How to Succeed as a Blogger

Are you like me? Have you searched “How To Become a Successful Blogger?” so many times that the second “how” or “Blog” hits your search bar autofill takes over? Have you thought “hell, this will be easy!”? Have you seen all these people advertise how they make 6-figure salaries just by blogging and figure I could do that too? Yet you can’t seem to figure out how?

Here’s the secret. Blogs, Affiliates, selling a workshop, sponsored posts, Merch (let’s not forget the Merch :), etc. All viable! All great ways to make money! And that’s the combo you need to get those six-figure incomes.

Oh Yes, I’ll admit it, I am terribly jealous of those bloggers because no matter how hard I try, and if you are a follower you know that’s fragmented and half-assed at best. I cannot seem to break into blogging for money. It’s very easy to fall into a judgy, whiney mess of a blogger and complain that I will never be as “good” as them because I don’t have the skills. I don’t want to be that person so I’ll own it. I. DON’T. TRY. HARD. ENOUGH! Something I hope to change, BTW.

There, I feel better! Now, Back on point…

So this post is more of … “Taominx’s guide on what NOT to do to become a successful Blogger” rather than “Taominx’s sure fire way to succeed in the blog life” because if there is one thing I know how to do it’s how to fail at this.

STOP! Thinking it will be an easy, part-time, occasional gig. It’s not! (ah whoops)

Blogging takes hard work, skill, and research.

Now, you can have a successful blog and post sporadically. As long as your post subject is relevant and quality. So don’t think you have to post twice a week or every day. A well written, edited, relevant, thought out and highly researched post (again something I’ll work on) will garner a lot more attention to your blog than posting every day.

Quality over quantity and all that jazzy splash.

This is probably the hardest part for me. Being a working mum and student has definitely cut into my creative and productive time and beat down my desires to work on my blog. But that’s still an excuse. I don’t put the time or effort into my little blog that it deserves. That my potential audience deserves and I’m lacking passion and drive. It’s hindering my success as a blogger.

That leads us to point two

Do not jump into blogging without a plan or direction.

“Failure to plan is planning to fail” (love me a good quote)

I thought to myself “I’ll write about beauty and baby products” (enter hysterical laugh here)

Yeah, that was a mistake.

I assumed it would be easy, that the blogs will basically write themselves.

Yeah… Not so much.

Why I ever thought that writing a blog about beauty products. Would develop a love for the industry in me I don’t know…

Seriously, I’m the bare-faced, fashion stunted, mum of two with very little desire to follow beauty trends. Beauty blogging was not the way for me. Break down what you want out of blogging, what topics you would find most engaging, what kind of audience you want, how far you want to take it. Don’t assume these things will come to you as you post. Having no goals in place will see you floundering. So my advice. Please please plan. I want you to succeed.

Next,

Be yourself!

The best response to a post I have ever had was a post where I was entirely myself. It was written in about 20 minutes and it still makes me happy to read.

I developed this semi-professional cold approach to blogging. Probably because I wasn’t writing about things I enjoyed to a passionate level. Blogging is a personal experience had in a public realm. In this day and age, people want to connect. So do it… Connect. Create a community of like people that challenge and support you and each other. Evolve together and you will find success. Even if it’s slow going.

Build your space!

You will need it! A room, a desk, a lamp and some quiet. Nothing like being constantly called away when your trying to get some work done to kill that blogging feeling. You won’t get anything done, you’ll just become stressed and angry, and you will give up. Make yourself a blogging space so you can be your productive best.

Failure is imminent, but don’t let it become a regret.

You will fail… We all have. But your strength lies in turning that failure into a win. I fail myself by not applying or shutting myself down to the massive possibilities that await in the blogging world. I was contacted about being a guest blogger and instead of jumping at the chance even if I failed…

Well, I was freaked out (bad anxiety and second-guessing) so bad I even neglected to contact the person who approached me and let them down easy. I completely blanked them. I regret that to this day. It was awful and unprofessional. So I’ll take three seconds to apologise to them right now.

I am sorry, so very truly sorry and if I could get that chance again I would take it.

Back on point, failure isn’t the end. I know it is easy for me to sit here and tell you to take that proverbial bull by the horns and make him your bitch, but you (and I, for that matter) need to take that chance even if we break our bones in the process. Take that affiliate link and share the crap out of it, try that sponsored post thing, write that short e-course or e-book if you want but take those risks. Put you and your blog out there and get that attention.

Apparently its worth it, wanna try 🙂

lastly,

Fall in love with blogging.

