3-WAYS-TO-SPICE-OLD-BLOG-POSTS

I never really understood the power of repurposing blog posts until I began struggling with new topics and my blog was at a standstill! I mean let’s face it… when the schedule gets busy and the ideas dry up, then what?

Over the past few months, I’ve learned not to create extra work for myself when it comes to blogging. When I’ve run out of ideas, I just repurposed what I already had, hit publish, and watched the numbers increase! Since this strategy has helped me, I’m going to help you by sharing 3 super easy tips to help you spice up your old blog posts and increase your site traffic!

1.) Change the Cover Photos

One of the easiest ways to update your old blog posts is to freshen up the cover photos. Times change, your audience changes, and so should your designs. My advice is when creating your cover photos, is to create up to three for your blog and up to four or five for your pinterest images. Here’s how I do my break down for a blog post:

  • Blog – create 2 cover photos
  • Pinterest – create 3-4 pin covers
  • Instagram – have 2 images in mind to post on different days [one is usually a selfie and the other is a random picture that may fit my theme]

2.) Change the Titles

Changing the titles of your blog posts are also important. You’d be surprised at how big of a role your title plays on your engagement. When I first started blogging, my titles were either too long or too specific that there wasn’t an incentive for clicking the post. Over the course of the past few months, I’ve learned how to play with my titles and make them work in my favor. Some tips on titles are:

  • Use numbers [3 reasons why… ; 5 lessons I learned; 30 blog titles for…]
  • Use Hashtag Words [#CoffeeTalk, #Style Guide]
  • Create ‘Reasons Why’ Posts [4 Reasons Why… ; Here’s Why You Need…]

3.) Change Parts of the Post

Sometimes the content of our posts needs to be freshened up too, especially if other blog posts related to the topic have been created! One thing to do with old posts, is to add new information or lessons, and to link newer posts to the old posts and old posts to newer posts. I love linking my old post to my new posts because I knock two birds out with one stone!

Hopefully you found these three quick tips helpful and useful! If you have any tips of your own to share, drop them below so we all can see!!

Talk to ya’ll soon!

xoxo,

Raee

march-recap-april-goals

I did horrible with my March goals, BUT that’s okay, because April is a new month! LOL.

March was a good month for me blogging wise. My page views increased by about 250 views from last month, so I’m super happy about that. This month, my focus was career readiness and I think they were very beneficial to my readers. You can check out a few of my popular posts this month below:

  • Landing Your Dream Internship – Part 1 —->>> here
  • Landing Your Dream Internship – Part 2 —->>> here

April Goals:

  • Get 1000 page views- I just hit 700 so I’m almost there!
  • Guest post on another blog.
  • Create more fashion/beauty content
  • Lose 10 pounds overall
  • Pay off one upcoming vacation!

This month, I’m refocusing my goals and am hoping to achieve them in a slow and steady way, if that makes sense. Blogging wise, my focus has been on turning it into a profitable blog, but I really don’t think I’m there yet. So going forward, my focus is going to just be creating good, quality content.

I’m excited about keeping you guys updated this month! I’ll talk to ya’ll later!

xoxo,

Raee

how-to-start-a-blog

Starting a blog can be an overwhelming process if you let it be. The good news, is that it doesn’t have to be. I’ve created a step-by-step guide in helping you start a blog. The bonus is, that you can start it for the low and not break your pockets in the process.

1.) The Hostess With the Mostess

I am not a tech savvy person and if you’re anything like me, then you also try to look for the easiest, most understandable technology there is. This was a major factor in deciding which platform I wanted to host my blog on. After reading blog after blog and review after review, I finally settled on WordPress.

For me, WordPress was basic enough for me to understand what to do without messing it up. Plus, I had previous experience working with WordPress in the past during my entertainment blogger days; it felt like a perfect fit. To customize my blog, I did a simple Google search of ‘feminine WordPress blog themes’ and came across Pipdig. I love Pipdig because all of their templates were crisp and clean AND their customer service was unmatched. They also have a very indepth and detailed FAQ section that helps users with anything blog related from setting up a blog to monetizing a blog.

start a blog

If I’m being honest, my Pipdig template was probably the most expensive thing I purchased for my blog. The template ran me a smooth $59, but hey, I love it and still think it was worth the purchase. Once I installed my theme, I dove headfirst into naming all of my pages, creating and linking my social media, and wrote my first welcome post! One thing I do want to point out about WordPress is there are two options to consider when creating your blog. The first option is to host on WordPress [www.yourblog@wordpress.com] and the other option is to self-host on WordPress [www.yourblog.com]. The pros and cons of each are the following:

