Blogging, Tips, Tricks, and Advice

Blogging Angle: Keep All Your Blogging Business Online

When I started my blogging business, part of the appeal was that I’m able to do it all online. I don’t have to go into the office to have meetings with people. Some expect to attend an event, but this is often only for a particular type of blogger.

Hard as I try, though, there are always people trying to get in my way. They want you to talk on the phone (seriously, can’t we text this?) or perhaps even come and meet them at their office. *shivers* I know. It’s a nightmare.

Some times I’m even being inundated with snail mail. If these are frustrating things for you, or you just want to be able to travel freely while you blog, try these tips to keep your blogging activities completely online.

Keep Your Blogging Business Online - The Southern Smiths : Learn the ways I avoid doing /any/ business in person!

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Blogging, Home, Home Improvement

Ensuring Your Home Office Fits Your Home

We’ve talked before about creating the perfect exterior office, so it seems to make sense to examine the flip side: the interior office! For most people, this will be the first choice when it comes to creating an office in their home— but getting an interior office right is often easier said than done.

An office is a work space, which means it has to — first and foremost — serve an important purpose in your life. However, the office is also a part of your home, thus it needs to have a degree of flexibility to how it can be used and the purposes it is suitable for. You also have to try to balance the practical requirements with your preferred decor trends. Essentially, creating a home office that suits all of these purposes can be incredibly difficult— but here’s what you need to keep in mind to make it work…

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Blogging, Home Improvement, Tips, Tricks, and Advice

Backyard Business: Building Your Outside Office

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer. This post may contain affiliate links, which give me a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

It is now easier than ever to start your own business. With the rise of the Internet, there’s never been a better time to get out there and start making money. Of course, though, having somewhere to work in peace can be hard. This post is here to help you out. Have you considered an outside office for your business?


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Blogging, General, The Southern Smiths, Tips, Tricks, and Advice

December Goals (and November Update!)

It’s the beginning of the month again! That means it’s time to recap last month’s goals, and set some up for this month.

Let’s jump right in by starting with my blog goals from November:

Blog Goals

1. Promote on more than one social media platform

I actually did well on this one! Instead of just Facebook, I’m now promoting on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

2. Make at least 15 posts this month

Another success! I only missed two days in November where I didn’t post at all.

3. Find new networking groups

I got accepted into about 6 new groups! A few of them have all or nothing posts, so I’m counting this as another success.

4. Write posts ahead of time

And bingo! I’m 4-for-4 on blog goals this month! I’ve finally created an editorial calendar and I can get my posts scheduled 1-2 weeks out, with title ideas at least a month out.

It looks like I did GREAT on my blog goals this month! But what about my personal goals?

Personal Goals:

1.  Make all scheduled appointments

Nope, big fail on this one. I missed two appointments of my own (though I did reschedule!). Not cool.

2.  Start Christmas Shopping

Success! I’ve completed all major shopping, I just need to grab stocking stuffers and a few small “From Santa”gifts.

3. Develop a daily routine

I’m getting better at this, so I’ll give myself half-credit. I still sleep a little too much, but I definitely have more of a routine with the kids and blogging. We also have had friends over a few times, which I had included in this category last month.

4. Exercise 2-3 times a week

Haha. Ha. I didn’t exercise once all month. But, I did just find my Fitbit so let’s get that changed!

Personal Goals, I didn’t do so well at ALL. Big fail here. Ugh. So, let’s set up for December:

Blog Goals:

1. Get networking requirements done on time

This is super hard for me. I always finish before the deadline, but that has me staying up until 2/3am some nights because I don’t check the threads throughout the day. I need to make sure I’m setting aside an hour in the morning and one in the afternoon for this.

2. Keep track with my calendar

My editorial calendar is actually completely filled for the rest of the year! That means I just need to get behind it and make sure I’m writing and promoting the posts on time. I also need to make sure I’m leaving room for sponsored posts, and able to switch things around when necessary.

3. Increase engagement

Now that I’m promoting across a few platforms, I’m wanting to really focus on my engagement and making sure things are increasing and not stagnant. Maybe a few more followers here, some active comments there.

4. Study SEO

I’ve been trying and even made a few posts about it, but the truth is I need to start applying it to my own posts!

Personal Goals:

1. Exercise

Let’s try this again. I’d like to exercise AT LEAST once a week. Surely I can keep up with this.

2. Focus on that routine

Let’s get the other half of that routine knocked out. I want to be on top of things, breakfast made, dinner planned. I want the house staying clean and the kids exhausted by bedtime. Can I do this in my 8th month of pregnancy?

3. Make each therapy appointment

I kind of have a habit of going “Oh, I’ve had a good week. I don’t need this appointment today.” I need to remind myself that I’m not only there for me, but for how I interact with others in my daily life. No more skipping!


