What We Can Learn From Elle Darby’s Embarrassment

What We Can Learn From Elle Darby’s Embarrassment

If you have spent any time on social media this week you may have come across a post where a blogger was publicly shamed on Facebook.

This blogger, Elle Darby*, pitched a popular hotel company for a free stay. The hotel owner then blasted her on Facebook, causing a lot of drama between bloggers and those who love to hate them.

*I am only naming her here because she has chosen to go public herself.

We have a lot to learn from this.

What We Can Learn From Elle Darby - Bloggers are Social Influencers

Pitches

In her pitch, Elle boasted about her social media following and a big name company she recently worked with. She focused on herself and who she was. Only one sentence mentioned what she could do for the hotel she was pitching.

It does not appear she researched very much prior to pitching. She didn’t include any information about the brand in her pitch and in her youtube video discussing the issue she mentions them being a “pretty place to stay“. She wasn’t pitching them because she thought her audience would love them. She pitched them because it was a pretty place she came across.

This pitch could have gone to any hotel. There was nothing personal there. There was no attempt to show that she knew the company.

Abandoned Hotel in Bald Knob Arkansas

Overall, it wasn’t a bad pitch, but it was very generic and I think that is where she failed – and ultimately irritated the hotel owner as the first thing he mentioned was that she didn’t even call him by name.

Lesson: When pitching, get to know the brand and make it about what you can do for THEM. Have an idea besides just sharing their product.

The Public’s Perception of Bloggers

The average Joe doesn’t even know what a blogger is or what they actually do.

There are bloggers and then there are social media influencers. Not all bloggers are social media influencers, but most all influencers are bloggers. Social media influencers are typically built around a blog brand.

Anybody can blog. It takes a lot more work to be an influencer. As an influencer you aren’t just writing stuff on the internet. You are more than just a blogger.

Epic Blog Planner - Editorial Blogging Calendar

You are working with big name companies, constantly emailing brands and reps, signing contracts, advertising, creating content, taking pictures, editing them, writing posts, pushing your posts, and filing tax paperwork.

Yes, taxes.

You know who pays taxes? People who work.

Whether or not you like it, blogging is a job and a very viable one for many.

Lesson: The general public is ignorant as to what blogging really entails.

Bloggers Are Relatable

Have you ever seen a friend on social media asking for recommendations for a new X, Y, or Z?

That’s where a blogger (ahem Social Media Influencer) comes into play.

Here’s an example: I follow a dentist on social media. They have a decent amount of followers. But guess what? They aren’t advertising to their followers. The majority of businesses on social media are already doing business with the people who follow them. They are there to gain new customers.

A Bloggers Job - Social Influencer - Getting Botox

People ask for recommendations because they trust their peers.

As an influencer I am paid to work with brands just like this dentist. This gives me real life experience reviewing a service or product, like my Juvederm experience, that I can then choose to share with my audience. Not every review is going to be positive. Not every blogger is authentic either. As with any profession, you will have dishonest people. For the most part, bloggers are trustworthy.

Lesson: Bloggers have value. The average consumer is much more likely to visit a business that somebody they can relate to has visited and recommends. – Additionally, Every blog is comparable to an online magazine.. Companies will pay to advertise their product with good “magazines”.

Adults are Pathetic

After the hotel’s roasting of Elle went viral, bloggers showed up to defend her and her pitch. Some of them were then ripped apart. Some of them even stooped low enough to leave a 1 star review on a place of business they have never stopped foot in.

Full-grown adults were making fun of the looks of other people.

Full-grown adults calling people ridiculous names.

Full-grown adults were telling each other to commit suicide.

Yep, adults are pathetic.

Lesson: Adults are just as juvenile (maybe worse?) than high schoolers who love drama.

And finally, is there really such a thing as bad publicity? 

12 Favorite Blog Posts

12 Favorite Blog Posts

I recently celebrated 1 year of blogging here at Aduke Schulist, and while I sort of let the year slip by without doing as much as I wanted, I still marvel at the progress I made here. I am always so humbled that even 1 person finds interest in my writing, let alone all of you who faithfully read and comment – us bloggers live for comments – on Aduke Schulist.

In celebration of the past 12 months, I wanted to first share with you my 12 favorite blog posts from the past year.

12 Favorite Blog Posts by Aduke Schulist

1. Get Down Downtown 2016 – Outdoor Festival

One of my first posts on this new blog covered a yearly event called Get Down Downtown. Coincidentally that same event is coming up soon, so be on the lookout for this years coverage.
Get Down Downtown - Street Festival - Vendor Event 2016

2. Day Out at the Outlets of Little Rock

I enjoyed a girls day out with fellow blogging friend Tiffany while we shopped and learned about some of the great deals being offered by stores in the Outlets of Little Rock Shopping Mall (I still want those shoes! Why have I not bought them yet?!)

We had good food, good fun, and good memories. I can’t tell you how many times I have been back, but even the kids enjoy it.

