Batch Work vs Daily Tasks
Is it better to batch all of your work or have daily tasks? Personally I believe it depends on the person. Batching work is like doing a months worth of work in one day. For example, some bloggers will write a months worth of blog post all in one day. Then they don’t have to worry about doing one each week. It sounds great in theory but I feel like it depends on who you are and how you work if this method is right for you.
Batch Work Pros
Here are the pros of going batch work.
- It is all done at once and you can checked it off the list for the whole month.
- It only takes one or two days to complete a months worth of content which is a major time saver.
- You are able to brain dump and get all of those ideas out and things flow into the next easily.
- You can get more done in the month if each day you batched everything.
As you can see there are great pros to this method. You are able to check big things off your list. A months work of work can be done in one week. If you batched all of your blog posts one day, your images the next, your social media posts next, your emails the next, and so on!
The first week of each month you could have all your major work done and would still have three more weeks to work on everything else!
However, to me as great as it sounds it also has some cons that come along with it such as these.
Batch Work Cons
- It can be overwhelming.
- What if you have a foggy brain day that day.
- What if something comes up that day and you can’t reschedule so now your behind.
- If you go too long in between working you may feel disconnected.
- If you dedicate one whole day to one thing then other things may not get done.
To me the process seems overwhelming. I love the idea of it all getting done in one day and to schedule one day a month to finish a month’s worth of work sounds great! But at the same time there are so many daily tasks that I do each day that it kind of feels overwhelming because I would get backed up on those.
Then if I were to write 4 blog posts in one day and then not write anymore until the next month I worry I would be disconnected and lost. I would have to go back through what I wrote before to get myself back into the flow.
Also, a lot of bloggers are growing their blogs on the side with only 30 mintues a day to spare. They don’t have this option to batch all of their work. Or maybe this method is perfect so they only have to work a few full days out of the whole month.
This is where I again feel like it depends on the person as to which method fits into their lives. Let’s look at the pros of doing daily tasks.
Daily Task Pros
- You are able to check things off daily.
- Smaller “bit sized tasks” are less overwhelming.
- You stay involved daily and fresh in your business.
- You have the option to move things around or change things.
- More things get done each day.
I love checking things off of my list and even if I only put three major things on there a day that makes me feel like I made progress. Then if I have to roll something over to the next day I can do that. With batch work I don’t feel like that would work. Then you would have pushed a large project over onto another day full of another large project.
Life is too unpredictible and I feel like with daily tasks I can knock out a few small projects and feel like I have gotten something done.
Also, this helps me be able to choose which small project I can put into each time frame I have blocked off!
Of course there are also cons that come with doing daily tasks.
Daily Task Cons
- May take up more time than batching per each project.
- With a bunch of little tasks, you may feel overwhelmed.
- Things could get lost or forgotten on the to-do list.
- The list feels like it gets longer and longer everyday.
Daily tasks may feel overwhelming to some. Once more it just depends on the person. Seeing a long list full of little projects may be too much for someone. As another person may see small attainable goals.
It is all about your perspective and how you personally handles projects and to-do lists!
What should you do?
The best way to find out which one is right for you is to give each one of them a try! If you have a Saturday that is free then you could try dedicating that whole day to only batching one month’s worth of work. Then you will see if that worked for you or if it was a struggle.
Go through the list of pros and cons of each and get a feel for what you think you can handle.
Then (and this is actually what I think I am going to do) you could even try doing both! Pick the project that seems to be the hardest for you to get done and put that at the top of your list at the beginning of the month.
Batch that work and then you don’t have to procrastinate on getting that project done each week. It will already be done for the whole month!
Now you can focus the rest of the month to getting your daily tasks done!
Which method works best for you?
Need a calendar to keep track of all your tasks? Here is a free download of blank monthly calendars by Consistently Procrastinating!
Send them to me!
How to Find Your Niche For Your Blog
Choosing the niche for your blog is a very important first step in blogging. This decision is hard to change later on without starting over. Maybe if your blog name is broad you might be able to. However, most likely you will want your blog name to be what your niche is so again it would be hard to change later on.
For example, my blog name is Mom Blog From Home and it’s about teaching moms how to blog from home. If I wanted to change my niche I could possibly spin it to where I am a mom blogging from home about a certain topic. But I wouldn’t be able to change my niche to teaching people how to care for puppies or something like that.
It just wouldn’t make sense with the name of my blog.
Personally, I have gone through deciding on a niche for my blog many times so I am speaking from experience. I have always wanted to blog but never knew what to blog about. I would change my mind too many times.
Then when I finally decided on a niche, I would buy the domain name and then panic and change my mind again but then it was too late.
I still have some of the domain names I have purchased in the past. It wasn’t until I finally went with my heart and chose to teach about blogging did it all come together.
Why Choosing Your Niche Is Important
As I said it is not something you can easily change 6 months down the road if you change your mind. It is worth taking the time to really evaluate and find the perfect niche for your blog.
Needs to be something you are passionate about
One thing you will hear from other bloggers and you are going to hear it from me as well is that you need to be passionate about your niche. If you are knowledgeable about a subject but you aren’t passionate about it then that is probably not the one to go with.
Let me give you two personal examples.
