Brilliant Business Moms

5 Sites That Will Change How You Blog

How do you consume content? By that, I mean in this blogging and social media world we live in, how do you stay in the know? Yes, you come here and get the deets, but where else do you go?

I thought I would share my secrets and give you a list of the 5 sites I go to daily (I have 29 must read sites, but I’ll give you the first 5 on my list, right now) that have changed how I blog – and how I do social. These sites are noted in my Feedly as “Must Read”. This means, that Feedly shows them to me first, before any other site or blog.

5 Sites That Will Change How You Blog I share the cream of the cream from the 'Must Reads' on my Feedly List that will help you become a better blogger, instantly @faithfulsocial

Don’t know how to promote a blog or site to “must read’ status? Here, let me show you:

  1. Expand your blog/site list (on the left)
  2. Click on the blog you want to promote to “must read”
  3. Click on the gear icon (when you hover over it, ‘change layout and filtering’ should show)
  4. Select ‘Edit Subscription’
  5. A menu at the left will appear with your selected blog at the top
  6. Click ‘Must Read’
  7. Click update

5 Sites That Will Change How You Blog I share the cream of the cream from the 'Must Reads' on my Feedly List that will help you become a better blogger, instantly @faithfulsocial

Now, if you want to demote the blog or site, follow the same instructions set out above and uncheck the ‘Must Read’ box.

Ready to see the ‘Must Reads’ in my Feedly?

Social Media Examiner

I mean this is a no brainer. If you could rummage through my social media closet (aka Pocket) you would see a ton of saved content for future posts. If you’re looking to learn anything at all about social media, this is a definite go to. They always provide actionable tips and I recently listened to an interview with the founder of Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner, where he shared how many people are involved with the publishing of one post. His answer made me appreciate this incredibly valuable resource even more. One of my favorite posts lately, is this post: 5 Unusual Tips to Improve Your SEO With Social Media.

AdWeek | Social Times

Can I get an infographic?! I can always count on AdWeek to provide me with a great infographics to pin! My favorite one? A Complete Checklist for Social Media Managers. Granted it was from Sprout Social initially, but that’s what’s so great about AdWeek, if you missed it somewhere, and it was solid, AdWeek will have it. It’s like a magazine of social media for me. Shhh, let me sneak this in, it’s sister – to me, anyway – is Mashable/Social Media. Add that to your list too.

Brilliant Business Moms

I’ve been lovin’ on this site for a hot minute. From their Facebook Group, to their podcast, to the incredible, personally tested processes they share freely – this is a must have. I would start with this post Easy SEO for Mom Bloggers (that I share all.the.time with anyone who will listen – just ask my clients!). If you’re not a mom blogger, read it anyway, and then listen to this podcast with Stephanie O’Dea. If you’re not hooked on them by that point, you’re a robot. And if you’re looking for more blogging Facebook groups to join, I’ve got you covered with these 7 Facebook groups to join.

Jeff Bullas.com

I love this blog. The titles are always just what I was looking for (without even knowing it, so maybe he’s got a job in psychic content marketing?). The tone is straight to the point (like the title of his site), and provides step by step tutorials with pictures. Who doesn’t love that. My latest fave? 27 Tricks to Boost Blog Post Conversion Rates. I thought, you’d like that one. And because this site is just so good, here’s another one I can’t wait to pick apart A 6-Step Writing Process to Blog More and Stress Less. See what I mean? You can’t help but click on those titles!

QuickSprout

Oh Neil Patel, how you slay me with information. From titles like Why do Sites Rank High On Google When They Aren’t Optimized to The Day After: 11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post these long titles are lessons in and of themselves. Take the first post listed, doesn’t that read like something you would search for in a moment of frustration as a blogger? BOOM. That’s exactly why it’s found. Genius. His posts are super easy to grasp and most times, I’m left scratching my head and saying “Well, duh!” to myself. Sometimes, when looking at the bigger picture, we forget the common sense stuff. Take the second link noted here. The first tip is respond to comments. Why?

“If you can get five comments on a post, you instantly double that to 10 if you reply to all of them. As a result, you instantly get more social proof.”

Those sites are what’s in my Feedly right now and they have definitely made me a better blogger and way better at social. So tell me, what’s in your Feedly? Share your cream of the cream of the crop of your “Must Read” lists.

I love to share tips and behind the scenes process like the ones I shared with you today. Be sure to sign up for my VIP list to receive exclusive tips that I don’t share with anyone else (or anywhere else, for that matter). You’ll also receive my top 7 tips for creating a successful online community, just for signing up!

 

Team Early Bird

There are two camps in my house.

