Blogpression, It’s a Real Thing!

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I’ve been quiet on my blog lately. Sometimes you have to take a break before you breakdown and I did just that. It started unintentionally I just wanted to celebrate my birthday without documenting it. I wanted to be “in the moment”. My birthday festivities had come and gone and I just could not get myself back into work mode. Blogging at times can become exhausting even when you love it. You develop a thick skin blogging but when you put a lot of work into something and you don’t get your desired results it can become emotionally draining.

When I get tired, frustrated, and just downright irritated by my blog I call it blogpression. All of the creative energy that is required to create content, share it, and try to achieve even a marginal level of success can get you down. It’s like giving birth to a baby every week. After you’ve loved and nurtured your baby people didn’t even read your baby. All the emotions that you feel after every post feel a like postpartum depression. I get restless and my thought rapidly going over how I could have made the post better and how I could attract more people. With all of the high-quality content that is available online, I wondered if I will  I ever measure up.

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All the pressure, excitement, and sadness swing like a pendulum and after a while I get sad because I haven’t stayed true to my posting schedule, which I had just gotten the hang of! My hard work, time, money, and energy is going down the drain every week. I needed to get back on the horse but I was thigh deep in my pity party and it kept sucking me in like quicksand. I sat down and gathered my concerns.

  • I wondered how can I get back to work when I’m creatively exhausted?
  • How can I make my blog better?
  • How can I empower women? For real!
  • If I address issues that deal with being a Black woman in America does that isolate readers who aren’t Black?
  • Do I care if I lose those readers?

I decided to get a hold of my emotions. My personal business motto is, don’t complain get better. I heeded my own advice. It was time to dust myself off because wallowing in self-doubt is unproductive and besides I was getting on my own nerves.

I began to analyze my perspective to ensure that I am producing a product that I am happy with. Why did I even start this blog? How can I overcome all the things I wish I knew before I started blogging? Blogging hasn’t done anything to me personally I just need to shake off this blogpression and refocus my energy on making sure that my message is clear to the people I am targeting.

I can’t do and be everything and neither can my blog. I created this space because I wanted to create the dialog with real women who live real lives.  Honestly, I did create this space for black women who don’t get to see themselves enough. Women who shop at Target, read Iyanla Vanzant, and occasionally listen to Trap music. (It can’t just be me) A place where you can just BE! Where you can like Sex and the City and Living Single, with no side eye.  If I can’t just BE on my own platform where can I?

Overcoming the ‘pression! I’m reading a few new books to get motivated to move past think blog-funkery and into new territory! I am about half way through my summer reading and I highly recommend these books for motivation!

Platform by Michael Hyatt is amazing! This book delivers on so many levels I would recommend this book for anyone who has to market themselves or a product. Self-management is a big part of blogging so this book is helping me think about how to make the most of my space on the internet. It’s also helping me focus and reorganize my thoughts about how I post so I feel less pressure from blog world as a whole. It’s also a resource guide because Michael shares all of the tools, books, and other sage advice that has aided his own success. Stop what you’re doing and read it.

Nothing wrong with a little online etiquette. Aliza Licht gives you the 411 on how to get your foot into the door from where ever you are in life. This book is a little fashion focused I mean her Twitter handle is @DKNYPRGIRL so it should be self-explanatory. Getting brands interested in your blog is awesome but how do you communicate with the people in public relations? This book gives great examples of how and when to communicate with professionals online so that you don’t make a fool of yourself when it really counts.

The reality is that you could have a great message and communicate it badly. We all need a refresher course in the way people are wired. What attracts people to some things and not others. This book breaks down the science of marketing in a way that helps you to see where you need to make adjustments. Nothing beats science, right?

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I think all bloggers get blogpression, it’s a real thing. You just have to take a step back and remember why you even got started so you don’t lose sight of your overall goal. Bloggers have to stop being so hard on themselves if they don’t go viral every post we make.  It’s too much pressure to be a sensation every time because inevitably Instagram will change the algorithm, Google will change page rankings, and Facebook will never be helpful unless you pay them and sometimes not even then! It’s just the natural rhythm of life you win some you loose some but you keep playing the game.

To all of my fellow bloggers are you suffering too? Blogging is awesome but making everything look good can take a toll on you after a while. How do you deal with your own blogpression?

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook Oh Wize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

Be a Girl Boss with No Apologies

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Lately, I have been a workaholic and I have felt the need to constantly apologize. The fact that I have prioritized growing my business over recreational fun has made me feel like I need to explain myself every time I decline a request. The reality is I can’t be everything and I can’t be everywhere. No, is a complete sentence! (Easier said than done, I know)

I know so many women who are starting new business endeavors and every Girl Boss needs a pep talk to keep going. Hard work is often isolating because when you want to do something well it consumes your thoughts and spare time. I think as women we question the efforts of working towards our goals more than we would question our pursuit of true love or the need for a family. We’re always caught up in the reward of working because we need to show that our work validates us.Work is as work does and in order to do it well, we have to be unapologetic in our quest to be leaders in our chosen fields.

