VIP Feature Friday: Just Another Mom

Welcome to Feature Friday at Learn to Blog Hangouts. Each week we are featuring one of our VIP member bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy the interview. Then, take a few moments to visit this week’s VIP.
Without further adieu, please welcome Kori of Just Another Mom.


Just Another Mom | VIP Feature Blogger at

Meet Kori of Just Another Mom:

Hi Kori! Please tell us about you and your blog:
I’m a stay at home mom of three (two teenagers and a toddler), unofficial step mom of two tweenage boys, aspiring work at home mom, and beginning homeschooling mom. When I’m not blogging I enjoy cooking, baking, watching Jeopardy and Chopped. My blog, Just Another Mom, provides resources and inspiration for everyday moms and women everywhere.

What is your biggest struggle? This can be blogging related or just life in general!
Time management for sure. And this applies to both blogging and life, lol.

Are you married? How long? Tell us a bit about your spouse.
I am not, but I’ve been in a relationship with my other half, Kyle, since St. Patrick’s Day of 2013. It definitely seems like longer and I already feel like we’re married.

Describe each of your children in one sentence.
Oh boy, lol. My son is my miracle baby as he was born at 24 weeks gestation. My older daughter is my life teacher as she’s taught me so much about myself. My youngest is my spitting image in appearance and personality so I’m definitely in trouble, lol.

Do you have pets?
I have a cat and growing up had dogs… I miss having dogs.

What would you tell your 17 year old self if you could?
It will get better.

What would your kids say is your “catch phrase”?
My mother’s is “This is true!” She must say it 100 times a day. LOL! For goodness sake!

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Impatient, Persistent, Realistic

It is 9 pm on a typical weekday evening. Where are you and what are you doing?
Linking up to linky parties with tv on in the background

When it comes to:

Cooking: Please share your favorite kid-friendly, mom-approved recipe! My toddler absolutely loves this spinach, sausage, and turkey meatball recipe.

Parenting: What would you tell every new mother if given the chance?
Absolutely sleep when you can!

This is your blogging story and our shameless plug :)!

How long have you been blogging?
With my current blog since 2014. But I have been blogging on and off since 2005.

How did you find Learn to Blog? Trying to learn about this new world of blogging

What is your favorite post, challenge, series, or video from Learn to Blog Hangouts?
The AdSense challenge is my favorite and I can’t pick a favorite video, they’re all incredible!

What is one blogging tip that changed your life? Where did you learn it?
Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to change. And learned that through trial and error.

Just Another Mom - VIP Feature Blogger at

Kori’s Favorite Blog Posts:

Just Another Mom is a parenting and lifestyle blog with a special focus on autism and special needs. Kori shares parenting tips, early learning homeschool ideas and tips, homemaking tips, fitness and much more.

  1. Autism and Grief – This is a personal story of my initial reactions and dealing (or not dealing) with my daughter’s autism diagnosis
  2. Is Being a Stay at Home Mom Worth It? – One of my more insightful posts, I think. It’s why I wanted to be a stay at home mom again
  3. Tips on Motherhood for NICU Moms – Two of my children were born premature, so this is something that’s important to me.

Find Kori on the web!

Are you a homeschool parent? Do you have an autistic family member or friend? Looking for great homemaking, parenting and fitness tips? Be sure to stay up-to-date with Kori’s latest posts, ideas, and tips!


How about you? Would you like to be considered for an interview? You must be a current LTB VIP Member! Then, you can go to this forum post to fill out your interview sheet!

Blog Challenge: How to Build a Pageview

Everyone wants more pageviews. Once you get a new reader (or existing one) to your site, you want them to look at ALL of your content, right? In this challenge, you will learn how to increase your pageviews for every visitor that you get.

how to build a pageview

In our Learn to Blog Hangouts VIP Forum, we have regular challenges to help you grow your blog and your profits just like this this one.

This week’s challenge: How to build a pageview

The link to this week’s challenge,1075.0.html

A successful blogger knows how to build a pageview. There are MANY reasons why we do this.

In today’s challenge I encourage you with one simple tasks to get you in the habit of building a pageview.

All the details are in this exclusive 13 minute, private video, only available to VIP members. Crystal shares her screen and walks you through the process.

