Morningdew makes flowers and butterflies even more beautiful.

I love the tiny droplets, do you?

Did you ever get up earlier to go out and admire the beautiful morning dew or take photos early in the morning?

Tell about it in the comments.

Have a wonderful day,


#morningdew #morningstory #morning #dew #droplets #photography #photo #waterdroplets #flower #flowers #flowerlovers #fotosbykarin #KarinRavasio

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Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategies – 7/26/16


Ever wish there was a potion you could bottle and sell that would allow a blog to grow magically?  Me too, but unfortunately it is not that simple.

Growing a blog is like growing a tree-the growth happens so slow that you don’t realize any change from day-to-day.  But as the years add up the change becomes quite evident.  I remember this golf course I worked at in college. The new owner planted over 50 saplings to help separate certain holes.  Way back then those saplings seemed like a ridiculous solution as they were so small. But last fall when I visited the golf course those trees were over 40 feet tall and helped to provide a border for those golf holes.  It was neat to recall how small those little trees once were and how large that had grown in 25 years.

Such is a blog.

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr

The sad thing is most blogs “die” within 24 months of conception and my experience backs this up.  I cannot tell you the number of bloggers that have emailed me and come out of the gate like gangbusters.  I appreciate their enthusiasm, but know most of them will not be around for long.  Once they realize the work and long-term commitment required to grow a community they move on to some other form of socializing.   One blogger comes to mind.  She emailed me daily (which was quite annoying) wanting me to open up my “book of tricks” and give her all the secrets to growth.  When I explained to her there was no secret, she responded by saying she would gain my trust and prove her worthiness-her words not mine-in order to acquire my formula.

The truth is and always will be that there is no formula.  Growth takes time, which is the one thing people seem to have little patience for these days.

Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategies – 5/19/16

Here are a few tips I offer to some of my fellow bloggers. Most of these I mention because I have noticed a few “mistakes” on pages during my morning networking session.

Here are my blogging tips, advice and blog strategies for 5/19/16:

  1. Use spell check and proofread your writing before hitting send.
  2. Keep posts to between 400-1200 words max if you post often.  If you post less frequently, then aim for 2,000 words or so.  I know Google gives more validity to posts that are longer, but your readers will get tired of reading extremely long, frequent posts.  That is unless they are incredibly helpful or super interesting.
  3. Post consistently throughout the day: 5 posts per day is my target.
  4. Don’t try to out think the room.  Meaning: stop stringing complicated themes together with even more complicated words. Keep your writing style simple and don’t try to impress.
  5. Use spellcheck.  But Danny you already said that.  Yes I did.
  6. Do not use background images that make seeing your blog home page impossible.  I came across a page this morning that nearly caused me to have a seizure.
  7. Create an About page with an image of you.  It is the first page I go to when visiting a new page.  No About Page, I exit rather quickly.
  8. Organize your page in a simple and easy way to navigate.
  9. Link your page to your Gravatar
  10. This one might ruffle a few feathers, but I’m going to say it anyway.  I get that some pages cover serious topics and I understand that the subject matter on those pages will always be serious.  But, if you are blogging about your life, don’t always be Debbie Downer.  I use to follow a blog that I had to quit reading because every single post was so depressing.  There are going to be times when honesty requires a little sadness or a melancholy tone, but don’t complain in every post.  Your audience will get tired of reading it…I promise I’m not the only person that holds this opinion.
  11. Recycle your older posts.  This can be done in 1 or 2 ways.  1. change the date and time of a previously published post, or 2. copy an older post and republish.  The first option keeps all the statistical data attached to the post, but does not republish to your followers email inbox.  The latter option republishes to follower’s email, but is a brand new post with no statistical data attached.  I have used both methods and prefer the first option, but either way is fine.
  12. Use internal and external links in the body of your post.
  13. Stop using so many tags.  WordPress only recognizes 15 total tags, including your category!
  14. Lastly, edit your permalinks to reflect the information in your post.  This is especially important if a permalink defaults to a number.

