Hello everyone, today I thought I would do something a little different and share my thoughts on current events, along with what I’ve been working on behind the scenes.
Starting a Community
When I rebranded as JoinTheMEProject, one of my main goals was to create a community. I’ve discussed this a few times already. But I truly believe that blogging shouldn’t be a competition. It should be about creating strong bonds with like-minded individuals.
This thought process and mindset spawned TheCommunity Facebook group. I created this group for the bloggers, influencers, and creators. We are all at various stages of development and growth but that doesn’t mean we can’t lend a helping hand.
Within the group, you can find resources, weekly threads, and Q&A sessions. Feel free to join a growing Facebook group!
So many of us get burned out because we’re constantly worried about stats. Added on by the pressure of people who follow/unfollow and brands with unrealistic expectations. Instead, we should celebrate each other’s milestones because in the general span of things, we are a small community. Wouldn’t it be better to ignore what we have no control over?
But to combat the negativity, I want to make sure that I do my part. Today, on Twitter I’ve created an RT account that’s also attached to the Facebook Group.
I know one of the biggest struggles about what we do, is feeling like our work doesn’t get seen or pushed in front of a big enough audience. While this account is starting off at the bare minimum, I’m hoping with your help, it will grow.
Use What You Have to Highlight Others
I wrote about it today in the FB group, but there will be one new change that I will be adding to my Instagram. Each month, I will post a thread on FB entitled, Instagram Highlight. Once a week, I will randomly pick someone to highlight on my IG feed. You just have to be a member of the group and following me on IG.
That’s really all I have to share with you today, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
This post contains affiliate links. That means I earn money from the products mentioned in this post at no extra cost to you.
According to the Oxford Living Dictionaries, the definition of self-care is, ”The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
In KnowingYourLimits, I discussed what limits are and broke down the differences between physical, mental, and emotional limits. Today, I’m going to help you create a self-care toolkit. From this post, you’ll be able to learn how to use it, what should go in it, and why it is important.
What is a Self-Care Toolkit?
In some ways, a self-care toolkit is self-explanatory (pun intended). A master craftsman keeps his toolbox full of instruments that he knows. He understands how they work, what role they play, and how they benefit him in the job he wants to perform. The same can be said for a self-care toolkit. Fill it with items that are going to help you fulfill your self-care routine.
A master craftsman keeps his toolbox full of instruments that he knows. He understands how they work, what role they play, and how they benefit him in the job he wants to perform.Join The ME Project
Build up Where You Are Low
A self-care routine can have many factors to it. But I think it’s most important to build yourself up where you feel low. If you feel tired mentally add in items that are going to help you with that. Vice versa for other factors in your life that need strengthening.
With a blend of Water Lily, pear and peach this candle can be a great physical addition to your self-care kit. Let the aroma relax you and ease away the stresses of your day.
#ANOTE2SELF Meditation Journal
For your emotional needs, I definitely recommend this journal. It was created with self-care and mental health as its purpose. Inside you’ll find writing prompts and goals with healing in mind.
While I’m including this light in the mental category, it can really go in all three because it has so many benefits. This light copies what we would get from the sun. This light therapy can help regulate your body. With its compact size, take it with you when you travel or place it where you need it most.
View The Rest of The List
These are just a few of the items I recommend you add to your self-care kit. You can view the rest below, simply click the picture.
As always, let me know what you thought about this post. What would you add to your self-care kit?
As the day begins to draw to a close on February 1st, I thought it would be wise to remind ourselves of the momentum we had going into 2019. While this post is specifically about blogging goals, don’t neglect the other goals you’ve made for yourself. It’s never too late to put your thoughts into action.
Planning and organization seem to go hand in hand. Creating a downloadable planner was the first idea to pop into my head. I tried to think about what I would want in a blog planner all the while keeping it very simple.
What You Will Find
Reason for Post
As always to gain access to the blog planner, all you have to do is sign up for the Newsletter.
Please let me know what you think about this planner if you end up using it. I truly hope it helps some of you with your blogging goals. This post is definitely short, simple, and sweet but I wanted to get this up as soon as possible. Be on the lookout for the next post.
Welcome back to Join TheMEProject. In today’s post, I’ll be discussing the importance of blog maintenance. Find out my experience in responsibility, and learn how to fix mistakes. At the end of this post, you will find a checklist that will make it easier to maintain your blog.
