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I've gotten several messages over the last week from readers asking me one thing: how do I find the right brand partners for my blog? The truth is, there's not one fit that works for everyone - but there's certainly similar steps every blogger can take to find partners within their niche. So that's where we'll focus this week's blogging tips: how to find great brand partners for your site.
1. Identify your niche.
This sounds basic, but it's actually a step that most bloggers skip. This is because you go into blogging thinking that you're a tech writer. Or a fashion blogger. Or, in my case, a mommy blogger. Read more [...]
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I'm naturally a list person. I love the feeling of crossing things off - and getting to the end of a mighty long list of things I've accomplished.
But beyond having this achiever mentality, lists are actually what keep me organized and productive - in every aspect of my life. I use digital lists to track my clients and my work, magnetic lists on the side of my fridge to stay on top of all the household items we need on our next Costco trip, a whiteboard full of ideas for different blogs and articles I'm writing and pitching.
I have daily lists. Weekly lists. Monthly lists.
To say this is how I run my life Read more [...]
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So you've heard about this thing called an "editorial calendar." But if you don't work in marketing, you might not know what the heck I'm talking about. And no matter what field you work in, figuring out how to create an editorial calendar that you'll actually use can be a challenge. So what gives?
Why they work
Editorial calendars are one of my favorite ways to keep my work organized, especially as it pertains to my blog. It's a place where I can keep track of all of my ideas, so that I'm not forgetting that great post I thought of yesterday morning, but can't remember today (mama problem that you might be Read more [...]
Days like today make me so thankful.
This morning, Ricky played while mommy was productive. We went for a bike ride, had lunch on the deck and played in the sandbox. We went to the park and for a long walk with our friends. And now he's napping - and I can work again.
I am so blessed to be able to spend so much of my time with him. That I can work from home and still take care of him at the same time - not every day, but some days. That I can feel fulfilled in my career AND as a mama.
I think all parents struggle with this - the balance between family life and work life. It's not an easy line to toe - there's always guilt about not Read more [...]
Some of you already know this - but I am a full time work from home mom. I do quite a bit of freelance writing and marketing consulting - and my baby boy gets to actually be home with me two days a week. It's like the best of both worlds - and I love it.
For many reasons, a daily office environment just isn't for me. I'm really efficient - and when you're graded on billable hours, like many agencies are, this actually hurts my performance reports. I don't do office politics - I believe that coming in and doing great work should be enough, and there shouldn't be this catty backend to navigate the workplace. And sometimes, I really like to work Read more [...]
If you read the blogging better series, you know that I am a H-U-G-E advocate of using social media to market your blog. I talk a lot about Facebook and Twitter, but it kind of begs the question: what about Instagram?
The truth about Instagram is that it is one of the fastest growing forms of social media, especially where blogging is concerned. It might seem counter intuitive - because you're using photos instead of direct links - but Instagram is really a great space to grow your audience.
If you can take a photo with a phone, you can use Instagram. To help you get started - or to take your account to the next level, here are a few best Read more [...]
You hear me (see me?) writing fairly regularly about why guest blogging for other sites can have such a big impact on your own blog. Let me tell you some truth about this: I've always been open to guest blogging for other sites. But I've never been super into taking on guest bloggers for my own site, at least until recently. I think that it was just a "I don't have time to deal with it" excuse that kept me from dipping my toes in the guest blogging waters. But now that I'm here, I'm really glad that I took the leap. And here's why.
I love that bringing on other writers who live differently than I do can offer a....wait Read more [...]
When you're ready to make the switch to a self hosted site, it can be a little overwhelming. There are so many packages out there - and all with different names and "benefits - that it can be hard to determine what you really need, especially if you're newer to the self-hosted site world. Based on my vast, many years of experience, let me tell you the
1. Know your visitors: If you don't already have Google Analytics installed on your site, add it today. It's a free service that lets you track how many people visit your website, how they get to your site, how they use your site and more. From a hosting perspective, you're going to want to know, Read more [...]
