Friday, 31 March 2017

How to build an audience before launching your blog

Did you know that you can start building your audience of readers before you even launch your blog? You can! Let me show you how.
Disclaimer:  this blog post contains affiliate links.

Who wants to create an audience before even launching their blog?

Wait, you can do that?  Yes!

Okay, so you want to get your blog started.  You are waiting to launch it to the world because you feel like you have to fill it up with great content first, right?  You might be saying to yourself,

“I’ll launch my blog once I have more posts.”

“I can’t do anything with my blog yet because I don’t have enough content.”

“I can’t start building an email list until I have at least 20 blog posts!”

Well, I have good news.  Did you know that you can start building and communicating with your audience BEFORE your blog even goes live?  You can (and you should!)

Imagine, you can start building an email list right away.  Then, you can begin communicating with your list and sending them awesome tips.  During this time, you are working on adding lots of great content to your blog.  Once you are ready to launch, you’ve already got built-in traffic!
Here’s a rundown on how this works:
  1. Get a domain name and hosting.
  2. Install WordPress and begin adding content to your blog at your own pace.
  3. Get an email list provider (I use Convertkit) and set up a landing page with a great opt-in incentive (like a cheat-sheet, a resource list, a video, etc.).
  4. Begin communicating with your email list (sending them tips, asking them to join your Facebook group, conducting surveys, etc. so that they already know, like and trust you when your blog launches!
  5. Launch your blog when you feel like you are ready.  Announce it to your email subscribers and invite them to comment, pin and share!  You will have built-in traffic for your brand new blog.

That’s really all there is to it.  So, the bottom line is, don’t let the fact that your blog isn’t quite ready stop you from building an audience.

Here’s to your success!


How to Use Breast Milk for Ear Infection?

According to the studies, ear infections are most common in children in the age range of six to eighteen months. Ear infections are usually caused either due to infections by microorganisms such as bacteria, fungus and virus or due to the lack of wax production in the ear. Ear infections usually affect the middle ear and the inner ear. Sometimes excessive liquid trapped the ear can also cause infections.

Breast milk is produced by the mammary glands of a woman, mostly after pregnancy. Breast milk contains proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and other biologically active components. Recent studies have been initiated to find out the benefits of breast milk to cure certain diseases in adults as well. Let us see here how breast milk can be used to cure ear infections.

Can Breast Milk be Used Ear Infection?

  • Due to the presence of antibodies, breast milk is said to be useful for both children and adults in clearing ear infections.
  • Breast milk being a naturally produced product, does not have any side-effects and is said to be an effective way of introducing liquid in the ear canal.
  • Lack of liquid in the ear canal is what mostly leads to ear infections.
  • It also helps in killing any bacteria that can cause ear infection as it has antibacterial properties due to the presence of immunoglobulin-A, which is an antibody produced naturally by the human body to fight against bacteria.

How to Use Breast Milk for Ear Infection?

Plain Breast Milk:

  • Take 2-3 drops of breast milk and warm it a little. Since the quantity is very less even a spoon can be used to warm it, but care must be taken so that the milk does not become too warm.
  • Pour the warmed breast milk in the ear.
  • Ensure that the milk is not poured directly into the ear canal but at the entrance of the ear.
  • Leave it in for about 20 minutes.
  • Clean the ear and ensure there are no residues or liquid remaining in the ear canal.
  • If there is any of it left over because of carelessness while cleaning the ear post-treatment it could cause further infection.

Tips and Precautions:

  • Breast milk is available online, but it is always recommended to check the donor status and if possible avoid buying breast milk online.
  • Breast milk does not have any side-effects however; lactose intolerant patients must not use breast milk for ear infections.
  • Do not leave any liquid in the ear canal after the treatment as it attracts further bacterial growth.
If there is any further complications caused by using breastmilk, which generally should not happen, consult the doctor immediately.




How to Write a Blog Disclaimer

Note from Raelyn: I don’t usually accept guest posts here, as I like to keep the quality of my posts really high. That being said, when it comes to legal stuff, I thought it was best to get a lawyer into the house  Today, we have Jackie, an amazing attorney based in Pennsylvania to talk about writing blog disclaimers. 

It is important to keep your blog legal. One huge aspect to the legal side of running a blog is having appropriate legal statements on your blog.

These statements are there to protect you as a blogger, but also to let your readers know what your policies are so that they know you are trustworthy.


One of the important statements is the disclaimer statement. Before we get into it, let me share my own quick disclaimer here, being:

Yes, I am an attorney, but I’m not your attorney and this article does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and have based the information presented on US laws. This article is legal information and should not be seen as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney before you rely on this information.

How to write a blog disclaimer: What you MUST include in your website disclaimer to stay legal and safe. (Tips from an attorney, yay!)

Pin me and help other bloggers stay legally safe! 

What is a disclaimer?

First off, let’s discuss what a disclaimer even is.

A blog disclaimer is a legal statement to limit your liability and advise others that you cannot be held liable for information included on your blog.

Your blog disclaimer can be a short statement included in your blog’s footer or sidebar, a longer paragraph included on a separate page of your blog or a paragraph in your blog’s terms and conditions statement.

Of course, a blog disclaimer (or any legal statement for that matter) isn’t a 100% guarantee that someone won’t try to come after you legally due to their reliance on something you posted on your blog.

However, it never hurts to understand what blog disclaimers are and to include them where you can.

Why do you need a blog disclaimer?

