Found

First! Thanks to everyone who filled out the reader survey for my birthday! I’ll be collecting responses through the end of the month, if you have not yet done it or if you have more thoughts you would like to add click here!

Around here in the last week …

… I fell down a Harry Potter Pinterest rabbit hole for HOURS. I deliberately did not create an HP board, but you can now find a ton of HP-pins scattered throughout my boards. I made my husband commit to an HP movie marathon soon, I’ll probably re-read the books this fall (my preferred HP reading season) and I pulled out this book, this book and this book to maybe re-read soon. Want to start revising my HP Master’s thesis too.

… Andrew slept *most* of Sunday (he was awake about 5 out of a 29 hour period), but he woke up for long enough to take me for a Menchie’s date.

menchies

… We harvested my first banana pepper from our garden! And 2 more strawberries!

… Started working on my new novel and sailing merrily along. Post about that next week.

… Bought a new URL for a fun new project!

… hosted my first free webinar! Nervous and fun and lots of great feedback

And now for this week’s links …

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in found

Who is the BUILD ecourse for?

The BUILD ecourse has now been out for 9 months. That’s 9 months of focusing content, 9 months of brainstorming monetizing, 9 months of building marketing systems and 9 months of building online platforms to really get what you want.

I’m working on a new class tour document for those of you who are still hemming and hawing about whether or not the ecourse is for you. But in the meantime, I want to let some of the students tell what they have gotten from the course:

Praise for BUILDAllie from Alexandra Rae Design:

Most of all this class has given me courage to actually just get started making my blog even better. I feel confident that I know the information and material, and really, all that is left is the “doing.” The way Amy presents (and complied! Wow, those Resource pages are AWESOME) the information, you just want to get started right away. I’ve spent all my free time in the past few weeks watching videos, rereading modules… And I can’t think of any better way to spend my time. Thanks for such a great course, Amy!

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Praise for BUILDTrina from Feed the Birdies:

This class has taken all the little details of what I want my blog to be and helped me create a big picture and a PLAN of how it’s all going to work. I was having a lot of trouble with that part and always missed it by a mile, but now with Amy’s help, I can say I will be a well noted blogger and mean it. It’s already happening!

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Praise for the private Facebook mastermind group…

Praise for BUILDKristin of rukristin papercrafts:

The BUILD facebook group is the first place I come to when I’m looking implement a new idea for my blog or brand. Because I work at home (and alone) it is incredibly helpful to have a group of smart and savy like-minded people to bounce ideas off of. The wealth of information found in the BUILD ecourse is even more valuable when you can discuss it with hard-working, capable people who are looking to succeed in the same way you are. The BUILD facebook community is a must-have resource for every person looking to build something on the web.

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Praise for BUILD ecourseKam of Campfire Chic:

I know I can go to the BUILD private facebook group if I have questions or want to start a dialogue about the lessons in the course. I find myself going straight to the community with drafts to see what feedback I can get…it’s awesome knowing that I can count on those involved to really give me an honest opinion and share their own experiences.

 

The BUILD Facebook group is a real Mastermind Group. It is amazing.

It’s a supportive place that you can come to bounce ideas off of other bloggers and micro business owners. It has been such a delight to see how the private Facebook group has developed.

Still have questions? Check out my interview with Megan about who the BUILD ecourse is for:

free blogging tips

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in blogging, BUILD YOUR PLATFORM

5 easy ways to blog better

Sometimes I repeat myself.

When I chat with my consulting students or answer comments or emails, a lot of the advice and encouragement I give is the same. Most of the time if a blogger is struggling to really find their groove or find their voice or blog consistently or just blog better in general …. I give them the same advice over and over again.

Which means that if it’s working for someone else, chances are it will work for you too.

Today, let’s talk about the top 5 easy ways you can be a better blogger. Easy. Really.

blog better

Use an Editorial Calendar

This is one of my soapbox preaching topics. I have written about the wonder and glory of having an editorial calendar and then also how to maintain your editorial calendar. I’ve written about how the limits of an editorial calendar actually help get through creative blocks. Beyond those posts, my most helpful tip is just try it. Give it a shot for a month. If you hate it I won’t be offended but I 100% believe an editorial calendar will help you be a better blogger.