This is a big one. I want to be less stressed. I want to have a time full of fun and memories (have you SEEN all the plans I have? ((link to Hello, December))

I hope I do better on my personal goals this month!

What are your personal goals this month? Give me one of them in comments below!

December Goals (and November Update) - The Southern Smiths: An update on how I did for November, and some new goals set for December!
General, Tips, Tricks, and Advice

SEO Tips From Expert Daniel Anton

* This is a sponsored post *

As a brand you know that having an online presence can impact your success. You may not be particularly clear the role that search engine optimization or SEO plays in that process. Even though major search engines are constantly updating the algorithms, SEO is most definitely essential to business. Someone who knows this personally, and runs his own SEO website, is Daniel Anton. But first, let’s share why SEO is important.




Brings Attention To Your Business

While you may use strategies and social networking sites to help build your audience, they all point back to the main point in your online arsenal; your website. It’s not enough to build a great website and hope people can find it. You need to learn how to get SEO involved by creating content that is relevant and meaningful, gathering the attention of search engines and learning which keywords to include.

If your site contains the products and/or services users hope to find when they enter a search phrase into a browser, then you have a very good chance of finding your site at least on the first page of the search results. When you have done a great job with SEO, your site will show up in the top three results, something that will drastically increase visits to the site.

Helps Navigate Rankings

Navigating the waters of the internet does not mean planning out a roadmap and then sticking to it. Search engines refine their algorithms you will find that your site goes from ranking in the third spot on results to falling off the front of the page. To avoid that, be aware what is working, update your strategy before the changes are implemented and anticipate search algorithm changes! This does take time but it will mean your SEO strategy will continue to be successful and going into the future. Think of backlinks when navigating these rankings!

Builds Credibility

Your website, blog, or other forms of online presence convey something of value to other people.  In terms of a business, you want to educate, entertain, and ultimately convince consumers that what you have to offer is what they need to buy.  Unless you establish some degree of credibility with those consumers, your efforts will go nowhere.

A key component in establishing your credibility is link building. The more links to your site that are found on other credible sites, the better it is for your site’s reputation. Also, you want the links to be natural and not forced. Google and other search engines take all these factors into account when ranking your site.

SEO Teaches You to Avoid Keyword Stuffing

There are older methods of SEO that worked fine in years past, but they left many Internet users feeling a little cheated.  One of those strategies is referred to as keyword stuffing.  Older algorithms did not just look for keyword(s) that related back to the phrases users employed for searches.  They also looked for multiple uses of those phrases.  That meant if you included a commonly used search phrase in your text, the odds of that page showing up high in search results were very good. And the more you used those phrases the better.

SEO Enhances Your Ability to Compete with Other Brands

Your brand may be well respected, and that’s great.  The thing is there are other brands out there that are also known to users, and they have no problem comparing the quality and pricing of your services with those competitors.  You cannot rely on the reputation of your brand alone since just about everybody is looking for a good deal.You have effectively set the standard by which all other competitors will be judged.  Unless they can come up with some strong incentives, many of those shoppers will return to your site and place an order.

SEO Increases the Odds of Getting Your Site Bookmarked

The right type of SEO effort gets people to visit your site once and decide that it is worth coming back to again and again.  If you have used the right approach and the consumer believes that your site offers the benefits promised based on the search results, there is a good chance of it being bookmarked.  Rather than having to find it with another search, the user will simply click on the saved link

Keep in mind that saved link can be shared repeatedly with others.  The person who found your site by means of a web search now has the power to cut and paste that link into the body of an email to a friend or two.  That consumer can decide to share the link via a post on his or her Facebook or Twitter account.

Thanks to those solid SEO strategies, you have created a basis for the time-honored tradition of relationship marketing.

All these great SEO Strategies are perfect to keep your brand or business compatible with others in the business world. If you feel overwhelmed or are unsure of how to get started, I would hire professionals like those who work at RankCrew, started by SEO expert, Daniel Anton. RankCrew offers a variety of various packages to boost your blog such as link building packages, or social building packages. Each is broken down into smaller packages for starters, advanced or enterprise depending on where your brand is. Signing up is free and with over 16 years experience, you know you and your business will be in good hands with this experience, talented and available 24/7 team.

How have you guys utilized SEO? Let me know in the comments below!

[AD] SEO Tips From Expert Daniel Anton - The Southern Smiths: Tips to help you determine if you're using SEO correctly!
General, The Southern Smiths

November Goals

I’ve recently started making efforts to be more intentional in my day to day life. I really want to try and live more in the moment, and less in the past or future. I want to make every day, every second last. I won’t get to redo the early years of my marriage or the childhood years with my children. I need to make this /count/.