I see my blog and I love it but the lack of “success” is holding me back. So, love your blog even when you’re not getting the follows, the statistics or the cash flow. Blogging has to become a labour of love before it can become a cash cow. I have come to the understanding if I love my blog and my posts to the point that I can ignore the hate and lack of interest. That if I love my little space in the blogging sphere it will begin to grow some amazing opportunities and get some attention.

Let’s face it not everyone loves a garden until spring arrives and those flowers bloom. That’s when that little garden gets the attention it deserves.

Now go out and someday I hope to see you succeed where I have failed. I want to be like you one day!

Love,

Taominx

This post is written from personal experience and is not guaranteed success. We are all learning this business and what works for others won’t always work for you.

Living With Depression!

If there is one thing so many people can understand it’s Depression, but do non-sufferers really understand the full weight you carry? Or just not try and understand?

I’ve never really taken the time to understand depression even when being assailed by its demons. Even bringing up depression has friends and family reeling “no! you don’t!” They’d say or simply scoff and brush it off “you’re just having a bad day”

A bad day…..

A bad is when you blow a tire and you 45 mins late to an important meeting! A bad day is when your kids just won’t let you pee by yourself and then you spill milk all over the shopping centre floor! A bad day is when you simply don’t get enough sleep so you make mistakes at work which forces you to have to redo everything!

That’s a bad day!

My “Bad Days” consist of being physically sick because my mind is full of shadows, my bad days are not moving from bed all day and sleeping my life away because I just can’t see the benefits of living! My Bad days are watching everyone around me through a grey haze because I don’t fit in or feel like I should even bother, I’m convinced those same people hate me but won’t tell me, I’m convinced they will toss me out like an old sandwich… No remorse, no concern, nothing holding them back from completely wiping me from their lives and memories.

My “bad days”,, as you call it, are warped into desperation and illness. I’ll spend nights not sleeping because my mind won’t stop telling me the world doesn’t want me! I’ll spend days not eating because my emotions are just so very dark that I’m feeling incredibly sick. I’ll do all these things day in and day out.

My bad days are more than my good days. If I asked a non-suffer when there bad days like mine were I bet they’d probably say a few times a year. You’re a few times a year can be our “good days”!

Swallow that!
Let that marinate in your minds eye… tell me if you can live in the shadows like we do!

I’m not writing this so that I can gain sympathy, I’m not writing this because I want attention. I don’t want that attention! I hate having my life tainted with depression and anxiety!
I want to love my life!
My life is awesome!
I can understand, logically, that I am incredibly lucky but emotionally I’m always waiting for the fall out. Mentally I’m always fighting with myself to recognise the awesomeness that is my life! I’m tired, mentally, emotionally and physically tired of fighting myself and then fighting the pitfalls of life.
I’m tired!

No……
I don’t want your sympathy.
Your empathy… maybe.
Your understanding….. yes!
Your support…… most definitely!

Right now I’m sitting here thinking “gee you sound like a whinging little parasite, who cares about your issues? Nobody is going to want to read this you’re wasting your time! You’re not important enough for this to matter! Why would you bother with this post? Everyone is going to think you are only after the attention. Nobody likes those people who beg for attention! Scorn…. ridicule… that’s all you’re going to get because they can see through you and your attempts at bringing awareness!”

But I want to write this because I DO want to share with you! I want to show people they aren’t alone! And right now, with my depression swirling around my head, I think that this is the PERFECT time for ME to write about it!

Do you know what depression is?? Do you know how to combat it?? Do you know who to see when it hits?? I’ll be honest I’m horrible at all those things when it comes to me!

But when it comes to others I’m quite happy to show you the way!

And my blog is how I’m going to!

So, What is depression?

Anyone can feel depressed, most people have. But BEING depressed is different. Depression is the onset of low emotions that persist for days, weeks, and months at a time. Some sufferers have depression so bad that their low moods can last years. It can affect you physically as well. Lots of sufferers deal with headaches, nausea, and aches and pains. A lot of sufferers even gain or lose weight as their moods change. I, myself, binge eat when my mood plummets and then it’s a vicious cycle I get depressed about my weight then I eat and get depressed about how much I’m eating.

How does it affect you?

Depression affects you in various ways. Including the way you think and act. Many believe that depression is about low and negative moods, the moods are just one aspect to how you can be affected.

So, What are the signs?

