Tips on Starting a Blog

Hi Friends! When I first started blogging I got a lot of questions from friends like "What made you start blogging"  which I think I answer pretty well in my Welcome to Life After Graduation: Take Two post, but then I got a few questions of how.  So I thought I would answer them here, and give some tips of what I have learned along the way.

I first did research on different blogging platforms seeing which atheistic & feel I liked. I think I played around on the site for about 4 months before I really did anything with it.  I figured out how each paged worked, cover pages, blog pages, scheduling posts.  Learning all the in an outs of the blog.  I think this was a really important learning stage for me, because I am now able to tweak things really easily on the site if I'm unhappy and things aren't breaking on the live site.  Don't get my wrong though, I am exploring and learning new things every day. I then took a month writing content so that when I "launched" my site, aka shared it with the public, there was plenty of content for them to look at. 

Platform: I use Squarespace, the reason is because it is relativity easy to use, and their help center is phenomenal.  People usually have asked the same questions you have and the answers are very detailed and helpful.  I pay $10 for the site every month and paid $20 to buy my domain name.  Which is very important when people are searching for you site. Squarespace gives you a lot of freedom also, there are many templates but I have special coding on mine to tweak it how I want it. 

Tools:

I use Google Analytics, to get some information on my views, like what my audience is looking at, how much time they spend, bounce rates on my pages (% of people who only view one page). This has been amazing to learn how my audience navigates my site and if there are things I can do to make the user experience more enjoyable.  Google analytics can be tricky but there are a lot of videos and helpful sites.

Mailchimp is my go to for emailing.  I email my subscribers monthly to let them know of new wallpapers, posts and playlists. I see that Mailchimp is often used by larger companies.  It was super easy to use and gives you analytics on your mail campaigns.  

In a later post I will talk about my advice for blogging and social media with everything I've learned from my education, work, and personal experience. 

Let me know what your favorite sites are to use and why in the comments below or you can always email!

My February Goals

Hi Guys! I apologize for being MIA the past week, but I am ready to bring you lots of new things this month! I hope you enjoyed the most recent releases of wallpapers! I have already been sketching ideas for next month and I'm already excited!

So I was thinking about my New Years goals for the year, and when I think about lofty goals I automatically get really overwhelmed.  Sometimes I give up before I even start because I make these huge goals that sorta set myself up for failure.  I have learned that for me if I make smaller, achievable but challenging goals I am much more likely to succeed.  Little milestones if you will. So each month I was going to write down my goals, to hold myself accountable to continually work towards the bigger end goal. I also know that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so I figure if I set a few smaller goals each month they will become habits that will continue on to the next month.  I hope that viewing goals this way will help you take small steps that turn into larger steps to accomplish what you want!

  1. Drink More Water - I have read and heard all the wonderful things water can do for your health, weight and skin.  This is a really simple task that I can do to help my overall health and feel better flushing toxins out.
  2. Blog 2-3x a week - I have been slacking recently even though every day Im scribbling ideas down.  I just need to sit down and write even when I feel like I can't, at least Im starting and trying. 
  3. Replace my snack food with healthy snacks - My down fall with eating healthy is definitely my snacking. So instead of cutting down on my snacking completely (which is like cold turkey for me)  I want to replace the bad junk food I eat with fruits and veggies.  I think its a small change that can make a big impact.
  4. Take a few hours for myself every week -  Im really bad at saying no when someone needs something, and its for sure wearing on me.  So I know that for my mental and physical health I have put myself first a little more so I can give my full attention to loved ones.  And honestly be a less grumpy person.

I wanted to start with 4 goals that seemed attainable and not feel too overwhelmed.  I am proud of these goals, and getting excited to see how attacking my goals this month will affect my over all results.  What are your goals?  How do you set them?

Why Am I Writing?

Every time I read a blog or watch my favorite Youtube makeup guru, I'm always finding myself asking "What's your story?"  I think culturally we have a fascination with connecting to our favorite celebrities or writers, on a personal level, even when they are total strangers to us.  It helps us feel more like friends, and to better understand where they are coming from. So here is some background on my life to help you better understand me and my blog.

I am a 23 year old young professional.  I went to college, originally for Environmental Engineering, and switched to Marketing.  I know, I know [insert your joke about how engineering is the pre-business major here], I've heard all the jokes, and to be honest I've never thought twice about my decision.  I went into engineering because my brain works so analytically, but ultimately I live in the creative.  I made the decision early on I'd rather work harder at something I love than have something come easy and hate it.  I definitely chose a less stable career path but I don't regret my decision. 

I did multiple internships throughout college, trying to figure out what kind of path I wanted to head down with marketing. Let me tell you, though I was able to rule out a few things I didn't want to do, there were and still are a thousand options of what I could do.  So after college, I got a contract job (a position where you work for only a set period of time) as a recruiter to get my foot in the door at a digital agency.  By no means did I want to be a recruiter, but I did want to be in the agency world. It was a great opportunity looking back, I learned a lot about what recruiters look for. This made it easier for when I job searched, cause now I had knowledge about agencies, positions, and the marketing world as a whole.  As much as I wished I would have gotten a full time position there, it just wasn't a great fit, the company was too technical. 

I moved on to another agency a month later, moving back to my "sorta" hometown of Cincinnati. I got a full time position at a Pinterest marketing company as an account manager, pretty cool I know.  The company was a start up, and ended up having to downsize their work force a few months later.

Which leads me to where I am now.  At a large corporation (yikes! Exact opposite of agencies) that does market research and I am an associate analyst.  A big jump I know, but as an account manager I re-found my love for numbers within the marketing world, and I decided after having to change positions, when better to try something new then now.  I am still adjusting to the corporate world finding pro's and con's from agency world.    But I wanted to help share the things that I have learned, from being a recruiter, to job searching, to the over all adjustment of going to school your whole life to now becoming a real "adult".  I hope you enjoy reading!