Mar 22, 2015

Kristen Graham On Vlogging And Sharing Your Story


Today on Simplify Blogging, we are joined by Kristen Graham of Wild Spirit Feather. Kristen is a Mind Body Soul Wellness Blogger. Her online home is a space for the soul and whimsy and is designed to romance you into a healthy, joyful, spiritual and holistic lifestyle.
website.

SS: Tell us about your blog + biz!

Wild Spirit Feather is a space for the soulful and whimsy. It's all about Mind Body Soul Wellness and it’s been designed to romance you into a healthy, more mindful and holistic lifestyle.

Wild Spirit Feather has become known for calm, peace and creating ripple effects. When it comes to biz, everything has to have soul and love weaved through it.


SS: I love how you say you create 'ripple effects' with your clients and through your blog. How can others begin to aid in the transformation of others through their online endeavors?

Share your story, your thoughts, your musings with the world. Maybe that shows up for you as your craft inspiring Facebook posts or through creating a blog and writing from your heart, or perhaps propping your iphone onto some pillows and creating your first video blog. Hey, it can be as simple as creating drool worthy images and words of encouragement on instagram.

 Please do not wait for the DSLR camera before you create a video blog, do not wait for the web designer before you decide you'll press publish on a blog post you've just poured your soul into. Start where you are with the resources you have.

Enjoy watching your growth and your journey unfold before your eyes.

SS: I'm a huge fan of your videos, both the topics that you cover and how you edit them. Many of us bloggers yearn to create a vlog but feel intimidated. Any suggestions for someone looking to get started?

 I’m going to let you in on a secret and I hope this inspires you.

I use my iphone and a little window lighting to record my videos. My iphone is often propped up on a chair and balanced on some oracle cards. I edit my videos using a free program called imovie that comes with your apple computer. It’s that simple.

My advice to anyone that wants to start creating videos but is feeling intimidated is to start. Just do it. Set up the camera or iphone and start riffing on a topic or simply introduce yourself and your online home in a video. Get comfortable talking to the camera. You are not sitting alone in a room talking to a camera, you are speaking to your audience. Time is irrelevant, it’s your energy that matters here.

Go back to one of my early videos or choose another vlogger that you admire and have a look at the videos from the early days. Their setting will be different, their presence and energy will be different. We all have a beginning, just as our writing develops, so does our presence in videos.




SS: What are the top challenges you faced as a blogger? How did you overcome them?

 Wanting to be further ahead than where I am. I think this is something many bloggers and online entrepreneurs come up against. I often felt like I needed to invest in all these courses
and attend every workshop. In those early days attending workshops and enrolling in a few online courses are helpful. These workshops and courses are a wonderful opportunity to get out from behind the computer screen and go and connect with your like minded people, its also great net working for your online presence.

I became inspired by the journey. One of the most inspiring things you can do for yourself is journey back to someone’s first post or early days of blogging or vlogging and see how far they have come. 

Allow that to inspire the pants off you and embrace where you are, have love for the journey and growth your about to make.


SS: What are your blogging goals for 2015?

Oh boy, I've got some exciting projects on the horizon. I've been working on a passion project that may be a little unexpected but is soulfully aligned with me and my business. I am hoping to have this ready for the world in the first half of 2015 so stay tuned.

You can expect more videos. They have been really well received so i'm going to keep creating them along with written content.

Blissful Meditation tracks..there coming. Hold tight.
There's also the possibility of an E-book.

 You can catch up with Krisen on facebook as well as Instagram  and Wild Spirit Feather

Mar 19, 2015

Women Need To Love Themselves



I'm an overall confident person. That isn't to say my feelings don't get hurt or that I can misinterpret what people say. I may be confident, but I'm also sensitive.

My confidence is actually in how I look and feel about myself because, to be frank, I could care less how other people view my physical appearance.

I could spend more time doing my hair. My clothes could be 'nicer'. I could wear more makeup...but I don't want to.

This isn't to say I think I'm hot stuff, I just don't dwell on how I look, nor what I weigh. I'm a flawed person, just like the next. You won't find perfection here, and I don't look for perfection in others.

Just the other day, someone I don't know very well apparently insulted my appearance ( read: weight). It was insulting, but more than that it told me how this person views herself more than anything else. I kept thinking what would prompt her to say that? Do people say the same thing about her? Why insult me, when I had been trying to actually help her?

I've learned that people frequently say things to others that they personally have been told about themselves, or that they feel about themselves. Maybe I'm wrong, but frequently I've found this to be the case. We project how we feel about ourselves onto others.

The issue I had with this whole situation was that this insult about me was said in front of my daughter, who proceeded to get extremely mad that someone would say this about me. I explained that yes, it was rude, but we didn't know what was going on with her, and that this had little to do with me and more to do with how she viewed what a woman should look like.

We 'should' all be skinny. ( crazy)
We 'should' all look like super models ( not going to even touch on how crazy that one is)
We 'should' fit into certain size clothing.

