The Top 5 Tips to Getting More Organic Traffic to Your Blog

traffic-jamThis is a guest post written by Rachel Thomas.

When you think about getting more traffic to your blog what is the first thing you have in mind? Is it paying for the traffic through pay per click programs? Is it the latest fad SEO technique or Google algorithm buster? Or is it through honest and stable means like organic traffic?

Organic traffic is the best kind of traffic to have for your blog because it will last. It does not vary depending on search engine changes or fad topics. Instead it stays stable through thick and thin. If you do it right it can only help your blog to get more and more traffic as time goes on.

Unlike these other methods there is no limit or get rich quick farce to organic traffic. Instead, it is based on the idea that hard work pays off and gradual progress is better than big ups and downs. Here are some ways you can get organic traffic to your blog and capitalize on the secure and stable form of readership:

 #1  Find Your Niche

The first thing that any blogger should do when they contemplate creating or changing a blog is to find their niche. A niche is the main topic that your blog will cover. It should be neither too narrow nor too broad.

You are looking to find a topic that will appeal to the most people without alienating very many. You also need to keep your topic broad enough so that you have content to fill your blog with.

For example, if you write a blog based on cats that is too broad. There are many cat sites out there and there is no way you can compete against the big names. Or if you go the other way you can write on calico cats in purple sweaters. This topic is too narrow and you will run out of things to blog about.

Try to find a happy medium. Maybe you can focus on cats in sweaters or people who dress up calico cats. This is a silly example, but it helps to illustrate my point.

It is better to be a big fish in a small pool than a little fish in a big pool. Find out what your main topic should be and then keep your blog’s content focused on that.

#2  Who is Your Audience

After you figure out what your blog’s topic will be about then you need to focus in on who your target market is. Who is your audience? What age are they? What gender? What global area? What education level? What income level? All these questions help you to determine what style of writing to use and what topics to concentrate on.

For example, if you are writing the cat blog then your target market could be either single women with cats they like to dress up, or children who like to play dress up with their cats, or even couples who find it funny to dress up their cats. Depending on who your target market is you would, of course, vary your content and blog style.

For the ones who find it funny you could use a sardonic or sarcastic writing style and connect your content to topics that interest them like social media or new technologies. For children you would keep your content simple and use lots of pictures.

For cat ladies you would connect in things like sewing, decorating, and the like. Even though your topic may be the same the way you go about sharing your content will change drastically depending on your audience.

#3  Do Your Research

The only way to find out who your target audience is and what they are looking for is to do your research. Once you have come up with a niche topic do some research and find out who you should target and what they are interested in reading about.

There are many sites that will give you this kind of information. Things like commonly searched terms and keywords are important factors in coming up with your blog’s content.

You can also look at competing blogs to see what works for them and what does not. This way you can avoid making the mistakes of your competitors and come up with a better blog for your readers.

# 4 Use Keywords Wisely

After you discover what the keywords that go along with your central topic are, then you can use them in your blog’s content. Keywords are what search engines use to funnel traffic to your site.

Using keywords well means that you get more traffic, and it is easy to include keywords naturally in your blog content. If you know what the keywords are you can simply create posts based around those words.

This not only gets you traffic but also helps you to create content that is actually useful to readers. You should also include keywords when you tag your post and in your title.

#5  Title Well

Speaking of titles, you should be very cognizant of what you title your blog posts. These titles are often the very first thing a perspective reader will see.

They should be informative of what the content is for the post, but they should also draw the reader in and make them want to click on the link. It is a good idea to use keywords in your title as these are commonly searched terms that will help your blog post to be found on search engines.

I also recommend using numbers in your title, especially if you do a list format. Numbers are very popular with readers and search engines alike. Something like “The Ten Best Cat Sweaters of 2013” will go over well with readers and search engines. Adding a date also makes your post seem current and important.

Conclusion

There are many more ways to get organic traffic to your blog, but these are the most important. You can make sure your blog’s traffic is unaffected by algorithm upgrades or passing fads by investing in the traffic that lasts: organic.

Make your blog the best it can be, provide great content and your readers will come pouring in. Remember that it takes time and effort to maintain organic content but the long term results will definitely pay off big.

Think about what is important to you and make your blog shine.

