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Preparing for December Daily

December 1 is in a couple weeks! I bet you have all sorts of plans already, right? I will be participating in Ali Edwards’s December Daily project …. kind of.

I’ve used Blurb for my December Daily books in the past and I love those. Last year I combined #30Lists with DecDaily in a 6×8 Snap Album and loved that change too.

…. With a couple caveats.

I’ve heard people say December Daily is like a crescendo to Christmas Day, and so don’t want to include the 26 through New Year’s Eve, but for me it’s very different.

I know I’ve mentioned this once or twice, but Andrew works A LOT. A LOT. Like he will have November 28 off (hopefully) and then not another day of until Christmas. But, basically that means that our holiday seasons these last couple years have been anemic. The bare minimum of festive. Until Christmas Day when his boss goes out of town, and we can actually celebrate with family and things.

So, this year I am doing a December album (not daily), to capture the holiday fun stuff that we DO do, and carry it through the end of the month (because we are spending the weekend after Christmas with my family).

I am ALSO doing 30 Days of Lists in December, but it will be a different album altogether. Register for the challenge to see how I’m doing it.

My December album preparation:

I have no plan. I gathered some favorite, color-coordinating Christmas and daily supplies and I’m just going to go with it.

DecDaily2014

DecDaily2014-2

There is a 6×8 page protector in the front that will be the title page, and then this 4-pocket 3×4 page. I like leaving title pages for halfway through I’m done making the album. I like to wait and see how it’s shaping up to make sure the title page matches.

But this gives you an idea — easy accent cards. Photos. Journaling.

DecDaily2014-3

I’m really (really really) excited to attempt this project without a specified framework of SOMETHING every day. I think I would never finish if I tried to force myself into that kind of workload.

Last year I had a plan. This year I’m just going to see how it goes …

Supplies:

Are you planning on doing a December album?

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in memory keeping, mini-scrapbooks, TELL YOUR STORY

REGISTER: 30 Days of Lists December

December is one of the most magical times of the year. We haven’t always run a December listing challenge, and we won’t always in the future, but this year is special! Join us in December for another round of 30 Days of Lists. Another quick journaling challenge. Another opportunity to record YOUR STORY.

Not everyone can make a mini scrapbook every week or an art journal page every night. 30 Days of Lists is our encouragement and challenge to you that you CAN journal just something every day — even something as small as a list.

Every day through the month of December 2014 we will be sending out a list prompt – anything from weekend goals to celebrity crushes. At the end of the 30 days you’ll have a collection of entries creating a small snapshot of your life right now.

30Lists D14 Click Here to Register

Only 5-10 minutes per day are really needed. While you’re waiting for someone, or when you’re the passenger in the car. You can even download the list topics ahead of time to get a jump start!

That’s all.

Just write.

There’s no wrong way to do this and if you don’t like a prompt on a certain day, just change it.

incudeOnce you register you will receive an automatically downloadable file giving you access to sign-up for the exclusive email list for December 2014.

Upon subscribing to December’s exclusive list, you’ll have immediate access to:

  • private Facebook Group just for December #30Lists participants
  • printable download with ALL of December’s list topics (for those of you who want the topics ahead of time)

more

Throughout November, we’ll introduce:

  • tutorial on adding images to the Flickr group
  • tutorial on using the #30Lists hashtag for Instagram
  • tutorial on joining the community
  • introductions to our ambassadors
  • Kam and Amy’s individual 30Lists books
  • exclusive discounts from the team

Starting December 1st:

  • 1 new list topic will be emailed each morning
  • each day’s email will ALSO include the previous list prompts in case you missed any
  • list topics hosted by our ambassadors

D14 Click Here to Register Banner

Start stocking up on your sticky-notes, ordering notebooks from your favorite online sellers, or creating a journal of your own to house your lists, December 1st will be here before we know it.

The daily list prompts won’t start until December 1st, but you can trust us when we say that it’s an excellent idea to check the private blog regularly between now and then for tutorials, updates, and maybe a giveaway or two.