And if we don't? We get insults, or we insult ourselves.

Forget about labels. Forget about should. You are beautiful just the way you are.

Whatever people tell you about yourself- how you look, what you do, whatever- let it go. Realize it has little to do with you.


Mar 17, 2015

Julie Harris On Improving Your Blog Design ( and Avoiding The One Thing We ALL Do)



Today in Simplify Blogging, Julie Harris is here to talk about how you can improve your branding, plus the biggest challenge she's faced as a blogger and more.

SS: Tell us about your biz + blog! 

Hello! I am Julie Harris, a creative business consultant and digital designer helping entrepreneurs and creative business owners better define who they are and what they do. I work with my clients to develop a stronger creative clarity and confidence in their professional and personal goals while being
more proactive and productive with their time online.

Outside of my main business, I share my beautiful mess of creative madness over on my blog where I provide tips, tools, and resources for other online business owners and bloggers looking to establish themselves as professionals in their industry.

My big personal mission for my blog is to not only entertain and educate my wonderful readers, but
to actually empower them to demand more from their lives and take action to grow and enhance their brand and business presence, online and offline. I’m on a mission to redefine what it means to be an
online business professional.

SS: What challenges have you faced as a blogger? How did you overcome them? 

I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a blogger, is not comparing myself to others.

Building a strong loyal brand following is not an easy task and it takes time.

It’s easy to look at other successful bloggers and compare myself to their engagement success. But what really matters is staying true to your core values and brand identity. Stay focused, stay genuine, and stay consistent.

Numbers mean nothing if no one is actually engaging with you and the content you’re sharing.
The way I overcome this is by celebrating all the small wins.

Each new subscriber, follower, client, comment, all of these are wins in my mind. It’s the small wins that add up to the big ones.

And while things are small, I make a point to build those positive habits to recognize each individual allowing me into their life through their inbox, RSS feed and social platforms. By making a point of keeping my focus on the people I serve from day one, I am setting myself up for big success later.



SS:You are a master at branding and design. What are some of the top mistakes you see businesses and bloggers making in branding and overall design? 

Branding is such a personal process. It’s a critical one, but in order for businesses to really find their brand’s voice and personality, they sometimes have to experiment a little. See what fits and what doesn’t. In my mind, you are your brand so discovering those unique qualities that make you ​you is the way to a successful  brand. And that’s not always easy to do.

Erika Madden of Olyvia Media said something once that has always stuck with me. “Pretty isn’t profitable.” One mistake I see a lot of bloggers doing is sacrificing the brand experience and
authenticity in their business by opting for a “stylish” or trendy look.

 Gold foil or chevron patterns may be in right now, but if it has no specific significant relationship to your brand message and core values, then it shouldn’t be apart of your brand.

Also, consistency. Consistency, especially online, breeds trust. Trust is essential when you are trying to build an authentic relationship with your creative community, online or offline. I see a lot of bloggers with completely different images and visual branding across their different networks.
When you have a consistent brand identity, people will feel like they know you better and have a stronger understanding of who you are and what you stand for. Plus, you want to make it as EASY as possible for your people to find you wherever your social presence might be. Keeping a consistent identity, tone, content, colors, photos etc, all helps make it easier to build a loyal following around your brand.

SS: What is the number 1 thing that has helped you grow your newsletter list? 

Talking about it. Instead of just sharing subscription options all over my site, I constantly integrate it into my posts as I discuss the opportunities and bonuses it is to be a subscriber.

I don’t currently have a download freebie like many other subscriptions out there, but instead I run a private Facebook group, the Creative’s Corner, full of brilliant online professionals and together we take on various group challenges that relate to the goals and personal questions presented by the group. Within those focuses, I develop creative materials like workbooks, worksheets, and printables offered only to my subscribers.

Another thing I did, that I recommend to everyone, is Nathalie Lussier’s free 30 Day List Building Challenge.
It’s a free social challenge helping you make those little actions on a regular basis to help build your list.
Anyone looking to better understand the opportunities out there for list building, take this challenge! 

SS: What are your blogging goals for 2015? 

I have so many! Having officially launched my creative consulting and design business this past January, a lot of my goals have to do with growing my business. But as a blogger, I want to:

1.Design more creative materials to integrate into each of my blog posts (worksheets, resources, tools etc…)

2. I want to quadruple my list in the next 3 months.

3. I want to triple my blog visitors each month.

4.I want to get my own content published on a reputable website like Entrepreneurer.com or the Huffington Post.

5. I want to guest blog more on other bloggers sites collaborating with complementary industries.

6.I want to bring in more guest bloggers to my site. I love featuring other creative entrepreneurs and helping them share their stories with other creatives out there.

7. I want to partake in more social community activities like Twitter chats and Google+ hangouts.

8.I want to complete and launch my first eCourse for small businesses helping them better organize their business and create a powerful consistent brand presence online. 

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