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5 Awesome Ways to Appreciate Yourself as a Blogger

5 Awesome Ways to Appreciate Yourself as a Blogger

If you have started a blog, you understand the amount of time and work that goes into it.  People who have never started a blog, tend to have the misunderstanding that we just sit at our computer a type up a post now and then and go about our day of drinking Starbucks and getting manicures.

Holy Crap, they could NOT more wrong??!!

Creating content, creating graphics, marketing, sending out emails, attracting the right audience, etc.  The list goes on and on.  I am limited on what time I can spend on my blog, but if I didn’t, who knows how many hours I would be sitting at my computer working on my neverending to-do list.

Every time I have a few minutes, I am filling my Buffer queue or filling my Boardbooster boards.

I actually find myself doing this at stop lights….shhh…..don’t tell anyone.

It’s is exhausting as hell, but at the same time, I am proud of what I’ve done for my blog.

To be honest, I had been talking about starting a blog about a six months before I put it into fruition.  My husband was SUPER supportive and kept asking me when I was going to take the leap and start it.  My apprehension was that I had soo many ideas of what I wanted to blog about.  Seriously, it was ridiculous…..

My blog Little Miss List Maker had been redone three times in its first few months, and now I love it.  I was okay with it when I first started, then I got a pro to help me redesign the site, and I began to feel really good about it.  But it wasn’t until I took it back into my own hands again and narrowed down my niche that I absolutely fell in love with it.  Sure, there are things I want to tweak here and there, but I think that will always be the case.

There is always room for improvement.

On that note, I wanted to tell you that you work hard and I appreciate the work you do.  I try and visit as many blogs as I can in Facebook Groups and on Pinterest, and I can see everyone putting their heart, soul, sweat and tears into their work.  I know how hard you must work because I know how hard it is for me.

For all of you who are always pushing yourself too much, beating yourself up over every little slight, and ready to give up, take a minute….. Look at what you’ve accomplished and remember how many people out there who haven’t taken the risk to join this crazy world of blogging.  You are amazing and what you’ve done is AMAZING.

Let that sink in….

 

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Celebrate your Accomplishments

Celebrate…no matter how big or how small.  Every new viewer, each post in a Facebook group, new Twitter follower…. it all counts.  Take a second everytime you get discouraged to look at what you’ve already done and what you may have gained since you last looked at your stats or blog and give yourself a high-five.  You’ve worked hard, and it is showing.  Don’t forget that.

Set goals for yourself and make a mental note of when you make progress towards reaching your set goal.  If you feel good about yourself and are proud of the work you do, it will show in your writing, graphics, and your interactions with other bloggers.

 

Help Someone in the Blogging Community

Facebook groups are excellent.  You may have seen me boast about them in once or twice in some of my blog posts.  I can’t help it; it is an amazing community of people I can look up to and ask for guidance.

Every day you need to go through your feed and read the questions that are posed by other bloggers.  Answer someone’s question.  Give some advice, as long as it is good, solid advice.  Don’t answer a question about WordPress if you have no idea what you are talking about.  That doesn’t help anyone.

However, on any given day, I can guarantee there is someone asking for an opinion on which picture looks better or which font works best.  Give your two cents.  It helps the person asking, and you know that you are contributing, not just fishing for page views.  And that can feel pretty damn good.

When I first joined these groups, I would just post my promos, do my reciprocations and skedaddle.  Now, I read what other bloggers are posting in these groups outside of the promo posts, and sometimes I post a question myself.  To get the feedback that I do, makes me feel like people are listening to me and want to help.  It feels great.

Be one of those that wants to help others.

 

Do Something for Yourself every day.

Hold up….I know we are all busy.  I have taken on way too much myself, but there are still things I do every day that I do for myself.  It doesn’t have to be a huge pampering thing, an expensive thing or even a try to find a babysitter type of deal.

Just something that makes you feel good about yourself.  For me, it’s a glass of wine and one of my shows on the DVR.  Tonight, it was This is Us.  Love that show.  Last night, it was taking an extra long shower so I could try my new conditioning hair mask.

Trust me, when you can take a second to only be in the moment with yourself, it can go a long way for your sanity.  Completely clear your mind, or think about only the good things that you’ve experienced that day.

