Posts Tagged ‘blog’


Worth Noting: Blog Improvement

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013


2013 is going to be the Year of the Blog, I can just tell. To set you in the right direction, take a look at what some of these fine bloggers have to say about improving your own.

5 Things to Remember Before You Hit Publish at Hey, it’s Justine

40 Ways to Get Your Blog Off On the Right Foot at Campfire Chic

6 Weeks to a Better Blog at Silly Grrl

Primp your Facebook at Her New Leaf

Should I Get Paid for That? at Home to Heather

Why Every Blogger Should Have a Media Kit at VMac & Cheese

10 Reasons to Blog Ahead at Going Home to Roost

Blueprint for the Perfect Blog Post at Business2Community

The Four Faces of Link Building at Shellshock.UK

58 Ways to get Noticed as a New Blogger at Blog World

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DIY Wire-Bound Blog Planner

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

I’m a sucker for planners/notebooks, and I was inspired by various blog planners on Pinterest (of course).

Here’s my attempt – from various scraps and papers in my stash and my Zutter Bind-It-All¬†(I seriously love that thing – and on Amazon it’s $53.30- I paid almost $80 for mine at Archivers!)


It definitely involves a vast assortment of washi tape. I designed the pages and printed them at home – I used to hesitate to print my own pages for notebooks because I didn’t like the paper quality – then I “splurged” and got the expensive printer paper instead of the cheap copy paper. What a world of difference!

I honestly haven’t written a word in it yet! I’m kind of stumped, haha. Blank-page fright.
What would you put in your ideal blog planner?

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Worth Noting: Three Sixty-Five

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Title: Three Sixty-Five: Ideas for Blog posts, Scrapbook Pages, & Art Journal Entries
Author: Kam Altar (AKA Campfire Chic)
Price: $5
Buy it here.

Yesterday, on a whim, I purchased Kam’s book. I clicked thru one of her tweets to read this blog post, and a little banner at the top whispered in my ear, “Access 300+¬†ideas for blog posts, scrapbook pages, and art journal entries”, and I was like “Take me there!”

You see, ¬†try to art journal and scrapbook¬†paste junk in my smashbook and be all creative… but truthfully, I am NOT that creative. I need to see an idea first before I can do anything with it. Give me a blank sheet of paper and I’m like a deer in headlights. Yeah, it’s bad.

The main reason I purchased it is that I have to finish my Sketchbook Project (it’s really crunch time now) and I’m pulling a blank.

I’ve been a long-time reader of the Campfire Chic blog, and I really admire Kam’s creativity and style, so I figured it would be a worthwhile read. Regardless, I’m always happy to support another independent artist/maker/creative-type.

What’s the point?

Kam says, “I created this 26-page resource as a springboard for your ideas to come to the surface. There is plenty of room for you to write your own notes that will come bubbling to the surface once you start scanning the topics I have complied for you.”


Lots of space for notes/doodles

I really appreciate the fact that she left space especially for notes – I personally like to keep my pdfs on my iPad (as soon as I start printing stuff off it ends up in a pile somewhere and y house becomes a flurry of random stuff), but I think this attests to her understanding of the kind of person who is likely to appreciate such a resource.That being said, even given the space for notes, there is no lack of content. I’ve gone through some e-resources (some of them I hesitate to call ¬†”eBooks” because they’re so scant) and being disappointed in the amount of content – oftentimes you truly get what you pay for. But with this, I found myself flipping through and thinking “Okay, surely this is the end… wait, no, this must be the end…” but it turns out that 26 pages is a lot!

Broken down into navigable sections

The book is broken down into 23 “chapters”, each covering a different topic. There are general ones like “Goals / To do / Challenges” and more specific ones like “In Your Bag”. It starts with a warm up, with some workbook-style questions on what you hope to get from using the book, etc.

Inspiring content

The first section of topics is “About You”, and I was really excited about the first prompt: Your Handwriting. I realized I have a lot to say about my handwriting, but I honestly never really thought about using it as inspiration for any creative work. Lots of the topics are like this – things that I’m kind of surprised I never really thought about before, but make great subjects.


The purchase link takes you directly to PayPal. I’m a big fan of paying for things with PayPal because I can pay directly with my debit card or with whatever’s in my account. You don’t need to create a PayPal account if you don’t already have one – and it’s pretty darn secure.


This is an instant download, which is fantastic! Lots of PDF purchases involve waiting 24 hours or so to receive it in an email (which I don’t mind, but let’s face it- I’m impatient), but this takes you directly to a download link after you complete the transaction. Spiffy!


Overall, I think this will prove to be a very valuable resource going forward. While there are a few prompts I probably won’t have a use for, there are many more that will provide lots of inspiration. They’re definitely not one-time-use topics; even if you used one every day for a year, you could easily revisit them as your life and circumstances change. And of course, a topic you used in your journal would take on a completely different life on your blog.

I really recommend this – it’s obvious that a lot of work and thought went into it, and for the amount of content, $5 is a steal.

Have you already purchased it? If not, are you going to? Tell me what you think in the comments!



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I Can Haz Button?

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Hay guys.

I just wanted to pop in and show you all the button I FINALLY got around to making for my blog. You can grab it from the right sidebar. If you post buttons to blogs you read and you have a fancy to do that with mine, here’s your chance.

Here’s a larger version for kicks and giggles if you want to admire it. It’s a Hipstamatic print I took of the Stow-away-asaurus I got with my recent Photojojo order. I love that store. (PS I saved the GIF to loop infinitely, but my browser only shows it looping once. Does anyone know how to fix this, or if it loops infinitely in your browser?)


