How to get your content shared.


Social media is a fickle mistress that all content writers must woo.

Let’s face it most people don’t want to write a blog if no one is sharing or at the least looking at the content. The web has us under the impression that “If content is any good someone would have already shared it.” Making life for the startup writer like myself that much more difficult.

I like to put myself in the shoes of my visitors. If I look at my blog and see it has over 300 shares I’m much more likely to share what I see as “social proof” than what might be a better article if it only has 60 shares.  My point is no one wants to recommend a post that isn’t popular because they might lose face from their contacts. Finding a page with tons of popular content makes the decision to share that much easier.

This is part one of a series of posts where I will show you how to write captivating articles guaranteed to squeeze shares out of your visitors and transform them into loyal readers.

DO – Keep it short.  People have a very short attention span and many of them prefer to skim a short paragraph and not a page full of text. If you have a lot to say you may want to break your post into a couple different segments. This will engage readers and keep them coming back to your site.

DO – Proof read. Often times if I like an article I will scroll down to see the comments. You can glean valuable information about your readers there.  I’ve found that no matter how good your post is if you have misspelled words or bad grammar it automatically discredits you to your readers.

DON’T – Use the same format in every post. This is something I am guilty of and am working to improve.  I’ve found that people get bored easily so it’s important to switch up the way you display your writing. Some might incorporate lists, while others might be more narrative. Some posts might include a lot of images, while others will be more copy-heavy. Don’t do the same thing every time.

 

Be sure to check back for more writing tips and ways to captivate your readers!

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Mens Interest ~ How to tie a tie.


This will be by first post in my Men’s Interest segment of The Shanty Town. I am very excited to finally be expanding in this direction. I promise to keep this section entirely devoted to Men and the things that interest you. If there is a topic you would like to read about contact me through comments, on Facebook or twitter and I’ll get right on it.  Enjoy.

I’m going to kick off Men’s Interests with a question I get all the time and only one person in the crowd ever seems to know the answer to. How do you tie a tie? Below I’ve provided step by step instructions on two types of knots to cover each mans height and girth.  If you’ve mastered the basics and would like to try more intricate looks click here.

First I’m going to be showing you a tie called The Four in Hand. This is probably the most common way I’ve seen men wearing their ties and it’s also very simple. I recommend this look for tall or medium height men because it is an elongated look and can make a shorter man look dwarfish.

 

A good tie for shorter men would be The Double Windsor. It has a larger knot so it draws up the length of the tie making your torso seem longer.  It is however a more difficult knot to master but with a little practice you should be tying it with ease.

 

That’s it really not much to it other than a little practice. Now you will be able to impress your wives and friends with your knowledge of how to properly tie a tie.  I plan to make one Men’s Interest article per week so keep in touch. You can sign up for our newsletter or connect via twitter and Facebook to get updates when new posts are published.   

Guest Blogger & Pick of the Week ~ Fine Frugality


 One of my favorite authors on WordPress and writer for Fine Frugality Living Life to the Fullest ~ Simply has been kind enough to create a wonderful read. More on the topic of organization with simple creative ways to motivate, maintain, and yes enjoy, cleaning!

Hi everyone! I’ve been asked by the wonderful folks here at The Shanty Town to do a guest post that will help cover a current topic, cleaning and organizing our homes. I absolutely loved the post “Women ~ The Quest for the Perfect Excuse”, and agree whole heartedly with the author’s point of view. Bottom line, it all boils down to the fact that we are humans and we drag our feet when it comes time to do something that isn’t “fun”. With that said, I’ll share some of the things that motivate me to stay organized and keep a semi-clean abode.

 

I don’t know about you, but one of the worst questions anyone in my household can ask me is “Do you know where my… is”. I find a huge bit of comfort in knowing what I have, where it is and how much of it is there. I value my time too much to be idly searching for misplaced boots, memory cards or electric bills. So even though it is next to impossible (I’m still giving it the old college try though!) to organize the other members of my household, as long as I can remain organized, I remain relatively sane.

 

Take Notes.

An overall general rule I have is to schedule the larger organizational or cleaning tasks. I like to do that when no one else is home. That way, there is no one coming up to me asking “Do you know where my…is” as I work. So send your spouse and kids somewhere and clean out that closet. Or garage. Or laundry room. Play some dance music loudly to keep you moving. Get rid of anything you no longer use. (I always have a box tucked away under a desk in the office where I put items that will be donated to the local thrift store) You are going to LOVE your new clean space when you’re done. Keep telling yourself that!