A blog disclaimer puts it out there that others should not rely on information on your blog and, if they do, you won’t be held liable for such reliance. Therefore, this statement works as a way to avoid potential liability and it also tells your readers that it’s not your responsibility if they have issues with your site or the information that you present.

The best way to illustrate this is with an example. A writer of a finance blog writes blog posts about how she invested her money and made a 10% return. She outlines everything she does in order to get this return on her investment and she sounds like an expert. Someone could stumble upon her blog and follow her strategies to a T and think, “Hey this blogger knows what she’s talking about. I’m going to follow her plan and I’m guaranteed to get the same results!”

Of course, this is problematic since the blogger is possibly not a financial expert and she wasn’t intending for anyone to read her posts as financial advice. Additionally, even if the blogger is a finance expert, she shouldn’t just be giving out blanket financial advice to people whose full situations she doesn’t understand.

Finally, if someone relies on her info and has bad results, such as if they lose all their investment or they even just get results not as great as hers, the blogger could be held liable if that reader wanted to sue her.

Instead, if the blogger had a clear and informative disclaimer in place, it would be apparent to her readers how they should actually use her information and that it shouldn’t be taken as financial advice.

What should your blog disclaimer include?

There is no specific list of things your disclaimer needs to include. Generally, you just want to make it clear that others should not rely on your blog content and if they do, you can’t be held liable.

Additionally, it should be clear that you aren’t making any guarantees or promises regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information presented. This reminds your readers that any info found on your website is not a substitute for professional advice.

Here are some basics that you should consider including in your blog disclaimer:

  1. Nature of your site – Let your readers know the nature of your site. A blog differs from a website. A blog has ever changing content and can include conversations and comments as compared with a website. This might seem obvious, but it’s good to make it clear what type of site you are running.
  2. Opinionated content – You should remind your readers that your blog contains your opinions and doesn’t reflect the opinions of any organizations you might be affiliated with. This helps to show that if, perhaps you work with a certain company, you aren’t making official statements on behalf of that company.
  3. Terms of use – Indicate that any information you provide on your blog is accurate and true to the best of your knowledge, but that there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.
  4. Hold harmless clause – This type of clause is where you remind your readers that the info you present on your blog is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice, such a medical, legal, tax, emotional or other types of advice. You can again reiterate that if your readers rely on any info on your blog, it’s at their own risk.
  5. Not a professional – Next, indicate that you are not a professional, if that’s the case. Therefore, you’re not a doctor, medical professional, health professional, tax professional, attorney, engineer, etc. Whatever the topic you’re writing about –remind everyone that you are not a professional so your info shouldn’t be seen as professional advice.
  6. Are a professional, but… – If you are a professional for a topic that you’re writing on, make sure you share that, but remind your readers of what that means. Indicate that, even though you’re a professional, your blog posts are for information purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as financial, health, nutritional, medical, legal, etc advice. Also remind your readers to consult with a professional before taking any sort of action.
  7. Reservation of rights – In this section, you should indicate that you reserve the right to change how you manage or run your blog and that you may change the focus or content on your blog at any time.

You should also include any info or sections that you think are pertinent and useful to the type of blog you write. If there could be any confusion or issues where someone might rely on your info, definitely make things clear. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Lastly, be sure to include your disclaimer where it can be easily found and understood.

I hope you have found this useful and helpful in learning more about blog disclaimers. If you are interested in learning more about the legal side of running your blog, check out my free email course – Legalize Your Blog!

Author Bio: I’ve been blogging at Jade and Oak for over 4 years and have been a licensed attorney for over 6 years. I love sharing the legal side with other bloggers (something that isn’t often talked about) and making it easier and more accessible. When I’m not blogging, I’m working full time at a bank in Pittsburgh, PA, where I live with my husband and our two pugs, Bowie and Rosie.

If you liked this post, please share this?

Seriously. It helps a lot with the growth of this blog.

I know most people don’t share because they feel that us bloggers don’t need their “tiny” social share. But here’s the truth…

I built this blog piece by piece, one small share at a time, and will continue to do so. So thank you so much for your support, my reader.

Some great suggestions:
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Share it to your favorite blog + biz Facebook group
Tweet it!
Stumble it!


It won’t take more than 10 seconds of your time. The share buttons are right here.

Why You Should Eat Chia Seeds?

Benefits of Chia seeds:

Navy destroy illegal refinery, 1.59m litres of stolen diesel

The refinery destroyed by the Nigerian Navy

The Nigerian Navy on Friday said it had discovered and destroyed an illegal refinery with 1.59 million litres of illegally refined diesel during a mop-up operation in Port Harcourt.

Speaking at the destruction exercise, Commodore Williams Kayoda, the Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, however, said no arrest was made during the raid.

Kayoda said the navy deployed troops to the site after it got intelligence report about the illegal refinery situated around Iwofe, Rumuolumeni area of Port Harcourt.“Troops arriving at the site discovered 24 metallic tanks with each containing 60,000 litres of petroleum product suspected to be illegally refined diesel.

“Similarly, we discovered wooden boats with 150,000 litres of diesel believed to be stolen diesel.

“The petroleum product was evacuated to a safe location before troops destroyed the illegal refinery using a Swamp Buggy machine which completely crushed the metallic tanks.

“This new strategy is part of our efforts to end current air pollution in Port Harcourt while making it difficult for oil thieves to revive illegal refineries after it was destroyed,” he said.

The commander said the use of “Swamp Buggy” was part of tactics which involved complete crushing of metal tanks rather than setting both storage tanks and petroleum products ablaze.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new strategy was adopted following reports that burning of illegal refineries was partly responsible for current air pollution in Port Harcourt.

