So You Want to Start a Blog

So You Want to Start a Blog

If you’re anything like me, the idea of starting a blog might intrigue you. Maybe you have something you’d love to write about. Maybe you have a passion project, like me. Maybe you think it would be a smart idea for your business to have a blog, but you’re not sure where to start.

Since I’ve had this blog for almost 4 months now, I thought I would share my tips, tricks, and resources.

Getting Started

First and foremost, I highly recommend Regina Anaejionu and her site byregina.com. She is an absolute gem, and every blog post, Instagram caption, and email is worth a read. If you’re just starting out, check out her free course Free Blog School. This course will help you setup your blog in either WordPress or Squarespace. Her information is incredibly detailed, always up to date, and understandable. I also highly recommend her course Blog Like a Mag, which is also free! Regina really cares that everyday people have access to her stellar information so take advantage!

In case you’re curious, for my site, I use WordPress, I host with Siteground, and my theme is Divi from Elegant Themes.

Color Palette

One very important aspect of your blog is color palette. Your color palette is the series of colors you use together throughout your site. Being consistent on this helps people respect your brand. Consistent branding tells people who visit your blog that you’re professional and you take what you’re doing seriously. The best site to use for this is called Coolors.co (which I learned from Regina, of course). Coolors will allow you to look at multiple colors next to each other, which is really useful in selecting a palette. Most people have a hard time visualizing what colors look like in their heads.

Here’s a look at my color palette in the Coolors platform:

The Notable Woman brand colors

Image Creation

You’ll need to have some sort of header images on your blog post, and you’ll also want images for your social media posts as well. You can use Photoshop for that (and I do know Photoshop), but it’s also much easier to use apps for this. First and foremost, I recommend Canva as my favorite overall design site. It’s really easy to keep your work consistent. I also use Phonto, PicsArt, and WordSwag. Here are samples of what I do in each of these programs:

This is my logo, and it was created in Photoshop.

Leah Kent at the Super U Summit

This is a post I made in Canva for my my Summit speaker Leah Cherry Kent. I should also say that stock images are huge for blogs. You’re often going to have an idea of an image you want to use, but you won’t be able to create it yourself. In that case, I use stock photo sites like pixabay.com (free) or stockunlimited.com.

Great quote from notable woman Rosemarie Wilson of Pragmatic CoachingThis is a quote meme I made in Phonto for my Instagram. Podcast listeners might recognize this amazing quote from Episode 7 with coach Rosemarie Wilson of Pragmatic Coaching. 

Great quote from notable woman Elizabeth Edwards

Lastly, this is an Instagram meme I made in WordSwag.

These are all great programs and sites that I highly recommend! If you want some free training on images, I highly recommend Rebecca Portsmouth over at Living Abstracts. A professional photographer, Rebecca has a great eye, and her free 5-day course easily teaches the basics.

About Page

Writing your about page is one of the hardest things you’ll do when starting your blog. Regina at byregina.com has great advice on this, and I am also a big fan of Nikki Elledge Brown who is a “communication stylist.” She has an amazing About Page “recipe” (Great way to describe it, right!?!) that I highly recommend. Check it out.

*****

And there you have it! These are some of the most important steps I have taken and things I have learned in the past few months of blogging. What do you think? Might you be interested in starting a blog?

TNW13: Energy and How You Can Increase Yours with Maddie Penko

TNW13: Energy and How You Can Increase Yours with Maddie Penko

About this episode

In this episode of The Notable Woman Podcast, I chat with Health Coach Maddie Penko about energy stealers and how you can increase your energy. Maddie is a gem of a health coach, and I met her in Jenn Scalia’s Little Black Business Book, an excellent online resource for women in business. Maddie’s light and sense of fun shine through in every post, and we started chatting outside the group. I’ve done several of her free challenges and am in her free health group. I like Maddie because she isn’t afraid to tell you where you could be improving your health with some of her signature sass, but at the same time, you feel loved and supported. She’s like that older sister (although obviously, she’s younger than me!) who has caught you borrowing her killer heels for the last time.

