I’m one of those people who plans everything out. I establish a to-do list every day, with a detailed itinerary on what my goals are and how to finish them. Sometimes I spend so much time planning that I don’t actually end up doing anything. Crazy how that could happen right? Over time I’ve had to develop little ways to get myself to actually be productive. I figured I would share them with you all in case you could use them too!

Turn the lights on

This may seem obvious, but I personally like to work in dim lit environments; especially when I first wake up in the morning. I light a candle and easeeee into my day, but on days I have a lot to do I’m more productive when I turn the light on. You’ll notice that when the sun is out it inspires people to be more active, as opposed to when the weather is dark and gloomy.

I have the lights on right now- in case you were wondering.

Sit at a desk

I loveeeee my bed. Especially in the cold winter months, I would rather have my fleece sheets than a hard chair. I must admit though that sitting upright makes getting things done a lot easier. You’re less prone to laying in bed and taking a nap mid day (guilty) or letting Netflix mind control you while you aimlessly sit in bed doing nothing. Trust me, we have all been there….

Create the right environment

If the two options listed above aren’t available to you in your home then go some place else where you know will thrive. In the summer months, I love to work outside. I remember when I was in college being in a library could be so stifling. My allergies usually meant I couldn’t stay outside for long but nonetheless, I got a lot of work done. For others, it may be Starbucks, library, or a local restaurant. Whatever that environment is, utilize it!

Utilize time efficiently

My commute can be long and tiresome. However, it is idle time with wifi access that could be used to be productive. If you feel like there is never enough hours in the day then this is where you can steal some extra time! If you’re at work and have a canceled meeting, use it as some time to catch up on something that may have normally been put on the back burner. If you’re on the elliptical at the gym, bring something that you could read (for me it’s blog posts). You’d be amazed at how much idle time you may have in a day!

I know that sometimes we all need to take a break and unplug for the day, but these are just some tips on how to manage your time effectively and accomplish your daily goals. I hope they help you as much as they do me!

Kierra Lee

 

 

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DSC_1119

When you’re starting a blog the hardest thing to figure out is where the heck do I start. The internet is flooded with blogging tips and tricks that after a while can start to feel really overwhelming (trust me I’ve read all gazillion of them). So today in an attempt to make your life a little easier I’ve compiled a list of a few things you should be sure to avoid in the early days of your blog. First and foremost is to always have solid content; the rest of the craziness will come later =)

Writing about stuff you don’t care about.

Just because it’s October doesn’t mean you have to write about how to carve a pumpkin. If those types of posts don’t inspire you then chances are they won’t do anything for your audience either. Bloggers make tips, and holiday parties look so easy to write about; even I fell for it a while back which is what inspired this post. I wrote a post about products that I’m always repurchasing and although it turned out great I can tell you right now I’m having more fun writing this one than I did that one. The more excited you are the more excited your reader’s will be.

Feeling pressured to write every day

I’m all for a full editorial calendar, but sometimes you just need to shut off. Take a day or two for yourself and really evaluate what type of content you want to produce. I used to think that writing 6 times a day would get my blog noticed more, I could get successful faster! But with blogging slow and steady wins the race. If only two out of the 6 posts you post a week are solid content then you should re-evaluate your blogging schedule. Quality over quantity!

Signing up for every social media platform

I am not a social media junkie..like at all. If it wasn’t for sorority recruitment I probably still wouldn’t know what Instagram was (we had to use it for recruitment promo). This is one of the areas of blogging where you can really spread yourself too thin. You start thinking “how hard could it be to make a Facebook post, send a tweet and post a picture”? But when you really look into it is more than just that, when you’re a blogger everything becomes more analytical; when is the best time to post on Facebook, what hashtag  should I use on Instagram, how do I build my Twitter following etc. Everything just got wayyyy more complicated. I would suggest mastering one and then slowly progressing to another one. So far my main platforms are Instagram and Twitter but I recently started to use my Pinterest account to promote my blog as well!

