Fashion and Fun after Fifty

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Can Blogging Break Up a Marriage

You do remember how innocently it all started out.  At first you were just writing a few hobby posts every week no big deal, a time filler just having fun.  Then you started getting followers who began to comment and so you started to take blogging a little more seriously.  Your audience was growing and so was your attention to them…your virtual family and friends.

blogging as a hobby

Perhaps after a few months you started to get the kids involved, asking them to pose and then asking hubby to take pictures of you with them in the store, the park or at the beach.  He reluctantly obliged but never understood why he nor the kids could eat anything that was on the platter before you took a picture trying to capture the perfect “Hero Shot”.  You set the table with fancy utensils, napkins, flowers and props for the blog post telling the family to dish out their meal from the pots sitting on the stove.


Then you start doing sponsored posts, sometimes getting a few hundred dollars deposited into your Paypal account or getting free products that the kids could use and free tickets to an event or for a weekend getaway that hubby enjoyed.

You became obsessed with seeking bigger pay days signing up for even more sponsored posts.  You take pictures at sunrise, at sunset, in the rain and snow while on vacation and sometimes even at work.  Selfies are taken in department store dressing rooms and out on the floor, with every purchase becoming part of an OOTD post and using hashtags for even more recognition.  sunset-home-office-working-with-laptop-on-the-garden-picjumbo-com

You’re signing up at even more blogging community sites, submitting pitches for product reviews and adding more and more to your content calendar.  Your photography skills are improving and your posting dates outnumber doctor and dental appointments highlighted on the family’s calendar.  You become more selfish with your time especially if you also have a job outside of the home.


You can’t go anywhere without taking pictures and you began to schedule and attend events only if they are  opportunities for a blog post including the kid’s school field trips.  Leaving your business cards everywhere, on the grocery store and church bulletin boards, on the counters at the local liquor stores and blogging becomes more of an obsession.

sleep apnea

After homework with the kids and dinner with the family, hubby heads to bed while you toil away on your laptop until the wee hours of the morning.  Your sex life begins to wane because hubby can’t keep his eyes open until all hours of the night as you edit and re-edit the perfect post.

woman working in bed

Every shopping experience turns into an opportunity to promote a new product or service and you are proud to admit that you are a blogger with a major following on all your social media platforms.  An expert in the field either as a Lifestyle Blogger, Foodie Blogger, Travel Blogger or Blogger Blogger.

You are constantly reading Social Media Examiner, other blogs, joining link parties, upping your video game and enjoying every moment of it, however, hubby has been put on the back burner and your relationship is strained.   woman-shopping

He doesn’t understand why you have to attend a blogging event every week and why you can’t just sit and watch television without your Laptop or Smartphone, constantly checking Facebook stats, Twitter and Google Analytics.   checking Facebook and Twitter on an iPad

You want him to understand and you need him to know that blogging has become part of your life and you want him to become a part of it as well…but will he ever?

Are you allowing your virtual life to overtake your real life…and will blogging break up your marriage?

Spring Clean Your Blog

Yesterday was the first day of Spring and if you have been drawing the blinds and pushing back the curtains to tackle dust bunnies or clearing out the closets for donations then now is also the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning on your blog.

I haven’t begun yet, however, while checking a few of my feeds I came across this post by Sean Nicholson over at SocMedSean which gives some great tips for cleaning up your blog.

Spring Clean your blog


7 Tips For Cleaning Up Your Blog And Improving Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  1. Clean up those plugins – If you have been trying out new plugins or widgets for your blog, be sure to delete them if you’re not using them. By removing the files, you can speed up your page load times and reduce any potential security risks that may come from having out-of-date plugins.
  2. The WP-Cleanfix Plugin can help you do cleanup unused tags and categories and optimize your database

    WP-CleanFix is a great plugin that can help you do some Spring cleaning on your blog.

    Get rid of unused categories and tags – Unused categories or tags are potential 404 errors waiting to happen. Additionally, the more categories and tags you use, the more it can bog down your database and decrease the performance of your blog. Tools like WP-CleanFix can help you identify any opportunities to clean up categories and tags (among other things) and make sure your database is optimized.

