Friday, May 13, 2016

My Favorite Christian Vloggers

Hey Lovelies! I am very blessed to have the opportunity to share Jesus Christ, encourage you all, and give advice on this here blog. However, I often look to other Christian vlogs to encourage myself while I'm at work, when I am feeling down, or when I just want to feed my spirit with something positive. So, if you are looking for Christian Vloggers, here is a list of my favorites in no particular order. This post will be updated frequently as I discover awesome, new vlogs. You can never have too much positive influence.


These are my personal favorites. There are many other awesome Christian vloggers. If your faves aren't listed, share it in the comment section!

Christian Vloggers
Heather Lindsey
Dephne Madyara
Ashley Empowers

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Chapter 2: Kid Kassidy

Every other Saturday, I go to my sister's hair salon to get my hair done. Kassidy's Klassy Hair Studio. The studio has white walls with flecks of gold leaf. The chairs are white, soft, and simple in construction. The white vanities and stations are fit for the Hollywood back lot dressing rooms of Dorothy Dandridge and Lena Horne. Gold and baby pink accents sprinkle the salon in forms of flowers, picture frames, statues, and vases. This salon is a girl's impeccably styled haven. Very much Kassidy. A far and bright cry from my dreary apartment. My spirits are always lifted while spending time here.

I should've known that Kassidy was going to end up being one of the top stylists in the city. I think it was her lack of patience during our childhood that threw me off the scent of her true destiny. In middle school, her Saturday mornings were spent braiding hair on my grandma's front step. She started at 9 am, braided about 5 heads, and she ended at exactly noon, no matter how many braids she had left on her final customer. No one was going to stop her from watching the fine boys at the basketball court playing pickup games. But she was the best, so they always came back next week... Or after the basketball game, if they ended up being that lucky final client. In high school, she only did her own hair, my hair, and Madison's hair. She didn't want to do everyone's hair because then she would be forced to take styling hair seriously. Her main focus was having fun. Partying and styling hair when she felt like it filled her life's focus at that time adequately. I don't know why we trusted her to practice press and curls with hot combs and Marcel irons, roller sets, relaxers, and sew-ins in our hair. We always looked cute though and the practice paid off. Girls would actually try to jock our hairstyles.

"No one can duplicate a Kassidy's Klassy Kreation!" she used to say those very words jokingly all the time, not knowing it would one day be the tagline and guiding force for her brand.

This particular Saturday at the salon started off as all of our appointments do. As she unraveled the twists in my detangled bra-strap length, kinky coily hair, my sister tried to convince me to try a new hairstyle. She learned how to do braidouts and twistouts just for me since I am her only client who wears natural hairstyles. In return, I let her ramble about all the things she wants to do to my hair.

"Maybe we should do a sew-in. I have hair in the back! And when are you going to let me blowout and flat iron your hair?! It would be so pretty, sis. Matter of fact, you should let me lift your hair color, take you a few shades lighter, and give you a sexy bob cut. It would be cute, straight or curly!"

"Uh... no ma'am. My hair is fine how it is, Kassidy. I am not as cute and stylish as you. I can't rock every hair style. I need to just keep my hair simple. Just blend in, you know?" I had to cut her off on this day. She was doing too much.

Kassidy swung my chair around away from the mirror to face her, leaned in and stared me straight in the eye. "Keisha, you are beautiful and you can rock any style you choose to wear." She sealed the deal with a wink and her signature smile and swung the chair back around towards the mirror. 'Twistout it is!"

Kassidy, my Kassidy. Kassidy doesn't even seem like my little sister some times. And moments like these instantly bring up old memories. Things that shaped her to just know. Since we've been younger, her maturity and life experiences has always surpassed age and established her as the leading sister. The leader of our sisterhood and the leader of our group of friends. Kassidy has always had a bigger than life personality. She is never afraid to take risks, even when she is warned profusely that the mistake she is about make can be detrimental.

Sitting in the chair as my sister parted through my hair effortlessly, twisting my hair gently, routinely rubbing oil on my scalp, and pulling gel through the ends of my hair, my mind continued to drift to the turbulent times that brought us to this serene moment.