I realized very quickly that owning my domain would be a bit more responsibility compared to before. Transitioning from a free site to a self-hosted one presented a new set of challenges. I had to learn SEO, what plug-ins to use and how to transfer over all of my data.
What I originally thought would be a quick fix, took a lot longer. I realized that if I truly wanted to do it right then I needed to understand what it meant to be a self-hosted blogger. I looked up articles and with some trial and error, I thought I was on the right path.
One of the first things I learned, was the importance of continuously sharing your old blog posts. It helps generate a steady stream of traffic to your blog and readers who may not have read it the first time. Since Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter is still relevant that was my pick. Imagine my surprise to find all the pictures missing.
After my small freak out, I learned that the transition between blogs wasn’t as smooth as I thought it was. I was still at fault though, because I had not been doing maintenance on my blog as I should have. If I was, I would have found the problem sooner and I could have fixed it. But then I wouldn’t have the inspiration for this post so I guess it works out.
Time to Fix it
I was left with a blank canvas, all the pictures were gone and all of the subheadings were oddly shifted to the left. Instead of pouting, it hit me that this gave me the opportunity to refresh the post from when it was originally written. I have learned more in my blogging journey since then and I could incorporate it all into this post.
Add the Pictures
Now, this would be a great time to update the pictures in your old posts if they are no longer relevant. The pictures I use in my post still work so that’s what I used but do keep this in mind.
Organize Files & Pictures
I cannot say this enough, but back up your files and save them. Towards the end of last year, my laptop finally died but every chance I got, I saved all of my files to an external hard drive. So thankfully nothing was lost. Since then, I’ve been using my iPhone for everything but I still like to keep everything organized. This mess up was easy to fix since I already had the pictures and files saved, but I can imagine the opposite happening if they weren’t available.
What Else Should You Do?
Here is where the Checklist will come in handy. Gain access to the BlogMaintenanceChecklist by signing up for the Newsletter.
Let me know if this checklist helps you and if you have ever encountered problems like this before.
The funny thing about life is that no amount of scheduling or planning can prepare you for when things go awry. My mother had this phrase her Nana taught her to say when she was little. ”Nana The Pot’s Burning!”, was code for ”I don’t feel like being bothered.” Or ”I don’t want to talk right now.”
”Nana The Pot’s Burning!”, was code for ”I don’t feel like being bothered.” Or ”I don’t want to talk right now.”Join The ME Project
My mother’s Nana wasn’t the type of woman to say those things out right. So my mother would come up with a kitchen emergency to get her off the phone. Then her nana would rush off the phone like it was an emergency. The only thing is, this could only be done a few times to the same person or else they would catch on. Over the week, and even yesterday, I had a series of “Pot Burnings”.
Monday and on into Thursday, I had a moment of realization that I was fighting against my own body. Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. I’ve been sick with a virus for about a week which by itself is okay. But I’ve also been dealing with complications with my Migraines and Occipital Neuralgia.
I don’t discuss all of my health issues, that often because honestly, there are many. While one is being handled, the others are sitting on the shelf. And I don’t want my health to become a “thing” or an “it”. My health is a part of me, sometimes the parts don’t work like they are supposed to.
Planning for Failure
Yesterday, I started planning for the week. After one mishap after another, I realized the day wasn’t going to work out. I wasn’t working correctly and my tech has been acting up. The little bit that I was able to do wore me out.
It’s okay to accept defeat in a battle as long as you don’t lose the war.Join The ME Project
I was done. And I think that’s an important step to make. It’s okay to accept defeat in a battle as long as you don’t lose the war. With my anxiety and depression, I know myself enough to know I hit my limit. I needed to rest. I needed to de-stress.
Opposite of Join The ME Project
I took yesterday off. At first, I felt bad. I didn’t want to miss a post. Then I realized it didn’t matter if I wasn’t in the right mindset to write it. How could I talk about motivation, encouragement, or wellness if I wasn’t feeling these things?
Today is better. Today, I’m here to say that it’s okay if the pot has to burn and you have to give up the day for yourself, as long as you don’t give up entirely. Bad days will happen. But good days are around the corner.
As soon as I learned my colors, I knew something was different about my family. There were so many colors involved. The various hues and saturation of browns with rich undertones of yellows and reds. I’ve always been a curious person, even at a young age, I constantly wanted to learn and I asked questions.
