How to Start a Blog – the straight to the point version
There is no shortage of information out there teaching you how to start a blog. Personally, I even have another blog that shares all kinds of tips on getting started blogging. Originally, I started blogging with that blog because I was struggling to find my calling or my niche. I loved learning about blogging so I just started blogging about what I have learned.
I am no expert for sure but I do know more than the average Joe. When someone can confidently answer any blogging question that is thrown at them, I would consider that person to be an expert on blogging. I can not do that. But I do know someone who can!
She is the reason I have any blog at all, to be honest. See, I had come across this idea to blog from home back in 2008. It was all over my head so I pushed it away and actually got myself signed up for something else that was three times as expensive and three times as hard…I was young and naive.
Then I stumbled across blogging again in 2010. This time I decided to do it even though I was definitely broke (from the first flop). With no money I had no choice but to just read every blog post I could find on blogging.
I tried and failed
I tried and failed. Then fast forward to 2017 when I came across Suzi and all of her amazing blog posts and products! She was fairly new at the time so her only real product she had was her Blog by Number eBook and Course.
I purchased the course for $37 and it spoke straight to me! It was like she was right there guiding me through it all! Before finding Suzi I even purchased a membership to a different site that got me nowhere but watched very long and boring videos for months.
So needless to say I had tried my fair share of different avenues before finding Suzi. Now it is 2019 and I have technically three different blogs but only two that I actually blog on. The one you are on right now I just started this summer. The other one is, as I mentioned before, all about blogging.
Suzi now has a bunch of different courses and has really made a big name for herself! She has been featured on many big websites and has helped thousands of others start blogs as well!
She makes over $30,000 a month and was able to retire her husband and now they both blog from home with their three kids. Pretty cool!
If you want to check out her course that has helped and so many others get started blogging, then click here to head on over to learn more!
But if you aren’t quite to that commitment level and you are looking for a straight to the point answer on getting started blogging then keep on reading!
There are really only 3 things you need to start a blog. There is a bunch more to run a blog as a successful business but only three to get started. The first thing you need is hosting. There are free ways out there to start a blog but then you run into issues such as you don’t technically own your blog. If you don’t pay for your own hosting and you choose to go the free route then at any time that site can take your blog down.
I have heard horror stories about bloggers who have built their blogs up for years just for it to be taken down because they were using a free site instead of paying for hosting. Also with those free sites, they don’t usually allow you to monetize your blog which is why most people blog to begin with.
It is just much safer to pay the $3-$5 a month for your blog to be safely hosted and all yours. I use SiteGround to host my blog. It came highly recommended by not just Suzi but many other bloggers I follow and I have been using them since 2017 with no issues! They offer live chat and make life super easy when you need help setting up all the technical stuff for your blog.
Next, you will need a domain name for your blog. The domain name is the URL or web address of your blog. You will most likely what it to be the same as the name of your blog.
SiteGround offers domain name services too so you can bundle those all together or you can purchase it through NameCheap as I do. They seem to have better prices and less hassle at checkout then for example GoDaddy.
This is all completely up to you but either way, to have a blog you for sure have to get a domain name. They run on average about $8-$15. Nothing too crazy.
Once you have your hosting and domain name all set up and connected (again use the live chat with SiteGround if you need any help) then the last step is to install WordPress. This is the platform bloggers use to actually build their blogs.
At first, WordPress can seem overwhelming but once you get the hang of it, it is really easy to navigate!
That’s it! You now officially have a blog! That is not all there is to blogging but that is, in a nutshell, all there is to starting a blog. The rest of the process is much more detailed but you can learn as you go!
If you are like me and you like to know all the details there is to something right away then I can definitely help you out there. I have a ton of resources that I am more than willing to share with you! Some are mine and some are from other awesome bloggers!
I know that not everyone is going to learn everything they need to know about blogging from me. I follow many different bloggers and I resonate with each of them in different ways! We all learn differently and we all need more help in different areas. Trust me I get it!
Here are some more resources to help you rock your new blog!
