3 Reasons Why Every Business Should Have a Blog

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “blog?” Many people think of blogs as spaces where individuals can express themselves creatively or share their personal experiences and knowledge with the world wide web. It’s no secret that blogs serve this purpose, but did you know that blogging can be an effective marketing strategy for your business?

A blog can be an excellent digital marketing solution for your business if you already have an engaging, user-friendly website, and regularly updated social media profiles, yet still aren’t receiving as many conversions as you would like.

The Benefits of Creating a Blog for Your Business

A blog that is hosted directly on your business’s website can attract a much wider audience to your website and expand your brand’s overall reach. A blog provides your business with a platform for showcasing your products and services while highlighting the application of these products and services to your existing and potential customers.

The biggest benefit of creating a blog for your business is the fact that blogging helps with search engine optimization. The more high-quality, original content that is found on your business’s website, the higher it will rank it within Google’s search results. Where your business ranks within Google’s search results has a direct effect on the number of visitors that your website receives.

Let’s say, for instance, that you are the owner of a real estate agency in Atlanta, GA. When searching for local real estate services, your ideal website visitor performs a Google search using the keywords, “real estate agency Atlanta.” It is likely that this potential customer will only visit websites from the first page of results. The less search engine optimized content that your page has, the lower you will rank within Google’s search results, making it less likely that your website will attract organic visitors.

A regularly updated, search engine optimized blog with high-quality content can bring many benefits to both your website and business.

Your website will be regularly updated.

Because of the abundance of websites hosted on the internet from across the world, Google, along with other search engines, performs routine check-ups in order to ensure that its users are receiving the most relevant and up to date search results. Search engines regularly monitor the timestamps detailing when your website was last updated. Websites that have not been updated recently are assumed to be inactive or out of date. These sites are pushed further down in the search results.

When your business has a consistent blog, it is constantly updated on either a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. This shows Google that your website is still relevant and that it’s not leading its users to irrelevant search results.

Your website will have more pages.

One of the top secrets to achieving effective SEO for your website is by simply having more content. When your website has more content, search engines have to “crawl” and “index” these pages. This provides search engines with more information about the topic of your website and helps search engines to be better able to determine which searches your website should rank for.

Having more pages provides you with more opportunities for the use of keywords relating to your brand or business. A common misuse of SEO tactics involves cramming as many keywords as possible onto one or two pages of a website. This dilutes the effectiveness of your keywords and damages your credibility as a high-quality search result. Having more pages allows you to effectively distribute relevant keywords throughout your website. It also gives you the opportunity to branch out and utilize different keywords as your business develops and begins to offer more services.

Your website will receive more credibility.

Although using SEO strategies can help improve your overall search engine ranking, creating and maintaining a good business blog provides you with organic SEO benefits. With a business blog, your website will be more likely to be judged based on its content rather than how well you employed common SEO tactics such as creating keyword optimized page titles, meta tags, and page descriptions. These tactics will bring visitors to your website, but good content will make them stay and make a purchase, leave their contact information, join your e-mail list, or follow whichever call to action you choose to employ.

High-quality blog content encourages visitors to stay on your website for longer periods of time. Search engines, such as Google, factor in how long unique visitor spends on your website when determining your credibility and search ranking. This signals that your website is full of relevant content related to your industry and keywords.

A blog can also lead to your website receiving more inbound links. When your business has a credible voice within your industry through a blog, people will be more likely to share links to your website on other websites and social media platforms. Receiving these benefits through the creation of a company blog establishes your brand as a leader and expert within your chosen industry.

In order to fully take advantage of the benefits of blogging and SEO, your website content needs to be credible, original, and relevant to your keywords.

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Going Vegan : My Experience

My journey with the vegan (plant-based) lifestyle began in February 2016. After years of struggling with weight gain as a college freshman, I was searching on YouTube for ways to lose weight when I came across quite a few videos about veganism. At this point, I still had an unhealthy mindset in regards to food and health, so I was searching for a method to lose weight quickly with minimal effort. After seeing the massive weight loss that many people had experienced due to their plant-based diets, I decided to give it a try.

Although my initial desire to embrace a plant-based lifestyle was inspired by my desperation to lose weight, I began to develop compassion for the living things that are harmed in order for us to consume meat and dairy products. Furthermore, as a member of a family with a history of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia, I became more concerned about the impact that consuming dairy and meat can have on my overall health.

Throughout my journey, I have gone back and forth between veganism, vegetarianism, and briefly, pescatarianism; however, my long term goal is to eat a completely plant-based diet 100% of the time.

