What Nobody Tells You About Self Care, and How to Start or Break a Habit

What Nobody Tells You About Self-Care, and How to Start or Break a Habit

What Nobody Tells You About Self Care, and How to Start or Break a Habit 

If you remember, my theme for the month of September has been self care and throughout this month, I shared some different topics in my blog and on YouTube to outline my experience of learning to take better care of myself and my priorities. So, I thought that for my link roundup this month, I would try to focus on self-care, habits and motivation to help you make a positive change in your life as well!

Personal Development

Productivity

Business

I hope you enjoyed these articles, and if you have anything you read and loved in the month of September, please let us know by sharing a link in the comments below!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

HELLO OCTOBER: 31 Things to Do in October {Planner Freebies}

31 Things to Do in October Free Printable

HELLO OCTOBER: 31 Things to Do in October {Planner Freebies}

OMG October is upon us! This is it, my favorite time of year and my favorite single month other than March (birthday obvi)! There are so many fun seasonal things to do during October and I always want to make the most of the month, that is exactly why I created the 31 Things to Do in October to-do list.

Did you know that this is the list that started it all? This was my first monthly task list ever!

Hello October: 31 Things to Do in October

So, if you don’t already have this awesome freebie for your planner, along with the latest monthly dashboard and of course some awesome festive tech wallpapers, make sure to grab yours now! And while you are in the shop, don’t forget to grab some cute seasonal decor bundles for Fall & Halloween! These printable sets of stickers, journaling cards and planner cover/divider designs are on sale now! Enjoy!

How to Decorate Your Planner for Fall

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

5 Business Automation Tools to Utilize While You Are On Vacation

5 Business Automation Tools to Utilize When You Go On Vacation

5 Business Automation Tools to Utilize While You Are On Vacation

In a few days, I’ll be on a cruise ship on my way to Bermuda for a girl’s trip with my mother and sister, so naturally, right now my mind is focused on getting my business ready for my absence. Although I have taken a few vacations since starting my business full time, this vacation is a little different because I won’t be on land for most of it, and therefore, I have no idea how reliable my internet connection will be. Because the ship charges you a wifi fee per device, I won’t be bringing my laptop with me, just my iPhone. So, I am taking steps now to make sure everything runs smoothly while I’m away. Since I’m a solopreneur, I normally rely on a number of different automation tools to help me run my business on the day-to-day but if you aren’t already streamlining your business like this, give these automation tools a try the next time you go on vacation!

Email Autoresponder: Many different email applications give you the ability to set up an email autoresponder, an out of office email reply that will automatically generate a canned response to any incoming emails.. If you are going on vacation or will be out of the office for a significant period of time (more than a weekend or sick day) I highly recommend setting up this function to reply to emails on your behalf while you are busy. The response doesn’t have to be complicated, a simple notification of the time you will be away from your business will suffice, but I also like to include links to the FAQ and/or resource pages of my website that may address common issues and concerns. If you don’t have a FAQ or resource page on your website, I highly suggest compiling one because they are easy links you can share with your customers that address common issues they may be able to troubleshoot on their own!

MailChimp: I use MailChimp to manage my email list, and since I pay for a monthly plan, I have the ability to create automated email campaigns and schedule emails in advance. These are two very useful features that help me get ahead on my work and allow me to run a marketing campaign even when I am out of office. Nothing is better than coming back to work after a vacation to see new sales that generated while you were away!

Edgar: I recently started using the social media scheduler Edgar to automatically publish posts and content to some of my less used social feeds and it has really helped me to boost sales and keep a constant presence on the platforms I don’t actively create for. I love that it stores and recycles content for me so I don’t have to create and batch upload new posts in order to fill my feed. It’s such a time saver and easy marketing tool for any online business that wants to have a presence on multiple platforms but doesn’t have the time to create unique content for each.