When Maddie and I first chatted about the focus of this episode, I was so excited to hear she was focusing on energy. I know as a professional boss woman who also is mama to a tiny mischief maker, energy is a huge problem for me. Having avenues to increase my energy without bathing in Red Bull is much more the way I want to go. Listen in to get Maddie’s insight in this interview and definitely download her free guide on energy stealers!

About Maddie Penko
There’s a lot of information out there. Science is contradicting itself every day, and what works for someone else might not work for you, even what I’m telling you today on the podcast. So acknowledge the information, take it in, then check-in with yourself, your body, your values, and just do you and what’s going to work for you.

Maddie studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the largest nutrition and certification program in the world. During her training, she studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. Her teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities.

After going through her own wellness transformation and becoming her highest self, it is Maddie’s mission to empower other busy, go-getter women to raise themselves to their highest level with fast and effective solutions for more energy and healthy body composition. Grab her free guide to learn about 5 Major Energy Stealers That Leave You Exhausted.

Resources

Maddie’s website
Maddie’s Facebook page
Maddie’s Facebook group – Free accountability plus great resources from Maddie
Institute for Integrative Nutrition – where Maddie studied and trained
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret – a documentary Maddie recommends on the food industry
More information about Tabata workouts – high-intensity workouts that have a huge impact

Free Resource
Because Maddie is such an absolute gem, she’s giving Notable Women her FREE energy guide. Grab her free guide to learn about 5 Major Energy Stealers That Leave You Exhausted.
TNW12: Start to Self-Love with Susan Adhikari

TNW12: Start to Self-Love with Susan Adhikari

About this episode

In this episode of The Notable Woman Podcast, I talk self-love with the amazing Susan Adhikari, affectionately known as Suz. Suz is a health and wellness mentor for females, and I love love love her message. Why? Because Suz is all about self-love. Suz believes that if we are going to achieve any of our goals or dreams, it all starts with loving ourselves first. That’s a message I can 100% get behind, and something I believe in myself. Since I’ve started my own meditation and visualization practice, I can clearly see in my daily life how positive an effect self-love has on me. Dive into this episode with Suz and let’s start loving ourselves!

About Susan “Suz” Adhikari

So every time you go on self sabotaging or self loathing activities, thinking all negative stuff, then pull out that piece of paper and read all the positive things you wrote about yourself, and that helps to get your mind from negative to positive instantly.

Susan Adhikari (Suz) is a health and wellness mentor for females. She helps busy women lose weight and become confident on who they are by changing their mindset so they can take charge of their health and happiness. Through her experience and education she has realized that losing weight is so much more than just the outside appearence and this is what she educates to females.
One Year, One Hundred Women’s Stories

One Year, One Hundred Women’s Stories

After the election results last week, I received many texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages that the world needed The Notable Woman now more than ever.
 
Meh, I thought.
 
I didn’t know if I agreed. Half the country didn’t even vote in this election. While I am sure a percentage of that half was disenfranchised, the majority didn’t think this election or their vote mattered enough to be bothered. Of the other half of the electorate, slightly more than half voted for one side and slightly less than half voted for the other.
 
Could we possibly be more divided?
 
People worrying about whether or not their marriage will become second class are told not to worry. Really? Why shouldn’t they? Rural communities are economically suffering, and they’re hurting. They feel like no one cares about them. The other side says my pain is worse than yours. This is the United States of America.
 
United? Never less so.
 
Even on the same side, people attack each other. You should be protesting; you shouldn’t be. Protesting is your constitutional right; your protest is interrupting my day. Wear a safety pin to show you’re for the safety of others; wearing a safety pin is an ineffective white entitled way of pretending you’re doing something.
 
All this division makes me hurt. I have this annoying “strength” according to Clifton’s Strengthsfinder of seeing that people are connected and more the same than not (Connectedness and Includer). In times like these, this definitely feels more like a weakness.
 
And so my friends said, “We need you.”
 
Uh huh.
 
And my buddy Shelly Robinson says, “You lead with love and understand people so well and that’s why you’re hurting so bad.”
 
Hmmm, maybe.
 
My husband says, “Lead with your heart.”
 
Okay, could I?
 