With it being the beginning of November, I’ve decided I’m going to try something new! Each month, I’m going to list a few goals, both for the blog and my personal life. At the beginning of the next month, I will update y’all on my progress on the previous month’s goals and then set some new ones for that current month. I’m really hoping this helps me be more intentional about how I’m spending my time and helps hold myself accountable.

Let’s dive in!



1. Promote on more than one social media platform

Currently, I’m just using my facebook page  to share my posts each morning when they go live. I’m hoping to find ways to incorporate at least one other social media platform into my daily promotions. I’m still researching which platform I think will work the best for us!

2. Make at least 15 posts this month

Since I’ve /just/ gotten back into the blogosphere, I want to build up my archives quickly so my links actually lead you somewhere. I’m aiming for daily posts, but I’m just going to set a goal of 15 because life happens and we have a /lot/ of Thanksgiving plans throughout the month.

3. Find new networking groups

I’m presently only in two networking groups on facebook. I’m wanting to find a few more to extend my reach and find new blogs to read/follow. I also really enjoy the engagement threads and commenting on other posts. I would love to find a group that does a lot of all-or-nothing posts, if you know of any PLEASE let me know in the comments!

4. Write posts ahead of time

I’m wanting to try and get two to three posts written in one sitting, as opposed to sitting up at two in the morning trying to finish the post before it’s expected to go live. This could really help make blogging more enjoyable, and a little less stressful for me. Any tips?


1.  Make all scheduled appointments

I’ve had issues with getting to my appointments. I usually think “Oh, I can just reschedule for next week”.. and then the next week.. and then the next. I’m aiming to make all of our appointments on time, both mine, AND the kids’.

2.  Start Christmas Shopping

Normally, I would be halfway done with this by now. With all of the financial setbacks from Hurricane Harvey, we just haven’t been able to. I want to at least knock out the presents for all of the kids in our families, as well as the friend circles we’re exchanging with. Adults will understand more if they don’t get presents, but I never like disappointing kids.

3. Develop a daily routine

Right now, my routine is a mess. Sometimes I get up to make breakfast for my husband, sometimes I sleep until the kids get up. I might clean during their nap-time, or I take a nap myself. Don’t even get me started on days when we have plans that take us outside of the house. I want to build a routine that I can stick to, and that is adaptable on days when we have appointments or plans with family/friends.

4. Exercise 2-3 times a week

Even if it’s just a small walk around the park, I really want to be a little more active. With baby Jade on the way, I want to establish good habits that I can stick to once she’s here. I’m going to be SO busy with three kids. I want to be healthy, plus it’s really good for my mental health as well. Self-care is SUPER important.
I’m really looking forward to being able to update y’all on these goals next month! I’m super hopeful that I’ll be able to at least hit two out of each category.

Do you have any goals for the month? If you don’t, try to think of at least one and let me know in the comments below!

 November Goals - The Southern Smiths:My blog and personal goals for this month!
General, The Southern Smiths

Blog Revamped!

Hey guys! As you’ve noticed, I’ve been gone a little over a year. I just couldn’t keep up with the unrealistic expectations I had set for myself and the image of my blog. So, let’s get into the NEW AND IMPROVED thesouthernsmiths!


We’re going to get real this year. I’m going to share everything this time. The ups, the downs, the awesome and the not-so-awesome. So, what’s in store this time?

Real world family updates. Poop on the walls? Accidentally slept in and the kids went wild in the house? 30-minute speed cleaning when your husband’s on the way home and you honestly did NOTHING all day? Screaming at the family to get dressed on Sunday mornings? Yeah. I’m not perfect. Neither are you!

Holiday posts, and LOTS of them! I’ve already got one planned for an AMAZING night we had this past weekend that was everything fall is supposed to be (in my humble opinion). I’ll share tips on planning for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, and mommy group potlucks! We’ll share our present buying struggles and ideas, as well as the hustle and bustle of Christmas at 8 months pregnant (oh, joy!).

Home management tips! I’ll be sharing my favorite apps for meal planning, keeping everyone’s schedules together, facebook events (and who to send “real” invites to)! I’ll share cleaning schedules, easy weeknight recipes (and of course, my meal planning rotation board). Ways to keep carpets clean with two (soon to be three) extremely excitable children, cheap seasonal decorating ideas, it’s ALL coming.

And of course, we’ll get open and honest about mental health advocacy. I’ll share tips on finding low-income resources for mental health care, including finding coupons for medication without insurance, and cheap therapy options in your area. Mental health is so, so ridiculously important. Especially for mothers, with postpartum hormones, learning to take care of a new life, and managing a home (especially if you also work!).

I’m so, so excited to be back with you guys and to finally be -real-.

How have y’all been? Did you miss us?

Blog Revamped! - The Southern Smiths: New start, new purpose!