10 Basic Blogging Tips


First Impression is the Last Impression

If your blog doesn’t have decent layout and your readers are finding it hard to read your actual content, you need to fix it . It’s your blog design which is first viewed by your blog readers and if they don’t like it, they will simply close it and move on.

2. Content Quality

You content’s quality matters a great deal. If it’s really good, it will motivate your blog readers to visit your blog again and again to read your latest blogging tips and keep up with your posts. Relevant and interesting images and videos makes your posts more interesting.

No one wants to read a long wordy blog post without a single image. Also, proofread for grammatical and sentence related errors and create an eye catching title for all your blog posts.


FYI – Blog posts with eye catching headlines get better CTR (Click through Rate) in search engine results and other places of listings.

3. Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

This is one that I personally need to do as I accept many guest posts, however, have never written one for any other blogger.

Write guest posts for other blogs in your targeted niche is one of the best things you could do to become a successful blogger. Make a list of most popular blogs in your niche and approach them with high quality guest posts.


4. Reply to Comments

You should reply to comments coming on your blog posts. If you are not replying comments, don’t expect lots of comments on your blog posts from genuine blog readers. Check your guest posts on regular basis and reply to incoming comments. Before commenting you should set an avatar with your picture on Gravatar.com.


5. Learn the Basics of SEO

You should start learning the basics of SEO. It will be your SEO skills that will take you from being an average blogger to a successful blogger. Use targeted keywords in your blog post URL, Title, meta tags, as an alternative text with images, heading tags and few times in your actual blog content. You should interlink your blog posts where they make sense.

Link to trusted websites to give additional information about a topic to your blog readers.

6. Link Building Activities

Guest blogging on other blogs will help you get some high quality backlinks for your blog from popular blogs in your niche. You cannot get much traffic to your blog without link building activities if you are blogging about a competitive niche.

7. Have a Strong Presence on Social Media Networks

You need to make sure your blog has a strong presence on Social Media networks like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.  However, you don’t need to be on all platforms, choose 2 and master them!

8. Improve Speed of Your Blog

You need to look at all possible ways to improve the speed of your blog. If you are adding images, you should optimize their sizes before uploading on your blog. You should enter cleaned HTML into your blog posts.


9. Improve Engagement on Your Blog

You should write engaging content on your blog. You should give a personal touch to your blog posts. You should ask questions; take advice and feedback from your blog readers. CommentLuv plugin to encourage visitors to leave comments and interact with one another.


10. Monetize Your Blog

If one of your primary goals behind blogging is earning cash, you should start monetizing your blog once you start seeing some traffic on it. No doubt there are hundreds or even thousands of websites claiming to help you make money from your blog, but don’t believe all of them, ask other bloggers who are more than willing to share their success stories.

Do you have any other tips to share?

Women Who Write Books & Blogs an Interview with Beverly Powers


Most of you know that I started blogging as a way to fill a void after the death of my grandmother, who had raised my sister, Gloria and myself in the projects of New Rochelle, NY with limited funds because she was a maid.  



However, we never felt poor, quite the opposite, as my grandmother gave us everything that we ever needed and a few things that we wanted but never to spoil us.  She did this at the age of 55, after raising 6 kids to adulthood, and we three had a great relationship.  

After I graduated from Delaware State College I taught school, 1st and 3rd grades, but never made enough money to support an apartment, a car note and food!  Anywho, I was frugal, which I had learned from my grandmother so we always shopped discount or thrifted, as a matter of fact, my sister was employed by Goodwill at the time of her death which was untimely as she was only 29 years old. 


In Memory of Gloria Cross


Gloria’s birthday was April 10th and had she lived, she would have been 55 and not a day goes by that I don’t think of and miss her terribly, please read my dedication to her on a previous blog post.


In Memory of Gloria Cross - 4/10/63 to 9/14/92


Well after my grandmother passed at the age of 98 in 2009, I was still very thrifty with my shopping and social media was in its infancy of how we shared our daily lives, at first it was on Facebook, then YouTube and then finally blogging.  I loved to write and had been doing so since childhood so it was very natural for me.


Long story short, my blog was discovered by Ronni Cohen, Executive Director at the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute and then I started teaching blogging for them at local libraries.  Now here we are 6 years later and I am still teaching, however, no longer for free, but at DelTech Community Colleges and I also offer one-on-one training sessions as part of my business ABlake Enterprises.  




