Mar 21, 2014

My FAVE Blogger Tips, Tricks + Resources

My Favourite Blogging Tips, Tricks & Resources

It's Friday morning, I'm at work an hour and a half early and I'm writing this post on my iPhone. "Who would go to work an hour and a half early on a Friday!?" you ask. Someone who moved into her new house (with her boyfriend) without a working shower and no internet, THAT'S WHO!!

ANYWAY. I think it's vitally important we talk about blogging in terms of using one to grow your business. I mean, how do you even create a blog? Seriously. If you're brand new to this industry, where do you even begin?

There are some incredible articles, posts and guides out there that explain everything from starting to designing to writng and even making money. But how do you know where to look if you don't even really know what blogging is?

You come to me. That's what you do.

Below are links to some of the people who've taught me everything I know about blogging and business, and if I was starting out I'd want to find a resource like this. 

Getting started, designing your blog & making the moolah!

  • How To Start A Blog You Love: Yup, I wrote that. BOOM!

  • Blog Loving: When I had my blogger training wheels, my go to girl for blog advice was Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess. I read her 5 tips for bloggers + start your blog with a bang + Blog Love eCourse and gobbled them up like lollipops.

  • 10 Blog Tips: This babe wrote the Blog On, Babe series that I just couldn't get enough of. Fellow kiwi (woohoo!) Gala Darling wrote these beautifully written visual posts for budding bloggers like you and me. :)

  • Lifestyle Blog Dreams: My faaaaave blogger Rosie who IS The Londoner came out with a post (lifestyle blogging 101) on how she built her little lifestyle blog to an audience of 2 million per month in less than 2 years. Yeah, I was pretty inspired!

  • Crazy Blog Life: Oh yeah, when most people start their blogs they have jobs, commitments and like you know, a life! It can be chaotic trying to juggle life + a blog. Kinsey Mhire wrote an awesome-o-3000 post on productivity with her 5 tips for blogging on a busy schedule.

  • Blog Design 101: If you're a bit confused on how to make your blog more attractive, I got some quick tips for ya!

  • Food Bloggies: Pinch of Yum does this awesome thing once a month where they blog about making money from their food blog, their income they made & how they made it. They made $21.97 in their first month and most recently they made $17,735.97 in one month!!

  • The Skinny on Blogging: Even my girl Lauren over at The Skinny Confidential says how important it is to be yourself when blogging. And she was meticulous when she was starting out!

  • Kick-Ass Inspiration: Gary Vaynerchuk is one crazy ass mofo who just happened to give this awesome talk on branding in blogging. I think you'll love it.

  • Legendary Blog Advice: From no one other than the incredible Tim Ferriss. You wanna know how to build a high traffic blog? Make sure you set aside an hour or so!

  • Have Fun, Don't Suck: Man vs. Debt taught me how not to suck at blogging, it's a damn good read! Especially if you don't wanna suck.... :S

  • Bringing Home The Bacon: At some point I'm sure you're gonna be wanting make money from your baby (not a real baby, your blog baby). Steve Pavlina wrote a SENSATIONAL article that you'll LOVE on how to make money from your blog he explains exactly how he makes money and all the ways you can do the same with your own blog (and holy crap is it a looong ass post).

  •  Overnight Success! Chris Guillebeau wrote a free downloadable guide on creating a successful blog in less than a year. He did it himself and he's just an all around great guy. C'mon it's free, what else do ya want!? ;)
  • Marie Forleo: Marie is my go-to woman for serious biz advice. Her video's are in-depth and super actionable.

  • Sarah von Bargen: I only recently discovered this incredible lass. Her biz & blogging advice is a breathe of fresh air and her personality shines through her writing. If you like me, you'll LOVE her! :)

  • Problogger: Yup, probably the best place to start when you want legit blogging tips. Make sure you bookmark these guys because they'll be your go-to resource for years!

  • Nathalie Lussier: This girl is as sweet as a button! I love her vids & even her sign up is awesome.

Mar 11, 2014

I don't care what you say. When I'm done with you, you'll be a badass business rebel

Be a badass. Be a rule breaker. Be a business rebel.

You know your stuff.

You've been around in the 'blog world' for quite some time now.

Dare I say it you're pretty much an expert - and a dinosaur.

