Author Archives: Makeup Your Mind

Self Care Sunday (Thursday?) #6 – Have a Cup Of Tea

Fist and for most, I apologize for my extended absence. I explain this a little more in depth my very fist “Lets Talk” post.  And yes, I know that its technically a Thursday, but I figured that I owed you guys a self care tip.

One of the simplest ways to take care of yourself is to just take a second, relax, and have a hot cup of tea (or coffee, but I don’t do caffein). Theres something extremely calming about putting on the kettle and steeping a cup of tea, especially when its in my favourite mug .Which so happens to be any of the mugs from Indigo Books.

But I especially love this “Tea Freak” mug!

Tea Freak Mug

In my favourite mug, I love to steep peppermint tea . I appreciate the fact that it can calm my stomach (because I definitely need that when I’m anxious). I drink it mostly though because it’s caffine free and I love the taste of it. At this point I’m pretty sure I’m made of 90% peppermint tea. In a day I’ll have minimum one, sometime more like three or four teas, it really depends where my stress level is, and how close I am to a Starbucks.

So my tip this week? Take a break, put on the kettle, and make yourself some tea.

And yes, there will be a self care Sunday post up this Sunday!

What are you doing this Sunday to take care of yourself? Whatever you end up doing, post it on Instagram with #selfcaresunday and make sure you tag me @jordananne76 so I can see it! maybe you’ll even be featured on my #selfcaresunday page!

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Process Post #11 – Community Guidelines

I’m in the process of developing community guidelines for my blog. As I’ve created my website as a safe and happy place, I want to keep bullying and harassment to a minimum. If this requires blacklisting words, or blocking certain users, I’m prepared to do that.

However, there is a different between bullying/harassment, and a disagreement. Where I feel some sites go to far is when they silence disagreements between users, or disagreements to their own opinions. If a comment challenges, or questions the sites content, I find that these comments are deleted or shut down. This worries me because it silences a potential dialogue that could happen between a user and an author. As well, it worries me when I see every disagreement between users being moderated or stopped. When there is no bullying or harassment happening with a disagreement I don’t totally see the point in silencing it. I want my blog to be a place for dialogue, and If this dialogue includes  respectfully questioning or disagreeing with my own opinions, I welcome these disagreements and I am open to hearing other opinions.

As of now these are the only things I know I want to include in my community guideline, but I hope to come up with more things to help my community be one of happiness, and one that lacks bullying.

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Essay #2 – Creating My Online Presence

Creating my online presence this term has been difficult but incredibly rewarding. Over the last few weeks, I’ve focused on the design of my website, as well as how I want to set it apart from every other beauty blog out there. I knew going into it that there are a thousand beauty blogs on the internet, and that the only way to succeed in such a widespread and competitive community would be to focus on being different. At the end of my quest to be different, Makeup Your Mind was born. With the creation of my blog I knew I wanted to focus on beauty and self care, because focusing on self care through beauty is a way I can set myself apart from other bloggers in this space. In creating my blog this term I spent the most time focusing on ways to build my audience, as well as looking for more ways that I can stand out in the crowded beauty space.

Building my blog has been no easy feat, and it is far from over, but I feel that I have created a platform that I can build off of in the future. In this process of building my blog, I turned to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus article “How to Start a Successful Blog in 2017” on their blog The Minimalists. This article outlines steps that a blogger can take to make their blog more successful. I assume that many of these tips come from experience, and I turned to a few of these in the process of building my blog. The first thing I notices was a list titled “How to build a blog in 5 easy steps”. I was drawn to both “Designing your blog to get your desired look and feel” (Milburn, Nicodemus) and “Write compelling content that adds value to readers” (Milburn, Nicodemus).While I found the list a whole to be eye opening and helpful,  these points specifically reminded me to focus on the look and feel of my blog, as well as the content. As the article goes on it gives more tips on creating a successful blog, but it does not expand on its initial list, while I found this to be strange, the points on the list were still a pertinent point in the formations of my blog.