The Swamp Buggy strategy adopted by the navy replaces a former approach which involved setting ablaze illegal refineries and illegal bunker sites with its petroleum products.

Kayoda said the navy was committed to protecting the environment and health of residents and assured that it would carry out its mandate in line with standard practice.

“The Nigerian Navy will sustain this strategy until we bring this menace to a stop because the economic prosperity of the nation cannot be compromised to criminal individuals and groups.
“Operation Rivers Sweep which was concluded in February and being consolidated with ongoing Operation White Valentine are part of efforts to stop illegal bunkering and oil theft,” he said.

Also speaking during destruction exercise, Prof. Roseline Konya, the Rivers Commissioner of Environment, said the Rivers Government had setup a task force which was mandated to discover and stop the source of the air pollution.

She said that Gov. Nyesom Wike had given the task force a matching order to locate the source of the air pollution which causes lung infection and cancer. “We have seen that the military were in the past burning illegal refineries partly because they had no alternatives.

“We are glad to witness that they no longer burn illegal refineries; but destroy the sites by removing illegally refined petroleum products before they crush storage tanks with Swap Buggy machines.

“The Rivers government is pleading with individuals organisations such as the Army and Navy to assist us locate and eradicate the source of the soot,” she said. Konya, who is chairperson of the task force, commended the navy on the new Swamp Buggy strategy.


Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars {vegan & gluten free}

Amazing Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars – they taste like banana bread! No flour, butter, eggs, or dairy in this healthy recipe!

How was your weekend? Hope it was sweet! I’m in the middle of a juice cleanse and it’s been completely amazing! I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it.

This past weekend I spent a lot of time in the kitchen developing recipes because I know I’ll be in Australia for the next few weeks and wanted to catch up on blogging. It’s amazing how much time I can spend myself when I’m cooking and baking; my heart feels content.

But damn, can we just talk about these bars?

Breakfast is looking sweet with that pretty chocolate drizzle. Am I right or what?

Of course they are a healthy version of sweet because you know I’m always looking out for your dietary needs and waistline.

Just kidding. I’m really only making recipes up that seem interesting; things that I like to eat, bake, and create! I’ve realized that my body loves natural foods — and these bars are exactly that. No flour, eggs, dairy, or butter! 

These breakfast (or snack) bars are made with:

Gluten Free Oats (you get to make oat flour and it’s soooo easy)!

Ripe bananas.

Honey (or agave/maple syrup!).

Tiny tiny bit of unsweetened applesauce (no extra cals from oil).

Chocolate chips for a little bit of sweetness.

I adapted this recipe from my pumpkin chocolate chip oat bars except these taste like banana bread with awesome oatmeal texture. If you’ve ever put bananas in your morning oats, you know what I’m talking about.

You are going to love these bars – they’re great for when you’re on the go and can be frozen so that you can just heat them up for a quick bite! I’m sure kids would love these in their lunchbox or as an after school snack, too.

For me, they’re a great 3pm snack or a way to satisfy my sweet tooth in the evenings. 1 bar only has around 116 calories!

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars - no flour, butter, eggs or dairy!

If you end up making these bars, be sure to tag me on Instagram or post a photo to my Facebook wall – I love seeing what you create!

Have a great week! xoxo

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars - no flour, butter, eggs or dairy!

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars {vegan & gluten free}
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 16
  • Serving size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 116
  • Fat: 2.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.8g
  • Sugar: 10.8g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Protein: 1.7g
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten Free, Breakfast, Healthy, Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Healthy, gluten free banana oatmeal breakfast bars that taste like just like banana bread. Easy to make and even easier to eat!
  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (gluten free, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave nectar if vegan)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
  • For chocolate drizzle:
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make oat flour: Place oats into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended. Transfer oat flour medium bowl; whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. Place bananas, vanilla, applesauce, and honey into blender; blend 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add to oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly with rubber spatula. Bake for 15 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool 10-15 minutes on wire rack.
  5. Prepare drizzle by adding 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 30 seconds; stir well to combine then drizzle over the top of bars. Cut bars into 16 squares and enjoy!
Bars can be frozen. Simply bake, cool, cut; store in ziploc bag. Reheat individually for 30 seconds in microwave.

Make sure you read all ingredients and nutrition info to ensure recipe is gluten free/vegan, if that is what you desire.

Fold in 1/4 cup coconut flakes or extra chocolate chips for an even sweeter treat!

Extra ripe bananas are best for this recipe.

6 'healthy' foods that are actually packed with sugar — and what to eat instead


Sugar can be sneaky, lurking inside even healthy-sounding foods, from sauces to breakfast items.
If you’re watching your sugar intake, which “healthy” foods are you better off avoiding? Fox News spoke to Lauren Blake, a registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and Alexandra Miller, a dietitian at Medifast, to find out which seemingly healthy foods may be hiding excess sugar:

1. Yogurt
Yogurt can be a bit of a “health halo,” Blake told Fox News. While it may appear healthy, many brands can have a lot of added sugar, especially brands of flavored yogurts. For a 6-ounce container of yogurt, look for total carbohydrates of 15 grams or less, she recommended. Another tip? Typically, vanilla and coconut flavors have less added sugars than other flavors, Blake said.

2. Granola
While many types of granola have whole grains and nuts, they often also have lots of added sugars and oils, Blake said. Try chopping up some nuts, and tossing them together with cinnamon and berries for an easy, healthy yogurt topping, Blake recommended. Or look for healthy granola recipes online, like Blake’s Nutty Banana Hemp Granola.

