April 25, 2016

BEHIND THE BLOG FEATURING LAURA PENNINGTON




Today's awesome featured blogger is Laura Pennington, the author at "Six Figure Writing Secrets." As someone who would love to write full-time I found her interview incredibly insightful and I'm so much more motivated to reach my goals. She also offers programs and mentoring opportunities if you're getting serious about taking your writing to the next level! 


1. Can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your blog? 

I have been writing at sixfigurewritingsecrets.com for a little over six months now, sharing the wisdom and expertise I've developed in more than four years as a freelancer and specifically as a freelance writer and project manager. My goal is to help other people find the fast path to success while avoiding some of the most common challenges experienced by new writers and freelancers.


2. How did you first get into blogging?

I first got into blogging because honestly I had so many people who had heard my story and read my story on Business Insider that they wanted to learn more about my specific tips and the insight that I could share with them about making the transition from working a full time day job into being a full time freelancer.

3. How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?

I use a team that helps me plan ahead by the month, so we choose all of the blog topics well in advance. I also have someone who works specifically on inputting the blog and a social media person who publishes it. This allows me to do what I do best, which is writing, and all of the other aspects are handled by other people on my team. That makes the most of my time and makes sure that my creative energy is being spent on the right elements of my business.


4. What are you hoping to improve with your blog this year?

I'm really hoping to drive email newsletter signups for my blog this year because I want to connect with people on a deeper level and be able to understand the most common challenges they are experiencing so that I can write about those challenges in my blogs.

5. In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about blogging? 

I think people often get sidetracked by thinking they need to do it all. when they get started with blogging they are focused on creating content, content upgrades, driving traffic to their posts, putting ads on their blog, guest posting etc. etc. Choosing to focus on one thing every week or every month helps to make sure that you are not getting sidetracked by all of those shiny objects. The single most important thing is that you're posting good content. So when you can focus on that on a regular basis, those other elements will come with time. But using the distraction of feeling like you need to have 50 other things in place before you start blogging is just an excuse that keeps you from being able to accomplish your goals.


6. Where would you like to see your blog 5 years from now? 

I'd like to see my blog be even more active with many more regular readers and I'd also love to be featuring more case studies from some of my clients and other freelancers who have used my advice to build and grow really amazing freelance businesses. I hope that my blog would be a go-to center for people who are looking to start a part time hustle as a freelance writer or transition out of their existing job to become a full time freelancer.

7. What has been your biggest accomplishment and failure as a blogger? 

My biggest accomplishment has been being able to see the strategies that I teach other people in my blogs and in my courses and programs actually work over and over and over again. So even though each person is unique, the strategies that I teach are helpful for honing in on your unique value proposition and they can be used by so many different freelancers that it's really amazing to see people succeed with that. I love experiencing the wins of my readers and my clients.

My biggest failure as a blogger is what I mentioned earlier regarding the biggest misconception about blogging. I should have started blogging two years before I did but I didn't really see myself as an expert and I frequently felt like the blogging process was too overwhelming and something that I didn’t have all the pieces in place to make work yet. So I put it off for a long time and once I got started and really developed a rhythm for blogging, it became much easier and I wish I'd started sooner. 


8. Lastly, what is your biggest piece of advice for anyone starting a blog?


To be really really clear about your target audience. You want to continue speaking to the same target audience and it's okay if over time, you segment those people into different groups. So for example, I have people who come and visit my blog specifically because they are looking for advice about Upwork, but I also have people visiting my blog because they want to get started as a freelance writer and have no idea where to start. So those are two different groups of people but both of them might end up on my blog. So I try to have material that speaks to both groups, but I work really hard to have my email newsletter be specifically targeted to those narrower groups. When you do this, you not only get the benefit of attracting people who are exactly your ideal readers and clients, but you also become a real expert in that area and are seen as a go-to expert in that particular field.


Make sure to check out her blog and other links below!

Website
Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter

Have a wonderful day!