When Kassidy was 16, she got tired of doing what my parents told her to do. She didn't want a curfew. At the time, her 21 year old drug dealing boyfriend loved to hit the club with her on his arm. He wanted her to stay the whole night with him. She kept getting grounded and breaking her sentences by sneaking out. My parents were upset, her boyfriend was upset, and Kassidy just wanted to be free. Madison and I warned Kassidy that her boyfriend was no good but it fell on deaf ears. I can't lie, we loved the shopping sprees at Franklin Mills and getting our nails done every week. But now that I am older, I wish I would have stepped into my role as older sister and told Kassidy that all money ain't good money and that everything comes with a price.

At 16, Kassidy decided to move out of our parents house. I was a senior in high school and just focused on graduation. I honestly didn't think she was serious until I came home early on senior day, I went to her room to re-borrow my sweater and her lipstick, and I noticed all of her drawers were empty. A month later, Kassidy found out she was pregnant. Her so-called boyfriend kicked her out when he found out. She was doing so bad in school that year that she stopped going about 4 months before. Instantly, she became a single, pregnant, 16 year old, high school dropout and the price of freedom went sky high.

It was the summer before my freshman year in college when Kassidy told me she was pregnant. Deciding if I should go far way for college was my biggest decision and worry until Kassidy dropped that bomb. I am now glad I stayed close to home and went to school in the city. I don't think I would've been able to focus miles away, not being able to see that Kassidy was okay with my own eyes. I begged and pleaded with my parents to let Kassidy move back in that day. As soon as my mother was about to budge, my father added one of his famous conditions.

"Ok, Kassidy can come back IF she apologizes to your mother and I, agrees to abide by our rules, and goes to rehab."

"Rehab?! Kass isn't on drugs! She's..." I remember vividly stopping mid sentence. I was about to spill the pregnancy beans. She begged me not to tell our parents until she had a plan. "Kassidy is stubborn, like you Dad. She is not going to agree to a punishment nonequivalent to what she did."

"Well she must be on something because she has surely lost her mind!" My father contorted vehemently in his chair. "Since you have all the answers Keisha and you know what's best for Kassidy, tell us, what's wrong with her then?!"

My mom often played referee and she felt it necessary to throw a flag on the play before one of us ran in for the touchdown. "Keisha, your father and I have already discussed that this is the best decision for Kassidy. Even if she's not addicted to any substances -"

"She's not!" I interrupted my mother's doubt to defend my best friend. But my mom continued and my father glared on in rage.

"Even if she's not, at least we can find out why she would do this."

I literally couldn't take it anymore. "You two have held us hostage to your dreams for our future since we were younger. We couldn't have friends outside of church. Our only aspiration had to be to go to college, study business administration, and work for Smith's Construction as secretaries. The will and bylaws are so outdated that I, as a woman, can't even be president of my family's own business."

"That business is the reason you are even able to have the privilege to attend any school you want and not worry about tuition. Your great great grandfather wanted to make sure all of his kids and their kids had an education and a job! Something that he couldn't attain and had to end up creating for himself, his family, us, and you little miss smart mouth." My Dad and I were also just alike. He knew every button to push and he had just pressed all of them at once.

"My life is covered in caveats. If I make one false move, you are going to disown me like you are doing to Kass! We've seen it our whole lives throughout the family. If your dreams, or even your personality, is outside of what is mandated to be a Smith, you won't get any support. Nothing we do is good enough for you. At least Kass was brave enough to take some risks. She didn't do it the best way but at least she did it. I hate business administration. I don't want to be an employee to my idiotic male cousins who barely graduated from college themselves. I hate my life and I am miserable. We have been miserable for years. We only got to be kids at grandma's house. You basically pushed Kass out of the house with all of these crazy rules. If I would've got accepted to SGU, I would've gladly gone 12 hours away just to get away from you, your impossible expectations, and that stupid church!" I had just snapped on my parents. It felt great.

"Watch your mouth, little Girl." For some reason, my father felt talking down to you solidified his power and authority.

"Keisha, calm down." My mom really didn't like arguments. I realized instantly that was one the problems. I snapped some more.