You’ve already spent too much of your time thinking about your to-do lists, remembering what you forgot to do, and adding to your list for tomorrow.  30 minutes of nothing won’t kill you, in fact it may actually inspire you.

 

Cater your blog to fit you

When you started your blog, you probably had this vision of what you wanted it to look like.  Then when you started your site, you may not have had the knowledge or patience to make your site look how you wanted it.  So, you settled.  Well, don’t. There are so many ways to get guidance on this.  You want your site to reflect your personality, so you feel comfortable on it.  When you feel more comfortable on your site, you’ll want to post more and market it more.

There are so many ways to get help with this.  I settled when I first started, then I sought guidance on Fiverr and found a pro for a good price to help me completely redesign it.  From there, I’ve found so much on Pinterest and on Facebook that has helped me the rest of the way.

Trust me, when you love the look of your site, you will want others to see it and will love reading their encouraging comments.  Also, learn to ask for help.  On Facebook, you’d be surprised at how many time I saw  “I hate to ask….” or “I feel stupid for asking….” or my personal fav “Total newbie question, but….”  And once I read the question, I was like “Oh yeah, I was wondering that myself.”  Post your questions because you never know how many you’re helping just by asking, not to mention how much advice you can get in return.

 

Get Offline

Get off of your blog, Facebook, and Pinterest.  When you are constantly online, you will nitpick your site, or you will continue to find those who are more successful boasting about making six figures from their blog.  Those posts are great for inspiration, but when it is constantly in your face, it can become discouraging.  That is not helpful, nor productive.  So you need just to get offline.  If you get blog post ideas when you are offline, physically write them down.

Step back, walk away, or sit down with a pen and paper.  It is also good for your eyes and mental capacity to not be constantly sitting in front of a screen.  This is an excellent time just to brainstorm.

By getting offline, you can have one less distraction so you can focus.  Write down some goals, recap your day and everything you’ve done.  When you can take a minute offline, you may be able to see that you’ve done a lot more than you thought.  This will help you to appreciate what you have done and give yourself a break.

 

We all need a little encouragement and appreciation sometimes.  However, when you can appreciate what you’ve done and can see how far you’ve come, you will strive to do more.

5 Ways To Make The Most of Your Content

5 Ways To Make The Most of Your Content

Creating your blog content, it is so important and if done correctly can get you an enormous amount of traffic.  I think it is every blogger’s dream to have evergreen content, which is content that is always relevant.  This will ensure that no matter the time of year or day you publish, it will be on topic.  Bloggers want to have content that will attract the right kind of traffic to their blog.  That is why I have gathered a list of the 5 ways to make the most of your content when you are creating blog posts.

When I began writing blog posts, I had to get it all done right then.  I will spend 4-5 hours glued to my laptop.  I will create the blog content, add links, and create the graphic.  Then I will plan the social media posts, and get the SEO just right.  Then when I realize that it is time to write another post and I’d stress out thinking about how it takes me those 4-5 hours.  I would analyze if I had the time to spend to get the post completed right then.

Well, now that I have been doing this a while, I’ve realized that you don’t have to do it all in one sitting.  I am still just as excited once I get a post idea, but I’ve learned to schedule, downloaded tools and I’ve created templates, so it’s not so time-consuming or stressful as it once was.

Blogging doesn’t have to be stressful.  It is a great way to make money and an excellent way to share your ideas with others.  However, unlike a regular 9-5 job, you are the boss, and you can make the decisions on what/when/where/how you do your work.

If you want to put your best foot forward when you hit publish, take a look at these 5 ways to make the most of your content.

Creating the right content

Make sure that you are staying true to your brand when coming up with new content.  If you have steady viewership, then there are certain things that your viewers expect from you.  You want them to keep coming back and for them to find consistency with your blog.

Utilize tools on your blog that will increase the readability of your posts.  I love Yoast SEO.  It lets me know when my SEO and readability for my posts are up to par and informs me of how I can improve them before hitting “publish.”

Grammarly is a great tool to ensure that the content you are writing has correct spellings and is grammatically correct.  I know that many people like to write as if they were having a conversation with someone and sometimes it isn’t always grammatically correct, that’s totally fine.  I love reading posts from those bloggers who I feel are talking to me.