3. Granola or other health bars
Similarly, granola bars can be just as deceptive, sugar-wise, Miller told Fox News — some can even have as much sugar as a candy bar. Look for bars with 8 grams of sugar or less, she said.

4. Fresh-pressed juice
While fresh-pressed fruit juice sounds healthy, there’s no fiber in it — which means your body will absorb the sugar very quickly, Blake said. Instead, try a green juice with minimal fruit, such as a juice made from greens, cucumbers, green apples, and lemon, she suggested.

5. Packaged fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a great choice — depending on how they’re packaged. Avoid canned fruits and vegetables, including mandarin oranges, cream of corn, and canned beets, that come packed in syrup, Miller said. And beware of items like applesauce that boast “no sugar added,” as Miller noted that they may still have fruit juice concentrates that significantly up their sugar content. Check the ingredient list to be sure.

6. Low-fat salad dressings
While low-fat salad dressings may sound healthy, they could be packing extra sugar, Blake said. When recipes take fat out, they add sugar in. Instead, she recommended looking for full-fat salad dressings with real ingredients.


Bugatti Only Made 3 Of These Special Edition Veyrons, And One's Now On The Market

 With 450 examples made, the Bugatti Veyron is hardly what we'd consider “common,” but an interested buyer can always find one for sale somewhere.


That's not to say they come cheap, mind you, but they're available. This particular example, however, is rarer than most.

You may recall that, in 2013, Bugatti started producing a special series of Vitesse roadsters dedicated to legendary drivers from its past. Each of the four was produced in a limited edition of threeexamples.

This one honored Italian pilot Meo Costantini, a WWI flying ace who went on to race for (and then run) Bugatti's racing division in the 1920s and '30s. It was done up in a two-tone exterior consisting of French racing blue and mirror-finish chrome, with a rather striking navy and light brown interior, and like the others in the series, incorporated an array of little “Easter eggs,” from Costantini's signature on the fuel cap to the rearing elephant logo (from the legendary Royale) on the transmission tunnel in the footwell.

Based as it is on the Vitesse, it combines the more powerful engine from the Super Sport with the removable roof panel from the Grand Sport. Its 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine produces 1,184 horsepower to send it rocketing to 62 in 2.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 233 miles per hour.

With just 1 mile on the odometer, it's apparently never been driven. And it's now listed for sale on JamesEdition by Deals on Wheels LLC – the same Dubai dealership that has a Koenigsegg Agera on offer – for $2.72 million.

Poached Eggs

Avocado Pecan Bread, Mizuna

Lazy, lazy dinner last night.

Today, things to accomplish, have a great one internets!


Jalapeno Bacon Chicken Sandwich

Candied Jalapenos, Chicken Thigh, Berkshire Bacon, Goat Cheese, Mizuna, Aioli.

Was delish! The candied jalapeno's were hawt and sweet!!! I loved how they tasted, not so thrilled with their appearance. Might have to think of a way to tweak it.

Simple dinner, quick, everything you want on a work night.


Thursday, 30 March 2017

A Practical Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with Google

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of using various strategies to appear high in a list of online search results. In this article, I go over over my methods and some important notes to keep in mind as a web developer.

Most of the traffic to my site comes from organic Google searches. Searching for how to make a wordpress theme, how to use bootstrap, and jekyll tutorial, including variations thereof and other popular search phrases, will list my site as one of the first results (as of writing this article in 2017).

Sometimes, the algorithm will even choose my result as the featured snippet.

Here is a graph comparing my analytics data from March 21, 2016 – March 21, 2017 and the same dates of previous year. March 21, 2015 is the first date I had analytics on my website, so the site’s been around for just over two years!

As a result of this data, many people have asked me what I do for SEO and if I can write an article on the subject. I’m not an expert, but I will share what I do and what I know with you.

Additionally, everything I mention here will be free and ad-less, and I do not use ads or adwords and have never paid a single cent for any sort of promotion or SEO.

This article is about optimizing search results with Google. I don’t know anything about Bing, and I’m fairly certain they don’t know I exist.

To begin, the first and more important step, by far.

Make good content

Google is very clear about this:

Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do.

This really cannot be overstressed, and I’d happily end the article right here. Aside from the fact that it’s the right thing to do, Google’s algorithms are always getting smarter, and attempts to hack the system will ultimately end up lowering your score. Examples of bad SEO practices would be spamming hidden keywords in the code, having duplicate content, and featuring low-quality and irrelevant guest posts.

If a website’s aim is to create as many pages as possible with click-bait titles in order to gain ad revenue, it may see some initial relative success. However, people leaving the site right away (high bounce rate), a lack of people linking to the site (low referrals) and few people directly visiting the site (low directs) will ultimately negatively factor into search ranking.

Social media does not necessarily factor into search rankings, either. Here is how people found my site (acquisition data) from February 1st to 28th of 2017.

Of all sessions, 80% were organic, 11% direct hits, 4% from referrals, and only 3% from social means (reddit, Twitter, Facebook, etc). I don’t post or proselytize often, which may have something to do with the low percent of social media, but it hasn’t negatively affected my rankings.

A session is not the same as a page hit – it can multiple contain interactions within a certain time frame by a single user.

If you’re proud of your content and it provides value to others, all it takes is finding a few people who love what you have to say to begin growing.