"I am tired of being told to calm down every time I show an emotion other than reverent fear and passivity! Madison is the only good thing that has come out of that church and the only friend we were able to make. But instead of vouching for us, you let her parents tell you that we are bad influences on Madison and can't be her friends anymore! You won't even fight those people for us!"

"Those people are the girl's parents and the Pastor and First Lady of our church home and family. Have some respect." My father finally stood, just to say that.

"Oh so I am supposed to be scared of them, too now!" I said sarcastically.

Trying to deflect the energy of the conversation, my mother quickly inserted herself back into conversation."Keisha, your upbringing has nothing to do with Kassidy not following the rules of this house."

"Mom, the rigid rules of this house have everything to do with why Kass acted out. It's also the reason why your only daughters will never move back in this house."

As soon as the words rolled off my tongue, I knew I couldn't accept any money from the family to go to school. And now I was up the creek holding the paddle while Kassidy was still far away in the boat. I didn't know what I was going to do. I just knew that I wanted to taste freedom, too.

Kassidy spent that entire day at my grandma's house after she got kicked out. My grandma was never the type to bombard us with questions but she always had this way of knowing when she knew something was up. As soon as I finished snapping on my parents, I went straight over to my grandma's to tell Kassidy what happened.

As I we sat on the front step and I began to tell her everything that just happened, her face lit up with shock and amazement.

"Did you really say that to them?" Kassidy asked me in disbelief. All I could do is nod my head to signal a yes in the middle of my own disbelief of all that was transpiring.

"I can't believe they think I would be doing drugs. That sounds like some Holy Cross Covenant mess." As Kassidy said this, all I could do was shake my head. While it hadn't occurred to me, I just realized the possibility of our parents consulting the Pastor about Kassidy was our constant reality. Every time these family issues occurred, I would give my parents the benefit of the doubt. I would hope that them telling the pastor about our home life is not the case. That our business would not become the church's. But it always did.

"Keesh, what are you going to do? You haven't been offered any scholarship money and you weren't accepted to SGU. You've worked hard you're whole life just to go there and double major in creative writing and business administration." As Kassidy grew concerned, all I could do was smile. She never lost her compassion.

"Kass, don't worry about me. Let's focus on you and your major problems. Like number 1: Where are you going to sleep tonight? " We both let out a deep sigh simultaneously. As we sat on the steps in silence for about an hour, all I could think was how grandma's house was always a safe haven. And then, I had an idea.

"Kassidy! I got it, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!"

"What are you talking about, Keesh?" Kassidy responded in confusion.

"Ask Grandma if you can live with her." Kassidy looked up to me and stared me in my eyes, as if it would help her process what I just said better.

After our staring turned into shrugs and winces of why-nots, Kassidy stood up and proceeded to walk into our Grandma's house. When I saw her open the door, I hopped up and followed behind her. She was walking really slow through the porch and living room towards the kitchen. I had to nudge her forward so I wouldn't step on her heels. Before Kassidy could even tip-toe into the kitchen out of the living room, Grandma knew we were there.

"So are y'all ready to tell me what's going on now. You two don't stay at my house this long unless you all are upset with your parents." We followed Grandma's voice into the kitchen. She was standing over the kitchen sink, cutting collard greens for her church's weekly dinner. Grandma turned around, looked at us standing back-to-chest, and motioned for us to sit down at the kitchen table.

 We couldn't hold anything back any longer. We let it all go hoping that grandma could magically solve all of our problems. We cried and whimpered as we told Grandma everything. When we finally got through our tearful story, Kassidy simply asked Grandma: "Can I live with you, please?" The weight of her little plea encompassed more pain than she could speak. Gratefully, my grandmother didn't need the whole story to understand.

"Kassidy, you remind so much of your mother when she was your age. She was a risk taker just like you. She never did as many of the foolish things you did but that's because I gave her the freedom to make some of her own decisions. Girls, your mother and father somehow forgot how it feels to be your age because they are so worried about protecting you. They don't realize that their smothering is causing you all not to experience the 'make some stupid decisions' phase. Trying to stop you all from making any bad choices is only making those choices appealing to you. Girls, you are going to have to forgive your parents one day. I know they love you too."