WordPress Shared Hosting:

  • Pros:
    • Completely free
    • Low maintenance
    • Automatic updates
  • Cons:
    • Limited functionality in regards to options and customization
    • Not ideal for sites with large numbers of traffic [which is your goal]

WordPress Self-Hosting:

  • Pros:
    • Completely customize-able
    • Can sell advertisements and merchandise
  • Cons:
    • Have to pay for it
    • Have to stay up to date with the updates

If you are interested in self-hosting, then I’d definitely recommend GoDaddy. I’ve been working with them for years now and haven’t had any issues yet. Set up is fairly easy and any questions you have, you can direct them to their 24-hour customer service team who is so friendly, even at 3 in the morning!

Action Step: Decide what your blogging topic[s] will be and the projected purpose of your blog. From there, create a resource list to help you along the way. You can use my blog start up worksheet I used to help you fine tune the direction of you blog!

2.) Spice It Up

So I know that you’re hype right now because you finally set your site up! Congrats sis! Now, comes the fun part: making it yours! In the beginning stages of my blog, I struggled A LOT with finding pictures online that wouldn’t get me sued, fined, or ceased and delivered. I also didn’t have the money to be able to take constant photo shoots and edit them on fancy software to make them look appealing. So what did I do? Hopped on the interwebs and did some detective work to find free stock photos. It took me a few hours, but I finally hit the mother load.

My favorite sites to get pictures for my blog posts are Pexels [everyday style stock photos] and Styledstock.co. [fashion forward, clean stock photos]. To turn these pictures into visual content and graphics, I use Canva. Canva is a free design program with HUNDREDS of templates for you to create any kind of graphic your heart desires. Canva is also great because they allow you to upload unlimited photos of your choice when creating a visual design. The best thing about spicing your blog up aside from you creating your vision is that you can create your vision for the FREE!

starting a blog

Image courtesy of Pexel

3.) Creating Content

Here’s where the heavy works come in. Do you have your pen and notepad by you? Yeah? Good.

*deep sigh*

Creating blog posts in my opinion is an east challenge. I know that doesn’t make sense, but follow along with me. In the beginning it’s a challenge because you’re just trying to post something that sticks. Then that challenge turns into struggling coming up with blog topics and so on. But suddenly there’s a shift… you get into a groove and it becomes easy. At least it has somewhat for me.

Every blogger has their own style and way of creating blog posts, and you will cultivate your own style over time.

Blog Topics:

The written content of your blog can come from literally anywhere because there’s inspiration literally everywhere. The best way to always have fresh content is to stay active in what’s going on in the ‘world.’ What hot topics are being discussed? What books have a lesson that someone can benefit from? What branding lesson did you learn from Company A’s project roll out? There’s literally something always to write about. In addition to that, your audience wants to be able to connect with you. The easiest way to do that is to offer some personal stories and spin it into a life lesson to them.

Blog Photos:

We already touched on this but remember, relevant pics from FREE stock photo sites. Your phone camera can work wonders too if you know what you’re doing!

Blog Posts:

You’ve made it this far and this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. My best and only advice for creating a blog post is to stay true to you and your voice. When I first started, I was trying to sound like my favorite bloggers who found success. I thought if my voice sounded like theirs, then I would get support. In the end it was too much [living two lives] and I wasn’t myself at all. I decided to continue forward with MY voice and I’ve seen slow, but great success ever since.

Action Step: Follow the steps above. Check for grammar mistakes [Grammarly is a big help]. Don’t overthink it. Hit publish!

4.) Promote, Promote, Promote

If you thought your work was done because you published your first post, you thought horribly wrong. The work is just beginning. The only way people will know about your blog and your work is if you promote yourself. Now a lot of bloggers suggest promoting yourself across ALL social media platforms. I’m not knocking that tip at all, but in considering what works for me, that doesn’t. Promoting across all platforms was too much and too time consuming. So I focused on 3: Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Deciding which social media to use also depends on your audience. I personally don’t use my personal Facebook often so to get buy in for my blog from my followers was going to be a challenge. I knew that I engaged a lot on Twitter and Instagram and that would be my safest bet and it has been so far. Every time you hit publish on a post, it’s time to upload that link SOMEWHERE to start growing your following.