- First, I feel like I am pretty knowledgeable about children. My mother ran an in-home daycare for 20 years so I grew up in that daycare for 15+ years. Once out of college I had my daughter and I opened up my own daycare that I ran for two years. Since then I have worked on and off with the 1-3-year-olds at a private school in town for a total working time of a year.
I have taken many safety courses and training classes plus obviously years of hands-on work. However, though I love them all dearly, I don’t believe that is my calling and it is not my passion.
Maybe it is a skill I have to handle little children when many others can not but again it is not a passion. I had thought about all the different niches I could use that involved children that I would be able to blog about for a long time. But those times when you have had a long day and you just don’t feel like working on your blog, it will be way too easy to give into. If you are passionate about your niche then you will look forward to working on it. It won’t feel like work at all!. Also, then you will strive to learn more and grow in your niche market!
- Second, I have some knowledge about health and weight loss. I have my own weight loss success story after finding these awesome products that I have been taking since 2012.
I started them after a friend had lost 30 pounds and looked amazing and was full of energy. I got on the products and the program and I ended up losing 20 pounds and I still am at that 125-pound mark I ended at years ago.
I learned so much along that journey that I would love to share with everyone. However, I quickly learned that people want to have their cake and eat it too….literally!
When it comes to weight loss no one wants to actually put in the work and most are quick to shut anything you say down (even if you have all kinds of proof). It is something I am passionate about for myself but I am not passionate about trying to convince people that it works. I know it does and so for me, that’s all that matters!
You will be blogging about that topic for years (hopefully right?)
If your blog goes well then you should be blogging for years, right? If you grow your blog and you are bringing in an income then that will be your source of income for….well ever! Make sure your niche in something you can stand to blog about forever. Of course, you can also start another blog later on once this one is successful. Although you wouldn’t want to close the first one either way so again back to being able to blog about that niche for a long time.
There is some investment in starting a blog so you once more want to make sure you know for sure what your niche for your blog is going to be before you make any purchases. The main one that you can’t take back is your domain name. Luckily, domain names are fairly inexpensive so you won’t be out much money if you do change your mind. Read more about how to choose your domain name here.
And as they say, time is money so if you get too deep into creating your blog around your niche and writing blog posts then you will have done that all for nothing.
Niche by Number – Suzi Whitford
Take me there!
How to Brainstorm Niche Ideas
Start big and work down
Write everything down that comes to your mind
- What are you:
- knowledgeable about
- passionate about
- What is something you know that others don’t
- What do you:
- do for a living
- like to read about
- like to watch
- do in your spare time
- What are your interests
- What can you teach someone
Here are some ideas
- Dog Training
- Lawn Care
- Home Décor
- Video Games
- Funny Videos
- Make Furniture
Narrow down your choices
Now take every topic you came up with and start narrowing it down. Here are some examples.
- Healthy Recipes
- Baby room décor
Narrow down your niche even more
So that you stand out even further you can narrow your niche down once more! The pool of people that will be searching for Health and Fitness is really large.
That is great but there is also a large number of people providing that information. If you narrow it down to just exercises then yes that narrows down the people looking but it also narrows down the number of people providing that information or your competition.
Then if you narrow it down once more and be very specific then odds are you will have even less competition. Yes, you will have fewer people searching but that is okay because you will have a very targeting audience. You are more likely to get a better turn out with a more targeted audience than to be lost in the crowd of every other website out there on the broader niche.
For example Mom Blog From Home: It is about teaching moms how to blog and how to use that money to pay off debt. I narrowed it down from not just about blogging but to teaching moms to blog, then to narrow it down once more to teach them how to use their blog to pay off debt.
Look for keywords
Keywords are another major part of picking out your niche. If there are keywords in your niche that you could use then that will help drive traffic to your blog. Keywords are words that are popular or searched for often. You can go to kwfinder.com to search for long-tailed keywords and see how popular they are.
If you can use a long-tailed keyword in your domain name then when people search that term you are more likely to pop up.
Of course, everyone wants to find a niche that has no competition but I once read that having competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That means that the niche is in high demand. It must be popular to have others in that same niche. That’s again where setting yourself apart from your competitors comes in by narrowing down your niche to be more specific for a more targeted audience.
There needs to be a way to profit from your niche. Unless you are purely blogging for fun. If you are like me, you are looking to make an income and so you need to not only find something that you can make a profit from but something people are actually willing to purchase too.
For example, just because recipes are a popular niche doesn’t mean someone will buy your liver and onions recipes. Sorry for those that like liver and onions I was trying to think of something I wouldn’t (or most people wouldn’t) eat. So make sure that your niche isn’t all about something that no one wants.
To avoid that, a great suggestion is to do some market research yourself and see if there are others out there. Odds are if you can’t find any other sites that are like your targeted niche, then it probably isn’t a good one to go with. It is nearly impossible to be the first one in that niche. Search on Google, Pinterest, and even Etsy if it is a homemade product, to see if it is profitable.
If your niche is not a product you have made but rather someone else’s product(s) then you are probably looking to become an affiliate for that said product or service to receive a commission off of the sale.
You can be an affiliate for several products or services. Let’s go back to the recipe niche example, you could be an affiliate for a cookbook, cooking utensils, the ingredients, the paid cooking course someone offers, etc.