At the same time, though, you can ensure that what you are writing will make sense to those who are reading it.  When I was typing up this post, I had 12 errors in the first 3 paragraphs.  It turns out I use the word “actually” a lot and reminds me of other words I overuse so that I can delete it or use a different word.  When I write, I want to sound like I know what I’m talking about, but I also want to keep the conversational aspect as well.

Also, since I’ve installed Grammarly on my computer, it not only helps me with my blog posts but whatever I’m writing.  It comes up when I’m writing social media posts, emails, school work and when I’m commenting.  It is such a helpful tool.  You guys should check it out.

Plan Ahead

I use CoSchedule to schedule out most of my content.  Mainly because I love the headline analyzer and the alert emails, I get when something is coming due.  When I think of an excellent blog post idea, I add it to my calendar in CoSchedule.  Currently, I have the next couple months of ideas planned out, and it is such a relief.  On top of CoSchedule, I also have a physical planner that fits in my purse.   I like to cross things off my lists physically, it gives me a sense of accomplishment.  Also, when I’m out and about, I can read ahead and create outlines for the posts.

Content Upgrades

Stuck trying to create new content?  Maybe it’s time you look at some of your old posts and give them a little facelift.  See if those old posts would benefit from adding a download such as a checklist or other type of freebie.  This can bring new life to a post that may have fallen flat in the past.  Maybe change up the outline of it, change the photos or add headlines that would better grab a readers attention.

Research

When you have an idea for a blog post, test the waters to see if it would be something your readers would find interesting.  Send an email survey so that you can get feedback from your subscribers.  You can also post a survey in a Facebook Group.  Also, it ‘s nice to see if there have been a lot of recent blog posts lately on the same subject.  You don’t want your content getting lost in the crowd.  If you find that there is too much similar content on the topic, see what you can add to make it stand out above the others.  Maybe you would benefit more by adding a freebie or creating an email course.

Promotion

Once you have created your masterpiece, you don’t want it to go unseen.  Promote that precious jewel that you’ve just spent your valuable time building.  There are so many social media platforms where you can get the word out there about your posts.  I post in at least 5 Facebook Groups a day.  A majority of my viewers come from the groups, and I am so thankful for those participants.

Well, there you have it.  5 ways to make the most of your content.  I know how much time and effort is put into creating a blog post and it is so disappointing when it doesn’t get the attention you feel it deserves.  Go back and tweak an old post or put these ideas into play when creating a new post, it’s not too late.

What are some of the best pieces of advice you’ve received when it comes to creating content?

 

December Results and January Goals

December Results and January Goals

Another month has come and gone.  If you can believe it, another year has come and gone as well.  2017 is here, and I can’t be more excited.  I have so many ideas and goals this year.

Some of them include continuing to make my blog as successful as it can be, graduating with my Master’s degree, going down to only one daytime job, and finally living in the same state as my husband.  Some of those may be easier to tackle than others, but they are my goals all the same.

Now, as for my blog, by making monthly goals, I feel that I am contributing to the success of my blog whether I complete those goals or not because I am working towards something.  I feel that when I publish these goal lists, I am giving others the ability to hold me accountable for my work.  I may have created this blog for me initially, but I want others to enjoy it and get something out of it.

To do that, I need to give myself something to work towards.  I don’t want to become complacent with my blog. Nor, do I want to be flippant about my failures or successes. I want to celebrate them and learn from them. For me, to do that is by setting goals.  Then taking a hard look at what worked and what didn’t.  If it was a failure, what could I have done better? If it was a success, is it something that I can replicate and pass that new knowledge on to my readers so they may find success as well.

I love the blogging world, especially the people that I have had the pleasure of interacting within Facebook Groups.  These groups are such a fantastic way to feel like you are not alone.  Someone always seems to post a question right at the same time that I am thinking the same thing.  It is so helpful just to go through my feed and see what is new or where someone is struggling.  I don’t think I have ever seen such comradery, respect, and collaboration as I have within the blogging world.  It is just indescribable.

To all of my fellow bloggers, thank you!

Now, let’s get down to business.