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Digital Alternatives to the Bullet Journal
I love journals, planners, pens, pencils, stickers, anything office supply related. And I know I am not alone! There is a whole community out there of people who are obsessed with office supplies too! I don’t even know why I want all these things but I do! One year for Valentine’s Day my husband got me office supplies and I was so excited! That’s why I can’t wait to share with you that I found two digital alternatives to the bullet journal!
What’s a Bullet Journal?
First, just in case you don’t know, here is an example of the bullet journal. These things have taken over. Every blogger I see is talking about this bullet journal and how awesome it is. I finally decided to get one for myself after seeing all the fun everyone was having with them!
Check out these two examples I found on Pinterest. (They are linked back to the pin if you want to save them.)
So, I ended up getting this journal, this washi tape bundle, and these pens. But this bundle right here comes with that and much more so looking back I should have just got it instead.
My sister told me about these gel pens that erase so I got those too and they are much more my style because I like to erase (I’m a perfectionist some times).
What’s the big deal?
The big craze with the bullet journal is that each page is customizable. Every page just has dots to use as a guide to be able to create all kinds of beautiful pages. One page could be your grocery list, another your calendar, and the next your cleaning schedule. There is no limit to what you can do with each page and I do really enjoy that flexibility.
Instead of searching through so many planners just to finally pick one and end up hating the layout, this option I could make each page my own layout that worked best for me.
I just had one main issue, I would always forget it. I don’t think to always have my journal with me. So even though I like to write things out and use the fun pretty colors and all that, I would never bring it with me. It was just one more thing I had to remember to lug around.
(However, if you do love to carry that thing around and you are looking for more ideas on how to use your bullet journal, Suzi has an amazing post that you can check out!)
I have tried everything
So I tried to use apps and a Google Calendar instead to make it more digital and less inconvenient but it didn’t work. I thought if I could master digital planning then I could keep a better schedule but it didn’t work. I like the fun bright colors and although I did find one app that worked well enough to keep me on schedule, it didn’t have the flexibility of each page being something different.
I needed something that was a digital version of the bullet journal. The only thing I could find was the Notes app on my iPhone. I use it quite often to keep all of my important information all in one spot. I started that about a year or so ago and that has been great!
There is even an option where you can write things out with my finger but then you couldn’t read any of it. So I was still missing the fun artistic appeal the bullet journal has.
The Notes App just got better
That is until I got my new iPad! I have been wanting to get a new iPad to be able to make my business more mobile so I got the new iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and keyboard.
After I got my iPad I researched ways to use the pencil and I came up with some fun things. One of them was actually using the Notes app I have already been using!
What I found was that I could do more with the Notes app than just typing in my notes. I could use it more like a bullet journal!
Here is why I love the Notes App on my iPad (or iPhone) and how it can be used as a bullet journal!
Notes App Features
- It’s FREE
- You can add tabs and organize thoughts
- There are options to Bold or Underline Text
- You can have clickable links in it
- It automatically saves new changes on any device
- You can scan documents
- Take Photo or Video
- Add Sketch
- Photo Library
- Mark Checklists that actually checkmark off for you
I like the option to add documents or photos to the note. I have actually taken pictures of notes and stored it in a note in the app instead of retyping it all in there just so I could throw the paper note away!
As you can see I really do use this app a lot. All along the side are major categories in life and then there are folders under them to organize further down.
Then lastly within each of those is the second column of notes you see. This helps me break things down and everything is easy to find! Now with the new iPad Pro, I can use my Apple Pencil and write on the screen just like you see (sorry I have horrible handwriting).
I can change the color, the style of pen or pencil, and even the thickness of the stroke I am using. With a bullet journal, you can’t break down into categories and sections as easily as you can with this notes app. You would have to bookmark every new section in a bullet journal.
But wait it gets better!
You can add lines and grids to your note! Just like the bullet journal you now have guides to help you design your page. Also, you only need one pencil and you can change it to any color!
Before if I would remember my bullet journal I would want to bring all the pens so I had all the colors I wanted to use for each page! This way you only need one pencil and one device.