  • This challenge is so easy, but has a lot of impact!
  • Not sure which tool to use to find out which of your blog posts to target in this challenge? Don’t worry. Crystal tells you exactly which report to look at and how to narrow the focus of your results.
  • Learn what one of the VIP members did with their post to make it the most popular one of the month
  • Find out what you should add to your post and where to put it
  • Get specific instructions on which posts you should look for
  • Share your blog post that you update for this challenge

Want more? Want to grow your blog and take it to the next level?

step by step how to build a pageview on your blog

Step One: Do This Now to Your Most Popular Blog Post —>  How to build a pageview. Crystal shares in a video step by step how she and Kelli build a pageview on their blog posts and where you need to start to do the same on your site.  This is step one.,1075.0.html

If you are wanting to grow your blog with:

  • hands on help
  • access to Kelli & Crystal
  • blog challenges of ACTIONABLE TASKS
  • access to sponsored posts, paid gigs, and product review pitches
  • social sharing
  • blog comment trees
  • and so much more!

85+ Free Hangouts/Videos:
2,900+ member Facebook Group:
Forum with 2,000+ topics:

VIP Feature Friday: Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Welcome to Feature Friday at Learn to Blog Hangouts. Each week we are featuring one of our VIP member bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy the interview with this week’s VIP.
Without further adieu, please welcome Helen from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.


Meet Miz Helen of Miz Helen’s Country Cottage:

Hi Miz Helen! Please tell us about your blog:
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage is a blog about Garden to Table Food from Organic Vegetable and Herb Gardens to meal plans that include family friendly recipes.

What is your biggest struggle? This can be blogging related or just life in general!
My biggest struggle with blogging currently is learning about different social media’s and how they really work to bring traffic to the blog.

Are you married? How long? Tell us a bit about your spouse.
I have shared life with my best friend for the last 55 years, he truly is Gods special gift to me. He is semi retired and enjoys keeping our gardens in tip top shape. We enjoy life and laughing together trying to make everyday very special.

Describe each of your children.
We have seven children, 3 boys and 4 girls.  We have 12 Grandchildren and 4 Great Grandchildren.  We have been so blessed with a fantastic family!

Do you have pets? Tell us your favorite pet story!
Max is our little rescue dog who came to live in his forever home with us about 3 years ago. He is the light of our life and such an adorable and loveable little half Poodle and half Bichon.  I have a special page for Max on the blog.

What would you tell your 17 year old self if you could?
Learn the life lesson before moving forward.

What would your kids say is your “catch phrase”?
My mother’s is “This is true!” She must say it 100 days a day. LOL! My “catch phrase” would be “Just Do It!”

Describe yourself in only 3 words.
Joyful, Loving, Compassionate

It is 9 pm on a typical weekday evening. Where are you and what are you doing?
Curled up on the sofa with my honey watching a program or just talking about the day.

When it comes to:

Cooking: Please share your favorite kid-friendly, mom-approved recipe!
One of our families favorites would be Cheeseburger Casserole. The kids always love this one!

Parenting: What would you tell every new mother if given the chance?
Give lots of unconditional love and be consistent, God has given you a very special job to help prepare this person for life. What an incredible gift!

Beauty: Share your best make up/ beauty trick!
A little blush and a big smile!

Fashion: What is the one fashion accessory that every woman should own?
A nice handbag.

Cause: Why did you take on this project? Does it hold special meaning for you?
I am excited to participate in this project, hoping it will help me to continue to grow, and view it as a real opportunity to get to know more bloggers.

This is your blogging story and our shameless plug ;)!

How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for 5 years.

How did you find Learn to Blog?
I came to Learn to Blog through Crystal and Kelli who have brought wonderful posts to my Full Plate Thursday’s for a number of years.

What is your favorite post, challenge, series, or video from Learn to Blog Hangouts?
It would be very hard for me to identify my favorite, most of the techniques that I have learned have been from the hangouts and the Learn To Blog VIP Form.

What is one blogging tip that changed your life? Where did you learn it?
The one blogging tip that changed my life and the life of my blog, when I went to a dot com. I learned that I could make that transition from a Learn to Blog Hangout.


