frazzled moms and food smeared chubby toddlers. I’m pretty sure you won’t have a hard time finding something like that elsewhere, if that’s what you’re looking for. But, you won’t find it here.

This is an open letter to the brokenhearted. An acknowledgment of those who may feel as though they reside on the outskirts of society on days like today. Who think that they are alone in their pain. This is for those whose mothers have passed, and the only way they can give them flowers today is to lay them on their graves. This is for the women who have made their homes in the valley of barrenness. This is for those who look into the beautiful faces of their children and still see the ghosts of what could have been, what they feel should have been. This is for those whose arms ache with the emptiness of loss and hope. This is for those who have piles of home pregnancy tests stashed all over their homes, waiting for that confirmation of life. This is for those who are haunted by the guilt of choices that can’t be undone and wonder, what if? This is for those who gave their children away long ago and wonder what became of them. This is for the children of mothers who gave less than they needed and are still left with the void. This is even for those who shrug and think, it’s just another day when, in the space of truth that lies beneath, they know that it’s not. This is for the woman who puts on a brave face and smiles until her cheeks hurt, only to steal moments alone with her head tilted back, fingers gently patting away tears before her concealer breaks and her mascara runs.

I’ve carried a burden for you. Yes, you. I thought of you and your pain and laid it along side my own burden of brokenness, before hoisting it onto my back and wearing it for the last week. I counted down the days till Sunday, sadness tinging each moment, sighs escaping my mouth at will and without conscious provocation.  As I sit here snuggled up on my couch in a velvety soft blanket, my stomach is in knots at the thought of going against the grain and speaking to a population that many people would rather pretend don’t exist. I guess I’m unique in that I belong to both groups. There have been times when I would rather not deal with the messiness of sadness and loss. When I found it easier to pretend. But that’s exhausting and tiresome and debilitating and any other number of words you can think of to explain that it’s no longer worth my time.

I am the mother of a stillborn. An oxymoron of an existence. Do I count as a mother? Do I ignore the pain that fills me like air on days like this? Do I pretend that I don’t feel the undercurrent of pain that my eyes were opened to the moment tragedy struck?

I won’t do that. I won’t pretend that I don’t see you. I see you, I feel you and I care for you. For lack of a better way to put it; it sucks to be us right now. The truth is that if we’d had a choice, none of us would have joined this club.

But we’re here now and I found myself asking God, “What do I say to them, Lord?” I didn’t feel that I had anything to offer until I remembered that we don’t have to keep carrying our burdens . It’s a choice we make. I’m not going to give you a Christian cliche and advise you to lay your burdens down. I prefer to think of it as simply letting go. That’s what I did.

I gave birth to my deceased daughter, and had her cremated. Then, I had no choice but to learn how to live in The After. Some things forever change you, without fanfare, quietly and totally. This was one of those things. I railed against God. I was consumed with a simmering rage that only seemed to grow as, even in my grief stricken state, I realized that I needed Him. And the whole time, He was right there. Through my rage, my numbness and my years of insidious resentment. He was right there.

Because you see, the Lord is near to the brokenhearted* and binds up all their wounds**.
I know this, not because I read it, but because I lived it. He was faithful to walk with me through sorrow, and I came to know Him in the fellowship oLetting Gof His suffering. My point is that I never had to lay my burden down. I eventually let it go because it’s hard to hang on to your stuff when you’re constantly in the presence of the Almighty. It really is darn near impossible. Trust me, I tried.

He bound up my wounds, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still hurt. Pain is a part of the healing process. I had surgery months ago, and I still hurt at the site of the wound when it’s going to rain. I’m still healing, and those twinges are part of that healing. I might feel those twinges for the rest of my life, but that’s OK. The pain that led me to the surgical table was far more excruciating than the twinges I feel now. The same is true for the emotional and spiritual trauma we can’t see. Over time, you will still feel sadness. You will still shed tears.

But, you won’t be broken forever.

When the pain is overwhelming, when you can’t see past it and wonder how you’ll go on, just remind yourself that it won’t be like this forever. Shed your tears, remember the good, take a few deep breaths and know that you can go on.

He said, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21

XoXo,

Faith

*Psalm 34:18, **Psalm 147:3

This Weekend…

What’s up, beautiful people?! It’s been more than a minute since I actually wrote something, rather than posting random videos. I’ve missed y’all!

I’ve been on kind of a total self-care journey. It’s been challenging, to say the least. I’m the sort of person who likes to believe that I’m superhuman. You know, that basic things like proper nutrition, rest and taking time for myself, are optional. It took a series of health issues to make me come to the realization that I’m far from a super hero. I’ve retired my cape and put on my glasses. Which is why I can finally clearly see that I’ve got to take care of me, because no one else is in line for the job. And that’s ok. In fact, it’s more than just ok. It’s a privilege I’ve been given by virtue of simply being alive and grown!

With that privilege comes choices. The choice to do things that feed my mind, body, spirit and soul.  I invite you all to do the same and to that effect, here’s a list of things you can do this weekend to remind yourself that YOU MATTER. I hope you find something that resonates with you and decide to gift yourself with it. You deserve it!


