All the Articles I’ve Ever Written About Blogging

How to Blog Index: Every article I've ever written about blogging

What? You don’t have huge ink blotches on your desk? No toddler scribbles? I can’t even imagine a world without toddler scribbles….

Lately I’ve had a few different friends email me with questions about starting their own blog, setting up a blog Facebook page, and making all sorts of blogging decisions. I am certainly no blogging expert, but with 3 years of public blogging now under my belt, there are a few good tips that I’ve picked up on.

So whether you are a brand new blogger or an experienced one looking for new ideas, here is a list of all the articles that I can find that I have written on the topic of blogging, websites, and social media.

Now, in case you have already read all my stuff, see this first one, just published March 2017, so chances are you haven’t read it yet:

This one was my biggest lesson of 2017. In January and February alone, my blog saw more traffic from Pinterest than I got in ALL of 2016 total. Lesson learned: never ignore Pinterest.


no matter what your blog niche is, Pinterest CAN bring you traffic!

Never ignore Pinterest.


If you’re looking for all the basics in one place, this is my most comprehensive how to article.

10 Blogging Tips for Beginners


Need to grow your social media following, but don’t know how to go about it? I found Crowdfire app extremely beneficial, especially for Twitter. Read more on that here.

How I used Crowdfire to gain over 50 new, legit followers/month


Understanding hashtags and how to use them to grow your blog traffic is also beneficial. I explain that here.

How to Use Hashtags to Grow Your Business


Hmmmm…All of those were articles that I wrote for Monterey Premier. Perhaps I should occasionally write some blogging or social media how-to articles right here on Stories of Our Boys. The reason that I haven’t is that it I make more money if I write them for Monterey Premier, and you know money does come in handy…

So I’ll leave you with one last blogging tip. Money. Don’t do it because you love money. Do it because you love writing about your passion or creating images and community online. Then gradually the more time you give it, the more paid opportunities will come your way. The very easiest way to start making money is affiliate marketing.

Next time you want to write about a product or service that you love, go to their website, scroll all the way to the bottom, and look for the word “affiliate.” Then click on it, and sign up to be their affiliate. Insert the link they assign you into your article, and if people buy it, you get a commission fee, usually a small one, but if you do that for each product or service you promote, it will add up. It’s a great way to start.

Psst…Even Etsy and Amazon have affiliate programs! (My serious thanks to whoever bought the Fitbit I recommended. I was about ready to give up on Amazon links.)

Shoot me any blogging questions you have. I will do my best to answer. If I have lots to say on the topic, I might even write my next article in answer to your question. Don’t worry. I won’t use your name in the article….unless you want me to…

You’ve read all my articles and you want MORE info? Here are 3 more articles that I have found helpful, written by other bloggers, more fabulous than me:

Making Photos Pop with Picmonkey— Learn how to use Picmonkey to make awesome photos for your blog from the pros at Just a Touch of Crazy.

5 Blogging Tools You Need Now— by my friend Jen over at

and How to Make Money Blogging–by Crystal Paine


Happy blogging, y’all!!



Week 3 of The Hot Mess Blog Hop


I sort of felt like my whole life embodied “hot mess” this week.

Several things happened. I allowed so many activities to enter my life that I neglected one of THE most important, like helping my dyslexic-ish son with his spelling words. I put my foot in my mouth without even realizing it (but then, isn’t that always how it goes???). Oh, and my chin broke out like a teenager’s.

But hey! I’m hoping that acne on my chin is actually making me look 10 years younger. See, I’m being positive.

What a week. I got addicted to this song today because THIS is how I feel after 15 years of being an Army wife…


because let’s face it……life is messy. Or maybe yours isn’t. That sounds really nice.

BUT if you are anything like us, messes DO happen, and by golly, we want to hear about it!

Now on to last week’s featured post!

The most popular post was Inauguration Day Feelings and Thoughts, but that was on this website, so I chose the most heart-felt Hot Mess story instead.

If any of you have ever walked a child through a heart-wrenching struggle, this is one you can relate to:

I’m pretty sure I cried, and I have been there. Oh, boy, have I been there.

So what are you waiting for? Link up your messies!

There are no rules. Only I’d appreciate it if you’d follow me on Facebook or Pinterest, and remember it’s a family show.

Be sure to mingle and read some new blogs! Thanks for joining us!

P.S. I’m looking for a guest co-host for next week, so let me know if you are interested!! Thank you!



How I Used Crowdfire to Gain 50 New, Legit Followers/Month

Oh, I remember the simpler times back when social media was just a way to catch up with old friends. I poured over old photos and baby stories and shook my head at the crazies.

Then I became a blogger, and I realized that social media is actually a prime place to reach people.

If you are interested in reaching more people via social media for your blog or business, be sure to check out this article that I wrote for Monterey Premier: How I Used Crowdfire to Gain 50 New, Legit Followers/Month


Here’s a snippet:

How does it grow your following exactly???
It logs into your social media account of choice. Then it gives you “Prescriptions”.

How I Used Crowdfire to Gain 50 New, Legit Followers/Month


Click here to learn more!!! 

By the way, my goal for January was to reach 550 Twitter followers, and as of Jan. 18th, I am already at 552!!! So maybe I need to set my sights a little higher next month! Whoot!!



The Hot Mess Blog Hop


This week I was reminded of something. I am a big, giant failure. I am a hot mess.

Now I know. That’s negative self-talk, and we shouldn’t do that. Yeah. I get it. Thinking positively is how you recover from the things that do happen as a result of when we mess up big time, or when someone else messes up and we have to deal with it.