Grandma leaned in and embraced us in a group hug. Then she continued. "Kassidy, you can live here but there are some conditions." We glanced at each other, wondering if these conditions will mirror those of mom and dad. "You have to earn income legally to cover your expenses. You have to pursue an education and a career in something, anything. But you have to do so actively. No men in my house. You shouldn't have any over here with your condition and all anyway. And you have to go to every service my church has unless you are in school, working, or giving birth. Do we have a deal?"

"Deal."

Kassidy spent the rest of the summer getting her GED and saving money for the baby by doing hair in my grandma's kitchen. I ended up going to a local university, one of the best in the nation. I didn't find out until a few weeks before classes were to start that I qualified for a full scholarship because someone backed out to go to another university. I was just grateful I didn't have to use my parents money to fund school and I could study what I want. That's the first time as a semi-adult that I felt the Lord may actually be working things out for me.

As September rolled around, Kassidy tried her hand at nursing school for about a week and she just couldn't do it. One day after I took her to an ultrasound appointment to learn the sex of the baby, she decided to vent during drive back home.

"I am just not good at nursing school. I hate drawing blood and I suck at science. I always have. I just feel like I can't do anything right, Keesh. I can't believe I am having a baby, a little boy. What am I going to do? I can't mess his life up too."

"Kass, you're doing many things right. You make mistakes but you are good at things. And my nephew will be fine. He's got two aunties and an awesome mom. Everything takes hard work. If nursing fails, you can just keep doing hair."

"You're right. I don't need to be in nursing school."

"Umm that's not what I said..." I wanted Kassidy to keep trying, not quit.

"I'm going to go to beauty school." I let go a sigh a relief.

My freshman year was pretty predictable and normal on the school front. I partied, made good grades, and tried my best not gain 15 pounds even though I ate like a linebacker. My personal life on the other was filled with drama. I didn't speak to my mom and dad the whole first semester. My grandmother told them how I was doing. I spent some of winter break in Mexico with a friend from college and Madison. When they went home for Christmas, I decided to stay back until the holiday passed. The day after Christmas, I came back and spent the rest of the break between my grandmother's and the dorm.

Kassidy decided to fast track her hours and attended beauty school practically18 hours a day. By Christmas, Kassidy was halfway done with beauty school. On January 19, we welcomed the newest member of our family, Harry Smith, Jr.

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Artwork: Digital Designs

To read more chapters from Keisha, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f

For updates, previews, and more about Keisha, visit the dedicated page HERE.


This is only Part 1. Part 2 coming soon on this same post. This is a rough draft. Please excuse any mistakes. Email grammar or spelling corrections to info@misselisak.com

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Blog, Who This?!

Hello Starlets! Brandbuilder Lesson 4: Blog Overhauls


Hello Lovebugs! As you can see, I am branching out and expanding the Miss Elisa K. brand. I have learned so much on my own through trial and error about branding. I don't want to be selfish with this information and I don't want others to make the same mistakes. I want your brands, blogs, & businesses to boom! These lessons are based on my opinions and experiences. Hopefully, my BrandBuilder Lessons will provide the information and encouragement that you need.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know many things have changed. If you are new, how do you like my little space on the internet? Is it warm? Unique? Inviting? Interesting? Informative? Real? I hope so because that's what I was going for. To get here, this blog has gone through several major overhauls, mostly in design, branding, and nomenclature. However, my last blog overhaul was so drastic because I changed my content focus, got rid of over 400 posts, and narrowed it down to about 80.

Oh, I was serious. This is the year of growth for MissElisaKtheBlog.com! But how can the blog grow if it doesn't grow with my lifestyle, knowledge, interests, and goals? I am getting more engagements than ever before and that's because I am focusing on what I know and what I want to accomplish. I am only serving up two niches at a time. I want you to do the same and experience even more success than me. Just tell them: Miss Elisa K. Taught Me ;) Here are my 2 Reasons Not to be Afraid of Blog Overhauls. Trust me, I have way more reasons. If you share and tell all your friends about this post, I'll be more inclined to share them later!