HootSuite: Hootsuite is another social media scheduler that I tend to use for one platform only, Instagram. As you may already know, Instagram does not allow for auto publishing of images, so to get around this Hootsuite gives you the ability to preplan out your post and set’s an alarm telling you when its time to post so you can go into the app and quickly share your content. It’s not a perfect solution to automating Instagram, but it’s the best solution I have found that does not compromise your Instagram account. Beware of any apps that say they will automatically post to Instagram for you because until Instagram gives this function the green light, you are risking closure of your account by using these sorts of apps that store your login information and publish for you.

Paypal: To process my online payments I always use Paypal. I have it fully integrated into my site so I never have to send a manual invoice or actively collect payment from customers- it’s all done for me automatically! If you don’t currently use a system to automatically process payments, I would suggest checking out Paypal as it’s very easy to use and integrates into many different online sales platforms.

Okay, so those are some automation tools I use on a daily basis to run my business and ensure my business is running smoothly even when I’m on vacation! I’d love to hear your automation tips, so feel free to leave me a comment below.

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

Do you want to be Smarter, Faster, Better?

Do you want to be Smarter, Faster, Better?

Do you want to be Smarter, Faster, Better?

As some of you may already know, this month I had the book Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg on my reading list. I picked up this book via Audible as soon as I heard it has been released on audiobook because I was such a fan of Duhigg’s first book, The Power of Habit. For his second book, Duhigg aimed his focus on the topic of productivity and like his first book, used a selection of case studies to illustrate situations where following or ignoring certain essential productivity principles lead to triumph or disaster. The interesting this about this book, however, is that the productivity principles discussed aren’t exactly the topics you normally think of when you think productivity like list making and setting timers, they are much more scientific and psychological, and like in The Power of Habit, speak to the essence of human nature and how we can learn to control it. There were a number of principles covered in the book, some that pertained to personal productivity and others that were relevant for businesses and teams, but there were three major productivity concepts that really spoke to me and I want to share those with you now.

1. Locus of Control

Reading through the chapter on motivation, Duhigg discussed the concept of the locus of control and how to stimulate your own internal locus of control to inspire you to get things done. What I had remembered of this concept from college psych that Duhigg illustrated via a story of how the U.S. Army trains new recruits was that the locus of control is the degree to which people believe they have control over their own lives. If you have a strong internal locus of control, you see the correlation between your actions and your life and are probably naturally a more productive person. People who have an external locus of control, on the other hand, do not see how their day to day actions affect their lives and often believe that a greater power dictates there situation. If something good happens to them, it was a gift from God, if something bad happens, it was a streak of bad luck- is how the thinking goes for example. The jist is, if you feel like you have power over your life, you are more likely to achieve more than someone who feels powerless or as though someone else has the wheel in their life. Now, to get back the internal locus of control, you need to take power back and motivate yourself into action, and Duhigg explains that you can do this two ways. First, you can frame the actions of your life as choices that put you in control of the outcome. Need to work on an important presentation at work, but keep getting distracted? Give yourself a choice to make like “Work on the reports first or design the slides?” By giving yourself a specific choice to make towards the option, you are taking back the internal locus of control to motivate yourself to act. The second way you can motivate yourself is to explain to yourself why you need to do something and tie it to something you value. For example “I need to work on this presentation now because if I do a good job and win the client, I can ask my boss for a raise!” So the next time you need to motivate yourself, try stimulating your locus of control with one or both of these methods.

2. Cognitive Closure

The need for cognitive closure was a new concept to me, but one I could recognize in my own life. Essentially, to varying degrees, humans experience a need for firm answers and decision making, and some people experience this need more so than others- hello type-A over here must always have cognitive closure or she goes nuts! So, essentially, the need for cognitive closure isn’t a bad or good thing, it’s just a human thing, and what can tend to happen is that those who have a high desire for it, tend to be better workers because they get things done and finish tasks. However, and this is a big however, sometimes the need for closure can cause people to avoid taking the right path or making the right decisions because those paths or decisions may create ambiguity. Now, the way I interpreted this whole discussion for my own personal productivity is that sometimes I avoid doing things that I don’t know how to do, or close myself off to opportunities because I’m not sure I see where they are going. I’d prefer to stay on a firm path and because of that, I may make decisions that make sense but are too safe. Now, in order to get yourself out of this mindset, the best thing to do is to find a mental model.  Mental models are examples that you can use to evaluate how you should be doing something. I’ve said this many times before here on my blog, but until you try something you don’t know how to do it. This is why experience is so highly valued in the workplace, not just because it means you have been in a specific situation before, but because you have a breadth of other experiences to help you model different situations that may be new to you. So, if you are setting yourself goals or trying to accomplish something new and your sense of reason is holding you back, find a mental model, an example, an anecdote, anything that will help guide you so know if you are on the right track!