I created a goal list for December.  If you remember correctly, I narrowed down my list of goals from 15 in November to 10 in December, thinking that I may have been a little overzealous in November.  Well, it turns out 10 was still a little bit of a reach.  I have big ambitions, and I like to set my sights high.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it also leaves me a little disappointed when I don’t reach those goals.  I knew that I was pushing it with 10 goals, but I figured with school being out for the holiday that my weeknights would give me more time to work towards those goals.  I never seem to account for the unaccountable.  Sick baby, unannounced guests, spontaneous family get together.  These things appear to throw a wrench in my blogging schedule.

I have learned to roll with it and make a note to work on it at a later date.

As a recap, my goals for December were:

  • Post weekly: Fail, only did 3 new posts this month.
  • Post to 5 Facebook Groups Daily: Win, I did more around 7-10 groups daily, with the exclusion of weekends.
  • Utilize Buffer: Win, every Monday I had at least one of my social media platforms full at all times.
  • Utilize Coschedule: Win, I have planned out all my posts for January, February and March already!
  • Pinterest e-course/webinars: Win, I have completed 2 e-courses/webinars.
  • Content Upgrades: Fail, I didn’t do any content upgrades, but they are planned out in my January schedule.
  • Create emails using MailChimp: Win; I did 2 emails.  Hey, it’s a start, I’m counting it as a win!
  • Create January Newsletter: Win, I have it outlined, and it’s my goals to have it go out on Friday.
  • Email course/webinars: Fail, I didn’t do any e-courses/webinars regarding email lists.

Now, looking at these results written down, I achieved 7 out of my 10 goals.  In school terms, I got a C.  Not the best, but certainly commendable.  Pinterest and my email list were my focuses for December.  I spent a lot of time going through my pins and focusing them towards my blogging tips/social media niche.  I have created more focused boards and have been narrowing down my Pinterest boards focus.  That took a lot of time, and I’m still not done.  I have board covers I still need to apply, and I also need to get rid of the boards that aren’t part of my focus.

Pinterest and my email list were my focuses for December.  I spent a lot of time going through my pins and focusing them towards my blogging tips/social media niche.  I have created more focused, boards and have been narrowing down my Pinterest boards focus.  That took a lot of time, and I’m still not done. I have a real problem just pinning everything with, a title that seems like it will fit my on my boards, but I had never taken the time to click through all those pins.  I was surprised at all the dead links that I had.  I’m going to leave the details for my post regarding Pinterest Boards for later this month.

Looking ahead, I am going to narrow down a little more and only do 8 goals this month.  I am keeping an eye on the prize and also be realistic.

January Goals:

PinterestBoards: I’m going to continue focusing on Pinterest.  I have a great rhythm trying to get it all setup, and I want to see it through.

Newsletter: Publish January newsletter and plan February newsletter.

Facebook Groups: I want to continue posting, in Facebook groups. I would also like to go through the 50+ groups that I am a part of and leave groups that I have not interacted with or that do not mesh well with the success of my blog.

Pinterest Groups: I have joined a few more Pinterest Group Boards, and I want to continue to join more.

Tailwind Tribes: I have created a tribe, and I want to promote it and get members to join.  By the end of the month, I want to have 50 members.  If you are interested in joining, you don’t have to have a Tailwind account.  The tribe is called Help a Blogger Out.  This tribe is for pins regarding blogging tips and social media tips that you have utilized yourself or that you think would be helpful for others.

Social Media: I would like to up all followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to 1000.  I have between 500 and 600 followers on all of these.  By continuing to promote my profiles and consistently posting, I think this will be easily attainable.

Content Upgrades: I have them planned, but planning isn’t the same as executing, so that is why I am putting it on my goal list again.  I want to do 3 content upgrades on old posts.

Email list: My list doubled this month, and I want to see that continue.  I would like to see this list continue to grow this month.

There you have it.  What are your goals this month or for the new year in general?  Share below!

 

10 Instagram Tips and Tricks

10 Instagram Tips and Tricks

Navigating Instagram can seem tricky to those who don’t have much experience, but once you get the hang of it, it can be quite easy.  That is why I am here to offer 10 Instagram Tips and Tricks for Mastering Instagram.

Instagram is a visual social media platform.  It is a great place to network and gain traffic to your website.  There are a lot of benefits, so why shouldn’t you jump on board and reap some of those benefits?

Just remember, you only have a few seconds to catch someone’s eye, so you have to make sure what you post is aesthetically pleasing and/or informative.  I’m here to help you make your few seconds count!