And he also said, “Get off your ass and go meditate.”
 
Gosh, he’s such a bossy butt. Okay, fine. I meditated. My mantra was, “What am I supposed to be doing?” Oh so clever, right?
 

And what kept popping into my head is 100 women’s stories. 100 women’s stories. Okay, why? Why? Why would 100 women’s stories make any difference at all? And what came into my head is that you can’t hate the person you know. And how do you know people but by hearing their stories? Of course, with this idea, the most important part is that the 100 women truly represent the make-up of the world. Gay, straight, transgender. Black, white, Asian, Indian, and more. Rich and poor. Doctors and women with life experience as their job training. Christians, Jews, Muslims. Women who like the Cowboys, even (thinking about Nicole Mustaccio here).

 
I tossed this idea at a few people. They liked it. I read a great article in The Washington Post about Professor Kathy Cramer’s work with rural communities in Wisconson. She ended with, “It’s the act of being with other people that establishes the sense that we actually are all in this together.” Yes! You are never more with someone than when you hear her story. And also, the act of listening to someone’s voice and REALLY hearing them is an intimate act. When I listen to someone on a podcast, I feel like I really know them.
 
And then I finished the last 3 chapters in Gabrielle Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith. I’ve been slowly making my way through it, and there were several passages in Chapter 10 that resonated with me:
 
“Fear and separation are a pattern that must be interrupted on a moment-to-moment basis.”
 
“Knowing that you are one with the Universe means that you accept that you’re not more special than or separate from others.”
 
“The pathway back to hope is through surrender. It’s not something that comes naturally to us- it must be a daily practice.”
 
Slowly, I was coming around to a better place. And then in Chapter 12, Bernstein stresses what Shelly told me almost a week ago – Lead with love.
 
And so that my friends is what I am going to do. And also, I don’t judge what you decide to do. We each have that choice.
 
What I need from you is my 100 women. I’ve got several ideas in mind, but together, we can put together stories that will unite and heal in ways that only stories can. Also, as a college educated woman, most of the people I know are college educated women. I don’t get out much. I need your help.
 
Much love,
Cristin
XOXO
 
 
 
[Edit: Obviously, the difference in vote totals has shifted from anything but “slight” since I first wrote this.]

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TNW11: Career Change: Now is the time! with Yanran Carpenter

TNW11: Career Change: Now is the time! with Yanran Carpenter

About this episode
I’ve changed careers more times than I can tell you, and sometimes sharing my story with how I’ve jumped around scares me. I worry that people think I can’t make up my mind or focus when really each step I’ve taken is on the same path. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without each moment, building on each other. Yanran Carpenter is a woman who feels the exact same way. Yanran is a career coach, and when she and I first talked about being on The Notable Woman Podcast, I was interested in her story of growing up in China. I thought that would be a nice addition to what we’re doing here on the show, and it absolutely is. But perhaps the most exciting part of Yanran’s story is that she never let her tale be told for her. She constantly switched gears until she was working at a career she loves. She truly embodies the old quote “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Listen in to hear Yanran’s journey as well as get some tips if you’re contemplating a career change.
About Yanran Carpenter

Definitely put your intentions out there and good things will follow.

Yanran Carpenter is a self – development  and  career  coach  for  students  and  working  professionals  who  want  to  pursue  a  career  they  passionate  about  and  live  a  regret  free  life. She grew up in China and watched her mother fall in love with entrepreneurship, even though it wasn’t a common path at the time. She herself took an uncommon path by finishing her senior year of high school in an exchange program with the United States, then studying fashion design. Out in the world after graduation, she discovered that most of her life would be spent at a computer, away from people, so she made the move to become a retail manager. This career change got her out on the floor, around the merchandise, and back with people, but it still wasn’t quite right. She wasn’t the only one who felt that way so Yanran was constantly talking with her work colleagues and giving them career suggestions. During a Google search, Yanran discovered the help she was giving her colleagues had a name – career coaching! Her next path now discovered, Yanran studied to become a career change coach, and now follows the path of entrepreneurship and working for herself, just like her mother before her. You can learn more at yanrancareercoaching.com.
Resources

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