3. Idea Brokering

I think by far this is my favorite concept from the book, and although I see this as more of a problem-solving technique than a true productivity strategy, I think more people need to understand and utilize it. Duhigg introduced the concept of idea brokering with a story about how West Side Story was developed into one of the best known and highly celebrated musicals of all time by some of the best minds across the genres of opera, ballet and musical theater. Essentially, idea brokering is a way of solving problems and creating innovation by taking inspiration from solutions in one area of study and applying them to a different area. We see examples of this all the time. Engineers who design vehicles that mimic the aerodynamics of birds, scientists who use viruses to create new living tissue, and designers who develop new faucet systems based off automotive valves. Idea brokers use an interdisciplinary knowledge to find creative solutions, and the way that you achieve this is by disrupting your own thought patterns and forcing yourself to look a problem from another angle. Now, most of you reading this probably aren’t worried about innovative design ideas, but you can apply this to issues in your own life when you have a problem, by forcing yourself into another perspective. Ask yourself how someone else might approach the problem, like a  friend or family member. Ask someone else to look at your problem and give you feedback. Or ask yourself if you know of any situation that your current problem reminds you of. Then, compare and contrast the situations to see if you can approach solving your new problem based on how you overcame a slightly different situation.

Overall, Smarter, Faster, Better definitely lived up to high standard set by Duhigg in The Power of Habit. In both books, he approached a common subject by illustrating uncommon strategies through compelling story telling and interesting case studies. If you haven’t read either book yet, I would suggest picking them up for an eye opening experience!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

How to Find the Best Planner for Your Purse?

How to Find the Best Planner for Your Purse

How to find the best planner for your purse

Are you looking for a recommendation for a planner that will fit in your purse? If so, you are in luck because I am going to give you some insight into the way I think about portable planners and planning on the go and hopefully give you some ideas on the best type of planner to keep with you in your bag. Whether you are toting your planner to and from the office, you are taking it with you to run errands, or you work from a mobile office scenario, there are plenty of reasons why you might be concerned about getting the right planner to fit inside your purse or briefcase! So, let’s get started by identifying your specific needs!

Do you need to bring your planner with you?

Obviously, the reason we are discussing the best planner for your purse is because you think you need to bring your planner around with you. But ask yourself, do you really need your planner with you or do you simply want to bring it with you? I love my planners as much as the next planner addict and for a long time I would tote that thing around in a big bag so I could have it by my side, just in case I needed it! I imagined myself sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office or at lunch with my husband, making notes and plans in the downtime, writing a grocery list, or generating new blog post or video ideas. But the truth was, I rarely ever pulled the planner out of my bag to do anything but admire it. Sitting in a waiting room at the dr’s office isn’t very conducive for taking notes. I always have a hard time writing in my planner when I’m not sitting at a desk or table and inevitably any notes I made while just sitting would end up looking like chicken scratch and my type A brain would make me re-write the list when I got home. Even at lunch, I might pull my planner out for a moment, but tuck it back into my bag worried that a drink or condiment might spill on it at the table. Point is, I carried around that planner for months and months before I realized it was just dead weight in my bag. Sure, I do have times occasionally when I do need to bring my planner out with me, but those occasions are few and far between. It stays in my office where it is safe and whenever I have information I may need to bring with me, like a shopping list, I pull that list page out of my planner and put it in my pocket or wallet so I have it with me. When I’m out and about and have an idea, I open up a notes application on my phone or send myself an email. So, think about it. Do you really need that planner with you? Be honest with yourself!

What exactly do you need with you?