1. You have probably changed drastically. As bloggers, we thrive off of authenticity. When you first started your blog, you were just so happy to start blogging that you really shared so much of yourself. As the blog grew and people engaged, you may have drew back on certain topics or even your approach based on feedback. If you didn't draw back, you have had to spend time defending your stance. A few years pass and you go back to those posts. And the posts aren't horrible but the posts are no longer a reflection of your thought process. You can't remember why you wrote it or how it even shows you in the light you now want to be perceived.

If you experience this while trying to determine if your blog needs an overhaul, ask yourself this question about your old posts: Does this post accurately show the progression of the blog and who I have grown to be? If it doesn't and sways too far away from your current niche, just revert to draft. On the other hand, even if you have changed your niche, there are some posts that are just so well written and really show a special part of your heart and who you are. Those posts are significant to your growth as blogger and a person. This should stay. If someone falls in love with your blog, becomes a super fan, and decides to read your blog from start to present, they should be reading a cohesive story line of your blogging career.

2. You may need to curate multiple blogs. At one time, I was blogging about anything I could think of that was interesting. Then I called myself narrowing down my focus because my work fell into several main categories. They were faith, fashion, music, art, culture, and Philly. I literally used that as my tagline, with a bunch of product reviews stuck in between. Then I decided, that wasn't catchy enough and my focus was too broad. So I narrowed my focus down again. During this time, I was growing strong in my life with Christ and I was mainly listening to Christian hip hop. Also I was doing so many #FoodforThoughts about my walk with Christ. The new focus was faith, fashion, hip hop. But then, I got to another level in my relationship with Jesus where I truly knew my purpose and I realized a full time fashion career wasn't it. The reason I even started the blog was no longer my life's work. I still loved to showcase fashionable women of faith and christian hip hop. I still love telling people about products and my experiences. However, it wasn't working cohesively (THIS WORD AGAIN). This time I didn't just narrow my focus but I had to seriously cut some content.

I decided to use product reviews on Girls Like Me, Inc.'s blog because young girls love product reviews. I also decided to create a feminine Christian Hip Hop space for women of faith. The blog had an okay test launch and I may relaunch if I have more time next year. On MissElisaKTheBlog.com, I decided to focus on helping others and giving great advice about blogging, business, and living a life of faith and worship unto Jesus Christ. I recently launched an ongoing fictional writing project, because I know the Lord called me to be a writer. It fits perfectly to me and my readers will love the flow. The blog is easier to market and promote because my subjects aren't so broad. My fictional writing, inspirational words, and entrepreneurial advice may not be the average niche, but it is my niche. And for the first time, after nearly 6 years of blogging, I am confident in my blog and content. Your audience can pick that up through the screen.

Writing is what I love to do and it is who I am now. I can't imagine doing any fashion posts on the blog now because it just isn't who I am anymore. If I have a yearning to write about Philly, art, culture, music, or fashion, I know that I can write when I feel passionately about a topic and submit freelance work to magazines and other blogs. Don't be afraid to contribute to other people's spaces on the internet or even create another to clean up your main space, which is the biggest reflection of who you are.

If you would like for me to share more information about this topic, please comment and share this post on your social media networks. Hey, I'm Building a Brand Here, too! SMOOCHES XOXO

Learn more about my BrandBuilder One-On-One Sessions!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Chapter 1: Four, The Hard Way

My name is Keisha. I am a writer... Well, a journalist. I interchange between the two titles dependent upon my mood and which freelance jobs I am trying to get. I grew up in West Philadelphia; Wynnefield, to be exact. Philadelphia is dirty, grimy, and boring. But I love it. Philly is home.

I am starting this blog because I need to write about something other than old people. My current job is the Executive Public Relations Representative for the geriatric department of the largest hospital in the city. The geriatric department is becoming very innovative in its approach to caring for their elderly patients. With that, my team and I are staying very busy. From monthly events to family interviews, there is always something new to report. The department head raves about my team and how we have made the department much more "spunky and edgy" with our "wit and young sensibility" (her words, not mine). She has ensured me that I will always have a job and that whatever request I make within reason, they will be fulfilled. I should feel honored, blessed, and humbled. But instead, I feel trapped.

