Category: Blogging Tips

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
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….

 

Designed in Canva

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.