Author: Little Miss List Maker

5 Tips for Creating a Swipe File

5 Tips for Creating a Swipe File

Are you new to blogging?  Have you been spending all of your time researching everything under the sun and trying to adjust to the foreign language that bloggers speak?  Metadata, SEO, permalinks, CSS, opt-in’s….Ummm, what?! Been there, done that!  

A while ago I received an email from a blogger that I adore offering up a free download of her “swipe file”.  I didn’t initially think anything of the term itself, but of the contents it included.  Until, not long after that, I kept seeing opt-ins from bloggers that included “swipe files”.  My interest was piqued and I had to find out what these “swipe files” were all about.  In my research, I have found that most of us are already creating swipe files and may not even know it yet.  OoooOooo……intrigue….

First off, swipe files are files that you create containing references to ideas that you can keep on hand for when you are having a brain block.  Kind of like a vision board, but they are more detailed.  These references can be headline ideas, graphics, pins, or content from bloggers you admire.  Important note: these references are NOT to be used for direct use, but to serve as a resource to help you come up with your own idea.  Otherwise, it is called plagiarism.

Now, as I said earlier, we have all been creating swipe files already, how you may ask?…drumroll please….using PINTEREST, whaaaaaattt.  Pinterest is like one big swipe file.  However, while you create boards and save pins that are cohesive with your niche, you may not be using it in the manner of a swipe file.  

Creating a swipe file doesn’t have to be done using Pinterest, that is just the most convenient for a lot of people since they already have a Pinterest account.  However, you can create one on your desktop or use google drive.  I do advise that you keep it somewhere that you can access from anywhere.  This way if you are away from your work computer, you can still access it on your phone or tablet.  

Also, to get you started, download and print the Swipe File Checklist.

 

 


So without further ado, here are 5 Tips for Creating a Swipe File

  1. Figure out which platform will hold your swipe file.  
    • Cloud account
    • Folder on desktop
    • Evernote
    • Pinterest (tip: use a secret board)
    • A binder on your desk
  2. Start Researching:
    • Google
    • Pinterest
    • Twitter
    • Facebook group boards
    • Emails
  3.  Start filling your file
    • Include links to sites
    • Know why you are putting it in your file
      • What about the file is catching your eye
      • What is the purpose of the file
    • Include your own past emails, graphics, or post that have worked well
    • Include your own brain dump documents
    • Copy/Paste certain parts of posts that you’d like to emulate
  4. Make notes

As I’ve said earlier, this file is strictly for inspiration purposes only.  Not to copy exactly what you’ve found.  Make notes on these files that include what you like about them.  How you think it can influence your writing or creativity.  Write down what you have interpreted from the text that makes it interesting to you.  If your swipe file is on Pinterest, create a secret board for your swipe file and change the description of the pin to include your notes, that way you can just take a quick look at why you’ve saved that pin instead of having to keep opening the link.

How you think it can influence your writing or creativity.  Write down what you have interpreted from the text that makes it interesting to you.  If your swipe file is on Pinterest, create a secret board for your swipe file and change the description of the pin to include your notes, that way you can just take a quick look at why you’ve saved that pin instead of having to keep opening the link.

Write down what you have interpreted from the text that makes it interesting to you.  If your swipe file is on Pinterest, create a secret board for your swipe file and change the description of the pin to include your notes, that way you can just take a quick look at why you’ve saved that pin instead of having to keep opening the link.

If your swipe file is on Pinterest, create a secret board for your swipe file and change the description of the pin to include your notes, that way you can just take a quick look at why you’ve saved that pin instead of having to keep opening the link.

     5. Use your file regularly

If you don’t get into the habit of using your swipe file on a regular basis, you may forget it’s there and then its purpose is moot.  Research at least 15 minutes a day and add findings to swipe file.  We all know full well how the internet can be a MAJOR time suck, so setting a timer on your phone and narrowing down what you are searching for will help you stay on track.  For instance, my Google search for “swipe files” led to related searches like swipe file examples, and swipe file definition.  So I then honed in on those areas and only those areas so that I didn’t get off on a search tangent.   

Also, include a daily brain dump.  Again, set your timer for 15 minutes, open a blank document and start writing.  Write down everything that pops into your head and save it to your swipe file.

Total, this is only 30 minutes of work daily.  I know I can find 30 minutes, especially when broken up into two 15 minute time frames.  

Come on, now it’s your turn.

Swipe files are great to have on hand, and hey, if they have inspired you and been successful, you can even turn it into an opt-in.  Check out my Swipe File Checklist here.

 Pin to read later!

Creating Swipe File

5 Totally Free Blogging Courses

5 Totally Free Blogging Courses

Have you ever come across a free blogging course that is being advertised on social media, in a newsletter, or on Pinterest and thought, Holy Crap, FREE?!  Sign me up!  I know… right? Me too!  