• Lowered self esteem and/or self worth
• Changes In sleep
• Changes in appetite
• Changes in sexual drives (decrease or absent)
• Uncontrollable emotional states ( generally towards the negative! Feeling guilty, inadequate, pessimistic anger, irritability, and anxiety, etc),
• Varying Emotion levels (feeling down in the morning but gradually feeling better as the day continues)
• Reduced Pain Tolerance (lowered pain thresholds and an increase of persistent ailments)
• Poor Concentration And Memory ( some sufferers feel demented)
• Poor Motivation
• Less likely to go out
• Failure to finish work/school work
• Withdrawing from friends and family
• Relying on alcohol or sedatives
• Inability to enjoy normal activities (activities they have enjoyed in the past)
• An increase of negative thoughts (I’m a failure, it’s my fault, everyone would be better off without me, etc)
• Feeling tired and drained constantly
• Always sick
• Headaches and muscles pains
• Churning Stomach/nausea

These signs and symptoms are continually and may present at any time and sometimes for no reason.

So, How do you treat depression?

If you’re lucky you can get through it without intervention. Most people however employ treatments that deal with depression through Psychological (therapy) means, Pharmaceutical means, or with Natural Medicines and Therapies (meditation, aromatherapy, etc).

Psychological Therapies can be done alone or in groups. The most common and most effective treatment is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). It is a structured treatment that works by identifying thoughts and behaviours that cause depression or those that hinder recovery. This treatment method teaches you to think rationally about the issue at hand and to alter negative thoughts and behaviour patterns or reactions into something more realistic and positive.

The other treatments are Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness-based Congnitive Therapy (MBCT)

Pharmaceutical forms of treatments don’t just consist of antidepressants. More severe cases, use antipsychotics, mood stabilisers, and antidepressants to combat their conditions (such as Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis).

There are a lot of antidepressants to choose from. The antidepressant a suffer ends up using can be one of SIX types. All work, all have side effects and all are given based on many factors, medical history, age, symptoms, other medications, severity, pregnancy or breastfeeding (if you’re a women). They vary from person to person, so finding the right antidepressant and treatment for a single sufferer can take months. It’s, however, extremely important to find a treatment method that works for you! Forget how your best friend, sister, aunt, neighbour is doing. It’s all about YOU!

The most commonly used type of antidepressant in Australia are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s). These include Sertralines, Citaloprcem, Escitalopram, Paraoxetine, Fluoxetine, and Fluvoxamine. All of the SSRI’s are generally well tolerated and non-sedating (generally).

Others types of antidepressants are

Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI’s have fewer side effects, prescribed for severe depression and are safer when overdose occurs),

Reversible Inhibitors of Monoamine Oxidase A (RIMA’s have fewer side effects, non-sedating, less effective treating severe depression, help with anxiety and sleeping difficulties),

TriCyclic Antidepressants (TCA’s are effective but harmful, affects newer drugs ie SSRI’s, likely to cause low blood pressure),

Noradrenaline-Serotonin Specific Antidepressants (NaSSA’s are newer antidepressants, helpful with anxiety and sleeping, generally low in sexual side effects ie drop in desire/ability, may cause weight gain),

Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (NARI’s designed to work selectively on Noradrenaline, less likely to cause drowsiness/sleepiness, after the initial does is likely to cause restless sleeping patterns, increase of sweat production, cause sexual difficulties, cause urination difficulties, increase heart rate).

This blog is important to me and mental illness is close to my heart. I appreciate you reading and hope you learnt something. Even if it’s just to listen harder when someone says they are having a “bad day”. Please if you believe a friend or loved one is suffering help can be reached at anytime on the following 24 hr Free call phone services.

Beyondblue.org.au
1300 22 46 36

Lifeline.org.au
131114

SANE Mental Illness Helpline
1800 688 382

The information I have shared to day can be found on the Beyondblue website (linked above) as well as a Mental Health check list.

The information used in today’s blog can also be found on Black Dog Institute website.

Both of these websites hold vast amounts of information and are in an easy to read format. I found them both truly helpful when researching this condition.

Take care of each other


Taominx.

As always, I am not affiliated with any of the brands, websites or products showcased in this blog. This blog was written based on personal experiences and research. Any information in this blog has been shared by me with the intent of distributing information, this information is in no way to be used as medically diagnostic. I am not trained medically and am simply reciting information available to the public in hopes of helping sufferers and there family to seek professional help from certified practitioners.

How to Take Great Newborn Photos Using Only Your iPhone.

So you’ve finally had that little bundle of joy and now you want to share them with the world!  But, how do you get a photo that paints you as a supermodel instead of a sleep-deprived zombie?

You know the ones!

Mummy sitting pretty all clear-eyed, smiling brightly. Baby looking calm, chubby and completely adorable. The photo so clean you could almost swear that they were sitting in front of you the whole time!