Make your site mobile friendly

Google also has strong opinions on this matter:

If you haven’t made your website mobile-friendly, you should. The majority of users coming to your site are likely to be using a mobile device.

You can run your site through the Mobile-Friendly Test to check.

As a web developer, the biggest part of this is making sure your website is responsive/adaptive to multiple screen sizes. I wrote an article about understanding the fundamentals of responsive design previously. Frameworks such as Bootstrap also make this achievable.

Make your site accessible

Web accessibility is the practice of making your site more friendly to people with disabilities. This includes people who have visual impairments (blindness, poor vision) or auditory impairments (deafness or hard of hearing), among other disabilities.

I won’t go into extensive detail for now (perhaps later in another article) – I’ll just be listing a few major points. However, it’s important to be aware of accessibility issues and understand that it does factor into search engine optimization.

Resources: WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool), Wuhcag (Web accessibility for developers).

Screen reader text

People with blindness and vision impairments use screen reader software, and rely entirely on text where we might get visual cues from images or icons.

In order to provide context to these visual cues, create a screen-reader-text class. Anything you place in that class will be hidden for screens but still supply the text for the readers. Use this instead of display: none or visibility: hidden.

This class is often also written as sr-only.
.screen-reader-text {
    clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);
    position: absolute !important;
    height: 1px;
    width: 1px;
    overflow: hidden;

Include a skip navigation link

Using the screen-reader-text class, you can add a visually hidden link before the navigation of your site so users don’t have to tab through each navigation item
<a href="#main-content" class="screen-reader-text">Skip Navigation</a>

<main id="main-content">

Give your images alt tags

Another important way to make your site more accessible is to add alt tags to describe images.
<img src="image.jpg" alt="Alternate text to describe the image.">
(This is something I still need to work on.)

Use semantic HTML

Using proper semantic structure in your HTML is important for screen readers to be able to quickly and accurately find content. This means using proper heading tags (<h1> through <h5>), list tags(<ul>, <ol>), and semantic layout tags (<article>, <section>).
View a complete WCAG 2.0 checklist.

Make your site faster

Website speed has played a factor in SEO for a long time. There’s no quick fix to speed up a website – it depends on many factors from server quality to size of assets, number of requests, and so on.
A good idea to get started is to run your site through the various speed checking tools online and see where the biggest issues lie. As a note, I’d caution againt getting too obsessed with optimizing page speed – for example, getting a perfect score on Google’s PageSpeed Tools is nearly impossible, and there are more important things you can spend your time on.

I’ll mention a few methods that are relatively easy to implement.

Resources: Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom Website Speed Test, WebPageTest, GT Metrix

Use a CDN

You can connect to a CDN provider, such as CloudFlare, to instantly speed up your website and reduce bandwidth costs. For a simple, personal account such as mine, CloudFlare is free. In order to use the CDN, you’ll set your domain’s nameservers to the new ones that CloudFlare provides.

Minify JavaScript and CSS

Using a task runner such as Gulp or Grunt, you can set your JavaScript and CSS to automatically minify, which means reducing all whitespace and unnecessary characters. This reduces the size of your script and stylesheet assets

Optimize images

Images are usually the largest assets that your website will serve. Optimizing and compressing images is a good and easy way to reduce speed. You can use a browser based tool such as Optimizilla or TinyPNG, download the optimized contents from Google PageSpeed Insights, or use a task runner. If you’re using WordPress, you can use a plugin such as WP Smush It.

Enable Gzip compression

Gzip compression drastically reduces the file size of your HTML and other assets. This guide by Patrick Sexton demonstrates how to enable Gzip on various types of servers (Apache, NGINX).

Leverage browser caching

Browser caching is a client side method of loading pages faster. It tells the server to save the files for a specified amount of time instead of fetching all assets every time the page is loaded. Here’s another great guide by the same author as above on taking advantage of browser caching.

Create a Google Analytics account

Google Analytics tracks and reports website traffic. The graphs and information I used in this post are from Google Analytics. Sign up for an account and create a property for your website, and verify domain ownership.

In the admin area, you’ll find a tracking code that you will place in the <head> of all pages that should be tracked. Once that’s in place, Analytics will begin tracking your traffic.

Connect to Google Search Console

Google Search Console, part of Google Webmaster Tools, is an addition to Google Analytics for web developers. Create an account by adding a property, associating it with your Google Analytics account, and verifying your domain.

Search Console will tell you the search terms people typed to find your site organically. It will also allow you to check for crawl errors, security issues, and fetch the site as Google.

Use structured data

Structured data is another way search engines recognize the content on a website.
JSON LD, or JSON for Linking Data, is Google’s preferred way of receiving Schema (structured data) information. Below is one example of a type of JSON LD schema – a person. I used myself as the example. I would simply put this script in the footer of my website.
<script type="application/ld+json">
      "@context": "",
      "@type": "Person",
      "image": "tania.jpg",
      "jobTitle": "Web developer",
      "name": "Tania Rascia",
      "gender": "female",
      "url": "",
	    "sameAs" : [ 
A list of all types and properties can be found here.
Microdata would be an alternative, less preferred way of adding Schema data to your website.

Create a sitemap

A sitemap helps the search engine crawlers index and understand your website. You can generate a sitemap with free browser based tool such as XML Sitemap Generator. If you’re using WordPress, use the Google Sitemap Generator plugin.

Use HTTPS encryption

In an effort to improve internet security, Google made HTTPS encryption via SSL/TLS a ranking factor in 2014.

You can use Let’s Encrypt to set up a valid HTTPS connection. Otherwise, I wrote this guide on how to use one of the standard certificate services.


