Blog Tips | Personal

Beating Blogger’s Block

By on April 11, 2017
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I haven’t blogged long enough to deal with a serious case of blogger’s block, but I have seen some blogs where the blogger has professed to dealing with it.  It got me thinking about what I would try to do if I ever started to feel like I have nothing to say and can’t think of what to do with Her Life Is Love.

6 Simple Steps to Beating Blogger’s Block

  1. Go outside.  As a mommy blogger, I’m often doing my blogging at home.  Changing the scenery is bound to help bring in new inspiration so you can find new things to think about and write about.  I like to go to the Chicago Botanic Garden since it’s a nice area to walk around with a toddler (preferably in stroller) and you can people-watch as well as nature-watch.
  2. Move around.  I’m not a fan of exercising, but I don’t like being lazy.  Physical activity helps wake you up and when you have blood pumping throughout your body well, your alertness goes up and I dare say your brain should be able to think of some inspirational ideas that way.  A good way to do this is dance like nobody is watching to music that you love.  Have your toddler join in.  This is one of the ways I pamper myself.
  3. Reduce the number of posts.  New bloggers are often told that it’s necessary to post daily because search engines love a regularly updated blog.  Or so I’ve been told.  Realistically, posting everyday is tough because I like to make quality posts and everything is done by me.  I aim to post 3 to 4 a week, although lately that has been tough because I’ve been focusing a lot on potty training my daughter.
  4. Take a class.  Learn something new.  This can be a source of fresh inspiration.  Lately, I have been attending Toddler Class with my daughter.  I like it because I get to watch my daughter grow in her socialization skills.  There’s always arts and crafts time, too, so that gives me plenty of ideas for crafty DIY kids projects.
  5. Interact with others.  I mean face-to-face interactions.  So much of being a blogger is having all these interactions behind a computer screen, but meaningful face-to-face socializing is necessary, too. This is a little tough for me since I started blogging to meet other moms online.  I don’t know any moms I can hang out with during the weekday in real life.  Still, I go to the public library with my daughter often and chat with other adults hanging out in the kid’s play area.  Talking with other moms always give me great insight and ideas.
  6. Take a blog break.  If nothing else is working, it’s OK to take a blog break.  This could be one or two weeks where you are on hiatus, but do let your readers know so they don’t think you fell off the face of this Earth and no longer update your blog.  That’s bad blog business.

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In all honesty, I haven’t been posting as much as I would have liked recently.  There’s a couple reasons for this.  First, I’ve been focusing on potty training my daughter.  I think it was worth it because I am finally seeing real, tangible progress.  Second, I have been trying to figure out how to use all my other social media accounts.  One of them has been on the back burner for way too long, so I focused on it by putting up a new video.  Cool fact:  I started YouTube 10 years ago!

 It’s a start and I hope you will subscribe to my YouTube channel and experience Her Life Is Love in a different way.

Are you an active blogger and creator?  What are some good ways you use to get out of a funk?

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Blog Tips

How to Write a Perfect Post

By on March 22, 2017
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This post contains affiliate links, which means Her Life Is Love will receive a small commission on purchases made through the link at no additional cost to buyer.  For more info, go to the full disclosure.

Since starting this self-hosted web blog, I have shared with you some tips on using social media.  At this point, I have a month of blogging on this website under my belt (in addition to all my previous blogs that I’ve had).  Here’s my latest tip for you.  Use Grammarly to write a perfect post.

I remember seeing their ads pop up on websites for years, but they never really held my interest until I saw their ad run on a YouTube video.  It’s the one where a girl is starting a new job and it turns out she has to work on the computer all day, responding to customers online.  For whatever reason, whether she missed her morning coffee or is just a lazy typist, she writes a lot of painful mistakes.  Grammarly automatically detects these errors and suggests corrections.  Does this ad ring a bell with you?