Okay, so you if you got this far and you are sure you need your planner with you on the go, the next step to figuring out the best planner for your bag is to understand what exactly you need with you. Does your whole planner need to come with you, or can you use a more portable planner as a little sidekick in your purse? I am not a fan of the two planner system, but I do see situations where it can be useful. If you are someone who works at an office and you bring your planner to and from work with you, it may be a good idea for you to just keep a separate planner at work, particularly if you work at a job where you do not take your work home with you. If your work obligations end as soon as you leave the office, perhaps keeping a separate planner at work would be easier than toting one back and forth. Perhaps you are someone who keeps perfect records of their finances and expenses and you need a small planner to keep in your bag to track spending, make shopping lists, and note the occasional address? Having a pocket sized planner that doubles as a wallet may be a good supplement without having to take a larger planner with you. Finally, maybe you are someone who can make due with one smaller planner for everything in their life. A personal sized planner tends to fit in a variety of purses and many people make do with that size on a daily basis. Consider what you need this portable planner for and how much you really need with you to avoid carrying around unnecessary information and weight.

What is your everyday purse style?

Now, the final point we need to cover to determine the best planner for your purse is what style purse you actually carry. If you are a professional who works from a mobile office and needs everything with them from their hour by hour schedule, project notes, client information- the works – you probably already carry a large tote bag or briefcase that a larger planner would fit into. But, if you are used to a shoulder bag or cross body type, you will need to find a portable planner that fits into your smaller bag or resolve to carry a larger tote. Also, does your bag tend to be messy or orderly? The state of the interior of your bag will determine whether or not you need a zippered planner like this beauty from Kate Spade or if you should perhaps consider keeping your planner in it’s own storage bag to keep from damage. Many spiral or coil style planners like the MAMBI Happy Planner may need extra coverage in a purse because they lack protection- nothing is worse than the edges of your planner cover and pages bending or ripping. These are things to think about when choosing the best planner for your bag.

Making the best fit

Here are some things to consider when choosing the best planner for your purse. Keep in mind, these opinions are just from my own experience, but hopefully they will help you come to a decision about the best planner for your purse!

  • Pocket sized planners tend to fit in a variety of smaller bags and can double as a wallet if you need to save space in your bag.
  • Personal sized planners also work in many common styles of handbag and can also double as your everyday planner so no need to split up information.
  • A5 sized planners and larger would require a large tote or briefcase.
  • Softcover and/or spiral planners should be kept in their own storage bag or in their own compartment if being transported in a purse or briefcase.
  • Filofax planners tend to be on the slimmer side as opposed to Kikki K planners which are often wider, puffier and have larger rings.
  • If your planner will be on the go often, opt for a zipper style closure as opposed to a button or elastic closure that leaves the edges of your planner exposed.
  • Keep in mind the material of your planner, some leathers are extremely durable and easy to clean in comparison to vegan leather options, and cloth exteriors are also difficult to keep clean if they are being handled in a variety of locations.
  • Charms or embellished paperclips that stick out of your planner may be a bad idea for your on the go planner as they can get easily damaged in transport.

Other resources

I hope this post helped you to determine the best planner for your purse! Obviously, this post was designed to help you figure out first and foremost whether or not you need to bring your planner with you on the go, so hopefully you have some clarity on that going forward and can make the best choice for you! Of course, if you do decide on a on-the-go planner, I’d love to see your selection, so make sure to take a picture, post it to Twitter or Instagram, tag me @MissTrenchoat and use #CharmedGTD in your description so others in the community can get inspiration from your planner as well!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

The 4 Things I Did to Uplevel My Business

The 4 Things I Did to Uplevel My Business

The 4 Things I did to Uplevel My Business

My business has definitely been built in stages. There is no overnight success to be seen here, just a lot of long term planning, hard work and consistent effort. In each clear stage of my business there have been changes or upgrades I have made that ultimately resulted in my business growing into the next stage, and in time I have always been able to look back and see that it was this a specific catalyst that helped me grow my business to the next level. Today, I want to share with you 4 things I did to up level my business that had a clear impact on my growth, the impact it had on my business and provide some analysis for why it was a game changer. Hopefully, you can spend some time reflecting on these items to determine if you also are ready to up level your business in a certain area and reap the rewards of upgrading tools or strategies.