  3. Use Google’s Webmaster tools to ensure that there aren’t any 404s occurring – If you aren’t familiar with Google’s Webmaster tools, now is the time to get familiar. The data provided to you by Google can be a goldmine in finding and fixing 404 errors. Technically, Google says they don’t penalize you for 404s, but why risk a bad visitor experience if they can’t find the page they are looking for. If you have changed your permalink structure or your domain name, you might even have some old links out there that need fixing because they point to the old URLs.If you need a good tool to redirect user from an out-of-date URL to a new one, check out the Redirection plugin for WordPress.
  4. Make sure every image on your site has an Alt tag – This one is a MUST. Google will actually penalize your page if your images don’t have Alt tags. Since I’m a huge proponent of having images on every page, be sure that they are helping your SEO and not hurting it.
  5. Re-read your posts and make sure they are still relevant – Let’s face it, some articles are just timely and are out-of-date quickly. But…maybe there is an update on the topic, maybe it’s a good opportunity for a new post that links back to the old post. Don’t just give up on those time-sensitive posts, find a way to update and re-energize the content
  6. Cross-link between posts for better internal linking – It’s likely that your old posts talk about content that is similar to your new posts. So why not go back and create links between similar articles. You don’t want to go overboard and over-link your articles, but by creating internal links between articles, you’ll be helping readers and the search engines re-discover some of those older articles.
  7. Re-evaluate your sidebar(s) – Page load time is a factor in your search engine ranking, so find ways to minimize that load time. One way to do is to take a good, hard look at the items that are located in your sidebar. Do you have too many widgets? Are those widgets slowing down your blog? If so, consider dropping some of them. Anything you can do to increase the speed of your blog and decrease page load times will pay off in SEO.

There you go! 7 quick tips that you can use to clean up your blog this Spring and, hopefully, drive more traffic.


Personally, I need to update and declutter my header tabs as well as update my Media Kit.  

Have you made any changes to your blog, if so, please share.

Partnership Banner

5 Steps Small Businesses Can Take To Get Started With Blogger Outreach

5 steps Small Businesses Can Take To Get Started Working With Bloggers

I recently read an article which is several years old but is still relevant today.  It was published by Small Business, and listed 5 steps small businesses can take to get started working with bloggers.  I found it to be very interesting to not only small business owners but also for bloggers who work on their campaigns, here’s an excerpt.

small business owners

  1. Identify the Right Bloggers

With all the bloggers out there, you need to prioritize. Start your blogger outreach effort by browsing *Technorati and Alltop to find bloggers in your field, or by doing a Google Blog search.


  1. Narrow Your List to No More Than 20 Bloggers

To stay focused, create a list of up to 20 bloggers to target. You might start with smaller, more niche-focused bloggers. Any lessons learned from those interactions can then be applied to the bigger fish. Plus, if you get a shout-out from a niche blogger, you can provide a link to it when you contact the bigger bloggers.

Track all communications with target bloggers in an Excel, Google Docs, or other spreadsheet, recording when you contacted them, if you received a reply, and so on.

But you’re not ready to contact bloggers until you can check step three off your list.


  1. Read the Blogs

“The biggest mistake people make when reaching out to bloggers is not reading their blogs,” says Payton. “I get pitched all the time by people who clearly haven’t read my blog, and it’s a real turn-off.”

Read at least a few months worth of each target blogger’s posts, to get a sense of their likes and dislikes and tone. Note what they don’t cover as much as what they do write about.


  1. Engage the Blogger in a Conversation

Usually, the best way to initiate a dialog with a blogger is to add thoughtful, useful comments their posts. Many bloggers read the comments others leave for them. Also, include a link back to your website to give the blogger some context about your business if they want it.

When leaving comments, don’t be self-serving or talk about how great your product or service is. That’s an ideal way to turn off the blogger you’re courting. Just strive to be helpful and interesting.

Once you’ve got the blogger’s attention, it’s time to reach out more directly. Consider emailing the blogger helpful information, story ideas, statistics, news in your industry — anything that’s not an overt sales pitch.

For best results, make sure the email subject heading is specific and intriguing. Here’s why:

“I receive hundreds of emails every day,” says Ben Parr, coeditor of Mashable, a popular technology blog that often covers startups. “Most of the time I just scan the subject lines.” If Parr doesn’t know the sender and/or the email looks like a “form letter,” he usually ignores it.

Your goal should be to make a blogger curious enough to open your email, without being cheesy about it. If you don’t receive a response to your first email, wait at least three days before sending a follow up.