 

For the Midnight Bloggers

As a mommy blogger, I find that the best stretch of uninterrupted time I have to write my posts happen after my daughter’s bedtime.  At this point of the day (or night, rather), my brain and body have slowed down considerably.  Case in point, I had to retype “daughter” three times to spell that correctly.  Of course, with Grammarly, I wouldn’t have to backspace and attempt to retype the word correctly.  I can boldly make that mistake and Grammarly brings it to my attention.  Click and fix it, silly.  Likewise, I wouldn’t have to save my midnight writings as drafts and give it the once over the next day before publishing my perfect post because Grammarly would double-check spelling and grammar for me.  You’re on your own in regards to keeping your post concise, though.  So, let’s move on.

Reminders to Cite Your Sources

When writing your perfect post, there may be times when you seek information from other websites.  Grammarly does a plagarism check, too. They call it plagarism detection, but I’d call it friendly reminder to credit your sources. We bloggers know better than to plagiarize other writers, right? Although, sadly I’ve seen it done.

Answer Questions or Give Inspiration

A perfect post keeps your readers in mind. You want to answer questions that your readers will be interested in. This makes a post useful and encourages the reader to asks questions of their own in the comments to add on to the discussion of your post.

Of course, not all blog posts are solely informative in nature. If you’re not answering questions in your perfect post, you should be giving inspiration. Inspire your readers through your art, photos, or poems. Spread your happy virus out into the world.

What’s your idea of a perfect post? Are you a Grammarly user?  Share your review and opinions in the comments.

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Blog Tips | Personal | Reviews

How Social Media Can Help You

By on February 28, 2017
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One of the challenges with self hosting my website and blog is that I don’t have a major company behind me automatically promoting my posts to new readers.  This is a big deal because I write my posts so that they can be read by others, but how can I get people outside of my offline friends to come and read this?  This is where social media comes in.

I started this blog to combat my feelings of isolation as a new mom.  Prior to this, I only used Facebook as a means of connecting with my friends.  I also used YouTube, but that was mainly for viewing the latest KPOP music videos or watching the lives of other moms.  Now, I am using Instagram and Twitter.  I also made a Pinterest account, although this one still confuses me.  Someone please explain to me how making boards with a bunch of images help me connect with other people.

Now, I’m no expert at social media marketing, so I am going to delve into my experience thus far and comment on what I am noticing.  You’re under no obligation to follow/subscribe to me on any of these, but I would love it if you stopped by and said hello!  I’m always looking for more inspirational people to discover.

Facebook

I have been on Facebook since 2005 and it has changed A LOT since then.  Gradually, I became less active on Facebook and mainly used it as a way to read up on what my friends were up to.

Now, I made a page on Facebook and hope to use it to connect with my readers in a more personal and interactive environment. It would be a good way to share certain posts that I feel will be well received by others.  Many people share different links through Facebook, so I would suggest sharing the posts that are “share worthy” on your own Facebook page.

YouTube

I uploaded videos years ago when I was a student in videography.  I have some weird stuff up that is totally not my style, but stuff I had to make for a class I was in.  I also have a couple embarrassing videos up (don’t judge my moves or my voice, please).  Despite all the time that has passed since my last video, I have stayed a videographer at heart, capturing many special moments with my daughter.  Please look forward to the videos I plan on making to enhance the material in my blog posts (toddler permitting, of course).

Instagram

I have had my account for awhile, but used it solely to follow celebrities. None of my friends knew I existed there.  Just recently, I decided to start posting photos and added all the accounts of my friends that I could find. Many people use Instagram for visual updates on their lives and I found many of my friends on there.  Reconnecting with them in this manner reminds them that I am alive.  It will also be a good source of pins that I can add to Pinterest so that it can be shared and help new sets of eyes find their way to my site.

Twitter

I used to have an account with my ideal username back when Twitter was just starting. I didn’t really see the benefits of using Twitter so I deleted that account.  I wish I hadn’t since someone else took it and they don’t even update it now.

Anyways, I digress. I started using Twitter again to join Twitter parties happening with some amazing brands. Again, none of my friends knew about the account, but I can’t find theirs either. Twitter looks like a good way to reach new people if you tweet something related to the trending topics of the moment, but a lot of topics are things that I’m not interested in.  I guess this goes to show how “disconnected” from the world I had been since becoming a mom.