Now you don’t have to take your iPad with you everywhere you go (but let’s face it there is a better chance you bring that than your journal). Because if you need to refer to that note you created such as this one below with my to-do list…
Then you can still do that from your iPhone and no one’s going to forget their phone! You can make all these changes from your iPhone too it just isn’t as easy using your finger but you can still access the same note.
So if you are at the grocery store you can still cross off your list as you get each item.
And the Add Sketch feature is pretty cool because it gives you a ruler to use as a guide that you can move around!
All This For Free
A lot of people are Apple users so if that is you then you have all this for free! If you have been on the fence about switching to Apple then here is a little insight into some of the features! I’m sure there is something similar on the Andriod phones too though.
It is just nice to know some of the ways you can utilize what you already have access too. If you have an iPhone then odds are you have an iPad and might have been in the market to upgrade to the new iPad Pro. So far it is amazing!
Digital Bullet Journal
Alternative number two to a bullet journal is a digital bullet journal! I had no clue these were a thing and I was so excited when I came across them! A digital bullet journal can be used just like a bullet journal but on your phone or tablet! As long as you have a note-taking app that will allow you to edit a PDF. So it doesn’t have to be an Apple Product at all!
The digital bullet journal is a PDF version of a bullet journal and can be used exactly the same but conveniently located on your personal device! Test it out for yourself with this free digital bullet journal download!
Grab your Free Download of the Digital Bullet Journal
Send Me One!
If you are looking for a good note-taking app (and you are an Apple user) then I highly suggest getting the GoodNotes App. It has so many awesome features but all of the editing features are my favorite. As you can see I have horrible handwriting so I like that I can quickly make edits on my digital bullet journal or in my notes app. That is something I couldn’t do on my regular bullet journal.
Here is more information on the iPad and Accessories that I bought.
This is the exact iPad that I bought. I did go with the lower storage because I need to get a hard drive anyway so this way I can just get one of those and save money on buying the extra storage.
We looked into purchasing the iPad through our phone carrier to add data to it but that costs more also. Plus we found out that our T.V. provider has hotspots I can use when I am away from home. Just some things to think about!
I wanted the bigger screen so that was my main priority. I wasn’t as worried about storage because I have a bigger icloud storage plan and then again I plan to get an external hard drive to save all pictures and important documents on it.
Now I don’t pretend to be all tech-savvy, I know just enough to get by. I know that I am a busy mom and this all makes my life easier and more portable. I do want to say that it comes with a completely new charger.
Supposedly it is to be able to connect to your computer better or other techy stuff I don’t understand but my point is no more USB on one end and no more of the other normal end that all Apple products have.
The cord has the same end on each end. So either way, it connects to your converter to plug into the wall and then into the iPad to charge. Just a heads up.
Then since I got the bigger screen I had to get this keyboard that fits it. They are both 12.9 inches so that gives plenty of room for using your screen and typing on a good-sized keyboard, not a tiny one.
The iPad connects magnetically to the keyboard and there are three dots on the back of the iPad that connects it to the keyboard.
Then you can have it in different positions to adjust it to your liking while typing. Then when you aren’t using the keyboard you can fold it over to close and you will hear the iPad lock. Also, you can flip it around and under the iPad to quickly use the iPad only.
Then, of course, I got the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation that is compatible with the iPad Pro. It is very sleek and easy to use.
There are no buttons, it looks and feels just like a regular pencil. It doesn’t erase like one although I think it should. I keep wanting to flip it around and erase with the pencil eraser like you normally would.
But just a heads up it doesn’t work like that. Another fun feature of the Apple pencil is that it connects to the side of your iPad magnetically to charge.
This is great to keep track of the pencil and know that it is always charged up. No plugging it in or cords involved! Once you connect it to the iPad it will tell you what charge the pencil is at as well.
Because I will be on the go I did get myself a case and as I said I also have the keyboard too. I have seen some creators have these cool pencil gripper sleeves.
I don’t know if I will do that or not because with the new pencil it senses when you double-tap to erase when using the Notes App. Also, I don’t know how the gripper affects it charging magnetically or staying safely on the side of the iPad. I worry that it might come off and I would lose it.