I Ain’t Sorry

I can’t feel sorry for working hard. It’s in my DNA. For so long I didn’t want to be “The Boss”. To much whom is given much is required and I got to witness it first hand with my dad being a small business owner himself. I saw him work tirelessly it was like he could never give his full attention to anything outside of work. I always thought “Man this sucks.  Who would want to do this?” On the flip side, being expected to work relentlessly for the greater good of someone else also sucks. Life requires hard work.  At some point, you will have to choose who you will work for.I choose to work to build my legacy and strengthen others who want to be a boss.

Get In Line Girl Boss

The quest for equality is real and you are not the first woman to discover that you are in a unique position being a woman in business. You are going to feel the urge to get emotional because well anything you pour your heart into draws a connection to your spirit. I have noticed that women fear being direct but will give into to emotional outburst. I have found that in business people tend to respond less to emotional breakdowns. Go ahead and speak your mind, share that idea, or shoot down that proposal because that will be received much better than emotion. Be prepared to rework your plan so that you can achieve your overall goal. It’s ok to be attached to your goals but the path may change. The journey is just beginning.  Get in line girl boss, we all want to be great and there is room for you at the top.

Don’t Be Afraid to Break

Work from rest. I have heard this saying time and time again but I have a hard to applying into my actual work ethic. Recently I realized that I had overworked myself. I couldn’t get a grip on my own thoughts and nothing was being accomplished. I eventually had to take a break from social media and all of my projects. Spinning out is inevitable when you work yourself too hard. You can’t produce good work when you’re in a fog. Focus on quality of work and not quantity. Maybe you should push that project back. Taking a break can rejuvenate your thought process.  You will return to work with focus and joy. Even the boss needs a break. Don’t be afraid to delegate because the best bosses are leaders as well. Pass that task off to someone who is capable of fulfilling your expectations of a job well done.

Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper

The reality is that not everyone is going to understand your hustle and you can’t expect them to. Your business is your vision but that doesn’t undercut you because others don’t see the value in what you do. You will find that people find your creative talents useful for their own personal needs but will not want to attach a monetary value to what you do. Don’t be offended just don’t be afraid to exercise that complete sentence “No”. Withdraw from over sharing your excitement on certain topics on business because they just don’t get it and they never will unless someone misuses their talent.  It’s just not relevant to them. Misunderstandings will lead you down a path of resentfulness because you just won’t understand why people don’t respect your hard work.  But keep your eyes on your own paper figuratively and literally.

I was inspired by Chya of No Apologies. I love her t-shirt line and what it represents. As women, we are constantly striving to meet the ever-pressing expectations of others. Instead of apologizing for failing to meet others definition of perfection, live life with NO APOLOGIES. Her mission is to uplift, support, and encourage the women around her. I needed this shirt because it perfectly represents how I am playing both roles of being the beauty and the boss!

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For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

4 Branding Tips I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Blog

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I was so nervous when I started my blog that I had to devote all of my focus to getting up the nerve to click the publish button. My anxiety was out of control. I was overwhelmed at the thought of people judging me thinking, “Who does she think she is?”  After I finally shared my concept with the social media world, I quickly understood that I was a small fish in a global ocean. I began researching how to stand out in an oversaturated market. The more you know, the more you grow. I still wish I had so many of the tools and techniques that I am finding out about every day.

I’m not Instagram famous, yet, but people have asked me about how I keep my blogging approach so effortless. The answer to that questions is that it’s never effortless, and I work hard and at times, it’s bordering obsessive. Through my research, I noticed what separated the popular blogs, small businesses, and online communities from those that were struggling was branding.

Well, because you asked….

People hate to be sold to or feel like they are being asked to do something. When you first create a new venture, your first instinct is to say “read my blog”, “buy my product”, “come to my show”. That tactic isn’t working because you had to ask. A brand isn’t asking you for anything. A brand is welcoming you into a world that you want to be a part of and providing you with an experience that you can’t get anywhere else.

As a kid, you didn’t want name brand cereal because General Mills asked you to buy it. Every cereal has an associated cartoon with their world, and the correlating cartoon had a thirty-second commercial that invited you into their world. Captain Crunch invited you onto his ship, and by the time you got to the grocery you wanted to purchase his cereal. Whatever it is that you are promoting, create a world for it and invite people to experience it. Asking doesn’t create loyalty, it creates disinterest and guilt, and that isn’t a feeling that will create followers or return customers.

You Don’t Know Jack

Everybody knows something, and you may be an expert in your field, but you don’t know what you think you know. I had written stage plays and performed all over the country as a spoken word artist. I knew what it was to get likes and engagement on a social media platform. I even knew how to post a picture on Instagram, but I didn’t know jack! It seemed as though the moment that I wanted people who engaged with me on an everyday basis, and to engage with me on my blog all I heard was crickets.

