Big Dreams, Better Blogs Link Up

Big Dreams Better Blogs Link Up

The link up is here! I’m so excited to share with you my Big Dreams today and to read all about your big dreams! I’m hoping these new goals will help me be a better blogger and will help improve my blog overall as well. So without further ado, here are my Big Dreams!

New Blog Design – I want to have a sort of re-launch at the beginning of the year and come back with a whole new look. I’m going to take off from creating content December 25 through January 1 to re-design the blog. I’ve been getting sick of my design for a while and I feel like taking a big chunk of time to work on it will be the best thing. I’ll be coming back on January 2nd with a new blog design and a new post.

Launch Newsletter in January – I want to launch a monthly newsletter in January. I will take some of my time off of blogging to work on this dream as well. I’ve been wanting to start a newsletter for awhile, but could never seem to find the time to learn how to make a newsletter. I’m excited to design the newsletter and hopefully people will sign up. I’m going to have newsletter exclusive content that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.

Engage in Youtube more (start with twice a month) – I’m hoping to add more youtube videos to my repertoire. I did VEDA in August and that was exciting. I got burned out from doing so many videos, but it did teach me not to be afraid of the camera. I’m hoping to have blog exclusive videos and youtube exclusive videos. There is this great link up called the Golden Vlog. I’m hoping to participate in that, too!

Sponsor other Bloggers – I’m hoping to really be able to invest in my blog this year by helping other bloggers! I want to advertise on a few of my favorite blogger’s blogs. In order to do that, I have to design a button or get a button designed. I already have a few bloggers in mind, so hopefully before the end of 2015 I will have sponsored a handful of bloggers.

Learn more – I’ve downloaded a few ebooks on blogging (Blog Life, Regina’s ebook, and Building a Framework). I want to read through them thoroughly and maybe even discuss them with a small group of other bloggers. I want to learn more about blogging, so I can be a better blogger in 2015. I also want to take SkillShare classes. I have Photoshop Elements 10, but hardly ever use it due to the learning curve. Most of my photos on here are edited with iPhoto and graphics are added with PicMonkey. I want to learn more Photoshop so that I can do more things with my images. I downloaded Elise’s digital stamps and the video she made on how to use them really pushed me over the edge into buying them. Digital stamps are so cool. If you’ve never tried them, go over and watch the video. Very awesome!

Those are my blog goals for 2015. I have personal goals that I will be sharing with you next month, but let’s move onto the link up. Please read the rules below and I can’t wait to see what your dreams for your blog are!


Big Dreams, Better Blogs Rules

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Feel free to use this button to share on your blog!

Kenji Is Here

Sign up for my newsletter here! The first newsletter will be going out on January 19, 2015! I’m so excited!

Weekly Intentions #9

Weekly Intentions #9

Here is my “first” Weekly Intentions, but I’m still counting as normal because they are along the same vein as weekly wishes. I’m linking up with The Nectar Collective as usually. My last weekly wishes was about three weeks ago. So let’s recap the wishes:

LAST WEEK’S WISHES

1. Work on a newsletter for the blog – I worked on this a lot in the last couple of weeks. I’ve decided on which email newsletter platform I will be using. I’ve started designing the newsletter. I haven’t exactly decided on what topic I will be discussing, but I know that it will be a subject that is exclusive to the newsletter, and it probably will have a round up of links I’ve been enjoying. You can sign up for the newsletter in the sidebar. The first newsletter will be going out on January 19, 2015.

2. Enjoy time with family this week – I truly enjoyed spending time with my family. My sister and I go to our church’s Turkey Bowl every year. We have such a fun time. My husband and I went to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and that was a lot of fun. My husband’s family came over on Saturday night (after Thanksgiving) because I was recovering from my gallbladder surgery and it was great to see them and my nieces.

3. Start brainstorming ideas for the blog in the new year – I’ve definitely been brainstorming ideas for my blog next year. The “Big Dreams, Better Blogs” link up starts tomorrow and I’ll be sharing my big dreams for 2015. I’m so excited! Come back tomorrow to link up and to read all about my blog dreams.

THIS WEEK’S INTENTIONS

1. Host the Big Dreams, Better Blogs linkup – I’m so looking forward to this link up tomorrow! I also intend on reading everyone’s blog posts and leaving a comment. I really hope this link up brings about community and encouragement.

2. Start working towards some of my blog dreams – You’ll have to check back here tomorrow to see what those are, but two of them I will really be working on very intently over the Christmas break. I’m so excited!