Eventually, I want to write a book, but haven’t gotten there yet, however, I have many friends who have including Podcast guest, Beverly Powers.  Click the pic below to listen to my interview with Beverly on how she got started writing, first Children’s books and then novels.  Beverly also started a blog and explained how she gets the inspiration from God to write her posts.




Let’s Chat > Are you interested in turning your blog into a book or just writing a book?

3 E’s – When Working From Home


Okay, so it has officially been 1 week since I started working from home as the owner of ABlake Enterprises, Social Media Management and Consulting.  

Needless to say, there have been several lessons that I’ve learned in such a short period of time and today I am going to start with the 3 E’s – When Working From Home or in other words “Working From Home Tips from Toni, owner of ABlake Enterprises”.







However, before I get started, let me tell you that this is not the first time that I actually worked from home. Back in 2004, when I was a Procurement Specialist for IBM I worked from home for about a year, and trust me, after that year ended I realized just how hard I had worked.  




Successfully starting your own business entails hard work and long hours which I am willing to do because it’s a direct reward to me and my family and not for someone else, however, I will not make the same mistakes twice.


3 E’s – When Working From Home


Rising at 6:30 am was something that I never did when I worked outside the home so this means that I have also changed my morning routine. After dressing and putting on makeup, yes, no bare face for me, at least not yet, instead of grabbing a mug of coffee and a breakfast bar running to the car for a 50-mile commute, I can now enjoy a sit-down meal. 


After dressing, reading scriptures and praying, I jump start my digestive system with a small glass of lemon water, take my vitamins and then brew a cup of coffee.


A few hours later, hubby and I prepare and enjoy a meal together, he has been retired for a few years so he rises when he wants, none of that waking up at 6:30 jazz, especially after getting up every morning at 5:00 am to pray.




I do have to remind myself to stop mid day for a snack or shake and then shut down at 5:00 p.m. and “leave the office” before dinner, which is now eaten before 8:00 PM!



Unlike being in an office where you can stop at someone’s cubicle to chat, working alone in a home office can be very isolating so it’s important to get up and walk away.  If you remember my Podcast with Dr. Dave, then you know that sitting can be the new smoking and the last thing I need is a bigger blogger’s butt!


I try to get up and walk outside or around the house a few times during the day, stopping sometimes to watch an episode of a “judge show” which I found to be one of hubby’s guilty pleasures.






No, I am not talking about taking in a mid-day movie or sitting on the sofa all afternoon watching television. I have found listening to smooth jazz helps me to concentrate as I work on client’s content and Alexa has my playlist down pat.  


I also take time to listen to informative Podcasts and videos, however, I never start my day without first listening to Les Brown or Tony Robbins on YouTube which is something that I did during my morning commute before I started working from home.


There are many other perks for working from home and I will continue to blog about them as time goes on, however, if you want to read more about how other entrepreneurs have started a successful business, check out Krystal Perkins as she has assisted many with successfully starting a business.




Krystal Perkins is a marketing and Information Technology professional who is based in Sydney, Australia. She has over 15 years experience in digital marketing, strategic marketing, digital inclusion, technology, telecommunications, and IT and related services.    Krystal mentors and coaches local marketing teams to grow their brand and deliver strategic B2B Marketing.

With the assistance of Krystal, numerous entrepreneurs have started a successful business in Australia. She advises most of these business owners that they do not require a lot of capital, however, proper insurance is required, and small marketing purchases including a website, business cards and a design for a logo are necessary.   

To learn more about Krystal Perkins, please head over to her website.

Let’s Chat > Do you have any tips as I continue my journey and work from home?

Are You An Influencer & FREE Passes to “Put Your Dreams To The Test” Mastermind Class

My fellow bloggers know what I am talking about when I use the term influencers or influential marketing, however, it’s not just bloggers that are influencers, we are all influencers, and it’s not just mothers, fathers and teachers, it is your neighbors, co-workers, church and organization members, even our kids.  Therefore, as an influencer we need to be cognizant of how we represent ourselves as there is always somebody watching.

“Everyone is a leader because everyone influences someone.”


Whether or not you know it, you are influencing people everyday not only with your words but also with your actions.  When you walk into a room, before even opening your mouth, what are you saying with your eyes, what is your body language and then how are you conversing?




When you are out in public shopping how are you treating the sales clerks or business owners?  Do you read their name badges and greet them by their name? Now If you know me, then you know that I am a very positive person who tries to leave an impression that won’t soon be forgotten.