When people don’t immediately take an interest in your business ventures it can be hard. You can feel like they don’t support you, but before you lash out in a really long Facebook post, stop and think.  Maybe you’re taking their support for granted. Don’t complain, get better. Maybe it’s not what you are doing, but how you are doing it. It’s okay to stop and reevaluate the plan and amend some of your tactics. Get more information and read books about how to engage with people. Research your industry.  Follow brands that you are loyal to and figure what it is about that brand keeps you coming back. You don’t know jack because you can never know everything.

If you are using Facebook to promote yourself on your personal page ,and you don’t have a business page, create one. A business page has analysis.  It tracks how much traffic comes to the page and how many people saw a post.  (Facebook has a shady algorithm so be sure to share everything onto your personal page to generate more traffic.) Pay attention to what post work and which post generate the most engagement and adjust your approach.

If you promote more on Instagram, you need to takes some time and research hashtags that relate to what it is you promote. Trust and believe that everything has a hashtag and lucky for us, Instagram now will show you related hashtags. Be sure to pay attention to what time you get the most engagement, you may be posting great content, but you’re posting it when no one is online and that is like talking to an empty room. If you don’t use Instagram I don’t know why not. Facebook limits you to who you know and Instagram limits you to who cares. If you find a way to engage on Instagram with people who are interested in what you are providing you are opening up a world of opportunity for yourself.

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ABS (Always Be Selling)

I know I just said people don’t like to be sold.  Let me rephrase.  People don’t like to feel like they are BEING sold. That doesn’t mean we can’t play to their subconscious. Use social media, don’t let it use you. If you post a cute selfie, make a quick reference to your brand in the caption. Then you seem carefree like, “I’m just out here in enjoying life and oh, by the way, stop by my ______.” You may want to limit how many post you make that don’t pertain to what you have going on. I’m not saying never post personal pictures just try not to oversaturate yourself, or create mixed messages with your brand.

The best example of ABS that I can think of is my super suave and handsome friend Ron . Ron is always selling and he makes it look effortless. He pays close attention to when something is working, and he remains consistent. He started a whole movement with pictures that he would take of himself along with his friends.  He posts the pictures and says, “Look Who I Ran Into.” His pictures are always fun, and he is always at a happening spot, so you look forward to seeing where Ron is and who he ran into. Soon he got the suggestion to make, “Look Who I Ran” into a hashtag and into his brand. Once the hashtag grew in popularity, he put the hashtag on t-shirts and they selling like hot cakes!

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Do you see how Ron created a world by consistently taking pictures when he went out? He would also tag his friends (which is genius because now his friends and their friends see the picture). Unintentionally, Ron created a soft launch by promoting himself, creating a hashtag, and then launching a product. A soft launch is a business term that refers to the process of establishing a brand before there is a product to sell.

So if you have a business or blog that you want to get started I encourage you to get started now. Even if you don’t have the money or all of the tools you need to get started, start now. The most advantageous part of a soft launch is that you create a loyal following so that when you launch your product there is someone to buy it.

Image is Everything

The scroll is real! The images that you use to brand yourself and your products are essential. The majority of people now access social media on their phone and not on a computer which means your images are being seen on a smaller screen. If your images aren’t clear and compelling than it’s getting scrolled past until something is captivating enough to make the person’s finger stop scrolling long enough to look at what is on their screen.

You have to think about what story you are trying to convey about your brand with the picture that you are about to post. Also, keep in mind that large retailers, national companies, and major brands are also using social media. Their pictures are being styled and photographed by professionals.  You’re competing to get engagement in the same newsfeed. If you bake, take pictures of your cakes and make sure that they are in the context of your brand. Style your products and services in a context that people can understand. Create a world and invite people in with your pictures.

I know the thought of competing with the big brands seems overwhelming but work it at your own pace. I borrowed a friends camera when I first started blogging until I could afford the camera I wanted. I’ve seen people create magic with iPhone cameras. You might not be able to use a graphic designer for every promotion, but there are free online options like Canva that will allow you to make anything from a Facebook promotion to a full-size poster.

 

I still wish to this day that I had known what a soft launch was before I published my blog. Like I said before, the more you know, the more you grow and to that I will add more opportunities will come your way. I am always taking online classes  and reading books learning more about photography, business launch strategies, and the fine art of promoting yourself. Like I said, I’m borderline obsessed.  If you run into me and get me talking I will probably tell you about the latest podcast about how to grow your Instagram following. Dreams are great and bringing them into reality is hard work, but hopefully from the outside looking in it appears effortless.

Be sure to check out Ron on social media to find out more about him and #lookwhoIraninto Facebook and Instagram.

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!