April 20, 2016

"I DARE YOU TO CHASE YOUR DREAMS"


It's currently 8:26 PM and I'm laying in bed with a million thoughts running through my head. Career goals, personal goals, where I'm going to move to, and pretty much everything else that comes with adulthood are running rampant. Passions and practicality are constantly fighting with one another in my life and I think it's time I find a way to make them work together. More than anything, I want "Live in Bliss" to grow as a brand in so many areas. I'm sure it seems silly to some that I have a blog that I want to become my career, but it's one of my dreams. I also work a normal 9-5 job so my blog often takes a backseat. I began to feel discouraged by this, but it all comes down to being better with my time management skills.

I've read countless articles about how creative entrepreneurs balanced their side hustle with their regular jobs. It was a lot of work, but things that are worth having typically aren't easy to get. So with this in mind I'm making moves to make my dream come true. I've made many many posts telling my readers (and myself) to follow their dreams, but what's the point in having an amazing dream with no follow through? I don't want my dreams to stay dreams.

So what am I going to do to reach my goals right now? First thing is network. I've joined 5 Facebook groups that pertain to blogging and it's been awesome! I can't believe it has taken me this long to do this. I've met so many wonderful bloggers and you would be surprised how may people are willing to work with you regardless of how big or small your blog is. In the end we all can win. I've also been tweeting my posts and using hashtags. I've gained followers this way and of course I follow back. Webinars have been extremely helpful as well, and there are so many bloggers that have free ones all the time.  Follow your faves email list and they may have one too!

The point is, if you want something go for it. Don't just talk about it all the time and get yourself into "idea debt." You are allowed to dream no matter where you are in life. If anything you owe it to yourself to create the life you want.

Have a wonderful day! 

April 18, 2016

BEHIND THE BLOG FEATURING MAI NGUYEN


Happy Monday everyone! I know it's been awhile since my last "Behind the Blog" post and I'm so sorry for that. For this interview you will get to know more about the amazing Mai Nguyen and her blog "Little Mai Sunshine." I really enjoyed reading her interview and realized we share similar stories about our blogs. Check it out below!

1. Can you tell the readers about yourself and your blog?

My name is Mai Nguyen and I’m a 23-year-old based in the NY/NJ area. I’m the blogger and social influencer behind Little Mai Sunshine. What initially began as an outlet to share my personal style has evolved into a creative avenue for additional passions such as writing as well as an open communication between me and other struggling 20-something female adults hoping to a find a voice in an intimidating world. Whether it’s through my unfiltered word vomit or my completely affordable style, I hope to represent the possibilities of achieving what is beyond conventional for the average girl. 

2. How did you first get into blogging?

I started my blog in college. This was after rigorous efforts to post OOTD pictures daily just so I had some place to document my styling. After a while, I felt creatively limited in the ways I could fully share my ideas beyond my crappy phone quality and horrible dorm lighting. That’s when I decided to embark on a greater adventure and delve into the world of personal style blogging.

3. How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?

Running a blog is like having another full time job. It requires constant management, brainstorming, scheduling, meetings, events and networking, content creation, etc. Luckily, I’ve found a stable balance between my actual full-time job and blogging. If I have down time at work, I’ll try to fit in researching ideas, answering emails, keeping up with my various social platforms, etc. On weekends, I try to spend mornings at a coffee shop to bang out written material for a blog post or two and the afternoons, I’ll squeeze in some photoshoots. Of course, this is never a strict routine and it’s mostly based on when I have time aside from my other activities and commitments. 

4. What are you hoping to improve with your blog this year?

I can’t quite pinpoint exactly what I hope to achieve with my blog this year, but I know I want it to grow exponentially and thoroughly. I hope to bring more and different content to my blog and explore further business ventures beyond fashion and visuals. 

5. In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about blogging? 

Most people think blogging is simply taking pictures of an outfit and posting it online. But it requires a lot more strategic thinking and creative brainstorming than people give credit for. There is an actual method and reason for each post, pictures, social media usage, etc. We don’t just post whenever and whatever—we’re following a business model we created for ourselves.

