Category Archives: Natural Hair Rules

I Floated…

When’s the last time you did something new?

This was a question that I asked myself after listening to Behind the Brillance podcast.

I want you to ask yourself the same question and tell me your answer in the comments section below.

In this same episode, the host, Lisa Nicole Bell talked about sensory deprivation which is also called flotation therapy or floating.

So this is me describing the process… You enter an oasis tank or chamber that has 10 inches of water. The water is warm and filled with gallons of medical grade Epsom salt that change the buoyancy of the water allowing you to float effortlessly.

It’s called sensory deprivation because oasis tanks are usually dark and your ears are plugged to prevent water getting into them. It’s a gravity-free experience. While in the session you are free to relax, meditate, think, or even sleep without any distractions at all.

I scheduled a float session for my birthday. I’m a little Type A at times. I usually have a mental agenda of things that I want to tackle or confront. I thought 90 mins was a little long for this agenda. But I tried it anyway.

You take a shower and shampoo all products out of your hair. I did this and then after a few minutes in the tank.

I started freaking the f*ck out!!!

My floatation session was in an actual sensory deprivation tank versus a chamber. I was cool taking the shower and then sitting in the tank.

But when I closed the door, I suddenly developed a mysterious case of claustrophobia. The darkness, the smell, and confinement caused me to panic. I was having an anxiety attack.

I opened that tank door so quick!!!

I had to get myself together. Breathe, slow my heart rate, and take command of my thoughts. I took a minute or two. I laid back into the water.

I thought I can’t wait to tell Lisa Nicole Bell about this. Until this point, she was the only person I know that’s done it.

I tried to focus on floating but it was too cold with the tank door open. So I was like ok.

“I can do this.” Giving myself a quick pep talk. I closed the tank door.

I centered myself in the tank. I made a conscious effort to focus on the water, the sound of my heart beat, and my breathing. I started praying and meditated. I played with different floating positions. I probably even fell asleep. I was so relaxed, I don’t know for sure.

I heard the music that signified that my session was up after two hours. I was actually allowed extra time. TWO HOURS of floating. That is a huge milestone in itself! I usually can’t sit still like that unless I’m sleeping.

It’s very reflective. Some people emerge with deep revelations. I did come out a little more introspective.

This was my best relaxation experience ever!!! I’ve been telling everyone about it including my SnapChat and InstaStory family.

Would you try floatation therapy? When’s the last time you did something new?

Tell me your answer in the comments section below.


Sephora, Essence, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture and GA Residency

This past weekend, I was the special Guest Social Influencer for Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture.

Yes me, Tamara of Natural Hair Rules!!!

The brand gave away exclusive deluxe samples at Sephora Perimeter & Lenox Square and feature Essence Beauty & Fashion Director, Julee Wilson and contributor, Nikki Brown.

It got off to a slow start. But I was overwhelm with the level of support I received in spite of the late notice. I didn’t get the details until a couple of days before the event.


I have readers and subscribers that came to the store and brought their friends. People that I’ve never met or only met once came to learn about the products. I’m so grateful. Thank you so much for the support.


That says and means a lot! It’s the power of social media. A true reflect of why I love what I do, a renewed passion for the work that I do.

If you missed it, don’t worry… I’m sure I’ll be collaborating with Essence and Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture again.

A Little About Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture

Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture was released in February 2016 Sundial Brand (the parent company of SheaMoisture). Its 4 collections and 25 different items are only available in Sephora.

Madam C.J. Walker was a visionary entrepreneur, philanthropist and America’s first female self-made millionaire.

This Georgia Peach…

I moved to Atlanta, Georgia in January of this year. The only way to describe this transition is whirlwind! It’s been a challenge getting back to normal after this move. I’ve experienced two deaths in my family, battled depression and really that’s not even half of it.

The sun is starting to shine, finally…

One thing that I made sure to do is get my Georgia license on my 11th wedding anniversary weekend. That’s really not relevant but I had to fit it in there. My husband and I have been married for 11 years as of September.

My mom was in town so I braved the DMV or in Georgia it’s the DDS (Department of Driver Services.)

