How To Be A Blogging Boss (And Stay On Track With Blogging)

How To Be A Blogging Boss (And Stay On Track With Blogging)

Do you know a Blogging Boss? Somebody who does it all, has a super busy life, yet consistently produces quality content? I call these people Blogging Bosses. I picked the brains of some of my favorite blogging bosses and what they told me was all similar. Here is how to be a Blogging Boss and stay on track with blogging.

How To Be A Blogging Boss - Tips to Stay on Track With Blogging by Aduke Schulist

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. 

Plan Ahead

Keep a list of everything that must be done and use it to plan ahead. Prioritize tasks and complete the most important ones first. Use a calendar, app, physical planner, or something that helps you see what needs to be done on a daily basis. Use what fits your lifestyle.

Keep a list of all the “overdue” tasks that need to be done. This includes those things you have been pushing back for weeks or months. Schedule these tasks into your plan. Make it a priority to complete one of these tasks every week until you are caught up.

Write in Batches

If you are anything like me, then it is sometimes hard to sit down and focus on writing a blog post. There are so many distractions and my mind just isn’t in it.

Pick a day to just write posts. You will be amazed at how many posts you can get written in a single day.  When I get those moments where I am really focused and my mind is there, I’ve found it easy to knock out 3 or 4 posts before even getting up. Then…

Schedule Content

Once you have written a few blog posts, schedule them throughout the week or month, depending on how often you publish new articles. When I finally sat down and put together a plan for this blog, I decided that every 4th day I would post an article. This way it is easy for me to keep up with what needs to be done and I am able to schedule posts in advance.

Be Consistent With Images

I recently found this one out the hard way. I always just made an image depending on the mood I was in. This wasn’t good for a lot of reasons. For one, it took a lot of time, and for two, my brand wasn’t easily recognizable by the images I was putting out. When I started using a template that I had created for my images I found it so much easier and less stressful. I felt like I was a blogging boss. Now, all of my images match and it only takes me a few seconds to create an image.

Get up Early

This is not one I find myself doing… like EVER! I’m not a morning person, and getting up early to work is not appealing to me. I haven’t found myself setting alarms yet, but if they say it works, then I probably should.

I am more of the stay up late kind of blogger who is working when the kids are in bed. Plus, my kids are awake the moment they hear noise in the house.

Work Time = Work Time

Stay focused and on task by making work time only for work. Set a timer if you need to, and take short breaks for every 15-20 minutes that you work, but schedule time just for work.

I call myself multitasking, but that’s basically me saying I am not truly focusing on my work when I am working. I tend to have twelve windows and two or three conversations going at anytime. I know I could get a lot more done if I followed this advice consistently and closed out those distractions. Being a single parent who homeschools, I also find this one a little hard. I don’t really have time away from my kids, so interruptions are constant. Perhaps that is where getting up early comes into play.

Be Passionate

There came a point in my blogging career where I felt like I was blogging for everybody else and not for me and I noticed that I basically quit. That’s when I had to reignite the passion I had for blogging and get back to my roots.

If you are passionate about your blog, then it will come easy. But if you aren’t, switch things up until it feels right.

Goals

With all that said, I have some ideas of what I need to work on and I already have some goals on my blog report, but thought I should make a few more goals. These are all things I am committing to completing before my next blog report on May 5th.

  • Create Privacy Policy/Disclosure
  • Create an email list
  • Finish editorial calendar through June
  • Clear 2 sticky notes off of computer (These are lists of overdue tasks. I currently have 9 sticky notes on there and they are all full. Some have been there for a ridiculously long time.)

What are some ways you rock your blog as a blogging boss?

Do you have any overdue tasks?  

 

Beginning Photography Equipment on a Budget

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may be rewarded.

I’ve had a few questions regarding what equipment I use and what is on my Wishlist as a beginning photographer. I gotta say, I am a Nikon girl, so most of these are Nikon specific. I am also the type of girl who reads endless reviews before making a big purchase, and I consider my camera equipment big purchases (no matter what the final cost), so I feel like I have gotten the most bang for my buck. Here is my beginning photography equipment:

Beginning Photography Equipment

What I Own:

Camera Body Nikon D3100 w/ 18-55 Kit Lens

I picked my camera body and 18-55 kit lens up at a local Wal-Mart many years back. This is my first Nikon and having had bad experiences with Canon cameras previously, I find that I prefer Nikon now. This is a very basic entry level DSLR camera. Since this model, many more have come out, but if you are looking to get into photography and get a DSLR on a budget, this may be an option for you. You can find them refurbished or second-hand at a great price.

Additional Camera Lens 55-200

When I purchased my camera, it actually came with two kit lens. The 18-55 mentioned above, and this 55-200. I found myself mostly using the 18-55 as I was shooting indoors a lot with little space, but as I am getting into outdoor shoots, I am loving the 55-200. It’s a decent zoom lens for the price.