Outlets of Little Rock

3. We are… ADOPTING! – Single Mom Adoption

We announced we are adopting. Since then, so much has changed, but not the desire to adopt. I have been putting off updating regarding the process, because there isn’t a whole lot to update at this time, but know that we are STILL planning on adopting! The time line has just been pushed back a bit while I hammer out some details.

4. Stand Still. Stay Strong. Have a VOICE.

It’s hard for me to stand up for myself and to speak my mind, but for 2017 I chose VOICE as my word of the year. With every decision I make, I am reminded of this word and what it means to me to have a say in my life.

I have noticed that I am a much stronger person because of this. I am not as easily intimidated. It has taken a lot of work, and is still a work in progress, but the progress is what’s important.

5. Fertility Awareness Method Explained and Tracking for Health

I gotta admit, I cringed myself when writing this post about the Fertility Awareness Method. Not because I don’t believe in it, but I was nervous of the reactions I would get. It still baffles me that some women are so ignorant about their own bodies. I was once one of them! Learning about my body and it’s functions has empowered me.

Ovulatory Cycle using Kindara for Fertility Awareness Method - Natural Birth Control

6. Mommy Med Spa Day – A Day Of Pampering and Pedicures

I joined Tiffany again for a day of pampering provided by the Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa, Arkansas’s first med spa. That is a day I would love to re-live. Everything about the Spa was so relaxing, and my pedicure lasted for weeks!

Getting My Pedicure On At Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa in Little Rock

7. 5 Reasons I Have Body Hair

Things got a little hairy when I shared 5 Reasons I Have Body Hair.

Woman with Armpit Hair - Natural Body Hair

I was surprised at how supportive some of the comments were. I was really expecting to be bombarded with how gross it is.

8. Boy Scout Camp & Disabilities

Both of my boys are in Boy Scouts, and this Summer, they both attended their first week long Boy Scout camp. Because of Losh’s disabilities and his need for assistance, I had to attend with him.
Boy Scout Camp - Camp Rockefeller - 2017

We had so much fun. I had hesitations with going, but looking back, it was a blast. I even learned how to tie a few knots myself.

9. 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My love of reading was shared when I posted about the 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge. Because of it, I found a few new favorite authors. This year, I did not participate in a reading challenge.

10. Why Being A Single Parent Is Awesome

My kids mean everything to me, and while parenting them alone is a challenge, there is so much to love. I shared some of my favorite things in Why Being A Single Parent Is Awesome.

11. Before You Get 4-H Chickens

My desire to raise chickens for eggs was somewhat fulfilled last year when we raised our first flock of baby chicks.

4-h-chickens-walking-in-food

Spoiler: most of them died, and we ultimately didn’t get a single egg, but learned a lot and are patiently awaiting an egg from our second flock of chickens.

12. Hashimoto’s and Dietary Changes

Sharing my health journey began when I learned that I had Hashimoto’s and started taking medication to treat it. I posted about how I am making dietary changes to help keep this in check…

Thyroid Medication for Hashimoto's Levothyroxine

It’s hard y’all! I’m still struggling with removing gluten from my diet, but have drastically reduced my intake. I don’t notice any difference yet.

So, there you have it.. my 12 favorite posts from the last 12 months. I hope you took the time to view a few of these as you were making your way down the list. Tell me below in the comments…

Which one of these was your favorite?

How To Start A Blog

How To Start A Blog

I’ve been blogging since the early 2000’s. Since then, I’ve had many people ask me how to start a blog. Because blogging means so much to different people, it is hard to give a simple answer.

This post contains affiliate links.

If you have any intention of growing your blog into a business, or making money with it, then the answer is a little more complicated than simply signing up for an account on WordPress, Blogger, or one of the other many blogging platforms available these days.

If you want to stand out from the competition (and let’s be real, there are a LOT of blogs out there), then you want to make sure you do it right. These are the things I recommend you do if you are curious how to start a blog:

How To Start A Blog with Bluehost by Aduke Schulist

Choose A Niche

The first thing to decide is WHAT you want to blog about. This could be food, lifestyle, health, parenting, DIY, etc.  Make sure you are passionate about your subject. Keep in mind, general lifestyle blogs (like Aduke Schulist) can cover a lot of different topics, but should still be narrowed down to a few categories. Not everybody is interested in just you. They want to know what you can do for them. For the purpose of this blog, we are going to assume you want to blog about parenting.

Choose A Name

Now that you have decided what you want to blog about, the next step is choosing a name. Make sure the name you choose is available on every single social media platform. You don’t want to be NewMommy23 on Twitter and NewMommy532 on Instagram Because NewMommy has already been taken on those platform. The goal here is to be consistent.

Make sure the name reflects the content. Are you still going to be a New Mommy 2-3 years after starting your blog? Are you comfortable with sharing only content geared towards other new moms?

Purchase A Domain Name & Host

Once you have figured out your name, it’s time to build the foundation. This includes purchasing a domain name and securing the name on all social media platforms. Securing the name just involves creating a new account, or page on FaceBook, with your chosen name on each social media platform.