Miz Helen’s Favorite Blog Posts:

Miz Helen is passionate about sharing family friendly recipes and meal plans. Her blog features over 200 recipes. Here’s a sample of Miz Helen’s favorites:

Old Fashioned Mac and Pea Salad. I remember eating this salad at my Mothers and at my Aunts house when I was growing up and it is one of my favorite spring salads. This is a great salad for picnic’s, covered dish dinners, and family get together’s or maybe just a special evening to remember a great recipe from your childhood.

Chicken Spaghetti is one of our families favorites and is a special request from many of our friends.

The Picnic Cake. If our family is having a picnic or a covered dish The Picnic Cake is always there, it is a great cake recipe to have.

Find Miz Helen’s Country Cottage on the web!

Do you love to cook and feed your family delicious and nutritious meals? You can keep up with Miz Helen’s new recipes by following her here.


How about you? Would you like to be considered for an interview and be one of your Featured VIPs? You must be a current LTB VIP Member! Then, you can go to this forum post to fill out your interview sheet!

How an Editorial Calendar Helps You as a Blogger

There is no “one size fits all” use for editorial calendars. Use these ideas as a jumping off point to personalize one for you. An editorial calendar can help you create content and schedule it out. Different things will work for different people.

What is an Editorial Calendar?

An editorial calendar is used … to control publication of content across different media. (Wikipedia)


Benefits of Using an Editorial Calendar



Speakers in Hangout Are:

Crystal Van Tassel of

Kelli Miller of

C. Lee Reed of

Benefits of Using an Editorial Calendar

  1. Having an editorial calendar with ideas in it can prevent or reduce writer’s block
  2. Helps you be more deliberate about blogging
  3. Helps you stay organized
  4. Work SEO
  5. Storing ideas
  6. Organizing sponsored posts
  7. Planning ahead for seasonal content
  8. Allows you to work in bulk and then schedule content
  9. Work more efficiently
  10. Do step 1 for multiple posts (creating content), step 2 for multiple posts (scheduling social media shares),
  11. Prevents overscheduling (when you can turn around guest posts, sponsored posts, etc.)
  12. Being authentic and balancing sponsored posts (to keep it to 30% or less) (See our hangout with Authenticity with Holly Homer & Chrissy Taylor.)

How a Blogger Who Also Works Full-Time Outside of the Home Uses an Editorial Calendar

  • Paper or Plugin? C. Lee Reed uses WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin. She can drag and drop the post to another date/time slot.
  • Manage Sponsored Posts – For sponsored posts, she puts the requirements of the post in the draft, save it on the due date they requested – fills this in when she receives the information
  • Keeps track of post ideas
  • Adds ideas to post drafts
  • Every day daily planner, puts everything there
  • Appointments, deadlines, to do lists, hangout, event, or webinar
  • Blog post ideas – fills them in as ideas come to her. Then, when the time comes she writes/completes/schedules the post in one sitting. Schedules all sharing on social media.
  • Manage guest post spots
  • Social media
  • Takes a photo of her editorial calendar, so she can see it on the go. If she has time in between appointments or on her lunch hour, she could be working on a post (from the editorial calendar)

Related: How to Successfully Blog While Working Full Time Outside of the Home 

Editorial Calendar Options

  • Paper
  • Plugin
  • Word document
  • Excel spreadsheet like Melissa Culberton’s editorial calendar offered in the Content Brew class
  • Google Doc


1. Edit Flow plugin – free

  • Filter by post status, if scheduled, by category, by author
  • See month at a glance and where you may have holes (and holes by category)
  • Story budget (how many posts by category)
  • Custom statuses (Kelli’s: pitch, in progress, draft, pending review, post ideas, template)
  • Can drag and drop the post to another date/time slot

2. WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin – free

  • See all of your posts and when they’ll be posted.
  • Drag and drop to change your post dates.
  • Manage your drafts with our new drafts drawer.
  • Quick edit post titles, contents, and times.
  • Publish posts or manage drafts.
  • Easily see the status of your posts.
  • Manage posts from multiple authors.