Pinterest

Here is another example of social media that I made due to the hype…found it weird and left…and then came back again.  Pinterest connects to visual readers, people who really just browse through image after image after image.  As a blogger, if you make great visuals and put them on your site, you can add them to Pinterest and let it get pinned by others because the image will link back to your site (or relevant post).  It reaches a new audience and gives them a way to come back and visit your website.

It is also a great place for you, yourself, to get lost in.  Among your wanderings, you are bound to find many new inspirations for future blog posts.

Smile Mom

Now, this one is for fellow moms, more than fellow bloggers.  I found this app while searching for a mom meetup type group and I feel like it has so much potential, but note that it hasn’t been updated in two years. You can search for other moms based on proximity and the ages of their child(ren).  I found it nice to use as a chat medium. I was hoping to use it for scheduling playdates with similar aged kids, but there’s actually not a lot of moms in my area that fit the criteria AND actually meet up. Each scheduled playdate I had with another mom and child ended up not happening.

Lately, there has been a lot of issues with creepy guys making accounts and harassing moms. Without app updates, I don’t see any changes happening to reduce the number of people using this app for the wrong reason.  If you are considering using this app, be aware that it has some serious cons.  I plan on deleting my account since I find better interactions happening in mom groups on Facebook…probably because most are who their profile say they are.

Which of these forms of social media do you use alongside your blog?  Do you have any tips to share?  Leave your handle names along with your comment below for me to check out your account!

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Blog Tips | Reviews

How to Self Host with WordPress.org

By on February 23, 2017
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This post contains affiliate links. Her Life Is Love receives a small commission if you make a purchase through the link, at no additional cost to you.  For more information, please check our disclosure.

The post I was planning on doing today has been relegated to the back burner because I literally spent half my day attempting to self host this website. The books and Web reviews I read implied that I could simply purchase a domain name from GoDaddy or Network Solutions for anywhere less than $40 a year and map it to my WordPress.com blog.  Now, I don’t know if this is a recent change or not, but you can’t.  It’s only possible if you have a WordPress Business plan…and that’s like $25 a month for 12 months. I don’t have that kind of money…and I already bought my domain name.

Web Hosting

What’s a newbie to do?  Turn to WordPress.org and find a cheaper host. I chose to go with SiteGround since it was cheaper than the recommended BlueHost (they are only cheaper if you pay for the long haul…4 or 5 years?!?!) I went with the SiteGround WordPress Startup plan and had them do the installation for free. I recommend this because manual installation looks simple, but it’s easy to make a small, crippling mistake.

In less than 5 minutes, installation was complete and I got a confirmation email. It said I was good to go, but following the link and instructions to finally log in and start FAILED. Yeah…no one mentioned I needed to change the domain name server to point towards the host servers, but thank you, Support, for promptly answering my inquiry.  I sent in my support ticket and they responded promptly with detailed instructions!  Problem solved.

My Conclusions 

It is a better value to self host than pay for WordPress.com plans. I paid for two years for just under $140, whereas if I simply paid for the Premium plan (custom domain name and removal of WordPress.com ads included) at $8.25 a month for 24 months…I would still be spending $60 more.  If you want to do what I did, buy your domain name at GoDaddy and sign up for hosting with SiteGround.

Transferring the two posts I had to my new site was easy, but I couldn’t find a way to move my followers. I mean, there had to be a way, right? But, it’s not easy to find. There wasn’t any option through the WordPress.org admin panel. I tried using the mobile app to move my followers, but still came up empty. Assuming there was no other way, I resigned myself to deleting my old site.  My mistake 🙁

The correct answer: use your desktop and move followers directly from wordpress.com.  It’s the last option in Settings for the new site…and the realization came much too late for me.  I lost a grand total of four followers, which is a small number, but those four bloggers were special to me and made me feel welcome as a beginner blogger. You will be missed.

If you self-host your own website, which service do you use?  Let me know the pros and cons!

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