I could not be caught out here without voting in this election. My heart could not bare it! I went to the DDS on a Saturday and surrender my Nevada licenses.

I was sad to hand it over. It wasn’t my best drivers license picture but it was special. I was actually holding my youngest child when I took that picture. He was 3 months at the time. It’s gone now, though.

This week I participated in early vote. This is my first time voting anywhere outside of Texas where I became legal voting age. It was sort of bittersweet, I guess.



I had to register my car, too. Georgia will fee you something serious if you don’t have Georgia tags and licenses. It’s official, I’m a Georgia Peach. I plan on staying here a while. A while for this military kid is longer than 5 years. Hopefully, I don’t get the itch to move.

Liking it here so far.

Tell me in the comments section…

Where was your favorite place to live and why?

10 Years Natural | What I Learned Over the Decade of Wearing My Natural Hair



Follow @naturalhairrule on Instagram

10 years ago I went natural. I stopped relaxing my hair. It was more than a hairstyle change. It was a lifestyle change for me. I want you to learn from my mistakes!

>Before we get into it, make sure you download your FREE eBook: Guide to Moisturized Hair<

Today, even after 10 years and at age 31, I’ve still had relaxed hair longer than I’ve had natural hair.

10 years ago in the month of October, I did the big chop or cut off most of my relaxed hair. I had grown my relaxer out for 5 months and decided I wanted to cut my bra strap length hair into a short Toni Braxton cut. Without fear and hesitation, I did it.

Not realizing that my hair would be both short and natural. Both of these were completely foreign to me. The next day, you can say I had buyer’s remorse. I completely freaked out, thinking what did I do?

Read: How I Grew My Hair 6 Inches in 1 Year

My hair was nothing like what I thought it would be. It was short with 3–4 different curl patterns or what I like to call multiple personalities. Some of my hair was curly, other parts waving and some still straight from the relaxer. Here are some pictures from the early days of my natural hair journey.

But if I knew what I know now, I would’ve done things a little differently. Here are 10 things that I’ve learned from being natural for a decade.

Braid Out

This is a picture from my humble beginnings, my teeny weeny afro.

1. Shea Butter is Not a Moisturizer

When I first went natural, I would slather raw Shea Butter on my wet hair and then style. But my hair was still frizzy. I found out later after a conversation with a celebrity natural hair stylist that shea butter is too heavy for hair.

It’s also an oil based natural butter that can seal in moisture but does not add moisture to your hair.

See: 10 Places You Can Buy Shea Butter

2. Shampoo is a Must

Early in my natural hair journey, I discovered the No Poo (No Shampoo) Movement. At the time there were no or very few natural, sulfate-free shampoos in stores. I happily embraced exclusive conditioner washing or co-washing my hair. My hair was softer and less dry initially. But over time my hair became dry and my scalp itchy and flaky after about a month of only co-washing.

Co-washing is great in between shampoos. But not as the only way of washing your hair. Shampoo is needed for a healthy hair and scalp.

Silk Press on Natural Hair 20153. Baking Soda Can Damage Hair

Baking Soda has a lot of purposes. It’s great as a natural cleaner. But not for hair. Baking soda is very basic or has a high pH. The natural pH of hair is 6 and baking soda is 8.

When the pH of hair is raised to 8 the hair cuticle becomes lifted until the pH is balanced. Hair with a lifted cuticle losses proteins and becomes frizzy and more prone to breakage.

Baking soda is also very granular. This makes it very abrasive to the hair. It can gradually file away at each hair strand. This leads to lifted cuticles as well.

4. Heat Doesn’t Equal Heat Damage

Using a blow dryer or flat iron once or twice won’t damage your hair in most cases. High heat too often and too frequently causes heat damage. But occasionally blow drying or flat ironing your hair won’t hurt it.

I’ve shared 5 ways to prevent heat damage here.

I’ve found that sometimes my hair needs heat. It’s actually helped me get my wash day routine to 60 mins or less. Read more about that below. I found that I experience more breakage when manipulating my wet hair and this was one of the main reasons I quit the no-heat challenge.

It is possible to use heat and not get heat damage.