How to Use an Editorial Calendar



Immediate view of what slots are still open, where I can fit in post ideas I have. Very deliberate about blogging – has certain times of the day that posts go live. Can see at a glance any holes, can identify a category that hasn’t been written about and plugs it into the editorial calendar. Makes multiple printables (individual) at once (i.e. makes 10 Elf on the Shelf printables). If she has room to schedule 8 posts, then she schedules the last 2 for next year.

Updating Seasonal Content and Landing Pages

Create drafts for topics next year in the same season

Kelli’s assistant receives email from RSS feed. Each time a new seasonal or landing page related post is published, add it to the landing page. Can have them go to a folder and do this in bulk. Just delete the email once the post is added to the landing page. Spend 20 minutes a week to update the landing page.

Tracking Post Ideas & Planning Blog Series

Kelli has a lot of ideas, but gets blocked on how to carry out those ideas. Like having post ideas but you don’t want to write about any of them.

If writing a series, she may create several “new posts” and enter minimal information or information that would be required in all of the posts, so it’s there when she’s ready to complete each one.

Makes images in bulk for each post of the series and inserts them into each particular post.

How to Prepare for Next Year Using an Editorial Calendar (& Reaching Goals)

What do we need to be writing about now to be parepared for the next season? Kelli said Target is Crystal’s editorial calendar (when she sees seasonal items out and that’s when she writes about that topic).

In July, you will see Back to School items in stores. In August, you will see Halloween items in stores. In October, you will start to see Thanksgiving and Christmas items in stores.

4-6 weeks ahead of the holiday, stores start putting out seasonal items. So, you need to be publishing content 4-6 weeks before and all the way up to the date of the event. Then, it’s time to start promoting the next holiday.

An idea to get ahead for next year:

Which posts are most popular in December? Check Google Analytics & Wembaster Tools.

Don’t understand Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools? You need the The #LearntoBlog Online Blog Class

Create a new post draft and insert links to your current content or the December popular content links.

Make note of how you could write about this same topic, from a different angle, with new/updated information. It gets you started for this season next year, while you are in the mode of writing about the current topic.

How to Fill in Dates On the Editorial Calendar

Crystal knows what type of content brings in traffic each month. So when she is planning content to write, she bases that on what has worked in the past. Webmaster Tools (see our hangouts Using and Understanding Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Using that keyword information, she decides which topics to write about, selects a keyword, and saves into a post draft with notes, etc.

Kelli looks at Analytics for Jan 1-31. Which posts were popular in January? Example: For January a lot of folks set goals. Ask yourself which goals your blog/content can help your readers meet. Check the month before in Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to see what type of evergreen content was also popular.

Plan to publish roundups the week before the holiday (i.e. 10 easy kids’ Halloween ideas). Some smaller events like Talk Like a Pirate Day, can be published the day before or the day of the event. You could create one or a few pieces of content each week leading up to the event, then do a roundup. On Talk Like a Pirate Day, you could publish a round up like 25 Ways to Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day (all links to your content).

Keeping Track of Post Ideas

Use Evernote to keep track of ideas use Evernote as a communication tool.

Planning ahead, you can leave spots open for last minute PR opportunities

Kelli created a free Editorial Calendar Planning Sheet printable. It includes the following features:

  • Month
  • Post promotions
  • Prepare for future
  • Events to plan
  • Kelli’s plan
  • Blank plan for you to customize

You can see what the year looks like at a glance.

How to Use Your Editorial (Content) Calendar to Improve SEO

How to Use Your Editorial (Content) Calendar to Improve SEO

This hangout was streamed on December 10. Weeks ago, Crystal was doing SEO research for Christmas/holiday content.

How to target, edit, and promote seasonal content:

Example: Halloween

When preparing new seasonal content, go into that season’s landing page and schedule social media shares (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). Review old posts to see if anything needs to be updated (content, keywords, meta data, image, etc.). Add links to newer content from that old content.

See Kelli’s Holiday landing page.

See Kelli’s Thanksgiving landing page.

See Crystal’s Easy Recipes landing page.

When you see something that is working for someone else, figure out how to make it work for you.

Crystal’s Use:

Idea bank –

When she has an idea, she starts a new post, fills in meta, etc. areas with the keyword and fills in the body with any specific ideas or research about the topic including links.

