Sunday, February 26, 2017

Tips For Starting A Blog

Blogging is a great way to get your content out to the world. I started Living Light and Breezy almost two years ago. I started blogging because of my passion for creating healthy recipes. I wanted to get the recipes I create out for people to read and try.

Starting a blog may seem a bit daunting, but it does not have to be. By looking back on my experience as a blogger I will give you my top five steps for starting a blog.

1.Choose A Blogging Platform
This one may seem a little straightforward, but there are many options when choosing a blogging platform. Living Light and Breezy is hosted on Blogger. I love how straightforward Blogger is. For my business Engaged Media Solutions I use Wix. Wix is my new found love. Wix is easy to use and I love all the customization options it offers.

Check out this comparison chart of the best blogging platforms to find the best blogging platform for you.

2. Pick A Simple Theme
The theme is going to be the bones of your entire blog. A good theme will allow you to get the right feel you are wanting for your blog, while still allowing you to customize and make your blog exactly how you want it.

When choosing a theme make sure that it offers high readability for your views. Some things to keep in mind are simple fonts such as Arial, Courier, Verdana, and Times New Roman, white spaces that allow the reader to give their eyes a break, and make sure to double space your paragraphs rather than indent.

3.Make The Blog Your Own
Personally, this is my favorite step. When building my blogs I spent hours modifying and making my blog exactly how I wanted it. During this step take as much time as you need to customize your blog and make the blog your own. While I was customizing my blog I found it helpful to look at blogs I loved for inspiration.

4.Add Plugins To Your Blog
Plugins are a must for your blog.They help to extend and expand the functionality of your blog. I like to use Google Analytics and Social Media share-button plugins on my blog. A simple Google search can give you a great list of plugins for the type of blog you are creating. 

5. Start Writing
Now that your blog is set up it is time to start writing compelling content for your readers. During this step make sure to add sections such as an About Page, Contact Page, and Archives Page.

To find compelling topics to write about I like to keep a notebook with me at all times, so when I have an idea I just write it down. I have more tips on how to actually start writing for your blog, but I think I will save them for another post. :) 


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ten Ways To Stay Creative

Creativity is a must for every single one of us! Being an entrepreneur means that I need to continually be creative and authentic to myself. When I am in need of a boost of creativity I have found these ten ways to be very effective.

Enjoy this list and if you have any ways that keep you creativity please share! 

1. Keep An Idea Journal 
I have an idea journal with me at all times. I use both a physically journal and I have a journal app on my phone. I seem to come up with my best ideas when I am just getting ready to go to sleep or while being active. I love being able to write these ideas down to make sure I do not forget or abandon them.

2. Get moving
I workout or go for a walk everyday. Being active is one of the most important aspects of my health and my creativity. If I don't do some sort of movement in a day I am left feeling drained and not creative at all. This doesn't mean you have to workout for an hour, just get out and go for a 20 minute walk. Trust me it helps! 

3. Read Books 
I love reading! This week I started reading Girl Code and I have to say the creativity I am gaining from this book is insane. I love to pick books that inspire me and make me learn more about myself. There is always something that we can learn from a book.

4. Listen To Podcasts 
Podcasts are a must for when I am feeling down or just not motivated or creative. A good podcast can get your creative juices flowing in no time! 

5. Let Go Of Fear 
Putting your ideas out into the world can be a scary thing. I understand this and it can be hard sometimes to put yourself out there. You need to let go of this fear and share your ideas. You never know what will happen until you try it. 

6. Create An Inspiration Board
I have a bulletin board in my office that I put anything and everything that I find inspirational. My new favorite thing is to put quotes from inspirational women on my board. I also like to put pictures of things I want to accomplish and places I want to go. 

7. Travel 
Last month I traveled alone to a city I did not know in a country that is not my own. I was scared, but I have to say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I gained confidence, creativity, and strength from this trip. It was actually the main idea starter for my new business. 

8. Collaborate With Others 
Having a group of people that lift you up is a must in order to be creative. Everyone needs help from others at some point and it is great to have a group of like minded people that can help you complete your goals. 

9. Break Your Routine 
Routine is everything to me. Sometimes this can be harmful though. One day just decide to do something spontaneous and break your routine. Do something you have never done before. Your creativity will be through the roof! 

10. Listen To Music
Music has been proven to boost your mood and make you more creativity. I like to create playlists on my Spotify account to help me work, help me be creative, and help me play. Music is an amazing thing and should be taken advantage of. 

I would love to hear any ways that keep you creativity.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

5 Social Media Marketing Tips To Boost Your Business

Over the past couple weeks at my new job as Director of Social Marketing at Maker Maven and Literacy for Texas I have learned so much! I wanted to share five of my favorite takeaways that I have learned so far.

1. Push Your Handles

Sharing your handles is great for boosting followers! You should include your handle anywhere and anyhow you can. Yes, it may seem a bit overt at times but the pushing of your handles will gain you serious followers. 

2. Use Weekly Hashtag Themes

I absolutely love using hashtag themes for the week. It helps to build social media following by showing your active in the community. You may be pleasantly surprised by the loyal audience that social media traditions have. 

3. Hold Contests And Giveaways

Who doesn't love free stuff? Bring some friendly competition to your followers by offering fun contests and giveaways. 

4. Pin Your Own Images

I absolutely love Pinterest and think that it is sometimes underestimated. Posting things such as templates, infographics, and other awesome content on Pinterest is great to reach a large audience. Make sure to link pictures to your webpages for some serious traffic.

5. Know What Your Competitors Are Posting

As with everything be sure to know what your competitors are doing. Do things such as look for patterns and test similar materials to see what works best for your business. 

Have any favorite social media marketing tips? I would love to hear them! Share them in the comments below. 


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Post Workout Fuel - Turkey, Italian Hummus and Kale Wrap

I have doing more strength training latley in an attempt to gain some muscle. But, I have found that strength training leaves me extremely hungry and a protein shake just doesn't cut it! 

I got some organic turkey breast from the grocery store yesterday but wanted to spice it up a bit. I came up with a super easy and yummy recipe for italian hummus and added a bit of kale. It turned out to be the perfect little snack for after my workout and I feel much more satisfied! 

Here is the recipe for the italian hummus:
-1 Can Garbanzo Beans
-1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
-1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano  

Start by rinsing and drying the garbanzo beans, then combine everything in a food processor and blend until smooth.

If you want the consistency to be thinner add about 1 tablespoon of water. 


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Books Without Borders 2017 Kickoff

Welcome to the second year of Books Without Borders! This year we are going to be reading 11 books old and new that will be completed in 2017. We will read one book per month that the book club can read at the same time. There will be a start date and end date as to when the book should be completed. After the book is read I will post a blog post where the book club members can comment and reply about their thoughts on the book.

This is going to be a very relaxed book club. You can read a book than skip a book then come back and read another book with the club. Whatever you want to do. We are super excited to get started and hope you all will join us. :)

The first book we will be reading is 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster. We will be starting the book today February 1st and ending on March 1st.

Below is the full list of books and to learn more visit the 2017 Books Without Borders Tackk!