#1: Moved from Blogger to WordPress

What I did: Upgraded to a self hosted website from a free Blogger site I had been using for years to host my blog.

Impact on my business: Sky-rocketed my blog traffic and page views, and then later gave me a ready made platform to create my online shop.

Analysis: For years I had used a free Blogger/Blogspot account to host my blog, but eventually I knew it was time to upgrade to a self hosted WordPress site if I wanted to go from hobby-blogger to serious-blogger. Luckily, WordPress has many free plugins available to help make that migration from Blogger to WordPress much simpler and it only took me a weekend and an investment of about $200 to get my new site up and running. Almost immediately I could see the impact it had on my traffic and page views. Having a self hosted website is much better for your SEO (search engine optimization) than a free blog site, and my page views grew steadily over the coming months and years. Although I have garnered a pretty large following through social media, I still find that the majority of the traffic to my site comes from organic search results and SEO, and I know I have many regular readers who came to me, not through YouTube or social but through a search engine to my site and shop. SEO has been integral for helping the passive income for my business grow and upgrading to self hosted WordPress was the catalyst for this growth.

#2: Upgraded to a DSLR Camera

What I did: Purchased a DSLR camera and learned to use it!

Impact on my business: Greater following on social and YouTube.

Analysis: Once I started using a DSLR camera, the quality of my pictures and videos increased dramatically. This had a positive affect on many areas of my business, including my blog, Instagram and YouTube. Almost immediately, I began to see my followers on Instagram increase as I posted nicer pictures regularly. My blog page views increased as well as my images were getting more hits in search and they picked up significantly on Pinterest as well which in turn drove traffic to my blog and shop. Once I started using my DSLR for video, it took me some time to find the sweet spot for filming and the right lenses to use, but the improvement in the quality of my videos was noticeable. Online marketing has become increasing visual and the quality of your images and video really make a big impact in the polish and professionalism of your business as well as the marketability of your content online.

#3: Found a Business Mentor

What I did: Began working closely with a business mentor.

Impact on my business: Greater clarity for my business, generated new products and revenue streams.

Analysis: I found a business mentor early in 2015, or should I say, she found me! We clicked immediately and through our frequent chats, I gained new insight into the direction I wanted to take my business. 2015 was a big year for me revenue-wise, I was able to introduce many new products and revenue streams that helped propel my business forward in leaps and bounds. Having someone to bounce ideas off of and to challenge me to think about my business in different ways was a priceless experience that really helped empower me.

#4: Automated my Social Media

What I did: Began using social media automation tools that allow me to pre-create and schedule content to fill my feed in certain platforms.

Impact on my business: Established a promotion plan for specific platforms while also giving myself back time.

Analysis: Whenever you can automate actions in your business it is a time saver and it frees you up to do something different or more productive with your time. I started using the social media scheduler Edgar earlier this summer and since then I have put my promotion for Twitter and Facebook on autopilot. Since Twitter and Facebook are not two of the platforms that I actively create for, it was helpful to me to establish a regular posting schedule in these peripheral platforms while also spending as little time as possible managing them. Since implementing this change, I have seen sales of certain products rise, which shows me that these promotion efforts are working, even if I’m not working on them!

I hope you gained some insight from this post in understanding how certain changes can help you up level your business in different ways. Whether it was increased revenue, more traffic or just time I gave back to myself, every once in a while you advance your business in ways that have a positive collateral affect that changes the way you do business for the better!  

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

Do You Experience ASMR? {Productivity Playlist September 2016}

Do You Experience ASMR?