Author Bio:

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author(at) gmail(dot)com.

Image courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Health Facts About Cashews

cashew nutsI usually eat only a few select nuts and seeds and cashews never made the list, but today I include cashews in the list of nuts and seeds I eat.

I avoided cashews, mainly because I was afraid of eating too much fat, but the cashew is lower in fat than most nuts.

I added cashews to my diet after preparing the egg-less egg salad.

I did a little research on cashews and discovered that I should include them in my diet.

I am glad I tried the egg-less egg salad because it opened my eyes to the goodness of the cashew, a nut that I once avoided.

Today, I share with information about the cashew.

The Cashew

Cashew nuts are seeds that stick to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree.

The scientific name of the cashew nut is Anacardium occidentale.  Cashews belong to the same family as mango and pistachio nut.

Cashew nuts have a sweet, buttery, and creamy texture.  It is a versatile nut in the culinary world.

Brief History of the Cashew

Cashews are native to coastal Brazil.  Portuguese explorers took cashew trees from Brazil and introduced them to other tropical areas.

The leading producers of cashew nuts are Brazil, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Nigeria.

Health Facts About Cashews

The cashew:

  • helps in cancer prevention
  • is lower in fat content than most other nuts and is cholesterol free, and 65 percent of the fat is unsaturated fatty acids (heart healthy)
  • is rich in magnesium which is good for nerves
  • helps prevent gall stones
  • aids in weight loss, because it is high in energy and dietary fiber
  • helps with hair and skin health and is rich in copper
  • is a powerful diuretic
  • is a good source of potassium
  • is rich in essential minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc and selenium)
  • is high in calories (100 g = 553 calories)
  • is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals
  • is rich in pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), riboflavin, thiamin (vitamin B1).

Ways to Use the Cashew

  • Snacks
  • Milks
  • Cereals
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Salad toppings
  • Raw vegan recipes
  • Desserts

Warning
Cashews may cause allergic reactions in individuals who are allergic to tree nuts. Cashew nuts have a measurable amount of oxalates.

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Evelyn Chats with Mitch Mitchell (Video)

Happy Friday!

Mitch Mitchell, of I’m Just Sharing interviewed me on Google Hangouts. Mitch is a long-time blogging friend who blogs about social media, blogging, motivation, and general topics for which he does commentary. I have  learned and continue to learn a lot from Mitch.

I have never used Google Hangouts, but after downloading the Google Voice and Video Setup file, I was able to use it without any problems.  Google Hangouts is a cool feature on Google Plus that I will use more in the future.

This interview is not scripted and I did not know what questions Mitch would ask me.  I had fun, but I was very nervous.  My built-in webcam is awful which resulted in bad lighting and I apologize for that in advance.

I’m just being me and chatting with Mitch like I’ve known him for years.

Please take the time to watch my interview with Mitch to learn more about me and why I do what I do.

Thank you,

Evelyn

Egg-Less Egg Salad: Mindful Meals (book review & video)

eggless-egg-salad

Egg-Less Egg Salad on a Bed of Greens

Carolyn Akens, author of Mindful Meals:  Recipes for a Healthier Spirit, Soul and Body, sent me her recipe book to review.   Thank you Ms. Carolyn for sending me your recipe book.

The Mindful Meals recipe book is for those who:

  •  eat a plant-based diet
  •  need raw vegan recipes
  •  eat a clean, whole food plant-based diet
  •  anyone interested in eating healthier foods

What’s In The Mindful Meals Recipe Book

The Mindful Meals recipe book has the following:

  • Entrees
  • Soups
  • Side Dishes
  • Salads
  • Dressings
  • Desserts
  • Breads
  • Goodies
  • Smoothies

The recipes do not have any faux vegan food as ingredients.  Every recipe has healthy, whole food ingredients listed.

The Mindful Meals recipe book also has raw vegan recipes as well as cooked vegan recipes.  There are also beautiful photos of Carolyn’s creations.

Egg-Less Egg Salad

I prepared the Egg-Less Egg Salad recipe with some reservation, because I did not know what to expect.

I have had Carolyn’s food in the past and it was delicious, but it was me making the recipe and not Chef Carolyn.