The first step I took in creating my online presence, was designing my blog. I went into the process knowing that I wanted my design to reflect the soft and welcoming theme that I wanted my posts to portray. I achieved this through soft colours and scripted fonts. However, some of the changes that I’ve made to the CSS of my blog have reverted back to default settings, and I haven’t had the time to change them back yet. This brings me to the challenges that I’ve faced in designing by blog. The design still needs work, but I feel that my content grows and matures, my design will too. The design process is impotent to me because before my audience reads anything, they will be greeted with the initial design and feel of my website, and I’m driven to make an impact with this initial view. Over the course of the term I’ve made some important changes, and I hope to make many more in the coming months.

Travis Geetz’s “Design Machines: How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse”, has shaped my view of design, and has also inspired me to be different. In this article, Gretz complains that companies that have streamlined the creation process of a website or blog have damned the internet to conformity and simplicity. He repeatedly states that we are living in a world where everything on the internet is the same, and this scares me. Though I am using a pretty standard WordPress theme to build my blog, I want to make it my own. I chose a simple theme so I can manipulate it and change it as I need to. Wanting to stand out is also motivated by my goal of building an audience, and Gretz’s article stuck with me because of this goal. I Don’t want people to come to my website and feel like they’ve seen it a thousand times. I want people to feel like they’re seeing something new, and I want them to be compelled to explore my blog. This goes back to how people view a blog before they actually read anything. Gretz’s article inspired me because I want to hook people with my unique and design, so they are excited and motivated to stay to read my posts.

Just because I’ve focused on design, doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten about content. Going back to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus’ article, Compelling content is important in creating a successful blog, and its also important in building a strong and loyal audience. Stephanie Walden further addresses building an audience in her piece “7 Tips for building a social media audience”. This article helped me look at the specifics of building a successful and loyal audience. Specifically, it outlines picking platforms. This ended up being important, because going into the process of building my online presence, I didn’t realize that success on one platform, could build success on my other online platforms. The platform that I’ve put my efforts into, apart from my blog, has ended up being Instagram. This platform suits the makeup/beauty aspects of my blog, as well as the self care aspect. This is because both of these things can be successfully portrayed through images. Focusing on Instagram as proven to be a wise choice, because it has definitely driven traffic to my blog, and it is another place for me to have a presence and an audience online. I feel that my choice to focus on Instagram will further assist my blog because of my decision to use Instagram as a way of including my audience in my blog through #selfcaresunday. By using the hashtag and tagging me in posts, I will be able to interact with my audience on Instagram and include them in my blog. To build my audience I have focused on being different and I have focused on utilizing different online platforms to build my online presence.

So Far building my blog has been a challenge, but I hope to be able to make progress with it in the future. I plan to take my online presence beyond this class, and I hope to expand my presence and my audience in the future. My goal with my blog is to make people happy, and to make people feel good, and I feel like I’m on track to accomplish both of these things. I feel by blog will add value to my readers lives, whether it be a simple foundation recommendation, or a self care tip, I hope by expanding my presence and my blog, and I hope I can help many more people in the future. 

 

 

Works Cited

Gretz, Travis. “Design Machines: How to Survive The Digital Apocalypse .”           Louder Than 10, 10 July 2015, https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-            Machines.

Millburn , Joshua Fields, and Ryan Nicodemus . “How To Start A Successful          Blog In 2017.”The Minimalists , 3 Apr. 2017, http://www.                                           Theminimalists.com/blog/ 

Walden, Stephanie. “7 Tips For Building A Social Media Audience .                             ashable , 24 Dec. 2013, http://mashable.com/2013/12/24/grow-social-              audience/#0sSMyxkgWZqr.

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Lets Talk Self Care Sunday

Sometimes self care is not doing something. The last few weeks of my life have been unreasonably stressful and overwhelming, and I’m not going to lie to you, I probably had the time to have gotten it done, but I just couldn’t find the energy. When I’m In a place like this, I tend to run on willpower alone, and the last couple of weeks, I’ve only had the willpower to attend school and mandatory activities. Thats not to say that I don’t see my blog as a commitment, but unfortunately its what suffered in my quest to take care of myself.

Right now, I post Self Care Sunday weekly, and I apologize for missing the last few weeks, I hope to post something soon. I sincerely hope this will not happen again, because I really like posting self care tips weekly, and I hope that these posts are helping people, and I don’t want to let you guys down.

As I’m a full time university student things are quite hectic right now, but I hope to get on top of a posting schedule soon!

Thank you all so much for the understanding, I’ll be posting something a little more upbeat soon.