As I recently shared in my weekly email newsletter (sign up here if you aren’t already) I am kind of obsessed with ASMR videos on YouTube. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response and it is essentially that relaxing, tingling feeling you get down your spine when you hear, feel or see a relaxing trigger. What these triggers are can vary from person to person and not everyone experiences ASMR. If you are someone who gets those chills or tingles when someone brushes or plays with your hair, you are most likely susceptible to it. I am majorly susceptible to it- to the extent that it relaxes me, puts me to sleep and makes me feel euphoric. Now, it just so happens that there is a community of creators on YouTube who make videos for the express purpose of triggering the ASMR response for those who, like me, enjoy it. I’ll be honest, sometimes these videos seem a little odd, they often include lots of soft whispering and even role-play, but I have been using these videos to relax and fall asleep at night. If you have trouble sleeping or relaxing, you may want to check out some of my favorite videos, I will leave some for you here to enjoy. Just a word of advice for you, you should definitely wear headphones while watching, make sure you are in a comfortable seated or lying position, and keep an open mind. Some of the content may seem strange but it’s oddly soothing and if you are someone who experiences ASMR you will know it after one of these videos. Enjoy!



Do you experience ASMR? Let me know how you enjoyed these videos and if you have any others you want to recommend to me, leave me some links as well!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

The 5 Ways to Get that Fresh Start Feeling All Year Long!

5 Ways to Get that Fresh Start Feeling All Year Long!

September is officially here, fall is right around the corner and from my years spent in school this time of year has always come to represent a fresh start for me in my life. As some of you may already know, I had a very busy summer buying, fixing up and moving into my first home with my husband. September is here and I have wiped my slate clean and have decided to approach the last leg of this year with a new game plan and perspective. So, today I want to share with you my 5 strategies for getting a fresh start feeling all year long. No matter what day or month it is, you too can refresh your life and create a new plan to move forward and achieve your goals and these tips are going to help guide you to fresh start success!

1. Choose a fresh start date

People consider many things a fresh start date, new years, birthday, back to school, Mondays… but you can choose any date that you prefer, the date is truly arbitrary. Try to tie this date to something significant for you, like the end of a project or the start of a new season.

2. Refresh your planner

Buy a new planner or reorganize your old one. There is a reason that many planners start up in the summer months and then run 17-18 months. Because people do tend to need a fresh start after summer. If you are looking for a new planner, I would highly suggest checking out my Charmed Life Planner, not just because it is my planner, but because I have heard from many people who have been using the Charmed Life Planner that is has really helped them to get organized. If you are a lister, or someone who likes to lay their plans all out and see everything, this planner really has a lot of awesome features that you won’t want to miss including project master lists and expense pages!

3. Clean up your space

Nothing says fresh start like a clean workspace or home. Once you have a date set for your fresh start, get your space set for a true fresh start feeling by taking some time to clean and organize your life.

4. Find a few new office supplies or accessories

I know that its a bit dangerous for me to tell a bunch of stationery lovers to buy new office supplies, but the truth is that a few new special items can really bring a sense of significance to your arbitrary refresh date. Make sure to pick up items that you actually want to use, and not just items that you want to look at and hoard. These goodies need to be your reward and to make the biggest impact you need to be using and enjoying your new things.

5. Decide on a new project and take 1 step right now

The reason many of us are looking for a fresh start is because we feel like something didn’t go well with the previous one! We weren’t being productive or we weren’t making progress on an important goal or project that was important to us. So pick a special project, it can be for work, school or home and make that the first thing you work on with your fresh start. Nothing gets you off to a good start the way a new project does so pick a project and take one step immediately to getting that project accomplished. This could mean simply writing out a project plan for the project in question, or it could mean finding an accountability buddy to help keep you in check with your progress, or if can mean getting down to work and knocking out related tasks! The important part is that you decide what you are going to do and start doing it- nothing is more motivating than that!

So, now I have some action items for you! Take out something to write on or takes notes with and I am going to ask you a few questions and I want you to write down the first thing that comes to mind. I want a gut reaction here, not a well thought out response because if you really want that refresh you need to be honest with yourself about these questions. You ready?

1. What date in the near future is the soonest you could schedule your refresh? Think about significant events in your life, perhaps obligations that are ending soon that would free up some of your time or new obligations that are starting up that you’d like to be at your best for. Write down that date and get it scheduled into your calendar!

2. What about your current planner system isn’t working? Write down any issues you are facing so you can address those head on!