In my case, it was me that messed up. I got a speeding ticket because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing.

And I never speed! I drive so slowly these days, passengers often complain! After four kids, I just don’t have the energy to speed. But I also don’t pay attention to what I’m doing, and that often gets me in trouble.

Don’t roll your eyes now. There’s more.

I didn’t just get a ticket. I then proceeded to procrastinate paying the thing until the last-minute. It was so last-minute, and it fell over a weekend and a holiday so that my money arrived at the courthouse several days past due.


I didn’t think that was a big deal either. Well, I was wrong, and I got a nice little certified letter in the mail to let me know about it. And when I say nice, let me assure you that the lady I talked to down at the courthouse about all this was certainly not nice.

“Well, I was trying to do the right thing and pay my ticket…”

Dripping with disdain and disgust she mockingly asked me, “What right thing were you trying to do?”


“I was trying to do the right thing by paying my fine.”

OH, just hand me my dunce cap, and stick me in the corner. Obviously the power is not in my court here, and I have no one to blame but myself.

I have been severely humbled, and my bank account will soon be quite empty as a result of it all.

But that’s life, right? You pay your fines so they don’t take your driver’s license away, and you cover your face in shame because you are supposed to be a Christian writer and mother and deacon’s wife, and here you are defending yourself to the state of Georgia for breaking the law….

Yep. I am feeling pretty low.

But what’s a girl to do? You pick yourself up. Pay your dues, and get back up again.

Always get back up again.

I’ve been meaning to start a “Hot Mess” blog hop for a long time. All the successful blogs out there are telling you how to improve yourself, how to make more money, how to make over your budget, or how to organize your closet. They even sell courses on it.

Well, friends, I don’t know how you can do any of that stuff. If I did, I’d definitely use that information on myself. 

You know what I am? I’m just a hot mess, saved by grace. That’s right, grace. From the time I was 4, I could just feel the presence of God. I knew he was there.

When I was 7, I decided to ask Jesus to save me from the punishment for my sins. The Bible says that God loves us so much that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He knows we’re humans. He loves us anyway.

I am saved by grace. Some days it seems like I need more grace than others. The Bible teaches that God is not a respecter of persons. We are all equal in God’s eyes.

So this blog hop is for any blogger. We are all a hot mess in need of grace.

We’ll meet back here next Friday at 12pm and do this again, and I’ll choose a feature.

There’s just one rule:

#1. Remember this is a family place, so all …..ahem…..not-family-appropriate content will be removed.

Bonus points if you’d follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram…or WordPress, but I don’t have a link for that one.

Comment below if you want an email reminding you of next week’s Hot Mess blog hop.

Now let’s party! Let’s do some mingling!!!

The Power of Far-away Friends

faraway friends still count

You might think that I have a lot of little boys, until you meet my friend Julie, who has five.

Did everyone have a great Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? We did! I mean, we just went to school, but that’s fun for us because we get to see and talk to people there. We love people.

No, I mean we truly love people. I’ve had hermit phases that were incredibly sad, when I forgot how much I need others. My children and my husband are the same as me. We thrive off of social interaction.

Home school families sometimes have to work a little harder to get that. And that is exactly what this story is all about.

faraway friends count too

Yep. That’s nine little boys.

You see, I only began home schooling last school year. My friend Julie has been doing this much longer, but last year she found herself in an isolated place. I don’t know all the details, but I know that she lived on an island, far far away from any family, or neighbors with little boys, or cousins, or anything.

So Julie became a blogger, and somehow we found each other’s blogs. Birds of a feather always flock together, you know.

Many days I would feel down and find encouragement over at Julie’s Full Manger. And vice/versa. Raising several oh-so-boyish-little boys is a thing that bonds people. Actually, any shared experience bonds people, and Julie and I were both in a time when we had few other friends.

That sounds sad, that we didn’t have many friends on hand, but it was true.

faraway friends count too

“Life is much better with good friends to share it. A world without friends, I don’t think I could bear it.”

So we encouraged each other through our blogs. I didn’t pretend like home schooling several kids in a new state, for the first time, was something that was easy. I’ll never tell you that I love something that I don’t love. Honesty is always better than a facade of perfection.

Julie cheered me on to keep writing and to not grow weary, and she sent me emails of empathy. I think people with the gift of encouragement are my very favorite people. Don’t you agree?

And this spring, Julie got to move off her island, and back to a place that she knows. I think she has lots of friends now, many friends, and no internet reception. The horrors! Ha! She seems happy though. She doesn’t blog much now, but we keep up via email. So when she wrote me to say she’d be in town, we of course got our families together!

faraway friends count

“I think Caleb is taking like 70 pictures,” Julie informed me, without even breaking camera-smile.

faraway friends

“What! Oh, here, Caleb, that’s enough. Thank you.”

The internet is used for many destructive things in the lives of people. Thankfully, it has edifying uses too. There are so many online support groups you can find out there. This year, with my pain and stiffness flare up that won’t go away, I’ve been scouring the internet for chronic pain blogs and information on what might be wrong with me.

But isn’t everything that way? There are so many powers at our disposal in this modern age, and we all have our own unique powers too, but we must decide how to use those powers for good. It’s up to us to find support and to be supportive.

It’s neat how Julie and I were able to help each other at a time when we didn’t have anyone nearby. Sometimes far-away friends are just as powerful as those nearby, if you’re careful to keep in touch.

23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.…    Hebrews 10:23-25