5. Natural Hair Still Needs Trims

Some people believe that natural hair doesn’t need regular trims. If you take good care of it and don’t use heat, you won’t have to trim your ends regularly. I know from experience, unfortunately, that this is not trim. Your hair splits naturally every 3 months regardless of how well it’s maintained. There are 4 ways you can know that your hair needs a trim.

Trimming split ends is the best way to make sure your hair remains healthy.

6. Protein Treatments Are Necessary

Proteins are the building blocks of the hair. They provide hair with the strength and elasticity needed to resist breakage. Proteins are also responsible for binding to water molecules. Healthy hair has a balance of protein and moisture. One without the other leads to breakage.

Proteins are loss gradually through regular maintenance; shampooing, conditioning and combing hair. To restore protein loss, you need a regular protein treatment. Here’s a list of 5 of my favorite protein treatments.

7. Anything in Excess is Damaging

Like most things in life, there needs to be balanced. Overdoing it can damage your hair. That means too much moisturizing, conditioning, blow drying shampooing or anything else can damage your hair.

Things like deep conditioning your hair overnight and over moisturize your hair. It leaves your hair gummy and ultimately break it.

8. Sometimes Your Hair NEEDS Heat

Heat gets a bad rep in the natural hair community. There are two types of heat, direct and indirect heat. Indirect heat from a steamer, hooded dryer, or heating cap can be very beneficial to the hair. They add an extra boost to your deep conditioning treatment and help to moisturize the hair and scalp.

Even occasional direct heat from a blow dryer can stretch the hair and get rid of stubborn tangles and knots. Just make sure to use a professional heat appliance.

ouidad moisture lock leave-in conditioner9. Don’t Skip the Leave-In

One of the reasons I went natural was to wear a wash and go. It took me about 2 years to get it right. Using a leave-in conditioner made the biggest difference in how soft and define my curls stayed.

Leave-in conditioners help to keep the hair moisturized after it dries. I keep either EdenBody Works Coconut Shea Leave-in or Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner.

10. Wash Day in 60 minutes or Less

I used to spend hours, like literally, hours doing my hair on wash day. Pre-poo (pre-shampooing), detangling, shampooing, conditioning, deep conditioning, and styling my hair.

After I had my first child, I had to figure out a way to simplify my wash day routine. With a newborn had to make important decisions, like eat, show, or sleep. Usually, sleep won.

The key to shorter washes day are regular trims and wearing your hair in styles that minimize tangles.

Some of my favorite products are:

Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo
Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner
Ouidad Trial Set for Tight Curls
Kinky Curly Stella Strands
Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Bass Brushes Large Square Paddle Brush
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Reparative Leave-In Conditioner


Growing Long Natural Hair

Tell me in the comments section

How Long Have You Been Natural?
What were some of the lessons you learned from wearing your hair naturally

Home birth: Why It Did Not Happen…

Home Birth

For months I’d been planning a home birth. I mean, I was ready. Had my midwife on speed dial, birth kit, everything was in place. But there was one thing I didn’t count on…

Before you read this post, you may want to read these first: Why I’m Trusting My Gut and Pursuing a Home Birth and 13 Reasons I’m Choosing a Home Birth.

I did just about everything to naturally induce labor. But honestly, I just had to wait it out – which was grueling.

The last days of pregnancy are the hardest. You’re uncomfortable; sleeping and just getting around is increasingly difficult. Carrying the weight of the baby & lack of sleep are exhausting.

The last couple of weeks of my pregnancy I also had a sinus infection that wasn’t making it any easier for me. I had pregnancy/worry induced insomnia and upper respiratory congestion that made sleeping impossible. Saying I was tired was an understatement. My voice was gone, I was congested and my nearly 200 lbs frame was experiencing sleep apnea for the first time in my life. I wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy.

Finally, on the day I turned 42 weeks, labor kicked on its own. I was so relieved. I didn’t think my body could go into labor, naturally, but it did! You can’t imagine how happy I was to feel those contractions or conversely, how disappointed I was each day after 39 weeks without them.

This was the same day, my midwife scheduled a stress test. I went into the perinatal office for a late term ultrasound to check the baby’s fluid, monitor contractions and the baby’s heart rate response. Fluid was fine but “not great” said the tech. This didn’t phase me because I knew my son was coming that day, if not early the next day.