Action Steps:

  1. Create social media accounts [if you haven’t already].
  2. Link post on social media.
  3. Attach visually appealing, relevant image.
  4. Include captivating caption.
  5. Include relevant hashtags.
  6. Retweet, repin, repost, etc.
  7. Repeat step 6 a few hours later! 🙂

Take It a Step Further: Get my FREE blogging worksheet to help you gain clarity on creating your blog, deciding who your audience, and everything you need to set your blog up!

So you see how easy it is to start your blog!? I created my blog for a smooth $82 which is relatively cheap! Now that you know what to do, make sure to download my free worksheet to get you started on the road of creating an amazing blog!

Don’t forget to keep up with my on Twitter and Instagram! Drop your blogs in the comment section as I’d love to read them!

xoxo,

Raee

start a blolg

 

5 hard lessons blogging

Am I crazy that even though I’ve had 50 Shades of Raee for over a year, I consider this my first full month of blogging? If you’ve been rocking with me since day one, then you know that over the course of my journey, I’ve had to take breaks – long ones. For one, balancing graduate school and work was just too much for me to handle and then when I got back into it, self- doubt put a stop on my motivation. Now, I’m back and better and am excited about the upcoming content I’m coming with!

I took some time out to reflect on this path month regarding what I’ve learned so far and what I should’ve done differently and wanted to share with you all.

Here are five hard lessons that I’ve learned so far in my first month of blogging.

 

Lesson 1: You Have to Remember Your Focus

It’s easy with all of the content being dished out from other bloggers to want to try what they’re doing to see if it’ll stick. But that’s the biggest mistake to make! Whatever reasons you have for creating your blog, remember not to lose focus on you. If you want a travel blog, then focus on travel. Fashion? Work on dishing out quality style content. Whatever it is that your blog is about, keep that focus and keep it on you and no one else.

Lesson 2: Engagement Is Hard But It Matters

This was and still is one of the biggest things that I’m struggling with. Engagement is hard simply because it requires effort from other people. It is truly a challenge to get people to care enough about what you have to say to support you! For me, my question before I press ‘publish’ is, “Is this enough for someone to care?” If the answer is no, I go back to the drawing board. But engagement doesn’t just stop at posts. It deals with you engaging on social media also. Are you liking people’s posts? Do you ever leave quality comments? How about that Twitter conversation you see. Do you ever chime in? If the answer is no, then it’s time you consider how you can boost your engagement!

Lesson 3: Your Theme Is Actually Important

I would see other bloggers constantly talk about how important having a cohesive theme for your blog is and to be honest, I never paid them too much attention, until I started transitioning my blog into a brand. Now, I’m learning just how important your theme actually is and how it needs to be consistent across your social media platforms. The good thing about themes is that it can be completely customizable and you can use whatever colors and aesthetic you’d like.

 

 

For my blog, I knew that I wanted a crisp yet classy theme that had touches of femininity. As far as my colors, my two favorite colors are pink and black. If you look at my blog and all of my other social media platforms, you’ll see pink and black somewhere in the mix. This is important because when it’s my work, my followers will know and new followers will see the same thing across the board.

Lesson 4: Comparison Kills

I had to learn the hard way that comparison kills. Comparing yourself and your journey to other people will keep you grasping for straws and searching for something that will stick! I had to learn quickly to enjoy my blogging journey and to appreciate my blog for what it was. My blog is a representation of me and includes topics and content that I find interesting and that my audience will find interesting. I’m only in competition with myself and that’s how I move. As you are on your blogging journey, focus on yourself and ensure that your audience hears your voice and not the voice of three other bloggers rolled in one.

Lesson 5: Consistency Is Vital

Whewwwwww!!! This is a lesson that I’m still learning. But in sum,

Consistency Matters!

Consistency Matters!

Consistency Matters!

At the end of the day, if you want your blog to grow, you have to be consistent. If you want more followers and more engagement, you have to be consistent. If you want your blog to turn into a brand, you have to be consistent. Now for me, it’s almost like calling the kettle black, because consistency is hard for me, especially when I have life and work going on. But I will say, I’ve gotten A LOT better at it due to my editorial calendar! My advice is to take small steps when aiming for consistency. If you know you’re going to get burned out from posting four times a week, then only post twice a week and fill in your day spaces with social media posts instead! Do what works for you as long you stay consistent!