The first camp is up early, and ready for the day with a spring in their step. The second camp can’t wait for night to fall so they can get going creatively. I was of the latter camp my entire life. I mean all 37, or 38 years of it (will someone please ask my husband to tattoo my age to my forehead?!). It was only recently, coinciding with Lent, that I sacrificed my beloved nighttime and defected to the early bird camp. Gabriel, my partner in crime may or may not be completely devastated.

Are you a night owl or an early bird? What time of day are you  more productive? I include productivity apps, books and business podcasts that I use to get my day started by @faithfulsocial

My husband was not convinced it would last. Not even I was convinced. Gabriel, is still holding out hope that I will come back to the dark side. Every morning, I wake up between 5:30AM and 6AM depending on when my Sleep Cycle App says I should. I click on the face that best represents how I am feeling when I wake up (part of the app). I like to click on the angry sad face when I am especially tired as my way of telling the app where to go with its morning chirp alarm (like it’s a person!).

Prepare the night before

I head over to the bench in my bedroom where I have laid out my workout clothes the night before. That’s right people. Cristina works out now! I brush my teeth and head downstairs. Can you imagine if I had to rummage through my completely unorganized drawers for an exercise bra in the dark? I would just head back to bed and call it a day. I’m telling you, don’t waste precious, percolating brain power on these silly decisions. You know, the ones where you have to decide whether you’re bra is on backwards or not. Preparing for your day, the night before tells you that morning that you thought of yourself – and isn’t that nice? [Tweet This]

Keep everything you need in one spot for a morning routine home base

On my love seat, I have a mobile office. It’s not what you think, just a little lap desk for me to blog on with my tablet or work from home with my laptop. What’s so great about it, is that it’s become my morning home base. As you open up the main compartment, inside is my Five Minute Journal, a rosary, my head phones and my Marian Consecration book. Everything I need to get my morning going, all in one place. I always start with the Five Minute Journal. It’s a gratitude journal that’s simple, effective and can literally be done in 5 minutes. There are also weekly challenges that you complete as well, that are more intentional around people, connection, and wellness. I love it. I then choose whether I want to work out first, or pray. I usually choose one or the other and stick with it for a few days and then switch it up. Today for example, I prayed the rosary first, read the Marian Consecration prayers and then finished off with the Lenten Magnificat reading for the day.

Just 15 minutes and be sure to double up

My husband got me an elliptical/stairclimber death machine because I just can’t do a gym. Gym peeps, you get all the props. I am too self-conscious to go to a gym. It’s not what you think, either. I am such a clutz that the last thing I need, is to be known as that girl that pushes all the buttons and goes all crazy horse on the elliptical because she can’t remember what to do. The machine calls for 15 minutes / 3 times a week. I can do that.

Well, I couldn’t actually when I first got on it. Instead I hyperventilated over the course of three minutes and my husband had to walk me back up the stairs so I could sit for 3 hours and get my strength back. I know. Totally out of shape. I have worked my way up to 15 minutes now and that’s perfect for me. I do double duty by listening to empowering podcasts like Hack the Entrepreneur, In Demand Brand, Brilliant Business Moms or TED Radio Hour. I stop the podcast at 15 minutes and pick it back up in my car ride to work.

Take time to think

We all know about shower thoughts. You know, when you’re in the shower and all these ideas just come to you? That’s my time to think, strategize, come up with blog post ideas, freebies for subscribers, guest post outlines, you name it. I also let what I’ve learned in those podcasts sink in and energize me throughout the day. Granted, I jump out of the shower 3 or 4 times to jot ideas down on a post-it. But you get the idea – and so do I, all in the shower!

Here’s the kicker

All of that? Done by 7:15AM. All that me time. And it’s really me time. I’m not in front of a computer, drowning on social media, or getting distracted by shiny things. It’s me. My time to frame the day in such a way that I’ve given to myself first spiritually, mentally and physically before I get out of the house and have to start the work day.

Nighttime routine 2.0

I go to bed at the same time night. Before I “shut it down” I finish up the nighttime portion of The Five Minute Journal, set out my work out clothes for the next day (unless it’s a rest day), brush my teeth, plop and watch the tube with the family or read until it’s 10PM and turn out the light.

I have to say, I like this new schedule, routine, or shift. Yeah, let’s say that. I love this shift. I’m more positive, focused, productive and just feel better. 

Are you a nightowl or an earlybird? [Tweet This]

So how about you? Are you making the shift? Got any tips? Tell me in the comments!

Are you a night owl or an early bird? What time of day are you  more productive? I include productivity apps, books and business podcasts that I use to get my day started by @faithfulsocial

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