My mother tells a story that when I was four years old, I walked up to her and said, “I have a black grandma and a white grandma.” She asked me, “Who’s your black grandma and who’s the white one?” I told her, “Daddy’s mom is my black grandma. And your mom is the white one.” She laughed and said, “My mom isn’t white!” And I told her, “Well she ain’t black!”
Now, I have to say I was a pretty precocious child. My siblings were a lot older than me, and I entertained myself by listening to adult conversation. There was such shade variation between my paternal grandmother and my maternal grandmother that I knew that they were different. But it wasn’t until I got older, that I learned and understood what those differences were.
I told her, “Daddy’s mom is my black grandma. And your mom is the white one.” She laughed and said, “My mom isn’t white!” And I told her, “Well she ain’t black!”Join The ME Project
My paternal grandparents were from Montgomery, Alabama. They moved to Pittsburgh, PA when my father was young. My paternal grandfather liked to tell me stories that he was related to the husband of famous civil rights leader from that area, but I never knew if he was telling the truth or not. He had a silver tongue, and he could pull the ladies in his old age even without having any teeth.
He had a silver tongue, and he could pull the ladies in his old age even without having any teeth.Join The ME Project
My paternal grandmother couldn’t tell me much about her family, but she knew that her grandmother was a slave. Sadly, my parents separated when I was 12 due to domestic violence and my father moved back to Pittsburgh, PA. My paternal grandfather died in 2005. My paternal grandmother is still living, but I don’t know if I will get the chance to see her.
Because of my parents’ separation, I grew closer to my maternal grandparents. Funny enough, my maternal grandfather was also a storyteller. His family was Blackfoot Native American. He was originally from Mount Sterling, KY. They had a horse farm there, but it was gone by the time I came around. The family name could be traced back to Kentucky, it was the slave master’s name that was given to the slaves.
The only mystery that I had was my maternal grandmother. After the conversation that I had with my mother when I was four, I went up to my grandmother and I asked her why she didn’t look like everyone else. And why my mom and my youngest aunt had brown skin, but the rest had light skin (turns out that’s just genetics). But she told me that I was the first person that had ever asked her that question.
“My mom was my mom. I never thought to ask her about her family.”Join The ME Project
And to this day, whenever asked about it, my mom will say, “My mom was my mom. I never thought to ask her about her family.” Well, I had to be the odd one out, because I did. Turns out, my grandmother was half-Chinese. She knew that her father had a small shop downtown at one time, but then he left and went back to China. She never got to meet him.
My grandmother died in 2006, from Colon Cancer. This was just a year after my paternal grandfather had died, but this affected me more because out of all of my grandparents, I was closest to my grandmother. And just a few months later, I started my freshman year of high school so there was a lot going on.
During this time, I was stuck in a ball of emotions and I was looking for something that would connect me with my grandmother. So I started to write. Write down my emotions. Write down my memories and realize that not everything is black and white.
Hello, everyone. I hope it’s been a great day for everybody and that it continues into the rest of the weekend. Today, I’m very excited to share my experience working with Firmoo.com. I’ll be discussing how I got my new pair of glasses and later on, in the post, I’ll have a coupon code so you can get glasses too.
How it Came To Be
At the beginning of this month, I start thinking of brands that I would like to work with. I knew that if I went down the road of creating sponsored content, I wanted to make sure that it stayed authentic. It would be something that I would continue to use or something that I already use in my daily life. So I sat down one day and I made a list.
I knew that if I went down the road of creating sponsored content, I wanted to make sure that it stayed authentic.Join The ME Project
As most know by now, my vision is terrible. I’m not really a fan of contacts, I don’t find them that comfortable. I think glasses are classic and they offer versatility in style. Firmoo.com was the first company that I contacted to do a review and I was so surprised when I received a response.
So before I get started with the review, I want to take a moment to say, don’t think so less of yourself that you limit the opportunities in your life. I almost did that in this situation and I’m so glad that I have so many supportive people in my life that didn’t let me.
If you have ordered glasses online before, the process is basically the same. If you haven’t, that’s okay. I’ll walk you through it. On the website, you have the option of glasses and sunglasses. But for the sake of this post, I’m going to take you through the steps of how I got my glasses.
There are many frames to choose from. I went with this style because I wanted something different from the pairs of glasses that I currently own. I have two pairs that are semi-rimless. This time, I wanted a full frame, simple, black pair.
