Guest Post: How to Turn Your Garage into a Photo Studio

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: When I lived in Kanata (Ottawa), I remember so many houses in my neighbourhood having garages that served another purpose other than storing your car (& that tent you haven’t touched since Junior High). Some people created another room to their home, while some used it as a ‘man cave’. What about using it as the space you create and/or conduct business? Guest blogger, Maurine Anderson, is sharing tips and tricks on how to turn your garage into your very own photo studio! Continue reading “Guest Post: How to Turn Your Garage into a Photo Studio”

Guest Post: 5 Mens Fashion Tips to Dress Like an Elegant Entrepreneur

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: Being an Entrepreneur is one thing but looking the part really helps ‘seal the deal’ by giving you a more professional look. No matter how you want to look at it, the way you present yourself really does matter, especially when it comes down to first impressions. Today’s guest post from one of my regulars, Claire Ashley from Mens Suit Habit, is aimed at helping men look the part of the elegant entrepreneur. Continue reading “Guest Post: 5 Mens Fashion Tips to Dress Like an Elegant Entrepreneur”

Guest Post: Four Stages of Blogging Success

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: When you first start a blog, you never realize how much work really goes into it. There are some days where I have a million things going on in my life that pull me away from my blog that is why being organized is key. If you’re thinking about starting a blog or have just launched yours and now are wondering ‘what next?’, today’s guest post by Christine H. will be an informative and timely read.

Many people start a blog thinking that it’ll just be a hobby; but if you want to be able to generate revenue from it, it requires a lot more than a hobby’s worth of investment. It will take time, education, consistency, and a clever game plan in order to be successful.

As an online marketer in a company that focuses on SEO, I’ve learned a few things about what makes a site thrive. Every blog will be different, but it might be helpful to see a brief outline of a game plan that can help your blog’s launch be successful. As with all marketing and communication ventures, an integrated and time-released approach can help you get the most out of the work that you do.

[ Stage 1: Setup ]

Did you know that Google has a time delay on how they rank websites? It’s very difficult for a new site to get any kind of traction on search results during the first few months of its existence. This is Google’s way of weeding out sites that pop up and then quickly lapse as the webmaster or blogger loses interest quickly. That’s why the earlier that you start your blog, the better!

This is your time to figure out all the technical aspects of your blog. Choose a host, a CMS platform, a name and domain. Pick a theme and tagline, and fill out your “about me” section.

This stage of development can be the most fun, but it can also be difficult to get the impetus you need to get going. Remember that you can change the appearance of your blog whenever you want, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it perfect from the get-go. The site will grow and develop as you do!

[ Stage 2: Content, Content, Content! ]

The key to a successful site is valuable content. Why else would people come visit? Most search engines value original content more than any other factor. Readers, commenters, and fans will naturally follow when you put out high-quality and steady content. So, before you start to worry about marketing and social media, make sure that visitors have a comfortable place to visit. Set yourself a content schedule and try to create something new regularly.

At the beginning, brainstorm some topics you want to write about. Think about certain series that you could do. Research topical ideas, like focusing on mental health month or talking about the hype before a big movie or book is released (all depending on what it is that you blog about, of course). Remember that not everything you write has to be about what’s new for you this week. Find tangents, do research, and explore new things!

[ Stage 3: Social Media Management and Networking ]

Once you have a good amount of content on your site, you’re ready to start propelling new visitors. This is an area where time is important (building a good following will take you a few months, at least, of solid effort). However, you don’t want to launch your social media pages and invite people to like it before you have content on your site. You might turn off some of your best cheerleaders if they don’t see anything there to attract their attention.

Set up accounts on all the major social media networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. If you want to build your blog as more of a business, you might want to look into Google+ pages and LinkedIn as well. In order to streamline your efforts there, you can set up a HootSuite account, which syncs all your accounts and makes it possible to manage multiple platforms at a time.