Also, it isn’t too early to get to know your fellow Listers!

Speaking of the list prompts, they will be arriving on a daily basis shortly after 2:00 a.m. Pacific time. If you would rather have all of the lists at once, look for that link in your first email after subscribing to the exclusive list.

clicktoregisterblue

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in 30 Days of Lists, TELL YOUR STORY

Found

P.S. The anthology that I contributed to (and edited all the stories) is now available! We would really appreciate any reviews if you read it!!

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Pillar Content Webinar now available!

If you missed it earlier this year, I’ve just packaged up my webinar — Pillar Content: The Backbone of your Blog — for you!

This is the perfect resource to get you in the right headspace for the coming year. Very soon you will be setting your goals and resolutions for 2015 — know how your blog’s content is going to to fit in next year.

pillar content webinarIf you have a blog, your content is the heart of your online presence. The work you put out there on a daily or weekly basis is what you become known for to online readers all over the world.

Don’t you want to leverage that content to work for you again and again and again?

Grab this 1 hour, 7 minute recorded webinar that gives you all the examples and steps you need to create fantastic blog content that will bring you traffic (and income) for the long-haul.

Topics included:

  • What is Pillar Content?
  • Why you need Pillar Content
  • Examples of Pillar Content
  • How to structure and publish Pillar Content
  • How to promote Pillar Content
  • so many examples
  • action steps to take right away
  • … and so much more!

Bonus! The video includes a little bit before and after the webinar showing you how I broadcast it live.

GRAB PILLAR CONTENT WEBINAR HERE

WAIT! This video and SO MUCH MORE is in the BUILD ecourse. Upgrade to that full ecourse and learn how pillar content fits into your full online platform strategy.

REGISTER FOR BUILD HERE

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in blogging, BUILD YOUR PLATFORM

Resources: Balancing work when you work from home

Ever since I quit my day job a year and a half ago, I have been incrementally improving my daily schedule, productivity, etc. Apparently people (me) over-estimate how much they can get done in a day and under-estimate how much they can get done in a year. I’m fighting against that :)

But, as I fine tune and tweak, I’ve been collecting a bunch of posts about working from home, balancing your work and life responsibilities and the best way to keep from going crazy. I’m no expert (I actually love spending all my time at home and not seeing people), so here are some articles from people smarter than me.

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in BUILD YOUR PLATFORM, productivity, resources

Marketing 101: What is a call to action?

Continuing our Marketing 101 series:

We’ve talked about the very basics of marketing, how to identify what you are offering, know how it helps people, and who those people are, how to make sure they know about it and knowing what to tell them. The next step in creating your marketing campaign is to make sure you are asking for what you want your customers to do. They need to know what the next step is.

Marketing can be boiled down to this:
Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

Here’s how you make sure they know about it: You TELL THEM.

I know, ground-breaking. But a lot of people (ahem. Me.) forget that you actually need to be clear with your readers and customers on what you want them to do. If you want your blog reader to sign up for your newsletter, tell them about it. If you want your newsletter subscriber to buy your recent digital kit launch, ask them to. If you want your Twitter follower to retweet your link, suggest they do so.

That is a call to action.

It really doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. They just need to know what the next step is.

Practice by adding calls to action to your blog post (“Leave a comment below about _____” or “Follow me on Instagram for more behind the scenes”). Review your last product or service launch, and make sure all the communication around that included a clear call to action. Add ‘call to action’ to your checklist for the future.

Additional reading: 5 effective tricks to create a killer call to action (from Problogger)

What are your biggest hurdles with Calls to Action?

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in BUILD YOUR PLATFORM, Business, marketing

Found

P.S. Did you know I’m on Instagram? Sharing things like my lovely relaxed afternoons?

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in found

Our story right now …

team schubertOur NINTH wedding anniversary is tomorrow. Our first kiss was April 2001. We’ve been together a (very) long time — not that far off from half my life, actually. We’ve been through a lot of different stages and life changes and challenges. Always together. Always Team Schubert.