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Process Post #9 – Transmedia: Integrating with Instagram

Integrating different kinds of media into my blog is defiantly a priority. Because of my focus on makeup, integrating quality pictures of looks and products,  is an incredibly important step that I need to focus on.  In starting to do this, I have installed a plug in that allows my Instagram feed to appear as a sidebar widget. This integrates constant images throughout my blog, even when a specific post doesn’t feature a picture.

Instagram is proving to by my main source of images in my blog. Because not all of my posts contain media, having pictures on another account to point to helps. I also turn to Instagram because it helps me advertise my blog, I can cast a wider net, and make myself easier to find through Instagram, and once people have found me there it is fairly easy for me to point them to my blog. This integration of other media into my blog has allowed me to begin to build an audience.

I also have larger plans with the integration of Instagram onto my blog as well. As I build my audience, I want to use Instagram as a way of integrating my audience into my blog, by using #selfcaresunday. By tagging me in posts, and using the hashtag, I’ll have to ability to see and repost these posts on both Instagram and my blog. I plan to feature people content, and hopefully help other people grow.

Through using Instagram as another media on my blog, I hope to feature blog content in another sphere, was also building up my audience through an image based platform, and featuring aspects of this image based platform on my blog.

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Process Post #8 – The Final Hour

This week I was asked how I would spend my final hour online, and I’m honestly not sure that I have an answer for that. Much of my time spent online is involves watching Youtube, and zoning out. I don’t have very many pictures that are solely online, and the ones that are probably aren’t worth saving. Perhaps I’d spend it collecting phone numbers from people who I communicate with through various messaging apps, but if I’m being totally honest, I’d probably try to download some influential Youtube videos.

Over the years I’ve  been online, most of my time has been spent on Youtube. I love the community, and the creators. Many of these creators have made videos that have inspired and influenced me, and if I only had one hour left to use the internet (it had better be high speed), I would try to save the videos, that in many ways, have shaped me.

This week I was also asked to look at my google anylitics and talk about what was surprising, and there are only so many ways to say that there isn’t anything in my anylitics. According to google, my blog has bad no views. considering I check my own Blog almost daily not signed in as admin (so I can see exactly what my viewer sees), I’m left questioning the accuracy. however, this also tells me that I need to pay more attention to my use of social media, as well as my SEO. I’m hoping if i start pushing myself out a little bit more, I’ll start to gain some views.

 

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Peer Review #3 – The Life Of Pip

Manveer Dulay’s Blog The Life Of Pip, greets its reader immediately with what its content is.

Manveer’s header combines a picture of a Golden Retriever, with the tag line “a blog about a dog”. This allows the reader to know who Pip is even before scrolling down to view the rest of the blog. From a user standpoint, I really like this. I’m a dog lover, so seeing this so prominently so immediately drew me in. I believe starting their blog with this image, will both draw in their intended audience, as well possibly deter the unintended audience.

Upon first glance, Manveer’s Blog has a very obvious intended audience, and In a blog format, this has both advantages and disadvantages. What Manveer has clearly done well is cultivating and coordinating the content on their blog. The blog is clear about what it is.

 

 

All of the posts are paired with pictures of Pip, and this being Manveer’s homepage, defiantly draws the readers eye down to page and to the content. With this, Manveer has made their blog quite marketable and has made clear room for monetization. In fact, upon further inspection of Manveer’s side bar, I noticed what appears to be an advertisement for BarkBox. I love to see that Manveer has already made headway in making a place for themselves in the pet marketplace.


This apparent advertisement could be seen as slightly confusing though, because it appears to just be written in the side bar, and included by the blog’s author, but it is also unclear weather this is a paid advertisement, a sponsorship, an affiliate link, or a recommendation from a fan. What further adds to this confusion is the presence of an almost camouflaged link that says “Get a month free”. To me, this looks like a sponsorship, or an affiliate link, but because there is no further information regarding why exactly I could “Get a month free” or why BarkBox is being recommended on this page, I hesitate to trust it, and I think the lack of information would be a deterrent for much of Manveer’s audience. I highly recommend that Manveer make the link more prominent, and add more detailed information regarding their experiences with BarkBox and why they are recommending it to their audience. I also look at this and worry, because if it is a sponsorship or affiliate link, it could be disregarding, and breaking FTC advertisement guidelines.