Once you have your frames picked out, the next screen you will see is a list of options on the type of glasses you need. This time around I got Distance, but next time I really want to get some Computer Blue-light blocking glasses because I’m constantly looking at my computer screen. And I honestly don’t need my vision to get any worse.
After you choose the type of glasses you need, it’s time to enter your prescription. This part can be a little tricky, so you have the option to upload a picture of your prescription or you can do it manually. My vision is different in both eyes so I always have to triple check to make sure I enter my prescription correctly.
Lens thickness is fairly simple. I always do standard thickness. But I try to take care and not drop my glasses. If you wear glasses and get thicker lenses let me know if you see a difference.
Just like with lens thickness, I don’t do lens color. I’m kind of old-school but I have a pair of clip-on sunglasses that I wear if I need to. The anti-scratch was free so I didn’t see a point in getting anything else added on.
I’ve had my glasses now for about two weeks and I really like them. There’s that moment of hesitation when you buy anything online. I’ve gotten pretty experienced with buying glasses online, but I still worry if they will fit my face right. My eyes are slanted, and almond-shaped but they’re still big at the same time. These glasses were bigger than I thought they would be but that actually played well in my favor.
Only $9.95 to get your first pair of Firmoo eyeglasses
I’ve been focusing a lot on the brand identity for this blog and what I wanted that to be. Especially, with my recent blog change, I wanted to make sure that I got this right. So today I’ll be discussing not only what brand identity is, but how I came up with mine.
What is Brand Identity?
If you were to think of your blog as a house, brand identity would be the bricks that make up that house. Brand identity can include your blog name, tagline, logo, the fonts you use, and colors you feature throughout. Once it’s established it should stay consistent. This may sound like a lot of effort for some but once you figure out the look you want your blog to have it’s easy to do. I’ll use mine as an example.
With my first blog, I created everything by whim or accident. By chance, everything worked out, but I didn’t want to do that this time. So I sat down with a piece of paper and wrote out what I wanted my blog to represent.
Over a period of time, I came up with what I wanted. And then I put my plan into action. But don’t feel like you have to rush through the whole process, I found myself backtracking and fixing things over and over again.
When I decided to rebrand, I immediately knew that I wanted the name my blog either be TheMEProject or JoinTheMEProject. Just based on its previous success on my old blog and I really want to build a community of like-minded people. So I thought putting a verb in the title would sink in that point.
Tagline: On a journey to inspire.
Now I don’t pay attention to fonts that much on my blog, I use the regular set for the theme. But while I’m using the Canva app I make sure that I use Brusher and Lora for logo and headers. And for my Pinterest pins I use PlaylistScript and GlacialIndifference. Keeping your fonts consistent on your creations helps people associate them with your brand.
Logo, Facebook & Twitter Header
It features a white daisy, orange roses, and red anemones. I went with flowers because I honestly love flowers and floral print items. But I picked these three for their meaning and their qualities that I want to emit not only from my blog but in my personal life as well.
White Daisy: innocence, purity, cheerfulness
Orange Rose: enthusiasm, passion
Red Anemone: anticipation, hope
Using the flowers, I was able to come up with a color scheme for my blog.
My color scheme features middle yellow-red, fawn, mandarin, vivid tangelo, and persimmon. These colors are very earthy and natural which is what I wanted. A good point to remember is that your brand identity will be the voice for your blog or brand. Think of content that you create and try to match your identity around that.
Overall, I’m really happy that I made the decision to do all of this. I feel like my blog and all of my social media are working together as a cohesive unit now.
I’ve seen a few other bloggers on Twitter asking about logos and design so hopefully this blog post will help. As always, let me know what you think. Have you thought about a brand identity for your blog?
To help keep everything organized, I’ve created a BlogIdentityChecklist only available through the Resource Library. Sign up now to receive your own copy.
What You’ll Find
Details: Check off your list as your work gets done. You’ll find boxes for:
Personally, I have physical, emotional, and mental limits. And admitting that you have a set limit is not a weakness. It just means that you are aware of what your body needs. I’m going to go through and break these down a bit. I hope that this makes everyone think and come up with their own limits.
With my mobility issues, I’ve become pretty aware of what my body can handle. There are still some days that I push myself and I don’t mean to, but I think I have found a pretty good balance. If I have a doctor’s appointment or physical therapy scheduled one day, I’ll make sure that the next day is open to rest. That way, I can relax and release the tension that’s built up over the previous day.
