Welcome to the Second Quarterly Report of Food, Booze, & Baggage. This marks 6 months of blogging for little ol me. The last three months have been very up and down. I think I’ve made some really great progress, but I still feel that I have a lot to learn and I’m still in the figuring it out stage. Improvements with reaching out, socializing and commenting, but struggles with writing content and getting posts finalized. You will see below I’ve decided to add a new category to my report, design. As I mentioned in this post about “why I started this blog”, learning new skills is an important part of this space for me. So, I’m going to include what I’ve been doing in that area as well. My biggest stumbling blocks are how to best invest my time and balance the “what I should be doing”, “what needs to be done”, and “what I want to do”.
- Got a DSLR camera…now I just need to learn to use it. I’ve used it for this post and this post.
- Got a Mac, which doesn’t really impact the blog but I was very excited about it 🙂 It does help me squeeze in a little work some mornings because I don’t have to wait forever for it to boot-up. Plus, I can do better screen shots!
- Started emailing response comments instead of commenting on the page. I feel like there are pros and cons to this. I can’t remember to go back and check posts for new comments, so I don’t expect anyone else to either.
- Move to a Genesis Frame Theme
- Learn more about coding
- Install better commenting system
- Started an Instagram account.
- Made progress with commenting and engaging with other bloggers.
- Found some great link-ups that I enjoy participating in: Humpday Confessions and Travel Tuesday.
- Placed two ads: Found Love Now What (March) and The Nectar Collective (April).
- Won an ad space on Megan’s Blog (Megan Joy Jaunts) in April, which was my first giveaway win!! Woo-Hoo!
- Participated in my first giveaways, as part of Megan’s sponsorship. The following is the increase of the included social media accounts during the run of the giveaway:
- Bloglovin: 34 to 58
- Pinterest: 20 to 50
- Twitter: 75 to 107
- Started using Buffer to schedule posts for Twitter.
- Start Google +
- Continue to grow Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram
- Continue to search out new link-up opportunities
- Continue to work on connecting and promoting other bloggers
- Look for other sponsorship opportunities
- Completed the Let’s Fly Away Series, checking off #4 on the 101 list.
- Finished my Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine Series: it was an important topic to me and I’m really happy I shared it.
- Stopped posting on a “regular” schedule, with the aim of posting 3 times a week but not on particular days with particular topics. While, I completely understand the logic behind the schedule posting it just was not working for me.
- Work more on writing and developing voice
- Look into joining a blogging network
- Work towards banking posts
- Do more with childfree topic/connection
- Completed these Skillshare courses (I’ve completed all of the sessions but not all the projects):
- Basics of Photoshop: Fundamentals for Beginners by Meg Lewis
- Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator by Brad Woodard
- Beyond the Logo: Crafting a Brand Identity by Courtney Eliseo
- Reign Repeats: Create Perfect Repeat Patterns in Illustrator by MaJo Bautista~this one had so much “extra” training material for learning Illustrator. She goes through every tool on the left tool-bar. It’s a great class for learning about Illustrator not just patterns.
- Photoshop for Blogging: Creating Collages by Erin Lizardo~Not much new material than what I already learned in the class by Meg. One great tip was the GuideGuide extension which makes creating a grid so easy! It is good to take classes on the same program from different instructors, because there are so many ways to go about tasks in the Adobe programs, it is nice to learn the different approaches.
- Illustrate Your Day: An Intro to Symbol Design by the Noun Project~ I want to go back and do this project.
- Basic Geometric Shapes: Illustrate a Series of Icons or Badges by Dominic Flask~ Another one I want to go back and work on.
I have a few other classes started but not completed, I will share those next time, along with those I complete from my very long “want” list. 🙂 All of the above classes are membership classes; you can take them if you sign up for the membership without having to pay per class. ***All of the links for Skillshare are referral links meaning if you sign up I get a free month and you can too, I do not have any affiliation with Skillshare, this is an offer to all users.
- Used Photoshop or Illustrator to create graphics such as– 1, 2, 3, 4 but would like to do more.
- Started work on creating a new logo and brand identity for the blog. I’m working through the project steps from Courtney’s Skillshare class.
- Finish logo for blog
- Design several ad badges
- Design button for “Childfree Are We Page”
- Design Social Media Icons
- Have a few pictures taken of me for blogging/promotion purposes
- Continue working on Skillshare courses
The new numbers are February 6th-May 7th to make exactly 90 days, even though this post is a few days after. I’ve included the 1st quarter figures for comparison. I’ve also included totals. I’m going to repeat a bit of my 1st Quarter spiel here: I’m excited by every new visitor and really excited about every new follow or comment. I think some of the best advice when starting a blog is: 1. just start 2. don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. This is a way for me to keep track of my progress.
At the end of the day I wish I had more time to commit to the blog and learning design skills. P continues to be amazingly supportive of my endeavors; it truly amazes me how supportive and encouraging he is. I’m trying to do better in balancing my time, and being more focused on the present and enjoying what is in front of me, and sometimes that means having to let the blog slip a bit. I love this space and I’m very committed to continuing to work towards its growth, I just have to find a good balance. I think one of the biggest things that helped me with the rut, I began to feel with the blog, was letting the “rules” go. Do what works best for you; following the “rules” is not a guarantee for success, so therefore not following the “rules” does not mean you will fail either.
Thank you all for your continued support and for being here!!
If you could share just one blogging tip, what would it be?