I also had reservations because I tried recipes from other books and was sometimes disappointed.

I am happy to say that Carolyn’s Egg-Less Egg Salad is a hit. The first bite had my taste buds dancing for joy.

I could not believe how much it tasted like traditional egg salad.  I look forward to trying other recipes from the Mindful Meals recipe book.

How To Make Egg-Less Egg Salad

This recipe is easy and the preparation time is around 15 minutes or less.  I served the Egg-Less Egg Salad on a bed of herb salad with sliced tomato, and sprinkled with a few chopped red bell pepper.

See how I made Carolyn’s Egg-Less Egg Salad in the video below.  If you cannot view the video below, click here.

10 Best Foods for Healthy Skin

Surely you have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.”  While you won’t turn into a hot dog just because you eat them, there is some truth to this saying; what you eat affects your health and your appearance, so in essence, you are what you eat.

While it’s obvious that your diet affects your physical health and well being, many forget that skin is also greatly affected by what we put into our bodies. That said, if you want to have healthy, glowing, and radiant skin, spending tons of money on super expensive creams and washes is not always the best solution; instead, try changing your diet. The next time you go to the grocery store, pick up these 10 items; you’ll be doing more than just your body good, you’ll be doing your skin good, too.

healthskin1

Greek Yogurt:  If you want to keep your skin looking young and wrinkle-free, try eating Greek yogurt. The protein found in all yogurt is great for firming up your skin, but because Greek yogurt has almost double the amount of protein, it has even more of a positive effect on decreasing the appearance of those fine lines and wrinkles.

Salmon:  Although most know that salmon is a super brain food, you might be surprised to learn that it also has fantastic effects on the skin. Since this fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, it helps to promote the development of strong and healthy membranes in the skin cells. The result? Skin that looks younger, healthier and more radiant.

Note from the Editor:  If you eat a plant-based diet, you can get Omega-3 fatty acids from eating walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and other plant-based foods.

Blueberries and Strawberries: Fresh blueberries and strawberries are quite delightful to eat, and since they have a powerful effect on the skin, they are even more enjoyable. These berries are so skin-friendly because of their high concentration of antioxidants. Between exposure to the sun and environmental pollutants, skin cells are damaged each and every day. Antioxidants help to protect skin cells, preventing them from breaking down and keeping you looking younger longer.

Chocolate:  For those with a sweet tooth, this will be welcome news. While you may have grown up hearing that eating too much chocolate can cause you to break out, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the components found in chocolate help to hydrate the skin, which makes it stronger and firmer. Eat some dark chocolate and you’ll add the benefit of antioxidants, as well. So, the next time you have a chocolate craving, indulge and know that you are actually doing a great thing for your skin.

healthskin2

Pomegranates:  People have been buzzing about the amazing health benefits of pomegranates for some time. This super fruit is not only awesome for your physical health, it also improves your skin. Loaded with polyphenol antioxidants, pomegranates help maintain proper blood flow to the skin and protect the skin cells from damage.

Peppers:  Add some peppers to your diet. These veggies, especially the yellow and orange variety, are also high in antioxidants, which are proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. So, spice up your favorite dishes with some raw or sautéed peppers.

Kidney Beans:  Tired of breaking out with blemishes? If so, instead of reaching for those harsh pimple creams that can dry your skin out, try eating some kidney beans. These legumes are bursting with zinc, which has been found to reduce blemishes.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Although not a food, per say, it is something that can be consumed and does wonders for the skin. Drink a spoonful of raw apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of cold water each day and you will have less blemishes and a healthier glow.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is packed with nutrients that heal the skin. Add some strawberries and blueberries and you’ve got the perfect meal for your skin.

Almonds:  Last but not least, don’t forget about almonds. These seeds (yep, they’re seeds) are loaded with vitamin E, which helps to combat the damaging effects of the sun and strengthens the skin cells.

In addition to adding these fabulous skin-friendly foods to your diet, arrange to have a spa treatment at least once a year. Such a treatment will deeply exfoliate, cleanse, and hydrate your skin, making it look its absolute best.

 

About the Author:  Tara Heath is a freelance writer in Southern California. She specializes in beauty and health topics, and is always on the lookout for foods to improve the look of her skin.