When I got out of college in 2010, I wanted to finally be free from everything. I trekked overseas for 3 years. Met a beautiful man, who I didn't quite tell my parents about. Together, we traveled to Polignano a Mare, Paro Valley, Burma, Lord Howe Island, and so many more places. I traveled the world and wrote a book about my travels. I just knew it was the perfect way to merge my two favorite things: writing and travel. Everyone told me to start a blog. I was in a rebellious stage. Plus, I just thought a book would be a better way to portray the story I wanted to tell. Stupid me. If I would have listened, I would probably still be traveling off blog ad revenue. At first, I funded my trip with my trust fund since I had a full scholarship for college. When my money started to run low, I somehow convinced my parents to invest in this venture. Let's just say they were ready to see a return on their investment. The book flopped. The beautiful man left me when I was no longer able to support our travel expenses. Since I couldn't get a publisher after months of trying, I self-published. I spent so much money trying to garner support and I didn't make many sales from the book itself. On top of feeling defeated, my parents sent me an ultimatum via email.

"Keisha, you are coming home tomorrow. Your economy ticket information is attached. The day after that you have a job interview for an executive position where you will be able to write and travel on the dime of the company. You can stay here for 1 month but you need to start looking for an apartment. Prepare your mind. These aren't suggestions. See you tomorrow."

I didn't stay with them. I stayed with my little sister, Kassidy. Her and our friends, Lachay and Madison, were very supportive during this transition back to life in Philly. I've been home for a year now. I was so depressed but I had to keep moving, get a job, get an apartment, and start life over. I was operating through life like a robot. Slowly, my friends brought me back to human form. My depression didn't derail them from sharing their lives with me. I needed to be around growth. I wasn't a hater either. I guess because I know where they have come from. I had no choice but to celebrate them. We used to be so hard-headed. We all had to learn stuff the hard way. But we learned together. I was so proud of them, even though I felt so low.

My Kassidy is slaying the Philly hair game right now. In high school, Kassidy used to keep all of our weaves and duby wraps fly in between being the rebellious life of the party. I never would have imagined that she would open up her own salon and become one of the most in demand stylists in the industry. She has overcame many obstacles which left a promise of a bright future bleak for her. But she succeeded anyway. She is a loving mother to my nephew Lil' Harry and she is married to the most understanding brother-in-law a girl could have, Chris. Knowing that my Kassidy could've given up when life hit her like a high speed train as a teen makes me even more proud to call her sister and friend.

Madison, my day one, is following her heart and true passion. This good girl who used to keep our teenage butts in church decided not to follow in her parents footsteps of full time ministry. Instead, she decided to go to culinary school. She just opened up her own bakery this year and business is really booming. Her cakes, pies, and pastries are constantly getting press and rave reviews. To add the perfect cherry to her sweet life, her boyfriend and associate youth pastor at her parents' church just proposed to her. Growing up, she never judged and always cared for others. Hearts like hers don't come around anymore. She deserves all the love and admiration coming her way.

Lachay has really turned her life around. She has built her fashion brand Voleur from the ground up. She turned her vice for getting her hands on the latest trends and staying fashionable at all times into a lucrative business. She only buys the latest and most exclusive clothing  for her boutique. When she can't find exactly what she is looking for, she designs and creates it herself. Lachay has always been good at making a way out of no way. She is single by choice and loving it. After a string of dysfunctional relationships, Voleur has become Lachay's one and only bae. Although she hasn't been apart of our circle as long, it is refreshing to have a real woman in your corner who is always ready to ride or die at anytime.

So now, I am taking everyone's advice and blogging. Not for money or relevancy though. But as a release for my soul. This is an Ode to My Girls. My life savers. All of the stories that make us laugh, cry, and fight. The things we've been through are too coincidental and magnificently life-changing to not be documented.

Since, this is told from my point-of-view, I am going to call the blog "Keisha." The name is fitting. While I am telling the stories of those who have a piece of my heart, I am undoubtedly showing you all my life and repairing my heart simultaneously. I hope you like us.

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Share, Comment, Like, & Follow. This chapter needs 500 views before the next chapter is released.

Artwork: Digital Designs

To read more chapters from Keisha, CLICK HERE.