That’s all folks!
Thanks for reading my post! Grab a Free Digital Notebook created by GoodNotes Goods Co.!
What is a Bullet Journal and How to Get Started
I had the same questions when I first heard about bullet journals: What is a bullet journal? And how do you start a bullet journal? It wasn’t until I had one for a few months did I finally see the full potential of a bullet journal thanks to Pinterest.
When I first heard about a bullet journal it was from another blogger and she shared how she used hers for planning out her blog and scheduling her time. Nothing too fancy. I gave it a try and really I wasn’t having any luck.
Then I realized that there was such a thing as a digital version of the bullet journal. That’s when all the flood gates opened up for me on how to use a bullet journal!
What is a bullet journal?
First, let’s cover what is a bullet journal. It is a journal (not necessarily a notebook but more of a blank journal) with dotted pages (bullets). Each page has small light-colored dots on them to serve as guides while you are creating each page. In this picture, you can barely see the dots on the page but they are they and act as perfect guides to create this awesome layout.
See that is the whole appeal of a bullet journal. It is a blank canvas for you to turn each page into your own creation! Now, I myself am not a very artistic person so you will have to take a look at some of these beautiful designs I found on Pinterest to fully understand!
Each of these is so pretty and it is really the tip of the iceberg of all the different designs you can do with your bullet journal.
How to Get Started?
To get started with your very own journal you would first need to purchase one. I got mine off of Amazon. There are several to choose from so here are some of the ones listed on Amazon. They range around $8 for a journal.
There are tons of supplies you can purchase to really decorate your bullet journal all out. Things like stickers, pens, and markers, to even fun designed washi tape! Or you can just a bundle deal like this one.
Now here is where I want to stop you for just a sec. As I mentioned above I came across digital bullet journals. I want to share those with you real quick so you can move forward in the direction you choose.
What is a digital bullet journal?
A digital bullet journal is just like it sounds. It is a digital version of a bullet journal that you can use on your iPad, tablet, or even your phone. It comes as a PDF so you just need a program that will allow you to write on the PDF for it to work.
For example, there are note-taking apps that allow you to write on a PDF such as GoodNotes, Adobe, Notability, and OneNote. It just depends on your device and your style on which one works for you.
To learn all about how awesome digital bullet journals are (and why I feel like they are actually the better option) then check out my post here.
Or if you’re sold and you want to give digital bullet journals a test run for yourself you can grab my free digital bullet journal here!
Download Your Free Copy Here!
Now Back to How to Get Started
Once you have chosen your bullet journal people will often get stuck on how to use them. Use these 5 quick steps to help you get started.
1. Ask yourself why you got a bullet journal to begin with?
Was it just for fun because you love all things office supply related? (That is literally half the reason I got one myself) or was it because you are trying to get your life organized and running smoothly? (that’s the second reason I got one)
2. Now elaborate on your answer even more.
If it was just because it looked cool then you are free to draw on each page to your heart’s content! Or if it was to become more organize then think about what part of your life needs the most help. Do you need help tracking your tasks, do you need help tracking how much water you drink or what you eat, or do you need help with all of your daily activities?
Really think about why you got the bullet journal to begin with so you can then find the best way to utilize it to help you!
3. Search ideas on Pinterest.
For an overload of inspiration on how you can use each page to track your habits, daily tasks, and more you can research on Pinterest for more ideas. There are thousands of ideas on Pinterest to help get your creative juices flowing on how to best use your new bullet journal.
4. Go with your gut.
Then go with your gut. Pick the one that makes sense to you. If you see a beautiful design but you are confused about how that design helps you achieve your goal, then don’t go with that one. Some people love the over the top designs and some people are more cut and dry and to the point.
Pick the layout (or spread) that works for you. Find your inspiration and use it to create your own pages that fit your life!
5. Follow through daily.
This is probably the most important step of all. Work on your journal daily. If you got it to help you get more organized and stay on task then you have to look at it daily. You can’t design all these beautiful pages that have all your daily activities on them and then not look back at it again for a week or two later.