If you do grab it, let me know! I’d love to link back to you.

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Blog Better Challenge Part 4: Show and Tell

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

I think most of us started out believing (or still do) that if we put something awesome out on the Internet that people will just automatically find it, right? Or even after we learn about SEO and keywords that people will gently filter in via Google and end up becoming lifelong subscribers. ….Erm, unfortunately, that’s not usually good enough.

In fact, that was the tactic I used most regularly on my own blog until recently. Sure, there were a few blogs I commented on, and those bloggers became readers, but that was pretty much the extent of it. It wasn’t good for business.

I imagine the true formula for success goes something more like this:

1. Post something epic.

2. Tell everyone about it.

What kind of “epic” stuff am I talking about? Think about the qualities of the stuff you re-pin or link to -

It’s useful: It’s usually informative or inspirational or something you put on a “to-do” list, right? Maybe it even serves to be humorous or thought-provoking, but the bottom line is that it’s helpful.

It’s *pretty*: I myself put a huge emphasis on visual appeal when I’m mentally assessing something. I’ll bookmark or pin or link to lots of pretty things that might not have a ton of value otherwise.

It’s timely: This is just a nicer way of saying “popular”. Most of us aren’t blessed with the trendsetting gene (though if you are, by all means, take advantage!), so we’re stuck on the bandwagon. Be careful not to over-do it *or* do it too late, though. Best to get on the mason jar¬†train while you still can and forget about moustaches for awhile.

Sometimes ugly, pointless stuff becomes popular. Buuuttttt it’s usually pretty and useful stuff.


I, myself, have been challenging myself to put my posts out in the world – more than just on Twitter or to my Facebook friends – and it’s really paying off. Seriously. I’m actually surprised. For example, since one of my tutorials was posted on CraftGawker, I’m averaging around 200 visits per day rather than the 15 I used to get.

Not gonna lie, I get shot down a lot. I’m disappointed that not everyone thinks I’m as awesome as I do (lols). But, I’m going to keep taking baby steps until I’m satisfied.
SO your challenge today is to find something awesome that you’ve posted to your blog – and share it with the world. Find a website that will feature you. Try to get it re-tweeted. Submit it somewhere. Keep trying until you get a lot of people to look at it. Then report back here with the results!


PS. In case you didn’t here, the giveaway prize for this challenge is a Hipstaprint notepad! The lucky winner can select a photo or send me one of theirs. It’s not too late to enter!. :)

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Blog Better: Six Week Challenge

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

I’ve been blogging for a long time (okay, a long time for me) but I’m pretty lazy about doing it regularly and even more lazy about networking, and thus, I don’t really get a lot of traffic.

Now, I’ve read probably hundreds of articles and posts about increasing traffic, visibility, SEO (search engine optimization), etc; but doing it is a completely different story.
Welp, I’m about to change that!

For the next six weeks, I’ve planned to do two things per week to improve my blog. From keywords, to backlinking, to commenting, to making new blog friends – they’re all fairly basic but they’re *supposed* to make a big impact. At the end, I’ll see if it worked by checking out my Google Analytics stats. Sound simple enough?
Good! Then I want you to join me!


Here’s how it will work:

  • I’ll post two challenges per week – one on Saturdays and one on Wednesdays.¬†There are some things I think that I already do pretty well; I’ll talk about those, too. There are lots of things I don’t do well at all, so I’ll be prioritizing them.
  • If you choose to participate, I’ll include a link to your blog here. Don’t worry, though, participation will be casual and no pressure; if you can’t do every challenge, don’t worry about it. :)
  • {Here’s the best part} At the very end, all participants will be put in a random drawing for a giveaway! I haven’t figured out what the giveaway will be for, yet, but don’t worry; I have great taste (wink) and I’ll think of something awesome!



Grab a button, and leave a comment if you’re in! We’ll re-assess on May 5th.

(copy this code and paste it into your sidebar)



Your First Assignment:

Install Google Analytics, and do it now! It usually takes about 24 hours for it to start recording traffic, so you’ll want to have it installed sooner than later. ¬†In order to see how far you’ve come, it’s important to look at where you were.

If you’re a WordPress user, like me, there are a few neat plug-ins that do the work for you. Google will provide you with a code (usually starts with UA- and has a long string of numbers) and you can just enter it into the plug-in. Depending on the theme you’re using, it might also provide a spot to enter it in the theme settings.

Regardless, Analytics provides pretty good instructions right on their site.

If you already keep track of your traffic, make a mental note of what kind of posts get most traffic and what you did differently on that day.

Stay tuned for Wednesday’s edition! Good luck!

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Blog Love <3

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Check out my new favorite blog: Thanks, I Made It - chock full of amah-zing*¬†¬†tutorials (mostly jewelry… I’m a sucker for sparkly). I’m especially digging this necklace that’s about 10x cooler than the inspiration:

Seriously. Go check her out; you won’t be disappointed!

*Happy Endings, anyone?

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OPB 4th Blogaversary Giveaway!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The lovely Alli from One Pearl Button is having a giveaway for her 4th Blogaversary!

Polaroid Starter Kit

OPB is one of my fave fave fave blogs- Alli is a super sweet girl, and her craft projects and photos are awesome!

To enter, simply follow her blog and leave a comment – simple as that!

I’ve always wanted a Polaroid Land Camera – mostly cause of the rainbow? ¬†I’ve always been intimidated by “analog” photography… so permanent! ¬†I’m SUCH a digital girl. ¬†But this would be a great way to start!

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Hazel & Agnes is the creative blog of Natalie Matz. Click above to learn more!