I also like to try and plan out my week ahead of time. This helps me know what I need to get done. If I can plan out a shopping list I know what stores I will need to go to. Instead of shopping when I run out of something.
Knowing your emotional limit is kind of a tricky one. It is based on your personal background and on what you can handle. When I’m close to my limit, I try to remove myself from the situation.
Say ”no” when you need to
Be kind to yourself
Start a journal
Detox from negativity
Stress can be the biggest trigger to your mental limit. The best thing to do is find ways to combat the stress in your life. Change up your routine or limit your exposure to stressful situations.
Even with all of these, you know your body, listen to it. It will tell you when something is wrong. Everyone is going through something whether you know it or not. It’s so important that we are kind and understanding of others. If you are going through something, remember you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to lean on others for help.
Post may contain affiliate links. These links allow me to make a small commission by referral at no extra cost to you.
Hello and thank you for visiting JoinTheMEProject. I officially welcome you to the first blog post of the new year. And to start the year off right, I thought I would reflect on my first-month blogging. Which just so happens to be December of 2018. Today, I’ll be breaking down my stats, what lessons I learned, and what I think other bloggers should be doing.
The Warm Up
I’ve mentioned before in, Let Me Reintroduce Myself, that this is not my first time blogging. I do have some prior knowledge. While this helped the whole experience seem less daunting, I still felt overwhelmed at times.
Towards the middle of 2018, I went on a hiatus from my previous blog. I made the decision to rebrand under a new name. This meant I needed to:
Create a blog with the new name
Change my social media to match
Think of my blog identity
Choose my brand colors
Resources That Come in Handy
To complete this list that I created for myself, I sat down and thought about what I wanted JoinTheMEProject to represent. I used the majority of resources discussed in Free Resources Every Blogger Should Know About. I used Canva to come up with a mood board for inspiration. I go back to this mood board often when I’m thinking of colors to use for headers or other content.
In this regard, the best advice that I can give you is write down a game plan and stick to it. Your blog identity should be what helps people recognize your blog. Think about:
By November, of 2018, I was on my way to being ready. The only cost that I had accumulated at this time was biting the bullet and deciding to self-host right away. For my domain fee and WordPress Package, I was only charged $12.00. I chose 1&1 IONOS because that’s who I had my previous package with for my other blog.
Writing from experience, when it comes to self-hosting, a lot of companies will offer great deals for first-time customers or first-year packages. You usually won’t see a hike in prices until the second year. First-time bloggers, don’t be afraid to shop around before agreeing to contract. At the same time, don’t be afraid to leave a contract if it’s not what you want.
I set aside the month of November to do some fine tuning on my blog and get my social media together. In my case, I recycled a theme from my previous blog but I will list where to find WordPress Themes, free and premium.
Next, it was time to set up social media. My first time blogging with my other blog, I made the mistake of trying to juggle every social media under the sun. Quickly, I found myself overwhelmed. This time around, I knew not to make that same mistake. I focus on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, mainly because they are great sources of traffic.
Tipforthebeginning: I had no posts for the month of November but I was still able to get 107 views and 57 visitors. It may not seem like much for some but all progress and all success should be celebrated. A great way to build anticipation and get people interested in your blog is to post teasers about it. This, of course, requires that you set up your social media beforehand.
The Month of December
I published 10 posts during the month of December. The most popular were:
A lot of my traffic came from Twitter, WordPress.com Reader, Facebook, and Pinterest. I had some from Instagram but not a lot, it’s not something I spend a lot of time on. I post on it regularly, but the follow/unfollow game has caused me to lose interest in the app.
Besides my mini-rant on Instagram, you should be sharing blog posts on your social media. Don’t think that by writing a great post and hitting publish that your job is done. If that’s the case, it may never get seen. Share across your social media to attract readers back to your blog.
I am honestly very happy with my stats so far. December necessarily isn’t the easiest month to write a blog in because of the holidays and vacation time. I didn’t make any money last month but it wasn’t a goal of mine. My goal was to work on traffic and engagement.
JoinTheMEProject is very near and dear to my heart, and I want to do everything that I can to make it the best blog and brand possible. Right now, I want to work on establishing a community. Everything else can come later.
Now, I want to hear your thoughts. Did any of this information help you at all? Will you be using any of these tips from this blog post? Let me know below.