Then hubby/baby daddy and I sat down for fetal heart monitoring and within the first hour there was a deceleration. No need for alarm. The nurse and doctor just wanted to do additional monitoring. Decels could be caused by the baby compressing his umbilical cord.  I assumed the decel was a combination of my coughing and contractions in addition to the baby’s movement. But the nurse assured me it wasn’t. With continued monitoring, the baby’s heart rate remained stable.

But with the decel, the perinatal doctor contacted my midwife and suggested that I transfer care to her GYN/OB backup which so happened to be the leading provider of VBAC (Vaginal Birth after C-Section) in the Las Vegas area.

My husband overheard the conversation between the perinatal doctor and nurse. The doctor was more concerned that ‘my midwife had let me go 42 weeks’ as a VBAC patient. (Let me be clear, I was literally 42 weeks on that day.)

My midwife called ahead to my backup hospital to see if there were any open labor and delivery rooms.

The perinatal doctor that did the fetal heart monitoring strongly urged “you need to deliver today; you don’t want a dead baby”. Okay…really?!

I was 42 weeks, already in labor.  Did he really think my pregnancy was going to continue much longer? I hate when doctors insinuate that you’re putting your baby at risk by not inducing beforehand. This felt like a bullying tactic to me. Healthy babies can be delivered post-term.

Even though I wanted a home birth, I was never going put my baby at risk to do so.  Anyway, as told, we headed to the hospital. I didn’t even have a hospital bag packed.

As we drove, I spoke with my midwife about my backup or alternative birth plan for a hospital VBAC. The closer we got, the more nervous and anxious I felt. I knew if I was in a hospital my chances of a natural VBAC were almost impossible.

As I walked into the Women’s Center of the hospital, fear overtook me and I began to cry. The nursing staff were very considerate and comforting. I knew they felt sorry for me.  We told them how my first labor experience ended in an emergency c-section with my son’s 6-day stay in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for observations. They reassured me that a VBAC and natural birth were possible.

Although her shift was over, one of the nurses stayed with me until the doctor and the new nursing staff got there. She wanted to make sure my new nurse was ‘good with natural childbirth’. She said “Some nurses are better than others.” She also explained what I already knew, that I could get out the bed and move but with limited mobility.

I met my upbeat and charismatic doctor. He began to explain his plan to induce labor using a balloon to open my cervix. He and the nurses were, I guess, optimistic is the best word because at 2cm or 3 cm if stretched, and 60% effaced it was easier to ramp up an existing labor than to induce without any signs of labor.

“Are you ready to have this baby?” the doctor asked. He also recommended that I get an epidural (the same as my previous doctor) because there could be a chance that the anesthesiologist was unavailable. I told him I would think about it.

Anesthesiologist are contractors and don’t work full-time at the hospitals. If they are called in it’s the patient’s responsiblity to pay $100 per on-call hour.

I was starting to feel somewhat at ease when my nurse delivered some bad news. Since I was post-term or 42 weeks, the director of the Women’s Center informed her that I had until midnight to attempt a VBAC. After that, it was a repeat c-section. My doctor was a little surprised by this. He said “we aren’t going to stop her labor at 11:59pm.”

I texted my midwife with the news. I was starting to feel apprehensive again as I looked at the clock. It was nearly 8:00 pm. There was no way I could go from 2 cm to 10 cm and push this baby out in a 4-hour period.

I couldn’t understand why my midwife would let my pregnancy go this long with a rule like this in place. I was expecting her to respond with some type of objection. She didn’t. Blindsided is the best way to describe how I felt at that moment.

I was disappointed in her and the situation. It felt like I was between a rock and a hard place. My doctor explained my options which now included an elective c-section given the new information from my nurse.

My baby had already shown a variable heart rate with what the perinatal doctor called a “bad strip” during fetal monitoring. His heart rate seemed to stabilize but I knew that could easily change with medical interventions, my emotional stress and contractions. Not to mention the perinatal doctor left me with a strong recommendation to deliver ASAP. I didn’t want to take a chance. If my baby went into distress that meant another emergency c-section and a NICU stay. I was so torn. Again, I was in tears.