My aim was to share with you all the resources and strategies I use to keep track of my website and maintain good standards. Making high-quality content will always be the most important factor in having a high search ranking, but hopefully this article alerted you to additional steps you can take to make sure your website is optimized for speed and accessibility. If you have anything to add, think I left something out, or were confused by any steps, please let me know so I can improve the article

How to Become a Successful Social Media Manager

#HowTo become a successful Social Media Consultant or Manager  #SocialMedia:

What 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil a Day Can Do To Your Fat Is Amazing!

What 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil a Day Can Do To Your Fat Is Amazing!
Download Now!

The key to successful weight loss is to keep your blood sugar steady at all times.
And this can only be done through your diet.

No matter how hard you exercise, if you’re not able to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, you will put on fat.
So how do you go about keeping your blood sugar steady over long periods of time? With real food and healthy fats!

Coconut Oil Is The Best Fat For Weight Loss

Eating coconut oil to lose weight is more effective than you think. Here’s why it works:
  1. The high medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCTs) in coconut oil help boost your metabolism. (1)
  2. Coconut oil decreases hunger and curbs cravings. (2)
  3. Coconut oil helps balance your hormones.

How to Use Coconut Oil To Lose Weight

Using coconut oil for weight loss is very easy and practical. All you have to do is take a spoonful of it 15-20 minutes before every meal.

Doing this will greatly reduce your appetite and help you feel more satisfied quickly, while eating less.

Coconut oil is an effective weight loss tool but you still need to pay close attention to your diet, activity levels and sleeping habits.


16 Early Warning Signs Your Liver Is Sluggish And Toxins Are Being Stored In Your Fat Cells

FREE Download: 16 Early Warning Signs Your Liver Is Sluggish
Download Now!

The liver performs over 500 different functions in the human body (1).

Every day, your liver supports your everyday life by providing you with energy, fighting off infection, clearing out toxins, helping clot the blood, regulating hormones and so much more (2).

You liver does a lot for you, so when it isn’t working optimally, you’ll be sure to notice.

Signs of a Worn-out Liver

The liver, like the kidneys, filters out toxins and harmful substances from the body.

The organ also produces albumin, a protein that helps keep fluid in the bloodstream. This prevent swelling and edema, an accumulation of fluid in bodily tissues (3).

When the liver is overloaded with fat-soluble toxins, it begins to store these substances in your fat cells.

In fact, one of the first steps in getting rid of toxins is the liver converting fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble ones so that may be expelled from the body through bile.

This can leave you feeling tired, weak, nauseous, confused and can cause digestive troubles and weight gain.

Other symptoms of toxic overload include anxiety, skin conditions, sudden allergies and constant bloating as well as brain fog and hormonal imbalance. Here are some additional warning signs you should be on the lookout for:
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Dull Headaches
  • Chronic Joint or Muscle Pain
  • Excessive Perspiration
  • Trouble Digesting Fats, Abdominal Pain, Constipation, Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Chemical Sensitivities
  • Chronic Bad Breath
  • Unexplained Weight Gain

 How To Keep Your Liver Healthy

The best way to keep your liver healthy is by eating whole foods, avoiding processed sugars and saturated fats, getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol and not smoking.

It’s also important to drink plenty of water, eat healthy fats, get enough iron and to eat lots of fiber to soak toxic bile and expel it from your body.

Chemicals typically used as herbicides, pesticides and food additives can also wreak havoc on the body and often make their way into fatty tissue, so try to eat organic as much as possible.

If you need an extra boost, try these 3 liver-healing herbs.

1. Milk thistle
Milk thistle is the number one herb suggested to alcoholics to treat alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis and alcoholic cirrhosis. It also protects the liver from toxins and drugs, so it’s particularly helpful for chronically ill patients (4).

The herb also helps the liver repair itself and regenerate new cells. Its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial fro the treatment of viral hepatitis and mushroom poisoning.

2. Globe Artichoke
Closely related to milk thistle, artichoke stimulates bile production and flow within the liver. This helps fight heartburn and prevent hangovers. The plants also helps control cholesterol levels after a fatty meal and regular consumption can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (5).

Its antioxidant and antibacterial activity protects the organ from damage and infection (6).

3. Turmeric
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect the liver from damage and scarring while promoting cell regeneration (7). It can also protect the liver against alcohol and strong pharmaceutical drugs and harsh chemicals (8).

Some studies have even found that this golden spice can kill cancerous cells and tumors in the liver (9).


Amazing Benefits of Brazil Nuts for Skin, Hair and Health

Benefits of Brazil Nuts for skin, hair & health:

How To Get More Traffic to Your Blog

How to get more traffic to your blog - it's only easy if you allow yourself the time.
Every blogger wants the secret formula to how to get more traffic to your blog. More website traffic is good for many reasons:
  • increases brand awareness
  • increases sales
  • increases engagement
  • builds relationships with other bloggers and people in general

This burning desire for more blog visitors has led to a number of bad strategies for blog promotion.
In the beginning people started gaming Google by doing the following:
  • unscrupulous linking
  • buying and selling links
  • keyword stuffing

I am sure that there are many other dark approaches that I have no idea about.

But in the end Google was wise to all of that and adjusted their algorithms to eliminate sites that did not provide valuable content to their customers.

Customers for Google – are regular, ordinary people like you and me, who want relevant search results.

So, the best advice for bloggers and website owners is to keep the content real.