Taking photos from the Internet

I know it’s so tempting to use that cute photo on Pinterest instead of taking your own but trust me it’s worth it. People want to see your work; they want to understand your identity. If you’re constantly using stock photos or pictures off the internet, you make it hard for your audience to relate. Why should they read your blog when you have the same generic stuff everyone else has? Don’t get me wrong I certainly did my fair share of google images, but it didn’t get me very far. I didn’t jump into a full on DSLR or anything crazy like that, but I started using free stock photos and downloading my own fonts for them (like the picture used in this post). I would make my own pinnable images and over time I grew a creative flair. I followed a lot of Instagram accounts who were masters at flat lay and I slowly started to pick it up too. I’m no pro but I have a general look that I’m trying to go for, a story to tell and I’m slowly perfecting my overall image.

Doing things just because everyone else is doing it

This goes back to writing stuff that everyone else is writing just for the heck of it. Many bloggers will tell you self-hosted websites get you the most traffic, or you need a DSLR to shoot good pictures etc. Over time, this may be true but in the beginning you want to be smart about how you invest in your blog. It makes no sense to have a self-hosted blog when you know nothing about HTML or web design, and the same goes for a DLSR with no knowledge of ISO or aperture. Study an item first before you decide if you want to convert to using it. I personally started with a wordpress.com blog, and after a year I realized I wanted more control over my blog design (the pre-made templates just weren’t cutting it). I did research on the pros and cons of switching and who the best companies were to host my new blog (Bluehost is great). I still use a lot of templates and paid resources for things but being self-hosted challenged me creatively. I designed my own signature; I changed the color of my hyperlinks. You start to pick up little details here and there and before you know it you’re a pro at designing!

The number one rule out of all of this is to do what works for you. In my two years of blogging, I’ve learned the majority of it all from trial and error!

What little tips and tricks did you do as a beginner blogger?

kierra again

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I’m starting to notice a pattern. I don’t like reading blogs. I mean I do..but only to a certain extent. I used to read everything in my Bloglovin feed. And I mean everything. All 800 posts if that’s what it took. I told myself I didn’t want to miss anything; a good outfit post or some blogging tips…and to a certain extent that’s still true. But I’ve noticed that I’ve developed quite the habit in how exactly I do it and I realized its very effective. I’ve listed a few tips on how to not let your Bloglvin feed overwhelm you.

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ellen degeneres, selfie

The best selfie of all time

 When Instagram first came out I was not a fan. I didn’t (and still somewhat don’t) understand why I needed to take a photo of every little detail in my life. Snap a photo of my food, snap a photo of me eating the food…oh and don’t forget to tag where you’re eating and who you’re eating with. It’s a littlllleeeee much. As bloggers we walk the fine line of vanity; are we self-absorbed or are we just good at what we do? Nowadays the world is filled with bloggers who are talking about anything and everything and it’s hard to stand out. You really have to put yourself out there. One tweet a week or 3 photos on Instagram is not going to cut it, no matter how private of a person you may be. I, as well as many other beginning bloggers want my blog to be successful but my fear is that I won’t be able to compete on the level of my fellow bloggers. There is something just a tad too stalker-ish about posting my every moment on social media, and I feel like such a diva snapping 80 selfies, but since this is the world we live, best to embrace it and make each experience your own.

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Blog Design Tips

 

I’m a “Type A” kind of girl which means I like order and everything slightly perfect so it’s no surprise that I approach my blog the same way. I’m all about the visuals, so I’m constantly asking myself how does this look, will my concept resonate with others who are reading it, does this represent me and my blog well? My biggest dilemma is always trying to find the perfect theme. I see something that is simple and easy to read but then I think it looks too boring, then I see something colorful and pretty but I don’t think it looks professional. You see my problem? My mini theme obsession has cost me hours of research on blog design and over time I’ve learned the basics but today I wanted to offer you all a different perspective and some added tips that sometimes get left out.

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