3. Continue work on the secret project. A few weeks ago, this was on my weekly wishes every week and now it’s back. The secret project got put on the back burner while I was dealing with some new health issues, which turned into me having to get my gallbladder removed. But now it’s full force ahead. I can’t wait to reveal this project to you. It’s still about six months away from being revealed, but I’m so excited!

I love making these intentions each week and sharing them with you. I hope you will share yours in the comments below. I hope you all have a fabulous week! Also, if you blog I hope you come back tomorrow to link up with the Big Dreams, Better Blogs link up! Yay! I’m so excited about this link up!

Dream Planner!

UPDATE: I was contacted by inkWELL Press today (12/12) via twitter. They gave me a little wishlist pdf to share with you and coupon code good for 15% off + free gift wrapping through Monday, December 15. You can download the pdf here. Enjoy!

I’ve been thinking about getting a high quality planner for awhile. I’ve looked at Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner (sold out now) and Whitney English’s Day Designer (sold out until January). I thought those planners were nice, but I couldn’t seem to justify the price. Then Wednesday as I was looking through my youtube subscription feed, I saw that one of my favorite youtubers, Ashley from MakeupTIA, was talking about her new planner. She was talking about the inkWELL Press Planner.

And I fell in love.

I need this planner. There is a spot for your yearly goals and monthly goals. You guys know how much I love setting goals. There are daily spots for fitness, meals and home. A gift idea section, yearly calendar, a dual sided folder, plus an accordion folder in the back. If you watch Ashley’s video (linked above), you can see how she personalizes it with stickers and flags. It’s just too awesome!

This planner is gonna help me plan out blog posts, youtube videos (which I have been slacking on), my secret project and keep my home organized.

I’m putting this planner on my Christmas list and I’ve already given a special someone my very detailed list of which planner I want, the cover, and the personalization. I got super detailed. So you’re probably wondering what I want.

If I get my dream planner, this is what it would include….

the liveWELL flex. (You have two options to pick – classic or flex.)

I would pick the Mitered Stripe Cover. (There are five cover designs.)
MITERED STRIPE COVER

And I would love to get it personalized with the Jane Eyre Font. (You can choose from 12 styles or opt out of personalization.)

FLEX>>MITERED STRIPE >>STYLE 11

The owner of inkWELL Press, Tonya, did a great Q&A video, which was amazing and answered a bunch of frequently asked questions.  This solidified even more that this is the planner for me. Each planner comes with access to free printables on their site, plus Tonya sends 6 videos via email about how to get the most out of your planner. How amazing is that?

Make sure to check out the inkWELL Press website and check out all the awesome covers and even more info on these awesome planners. If I do end up getting this planner for 2015, I will make sure and do a detailed review on it, after I’ve had it for a month or so.

What planner are you using for 2015? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

20 Questions to Help You Blog Plan for 2015

20 Questions to Help You Blog Plan for 2015

 

Next week is the “Big Dreams, Better Blogs” link up and I thought I would share with you some ideas for planning out what you want to do with your blog in 2015. I will officially be sharing my big blog dreams next week. But let’s discuss some questions you can ask yourself about blogging. The change of the new year is a great time to re-evaluate your blog. Have you fallen off the bandwagon? Are you sick of the topic you chose to blog about? Do you want to start a new blog? These are all great questions to ask yourself and we’re gonna dig a little deeper into them. Below I have listed some questions to ask yourself and I have linked to posts that will be helpful in answering that question.

1. What do you want to blog about this year? Do you want to stop blogging about a certain topic? Do you want to start blogging about new topics? Is this your first blogDo you have a mission statement?
2. How often should you post?
3. What social media outlets do you want to focus on? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram?
4. Do you want to connect with other bloggers? Collaborate.
5. Do you want to add video? (Youtube or Vimeo?)
6. How about starting a newsletter?
7. Will you start advertising/sponsorships or change your rates?
8. Do you want to change up your blog design/brand? Social media branding?
9. Update your about page, update headshots, change up fonts and/or header/logo
10. Add FAQ page? Contact page? Interested in working together page?
11. Make a media kit
12. Sponsor a blog or two or three?
13. Do you want to add a couple of blog series? Maybe spread them out throughout the year?
14. Do you want to switch your blogging platform?
15. Is there some aspect about blogging you need to learn more about: Google Analytics?  CSS or a little HTML? Improve your photography skills?
16. Do you want to start working with brands? Make a list of brand you’d love to work with and email them. (Definitely easier said than done.)
17. Do you want make money? How about: Affiliate links? Sponsored posts?
18. Do you want to learn how to build community on your blog?
19. Do you want to provide your readers with a freebie? Make one!
20. Start a podcast?