—Have you learned anything in your blogging journey? If so, leave a comment below and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

 

hard lessons learned blogging - pinterest

You’ve talked several times about how teaching was never a thought of yours but now you love it, or so it seems. How long have you been teaching and how did you become a teacher when you didn’t go to school for it? I’ve been thinking about becoming a teacher but I just don’t think it’s for me.

I’m currently in my third year of teaching, and yes I do love it! The student/teacher relationships are definitely unmatched and I’ve been BLESSED to have a great group of kids every year I’ve been in the classroom. I’m not sure where you live, but if you’re in Texas, becoming a teacher isn’t hard. I have an entire post dedicated to how I became a teacher and other questions people were asking me regarding becoming a teacher. Lastly, just because YOU don’t think teaching is for you, doesn’t mean it’s not. If you’ve been thinking about becoming one, then figure out why that idea has been on your mind. Do your research and go after it!

 

First off, I admire your blog because you really post some motivational and inspirational things. Secondly, how do you manage your time? LOL. You mentioned you were in grad school before, and you’re a teacher, you have this blog, and you travel quite a bit [I stalked your Insta! Sorry]. How do you do it?

Well, thank you so much! I’m glad to hear compliments like that because sometimes, I just really don’t know! LOL. But managing my time… man! In short, I’m just a very good planner. Every morning before I get out of the bed, I think about how I’m going to structure my day and what I need to do. I don’t really write out ‘to-do’ lists because, for the most part, my days run pretty much the same. When I’m at work, I prepare for work [lesson plans, grading, assignments, etc]., so that way after work, I can focus on the blog or on my grad school assignments. I do have a planner where I write out the things that I need to do and I just make the time to do it, to be honest. When I know I have a trip coming up, I work in overdrive to get as much done before the trip since I know I’ll be exhausted when I come back. If you’d like an in-depth look at how I plan and manage my time, then let me know, but in sum, that’s really all that I do!

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog that has a unique topic just like yours. Where did you get the push to start such a unique type of blog like yours?

If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, stop thinking and just do it! Seriously! The more you think about it, the more you won’t do it! As far as myself, before 50 Shades became what it currently is, it was an entertainment/pop culture type of blog. I was so busy and that type of news was always changing, that I couldn’t keep up with it to stay consistent and of course, nobody was looking at it. I took a break and prayed and the ‘push’ I think you’re talking about, was my sign from God. A Christian lifestyle blog is not new to the blogging world; it’s scarce but definitely not new! I would strongly encourage you to check out other blogs that may be similar to the niche you’re interested in and see whats out there. Then, I would encourage you to just do it. There is ALWAYS someone who will be interested in whatever it is you’re talking about!

What advice would you give someone who just experienced a very bad breakup? My boyfriend broke up with me after 6 years and I just feel so lost now. He was supposed to be the man that I was going to marry.

I’m sorry to hear about that! Breakups are HARD! I remember my first real breakup, I was devastated and it really changed me because I became bitter. It took me years to get over him. My advice to you may be a little harsh, but needed: light a candle, take a bath, cry, and pick yourself back up. Your focus may need to shift on something else like yourself or even your relationship with God. As emotional creatures, we put our entire selves into the hearts of another, and that’s where we mess up. If you feel lost because you are no longer with that man, then you didn’t need to be with that man in the first place. That man doesn’t MAKE you whole… you make yourself whole and he is supposed to add to that. Furthermore, if he was really the man you were supposed to marry, you would be married right? Remember that you’re a queen. Everything happens for your good in the end. It’s going to suck and it’s going to hurt! But delete him, block him from all social sites, don’t open yourself up to anymore pain. I promise you in time, you’re going to be okay and the husband your ‘supposed’ to marry, will make his way to marry you!

Have you thought about starting a YouTube page? I love your blog and your style of writing, but I also think a YouTube page where you do inspirational videos or whatever would be great for you also?!

This is so crazy you asked me that because a friend of mine that I reconnected with over the weekend suggested that I start one also. LOL. I have thought about one. The only thing that’s stopping me is content and time. That’s an idea that I would have to flesh out a little bit more to see how effective it would actually be to my overall vibe, but I’m definitely open to it. If I decide to do it, of course, I’ll let it be known!

 

Thank you for your questions! I’m loving Quick Chat and I hope you are too! As always, email me your questions at 50shadesofraee@gmail.com or DM me on Insta! See you next week!



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