Did I even want to attempt a vaginal birth with that type of time constraint? Did I want to risk my baby going into distress? My chances of a vaginal birth virtually disappeared as soon as I entered the hospital.

As hubs and I were left to weigh our options, I knew I really didn’t have a choice. I didn’t want to say it out loud.

My spouse/ baby daddy handled the news a little worse than I did. He was pissed and made it known. He realized it too. Really, what choice did we have? Before I said it aloud in a room with just the two of us, I asked, “Will this make me a failure?” “No” he replied. A small bit of reassurance crept back into the room.

My doctor already reassured me I’d be discharged in two days. This was very important to me. My big baby, 3 y.o. Prince was at home with my parents. But he confirmed the two postpartum restrictions that I wanted to avoid; no lifting anything over 20 lbs which included my 3 year old son and no driving for two weeks.

But I would at least have skin to skin contact even if I couldn’t hold him in my arms after the delivery (your arms are strapped down during c-sections). And he would stay in the room with me (no NICU) and hubs would finally get to cut the umbilical cord. It seems like small things but at least…

There were so many reasons I wanted a home birth and to avoid a repeat c-section, but not at the expense of putting my baby at risk. My doctor accepted my teary and hesitant agreement to another c-section.

My second son, Harrison Carter was born at 8:32 pm, March 27, 2015 at 7lbs 2oz and 20 in.

This quote from the Cord Mama really resonate with me…

“She [a mom] knows that in this moment, this is what is best for her child, even though “what’s best” means a major surgery with real wounds and scars. Even though “what’s best” means letting go of a dream or a vision of birth that she’s been building up for the last nine months.”

I wish I was one of those women that could go into labor before 40 weeks. But that hasn’t been my experience with either of my pregnancies. And I try not to get down on myself but, honestly, it hurts… not only physically but emotionally.  I have been told I made the right decision, but still I’m not so sure. I try not to think of it as a shortcoming and maybe one day I won’t…

I’m here if you have any questions about home births, hiring a midwive, or c-sections. You can leave your questions in the comments section.

13 Reasons I’m Choosing a Home Birth

13 Reasons to Chose a Home BirthIn Why I’m Choosing a Home Birth, I mentioned that I made a list of why. That list was originally only supposed to have 3 reasons, maybe 5 at the most. But as I started to list each reason, the list grew. Here are the 13 Reasons I’m Choosing a Home birth

*In the picture, I think I was about 34 weeks. It was before the baby had his last growth spurt. More pics on my Instagram.

1. It’s one of the best ways to prevent a repeat c-section. I live in Las Vegas, few doctors and hospitals are qualified to do or encourage VBAC (Vaginal Birth after C-Sections).

2. I just have this gut feeling that if I go with the traditional hospital route, I will end up with a repeat c-section which ultimately lead me to pursuing a midwife for pre-natal care.

3. There are no birthing centers in the state of Nevada.

4. I want to be free to move around. When I had my son, I was attached to an IV, external monitor and then internal monitor and this was early in labor which was very restricting and annoying! You can be monitored without being tied to a bed.

5. I would still receive the same amount of fetal monitoring that I would at a hospital whether its continuous or intermittent. This is something that I was really concerned about because I had a previous c-section.

6. I wanna be in my own space. Hospitals are kinda scary to me. And from my experience the hospital staff can be impersonal. The nurses in my last birth were borderline rude which is me being nice. I wrote about this in 3 Ways To Make Peace With Your Birth Story.

7. I want to be able to eat if I’m feeling up to it especially during early labor… Labor takes hours and you wouldn’t run a marathon on an empty stomach; labor isn’t any different.

8. The hospital is always there as a back-up. Luckily, the hospitals aren’t going anywhere just because I chose a home birth. My midwife is very experienced but also has some of the best OBs on-call in the event that they are needed or that I need to be transported to a hospital.

9. My midwife is certified to do newborn check-ups including administer Hep-B Vaccine, Vitamin K, and perform PKU testing. We won’t have to rush out to the pediatrician the next day. My midwife will come back the next day to check on both of us.