I hope those questions and links are helpful in giving you some ideas about planning for next year. And remember any blog dream you have is big blog dream. They don’t have to be extravagant plans. And you have until January 5 to link up with us! I can’t wait to read all your blog dreams in the coming weeks!

Weekly Wishes to Weekly Intentions

Weekly Wishes to Weekly Intentions

This week, I’m changing it up a bit. I’m currently recovering from gallbladder removal surgery. So I wrote this post ahead of time.

Every Monday, I typically link up with The Nectar Collective’s Weekly Wishes. I started this a couple of months ago. I chose to call my posts Weekly Wishes because that’s what Melyssa (from Nectar Collective) called hers. I noticed that other people linked up their posts, but not all of them were called Weekly Wishes. So I had been thinking about switching up the title of my posts. From now on my weekly goals will no longer be called Weekly Wishes, but will be called Weekly Intentions. I prefer the word intention because it’s not like I’m wishing for this goal to be done, but I’m truly intending to accomplish the goal.

I’m also going to change up how I choose my weekly intentions. In the past, I used to just think of two or three mini goals I wanted to accomplish that week, but there was no larger goal I was trying to acheive. I’m gonna explain more about this change in the future, closer to the change of the new year. But I do want my larger goals and weekly goals to be connected some how.

I thought this was the perfect week to explain my change of post title because I’m not going to be making a Weekly Intention this week, since I’m recovering from surgery right now. I wanted to take this time to share with you what’s going on in my heart and so it’s not a huge change when you see Weekly Intentions in the future, instead of Weekly Wishes.

Do you make weekly intentions/goals/wishes? Or whatever you want to call them. I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Blog Tip Friday | 02

Blog Tip Friday - 02

Blog Tip Friday is upon us! As part of pursuing new topics and goals for 2015. This is the last blog tip Friday.

I have a few plugins I love and will be sharing with you today.

WordPress SEO by Yoast
This plugin helps to analyze your posts and make them more SEO friendly. This plugin gives you a red, yellow and green light to tell you if your post is SEO ready. The plugin also tells you what to do to increase the SEO friendliness. I use this plugin every single time I write a post.

Disqus Comment System
Disqus is the commenting system that I use on the blog. I love blogs that use Disqus because you can get an email every time someone replies on your comment. It makes commenting much more community friendly. It makes it so much easier to communicate with other bloggers and readers, whether on your own blog or someone else’s blog. I highly recommend Disqus. I also prefer to comment on blogs that have Disqus because you sign in once and you don’t have to keep typing in your name, URL, or sign in with another service.

Related Content by Zemanta
Originally I was going to share the nrelate plugin, but just this week I was notified that nrelate would stop on December 31, 2014. They suggested we use the Related Content by Zemanta. I was playing around with this plugin yesterday and I absolutely love it! You can choose which posts show up below your post. It’s great to pick out which post show up below your post. I really love to have that flexibility and convenience. You can can the plugin pick them for you or you can pick them for yourself.

Pretty Link
Pretty Link is a plugin that makes any link on your site “pretty.” It turns something like “http://www.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=416337364&pid=uid4441-23462021-13” into “http://theashleydavisproject.com/vaselinesprayandgo
The ending can be anything that you want it to be. It’s pretty awesome! This also makes it great if you have a special page on your site that has a long url and you can shrink it to yoursitename.com/shorterurl.

These are just a few of my favorite plugins. I will be sharing some of my other favorite plugins in there own posts because they need more explaining.

What are your favorite plugins? I love finding new plugins to try!

December Bible Verse

Every month, I try to memorize a new bible verse. This month’s verse I found last week while reading my daily devotion from She Reads Truth. It was nearing the end of the month and I knew that I had to find a new verse for my December Bible Verse. I had intentionally been paying attention to the verse looking for something to memorize for a few days. On the Day Ten of “In Every Thing Give Thanks” Series this verse called out to me.

December Bible Verse

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18

This verse really stood out to me because currently I am recovering from gallbladder surgery that I had on Friday (I’m writing this pre-surgery) and I’m also still in recovery from my April back surgery. The section that really hit me was “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” And I really feel like my outer self is wasting away a lot faster than most people’s, but this passage is also encouraging. This light momentary affliction is preparing us an eternal weight of glory in comparison. It’s so encouraging!

I hope this passage encourages you as much as it has encouraged me. I hope you will come along and memorize the December Bible Verse with me.

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