3. What area of your home or office would you dread having to clean up or organize? That’s the area that you are going to need to clean up first and trust me, once you do a weight is going to lift from your shoulders!

4. What office supply or stationery item have you been coveting but haven’t purchased out of an excersize in self control? If you can afford it, I want you to buy it for yourself as soon as you are done with the mess you need to organize from the previous question!

5. What is the single goal or project you really wanted to have started or completed this year that would make you truly feel like you accomplished something important? That’s the project you need to start on first!

Good news! If you followed along with this post and engaged the way I had suggested, you have not only learned my 5 strategies for getting a fresh start feeling anytime of year, but you also have a plan with 5 action items for you to get started with to get your fresh start underway? See, it works like a charm! Now it’s your turn to tell me how you are going to refresh yourself for the coming fall. Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

The 5 Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Getting Page Views

The 5 Reasons Your Blog Isn't Getting Page Views

The 5 Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Getting Page Views

No matter how much I write and share about strategies to use for building up your blog following, I am always confronted with readers who believe they are doing everything right and still wonder why they are not receiving much traffic to their blogs. Whenever I look into these cases, I tend to see many of the same issues over and over again that are keeping these bloggers from reaching their potential despite their best efforts. I know first hand how exhausting and demoralizing it can be to work very hard at something, thinking you are making all the right choices but are oblivious to the major errors you are facing that are holding you back. In this post I would like to share with you the 5 most popular reasons I find that blogs do not get page views.

#1. You don’t have a following yet online

This is a big one. If you are starting a blog, not seeing many page views, and don’t have a following online elsewhere, you can’t really expect much traffic until you are creating a fair amount of content on your blog to draw a crowd. I believe that it takes a few months of steady, high-quality content creation to gain a steady stream of page views via SEO (search engine optimization, the process by which you affect the visibility of your site’s content in search results). From there you really need to do more promotion yourself to get your blog’s name out there and I’ll talk more about that a little later on in this post!

#2. You’re not posting consistently

Like I said above, consistent posting for a significant period of time is necessary before you can expect to see results in the form of page views. This means defining the number of times you will post, the format and the types of topics you will post about and sticking to it! I know that consistency can be hard to establish in terms of your quality when you are first starting off blogging, and to some extent, I think it’s important to spend some time working on the craft of blogging so that you can develop your own style, but if you are looking for quicker results, you really need to do your research into other popular blogs to understand the level of quality that is expected in order to gain popularity. In order to gain significant page views, your blog will need to be consistent with the level of quality expected of popular blogs if you plan to be one of them!

#3. There is no cohesive theme to your blog posts

This is a common problem I see very frequently with people just starting out, but also with those who have been blogging for a significant period of time (about a year) but haven’t seen much of an upturn in page views. I can’t tell you the number of times I go to a blog and as I read through the posts, I ask myself, what is this blog about? Post topics are too general, and although they may be well written and have nice images accompanying the posts, their is so cohesion that helps me, as the reader, understand whether or not I want to read this blog consistently. To address this issue, I want you to create a quick elevator pitch for your content. If someone asked you what your blog is about, how would you respond in a few sentences? If your explanation includes terms like “variety”, “general”, “broad” or is defined as a documentation of your personal life, most likely the theme of your content is too vague for readers to develop a personal connection to it. I realize that you may think having variety in your posts will mean you will appeal to a broader audience, but that philosophy is actually the complete opposite of the one you should execute on when blogging. It’s better to be more specific, more specialized and as niche as you can be. Not so niche that you isolate yourself from most of the world, but then again, I bet you’d get more page views being incredibly niche than you would being incredibly general. To combat this, choose just a few topics for your blog posts but make sure they all roll up to a central unifying theme and stick to it. You may find that once you have the unifying theme that you can actually just tweak some of your old content to better fit the theme so that you aren’t wasting old content, but repurposing it to flow well with your new direction.