As I delve further and further into the world of freelance writing as part of my career, I find myself encountering something that many writers dread: writer's block. And it's honestly one of the most frustrating pieces of my job. Because some days, the creativity just flows, and I feel like I could write fifteen articles in a row, no problem. And then I have days where I really have to push myself to get just one or two pieces done.
I've never noticed anything to really "trigger" writer's block - I think it's more of a combination of being tired and having too many things going through your mind at one time. So since there's no way to really Read more [...]
One of my fave things about Fridays: this is my office view.
Although I work from home sporadically throughout the week, Fridays I'm guaranteed to be working from home. And I absolutely love that I can set up a little playground for Ricky on our deck, pull myself and my laptop up to the patio table and work away while he works away.
Oh - and it doesn't hurt that we get to take a little trip to the park every now and again, either.
Happy Friday! Read more [...]
I get emails at least once a week from people asking how they can build a successful blog. So let's just be honest here for a second - and talk about the stuff that a lot of bloggers don't want to hear - all of the things that take a lot of work if you really want to make your blog successful. And just to clarify, when we're talking successful, I'm referring to the type of site that both reaches a lot of people in a positive way AND produces money.
Now, I'm going to preface this by saying that blogging is not an exact science. There's no magic switch that will make you successful. There are, however, a lot of things that you can do to make Read more [...]
Making a living as a blogger went from being a reality for the few and far between to being an actuality (and a serious career) for thousands of people across the country - and you don't even have to be a professional writer to be successful. There are really three major things you need to do to build your personal blogging brand online:
Find a voice you're comfortable with.
Be consistent about how often you post.
Be persistent and work your ass off.
I've already told you how to be good at the first two - in fact I have a bunch of posts here about how to be a successful blogger. But the third bullet - well, I haven't given you much on that Read more [...]
Both in my blogging life and my work life, I get one question from clients and readers alike: where to I start if I'm really not that into social media? And like everything else, it really varies depending on who your audience is and what your end goals are. Since I have a lot of readers out there that ave personal blogs, and very specifically mom blogs for a lot of you, I thought we could focus our efforts there. This is actually a really good post for anyone who is looking to promote a lifestyle blog to a female audience between the ages of about 20 to 50. If you really want to drill down to details. Regardless...where should you start?
1. Read more [...]
It's no secret around here that I've been blogging for a damn long time. Since 2007, if you're keeping track. And yes, that would be about seven years of my life putting my innermost thoughts out into the world for ya'll to read. Which I thank you for, by the way! Anyway, outside of my blogging life I'm also a total SEO/social media geek. So because I've been have all of this weird internet stuff going on in my brain, I get a lot of questions from other bloggers. At least fifty percent of the questions I get revolving around blogging better somehow pertain to this: what are your top ten tips for the average mom blogger?
So after a while, Read more [...]
I have a lot of friends who blog. I probably have a lot more friends than I actually know about who have a blog. By that basic statement - and the title of this post - you're probably thinking that the former is simply better at branding themselves. And yes, to some extent that's true. Here's the thing about blogs: they're really easy to start. They are NOT so easy to maintain on a regular basis. They're even harder to get a strong following on. And if you want to take your blog seriously - and you want brands to take your blog seriously - then you need to be intentional about creating a brand for yourself.
Now, let's clear something up right Read more [...]
One thing I hear a lot - both from bloggers and my clients - is that they just don't "get" social media. Why it's important, how to use it and what it does for them in the long run. One thing I've realized about bloggers is that a lot of them don't want to use their social media accounts to promote their work. This happens for many reasons, but mostly these three:
They're worried about clogging up people's newsfeed and irritating them.
They're a little embarrassed or afraid of showcasing their work to the world.
They use their social media for business AND personal use - and are afraid that their blog isn't business appropriate.
As someone Read more [...]