There is much debate whether the domain name and host should be with the same company. I’ve tried it both ways and really have no preference. You can purchase a new domain name as well as host your existing domain name with some companies like Bluehost. Bluehost offers hosting for as little as $3.95 per month and is who I use.
How To Start a Blog using Bluehost

Install WordPress

There are various ways to actually write your blog, but WordPress is the most common, supported, and easiest to use option. Thankfully, Bluehost has the ability to install WordPress – and keep it up to date – automatically when you install using your Bluehost account.

Start blogging

That’s it! It’s now time for the fun part: Blogging!

This is the moment you waited for. You have everything in place, WordPress has been installed, now you can blog until your heart is content.

To help me stay organized and keep a record of various things, I use the Epic Blog Planner.

Epic Blog Planner - Editorial Blogging Calendar

It’s an editorial calendar with so much information. It’s designed to help you figure out where your blog is going. You can find the Epic Blog Planner on Amazon.

What kind of blog would you start? Or, what kind of blog do you have now? 

How To Start a Blog using Bluehost

March & April 2017 Blog Goals & Report

March & April Blog Report

About 2 months ago, I shared my first ever blog report. In it, I told you guys how I was coming along with this “new” blog and some of the goals I had for the upcoming months. I’m here today to update again and set some more goals.

March started off strong. I had my plan all laid out and must say I stuck to it pretty well.. and then came April and everything went downhill. I had a plan to update with a new post every 4th day. Between writing and promoting the posts that I updated, I was busy! I definitely saw progress though.

Then in April, I didn’t follow the “post every 4th day” schedule I had intended. I missed posting 5 times that month, but still saw a good amount of engagement considering I had half the amount of posts.

March & April Blog Goals and Report

BY THE NUMBERS:

March’s Numbers:
# of Posts: 8 (+5)
# of comments: 127
# of sponsored posts: 1
# of views: 430 (+128)

April’s Numbers:
# of Posts: 4 (-4)
# of comments: 93
# of sponsored posts: 0
# of views: 306 (-124)

Blog Posts Worth Mentioning

In March, my daughter started attending a weight loss clinic. It has helped our entire family take a look at our choices and make healthier ones.

I attended a sponsored event at the Outlets of Little Rock with some fellow bloggers. Who wouldn’t love to get paid to drink Starbucks and shop?!

Then, in April I posted an informative article about the Fertility Awareness Method and how I use it as birth control.

And finally, I revealed my DIY Laundry Room Reveal using items from the Dollar Tree and Big Lots.

Social Media Followers:

I’m going to be honest here.. I’m a little bummed at the lack of progress across my social media platforms. In fact, I went backwards on some of these! I am mostly bummed about Instagram. I put a lot of effort into my Instagram, sharing some of the best images at the most ideal times, and LOST followers. Ugh!

Regarding Twitter: I used to follow everybody who followed me, but then realized I didn’t want to be spammed with blog links / sponsored content every time I went on there. It ultimately led me to using Twitter less and less because I just wasn’t interested in those who I was following and was no longer enjoying it. I cleaned up my list and “unfollowed” a lot of people which led to them unfollowing me also. I really have no problem with that as I’d rather have those who are truly interested in my content as followers and not those that are just there for a follow.

So, here is what my numbers looked like from the end of February until now.

YouTube: 1,024 / 1069 (+45)
Facebook: 1,141 / 1145 (+4)
Twitter: 759 / 741 (-18)
Instagram: 1,945 / 1935 (-10)
Pinterest: 793 / 794 (+1)

Total gain: 50

March & April Goal Check-Up

My goals were:

  • Post at least 6 times (each month)
    • FAIL. I was *this.close* to making this one.
  • Double my page views (from February)
    • FAIL. I was on track in March, but slacked off in April.
  • Get at least 60 comments (each month)
    • SUCCESS! I went beyond this goal.
  • Increase my social media following
    • SUCCESS! Even though I lost followers, my total amount increased, so I am considering this one a win.
  • Use Pinterest more
    • SUCCESS! I’m not sure if this will show on my next report, but I have been using pinterest more and more.

Additionally, I had a goal to create a media kit, and update my privacy policy and disclosure policy which I completed. All in all, I would say not too bad.

May & June Goals

I know we are already nearing the end of May, but humor me here.. These are the goals I have set for May and June.

  • Make my blog a priority! Life has been super busy in other areas and I haven’t set aside enough time to really do what I’ve wanted to with my blog. Now that some things are taken care of (I’m looking at you chicken coop!) I have more time to give to my blog.
  • Continue working on increasing social media following
  • Reach out to a few brands about collaborating
  • Network with other bloggers
  • Guest post on another blog

That about wraps it up. I can’t say I’m disappointed with my progress, especially given the effort I put into it, but I am hoping that May and June look a little better.

Curious what my blog report from January & February looked like? You can see it here.  

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?