  1. Maintain the Relationship

Once you’ve established a good relationship with a blogger, keep the dialog going.

Periodically reach out with observations, story ideas and anything else the blogger might find useful. Continue reading your target bloggers’ posts, so you can stay up to date on changes in their interests and topics. (Subscribing to the blog’s RSS feed is an easy way to be alerted of new posts.)

Consider inviting local bloggers to a special event your company hosts. This could help you develop a relationship with the blogger and potentially give him or her something to write about.

And pay attention to your site’s Google Analytics, or whichever Web traffic analytics tool you use, suggests Payton. Look to see if the blogs you’ve developed relationships with are sending measurable traffic to your site. If that’s not happening, make sure the blogger includes a link (preferably one with a relevant keyword) to your small business website whenever he or she writes about your business.

Ultimately, successful blogger outreach is just like any type of business networking. Be genuine and authentic. Know your messaging and differentiation. And most importantly, think about how you can help the blogger, rather than staying focused on what they can do for you.


*Technorati can be a particularly helpful tool for identifying influential bloggers, with its Top 100 blog chart and Technorati Authority ratings. The latter gives you a sense of how influential a blog is based on its category, how well a blog’s content matches its category topic, how often other blogs in its category link to the blog, and so on.

You can also use tools like Compete and Alexa to see how blog sites rank in terms of popularity, traffic and page views. Also take into account a blog home page’s Google PageRank, a link analysis algorithm that plays a role in helping Google determine how authoritative a web page is.

The goal is to focus on blogs with a decent amount of traffic and authority. “Look for blogs that have a PageRank of three or higher and that have 1,000 to 5,000 unique page views per month,” advises Susan Payton, managing partner of Egg Marketing & Public Relations in San Diego.

Payton also suggests checking to see if bloggers you’re targeting are active on Facebook orTwitter. If so, the bigger the following, the better.

That said, you should also be realistic. An influential blogger with a huge following may not be interested in covering a small business she’s never heard of. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, but don’t overlook smaller bloggers who cover niche topics relevant to your small business, too.

In addition, learn as much as you can about the bloggers you target. By reading their bios and tweets, you might find some common ground that can serve as an ice breaker.

10 Tax Breaks for Bloggers – REPOST

tax breaks for bloggers


As we get closer to “Tax Day”, I wanted to repost this article to help you find additional deductions before you file this year’s tax returns.

Hello friends, if you make money from your blog and live in the United States, you have to claim that income on your tax return. Fortunately, there are many deductions you can take on your tax return as a blogger. PLEASE NOTE that it is always best to seek the advice of a tax professional to make sure you qualify for any and all deductions based on your individual tax situation.  

The following list provided by Susan Gunelius will give you an idea of some blogging breaks/deductions that you should be aware of and consider as you prepare your tax return.

1.  Internet-related Expenses

As a blogger, you may be able to deduct your internet-related investments and expenses. For example, consider deducting:

  • Hosting fees

  • Domain name registration fees

  • Internet access fees

  • Blogging software fees (for example, TypePad charges fees)

  • Image or music downloads for your blog

2.  Computer Equipment

You may be able to deduct:

  • Your computer

  • Upgrades (such as memory upgrades, etc.)

  • Laptop

  • Wireless router

  • New keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.

  • Software (for example, photo editing software, accounting software, tax preparation software, etc.)

  • Web camera

  • Digital camera

3.  Communications-related Expenses

Many of the communications-related equipment and tools you use to run your blog could be deductible, including:

  • Second phone line for your business or fax machine

  • Fax machine

  • Cell phone calls

  • Long distance calls

  • Blackberry, iPhone, etc.

4.  Office Equipment

Traditional office items could be deductible such as:

  • New desk

  • Chairs

  • Lights

  • File cabinets

5.  Supplies and Stationery

Little supplies can add up quickly. Keep track of the receipts as these items could be deductible:

  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Envelopes
  • Paper clips
  • Staplers and staples
  • Paper
  • Post-its
  • Folders

6.  Advertising, Promotion and Design

Most bloggers invest something into design, advertising or promotion each year. Remember to deduct applicable expenses such as:

  • Blog design (custom blog, header, etc.)

  • Advertising design

  • Logo, letterhead, etc. design

  • Advertising placement

  • Contest prizes

  • Promotional giveaways (for example, imprinted pens, magnets, etc.)