That is where everyone goes wrong. Just like how you check social media daily to find out what’s going on in the world, you need to check into your bujo (bullet journal) or planner daily too. Consistency is key.
If you stay consistent with using your bullet journal then you will consistently achieve your goals you set out to accomplish on why you got it to begin with!
Comment below with your spreads!
I most definitely want to see your new spreads you have created with your new bullet journal! Please comment below so we can all enjoy!
3 Reasons Why The Way You Dress Impacts Your Productivity
Productivity and procrastination go hand in hand. If you suffer from procrastination then you probably aren’t very productive. So you have to overcome procrastination to become productive. Even a simple change in the way you dress impacts your productivity!
The best way to overcome procrastination is to work hard on becoming productive and your procrastination issue will take care of itself! Here is an easy productivity tip to implement right away. The way you dress. Here are 3 Reasons Why The Way You Dress Impacts Your Productivity.
1. How you feel about yourself impacts your productivity
Believe it or not, the way you dress sets your mindset for the day and impacts your productivity. If you walk around in your sweats all day you feel tired and well…lazy.
You may not be lazy and you may actually get some things done but your mindset is not 100% confident.
When you “dress for success” there is something magical about it and it impacts your productivity in a positive way! You feel good about yourself. Every time you look in the mirror you will see a professional that had confidence and stands up strong.
If every day you wear sweats then when you look in the mirror you will struggle to see a strong individual that is ready to take on the day so that impacts your productivity in a negative way.
Try it for a week and see how much better you will feel about yourself!
2. How others perceive you impacts your productivity
Others will sense the same feelings. Dressing professionally will get you more respect from others. It’s not their fault, it’s human nature and we all do it. If someone comes to your do dressed in their sweats with stains on the front, their hair a mess, and they look like they just woke up, you would be taken aback.
Thinking what in the world does this person want?! I would be scared to open the door! However, if someone that looks clean-cut and dressed nicely (not over the top) then I would feel much more comfortable opening the door.
Now we all know that isn’t always the case. You can’t trust everyone but I’m sure you see my point. If you are “dressed for success” you will put off the vibe that you are a professional, you are important and intelligent.
I have tested this theory out many times. I now have people give me a hard time for always being “dressed up” like I am going somewhere special when I work from home.
But I will say that…
A) It is usually just some makeup, curled hair, and a Walmart dress
B) It isn’t always but more often than not
C) I am always ready for those surprise visits!
I had a friend just FaceTime me last night and joked saying “Where you ready for my call you look like you just left the salon!”
But I felt great with that confidence instead of embarrassed at how I do look sometimes!
Ladies, when we see a well-dressed mom at school looking like she is rocking her life we tend to be envious and want to be like her.
That is our perception of her. Just like others have a perception of you. I am definitely not telling you to be fake or stuck up. DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. I just want you to feel confident and comfortable in situations like that.
3. The universe goes in your favor and impacts your productivity
Do you ever have those days you just feel like everything clicks and falls together perfectly? Of course, we have the opposite too where nothing could go right no matter what we do.
But if you think back to the good days you may realize that those are the days you are “dressed for success”.
That is usually the start of everything falling together perfectly – you found the perfect outfit for the day. This goes all the way back to Middle School and High School.
You are excited to go to school to wear the new outfit you just got.
From there everything seems to fall in order. You knew all the answers in class. The boy/girl you like talking to you at school. The cafeteria served your favorite lunch. It all comes together and it all started with the way you dressed.
I am not trying to push you do go out and buy a whole new wardrobe but I am trying to steer you clear of wear pajamas all day every day.
If you are rocking at productivity and you wear PJs all day then you probably are reading the wrong post. This isn’t for you.
This is for those looking to improve their productivity right away and stop procrastination from taking over their everyday life.
Tips to improve the way you dress that impacts your productivity
I am not a fashionista. I choose comfort over fashion. Again if you are a fashionista you probably are reading the wrong post. You don’t need help dressing to impress. You already know that changing the way you dress impacts your productivity.