10. Its cheaper… I’m paying a flat rate of about $2000 for pre-natal care and delivery with the midwife practice. And I was surprised but our health insurance DOES cover midwife service, but at a higher deductible of $3,000. But with my insurance, we had to deal with the fact that our deductible resets annually. Although, we started paying towards our deductible last year for pre-natal care, it would not count toward our 2015 deductible. In addition to that cost there are fees outside of your deductible such as the physician’s costs and whatever the percentage of the hospital fees that you’re expected to cover.

11. There is less pressure or temptation to ask for drugs. I told one of my friends if you want to stay away from the drugs, don’t go where the drugs are…

12. The risk of unnecessary medical intervention is eliminated. Midwives specialize in natural childbirth in low risk mothers, they are not surgeons. They don’t perform assisted births.

13.If I have any questions or concerns, I can just call or text my midwife.

Why I’m Not Freaking Out About Turning 30

Why I'm Not Freaking Out About 30My 30th birthday is this week and its cool. Like, I’m not freaking out at all. I guess that’s because I’ve had at least 3 major freak-outs in my 20’s.

What you must know about me is, I’m a planner. By the time I graduated from high school at the age of 17, I had my life planned up until this moment. I would graduate with a Bachelors of Science at 22, join the Air Force, and own some stuff, you know like: a house a couple of cars; maybe get married by 30 and have a kid or two by 35. It was a sensible plan. However, life happened during the course of my 20’s that resulted in freak-outs.

The first one was at age 23. I was still in college with no graduation date in sight, without a car (my car was totaled in an accident months before). Of course, I couldn’t afford car insurance at the time and I still had a year or two left to pay on the car note. To top it off, I was having a hard time getting a full-time job. Overall,  I was stressed out and depressed. Get more details here.

It took a complete stranger to point out how blessed I really was. It was true, I didn’t have all the material things that I thought I would have by the age of 23, but I was healthy and in a loving marriage. There’s nothing like having a partner through the GOOD and BAD times… I love me some him!

At 25, I took a leap of faith and resigned from my job as a community manager at a national non-profit organization. Without getting into all the details, I was underpaid and under-appreciated. I know its not a big  deal to some but the environment was becoming too stressful and hostile for me to continue. It was beginning to affect my physical health in addition to my emotional health. Even after all that, I was very disappointed to let it go. I was there just under 2 years and promoted several times within that time.

Unemployed and still trying to finish my degree, I decided to get serious about starting my own business. I found myself  as an “accidental entrepreneur”. I was optimistic about having a flexible schedule, being my own boss and things were good. Initially, I got my first and only, $10,000 six-month contract. But after that, contracts were far and few between; definitely not $10,000.

An overwhelming feeling of sadness and anxiety came over me. It was getting hard to do simple things like cook dinner, nearly causing a panic attack just thinking about, what’s for dinner? Emotionally, I was in bad shape. I’m sure I had a few freak-outs that year.

I found out I was pregnant at age 26. Although, I had been married for almost 6 years at the time, I still felt alone. I didn’t handle the news the way some thought I should. My mom couldn’t understand why I was so sad. Honestly, I just felt like my life was over. People always say, make sure you accomplish things and travel before you have kids. I hadn’t done any of those things. I went into mourning over my yet-to-do list.

I continued to have a couple of freak-outs once I had my son at age 27. Motherhood has a way of pushing you out of your comfort zone. We had a difficult delivery and then he was in NICU for almost a full week. I could never fully describe the feeling of grief you experience when leaving the hospital without your baby. I share some of my experiences as a new mother on my site: Boxer and the Baby.

Side note: I’m currently pregnant with bambino number 2. Read about it here.

By 29, I was a little more settled. I learned how to count my blessings instead of the unchecked items on my to-do list. I finally learned that as long as I’m still here, I have time to check stuff off my to-do list. Life has a way of positioning you into your purpose, if you let it.

30 is still very young. I know for myself, I’m now coming into my own.  It has taken me almost the whole decade of my 20’s to find the peace within myself. I’m sure this is just the beginning and that I have a very long way to go.