Manveer is clearly reaching towards a very specific audience, and this is extremely evident in his use of Instagram. I love that their Instagram page has an obvious place on the Blog’s homepage.

It makes is clear to the reader of the blog that there is a well curated social media present, and it also adds another layer of interest to the Blog’s homepage. I admire the way that Manveer has managed to tie their social media presence in with their blog presence. The use of Instagram also adds to the marketability of Manveer’s blog, because it demonstrates two different audience platforms that they can draw from, and it also provides opportunities for further sponsorships thorough a well done Instagram.

Overall, I throughly enjoyed my time looking The Life Of Pip, and from a readers view, I feel that Manveer has many marketing opportunities with their blog because of its clear and specific audience. As well as its continuity, and well thought out branding.

 

 

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Self Care Sunday #5 – The Art Of A Hot Shower

In preparation for the week ahead, try to have a hot shower as part of your self care routine this Sunday. Not just any hot shower though, a purposeful and rejuvenating hot shower. Something I’ve learned about showers, is that there is a difference between showering, and having a hot, relaxing shower. I tend to turn to the comforting warmth of a hot shower to wash away any stress that I may have accumulated over the weekend.

When I shower, I love to listen to music, and of course I sing along. My shower head thinks I have a beautiful voice, though I think my family may disagree. In all seriousness though, music allows me to complexity zone out and relax as the hot water washes away my problems.

To listen to music in the shower, I highly recommend using a waterproof bluetooth speaker. I use the Monster SuperStar BackFloat Bluetooth Speaker

Monster Bluetooth SpeakerI love this speaker because it allows me to have a speaker directly in the shower with me so I can actually hear what I’m listening to over the running water. When I have this speaker in the shower with me, I know I’m having a shower that is going to relax me, and allow my mind to rest.

While Showering is also important for general self care purposes, this Sunday I want you to have a shower that does more that just clean your body, I want you to have a shower that cleanses your mind (And your hair, check out my hair care routine!)

What are you doing this Sunday to take care of yourself? Whatever you end up doing, post it on Instagram with #selfcaresunday and make sure you tag me @jordananne76 so I can see it! maybe you’ll even be featured on my #selfcaresunday page! 

 

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Process Post #7 – Monetization? Yes? No? Maybe so.

Do I want to monetize my blog eventually? Yes. Do I think I’m ready to monetize my blog now? Not even a little bit.

I’m still at a point with my blog where monetization doesn’t feel quite right because I have yet to build a solid audience, or even any audience yet.  So my first step to monetization is clearly building my audience. To build my audience I plan to focus my voice and my theme. Right now I’m working with two arguably very different topics, makeup and self care. However, I feel like I can easily make these two topics work more seamlessly together by expanding my overall theme to beauty, and how beauty is an important part of self care. I feel like centring my theme will help me more easily find an audience, and keep this audience coming back. At which point, I would have enough of a returning audience to warrant putting advertisements on my blog.

Audience is an important part of monetizing through adds, because having an audience gives advertisers confidence that eyes are in fact seeing their advertisements. However, audience is also important in other kinds of monetization, like sponsored content. Having a blog that largely focuses on makeup leaves me open to monetization through sponsorships. Whether these are sponsored posts based on a brand as a whole, or reviews that are sponsored based on a brands single item, sponsorships are another form of monetization that I’ve thought about, that is also based on audience. Sponsorships are based on audience, much like advertisements, because brands want to know that their products are being seen, but audience is also important for sponsorships because a larger audience gets sponsorships in the first place. If a brand see’s that I have have a real following, they are more likely to sponsor one of my posts, and allow me to advertise and support their products.

I’ve learned that much of monetization is based on audience, and I’ve realized how much work I’m going to have to put into my blog if I’m serious about monetizing. This is work that I am very willing to put in though.

Is monetizing always a good thing though? At this point in my process I’m not sure I have an answer to that. I want to say yes of course, but I’m also a starving university student who would be stoked with a extra five bucks, so I don’t think I’m the best judge at this point. Right now I’m focusing on keeping my truest voice, and making myself, as well as others, happy. If one day this leads to being able to monetize, great, but if staying true to me means that I don’t end up monetizing, well thats okay too.

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