25 Things to do Before Turning 25

April is my birthday month and I’ve just turned 24 so I wanted to write about all the things I want to do in the next year before I’m a quarter of a century old! 

  1. Go on a caribbean trip
  2. Figure out how all this self hosting works (how can I find my view sessions?! lol)
  3. Breakeven on my self hosting investment
  4. Sell 100 copies of my debut poetry collection Cracked Open in its first 6 months
  5. Go hiking regularly in the warm weather
  6. Advance my career
  7. Write 125 new poems
  8. Create some healthy eating habits
  9. Be more active with my dog
  10. Go kayaking
  11. Go to a concert
  12. Publish 200 new posts
  13. Dye my hair a new color
  14. Start organizing for my next poetry collection
  15. Surprise my boyfriend (no more details incase he reads this)
  16. Grow Blog and Twitter following immensely (hard to put a number on it right now)
  17. Get another tattoo
  18. Attend a sporting event
  19. Have half of the finances needed to buy a house
  20. Visit another state
  21. Visit 20 new places
  22. Go to the golf range more often
  23. Go on a boat ride
  24. Get stronger so I can start seeing my chiropractor less
  25. Have some adventures this summer – fun and carefree!

Do you have any goals you want to achieve before your next birthday?

April Advice Column- First Date Ideas

A popular one is obviously drinks/ coffee since its less of a money and time commitment. I’m not a fan of them but for most it’s a good way to test out the waters without much risk.

I came to a point where I was going on so many dates that I started hating meal dates. Again it’s super common, everyone’s gotta eat right? They bored me and there wasn’t much room to hide if you didn’t like your date.

I prefer activities such as mini golf and bowling where awkward silences are acceptable and  since you can usually find moments to yourself. In my opinion bowling is better in a group setting so you might hold off on that until you’re ready to have your friends test out your potential significant other.

The key is to find something both of you enjoy doing. Are you active, maybe a short hike would be fun and adventurous? Do you enjoy trying new beers, find a local brewery or winery and out a new spin on the just drinks date. If you’re more of a homebody the immediate idea might be going to see a movie but a more original idea would be going to a planetarium! They’ll do short films and lectures about the galaxy which is cool and star gazing is pretty romantic. You’ll be comfortable relaxing in the dark theater plus some even do lazer light concert shows which is another unique experience. These are shorter than regular movies so they aren’t as much of a time commitment and hopefully won’t cut into conversation time as much.

The early dating stages are when you try your hardest to impress someone so find out things they like and run with it! I really like dogs and a twist to the usual meal date was being taken to a restaurant that was covered in dog pictures! It was unique, playful, and showed that he listened and wanted to impress me. My boyfriend really likes boats so our first couple of dates we would check out all the local docks, walking around to read all the boat names and pick out our favorites. You don’t have to impress a first date with how expensive something is, just how thoughtful you can be.

THE INTERNAL DEBATE TO GO SELF HOSTING

There is a lot of excitement to go self hosting. It’s a goal for a lot of bloggers and a popular motivational quote states “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. A popular life goal is to enjoy your work by finding what you’re good at and making money from it.

So you’ve completed step one and found something you’re good at and enjoy. Now you need to figure out how to make money from it. Since I never had a long term plan for my blog, I didn’t have many expectations for it. I definitely wasn’t marketing it or trying to grow my audience; my first 6 months I had 300 followers and was THRILLED!

But here we are 1.5 years later and I’m trying to plan for the future. The past few months my blog had been mostly running on scheduled content I had built up back when I had a lot more free time. That supply was starting to run out and I wasn’t coming up with any new ideas; so is now really the best time to make an investment?

When you self host you think how will you make money – selling products, affiliated programs, sponsored posts & brand collaborations? I didn’t know what direction my brand was headed, instead it seemed to be crawling to a stop. Being in the dating and relationship niche, I thought it would be a hard sell to popular brands. Company marketers could clearly understand the benefits to working with book, beauty, and fashion blogs but what could I offer them?

I heard a lot of different numbers tossed around in the blog community when it came to making money with the amount of traffic on your blog. I was worried I’d spend money on my blog and it would take months to finally make a net profit. I was worried the blog’s monthly income would be laughable at best. I was worried I’d fail and it freaked me out. Forget self hosting, I questioned if I should even continue blogging anymore!

I decided to push back my self hosting date, take a breather for a couple weeks, and try to build back up my content. And in order to do that I had to post less frequently. With less activity my stats dropped, they were nowhere near my past 6 months but also much better than what I was expecting. This gave me the push I needed and the confident to know I could do it. Of course, it’s good to have a plan and strategy but if you try to wait until everything is perfect then you’ll never make the leap.

My plan is to build up my content, understand the changes that come with self hosting, and work on building my traffic. I’m also giving myself slack with this learning curve and not setting high expectations for income for the next 6 months. After that I will re evaluate and set goals, all I had to do was believe in myself and my blog.

Cracked Open Available Next Week!

Cracked Open, my first poetry collection will be available next Friday, April 20th!

Preorder your Kindle version here!

 

Take a look at my Timeline for putting my book together:

January 11 – I officially decided to publish my poetry collection!! (after months and years of wondering if I could really do something like this)

Feb 5 – I hired my first illustrator

Feb 11th – I hired my second illustrator

Feb 24th – Exclusive Illustrations completed

March 5th – I completed the 20 exclusive poems for Cracked Open

March 14th – publicly announced poetry collection – began marketing Cracked Open

March 18th – submitted complete draft for review

March 29th – ordered physical proof for final edit/review

April  1st – Instagram Cracked Open promoting

April 20th – launch date!!

 

A more in-depth step by step article will be posted in the near future!

Finding Your Blog Motivation Again

You’re probably reading this because you haven’t written a new blog post in a few weeks or maybe its months. First thing you have to hear is that it happens to all of us and is totally normal! Being involved in the blogger community may seem like a double edged sword while you’re doing through your writer’s block. You’re seeing all your peers producing new content and that adds to the pressure to not fall behind.

The positive side though is seeing how many of your fellow bloggers are also going through their own dry spell. This helps you feel less alone and relieves the pressure by normalizing your situation. Feel free to reach out to those you relate to and connect, feeling support could put you in the writing mood.

As I mentioned earlier, if you stay involved in the community you’ll be exposed to new content from other bloggers. Since you’re not writing you’ll have extra free time for reading! See what’s currently trending in the blogger world! You can also search Newspapers, Magazines, and google keywords in your niche to try and find a spark. (Of course, don’t copy anyone’s work that doesn’t solve anything).

Some bloggers would suggest taking a break from the community. Take some time off from social media and focus back in on your life. We draw a lot of our inspiration from life experiences but if you’re not out there living then you could run low on material. A conversation with friend or relative could give you a new perspective a topic you might have been stuck on.  

While you’re taking a social media break, try to find inspiration in other art forms. Go to a concert or see a play, or maybe you’re also a creator in a another format such as painting or a fictional writer. None of these things have to do with your blog or niche, they’re just ways to light that fire inside of you again.  

Lastly, it’s nice to look at your old posts, see what used to inspire you and remind you of how far you’ve come and what you’ve been able to create. Remind yourself of why you started blogging in the first place and the fresh hope you had back then.

PS this is my first post since my writer’s block! You can even make your lack of a writing your way back into writing!