  • Paid site submissions

  • Search engine optimization services

7.  Travel and Entertainment

If you attend blogging conferences or meetings, you can most likely deduct those expenses :

  • Conference fees

  • Hotel charges while away on business related to your blog

  • Dining charges while away on business related to your blog

  • Entertainment for clients you take out related to your blog

  • Transportation (car, train, plane, etc.) when it relates to business for your blog

8.  Professional Association Memberships and Periodicals

Many bloggers belong to professional associations related to the topic of their blog or to blogging, itself. Professional dues may be deductible. Similarly, periodicals and books that you purchase to help you learn and grow could be deductible, including:

  • Professional association dues

  • Books, magazines, online subscriptions

  • Professional website memberships

9.  Office Space and Related Expenses

If you work out of your home to conduct your blogging business, you may be able to deduct the rent for your office space from your tax return. Alternatively, if you work from your home, you may be able to deduct a portion of your household bills as “rent” for that space (if you use that space solely to conduct your blogging business. Expenses in this category could include:

  • Rent

  • Electricity

  • Water

  • Natural gas

10.  Miscellaneous Other Expenses

There are a multitude of little out-of-pocket expenses that you may be able to deduct as a blogger. Consider the following as you prepare your tax return:

  • Costs to re-use photos or images owned by another person or entity

  • Headshots used on your blog, website or marketing materials

  • Postage

  • Post office box (if you use one solely for your blogging business)

  • Safe deposit box (if you use one solely for your blogging business)

  • Fees for professional services such as a lawyer or accountant



Weekend Wind-Down Party #36

Hello friends, and welcome to the #WWDParty! wwdparty

This has definitely been a busy week which is one of the reasons why this post is a day late…”better late than never”.  Anywho, last weekend I was in Philly at the SITSGirls Bloggy Boot Camp and if you didn’t get a chance to read the highlights you can do so by clicking here.

I am also in somewhat of a somber mood as tomorrow, September 14th marks the 22nd Anniversary of the death of my sister, Gloria so I will be heading down to Dover to visit her grave-site.

Congratulations to this week’s Featured Bloggers

Cornerstone Confessions

Nap-Time Creations

Save 25% on Treat Baskets on! (Valid until 9/30/14)

Feel free to copy and paste this button onto your blog and follow the party on Pinterest as you are also featured there.



link party hosts rules to follow edited

De Divah Deals


Snippets of Inspiration


A Living Sacrifice


 Mustard Seed Mommy


 Moms Who Save 



I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to reading some great end-of-the-summer posts.

Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 9/12/14- Boots & Scarf- $32.95 & FREE SHIPPING with Code CELEBRATE

Weekend Wind-Down Party | #20

Hello Friends and Happy Fri-Yay!

By the time you read this post I will be hanging with hubby and his co-workers celebrating his retirement at a party!!  Don’t worry, I’ll check back in on our party tomorrow night.  I hope you all had a wonderful week and are gearing up for what should be a fantastic first weekend in June ~ can you believe it, where did May go? WWDPARTY BUTTON

Tomorrow I had plans to set up a table at the Dutch Country Farmer’s Market but decided to sleep in which is more important for my overall well being.  I’ll set up next month.

Congratulations to last week’s Featured Bloggers!


Mimi, Mommy and Me

Mimi, Mommy and Me

Decorated Chaos

Decorated Chaos


Lou Lou Girls

Lou Lou Girls

Interior Design Principals

Interior Design Principals

DIY Bathroom Vanity Mirror

The Decorating Chica

Please feel free to copy and paste this button onto your blog and check our Pinterest Page as you are also featured there.


WWDParty Rules

We hope that after linking up your own post(s) that you will take the time to visit and comment on 3 others.  Please follow your hosts on at least one social media websites and remember sharing is caring!

Weekend Wind-Down Hosts


This Simple Home


De Divah Deals



Snippets of Inspiration


A Living Sacrifice


Mustard Seed Mommy


Moms Who Save




Weekend Wind-Down Party #17 | Blogger’s Networking

Hello Friends and Happy Fri-Yay!