I have done a lot of research and compiled a list of some of the best snippets of advice for using Instagram.  There is a lot of conflicting information out there, and I guess in reality, it is all just a bunch of trial and error to find what actually works for you and the rest doesn’t matter.

 

10 Instagram Tips and Tricks

  • Create a cohesive theme.  If your niche is cooking and your Instagram is filled with recipes and also pictures of cute animal memes, political satire, and other non-food related posts, it may seem confusing to your readers.  Your Instagram account is part of your business and it needs to be treated that way.  Fill your portfolio with what is cohesive within your niche.  Create another private account if necessary for the other stuff.
  • Grammar and spelling are important.  Since Instagram is part of your business, it needs to be professional and grammatically correct.  There isn’t a ton of writing associated with Instagram in general, adjusting the one or two lines of your post or comment shouldn’t be too hard to do.  Take a few minutes and make sure its all cleaned up before you post.
  • Post consistently.  There are a lot of followers out there who look forward to your next post.  Don’t let them down.  It doesn’t have to be something that takes forever to put together with long thought out comments, just post something that makes you happy and fits within your niche.  I use Buffer and queue up a bunch of posts; then Buffer lets me know when its time to post and I just press a few buttons and bam, done.  For instance, I am a mom blogger, and I also blog about my blogging journey, I find funny parenting memes I queue up to have posted 1-2 times a day.  I find that when I post consistently, I am less likely to have people unfollow me as long as I stick to my theme.  When I go a couple of days without posting, I lose a few followers and once I get back on track, I don’t lose more than 1 or 2 and may even gain a few.
  • Use Hashtags.  For bloggers who are trying to gain followers, you will want to find which hashtags pertain to your niche.  You will also want to tailor hashtags to what you think people will search for.  I keep a list of hashtags that I use for parenting specific posts and a list of hashtags for my blog specific posts.  For instance, I will use #momblogger #momlife #mom #toddlermom for those funny parenting memes.  For my blog posts about blogging, I will use #blog #bloglife #blogging #bloggoals.  Note: Don’t use hashtags like #likeforlike #followme, you run the risk of spammy activity along with a bunch of followers who may unfollow you the next day.
  • Promote your Instagram.  I do this using Facebook Groups, but you can use any social media platform or search engine to do this as well.  Promote anywhere you would promote your blog.  There are a lot of Facebook Groups out there.  Most will include a daily post allowing their member so post their Instagram account for others within their niche to follow or post an Instagram post to garner new attention.
  • Understand Follow for Follow.  Be mindful of the groups that have follow for follow boards.  While you will increase your followers, there are people out there that will unfollow you the next day.  The Facebook Group hosts make a note discouraging this, but it does still happen.  This can seem frustrating when you are trying to get to a certain number of followers.  Participate in those follow for follow groups with that in mind.  Also, don’t be one of those that UNfollowers unless there are posts that are inappropriate or against your beliefs.  Otherwise, what is the harm in continuing to follow them?
  • Update your profile.  Make sure you have a snappy profile snippet.  When people come across your profile and have the option to follow you, they will read the first 15-20 characters which will show up before the ellipses and people have to click on your profile to read the rest, which they won’t always do.  So make sure those first few words count.  I find when I look for people to follow, I look for profiles that include “mom blogger, blogger, or blogs about parenting…”.  This lets me know that they will likely post stuff that interests me.
  • Set Goals.  Setting goals is a good thing to do in general.  Setting goals will help you to see where you want to be with your Instagram account.  Writing goals down will help keep that goal in the forefront of your mind, which makes it more likely to be achieved.  Set a goal to post once a day, or set a goal to gain 100 followers a week.  No matter how small or large the goal is, set it and challenge yourself to achieve it.  I dare ya!
  • Quality counts.  Make sure that the pictures you post are not blurry or dark.  If someone can’t see it or make out the image, they are going just to scroll right past.  You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a new audience, make a good impression.
  • Include your website in your post. When promoting on Instagram, ensure that your post includes your website.  It can be included in the image itself or the comments.  This allows people easy access to your site.

There you have it!  10 Instagram Tips and Tricks to help you navigate through Instagram a little easier.  Make sure that you are interactive on your account as well.  If you want followers, likes and comments, lead by example.

What are some of your best Instagram Tips or Tricks that others would find helpful?