My Challenges with Going Vegan/Plant-Based

One of my main challenges with diet in general, whether I was eating meat and dairy or not, was portion control. I used to eat a lot. This problem came from my unhealthy relationship with food and problems with binge eating. When I discovered the vegan diet through YouTube, many of the people whose videos I viewed held the belief that as a vegan, you could eat as much food as you wanted, as long as it was vegan, and still lose weight. While I can’t speak for everyone, this was definitely not the case for me. During my first couple of weeks as a vegan, I lost about 2-3 pounds of water weight, and then my weight stagnated for a few months. I have lost over twenty pounds since February 2016, but it was due to reducing my overall calorie intake and becoming more physically active and not the plant-based diet alone.

Another challenge that I have faced while attempting to go vegan is my addiction to dairy. Eliminating meat from my diet was quite easy for me, which is why I was able to stick to the vegetarian diet more than any other one throughout the past year; however, eliminating dairy, especially cheese, has been the true challenge. Giving up dairy milk, ice cream, and yogurt has been easy for me because I have been able to find replacements for these products that I enjoy. Giving up cheese has been harder for me because after trying numerous brands of vegan cheeses, I have yet to find one that I like. Giving up cheese is also hard for me when eating out with friends. At many restaurants the vegetarian options almost always include cheese or butter, and the fact that I am a picky eater narrows my options even further.

Benefits of the Vegan/Plant-Based Diet

Despite the challenges that I have faced with going vegan, there are many benefits to this lifestyle that motivate me to keep trying to commit to it full time. Even though I have deviated from the plant-based diet more than a few times, my journey with veganism has greatly improved my relationship with food and overall physical health. I now consume food for its intended purpose, to provide fuel for my body, rather than partaking in eating as something to do out of boredom or for emotional reasons. This changed relationship has helped me to overcome my main obstacle in regards to weight loss and has helped me to lose over twenty pounds.

Going vegan also broadened my palette when it comes to the foods I eat. There are many new foods that I have added to my diet that I would not have tried had it not been for my attempts at going vegan. I now eat many more fruits and vegetables than I used to. Even during periods in which I am consuming cheese and other animal products, I continue to allow fruits and vegetables to make up the majority of my diet.

I find that reducing my intake of animal products and increasing my intake of whole, fresh foods in any capacity provides me with more energy, better mental health, better digestion, and many more benefits.

5 Steps Towards Knowing Your Worth

“Know your worth” is a phrase that is repeated so often that it is borderline cliché, but it is such an important mantra to incorporate into your daily life. This phrase is often offered as advice to those who are dealing with issues within their romantic lives, but it can and should be applied to all relationships, situations, and circumstances in life. Knowing your worth allows you to build your self esteem, avoid being taken advantage of, and to reach your personal and professional goals. Many people speak on knowing your worth as an abstract idea, but here are a few practical steps and methods to implement in your life in order to truly recognize your self-worth. These tips can be applied to your love life, friendships, career, and your everyday life.

Learn to love yourself.

Learning to love yourself is the first and most important step when it comes to getting to know your worth. You will never truly value yourself as a person without first establishing a sense of love for yourself. Loving yourself allows you to put your own self care first when faced with situations that test your boundaries and jeopardize your personal values. When you lack love for yourself, you will find yourself verbally putting yourself down, and physically and mentally abusing your own body, and in doing so, you give others the permission to do the same.

A great practical exercise to perform when learning to love yourself is to make a list of all of the things that you like about yourself. This list can include anything from your personality traits, to your physical appearance, to your talents, and the ways in which you treat others. Another helpful exercise is the repetition of daily affirmations in the mirror, or even in the car during your morning commute. Even if you don’t fully believe them at first, repeating positive phrases to yourself over time will increase your identification with them and increase the love that you have for yourself.

Don’t rely on anyone else to teach you your worth.

You can never rely on another person to teach you your own self-worth. As the self half of the compound word implies, your self-worth has to come from within. Even the most positive and motivating person in your life cannot convince you of your own worth if you do not believe in it for yourself. Even more so, you will encounter individuals in your life who will try to take you down a peg or two in order to make you easier to take advantage of and manipulate.

If you do not possess your own strong sense of worth, it will be easier for this type of individual to infiltrate your positive space. Practicing self love exercises and the following methods of learning your worth will help you to find your value from within.

Never settle.

When it comes to knowing my own worth, the trap of settling is the one that gives me the most resistance. Because of my piscesean tendency towards laziness, I often find myself settling for less than I deserve, especially if it seems to be the easier option in comparison to going after what I truly desire. Just last year, I found myself stuck in a dead-end job as an administrative assistant where I was performing the duties of three employees while receiving the paycheck of half of an employee.

Due to my lack of self worth at the time, I settled for this job and feared putting in the work it would take to pursue a position with higher pay that I would truly enjoy simply because I didn’t realize that I deserved it. After doing some self-work and learning my value as an employee, I finally left the position in order to further advance my education and take a job that fit the description of what I truly wanted to do.

Set boundaries and stick to your values.