Speedlight T556

Lighting is a struggle for almost any photographer. My first lighting purchase was the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite. As with all of my equipment, this is a very basic speedlite, but does exactly what I need it to. As you can see below, studio lighting is on my wishlist, but for now, the versatility of a speedlite fit my needs (and budget) better.

Photoshop and Lightroom

A photography session doesn’t end when the last picture is taken. The work continues on the computer. Now that I feel like I have taking pictures under control, I am working on editing them. I held off so long on purchasing something that I had no clue how to use, but with the aide of lots of tutorials, webinars, and YouTube videos, I am learning how to edit. I like that it’s affordable and I will always have the latest version without having to fork over more money.

And that’s really about it. I have a tripod, but mostly use that for videography (*ahem YouTube*) and rarely for photography.

What’s on my Wishlist

Nikon D500 Body

I have told myself time and time again that I wanted to master my camera and learn all I could about photography before upgrading the body, and I feel like I am close to being there. I am currently looking at the D500 as a body upgrade. It costs about three times as much as my current body, but has so much more potential. Then again, I’d love to have a full-frame body.

50mm 1.8 Lens for Portraits

This lens has been on my wishlist for way too long. It’s not a particularly expensive lens, I just never have the extra cash for it. I feel like I am at the point where upgrading my lens will help me achieve the look in images that I can’t with the basic kit lenses I have.

Lighting

As mentioned above, I currently only have a speedlite as far as lighting goes, but dream about some proper studio lights. I haven’t done too much research into exactly what I want, but have been eyeing these. I want the ability to light my subjects from different angles which a speedlite doesn’t have.

Clamps for Backdrops

I have always had a desire to photograph newborns. I’ve been practicing with my niece a lot and find that I really need to invest in some clamps to hold blankets and backdrops in place.

There are some other things I’d love to get like additional memory cards, a new camera strap, extra batteries and other “accessories” but find that those don’t particularly affect the quality of my images.

Curious to see the pictures I have taken? Find me on Facebook Aduke Schulist Photography.

Interested in any of this beginning photography equipment? Check out Amazon Prime Free Shipping to get it to you quicker. You can try it for free by clicking the image below.

Do you own a DSLR?

What brand of cameras do you prefer? 

How Do I Do It? Physically? #singlemom #strength

How Do I Do It? Physically?

If you are a single mom then you have probably been told how “strong” you are. I don’t think they are referencing physical strength here, but let me tell you, it takes a physically strong mama to raise children by herself.

And I don’t mean able to bench press your weight strong, I mean, pushing your body past the limits strong.

You go to bed late.

You wake up early.

And in between, you hardly get a chance to rest.

From housework to school work, to YOUR work, there’s so much to do.

This is part two of a three part series “How Do I Do It?” You can see part one How do I do it financially? here.

How do I do it Physically - Single Mom Answers by Aduke Schulist

Find a Support System

I’m blessed to have family close by that my children love spending time with. It isn’t uncommon at all for Losh to wake up in the morning wanting to go to Pa’s house. His Pa is happy to take him and spend time with him, freeing up some of my day.

Losh and his Pa - spending time together

If you don’t have family near by, turn to friends, or even ask your local college for baby sitter recommendations.

Leave Messes

As much as I hate to, I often leave messes for a later time. Seriously, that sink of dishes really is going to be there later. And, a little laundry pile never hurt. I’m not saying leave your entire house a mess, but it’s okay to take a shower instead of doing dishes. Don’t feel like your house has to be spotless.

Prioritize

This one often goes along with cleaning for me. There’s no way I’m going to clean an area my children are playing in. Instead, I focus on the area that is not going to get messy again soon.

Other tasks are prioritized and the most important one is done first. This way, I don’t feel guilty when I choose to watch Netflix instead of doing those dishes.

SLEEP!

You need your sleep just as much as you need to stay up late getting things done. And I totally understand, I am a night owl too, but if I know I have something important the next day, then I make sure I get my sleep the night before.

When I can, I nap. I waited so many years for my kids to be old enough to not destroy the house – or each other – while I napped and now I take advantage of it. I once knew a mother who would leave her young child in a playpen so she should get some rest. At first I thought the idea sounded totally ridiculous, but when my kids got to that stage, I totally understood.

Energize Yourself

Find something that energizes you whether that’s coffee or exercise. As a Mormon, I struggle with giving up coffee. I do good for so long, but then exhaustion hits and I find myself pulling through that drive-thru anxiously waiting for the barista to hand me my iced caramel latte with non-fat milk.

Iced Caramel Latte with Non-fat Milk by Mountain Mudd in Searcy Arkansas

For some, energy may come from a long bubble bath, or reading a good book. Find what makes you energized and embrace it.

Have a Positive Attitude

Ever hear somebody say they “couldn’t handle” what you do or that they aren’t “strong enough” to handle it? Yeah. It annoys me too. It somehow implies that what we do isn’t desirable. I’ve never met a single mother who told me that she wasn’t strong enough or couldn’t handle her role as a single mom. There’s no test seeing how strong you are.