To become an affiliate either go to the website of the person or company you are interested in and scroll to the very bottom and most of the time there is a link to their affiliate program. Otherwise, you can Google search the product or service and add “+affiliate” to the end to get search results of companies that have affiliate programs within your niche.
Affiliate Network Companies
You can also look through the affiliate network companies like Commission Junction, Share a Sale, Rakuten or even Amazon!
Either way, it is a fairly simple and easy process! If you do not see a link on a certain website that you really want to become an affiliate for then find a way to contact them and just ask!
Many bloggers make all their money solely on affiliate marketing! Once you are an affiliate for someone you will receive a special link that you will add when appropriate into your blog posts and when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase you will receive a commission! Easy peasy!
Sum It All Up
Choose something you are passionate about, something you can write about for a long time, and something that is profitable!
How to Handle Mean Comments
It is bound to happen, nowhere on the internet is safe from receiving mean comments from someone about something. For some people that is literally all they know how to do is to speak hate. And some say you have finally “made it” when you start getting haters.
First off, that is extremely sad. The fact that we have to just accept the mean comments and use them as a milestone of “making it”.
I usually receive nice comments or a lot of spam comments but I also haven’t been out in the spotlight much. I am the more laid back, stand in the back of the room kind of person. Which is hard to be and try and have a blog that brings in a lot of traffic.
Thousands of Page Views
Well, recently I had a pin go viral and it shot up to over 24k impressions in one day. I started to receive around 2,000 more page views a day from that one pin. Once I saw the spike in traffic I, of course, made a few more pins and two out of those three are taking off as well.
This showed me that it was the content of the blog post, not just the image that was driving them to my blog.
At first, it was just one big spike and then it started to trickle but then it picked back up again, thanks to Tailwind, and it has maintained for the last 5 days.
Random Blog Post
Sometimes we plan every detail of a blog post out and other times we just write something up quickly. I like to write as if I am talking to my audience. That can be good and bad.
I tend to ramble even though I feel like it is all relevant.
This blog post that took off was one of those that I just rambled on talking about a fun fact I had found.
Cue the Mean Comments
I didn’t realize it at first until I just happen to see on my pin that there were three comments. I read the comments and two of them were brutally honest about my blog post and how it was too long.
That hurt to read.
The third comment was someone saying “thanks now I don’t have to read this”. So based off of the two comments left that third person decided to not even read my post.
If they didn’t then I’m sure others weren’t either based on the opinion of two people that left a comment.
Take the High Road and Learn From Them
It took me a few minutes do decide not to delete the comments but to learn from them. I had just quickly put the post together. I had already planned on making changes so I went in and cut the fluffy, added a more relevant freebie, and moved around some other things.
I then went back to the pin and commented back thanking them for the constructive criticism (taking the high road). Hoping that would help show that I can handle things with my head held high.
I also hoped that would show anyone else that read the means comments and my reply, that it would still be worth reading to see how I fixed it. So far I have not received any more comments on that particular pin. And as of today, it has over 201k impressions for the month it has been up.
On my second popular pin for this blog post, I found three comments on it too. One was cutting to the chase on what my post was about. Another was just stating her opinion about something in my blog post. But the third was just mean.
She called my freebie ugly and that the blog post was a waste of time.
This isn’t something you can hold your head up high and learn from. I could learn from the first two comments on the other pin saying my post was too long.
I can’t, however, change my freebie because one lady thinks it’s ugly. Her comment was only left to be hurtful. There was no other goal behind it, she was just trying to hurt me.
So how do you handle comments like this?
Delete Mean Comments and Move On
I posted in two different blogging Facebook Groups seeking the advice of other bloggers and I received at least 60 total comments and they all said to delete it and move on.
Almost all of them had been in a similar situation and most congratulated me on “making it” by receiving haters and hateful comments.
It is very sad but it is the reality of life.
People are mean and I’m not sure exactly why but you can’t let them get to you. Which is much easier said than done.
Look at The Facts
I had to stop and look at the facts and remind myself this was one person and one comment on how she didn’t like my freebie. On the other hand, I had over 300 people sign up for that “ugly” freebie. So the numbers show that they all liked it!
I haven’t received any mean comments on the blog post or any emails back after getting the freebie. No one who actually went in, read the post, and downloaded the freebie complained. It was only that one person commenting on how she didn’t like my freebie on one of the pins that had over 100k impressions on it.
I had four pins go viral in one month from this blog post with a total of over 490k impressions combined. So the facts were showing that A LOT of people saw this pin and A LOT of people read the post and over 300 people signed up for the freebie.
I couldn’t let one person’s opinion get to me. (again much easier said than done)
There is a time to learn and take the mean comments as constructive criticism, and then there are times to look at the facts and delete those mean comments and move on.
Don’t Let Mean Comments Stop You
I love blogging. I know that I am not perfect. No one is perfect. But I still love to blog and share my tips and tricks I learn with others looking to start a blog too.
I have got frustrated and wanted to quit so many times but I keep coming back because it is something that I love to do. Whether I am making a bunch of money or no money I will always blog.
However, those mean comments really shook me. I hadn’t had mean comments and to receive those it did make me feel like I should throw in the towel.
Then I took time and really thought it over and I can’t believe I let them get to me like that. This is something I truly enjoy doing and it is my outlet.