I love free stuff.  However, have you also just bookmarked the site and haven’t actually utilized it?  Yeah, me too.  Since I didn’t spend any money on it, there is no harm, no fowl, if I don’t actually use it.  

There are so many resources out there that provide every bit of information that you could ever possibly need.  They cover almost every subject on running your blogging business.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming.  Sometimes, you get on a roll of signing up for all these free courses but then forget about them.

I am one to sign up for almost everything that is free.  This includes checklists, templates, challenges, courses, webinars, etc. etc.  But I am also someone who finds these optins months down the road realizing that I have never even logged into the course, never printed the template, checklist, calendar, and so on…

That is when I decided to go through my email and find every free blogging course I have signed up for and start taking them.  I set aside a day for each course and found a lot of amazing information.  

Holy cow, these bloggers know everything!  I learned so much, including finding the most helpful knowledgeable bloggers that I trust in order to guide me through this journey.  

My inspiration has really grown over the last couple of months.  I have found some awesome bloggers that I’ve really found a kinship with…and by “kinship”, I mean that I have stalked their blogs and devoured every bit of information I can so that I can be as AWESOME as them one day.  

Now, these are some of my favorite totally free courses that I have taken as of late.  They are some of my favorite bloggers, which amazing information to offer.  

5 Totally Free Courses

5 Totally Free Courses

For the newbie blogger struggling to find their own voice for their blog, there is the Strong Brand Mini-Course by Allison Marshall over at wonderlass.com.  She is so fun and quirky and I love her personality.  She has filled this course with so much info, while also being super entertaining.

For the blogger trying to learn about affiliate income, I found that Addy Ganley really knows her stuff!  Her course is called Affiliate Blueprint and it is a great course to learn about generating affiliate income in a clear, straightforward manner.  P.S. her newsletters are also little nuggets of gold chocked full of inspiration and information.

Next up, for those wanting to create their own product, try on Terra Dawn’s 3 Day Challenge Creator’s E-Course.  Terra, lovely lady and brilliant creator of uncorkyourdork.com has taken her successful strategies and laid them out here for all of us to be able to learn how to create our own challenge.  If you are feeling brave, then I suggest you also take a look at her growing list of challenges in her Challenge Library, and I can get you your first month free ya’ll using my affiliate link!

For those who are struggling with your email list, just head back to Miss Allison at wonderlass.com and take her Ignite Your List challenge.  She has created a great course to help you get your email list to where it should be.

And last, but certainly not least, for those who need a little inspiration regarding Pinterest, go see Kayla at ivorymix.com and sign up for her PinDepth course.  She goes over everything from setting up your Pinterest account to creating the perfect pin.  Also, in my eyes, she is the queen of stock photos.  If you like the any of the photos on my blog, there is a 90% chance that I got them from her.  You can check those out here and sign up for a membership using my affiliate link, which includes access to free stock photos and 25% off your first order!  

Well, there you have it.  Five AMAZING….and did I mention FREE courses that are filled with priceless information.  There are so many more free courses out there by super talented bloggers.  These are just some that I have personally really connected with.  You don’t have to take my word for it, check them out for yourself.  What have you got to lose?

What are some of your favorite free courses?  I would love to check them out!

 

 

 

 

Affiliate disclosure: I have included a couple affiliate links in this blog post.  They are not for any of the free courses.  They are to extra sources that I have pointed out in the paragraph and if you choose to purchase, I may get a little something out of it.  However, I would not promote anything that I didn’t wholeheartedly believe in or haven’t used myself.

Pinterest Purge: Spring Cleaning Your Pinterest

Pinterest Purge: Spring Cleaning Your Pinterest

Ahh….spring is here!  Woohoo.  Welcome friend.

When I think of spring, I think of fresh starts and new beginnings.  I am someone who actually does a spring cleaning, my closets and bathrooms are usually my focus.  There is no better feeling than getting rid of anything broken, out of date, or just doesn’t work in the space anymore.

I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  During the spring, my Pinterest smart feed explodes with all types of spring cleaning lists, how-to’s, and activities to make someone become more efficient with their spring cleaning.

I am actually here to take spring cleaning to the next level.  Purging your Pinterest.  A spring cleaning of your boards and profile.  Today I am launching my Pinterest Purge: 5-day E-mail Course to Spring Cleaning Your Pinterest Account.  This is a good idea for a couple of reasons.  You can ensure that the pins you have on your account are active pins.  You also need to get rid of any dead links, brand your boards and clean up your bios.

Over the 5-day email course, I will go over updating your profile bio and board bios, show you how to bulk move and delete unnecessary or unwanted pins, and create board covers using Canva.