People who know their worth and have a great deal of respect and love for themselves find it easy to set boundaries in order to protect themselves from requests and expectations from others that are not in line with their own personal values. A common area of life that this arises in is within personal relationships. As a people pleaser who finds it hard to say no, learning to set boundaries was a crucial step in my journey towards personal growth. I’ve had to learn to not always be an available ear for others to unload their frustrations upon; I’ve had to distance myself from negative people; and, I’ve had to end romantic relationships that were heading in a direction that was out of line with my own personal values and desires. All of these things are difficult to do, but in knowing your own worth, you have to learn to put your own comfort first. This does not mean that you shouldn’t care about others, but you must never do so in a way that puts someone else’s needs above your own.

Accept that you will lose people and perceived opportunities along the way.

In implementing all of these things, it is possible that you will lose people and perceived opportunities along the way. This will seem like a negative impact of knowing your worth at first, but in the end you will realize that this was just a form of cleansing those who bring negative energy into your life out of your personal space. The people and opportunities that are removed from your life as a result of the increase of your self-worth would have most likely turned into obstacles blocking the people and opportunities that are truly worth your time and energy from entering your life. In the end the power of knowing your worth is more valuable than anything these people and opportunities could’ve offered you, and you will end up attracting things that are much better for you.

Remember that knowing your worth is an ongoing practice. Although I have been working on this and have known these tips for quite some time, I still have moments of weakness where I find myself settling for less or compromising my personal boundaries and values. The important thing is to recognize this when it happens and to do the work that needs to be done in order to get back on track.

The Law of Attraction: 4 Ways to Attract Positive Vibes

I have always heard about the law of attraction in terms of the book and documentary The Secret, but it never piqued my interest until recently. I always perceived followers of The Secret as people with the life goal of becoming millionaires and attracting money, mansions, and expensive cars, and these things are not in line with my life goals. However, after a period of negative events ranging from physical illness to emotional turmoil hit me a few weeks ago, I went in search of answers to help me to get back on track. During this search, I came across numerous YouTube videos regarding The Law of Attraction.

At its very core, the law of attraction simply states that we attract the things that come into our lives through our thoughts and actions. We have the power to attract both positivity and negativity. I am convinced that I attracted the hellish week that I had a few weeks back with my own negative mindset. Every single thing that happened to me that week was something that I spoke into existence and propelled into being with the force of negative energy.

Negativity can creep into your day without notice. For example, a habit that I have dropped recently is my road rage. Something as seemingly normal as yelling and cursing at other drivers on the road creates negativity and tension. If you participate in this during your morning commute, what kind of tone do you set for the remainder of your day?

Luckily, there are many easy ways to attract positivity into your life. I, for one, do not believe that it is possible to simply have a positive mindset without partaking in positive actions. A positive mindset on its own is often a forced facade that can shatter easily at any sign of trouble. A positive mindset on its own has no foundation. When you perform sincere, positive actions throughout your day, a positive mindset is an inevitable byproduct, and as performing positive actions becomes second nature, having a positive mindset will be your default setting. Here are some easy positive actions that you can perform daily to attract positivity into your life:

Express gratitude for what you have now.

Yes, we all have our desires, but it is important to be actively grateful for the things you currently have in your life. It is important to not live in a state of lack. You can actively express gratitude through consciously listing things, big or small, that you are grateful for in your life. You can do this mentally through reflection or meditation, or by typing it out in the notes app on your phone. Some people even like to keep a gratitude journal.

Watch your words.

We attract and manifest negativity through words in ways that we don’t even realize. We tend to express things in the negative versus putting a positive spin on things. For instance, when we are running late for work we tend to say things like “I don’t want to be late” instead of “I want to be on time.” Although this slight change in syntax may seem insignificant, the former invites negativity, while the latter attracts positivity, and will be more likely to yield a positive outcome. In saying “I don’t want to be late” you are speaking your lateness into existence.

Be good to others.

Let people over in traffic. Give a few dollars to a person in need. Offer encouraging words to someone who is feeling down. Hold the elevator for someone. There are so many gestures that you can perform for your fellow humans that can attract positive things into your own life. Even more so, the people that you performed positive gestures for will be inspired to pass it on, which cultivates positivity exponentially.

De-clutter your life.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can be a messy person. De-cluttering has helped me to cultivate more positivity in my life. I cleaned and rearranged my bedroom, threw out and sold some of my stuff, cleaned out my car, and I even cut the dead ends that I had been holding onto off of my hair. You also have to de-clutter your mind of bad memories, grudges, secrets, and gossip. Keeping your physical, mental, and emotional space clean and healthy, makes it easier to clear out negative energy and also shows gratitude for the things that you have.

All in all, the law of attraction will not make life perfect, but it does make the difficult situations much easier to deal with. I’ve noticed a huge change in how I deal with stress and anxiety over the past few weeks. I am so thankful for the difficult week that I had a few weeks back that led to my discovery of the law of attraction.