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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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Flick of the Wrist

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6 KJV)

Hello Gorgeous! You see the title, right? I know but stay with me and let me explain. Everyday, I wake up to my life. The routine: Work, School, Girls Like Me, Church, Family, Nonexistent Me-Time, and everything in between. Just knowing all that I have to do and all that I may have to encounter in a day is sometimes overwhelming. I put all of the pressure and responsibility of my life on myself. While this should be a good thing not to blame others for my problems, the anticipation of all that could go wrong makes me pick myself apart. "I could handle this if I had more free time. I don't understand why this person doesn't like me. Why do I always have to be the one to do it. Why can't I just get this done. I procrastinate too much. They said I'm too sensitive; maybe I am. I shouldn't have said that about that person; it wasn't right. I don't want to be mean but when I'm nice people walk over me. I'm a push over. Why can't I balance and handle all of this. I bit off more than I can chew. I'm just a horrible person."

Before my day has even started, I have tore myself to shreds. I am focusing on each and every negative piece or attribute of my personality. In some strange way, I used these negative thoughts to keep me focused or to keep me grounded. I've realized that reflection is important for growth but you don't want to beat yourself down to a pulp. I have struggled with low self-esteem for years and I am glad I have learned to love myself. I can't let the pressures of life reverse the work that God has done in me.

This morning, as things just started not to go my way and I thought about all I had to do, I just began to beat myself up in my head. I was angry and irritable. And all I could think was, "I don't want to feel this way about myself." I heard the Lord say "Stir yourself up." At that moment I realized, every little thing I don't like about myself or my life, God put it in me and in my life for a reason. Separate, these pieces of me aren't appealing to those who dwell on those individual unpleasant pieces. However, when I gave my life to Christ, He made me whole. He doesn't see my pieces. All He sees is that everything He put in me and in my life is supposed to be used to give Him glory. There is a reason for every attribute, good and bad, that I have. I am not saying this to give you an opportunity to not better yourself and to not become more Christlike. I am saying this to make you understand that some things in your life and in your personality, were put in your life for you to work with and around. Instead of beating yourself up, use your quirks as a stepping stool to push closer to Jesus. To keep my procrastination to a minimum, I have to work as unto the Lord. To not say mean things, I need to edify and uplift people with my words. To not be so mean and passive, I have to have healthy confrontation. To not take things personal, I have to act like Jesus and love people despite what they do or say. To balance my life better, I have to give all of my cares and worries to God.

So all of the pieces of you and your life that are separately horrible, put it all in a bowl, add Jesus, and stir vigorously in the Holy Spirit. Stir your pieces together until you recognize who you are. You are a child of God. While you may be imperfect, you are an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven. Nothing can stop you from who God called you to be and to do. Not even your own negative thinking can change God's mind and plans for you. Dwelling on your negative attributes only hinders you and stops you from progressing. Learn your lessons, but keep living this awesome life.

So look at the flick of your wrist. Are you stirring yourself up fast enough or are you letting the pieces affect your progress? Are you mixing it all well so that the pieces won't separate from Jesus? Stir yourself daily in the spirit and in the Word of God. Jesus will hold all of your pieces together. Flick of Da Wrist. SMOOCHES XOXO

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