However, that alone is still not enough. You can have the best content in the world, but if nobody knows about it, they won’t come to your blog.

So What Is a Blogger To Do?

Obviously, gaming Google is not the answer.

But there are other strategies that we can employ to get the word out.

Lena Gott Blog Traffic EBook

One blogger, Lena Gott, shares 17 of her Blog Traffic strategies in her eBook. In only 9 months she took her pageviews from 17K per month to 350K per month. Not too shabby. I have read through Lena’s book twice and each time I find new website traffic tips to try.

There is nothing wrong with marketing our blogs.

Every legitimate business uses advertising and networking to build their customer base.
Your blog is no different.

And even better – you don’t need a big budget, or any budget at all to spread the word about your website.

The thing that you do need is time.
I found the following infographic on one of my favorite blogs about blogging – called Blogging Wizard.

Basically for every single post that you write – you need to take the time to promote it on a variety of different social media platforms and bookmarking sites.

If you mention other bloggers in your article – take the time to let them know that they were featured (yes, Adam – you will be hearing from me.  )

The number one reason that we don’t self promote our blogs is that we don’t allow ourselves enough time to follow through.

When you write a blog post, you should build in an extra half hour or so to promote the post after you hit publish.

If it takes an hour for you to write a post – book 1.5 or two hours in your schedule to include promotion.

With consistent action, your blog traffic will increase over time.

Download Our Blog Promotion Checklist

I have created a Blog Promotion Checklist with hyperlinks to many of the resources that Adam has mentioned in the infographic.

You can pull this out every time you publish a post and and quickly hit all of the sites to promote your post.

Here is the infographic from Blogging Wizard – please take the time to read through each step and find the platforms that fit best with your topic.



How To Prevent The Deadliest of All Types of Cancer By Eating This ONE Thing!

07 How To Prevent The Deadliest of All Types of Cancer By Eating This ONE Thing!
Pancreatic cancer is no joke.

Because it’s difficult to spot in the early stages, the disease is one of the most deadly: Only 1% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK survive their disease for ten years or more (1).

And survival rates in the the Unites States aren’t any better.

This is because the early warning signs of the disease are easily mistaken for everyday health complaints.
By the time the disease has been diagnosed, it’s almost impossible to completely remove all the cancerous cells (2).

Processed Meat – The Biggest Culprit

For a long time, scientists believed the disease was caused by excess body weight, pancreatitis, diabetes and smoking, which raises cancer risk by 74% (3).

However new research has discovered that meat products may also be to blame.

A recent study published in BMC medicine found that a high consumption of red meat was related to higher all-cause mortality, including death by cancer. Processed meat had the highest association to cancer and cardiovascular disease while poultry had little to no association (4).

And this isn’t the first study to link meat consumption to cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer Risk Increases With Every 2 Strips of Bacon You Eat:

A study funded by the Swedish Cancer Foundation examined 11 studies and case reports on more than 6,000 pancreatic cancer patients and found that every 50 grams of processed meat – roughly one sausage or two strips of bacon – you eat daily increases your risk of pancreatic cancer.

Eating around 150 grams of process meat a day, makes you 57% more likely to suffer from pancreatic cancer (5).

Although researchers still aren’t sure what mechanisms are to blame, nitrates and nitrites have often come under fire. Not because they’re toxic but because they have to potential to be.

What Are Nitrates?

Nitrates are naturally-occurring compounds found in the soil, air and water. They act as a preservative and color enhancer in meat products.

The body uses nitrates to kill harmful bacteria (like salmonella) in the digestive tract, facilitate cell signaling, dilate blood vessels and increase energy (6,7,8,9).

The problem is, when nitrates found in meat are exposed to high heat from cooking, they turn into compounds called nitrosamines. This can only happen when the right amino acids are present.

These carcinogenic compounds are the real danger. They’re often found in cured meats, beer, some cheeses, nonfat dry milk, and processed fish (10).

In fact, these foods are also linked to increased risk of bladder, esophageal and stomach cancer (11).
Another popular nitrate-full food, hot dogs, is linked to a 700% increased risk of childhood leukemia (12).

Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin C

While the best way to avoid these carcinogenic compounds is to cut out processed meats and dairy products all together, you can minimize your exposure to nitrosamines by eating vitamin C-rich foods during nitrate-rich meals to prevent nitrosamine from forming in the first place (13).

You can also swap bacon for salted pork belly, kept frozen and heated slowly over low heat or go to your local butcher for nitrate-free sausages.


How to Start a Blog and Turn it into a Profitable Business

how to start a blog

Starting your own blog has the potential to drastically change your life.  I’m going to show you how to start a blog for as cheap and as easy as possible in this article.  You’ll be up and running in about

 15 minutes.  How to Start A Blog | Make Money Blogging | Become and Online Entrepreneur | Side Hustle

Note: This post contains affiliate links for HostGator, a hosting company that I recommend for new bloggers who are eager to get up and running with their blog.

Before we dive in though, I want to take a step back and talk about why starting your own blog is such a great idea.

No matter what topic you want to focus on, with the right strategies, your blog can:
connect you with millions of people…

get your ideas out into the world…

and make you more money than you could ever dream of making at your 9 to 5.
Think it can’t happen to you? Think again:

In just 4 years, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents went from $672/mo to making over $100,000/mo from her blog. Take a look:

how to start a blog

Or there’s Melyssa, who made over $173,000 in September from her blog and online business:

how to start a blog

It takes a lot of hard work (and maybe just a smidge of luck) to reach the elite ranks of Michelle and Melyssa, but that shouldn’t stop you from starting your own blog.