Support Elisa so she can write more. Every contribution helps! goo.gl/N5c95f

For updates, previews, and more about Keisha, visit the dedicated page HERE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Holidays! Seasonal Blogging Tips

Hello Candy Canes! Brandbuilder Lesson 3: Blogging Tips for the Holiday Season

Hello Lovebugs! As you can see, I am branching out and expanding the Miss Elisa K. brand. I have learned so much on my own through trial and error about branding. I don't want to be selfish with this information and I don't want others to make the same mistakes. I want your brands, blogs, & businesses to boom! These lessons are based on my opinions and experiences. Hopefully, my BrandBuilder Lessons will provide the information and encouragement that you need.

Yes, it is that time of year again! The Holiday Season is a wonderful time for family, food, fun, sharing, love, hope, and peace. Such warmth and purity of the holiday season has drawn heavy commercialization of these intangible qualities. I was once a Cindy Lou Who for the holidays and all it had to offer. So I understand if you now feel like the Grinch because every business is almost pressured to conform to get those holiday sales and numbers. I know you want to be a Scrooge, but if you are in business, you have to join in on the holiday cheer in some way. Today, I am talking specifically about the blogger business. Even if blogging is still a hobby for you, you should still produce content that will keep your supporters engaged. Check out my 3 Blogging Tips for the Holiday Season. I had way more, but I promise to save them for later if you share and comment on this post!

1. Themes Help Always. Some may call it an objective or something else. I keep it simple. When I say THEME, I am referring to a general idea that ties in the mission statement of a business with current efforts, promotions, marketing, and/or events to draw in new customers. And plus, themes are fun! Themes keep you somewhat organized and away from randomness. Just think of themed parties. Ugly Christmas Sweaters, anyone? For instance, this year's theme for Girls Like Me, Inc.'s mentoring program is GLM Prep. All of the marketing and images are inspired by plaid, Clueless, and all things preppy. Our mentoring events this program year are all themed and named to reflect classes they would take if Girls Like Me was an actual prep school. The theme and events tie back to our mission of encouraging all girls to Go & Dream. We are preparing our girls with quality life skills they may not learn in school but need to know in life in order for them to be successful while they chase dreams. As far as blogging themes, I used to do the 25 days of Christmas where I blogged everyday leading to Christmas. The 25 Days of Christmas posts were hard. Yet, it's always fun to flex your creative muscles while utilizing the structure of a theme.

2. Be Uniquely You. You may not celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving. You may celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or other culture specific holidays during this time. No need to feel left out by or begrudgingly toward other bloggers who are all covering the same holidays. Differentiate and personalize your content by posting about your traditions. This is a great way to tap into new readers who celebrate the same holidays. Your current readers will love learning more about you and your culture. Some may even connect more with you, engage in comments, and share your posts. This only happens when your audience and people they know can fully relate. If people unfollow you for your culture, that's not a view you want in my opinion. I believe wholeheartedly, even in the blogging game of numbers, that what is for you will come. No need to pretend to celebrate Christmas for likes when you can just be yourself.

3. GIVE. During the holidays, people are dishing out money. It can be difficult to convince people that their dollars belongs with your charity or business. However, it can be done. I know I talk about Girls Like Me, Inc. all the time, but it is the Pink Purple & Blue Print ;) GLM is on it's 4th Annual Doll Drive where we solicit donations to help families with gifts for the Christmas. Every year, it is a struggle to get donations. But I get more every year. It's an honor to give back and to have supporters follow our example of giving. As a blogger, you may sell products. You may want to do a holiday sale (that won't hurt you too much financially) to say thank you to your readers and to bring in new customers. If you aren't selling products yet, you may want to make a donation and blog about why you chose that charity. Positive promotion for you and a charity you believe in never hurt anybody. Last but certainly not least, you could do a giveaway. From my experience, giveaways do work best when you have a larger following. Do a product review for a product you love and that would make the perfect Christmas Gift. Then give one away to a supporter. You could even get the product company to sponsor the giveaway. Disclaimer: Give because you care. Don't give to get back.

If you would like for me to share more information about this topic, please comment and share this post on your social media networks. Hey, I'm Building a Brand Here, too! SMOOCHES XOXO

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