No haters are going to stop that.
5 Reasons I Had 4 Viral Pins on Pinterest in One Month
After 4 of my pins went viral in one month, I took a step back to analyze why and I came up with 5 reasons I had 4 viral pins on Pinterest. In this post, I go into detail with each pin and explain why I feel each pin did so well. I also share a few pins that didn’t do so well and why.
As you continue to grow your blog and share your blog posts you will find that certain topics do better than others. That doesn’t mean that you have to only write about those topics but you can count on them bringing in new traffic.
For example, I share blogging tips for new bloggers and when I write about making money or getting traffic to my blog those topics do better than others.
I still share other tips because you never know who is in need of that specific tip. Once I wrote a blog post on how to set up your sidebar. It received a very kind comment from a reader stating how thankful she was for that post because it helped her.
I love those comments! Even though it isn’t a super popular topic it still helped someone!
By always writing about all the tips I can share and not just sticking to the popular topics it helps me find new popular topics. That is what happened when I wrote a blog post on something I found that I thought was better than the bullet journal.
This was a new topic for me. I haven’t written any blog posts on note taking but it is a popular topic because everyone is always looking for better ways to organize their lives. So I wrote this blog post one day just sharing how I found something that (in my opinion) is better than the bullet journal.
First, in case you don’t know what a bullet journal is, it is a journal full of empty pages and each page has dots for guides on it.
There are a million different things you can use a bullet journal for. If you check out my bullet journal board on Pinterest you will see some amazing ideas and ways to use one.
I had first heard of them through another blogger. She shared some of the ways she uses hers to organize her days and keep on task with her blog.
I ended up getting one to try for myself. There were some flaws for someone like myself. Such as I have horrible handwriting and I am not the most artistic person. Yet I am a perfectionist so each page I felt like I was constantly trying to fix it.
If you look at some of the amazing ways bullet journals can be used you can see the appeal but that only works if you have a steady hand. For me, it was more work than fun and I didn’t end up using it.
Another reason is I would always forget it or decide not to bring it because it didn’t fit in my purse and I didn’t want to carry around 50 different colored pens.
If you check out my post I share that I had just recently purchased an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and used the free notes app to create my own bullet journal. This improved the handwriting issue because I could easily erase any mistakes. I go more into detail about why I like it better in that blog post so I will skip all of that for now.
Little did I know while writing that post that it would end up being a very hot topic. I shared the post on Pinterest and with the help of Tailwind the pin took off!
I had over 24k impressions on that pin in 24 hours. Today after being pinned a little over 30 days ago it has over 201k impressions. My blog traffic for the month of June 2019 was over 20k page views. Which let’s just say that is MUCH higher than normal.
I had no idea that it was going to be such a hot topic.
How I got so many page views
As I said it was definitely thanks to Tailwind and Pinterest for sending all of that traffic to my blog. I usually create several images for each blog post and pin them to Pinterest at different times.
With this particular blog post I originally only created one pin and that is the pin that took off. To test it out and see if it was the content (topic) of the pin or the visual look of the pin that made it go viral, I created others to put to the test.
What I found out is there are 5 main reasons this pin took off compared to my other test run pins.
- Hot topic
- Visually appealing pin
- Enticing Title
- Keywords in the pin description
- Scheduled to pin to all group and personal boards and Tailwind Tribes
While I was creating the test pins I also scheduled out the first pin to all of my group boards, personal boards and added it to all my Tailwind Tribes. I knew that I needed to get this pin out there since it was doing so well from just one pin to one of my personal boards.
Then I created several other pins for my test run. A few did very well and a couple did not. I noticed there was a trend on the ones that did well and the ones that didn’t.
Test Run Results
The main difference was the enticing title. Take a look at these results to see for yourself.
Enticing Title – Pin 1
This pin has a very enticing headline. It creates curiosity and I feel like that was why this pin had the best click-through rate compared to the others.
Visually it is a pretty pin so it was easy to save but I believe the curiosity is what made this pin do so well. It had the most impressions and saves of them all. It was also the first one I pinned so that could be why because the next one did very well too.
This is the stats after a little over 30 days of being pinned.
Enticing Title – Pin 2
These two pins I did the same enticing title because my test on these was to see if it was the pin image or the content that made the first pin so popular.
This one did fairly well. It didn’t receive as many impressions or saves but it came very close and still did very well. What is interesting is this pin had fewer impressions and saves but yet had more link clicks than the first pin.
I’m not quite sure why on that. They were both pinned to all the same boards and all within the same time frame.
Here are the stats after a little over 30 days for this pin.
Enticing Title – Pin 3
However, this one didn’t do well at all. I am not sure why this one didn’t do as well as the first two because it has the same catchy title with similar colors and fonts but for some reason, this one was not a winner.
Looking back I think I forgot to schedule this pin out to all the group boards like the other two did. I just looked back through my pins and I don’t see it mixed in like the other two are. I only pinned it once and must not have scheduled it out. It will be interesting to see what happens after I add it to the schedule!
Freebie – Pin 1
These next two were to test and see if the freebie inside the blog post was popular. Once readers click through and read the blog post many of them signed up for the freebie I put into it after it started taking off.
Originally, I had the normal freebie that I always offer in the post and it always does well because it teaches readers how to start a blog. That freebie always gets sign ups but none of these readers were signing up.