But things aren't moving, WHHHY???

You love your readers. You even treat them better than you would your own child.

You have killer products. Products that Tony Stark himself would get up at 4am and fly down in his Ironman suit to line up for. (Okay, maybe not 4 am..)

There's just one teeny tiny monumentally important detail holding you back..




Where are you? The person that fights, and cries and swears and craps, cause I know you're there and you know you're there. What I see is a vanillarised version of who you really are. Why are you being so damn vanilla? Not once did I ever think of you as plain and painfully boring, but what you're displaying constantly in your business is an extremely plain and painfully boring watered down version of yourself.

What I mean is, through your writing I need to be able to feel you.

I can't see you or hear you, so your words are literally all you have to captivate me.

And if I can't feel you, I'm not captivated. And if I'm not captivated I'm not sticking around to subscribe or hand you my hard earned cash.

So please stop it. Stop it now.

Consider this your kick in the ass. Drop the one dimensional disney tween character you're writing as and bring in the badass, broken, sarcastic, complex, impulsive and emotional (no cutters please) person that is YOU.

Your business depends on it.

You never did things by the book anyway.

Like the seven billion times you deliberately switched off at your well meaning (but actually not) family members telling you what you should be doing with your life/job/hair/body/savings/boyfriends/house etc.

Well done by the way.

Fuck the rules.

You know how to break them, so go do it already. Inject YOU into your business.

And I don't care what you say. You'll be a badass business rebel by the time I'm done with you.

Are you IN? Tell me in the comments below!

Mar 10, 2014

Sugar Free Experiement Week #8: Lessons & Tips

Sugar Free Experiment Week #8: Tips & Lessons

It's here, the finish line, we did it! WOOHOO!!!!!!! Can't say it was easy, that first week sure did steer me the wrong way, but it's been a lot of fun and a lot of learning. So to sum up, here are some of the most important lessons and tips I've learned along the way.

>> make a little recipe book of your favourite snacks & treats and make sure you have at least one of those treats in your cupboard at all times. It will save you, my god

>> for the majority of the sugar free recipes there are in I Quit Sugar, you'll make less than 1/4 of them! stick to what your tastebuds love when starting.
>> green smoothies will save you like a mofo. they're awesome for breakfast or afternoon snacks, keep them simple, tasty and the way you like em. Recipe inspiration here.

>> if it's hard to ween off fruit, just choose 2 - 3 of your favourite fruits you can't live without and stick to them only. mine were green apple and blueberries.

>> if you're finding it difficult not having sugar in your coffees or teas get natural sweeteners like stevia. they're better than nothing, but more importantly they're better on your body.

>> adding more fat gets a little overwhelming if you decide to do what I did and just start eating a load of it at once. if your normal daily intake is say 1 - 2 servings of fat, try upping to 3 - 4. the richness that having more fat brings is extremely filling but if you start having too much it becomes too overpowering.

>> you'll fall, yes, maybe even several times. it's not about giving up the moment you've broken your "perfect" streak, it's just about chugging along cause one day all those days of chugging along will add up and next thing you know you're fitter, healthier & even thinner!
>> try your best to find others who are trying out the sugar free lifestyle or even just healthy eating in general as having the support there just makes that extra difference you know?

>> last but not least it's all about having fun. make it a treat for you rather than a pain inducing burden you have to force yourself through every single moment. note: you will binge & fall off the wagon permanently if you do the latter.

This has been an amazing journey, I'm definitely going to continue to experiment with sugar free and healthy recipes. SO EXCITING!!!

Mar 1, 2014

Sugar Free Experiment Week #7: Keeping it simple

Sugar Free Experiment Week 7: Keeping it simple

I hit a conundrum earlier last week, I just didn't want to make another complicated recipe again. I'm all for trying new foods but not every single day with ingredients I've never even heard of before.

Frustration was building up and the "I should just give up now, this is just too hard" thoughts were heavy on my mind. I just wanted something SIMPLE you know? SIMPLE recipes that I could easily whip up in a few minutes with ingredients that I at least sort of knew of.