 

 I also have a weekly schedule for the routine cleaning processes. For instance: Monday = bedrooms. Tuesday = Living Room, etc. Let’s face it, it’s not time consuming or back-breaking-difficult to dust, run the vacuum and wipe down the window sills.

 

The smaller stuff…well, that should be taken care of as it happens. Don’t procrastinate doing the dishes. Do them immediately after the meal. You’re standing up anyway to walk away from the dinner table. It will only take you 5 more minutes. Teach the children to do the same. As soon as they’re done playing video games, the game system should get tucked away back into it’s home before they head for the next activity.

 

One of the main reasons that I love organization is that I believe organization IS frugal. Take for instance…well, my husband. Despite the fact that he is the most wonderful husband ever, he does not have the best brain when it comes to planning, methodology or composition. He is more like “Wet towel. Must put down. First available surface”. So yes, I have found wet towels on the bed, hanging over the door and even on the kitchen table. (Don’t ask) So, the time spent seeking out the wet towel of the day and then returning said towel to its rightful spot may only be three minutes, but if you do that ten times a day…well, that’s a half hour of your time completely wasted. (Unless you count the calories you burned walking from room to room looking for the lost objects)

 

Organization not only saves time, but saves money as well. Trust me. How many times have you bought something, knowing that you already have another one “somewhere”, but you just can’t find it? Or you go to the grocery store and you buy a jar of cumin for a recipe. You get the cumin home and put it away, only to find three more jars of cumin. Now come on. There is NO way you are going to use four jars of cumin. Ever. Money wasted. Keep a sheet of paper taped to the inside of cupboards and a pen on one of the shelves. When you are getting low on something, write it down. Before grocery shopping, check the cupboard doors and add the items to your list.

 

My last trick to staying organized is keeping a small notebook in your purse. Whenever I think of something that is needed or a project that I’d like to complete, I write it into my notebook. When I’m out shopping, I can take out the notebook and look through the pages, telling me exactly what I need. All of the important measurements for the house are in there such as window sizes, hallway lengths, etc because you never know when you’re going to run across those perfect curtains. This way, you won’t bring them home to find they only cover 3/4 of the window.

 

Anyone can be organized. And once you are, you’ll wonder how you ever got along in your prior chaos. Imagine it. Grabbing your keys, purse, coffee cup, umbrella and jacket all in one swift motion in the mornings without one second of “Where is my….”. It relaxes me just thinking about it. 

 

I urge you to stop by the Fine Frugality page which was recently featured on Passionate & Creative Homemaking for more on frugal living.

 

Make Money from Home $$$


Hello Shanty Town readers! Todays blog is all about making money from home. I have found a few websites that are legitimate ways to make a little extra income in your spare time. They are all free to join and easy to use. All of the sites I will be listing are ones I use myself and have received earnings from. 

Cash Crates – Cash crate is an easy to use site that lets you earn money by completing offers (many of them are 100% free) taking surveys, watching videos and even earning a percentage back from websites you may already shop at online. You can also play games for points that you can exchange for prizes and offers. It’s not a huge payout I made $3 in 20 minutes but it can add up especially if you often shop online. Once your account reaches $20 you are given a check for that amount. Join now and you will automatically be credited one dollar!  http://www.cashcrate.com/home

 You Data – This is my lowest paying site but it pays weekly sending the money earned directly to your paypal account. Basically when you sign up, you answer a few questions about your interests and the site matches you with advertisements that you might be interested in based on your responses. You get paid for each one you watch and each website link you visit. http://www.youdata.com/

Hits for Pay –  After you make your free account you receive a $5.00 sign on bonus immediately. Every day or so websites that pay you for your time are sent to your hits for pay inbox on the site. Every website that you view by clicking on the ad link (or button) is a ‘Paid Ad’. While viewing and reading the advertiser website, you must wait up to 60 seconds on the page to be ‘credited’. Each credit that you earn is worth up to 2¢. When you account reaches $25 or more you are paid via paypal between the 15th and 25th of each month.

http://hits4pay.com/members/index.cgi

None of these sites are likely to make you rich but they do add up. I plan on using my extra earnings this month to help fund my new at home business. What are you going to do with yours? If you know of any other good sites I would love to hear about them!