This told me that the people reading were bullet journal folks and not blogger folks. I created a freebie from my other blog that I am starting up because I felt like it fit with that niche better. My other blog is going to be about planning and productivity tips. I created a freebie that was a digital bullet journal which ties into that.
Around 30-50 people a day were signing up for that freebie after I added it. Once I realized the amount of traffic going to the post and yet no email subscribers were coming out of it I knew I needed to switch freebies and it worked.
Like I said I could tell the readers were not interested in my other freebie about blogging. So, I was happy to see they wanted the free digital bullet journal. I did learn though with these two pins that it still was the curiosity the first pins had that was bringing readers in.
These pins did not do well, however, once in the blog post they did sign up for the freebie. But the freebie alone was not bringing in readers.
Freebie – Pin 2
The first freebie pin looks like the second popular pin. I made another that looked similar to the first popular pin to again see if it was the look of the pins that made them do so well.
Neither of these pins did that great. So this told me it was bullet journal folks curious about what I had found that was better than the bullet journal. Not people excited about a freebie and not people that only saved the pins based on their looks.
Safe Title – Pin 1
The other clue was the backlash I received on the two popular pins. I received about 6 comments and most of them were mean.
They were from personal accounts of people who clearly were die-hard bullet journal lovers. They did not like my opinion of the notes app as being a solution that could be better than the bullet journal.
They also did not like my idea of a digital bullet journal also being a solution. Apparently, the curiosity pins made it sound like there was some new amazing thing that was better than the bullet journal that they did not find after reading the post. I personally love the idea of going digital. It works so much better for me. I have found so many amazing fun resources too that solve all of my personal issues with a physical journal.
These were just folks that mean and grumpy and taught me a valuable lesson on how to handle mean comments. One told me my freebie was ugly. There is no reason other than being mean for that to be commented. I had to remind myself that over 300 people had signed up for that ugly freebie so one person’s opinion shouldn’t matter.
However, to make the pin less “deceiving” because I was also told I was fake advertising pretty much. I made this pin to explain a little bit more without giving away all of the info or I wouldn’t get click-throughs.
It seemed to have worked. I stopped receiving very mean and hurtful comments and still was able to have a pin that had good numbers. This is about 30 days of the pin being up. I don’t have as many click-throughs (because of the less enticing title I’m sure) but I still reached a good amount of impressions off of this pin.
Safe Title – Pin 2
I created this pin with the same theory in mind. Again, I just wanted to test out the different titles and see what was working and what wasn’t. This pin is still going so I don’t have a full 30 day stat on it but so far it is doing okay but not a crazy good as some of the others.
It doesn’t have as catchy of a title but I feel like it is less likely to make any readers feel tricked as well.
Here are the stats so far on this pin. I know that is says published May 31, 2019, but this pin was definitely not. The first pin I created (which would have the same URL) was. This one has only been on maybe 2 weeks.
What this has done for me
By continuing to write blog posts on other topics other than just my main popular ones, I have come across a great topic that ties right into my new blog that I just started. I was nervous about branching out but this helped show me there is an audience out there for my new blog.
I have heard other bloggers say this but I didn’t understand until now but they say you never know what blog post is going to just take off! That is so true! I had no idea when I first wrote it that it would bring all of this. This is what this one blog post has done for me.
- Gained 378 email subscribers in 30 days thanks to this hot topic and my viral pins.
- Made 6 Amazon affiliate sales and my Amazon affiliate account was officially approved! (most of my affiliate links in my blog posts are for blogging resources so I don’t have many with Amazon affiliate links so I always had to reapply since it wasn’t my target products. Thanks to the bullet journal Amazon affiliate links in this blog post I was finally approved!)
- Made $30.13 with Google Adsense which is the most I have made in one month from ads.
- Broke two records of blog traffic to my blog. Not only did I hit 10k page views for the first time but I broke through and had over 20k pageviews!
- I was only 7,000 sessions away from being able to apply for Mediavine!
- Gained over 100 Pinterest followers.
- My monthly views on my Pinterest account went up from around 75k to over 400k!
- I had not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 viral pins in one month!
It was definitely a crazy and amazing month for my blog and all because of one post on a completely different topic than I normally write about!
Bye Bye Bullet Journal, I Found Something Better!
I love journals, planners, pens, pencils, stickers, anything office supply related. And I know I am not alone! There is a whole community out there of people who are obsessed with office supplies too! I don’t even know why I want all these things but I do! One year for Valentine’s Day my husband got me office supplies and I was so excited! That’s why I can’t wait to share with you what I found that is even better than the bullet journal!
The bullet journal has taken over by storm. Every blogger I see is talking about this bullet journal and how awesome it is. I finally decided to get one for myself after seeing all the fun everyone was having with them! I mean just look at how fun that looks!
This isn’t the exact one I got, I ended up getting this journal, this washi tape bundle, and these pens. But this bundle right here comes with that and much more so looking back I should have just got this bundle instead.
My sister told me about these gel pens that erase so I got those too and they are much more my style because I like to erase (I’m a perfectionist some times).
The big craze with the bullet journal is that each page is customizable. Every page just has dots to use as a guide to be able to create all kinds of beautiful pages. One page could be your grocery list, another your calendar, and the next your cleaning schedule. There is no limit to what you can do with each page and I do really enjoy that flexibility.