Do you, Boo:

  • Pick flowers in your backyard and display them around your home.
  • Buy a bouquet of flowers and put them on your nightstand. They’ll be the first thing you see when you wake up!
  • Binge watch your favorite T.V. series or find a new one to fall in love with.
  • Go for a walk that’s purely for pleasure.
  • Paint your toenails an obnoxious color.
  • Create a spa in your bathroom. Spend the evening soaking in a tub and reading a book by candlelight.
  • Sleep in without guilt.
  • Send your kids to a family member or friends’s house and do whatever you want this weekend.
  • Go to a matinee with a friend or by yourself!
  • Light a scented candle a do a breathing mediation.
  • Go get a pedicure or massage.
  • Experiment with a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try.
  • Invite friends of family over for game night.
  • Eat something decadent without feeling guilty.
  • Make it a Staycation weekend and explore your city/town.
  • Go for a scenic drive/bus ride and allow your mind to wander.
  • Go for a nature walk at your nearest national park.
  • Sit outside and look at the Sunset or count stars.
  • Read your daily devotional outdoors and take time afterwards to reflect on it while sitting in the sun.
  • Make a picnic and take it to the park.
  • Participate in a group sport or exercise class.
  • Find a yoga practice online and try it out.
  • Go to bed early.
  • Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and talk for hours.
  • Get your hair done.
  • Try a new hobby you’ve been putting off.
  • Go to a fancy restaurant and only order dessert.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Spend some time talking to a five year old. They know everything.
  • Write a letter to your younger self. Then write one to your future self. Pick any ages.
  • Write a letter to a loved one who has passed on.
  • Allow yourself to have a good hard cry if you feel like it.
  • Allow yourself to laugh ’til it hurts if you feel like it.
  • Allow yourself time to dream.
  • Allow yourself time to plan for those dreams and convert them to goals.
  • Play in your own make-up.
  • Snuggle up with someone you love and watch a tearjerker or rom-com.
  • Read a book cover to cover in one sitting ( and don’t dare think about the laundry, dishes, etc)
  • Organize something, if that floats your boat.
  • Tell someone you love them.
  • Make a list of your best qualities and refer to it every time you feel like you’re not good enough.
  • Write an affirmation to yourself in lipstick on your bathroom mirror. ( Don’t worry, it wipes right off!)
  • Dance like everyone’s watching and you got all the moves, even if you don’t.
  • Sing at the top of your lungs.
  • Lay on your couch and just listen to music.
  • Put your phone on silent and take a much needed break.

This list could go on and on, but you guys get the picture. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or even any money, to take time for yourself. Remember, if your tank is empty you don’t have anything to give. Now, I’m off to binge watch Parenthood. I’m on a mission to find out if there’s a single episode where nobody cries. I’m halfway through season 2 and it hasn’t happened yet. See y’all next time!

What’s your favorite self-care act? Tell us about it in the comments below!

 

Ummm, So I’m Kinda Really Feeling This YouTube Thang…

What’s up, y’all? Your girl has been slacking. I haven’t been sharing my thoughts and encouragement here lately, but it’s not for lack of the desire to do so. I’ve just been dealing with a lot of things related to my health, and one of the side effects of that is brain fog. Like, serious “what’s my mama’s name, again?” brain fog. I send text messages that need Google Translations to decipher. Writing this post alone is taking me longer than I care to admit.

Me being me, I decided to make an effort to connect with you all, no matter what. If I can’t write like I want to (at least for right now), I can still flap my gums! So, that’s what my YouTube channel is all about. In some ways, connecting with you on that platform provides a unique opportunity for me to share my life with you in a far more intimate manner than this blog. I think that’s a good thing, and I hope you guys do, too.

But, don’t worry. This blog is my baby and I’ll definitely get back to going hard on it again once I get my health in order. If you’re curious as to what kind of health issues I’m dealing with, check out my videos. I’m not shy about operating in full disclosure (as you might have noticed by now, lol) but I go a little deeper on my YT channel.

My goals there will be the same as my goals are here: to transparently share my life and thoughts for the purpose of encouragement. I promise to keep it all the way real (like FO’REAL) because I’m learning that perfection has no place in my life. Plus, if I can continue to put one foot in front of the other, despite the hardships of life, someone watching will see that they can, too.

You all are my people. My tribe. My fam. It is my hope that the community I eventually discover on YouTube is as awesome and inspiring as the community that I’ve found here. I have a feeling that adding that platform to my repertoire is going to result in a wild ride. A beautiful mess that I can’t wait to share with you! The blessing that is our future is waiting.

Let’s get it.

XoXo,

Faith

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1: 1-4

Oh and before I go, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel, so you won’t miss a thing. I’ll continue doing my Conversations with Faith, but I’m adding weekly vlogs as well. Plus, soon there’ll be a series called Confessions of Faith, where I talk about the MANY mistakes I’ve made in the past and explain how God’s grace brought me through. Don’t be a stranger, come holla at me over there. 🙂

Conversation with Faith: No Weapon Formed Shall Prosper

What’s up, Fam? I hope all of you are living the dream and walking out your purpose! I know I’ve been missing in action lately, but I’ve got a lot going on physically. For now, it’s easier for me to make videos than write. So I’m vlogging!

In this video, I’m just venting on some things. I hope that something I say encourages you and if nothing else, makes you smile! By the way, I open up with song, LOL. You don’t want to miss this!

 

 

Hugs and kisses to you all! What do you do when life starts going bananas? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Conversations with Faith: The Deep End of the Ocean

Gon’ ‘head, click on the video, and tip toe up in my business.

We overcome by the words of our testimony, y’all. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to share my experience with you guys. The other is that I want anyone who is going through a trying time right now, to know that they are NOT alone. I got you. And more importantly, God’s got you.

Much love,

Faith

P.S. Subscribe to your girl’s YouTube Channel. I’m all lonely and stuff over there with my lil’ 4 subscribers.

Is the struggle I talked about familiar to you? Have you ever been in a situation like that? Keep it all the way real with me and tell me about how you overcame in the comments below.