If you are still following along then you probably also like to dress comfortably. That’s why most of us choose sweats or our PJs.
Here are simple tips to help you dress better without sacrificing comfort!
1. Paint your nails
I always feel like a million bucks when my nails are painted. I never go without toenail polish (because let’s face it, it stays on longer and is much easier to touch up). But I don’t keep my fingernails painted all of the time because it is more upkeep.
That is why my husband bought me a gel nail polish kit like these. It costs too much to get my nails done and I hated how regular polish came off so fast but I loved my nails to be painted so he got me a kit!
I love that thing! I have had it for years and still have the same bottles I started with. Again I don’t keep my nails painted all of the time because I like to let them heal up since my nails are so weak and gel polish tears them up a bit.
However, it stays on for about 3 weeks!
There are other options out there as well like all those stick-on nails and nail polishes. I just feel much more confident with my nails done!
2. A little bit of makeup goes a long way
If I haven’t made it clear already, I am not one to spend hours on my appearance. I do get my hair colored every 5-6 weeks but other than that I don’t go all out on clothes, shoes, tanning, fake eyebrows or eyelashes, none of that.
Since I live in Coastal Georgia so that stuff would just sweat right off if I did.
I do fill in my normally tiny thin eyebrows, put concealer on my dark rings under my eyes, and wear mascara. That is about it. The days I don’t do that are because we are out on the boat or at the pool.
Otherwise, I will do those small steps and it makes a huge difference. I don’t contour, paint, or glue anything on and I still get told all the time how good I look. I am not saying that to brag because I myself don’t see it but hey at least I am not scaring people away.
3. Clothes don’t have to be expensive
A new outfit can make all the difference. Not a new outfit right off the runway but a newer outfit works just fine! If you have the finances to buy new fancy clothes and that’s your thing then go for it!
I am trying to help those who can’t but still are looking for ways to increase their productivity by dressing better to improve their confidence.
With that said you can find all kinds of cute clothes at garage sales, on the trader sites, at Goodwill, Walmart, Target, JC Penny, and so many more!
Here are a bunch of cute summer dresses you could have shipped right to your door! I love dresses! They hide and flaws (like eating too much pizza the night before), they are very comfortable and flowy, and they definitely make you look professional!
Even making small changes in your personal hygiene will make you feel more confident! Besides painting your nails you could whiten your teeth, get a new haircut or style, try out a new perfume or cologne, apply lotion, take a warm bubble bath, or get a massage!
You would be surprised how much confidence you will gain by taking better care of yourself. My husband works so hard that he puts himself on the back burner.
Finally, I got him in to the dentist and started getting things fixed and back up to date. In doing that he loved how his teeth looked and have started whitening them and take better care of himself!
Another awesome product that I love so very much is Spark. It is a sugar-free energy drink. The fruit punch flavor tastes just like Hawaiian fruit punch juice to me. There are a bunch of different flavors though.
I started drinking it in 2012 and I don’t go a day without it! I love it because it gives me motivation, energy, and mental focus to tackle each day.
What does this have to do with hygiene? I added it to this category because since it is sugar-free and full of vitamins I lost weight after starting on it and some of AdvoCare’s other products!
And taking care of yourself and losing weight is definitely self-hygiene!
Disclaimer: Just because I and many others lost weight by taking AdvoCare’s products does not guarantee you will.
Adding earrings to any outfit dresses it up. So just throw on some earrings or bracelets or a necklace to dress up your outfit quickly and easily!
Accessories tie every outfit together. If you have a simple summer dress you want to spruce up all you have to do is add a fancy sandal and a purse! Or I love all of these hair accessories!
Well, I hope you were able to see how a few minor changes to your wardrobe can put a positive spin on your daily productivity!
Thanks for ready!
Sometimes just believing in yourself is all you need! Here is a freebie bundle of inspirational quotes for you to print off and tape to your mirror! Read them every day and remind yourself you are professional and productive. And that you will not let procrastination get the best of you!
This will help motivate you to change out of your sweats or PJs to look better and feel better. These tips will for sure impact your productivity in a positive way!