I just had one issue, I would always forget it. I don’t think to always have my journal with me. So even though I like to write things out and use the fun pretty colors and all that, I would never bring it with me. It was just one more thing I had to remember to lug around. (However, if you do love to carry that thing around and you are looking for more ideas on how to use your bullet journal, Suzi has an amazing post that you can check out!)
I tried to use apps and a Google Calendar instead to make it more digital and less inconvenient but it didn’t work. I like the fun bright colors and I did find one app that worked well enough to keep me on schedule however, I didn’t have the flexibility of each page being something different.
So I needed something that was a digital version of the bullet journal. The only thing I could find was the Notes app on my iPhone. I use it quite often to keep all of my important information all in one spot. I started that about a year or so again and that has been great! There is an option where you can write things out with my finger but then you couldn’t read any of it. So I was missing the fun artistic appeal the bullet journal has.
That is until I got my new iPad! I have been wanting to get a new iPad to be able to make my business more mobile. School is out and I don’t want to lose work time and I don’t want to lose precious time with my daughter either. I thought if I could be more mobile then I could work on things while we are at the pool or the park. That’s when I decided to invest and get the new iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and keyboard.
Here is a digital bullet journal that you can download for free!
Grab your Free Download of the Digital Bullet Journal by Consistently Procrastinating
Or here is why I love the Notes App on my iPhone and how it can be used to replace your bullet journal!
Notes App Features
- It’s FREE
- You can add tabs and organize thoughts
- There are options to Bold or Underline Text
- You can have clickable links in it
- It automatically saves new changes on any device
- You can scan documents
- Take Photo or Video
- Add Sketch
- Photo Library
- Mark Checklists that actually checkmark off for you
I like the option to add documents or photos to the note. I have actually taken pictures of notes and stored it in a note in the app instead of retyping it all in there just so I could throw the paper note away! As you can see I really do use this app a lot. All along the side are major categories in life and then there are folders under them to organize further down.
Then lastly within each of those is the second column of notes you see. This helps me break things down and everything is easy to find! Now with the new iPad Pro, I can use my Apple Pencil and write on the screen just like you see (sorry I have horrible handwriting).
I can change the color, the style of pen or pencil, and even the thickness of the stroke I am using. With a bullet journal, you can’t break down into categories and sections as easily as you can with this notes app. You would have to bookmark every new section in a bullet journal.
But wait it gets better!
You can add lines and grids to your note! Just like the bullet journal you now have guides to help you design your page. Also, you only need one pencil and you can change it to any color!
Before if I would remember my bullet journal I would want to bring all the pens so I had all the colors I wanted to use for each page! This way you only need one pencil and one device.
Now you don’t have to take your iPad with you everywhere you go (but let’s face it there is a better chance you bring that than your journal). Because if you need to refer to that note you created such as this one below… Then you can still do that from your iPhone and no one’s going to forget their phone! You can make all these changes from your iPhone too it just isn’t as easy using your finger but you can still access the same note.
So if you are at the grocery store you can still cross off your list as you get each item. The Add Sketch feature is pretty cool because it gives you a ruler to use as a guide that you can move around!
All This For Free
A lot of people are Apple users so if that is you then you have all this for free! If you have been on the fence about switching to Apple then here is a little insight into some of the features! I’m sure there is something similar on the Andriod phones too though.
It is just nice to know some of the ways you can utilize what you already have access too. If you have an iPhone then odds are you have an iPad and might have been in the market to upgrade to the new iPad Pro. So far it is amazing!
Not just because of this example but so many other reasons! But if you are like me and you want to be able to have all the fun colors and designs but are not good at using a bullet journal then I hope you learned something fun and new with this post! I know I was so excited when I realized it!
Here is more information on the iPad and Accessories that I bought.
This is the exact iPad that I bought. I did go with the lower storage because I need to get a hard drive anyways so this way I can just get one of those and save money on buying the extra storage.
We looked into purchasing the iPad through our phone carrier to add data to it but that costs more also. Plus we found out that our T.V. provider has hotspots I can use when I am away from home. Just some things to think about!
I wanted the bigger screen so that was my main priority. I wasn’t as worried about storage because I have a bigger icloud storage plan and then again I plan to get an external hard drive to save all pictures and important documents on it.
Now I don’t pretend to be all tech savvy, I know just enough to get by. I know that I am a busy mom and this all makes my life easier and more portable. I do want to say that it comes with a completely new charger.
Supposedly it is to be able to connect to your computer better or other techy stuff I don’t understand but my point is no more USB on one end and no more of the other normal end that all apple products have.
The cord has the same end on each end. So either way, it connects to your converter to plug into the wall and then into the iPad to charge. Just a heads up.
Then since I got the bigger screen I had to get this keyboard that fits it. They are both 12.9 inches so that gives plenty of room for using your screen and typing on a good-sized keyboard, not a tiny one.
The iPad connects magnetically to the keyboard and there are three dots on the back of the iPad that connects it to the keyboard.
Then you can have it in different positions to adjust it to your liking while typing. Then when you aren’t using the keyboard you can fold it over to close and you will hear the iPad lock. Also, you can flip it around and under the iPad to quickly use the iPad only.