Trending Topics to Write About –

Although she considers herself a “fly by the seat of my pants” person, in general she knows the seasonal topics she wants to write about. For example, in December, she knows what she wants to write about in January and February. In January and February, I’m focusing on X for March and April. The dates are just not filled in for a particular post.

Related: How to Create the Perfect Blog Schedule for Growth

Remember, the VIP Learn to Blog Forum is $7.99 a month (go here to join) with over 2,000 topics being discussed with actionable tasks for growing your blog. This forum is for the fully invested bloggers looking to make an income from their sites. The non-complainers. The folks wanting to invest in their businesses.

How to Grow Your Blog with a Tribe

Are you wondering how to find and use blogging tribes? This #LearntoBlog hangout covers just that!

How To Find a Blogging Tribe

Don’t be overly niche specific because you don’t want to post the same content. Having a topic/theme in common is good enough (i.e. saving money). Seek bloggers that are of similar blog age and with a similar amount of monthly traffic.

how to grow your blog with a tribe

Lost for where to start? Ask yourself these questions: Who do I follow? Who do I support (sharing their links on social media)? Who supports me? Check your social media profiles & Google Analytics to see who is sharing your information and sending you traffic. Start there.

How to Maintain Your Blogging Tribe

Keep a spreadsheet with stats for all members (pageviews, affiliate income). It helps to encourage, track changes, learn how to replicate their successes. Be willing to share your secrets to success. You’ll need at least 5 members with a maximum of 10 members.

Regular actions you and your tribe members need to participate in:

  • Retweet
  • Guest posting
  • Promoting on Facebook
  • Keep group small

The group leader has to be okay with people not liking them (ring leader). Make the rules clear at the beginning.


How to Build Your Tribe

In order to grow your blog, you need to participate in goal oriented tribes (with about 5-6 members). The encouragement, accountability, and support you get from your group is key. Mastermind groups can be larger.

Tribes require commitment. Be willing to have discussions, scheduled weekly meetings, and accountability.

tips for building a blog tribe

How to Conduct Tribe Meetings

  • Weekly
  • Goal oriented
  • One runs the meeting + Assigns tasks to meet weekly goals
  • Note taker
  • Calendar to coordinate guest posts
  • File where all minutes are shared for reference
  • Schedule of social shares

How to Strategically Utilize Your Tribe

  • Weekly task(s)
  • Determine a common theme keyword that all want to work on (i.e. “coupons” – how to find or how to use). Each person comes up with a keyword for example “free printable coupons” or “online coupons” or “free grocery coupons” or “couponing lingo” ( ). Create a landing page <link> about that keyword. Link to remainder of tribe’s posts with their keyword linked as anchor text.
  • Promote everyone’s posts (on all social media sites)
  • Setup a post or page on your site (This helps give you better SEO with links out and links in and improves your Alexa rank, page authority, and SEO)
  • List your tribe in your blogroll
  • Swap ad space (shows your ads as filled)
  • Pin / Repin
  • Comment
  • Refer to for links for roundups and link to their site using their anchor text as their keyword.
  • Share pitches
  • Host multiple blogger events
  • Share your knowledge and ask for their knowledge

create a guest post plan with your tribe

Using Guest Posting Within Your Tribe

Select two keywords for your site you want to rank for (don’t have to have anything in common with others). Create a schedule. Your post should fit the niche, topics, and keyword goals for the hosting site. The post should link to a specific page on your site for that keyword. Be open to new topics. The more often you do it, the better the result (every 3 months is ideal).

Guest posting on several sites about the same topic shows your authority and increases your likelihood of getting your guest post accepted on bigger blogs. One of Kelli’s & Crystal’s supporters is Gail at Grow Map.

Quick Tasks:

First: Setup a tribe this week and establish where you want to run it (i.e. Skype, Yahoo Group, Facebook Group, email, etc.). Make sure that it is a goal oriented tribe. Identify and ask members. Worst they can say is no and you move on. Don’t put it off!

Second: Once your tribe is established:

  1. Setup a Goal Spreadsheet (include traffic, income, ranking, etc.) and where you want to be in 3 months
  2. Create a task spreadsheet to outline how you will get to the goals <link to goals video>
  3. Do it

Growing takes time. Maintenance phase is easier.

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