6. Where would you like to see your blog 5 years from now? 

I really hope to see my blog develop into a brand. I want the name Little Mai Sunshine to represent more than a blog about my personal style but to take on various facets that embodies my creative endeavors. I hope to expand my blog into a business that opens opportunities further into the fashion industry.

7. What has been your biggest accomplishment and failure as a blogger? 

It’s difficult to define my accomplishment and failure in absolutes, but the very fact that my blog has grown to where it is now and continues to grow even years later shows that it is an accomplishment in itself. I’ve managed to find my unique voice and creatively portray that through my blog. As far as failure, I wouldn’t necessarily say I have one in mind. I’d actually say I have regrets more so than failures and my biggest regret would be that I wish I had started sooner.

8. Lastly, what is your biggest piece of advice for anyone starting a blog?

Blogging is quickly becoming saturated because everyone is making one nowadays. And most people think in order to stay afloat in this blogging world is to do one better than the blogger beside you but that only leads to just a bunch of similar blogs doing the same thing, only slightly different. The key is to find your unique stance/mantra and stick to it and focus on that—work on it, develop it, make it known. People will notice that more and eventually, it’ll be the image that sticks to people. 


I hope you enjoyed the interview and took away some new found inspiration for your own blogging journey! Be sure to check out all of Mai's links below!!


Have a wonderful day!

April 15, 2016

THE FLOWER CHEF: BOOK REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY


This post was made possible by Blogger Babes. I received a complimentary copy of The Flower Chef in exchange for my honest review. Thoughts are 100% my own.

Today I am very excited to share with you all a review sponsored by the Blogger Babes on The Flower Chef: A Modern Guide to Do-It-Yourself Arrangements by Carly Cylinder.  As I began reading the description about this book, I knew it was a must read and as a lover of all things DIY and floral! I didn't realize how creative floral arrangements can be and the many ways you can utilize them. To begin, I enjoyed reading about her start and that it wasn't something she imagined she would be doing. I can completely relate. I discovered my passion out of sheer boredom and the desire of a creative outlet. Another thing I enjoy is that this book is literally for everyone. Whether you're a novice or expert, there's something amazing to take away. Like a cookbook with ingredients that most of us don't follow exactly, you can use the techniques shown however you please to come up with something unique.

A section that I found particularly helpful is the flower care portion. Unfortunately I have never been the best with caring for flowers so I'm hoping her tips help. Cutting the stem at an angle, allowing more water to flow through and removing leaves below the waterline are two tips that I find very helpful. There's so much more to flowers than just being pretty and smelling nice and this book covers so much of that. The types of flowers, care tips, flowers according to season and color are also found in this book.

Now onto the DIY portion. A price gauge and difficulty levels are listed for each arrangement, giving you an idea of what to expect. There are intricate designs and more simple designs to experiment with and the possibilities are endless. I love the romantic and light and lovely arrangements as well as the shabby chic design.



Now that you know all about this book, wouldn't it be great to win a copy and some other great prizes? These two Pinterest giveaways are fun simple to enter. For the first contest in collaboration with Luna Bazaar, create a floral arrangement and share it via your blog/social media channel. Follow this form for additional instructions such as what boards to follow on Pinterest and how to submit your one of a kind idea! The second contest you'll be entered to win 1 of 3 copies of The Flower Chef. To enter, create a board titled #DIYFloralArrangement and pin 5 items from the Luna Bazaar website. Also re-pin 5 pins from The Flower Chef.

Check out the pictures for more giveaway details

SURPRISE ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!



This post was made possible by Blogger Babes. I received a complimentary copy of The Flower Chef in exchange for my honest review. Thoughts are 100% my own.

April 4, 2016

5 Girl Boss Desk Essentials




I've been inspired lately to take charge and make major changes in my life. With this being said, I have a lot to work on and staying focused can be a challenge. Every future girl boss needs a few desk essentials to keep them on track and of course, they have to be stylish!

Most of these items are from Etsy. If you've never been to this website you're definitely missing out. Not only can you find one of a kind items, but I love supporting up and coming entrepreneurs.








Have a wonderful day!