Then, of course, I got the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation that is compatible with the iPad Pro. It is very sleek and easy to use.
There are no buttons, it looks and feels just like a regular pencil. It doesn’t erase like one although I think it should. I keep wanting to flip it around and erase with the pencil eraser like you normally would.
But just a heads up it doesn’t work like that. Another fun feature of the Apple pencil is that it connects to the side of your iPad magnetically to charge.
This is great to keep track of the pencil and know that it is always charged up. No plugging it in or cords involved! Once you connect it to the iPad it will tell you what charge the pencil is at as well.
Because I will be on the go I did get myself a case and as I said I also have the keyboard too. I have seen some creators have these cool pencil gripper sleeves.
I don’t know if I will do that or not because with the new pencil it senses when you double tap to erase when using the Notes App. Also, I don’t know how the gripper affects it charging magnetically or staying safely on the side of the iPad. I worry that it might come off and I would lose it.
Looking to start your own blog? Try my 30-Day Challenge Workbook to Start a Blog! Download it for free today!
What happens when you take a year off from your new blog?
It is too easy to have an ambitious dream to start something but the follow through is really the true test. This could be as simple as deciding to paint your living room a different color. But this is what happens when you take a year off of your new blog.
Starting a Project
You can picture the end product of painting your living room. You know exactly what you want it to look like and it shouldn’t be too hard! Easy peasy!
The beginning part is also the fun part. It’s not hard work. It’s fun! You go to the store and buy all your supplies and then head home.
You are still be excited at this point to actually get started and change the whole look of your living room!
But after you move all the furniture and lay down all the drip cloths you are starting to lose steam. Then (for me anyways) you get to the least fun part of it where you have to tape it all off.
The Fun is Fading
By the time you finish taping everything off the fun has pretty much wore off of this project and you haven’t even started painting yet!
So you start painting and you gain some momentum in seeing it start to finally come together! But as you paint your arm starts to get tired and you keep dripping paint on the one tiny spot of wood floor that’s not covered by the cloth.
You keep trucking along and hours go by and you stop to look at your project to see that you are almost done with the walls but then you realize that you still have to paint another whole layer as well as paint the trim edging twice.
All of a sudden you feel tired and overwhelmed so you decide to finish this layer and take a break and finish up tomorrow.
Two weeks later your living room is still half done and every time you look at it you just get overwhelmed and you remember how tired you were last time so you keep pushing it off.
Can anyone relate to this story? Or is it just me?
I am the master project started but not so much the master project finisher. It sounds fun when you first start but then when it gets tough it becomes less of a priority.
Also there are only so many hours in the day and I run out of time doing the things that really are a priority.
However, being a project finisher has become my new thing. I see this as an area that I struggle with so I have been working on fixing that.
I have been able to do that by breaking things up into smaller tasks so I don’t feel overwhelmed.
This is What Happens if You Don’t Finish
(stay with me here)
We bought our house this past November and luckily for us the house we bought was across the street from the rental we were in and we purchased it in the middle of the month which gave us half a month to paint before we moved in.
I would go over everyday and paint. The goal was to paint the whole house before we moved in. I did most of the painting myself while my daughter was in school and my husband worked long hours.
I got it 90% done when my husband couldn’t wait any longer and started moving things over when he was off for Thanksgiving. Because we (him) jumped the gun and moved in before we were done painting it has never been finished…and it’s now May.
Everytime I think about getting out the paint I think of how long it’s going to take and the mess it’s going to make plus I have too many other things to do.
I know what you are thinking. Just take one weekend and whip it out! Well, my husband still works very long hard hours and runs a mowing company on the side.
We spend our weekends either mowing yards or trying to spend time together on the boat or doing something fun.
So what I have decided to do is to do one small section a day. Then I will be tackling the project without feeling like I am giving up a whole day of work to do it.
The same has to go for your blog.
Now if you have stuck with me this far this is where I am going to tie it all back into blogging. You are reading this because you too started a new project (blog) and put that project off but you are wanting to finish it!
I have done that myself with my own blog. Honestly I think we all have at some point!
There is a lot that goes into a new blog so it takes awhile to just master the concept of a blog and actually get it started.
Then once you start your new blog you have to maintain it. If you step away it could start to fall apart. It might float for a little while depending on how well it was doing beforehand but eventually it will sink without maintenance.
But don’t worry if you have started a new blog and let it sink you can still build it back up! That is what I am here to help you with!
I started my new blog in September of 2017. I let the holidays get the best of me and the next thing I knew it was January! In January of 2018 I regrouped and added a Tailwind strategy to bring in traffic and boy did it!
I had over 7,000 page views in 30 days when I normally had maybe 300!
Then February I was asked to help at the Church Preschool as a lead teacher and I took the position.
Working full time with 13 one year olds plus doing all the lesson plans was tiresome. My daughter was in 2nd grade (which turned out to be a very hard year compared to previous years) and juggling gymnastics, our dog got sick and passed away, my husband was never home, the house was a wreck, it was flu season so we were all always sick….I was exhausted.
As hard as I tried my blog went to the wayside and I told myself I will pick it back up in May.
May came and it was my first summer home with my daughter ever and for no other reason then being out of the loop and more focused on enjoying the break with her, my blog once again went to the wayside.