In fact, it’s 100% feasible to start making a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars per month within just a few months of launching your blog.  We’ve done it with this website, and you can too.

There are so many income streams you can build with your blog.

But before you start raking in cash from your blog, you first need to start your blog.  And that can be a pretty intimidating hurdle for a lot of people, especially the non-tech peeps (like me).  I’m going to walk you through, step-by-step, how to start a blog with HostGator.

Why HostGator?  Well, in my experience, they are the best all around hosting company for new bloggers in terms of performance and cost.  They’ve also got a great infrastructure to accommodate your blog as it grows, which is really important.

And with the 30% off coupon code for you in Step 6, HostGator’s the best bang for your buck, bar none.

(UPDATE: the coupon code is now for 42% off!)
So, are you ready to get started pursuing something awesome? Open another tab so you can follow along with me.

If you’re reading this on your cell phone, be sure to pin this article for later so you can follow along on your computer.

How to Start a Blog with HostGator in 9 Steps

Step 1: Choose Your Hosting Plan

Go to HostGator’s home page and select “Get Started Now”.  This will bring you to a page that gives you 3 different packages.  I recommend starting off with the Hatchling Plan:
how to start a blog

If you are just starting out, the Hatchling Plan is all you need.  First rule of business: don’t over complicate things and end up overspending!

Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name

Once you hit the Sign Up Now button, you’ll be directed to the order form.  The first item on the list is the most important one: your domain name!  This is the one and only name for your website, so give this some thought.
how to start a blog
It can be tricky coming up with a name that isn’t already claimed.

Tips for Choosing Your Domain Name

  • Stick to just .com endings.  Don’t bother using .biz, .info, .org, or any other endings.
  • Make your domain name simple and easy to remember.
  • Leave out numbers and dashes and anything else other than letters.

Step 3: Enter Your Hosting Plan Information

This step just confirms what you chose in Step 1 (Hatchling Plan).  If you want to change plans, though, you can do it here.
how to start a blog
You’ll also set up your HostGator username, which is what you’ll use to access the back end of your site.

Step 4: Enter Your Billing Information

Another straightforward step.  If you can’t figure this part out, maybe this whole online biz thing isn’t for you
how to start a blog


Step 5: Choose Add-ons That You Want

I recommend all of them, however, you can probably get away with adding them later.  Eventually (hopefully in the not-too-distant future, assuming your blog grows) you’ll want all of these things.
how to start a blog
If money’s tight, you can forego these things.  If I had to choose just one add-on, I would choose the site backup option.  Losing all your hard work is a buzz kill that I would not wish on even my worst enemy.

Step 6: Enter Your Coupon Code

We’ve got you covered: use the coupon code BTOP42 for 42% off your order.  We’ve partnered up with them to give our readers this exclusive deal not offered on their regular site.   All the more reason to get started right now!

Step 7: Review Order Details and Submit!

Once you’ve completed all the steps above, go through and make sure everything is the way you want it.  I won’t include a screenshot since everyone’s checkout page will look slightly different based on their choices.

You’ll also notice that there are a few other free perks: 24/7/365 Phone, LiveChat, and Email Support AND a  45 Day Money Back Guarantee if you decide blogging isn’t for you.  Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Once you’re all set, go ahead and hit Checkout and let’s get rolling!

Step 8: Install WordPress

Now it’s time to install WordPress on your site (don’t worry, it’s easy!).
Go to HostGator’s Billing Login page:
how to start a blog
Use the email address you signed up with and the password included in your order confirmation email.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a bunch of tabs on the top.  Click on the Hosting tab.

Once that loads up, you should see an option below under “Special Offers” that says Get Started with WordPress Today. Click it:how to start a blog
That will bring you to a “QuickInstall” page, shown below. how to start a blog
Make sure your domain name is chosen in the “Application URL” section. Be sure to leave the box after the slash blank.

Then, check the “Enable Auto Upgrades” box.  Enter your “Admin Email”, your “Blog Title” can just be your domain name (with spaces), then enter whatever you want your admin username to be.  Pro tip: Never make it “admin”!  You WILL get hacked if that happens.  Make your Admin User something unique. Lastly, fill in your first and last name, then click the “Install Now” button.

Step 9: Finish WordPress Install and Log into WordPress!

Once WordPress is finished installing, you’ll get a confirmation message giving you info for where to access your WordPress login, your username, and a randomly generated password to sign in. Your WordPress page can be found at Go to that URL and sign in.

And that’s it!  You’re all set up and ready to go with your new domain.

Now…The Part About Making Money

I’ll be honest with you.  It’s gonna take time.
And if you just got done with the steps above, you should probably focus on building up your blog’s content and growing your audience before you start thinking about money.

Here are a few parting thoughts I have on how to start a blog (successfully):
  • Make sure you’re writing in a way that’s easy to read.  What do I mean by that? Be conversational, use short paragraphs, and use short sentences.  Oddly enough, this is way harder than it sounds, especially for new bloggers.  The way you learned to write in high school and college is NOT the way you want to write for your blog.  I can’t stress that enough!
  • Your content needs to help people solve a problem.  If it doesn’t do that, then it better entertain them.  If you aren’t doing either of these things, you will probably fail.
  • Use social media to promote your blog.  I recommend starting with Pinterest.  Check out my comprehensive Pinterest guide.
  • Start learning about the different ways of monetizing your blog.


University ranking has become increasingly important in recent years among the general public at large because it creates a public platform...