Pinterest Purge: 5-day email course

Benefits of Pinterest Purge:

The benefits of this course include:

  • Having a clear bio for each board helps your viewers find what they are looking for.
  • Eliminating double and triple pins from same or multiple boards that make your boards look cluttered.
  • Eliminating dead links, incorrect links, or unwanted affiliate pins that muddy up your board.
  • Each board will have a clear intent and focus which makes them easier to navigate.

This will take some time to complete, so make sure that you set aside a certain amount of time each day to work on it.  This is not something you will want to do in one day because after a while all the pins start to look the same.  Trust me, when I first started my spring clean, I tried to do it all at once and I almost drove myself crazy.  Once I took a step back and initiated a plan for myself, it was much easier and a lot less stressful.  And man does it feel good when it is all done.  I changed out my board covers and gave them a new look, so everything looks all fresh and organized.

If you are interested in taking this on and getting your Pinterest account organized for spring click here and sign up to get the course delivered to your inbox.

To get your started, here is your Pinterest Purge Checklist.

 

 

A Fresh Start on a Budget
7 Totally Awesome Blogging Tools

7 Totally Awesome Blogging Tools

I can’t tell you how much I love blogging, but even more, I love tools that help my blogging life easier.  I love planning, scheduling and automating so that I can breathe easier when life gets in the way.  That is why I like the fact that there are so many blogging tools out there.

I have tried so many blogging tools and have had a great amount of luck with some and little to no luck with others.  Some were super easy to navigate and were user-friendly, whereas others, not so much.  When I look at blogging tools, I don’t always look for easy; that helps, but I look at what the tool will do for me.  I want to know that I am investing my time and sometimes money on something that benefits me and gets me the best results.

That is probably the best advice I can give any blogger.  Utilize free trials and gauge how each tool helps traffic or followers and then invest in those that work.  There are some tools that you may have to invest in, but that are completely worth it, for me, that is CoSchedule and Tailwind.  Others are free and help me immensely, such as Buffer and Mailchimp.  There are just so many tools out there, and I would say to take your time to find what works for you.

BlueHost is what I used to create my blog.  The tips and customer service through BlueHost are fantastic.  Their online chat service is so helpful when I was first starting out; when I would have issues with blog 404 errors or is not accessible, and I would want to give up, but within 5 minutes, they would have it back up.  I have never experienced such excellent service as I did with them.  For those wanting to start a blog, I can’t recommend them enough.  It also doesn’t hurt that they are so reasonably priced.

Canva is what I use to create my blog graphics or social media graphics.  They are easy to use and have such great free templates.  I always upload stock photos so that I can then add my titles and other text as necessary.  I know that there are a lot of other tools to create graphics, but Canva has been the one that has worked best for me.

Ivory Mix is a great site for stock photos.  Kayla’s photos are so amazing and are featured a lot on my blog.  She has plenty of photo options to appeal to any blogger.  By just subscribing, you can get free monthly photos delivered to your inbox or sign up for a $10 monthly membership and have access to her 300+ stock photos.  You can’t lose.

MailChimp was a great resource in regards to setting up email lists and sending/tracking emails to your subscribers.  I was intimidated with the whole emailing thing.  I have been saying for months that I was going to start emailing my subscribers, but have always put it on the back burner, and it has simply not happened, until yesterday.  Finally, I bit the bullet and sent out my first email to my subscribers, and it was so much easier than I though.

Tailwind is a great tool for automating your pins on Pinterest.  Pinterest can suck you in….hard, and before you know it 3 hours has passed, and you’ve forgotten to do the laundry, or realize it’s almost midnight and your little one will be waking you up in 5 hours.  Tailwind is a great way to spend 20 minutes and quickly gather pins and set up automation for the next week.  If you go to Tailwind through my link, you will get a free month!  Also, join my Tailwind Tribe Help A Blogger Out and increase your reach with fellow bloggers.

CoSchedule is great for scheduling content.  You can also schedule social media posts and there is also a headline analyzer.  The headline analyzer is so helpful.  I will play with words until I get the highest score for the title for my blog post.  It almost is like a game, just by changing one or two words, the score can increase by 15 or 20 points making your headline more appealing.  It is probably my favorite thing about CoSchedule.

Buffer is a great tool for scheduling out your social media posts.  I still have the free account so I am limited on how much I can add to my queue.  It beats not posting anything or posting inconsistently.  Having this tool is extremely helpful and easy to use.  I have the app on my phone as well so I don’t have to be on my computer to add to my queue like I do with Tailwind or CoSchedule, which I like as well.
Finding what works for your blog depends on you.  Blogging tools that work for my blog may not work for yours and there is nothing wrong with that.  I have tried several tools and some didn’t work, and some did.  That is why I love free trials.  Most of these apps offer that, which makes trying them a no brainer.  Let me know what works for you or what didn’t.  Any feedback is helpful!