When she started school back up in August I tried to pick it back up. It didn’t come easy. I felt like I was starting completely over. I ended up watching videos and reading more than anything. Trying to get back into the game.
I watched neighborhood kids from home for some extra money so from 7:00am-6:00pm I had kids at my house so I was now running into a time crunch again as well.
For all of you full time working moms that rock a side business you are amazing!!
My husband loves a clean house so since I stay home (even though I watch kiddos) I work hard to keep the house clean and organized so that does take priority.
After we got all moved in to our new house and the holidays were all over it was now the spring of 2019 and I really thought about what was important to me.
As much as I love helping the neighbors with the kiddos its not my passion. And with summer coming most of them didn’t need help anymore so I needed to make my new blog priority to bring in money and replace that loss.
So at the beginning of the year I cut back on the amount of time I was watching kids and focused back on my blog.
I drew a line in the sand at the end of March. I told myself I was going to solely focus on my blog.
My goal was to prioritize my day better and just put my head down and focus on my new blog only. Then I would see how things looked at the end of April.
This is what happened.
Since it has been a year since I had that spike in traffic from Pinterest and Tailwind I decided to focus on that and simply updating my blog as well as adding consistently to my new blog.
I implemented that same Tailwind strategy, consistently added one new blog post a week and sent out a weekly broadcast to my email list (after explaining why I was MIA previously).
Plus I updated my 30-Day Challenge Workbook to Start a Blog and my Free Pinterest Image Course. Then lastly I updated a few blog posts.
Here are my results after 30 days of focus.
Besides feeling like I now have the confidence to keep going strong and being extremely proud of all my updates and accomplishments, I made $152.62!
My traffic didn’t spike like before but I feel like I am in “time out” with Pinterest and I have to earn my traffic back. They sent me a bunch before but then I didn’t do anything for a year!
So after only one month I think I still need to show them I am consistent and serious this time.
Now you may be thinking well $150 isn’t that much? And you are right. It isn’t that much. However, it is! That is my best month to date of starting my blog!
I made money with my new blog but if you followed along you see that I didn’t stay consistent at all! Since I started my new blog I have not been steadily consistent.
So the money that I made would be one or two sales here or there. Not 5 sales in one month and $150.00 in my pocket in one month!
Again, you may be thinking that is not much money at all and again I agree with you to an extend.
It isn’t anything to go brag about however it is very exciting and shows me the major progress I made this past month!
Now here we are getting ready to start May this week. I had set a goal of $200 in April and I am very happy with my results so now I have a goal of $500 in May.
I would like to break through Tailwind and Pinterest again but instead of looking too far down the road and getting upset I have to remind myself that I pretty much started completely over in April. It’s only been one solid month.
I can’t look at it as if I have been for a year and a half because I haven’t honestly been consistently blogging that long.
My blog as been up for that long and I have wrote many blog posts but not like I should have been. So that is what I am focusing on now.
Sharing my experience (like I always have) even the less flatting ones like this blog post. But my hope is that it will speak to someone in a similar position.
As moms we are constantly putting everyone and everything before ourselves but sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand and rearrange your priority list so it benefits everyone.
With this new outlook I have been able to accomplish everything on my priority list.
Tips for Success
Rearrange To Do List
Sometimes just rearranging your to do list and doing it in a different order will help.
I break up my cleaning throughout the day so I can till work on my blog and keep the house clean at the same time. Before I would do all the cleaning first but then I was running out of blogging time.
So I switched and would blog first then the house ended up being a major task.
Now I clean for the first hour of the day and work on my blog throughout the morning. When I break for lunch, I switch the laundry and unload the dish washer. Then I work on my blog in the afternoon and when my daughter gets off the bus it’s homework and supper time.
This way when my husband comes home the house is all clean, supper is ready, and homework is done. This gives us family time together and I was able to work on my blog too.
Same exact things I normally do just in a different successful order.
I plan ahead if there are going to be busy days full of appointments. I make sure that I keep that in mind as I am working on my blog throughout the week. Before it seemed like I was running around to appointments and running out of time to work.
Just planning ahead and seeing what’s to come for the month helps give you a bird’s eye view of how your going to get everything done.
Those are simple tips but you would be surprised how you get stuck into a routine (even if it isn’t working the best) and just a few little tweaks could fix it all!
Everyone is always telling you to have goals and to write them down. I always did this but I think I shot too big. I would think right away there is no way I can get that all done so I was okay with it when I didn’t get it done.
This time I set realistic goals and I was very pleased with how I ended the month!
Now I have written out how May will go and I am so excited to look up at the end of the month and see how I did!
I am here to tell you that YOU CAN DO THIS! You may feel like you have let it go too long to bring it back to life. I don’t agree. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, call it like it is, and move forward!
I didn’t like sending out an email at the beginning of April telling everyone what I had done but I did it.
I don’t necessarily like sharing this all in a blog post but I am.
Mom Blog From Home was made to help moms like me start and grow their blogs.
I am far from perfect and I will never be perfect. Honestly, that is a scary thought trying to pretend or shoot for perfect.
That’s not me. I am just a normal mom trying to share my experience and knowledge on blogging with others in hopes to help them learn and grow from my mistakes and my successes!
Now get out there and kick butt with your blog momma!