Right now …

… Andrew is working ~90+ hours per week consistently (since at least March or so)

… He is legitimately (moderately) famous in his industry. With, like, fanboys. For real.

… I could not possibly be more proud of him, and I am so thrilled that he loves his career so much

… I feel guilty that I’m not bringing in more income so he can quit his day job

… He constantly insists he doesn’t want me to do anything other than I am already doing, which mostly is working on a novel

… Our major activities when we are together are either marathoning a TV show or doing work on the house.

… or playing with the cats. Their new favorite is chasing pennies around the wood floor.

… Andrew is always happy to help me with scrapbooking projects, like taking photos at his recording sessions or journaling for Week in the Life

… We have a couple mini-trips planned with friends and family in the next couple months, but I can’t wait til we have money to go on a proper long vacation just the two of us.

… Several nights each week I go to bed alone because he is still working. I don’t sleep very well when he’s gone and wake up regularly to check if he texted me that he’s on his way.

… I get a lot of texts that say things like ‘leaving soon,’ or ‘off the freeway’. When I wake up at 2am and don’t know where he is I worry and can’t get back to sleep. My brain is never rational in the middle of the night.

… For the first time in a long time we’re scheduling date nights. They are on our shared Google calendar. Because Andrew tends to over-book himself and is too generous with his time.

… I’ve been making chicken stock from scratch every other week or so because Andrew loves it so much. He has some in the mornings instead of coffee or even for lunch and dinner.

… He can’t wait to read the books I’m writing. Which simultaneously scares me out of my mind and really inspires me to finish.

… He’s my best friend. I’m his. And we tend to talk each other’s ears off when we do get to spend time together.

Next year we plan on taking proper, professional portraits for our anniversary. I’m very excited!

P.S. This is the family photo we took for last week’s Week in the Life. Andrew is the best about helping me with those kinds of projects.

What is your RIGHT NOW story?

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in Amy, TELL YOUR STORY

Storytelling tip: Regular photos from the same angle

Last week I participated in Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life project. I have exactly the kind of life structure that discourages people from taking part in these kind of memory keeping challenges: No kids, no photogenic house, no special activities planned. I work from home almost completely on my computer, so photos of my days are all the same.

But, that has never stopped me before.

Instead, I focused on the small changes in the everyday things.

My new favorite technique that I stumbled on last week — taking the same photo from the same angle on different days.

photography tip for storytelling

I set the camera on Andrew’s side of the bed, to get a wide shot. Reading every day is a priority for me, so I always (always) have at least a few minutes in bed every night. I’m so grateful that I thought about getting these shots of our/my nightly routine.

These are from Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I didn’t get a photo every day last week, but even in these three I can see changes that tell the story of our week:

In the top photo you’ve probably noticed I’m not wearing pants, but in the bottom photo I’m under the covers. The week of Halloween is usually the time of year the weather changes around here.

In the same vein, in the top two photos you can (kind of) see the floor fan on my side of the bed. By Friday I had put it away for the winter.

In the top photo I’m lying down; in the bottom I’m sitting up. I spent a lot more time reading in bed Friday night (hiding from trick or treaters).

Andrew is only in the middle photo. On Tuesday night he was with his mixing engineer working on a project; on Friday night he was recording 3 songs with a band (overnight).

I’m reading the same book in the top and bottom photos (and its on the nightstand out of view in the middle). It’s a long, overly detailed biography so I’ll be working on it another week probably.

My nightstand and bedside lamp have been “temporary” for years. Maybe one day I’ll take the time to go find stuff I like.

These are just the stories I notice off the top of my head from these images — maybe you notice other ones. I’m excited to include these as a kind of recurring theme in my WitL album! My goal is to get that album put together and finished by the end of the month. It will be my first memory keeping project finished so far in 2014 and I’m so excited.

P.S. I think I took a similar photo Sunday night, too!

What’s your best (easy) storytelling tip?

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in memory keeping, resources, TELL YOUR STORY