Yup, those photos!

Sometimes you can fluke it but mostly it takes several shots to get that one perfect picture. So many people will just shrug and say “I just had a baby! Who cares how I look?”

Well, just because you’re a parent now doesn’t mean you can’t look as awesome as you feel. I have so many pictures of me and my children. I still regret that so many pictures have me as a frumpy dumpy housewife (nothing against housewives. I’m one myself) So, why not put your best foot forward… or in this case best face!

Don’t stress the photos are easy even if it does take time, But that’s why they created the “burst” shot. They are so easy, in fact, You can even use your phone!

So how do you do it?

For Mum and Dad

Always start with a shower!

I know! It’s so simple and regular that you’ll probably be thinking.

“But why are you mentioning this?”

I bring this up because it’s so easy to forget to have a shower when you have a newborn (one of those things that nobody ever tells you can happen) A shower will set the mood for your photos. You will feel clean, clear-headed, and just so wonderful.

Wear comfortable clothing!

This point is probably self-explanatory too, but being in clothes that are uncomfortable will deteriorate your photo happy self very quickly. So aim for something chic and comfortable. Abiding by this rule will also help if the photo session takes longer then you think. (It will because of it so much fun).

Go for a natural look! 

Don’t give yourself dramatic makeup (unless of course, that’s your thing)

Go for a minimalist look. The aim is to look soft and maternal not like a fierce party girl. You want to make the other mums swoon at your natural glow and pristine skin.

“Show me your best side”… so important.

Everyone has one.

Just look at the way you align your selfies. You are naturally inclined to shift into a position that makes you look spectacular.

And even if you don’t feel like it. Standing up straight will make you look healthy, happy, and will stretch those beaten joints and muscles.

If you get this right your body will also look leaner and meaner.

For Baby 

Make Sure Baby is Clean and Full.

A new nappy and a full tummy will make baby sleepy. Keep her warm (or him) and they will be easy to pose and work with to get that perfect shot. Comfort your bundle through the whole experience and you’ll be smiling at the end.

Dress Baby in the Cutest Outfit! 

Have fun with this!

Baby boy will look adorable dressed in suspenders

Baby girl will look priceless in a tutu

Clichéd?

Maybe?

 They are classics for a reason. Just have fun with it! There are so many stores online that sell the perfect outfits for the photos. I always favoured Ruffle bums!

My favourite stores are With love 4 kids and La Sienna Couture.

Pinterest and Instagram are great for finding amazing handmade outfits for Bub or even inspirations for your photoshoot.

The Picture! 

Like I said these photos can be captured on your phones or smart device. No need for you to spend thousands on a brand new camera. You can get some amazing apps for iPhone and Android.

I have an iPhone and I use camera+ you can set this camera to burst mode and it will catch shot after shot. Be careful though it’s slow in burst mode so if you move before it’s finished it will capture some great blurs or ground shots.

I tend to get frustrated with it so I just continually tap the capture button.

The light!

You need the best, cleanest light. This step is important the better the light the better the picture. A good rule of thumb is later mornings (about 10 am) this time of day limits the shadows cast by your chosen backgrounds and lightens up the star of the picture. (That being bubba bundle and you!)

The background!

You want a background that is minimalistic. This keeps you and your baby as the main focus. A blank wall is always good or use a nice outside setting such as a park. Just make sure to keep the background “quiet”.

After the Photoshoot! 

Once you’ve spammed the capture button a great editor is recommended (you don’t have to. Sometimes the perfect shot needs no editing)

I use Snapseed to edit my photos (again another smartphone app). You can control almost all aspects of the picture. Like I said sometimes the best shot to use needs no editing but others may need something as simple as a crop.

And post!

Post your favourites on your social media sites or print them off for your loved ones and just wait for the compliments and praise.

These are some of my favourites I took with my phone!

Miss Tay was 3 days old in this picture and had her first fill of breast milk.
Miss Tay was 1 month and just received her first Ruffle Bum outfit.  The outfit is a Made with Love 4 Kids Ruffle bum.
Two Months old and loving the camera. This outfit is Made with Love 4 Kids
Two months old and Cheeky. This outfit is Made with Love 4 Kids
Miss Tay is so photogenic it’s crazy. This outfit is Made with Love 4 Kids
October 2015, Naming day dress and flowers, 4 months old. This Dress is a La Sienna Couture outfit.
snapseed-6
Seriously loved the fake flowers.  Outfit By Made with Love 4 Kids

Love Taominx

These are helpful hints only and I cannot be held responsible for any failed attempts
There are no affiliate links in this  Blog