The countdown is on, there are only two more weekends until the Memorial Day holiday which is the unofficial start to summer!!!!  Next week my “baby” graduates from High School and if you read yesterday’s post or follow me on FB/Twitter/Google+/Instagram or Pinterest you would have seen a picture of him holding his acceptance letter to Bowie State University – if not, here it is

BTW, I won’t be able to participate in next weekend’s party so please link up from one of the other host’s blogs.

Malik and his acceptance letter to Bowie


His father and I are so over-the-top excited for him, yet I can feel the separation anxiety creeping into my soul and my heart is beginning to hurt. Parents of college students understand exactly how I’m feeling…please pray for me!

Let’s Get This Party Started with this week’s Featured Bloggers



DIY Map Art

Satisfaction Through Christ



Flowers for Mother's Day

Keeping Christmas Spirit Live 365


Indoor Herb Garden tutorial

Sprouts House




Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers

Belle of the Kitchen




View from the Fridge


Blog Makeover

Making it in the mountains

Please feel free to copy and paste this button onto your blog and check our Pinterest Page as you are also being featured there.


The rules remain the same and we ask that you visit as least 3 other blogs and follow your hosts via one of our Social Media Networks

WWDParty Rules

Weekend Wind-Down Hosts


This Simple Home


De Divah Deals



Snippets of Inspiration


A Living Sacrifice


Mustard Seed Mommy


Moms Who Save



Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you soon!

Thankful Thursday | Emotional Week

Hello Friends and Happy Thankful Thursday!

Last week was an emotional roller coaster filled with both highs and lows. Monday, I taught a Blogging 201 class:Monetizing Your Blog, and it was a full house despite the torrential downpour of rain.

At the Bear Library

Everyone was enthusiastic, asked questions and participated in lively discussions, it was one of the best classes to date.  Thank you again Money School of Delaware for giving me this opportunity not only to share knowledge but to sharpen my skills and expand my base.


Teaching again is helping to lay the foundation for my 5-year plan leading up to retirement/encore entrepreneurship.

April 2014 004

 My outfit of the day was a black pencil skirt with floral embroidery thrifted from Goodwill, a sleeveless mock neck tank also thrifted from and faux snakeskin pumps via Target.

Teaching Blogging 201 at Bear Library

On Thursday, I wore another black pencil skirt but this one was from JCPenney and the striped top is from Old Navy.

Basic Black shirt doing double duty

I broke up the classic black and white combination with a pop of red in the Caliente pumps from The Shoe Dept and a red plastic bracelet from Rugged Wearhouse.


Scarf from Avon

The polka dot scarf was a recent purchase from Avon.  By the way, if you are looking to update your fragrances or cosmetics Avon has some great deals going on, some even includes FREE shipping, click here for more information.

Top from Old Navy

Thursday was also my sister’s birthday, had she lived, she would have been 51 – Not A Day Goes By….

I miss my sis Gloria

Although, I am thankful that I had her 29 years, I still feel that she is gone too soon – Rest in Peace Lil Sis!

Your turn, what are you thankful for this week?


Weekend Wind-Down Party

Hello Friends and Happy Fri-Yay!

Welcome to the Weekend Wind-Down Party (#WWDParty)


I am definitely glad to see this week end because between hubby’s hospitalization and my stomach virus this has definitely been a heck of a week. I am glad for the weekend even though I need to start working on my 2013 income taxes, yes, I said, “start”.  I don’t know where the time went but it snuck up on me too quickly this year.  turbo tax

I finally got a chance to check out everyone’s posts Tuesday night and needless to say, if my stomach wasn’t messed up, I would have been drooling over some of those decadent desserts!  

Congratulations to this week’s Featured Bloggers

Reviews, Chews and How-To's

Reviews, Chews and How-To’s

Purple Hues and Me

Purple Hues and Me

The Casual Craftlete

The Casual Craftlete

the colored door

the colored door

Bakewell Junction

Bakewell Junction

View from the Fridge

View from the Fridge

Please feel free to post this button on your blog and check our Pinterest page as you are also being featured there.


The rules remain the same and it would be nice to see more link backs to the party, as this is the only way to be selected as a Featured Blogger as well as it being a courteous guest.

WWDParty Rules


We hope that you won’t just post and run but will take time to visit at least 3 other blogs then follow your hosts on at least one Social Media platform.

Weekend Wind-Down Hosts

This Simple Home


De Divah Deals



Snippets of Inspiration


A Living Sacrifice


Mustard Seed Mommy


Moms Who Save


Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the party!