Hope these help!!

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Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategies – 5/12/16

A change has occurred in the world over the last 5 years that I believe many bloggers have under-appreciated.  And this one overlooked fact is what is keeping many bloggers small and unexposed.

Many years ago, before the internet, it was incredibly difficult to become well-known as a writer.  If you were a writer you could spend your entire life writing, only to die having had no one other than friends and family read your works.  Unless you were a celebrity or journalist or professional writer, it would take a stroke of fortune to have your pages printed for the world to see.  Then came the world-wide-web and an amazing development began to occur: the world became a much smaller place.  Of course I am speaking figuratively.

But as the internet decreased the degrees of separation, one other incredible thing began to happen and that is small became the new big.  What do I mean by this?  Smart people began to harness the power of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and Google, and started using these platforms to their advantage, effectively eliminating the need for traditional publishers, publicists and print media.  Instead of sitting around and waiting, some writers decided to take matters into their own hands and realized they could effectively publish and distribute their own works on their own terms.

This evolution was not dramatic, but if you think about the world of writing that exists today, you will notice things have change dramatically.  Now, someone such as myself can write a book, self-publish and handle all of the publicity “in-house.”  Take a look at the number of ebooks on Barnes and Noble.  The numbers are staggering.  Small, unknown authors can now be found rubbing shoulders with the top-selling writers.  And this evolution has happened so quietly that many take the change for granted.

So how does this impact blogging and what is my point?  My point is that with small being the new big, every blogger has the potential to receive millions of views each month…if that is what they desire.  If you don’t believe this then you need to educate yourself on SEO and modern tactics of online publicists.  Or check out DisneyCollectorBR on YouTube.  If a woman playing with toys can generate 65,000,000 annual views then anyone can.

It is my belief that bloggers that want more views and want to grow, do not for two primary reasons: 1. they do not work hard enough, and 2. they do not possess the tools necessary to grow.  But, this does not mean you cannot learn the tactics necessary to thrive in the virtual world.  The issue is that most bloggers sit back and wish for followers while growing blogs get out in the virtual world and spread their message.

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr

In this world of small being the new big, any website can generate millions of views if the website admin possesses the knowledge to properly publicize the site AND possesses the internal desire to spend time.  My friend Jason at Harsh Reality is a shining example of small being the new big having grown his page from zero followers to nearly 60,000 followers in 3 years, generating millions of views!

Many of my readers who are reading this right now are saying to themselves…”Yeah, but this only happens to a select few, not everyone can reach these types of numbers.”  And my answer to that is you are wrong.  Not everyone will reach big numbers, but everyone has the potential if you apply the proper tactics.  You just have to realize that small is the new big.

Just something to think about.  Hope everyone has a great Thursday!











Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategies – 5/5/16

I don’t have much on tips and advice for this week, but I do have something to say.  I started my blog on November 29, 2014 in the same exact manner as every other blogger on WordPress.  My only mission at that time was to vent my thoughts hoping someone out in this gigantic world would hear…and care.

As my readership has grown I have learned a lot and I have experienced a lot. I try to help those that ask me for help and I do not offer my opinion unless asked.  I am grateful for the growth I have experienced, but it really doesn’t matter how many readers I have I still do now what I did when I had 200 followers; write and post.  In the end isn’t that what this blogging thing is all about?

I don’t think there is a key to growing a blog other than grinding each and every day.  I do know there are no shortcuts.  I have not taken a day off since I started blogging nearly 18 months ago.  You have to wake up and read, like, comment and follow other blogs. Then wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.  The more blogs you read and connect with, the faster you grow.  The process is simple, the grind is not. There are days when I want to quit or not write or not post…but I do.  Maybe I am a masochist.  Maybe I am dedicated.  Maybe I’m a combination of the two.

