5 Tips for Starting a Blog

Apr 28, 2013

Maybe you've been keeping up with your favorite blogs for a while, and now you've decided to start your own! I've gotten several emails from readers asking how they can start their own blog. Here are some of my quick tips...
1. Topic
Pick a topic or two (or three!) that your blog will be mainly about. Make sure that you have lots of post ideas for each topic and it's about something that you really love. Here are some popular categories: fashion, cooking, crafts, photography, lifestyle, beauty, interior design, and parenting.
2. Blog Name
Now that you've got a topic, you get to choose a name! Try to keep it somewhat short (a long blog name is hard to remember) and original. It should, but doesn't have to, reflect you or your topic. If you're planning to buy a domain, see if your name ideas are available before settling on any of them.
3. Design
First impressions are important. A good design should be easy to navigate, not too busy, and pleasing to the eye. You can buy a design, which usually costs somewhere between $60-$300 (I have full design packages for $45 here). Or you can make your own, using Photoshop or this free online editor and coding tutorials (google it!).
4. Photos
If you've ever been on Pinterest, you know how intriguing a big, beautiful photo can be. Almost every post of yours should have at least one photo in it. I like to put my photos at the top, so it will draw the reader in. You don't need to have a fancy camera to take good photos, but these tips can certainly help you.
5. Getting connected
Sign up for a Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Bloglovin. These are some of the most popular social media for bloggers. Not only is it fun to chat, pin, and keep up with other bloggers, it's also a great way for people to follow your blog. Another fun way to get plugged in in the blogging world is to participate in linky parties, which are virtual "parties" bloggers have weekly. In their post, you will see a long list of thumbnails that link to specific blogs. Always follow the blogger's simple party rules, and link up your own post! (find a huge list of linky parties here)
What are some of your blogging tips?

Adding Green + a Free Printable

Apr 26, 2013

Right now I'm working on a huge project (pssst: Project Redo-My-Room), and one of the things I want to do is add lots of green. I usually kill every plant I try to grow, so I picked out Golden Pothos, which is pretty much the easiest plant ever!

And of course, since i'm now crazy for plants, I made this free little printable. Download it here. :)

DIY Blog Organizer

Apr 23, 2013

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts... Right now is a craaazy time for me. I have so many ideas spinning around in my head, I don't know where to start! Today I wanted to share my blog organizer. It's a simple 3-ring binder that keeps track of all of my post schedules, DIY ideas, and inspiration! Here's a peek inside to find out how to make your own!
The first page(s) is a calendar to plan posts and write out deadlines. I made this mid-way through April, so there's hardly anything in it yet. Each month, print out this page and fill in the month and the numbers for each day (check a real calendar or find one online). There's also a space at the bottom for notes.
In the middle is my "inspiration" part. I cut out pages from magazines and slipped them into clear sleeves. Some of them are just photos, some are articles - whatever floats your boat!
Near the back is my "brainstorming" section. I have pages (above) that are labeled with different categories, and sticky notes to illustrate my ideas.
Right behind the "brainstorming" section, I have a clear pocket that has a pen in it, a ruler (came with the binder), and a big sticky note pad. I actually got mine as a prize at an adult's arcade called Dave and Buster's (cool, right?), but you can easily make your own by gluing sticky note pads to a thick piece of cardstock.
Download the calendar here
Download the cover here
Do you use a planner? What have you found works best for you?

5 Tips for Decluttering

Apr 10, 2013

Today I'm feeling motivated to get rid of stuff (!!!). I have a dream of working in a clean, organized room (don't we all), but clutter all around my bedroom makes it hard to feel fresh and inspired. Here are my tips for whittling down to the things that really matter.

1. Memories
Items that hold sentimental value can be the hardest to get rid of. If it's pictures your daughter drew in second grade, let her pick out 5-10 to keep and toss the rest. If you're hanging on to photos, try loading them onto your computer instead. Realize this: keepsakes are just things. The real memories won't be forgotten if you toss an item. You don't have to get rid of everything, but whittling down collections of paper, plushies, books, photos, etc. will make you feel so much better! (I have a "memory box" in my closet where I keep things I want to remember but I don't use, like childhood dolls, awards, etc.)

2. Necessities
When my sister came back from a six week trip to Japan, she realized that she could live off of only the things she packed in her suitcase. So she began a huge get-rid-of pile outside her bedroom door. If the item is something that you'll never use, you don't like, or doesn't do anything but take up space, donate it.

3. Guilt
We've all gotten that ugly gift from a friend that we don't want to give away because we feel guilty, especially if it's an expensive gift. Read tip #2 ;)

4. Clothes
I love clothes/shoes/accessories (who doesn't?) I also have a lot of clothes that I don't wear. I've heard of this simple trick that I'm going to try, and it goes like this. Turn all of your hangers backwards in your closet. When you wear something, put the hanger back the correct way (not backwards). After 6-12 months, you'll be able to tell at a glance which clothes are cluttering up your closet (the ones with backwards hangers). As for anything else, if it's too small, stained, ripped, or doesn't fit right, get rid of it.

5.Finding a place for everything.
Cleaning will be SO much easier if you know where everything goes. I have random things laying around my room because I don't know what to do with them! The more clutter you give away, the more room you have for things you really  want/need.

What are your tips for decluttering?