How To Increase Your Blog’s Pageviews

How To Increase Your Blog’s PageviewsOctober is when I celebrate my blogiversary.  Six years this year!!! Woot, woot!!! I like to take this time to share my story as well as resources and information that have helped me get to where I am.  Blogging full-time with more than one million monthly pageviews, over a half a million social media followers and averaging about $8,000 monthly. (One of my main sources of making money on the site is through ad networks like Yahoo. You can sign up for their ad network here.)  I constantly reiterate that this, all of this did not happen overnight. Its been 6 years in the game and I just recently reached many of these milestones within the last 2 years or so.

I recently did a workshop for a Las Vegas blogger group on How To Increase Your Site’s Traffic.  Here are many notes. You are welcome to share this post (not copy and paste on your site) and ask any comments you may have in the comments section below.  I will do my best to answer them.

If enough people are interested I will also do a Google Hangout to answer questions.  You can sign-up here.

Building Traffic is all about developing a strategy to provide the best content for your readers & search engines. 

I started in Oct. 2008. After 5 years of blogging, I starting to see a real increase in traffic and revenue. Before these tips I was receiving about 30,000 page views a month or less. I currently receive more than 1 million monthly page views.

The key to driving traffic is creating great, sharable content.

Create an Google Analytics account. Study it!!! You need to know where your traffic is coming from. (Is it coming for search engines (which one?), Pinterest, Facebook…) What percentage is organic search engine traffic? Focus your promoting efforts on these places.

Keyword Research


What are the keywords or search terms that bring people to your site? Much of this information is available within your WordPress & Blogger Dashboards. But Google Analytics will provide better exporting & longer ranges of data. Include these keywords in your posts.

Answering these questions will help you create good content that will encourage sharing and repeat visits.

More keyword research…

You already know what search terms are bringing people to your site.

Use Google Adwords: Keyword Planner to find other popular related keywords or search terms to write more posts for your audience.

Example: If your popular keyword is oatmeal, write a variety of oatmeal posts: Crockpot Oatmeal, Strawberry Oatmeal, History of Oatmeal & etc.

Submit your site map to search engines i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo. There are plugin that create site maps and SEO apps that ask for your site map, but it wasn’t until I submitted my site map to the varies search engines, that I really saw them indexing my site in searches.  Now I receive about 10,000 visits per day just from search engines. My site also ranks higher for various keywords or search terms because of this.

You can submit your site map to Google using Google Webmaster Tool.  This also allows you to verify your site. How to Verify Site & Submit Sitemap here

If you are self-hosted, install SEO By Yoast. Use your keyword research!!! Use a variety of keywords for your post. Don’t over use the same keyword.  For example, I don’t use ‘natural hair’ (even though it’s the site’s main focus) or any other keyword for every post.  Keywords vary based on the topic or main idea of the post. For this posts, my Focus Keyword is ‘pageviews’ 

How To Use SEO By Yoast For Focus Keywords

Interlink posts together. For example if you have something related your pending, hyperlink that post.  Use related post plugins or widgets. You can also just type: See Also or Read More and then hyperlink to the related post(s). 

Write List Posts i.e  12 Ways to Build Website Traffic or Posts Series (but make sure people know when to expect the next post in the series). 20 Natural Hair Hacks is a list post that has been shared many times on various social media sites.

Create a Posting Schedule and Stick To It (Be realistic)

When I was blogging more as a hobby, I knew I wanted to post or publish a blog post at least once a week. I was committed to that. So committment that I usually published 3-5 blog post a week.

After this became my full-time gig, my posting schedule was on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then I had an ‘aha moment’ where I realized Mondays just don’t work for me.  So know my post schedule is now Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Let your readers know when you’re posting schedule is!!! You will see an increase in traffic on your posting days.

Create an editorial calendar or have a monthly focus. This will help take the stress out of writing new content & help you create a better marketing flow for content. For example its November so you should be working on or already have you Holiday blog post ideas. 

Take time to create your traffic plan.

I, personally, take the month of December to focus on my traffic strategy plan & editorial content calendar for the new year.

Be patient with yourself… It takes time to strategize & implement your traffic plan. But you can do it!

Read more of my blogging tips here.