Once you are thrown into this club, you just do it.

The secret isn’t about being physically strong enough, it’s about your attitude. Having a positive attitude really defines you as a single mother. Sure, you could be bitter and hate life, but that doesn’t teach your children anything.

Even on your darkest days shine bright by Aduke Schulist

What are some ways that you have helped support a single mom?

January & February 2017 Blog Report

January & February Blog Report

Are you comfortable sharing your income with the entire world? I’m not! But, I am all about accountability and progress. I know it’s a trend in the blogging world to share income and traffic reports and while I’m not quite comfortable sharing income reports yet, I thought it would be fun (and a great way to track progress) to share a general blog report.

I will be sharing these bi-monthly along with my goals for the upcoming months. Because this is my first one I am sharing a little bit more. Let’s see how I did with my first blog report…

January & February Blog Report by Aduke Schulist

By the Numbers:

2016’s Numbers:
Blog Created: September 23, 2016
# of Blog Posts in 2016: 11
# of comments in 2016: 21
# of sponsored posts: 1
# of views: 1,088

January’s Numbers:
# of Posts: 2
# of comments: 21
# of sponsored posts: 0
# of views: 152

February’s Numbers:
# of Posts: 4
# of comments: 3
# of sponsored posts: 0
# of views: 302

Note-worthy Happenings:

At the end of February, I did a slight re-vamp of my blog, making it more user-friendly and doing some customizations to my theme.

I streamlined my images, not only making them easier to create, but also matching my branding.

Blog Posts Worth Mentioning

We announced we are adopting in: We are… ADOPTING! – Single Mom Adoption

..and answered some questions that stemmed from that announcement in: What Are You Adopting? (And other questions answered)

I shared the start of a DIY project in: DIY Laundry Room Makeover (In Progress)

and created a new series answering some questions single moms always get in: How Do I Do It? Financially? #SingleMom #Budget

Social Media Followers:

I made no attempts to grow my social media following professionally other than using social media on a personal level. I did reach a YouTube milestone. Our channel (where we started regularly posting videos in November of 2013) reached 1,000 subscribers. While I do generate an income from YouTube, I do not put any professional effort into it and am very humbled by each and every one of those subscribers who find interest in our daily life happenings.

YouTube: 1,024
Facebook: 1,141
Twitter: 759
Instagram: 1,945
Pinterest: 793

March & April Goals

As far as my March and April goals, I hope to:

  • Post at least 6 times (each month)
  • Double my page views (from February)
  • Get at least 60 comments (each month)
  • Increase my social media following
  • Use Pinterest more

Are you a blogger who does income or blog reports? I’d love to see yours. Feel free to share them in the comments. 

 

 

Best Reads Of 2016

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In 2016 I set a goal to read 60 books. I figured at 1-3 books per week it was totally doable.  I forgot the fact that I read somewhat fast. I completed 197% of my goal. That’s 118 books. Nearly double my goal. Oops!

Here are some of my best reads of 2016 in no particular order

Best Reads of 2016 by Aduke Schulist

Joe Pickett Series by C.J. Box

I judge books by their covers and when I picked up the third book in the Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box, I was intrigued. Joe Pickett is a game warden who lives in Wyoming with his family. This series follows him as he investigates different crimes that have been committed in his area. I ended up getting hooked on this series and read every single one that I could get my hands on. I hear there is a new one and I can’t wait to read it.

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin

When it is your turn to be called, will you be ready? Nessa, the protagonist of The Call trains along with her classmates for the inevitable; to be called. She only has 3 minutes to save her life and herself from the Sidhe. Will she survive? I can picture this book being made into a movie. I passed it onto Kaia when I was done, and he loved it.

The Nice Girl Syndrome by Beverly Engel

I tend to be a pushover, so this book spoke to me and what I wish to become. While I haven’t been in an abusive romantic relationship, I have been emotionally and mentally abused and I feel like I am constantly being manipulated. This book helped me find out why and learn more about myself in the process. I definitely learned some tips on how to stand up for myself.

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brook

The Bunker Diary is another one I passed onto Kaia when completed. I have never been one to read the ending before I get there, and this book made me want to. Instead, I read non-stop and finished it in one-sitting. It was addicting! I was not expecting the ending. It’s one that you must read yourself.

13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff

Want to know what really happened during the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack? Read this book! The inside knowledge and details given from those who were there answer so many questions surrounding the attack.

Five by Ursula Archer

This book has a treasure hunt with a twist. When a lady is found murdered with coordinates tattooed on her feet, Detective Beatrice Kaspary begins a mad rush trying to find all the body parts to complete the “cache” and find the killer. I liked that Five contained geocaching, but it was a little gruesome.

This completes my best reads of 2016. As you can see, I have a pretty eclectic taste in books. Have you read any from this list?

What were some of your favorite books from 2016?