That's when I came across the I Quit Sugar Kids eCookBook, and for $19 I figured why not. And you know what? I've found that the recipes in this book are soooooooooo much easier to make than some of the others in I Quit Sugar. Like the ham & cheese cauliflower pizza recipe! It is so yum and I can't even taste the cauliflower (I hate cauliflower if you didn't know). There's great snack ideas (I'm also a chronic snacker) and cool smoothie & treat recipes for parties (or a solo night-in-front-of-the-tv pj party..)

Either way, things are slowly clicking into place. It's starting to feel like normal to want nutritious life-giving foods than wanting dead, cardboard, actually-I-don't-even-know-what-this-is foods.

One week left! What will I do with myself once this is all over?!

 Quick Bits

Mood: Perking up! More laughter :)

Challenges: Finding simple easy-to-make-in-a-small-amount-of-time recipes

What saved me this week: That ham & cheese cauliflower pizza! Mmmmmmmm..

Exercise: Ooooh I was mega creative this week! Scott took me for a PT session, killed me off. I took dogs for a walk and played field hockey!

Kryptonite: Coconut biscuits (cookies?)

Reward: WE BOUGHT A BRAND NEW BED!!! First time in my life buying a bed brand new & also.. with a boy! I went and splurged on new bedding, sheets, the works! :D

Extra Reading: I found this awesome sugar free, guilt free 10 second sprite recipe over on The Skinny Confidential. You gotta try it, it's amazeballs!

Tips & Takeaways: If something isn't working, don't give up, just find a different way that works for you!

Feb 24, 2014

How to Network with Other Bloggers

Blogging 101: How to network with other bloggers

Networking. Ugh, what a slimy word. Hate it. And I'm sure that's what most people think when they hear the word as well. In my acting days networking was what you had to do if you wanted to get anywhere and I always hated going to those events because it felt so superficial and nobody would really talk to you unless you were 'someone'. Booooo!

These days, I've no problem networking. Not because I've gone to the dark side or anything. I just choose to look at networking in a different way. It's called making friends!

Remember your kid days where you could start playing with any random kid at the local playground and you were instant bff's fighting over the swing and playing on the seesaw together? That's what the new networking is like. Fun!

I've made a ton of amazing friends all over the world from blogging. People I consider more than just a blog buddy. I personally think building real friendships with other bloggers is important.

1. Be an active commenter

Whose blog do you read on a consistent basis? How often do you comment on their posts? None? Oh my dear, now's the time to start! And you should start with the blogs you read the most because you already have a connection with them from reading their work for however long you have.

If you don't have a blog you read consistently, the best places to browse for them is on bloglovin. Other places you can find blogs to comment on are through pinterest and twitter.

It's really important that you're genuine when writing comments. Don't just write "great post!" because those types of comments will ALWAYS be overlooked as opposed to a detailed comment on something specific in the post.Write from your heart & slowly not only will the blog author will get to know you, but so will the readers. 

2. Just say 'Hi'...

Most bloggers are incredibly friendly and welcoming and have more than enough time to chat with you. So find their contact page or email and send them a message!

You have free reign to talk about anything. Maybe a post of theirs really resonated with you, you have a burning question you'd like to ask them or you want to compliment their work. Bloggers always love to hear from the readers, it's how we know if we're doing things right!

By just saying "Hi", that's how I met Lyn, Rachel, Jordan, Eyenie, Victor and Katherine!

3. Buy their products

If the blogger you wanna get to know some more sells products, I highly recommend you buy some! It's a way to help you better understand the person, where they're coming from and essentially if they're a great fit for you as a new friend in cyberspace.

On top of all that it gives you a great way to start a conversation with the blogger! Maybe you'd love something elaborated more or you just need that 'something' to talk about if you're a little nervous to approach them out of the blue.

As for me? I bought Jordan's book, listened to many of Victor's podcasts and have been a test dummy for Lyn's workout programs!

4. Follow them back!

Sometimes you're not gonna have to do any of the work at all! Sometimes people are going to approach you, send you emails and ask you questions. This is one of the best ways to network!

Next time a blogger approaches you, you get a new comment, someone emails you feedback or asks you a question - answer them and then follow them back! Almost everyone leaves a link back to their blogs, so get curious and click the link! Leave comments on some of their posts and soon enough you'll have built a new friendship out of thin air!

What is one step you can take today to catapult your blogs success?