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr

I remember the moments in my blog’s history when Evelina and I would be amazed at a new view record or some newly reached benchmark.  For instance, I was recently reminiscing about a night the two of us sat amazed about receiving 600 views in a day.  I remember the first month I surpassed 15,000 views.  I remember surpassing 5,000 followers.  All of these marks I am still thankful for having reached.  And this past month I surpassed 50,000 views (59,673 to be exact), which was a goal I intended to reach by the end of this year.

I am proud of my work here at Dream Big.  I am proud of the achievements.  I am proud of the growth.  I am proud that my blog received 35,000 unique visitors last month.  And I am also humbled by it all.  Sometimes I sit back and watch the stats in amazement.  I just have a hard time believing that my little blog has grown to the point where I have days when I get 6,000 views.  As I said, it is humbling.

I think it is important to remember why we do what we do.  We write, post, read, like, comment and follow in order to connect.   I will say the one negative aspect of growth is the difficulty in reading other blogs, which is how we remain connected.  I  cannot get to everyone although I try; it’s just impossible.


I hope everyone has had a good week so far and I look forward to seeing you all succeed and grow.

Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategies – 4/28/16

Are you able to recognize the differences between blogs with hundreds of followers and blogs that have 10,000+ followers?

I recently spent time reviewing the top 10 blogs by readership to identify their common characteristics  and I noticed some glaring differences in the quality and consistency of their content compared to some of the content (including mine) I read each day on WordPress.  So for today’s blogging tips, advice and blog strategies post, I thought I would list and discuss the factors that I think make for quality content based on my analysis of the top blogs.  Every post is not going to contain each item listed, but should contain most:

  1. Content must be relevant and interesting.  One way for bloggers to do this is to keep their thumb on the pulse of trending topics to inspire content.  For instance, yesterday I created a post about the LGBT legislation issue happening in my home state.  Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t comment on this topic, but it is dominating the news and I thought it would provide a great discussion opportunity for my readers.
  2. Quality content should address a problem and provide a solution.  This is one of the most important characteristics in my opinion and one of the most used strategies.  When I conduct a Google search it usually starts “How to ___________.”  People visit blogs because they identify with the blogger and/or the blog content adds value to their life.  And what better way to add value than to help people understand “how to” do things or fix problems.
  3. Good content must be engaging.  Readers connect with you so let your personality shine through.  One of the easiest ways to shine is to express your opinion on a controversial topic or give a new perspective of an old topic.
  4. Keep it simple.  The one glaring similarity of all the top blogs is that they make their posts easy to read.  One of the skills I learned from writing for Life Hack is to write so that a 5th grader can understand my posts. Keep your sentences short and use simple words.  There are times when my sentences are awkward or too complicated and I have to delete them and simplify.  Think of yourself as an elementary school teacher and write accordingly.
  5. Content shouldn’t be too short, but shouldn’t be too long either.  The best post length is up for debate because some blogger’s style is to produce lots of micro-posts, while others choose to publish longer 1,000+ word posts.  I use both methods, but limit my longer posts to between 1,000-1,500 words.  You need to research this point for yourself to determine what is not too short, yet not too long.
  6. Good content needs to be organized.  Producing good content means you avoid rambling, use lists and/or bullet points and follow a basic outline.  The outline I use for most of my posts is basic: introduction with a thesis statement, 3-4 supporting points and a conclusion.  Good blog posts flow and being organized allows for better flow.
  7. Quality content must contain accurate information.  The quickest way to gain new followers is to provide great, accurate data, but provide inaccurate information and you will lose credibility.
  8. Top-notch content is properly edited.  I am not an editor, but I have had the opportunity to watch editors work over my pieces for LH and there is more to it than clicking on Spellcheck.  Take the time to read, reread and then reread once more.
  9. Good content should be visual.  Xerox found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.  Of the top blog sites I visited, 75% of the posts used a color image.

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr!

There is a reason that high volume blogs get the views; they follow a basic formula when producing their content.  They don’t throw something together and hit publish.  They make sure their content checks off the boxes associated with quality posts.

How many of these 9 characteristics do you pay attention to?  Would you consider your content to be high-quality?  What would you add to this list?  Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.