#4. You’re not using great images

If you aren’t using images in your blog posts, you are missing a significant source of SEO. Not only do images add interest to your blog posts, but they are also the quickest way to form a connection between your content and your reader. Using great images to help illustrate your content will add to the richness of your reader experience. Make sure to use images at the start of your blog posts, and throughout long posts to break up long walls of text. Make sure your images are large enough to fill the width of your blog post and whenever possible use real images and photographs as opposed to text graphics or illustrations. Most of all, make sure you have the right to use all images you post on your site or else you are in danger of a copyright violation. The way I prevent copyright violations on my blog is to always use my own images. I take nearly 100% of the images I use in my posts with very few exceptions coming from fair use images. If you would like to learn more about how I take my own images and start developing your own photography for your website or blog, click here to learn more about Styled Stock Photography!

#5. You’re not promoting your content

This is another common issue and it’s important to remedy this, especially if you don’t already have much of a following online because the good content that you create on your blog is the best selling point to get you loads of new followers on social media! When it comes to promoting you content, I find that the best thing to do is to identify one two two social media platforms that you enjoy and find yourself spending a lot of time on. No matter what the platform is, it can be leveraged to help you promote your content and gain a following. Once you have decided on the platforms you want to use, I suggest finding out everything about how they operate and what great content on that platform looks like. In my Empire Building Communication Workbook, I cover the major social platforms (including blogs) and share the secrets and strategies to mastering each. Once you understand what content does well on those platforms, you should create similar content related to your blog posts. Yes, you will need to develop a consistent schedule with this platform as well, but if you understand what does well and mimic it with your account, your content will shine and you will gain new followers and traffic to your blog.

I hope this post has been helpful to you if you have been struggling to identify why your own blog isn’t gaining traction on page views. Leave a comment down below with which issue you believe you have a problem with and we can brainstorm some additional strategies to help you work past this hump in no time!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

The 5 Pillar System to Building a Successful Online Business

3 Apps to Help You Find Focus

Focus@Will Productivity Boosting App

3 Apps to Help You Find Focus

As a geeky girl and self-proclaimed productivity guru, I test out a lot of apps that claim various benefits to your mental state and motivation and I thought it was about time that I shared the top 3 apps that I really do believe live up to the hype.

Zen Meditation

I’ve been talking about this app for years. It really is my go-to app when I’m feeling mentally wiped and need a reboot during the day. It’s not a miracle worker, of course! It’s not going to keep you awake and productive in the middle of the night when it’s time to sleep, but I find that when I am just a little tired, or my head is feeling cloudy, that I can use this app for 20-30 minutes, maybe even during an hour nap, and when I am done, I’m really so much more refreshed then I would be just sitting quietly for that time. I first started using this app years ago when I worked in an office and often felt that afternoon slump. So I got into the habit of turning my lights off and closing my door for about a half hour with this app on and the calming music layered with the gentle binaural brainwave hum really help turn my brain back on. Of course, you need to pay attention to the settings on the app and make sure you are setting it for the right time of day because this app can help you fall asleep just as easily as it can help refocus your mind. The soundtrack and brainwave options you choose dictate all that which is why I love this versatile app for day and night.

Focus @ Will

In my last productivity playlist I shared some of my favorite classical music with you. It’s no secret that classical music has been scientifically proven to help increase focus while you are working and that is why I have relied on it for so long. There are just certain types of sounds and music that really do help you get your mind in the right place and the app Focus @ Will is a subscription based sound machine app that gives you an array of classical music and new-age playlists that you can play during your workday to get focused. It’s always crazy to me how much more I accomplish when I listen to these playlists!

Headspace

If you haven’t noticed, I’m also a big fan of guided meditation, but it is so hard time find a good, free or low cost guided meditation app. I’m never afraid to pay for a good app but when it comes to meditation, its so subjective and it’s good to be able to test an app without having to shell out cash for it. That’s what I love about headspace. First of all, it is a well done guided mediation app that I find perfect for anyone who loves or even those who aren’t sure about guided meditation. But it’s even more awesome because you can download it for free, test it out with a beginners meditation series and then upgrade from there. And the beginner meditation series is excellent, they clearly put a lot of time and effort into creating a quality product which I don’t always find with other meditation apps.

I love new app recommendations so if you have one you love for finding focus, tell me about it in the comments please!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

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