For example, last week, I was at the King Of Prussia mall with a co-worker and we stopped for lunch at Subway.  There were two women working the shop, one was assigned to making sandwiches and the other was working the register, so when sandwich maker asked me what I wanted and how I wanted it prepared, I immediately lit up, smiled and said, “make it the way you would want it if you were serving it from your own kitchen” and she too smiled, I continued with, “because you know, if you were to come to my house, I would hook you up!”  


Needless to say, she hooked up that sandwich, but more importantly, the cashier said, “I wish we had more customers like you – you are upbeat and positive and for that we are grateful.”  So in my own way, I not only influenced the sub maker to hook up my sandwich, but I also influenced the cashier to take on a positive attitude which she may pass along to the next customer.  So think about it, how are your words or body language influencing others on a daily basis in every situation?




Who remembers growing up and having your mom or dad saying, “Birds of a feather flocks together” or growing up idolizing an athletic and trying to be like them – remember “Be Like Mike”  Well you don’t have to be a parent an athletic or even a person in position to be an influencer.


According to an article on Linkedin, Sociologists stated that even the most introverted individual will influence ten thousand other people during his or her lifetime!. That means that all of us are leading in some areas, while in other areas we are being led. No one is excluded from being a leader or a follower. Realizing your potential as a leader is your responsibility. In any given group, there is a prominent influencer.

The prominent leader of any group is quite easily discovered.

In your next social gathering, just observe the people as they gather and if there is an issue is to be decided, who is the person whose opinion seems most valuable?

  • Who is the one others watch the most when the issue is being discussed?
  • Who is the one with whom people quickly agree?
  • Most importantly, who is the one the others follow?   

Is it you or is it someone else and what are some of their traits?


“Leadership is influence. Everyone influences someone. How are you leading?”

W. Russell


On this Podcast, Fred Fitszgiles, a Media Professional-Speaker, Coach, Leadership Trainer of The Leadership Movement Mastermind Group and I spoke about how we influence people every day and how people influences us as well – especially Joe Biden and people at Wawa.

Check out the interview because it was fun and at the end, he offered my listeners 3 FREE passes to his next 5 Week Mastermind Series


Let’s Chat > How are you influencing others? 


Click this link to reserve a seat in this FREE Virtual Mastermind 5-Week Series hosted by Fred.

Basic Blog Designs


Basic Blog Designs


Regardless of whether you have chosen to have your blog hosted or are self-hosting; are using a free or premium template, there are several elements to all blog layouts.


Home or Landing Page:

This is the page everyone sees when they first come to your blog or website. Keep it clean and uncluttered so that your targeted audience can navigate quickly without being overwhelmed with a lot of links or options.

Profile or About You Page:

This page should include a clear or professional head shot, also a statement or the purpose of your blog. You can actually create two “About” pages, one can be about you the author, and the other can be about the blog.



All blogs have posts, these are the the entries you write and publish, with the most recent post being displayed first. At the bottom there are clickable links for “older posts” or “previous posts” so that readers can navigate through your blog.


Comments are what makes your blog interactive, they are what helps you understand your audience’s reaction to what you have written. It shows that you value your readers and their opinion. You can turn off the ability for people to leave comments, however, if you do, you may turn off readers.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t initially get a lot of comments, stay committed and over time you will.





Categories or labels are great ways in which to identify your posts and it also helps readers find others in the same category, i.e. family, recipes, health and wellness.



Most blogs have more than one column, and the most included information on a blog’s sidebars are your picture, contact info, social media icons, subscription info, categories or labels, links to your archives, links to recent comment or popular posts as well as ads.

Try not to clutter up your sidebar, less is more, unless you have started monetizing your blog.



This helps readers find older posts and are divided by year or month.  Archives are useful for search engine optimization (SEO) because every post you ever wrote will be available for years.





Your blog’s header is similar to a newspaper’s masthead. It covers the top of your blog and usually includes your blog’s name, slogan and logo or an image. You can create your own header or hire a designer but it’s what distinguishes your blog from the millions of others.  

Your blog’s header appears on every page so it becomes very recognizable and just a unique as you are.



The footer spans along the bottom of your blog and may contain the following information: Copywrite or Disclosure Statements; Terms and Conditions or Privacy Statements; your email address; contact information; links to other resources; feeds from other blogs you may be following.  

Not everyone will scroll down to the bottom of your blog so keep critical info in the sidebar or in the header especially your “follow me” social media icons.  

Check my Youtube channel for more information on this topic or check out my website to sign up for a FREE 30-minute blogging consultation. 


Let’s Chat: What are your “must haves” when designing your blog?



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