Start by inviting your friends and acquaintances to like your accounts and your blog. At the very least, share links for your new content on social media. However, you should go farther than that. Engage in conversations around your topic. Follow other bloggers who talk about similar things and share their content as well. Comment on others’ efforts, and adjust your own content to react to what’s going on in the niche that you occupy.

Reach out to other bloggers that interest you. Look for opportunities to build your audience through guest blogging, link parties, and syndicated content.

[ Stage 4: Stay Consistent! ]

Second only to your initial startup efforts, this is the hardest part of blogging. Stick to the schedule that you set yourself for content creation. Set yourself specific goals and evaluate past successes and failures in order to be more effective as you progress. This post has some great suggestions for keeping the impetus you need. Keep working on your social media sites. Reach out to new people and be responsive when people reach out to you.

After 4-6 months, you’ll start seeing amazing returns on all the time that you’ve invested, so keep your chin up until then!

 

Guest Post: Bougie on a Budget – Under $50 Fashion Challenge

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen BeeBack when I was a teenager (we don’t have to discuss how far back that is exactly), I was OBSESSED with magazines. I loved looking at all the pictures of how celebrities put their outfits together. One particular segment I loved was when they would put together an outfit from head to toe under a certain dollar amount. That’s definitely where my love of putting together great outfits on a dime came together. Today’s guest post, written by Vanessa Wood from Green Acres from Paris, is all about that – putting together an outfit for under Continue reading “Guest Post: Bougie on a Budget – Under $50 Fashion Challenge”

Guest Post: Squeezing the “Other Stuff” into The Life of a Part-Time Blogger

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen BeeMany of us bloggers aren’t living the glamorous life of being paid to travel, wear expensive clothes & use amazing products. Although it is our dream to eventually quit our 9 to 5’s to be paid to do what we love, the reality is, the majority of us blog on the side. If you say keeping your blog up to date, finding new, exciting content to write about and all the behind the scenes work like social media promotion/engagement, etc is easy…well, my friend, you would be lying. yes, there are times when things seem to run smoothly and that much needed Editorial Calendar of yours keeps you on track. But like it always does, life tends to get in the way and often at the most inconvenient of times. This can throw life into utter chaos and brings everything it touches into the hurricane. Today’s guest post, written by the amazing Katy Walton, is here to help you get all those ‘behind the scenes’ pieces into place so that you feel like you can keep your head over ‘blogging’ waters. Continue reading “Guest Post: Squeezing the “Other Stuff” into The Life of a Part-Time Blogger”

Guest Post: 50 Life Changes for Happy & Healthier Living

Note from Lana |Lifestyle Queen Bee: Do you guys remember my blogger feature on Dawn Craven from My Life In A Blog? (If you missed the interview, check it out here). She’s back today with a spectacular guest post on 50 ways to live a healthier & happier existence. With the warmer weather ahead, it’s time to shake off those winter cobwebs & get ready to enjoy life (& outside!) again.

Sometimes all we need is a tiny little Continue reading “Guest Post: 50 Life Changes for Happy & Healthier Living”

Guest Post: When You Should Give Out Your Work For Free?

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: One thing I’ve struggled with as a blogger trying to attract new readers is the level of content you give away for free to draw in your readers. Some people give such amazing content away for free that I would have sold! Then on the other hand, I feel like things I consider giving away are too lackluster and nobody will bite. Does this sound familiar? If you are also finding it tough to determine when to give your work away for free, then today’s post is for you. My guest, Maurine Anderson, is sharing how you know when it’s the right time to give your goods away, free of charge.

It seems that the more and more digital we get, the more people expect access to free content and services. While this increased access to free content and services is a great thing in many ways, it can really complicate things for bloggers and business owners. How do you get consumers to see the value of paid content or services? When is it appropriate to ask people to pay for your work, and when might it be beneficial to give out your work for free? Continue reading “Guest Post: When You Should Give Out Your Work For Free?”