If you use WordPress, this Editorial Calendar plugin is helpful.

Reduce the number of posts each week

Again with limits. Your readers will REALLY be ok if you don’t publish 7 days each week. If you are currently publishing 7x / week, and cut down to 5x/week all that extra time can be put into crafting even better content. Either longer posts or better DIY projects or even more effective marketing of those posts so you can be helping even more people.

In fact, one of my favorite bloggers publishes once a week? Maybe even once every other week. And you know what? I don’t even care because I know that EVERYTHING he puts out is amazing, instead of having to click past ‘filler’ posts.

Show-off your personality

Please don’t be a faceless corporation. Please don’t water down your opinions or quirks just to try to appeal to a larger audience. It’s not likely to work. You’re unique, fantastic, maybe slightly eccentric and you will find your tribe if you show off your personality. There are readers out there just like you, who share your Austen obsession or who will love to hear all your estate-saling tips week after week.

It’s only through showing off those peculiar facets of your personality that you’ll be able to find those other members of your tribe who will be thrilled every day to see your newest blog post.

Focus

Ok, on the OTHER hand from showing off your personality, you don’t need to show off ALL of your personality. For example, I love to travel but I don’t post my travel stories on this blog. That would not fit into my L&R content. I love to cook (and make up recipes), but that doesn’t fit here. I will write about creativity and reading and blogging and storytelling here at Lemon and Raspberry but I’m not going to nerd out about how much I love my dutch oven.

Be able to focus your blog content enough that you can describe your blog in 1 sentence. It will make you a better blogger AND help your readers be able to share how amazing you are.

Include a takeaway

Your readers need a REASON to read your blog. Yes, your workspace is gorgeous; thank you for showing it off. But why do I care? Maybe it’s because you have a tip for working in a mess. Maybe it’s because you want to show off this new tool you think I should buy. Regardless of what it is, your blog post should have a takeaway, a valuable piece of info that will make your readers’ lives better.

Extra credit: Sign up for BUILD ecourse!

Build an online platform ecourse

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in blogging, BUILD YOUR PLATFORM

Creative small business resources

What are you doing this lovely (spring?) Monday afternoon? Not ready to jump into your week yet?

Procrastinate Spend quality time doing research by reading through these creative small business resources from around the web that I love.

Any good resources you want to add in the comments?

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in blogging, BUILD YOUR PLATFORM, Business, resources

Pillar Content: The backbone of your blog

webinar April 8Quick reminder: Tomorrow afternoon (April 8) I will be holding a FREE webinar!

It will be about an hour, about Pillar Content, AND all participants will get a discount code for a chunk off of my BUILD ecourse! Plus there will be a recording for about 5 days afterward, so if you can’t make it tomorrow afternoon you can still see the webinar.

But you MUST RSVP! Sign up here!

All that said …. What is Pillar Content?

Short answer: The backbone of your blog. The pillars that hold up everything else. The whole reason anyone reads your blog regularly.

Long answer:

Let’s call your blog your ‘online platform’ … because that’s what it is. It is your platform from which to spread your work and your ideas.

But the platform needs to have some kind of foundation. You need an anchor, or (in this metaphor) pillars to support your platform.

Your pillars are the solid, evergreen blog posts that provide enormous value any time. Not giveaways, not recapping your weekend, not Things I love Thursday. Those posts are NOT evergreen and (honestly) don’t provide a ton of value to the reader.

Pillar content are the blog posts that get pinned over and over again. Pillar content are the blog posts that can be tweeted or shared on Facebook any time. Pillar content are the blog posts that tie directly to your main keywords and really show your readers what they can expect from your blog. These will be posts that are solidly in your niche and covering your main keywords. These will be posts that have a very strong takeaway. These will be the posts that you find your readers most sharing, most linking to and most identifying your blog with.

Examples:

If you write about memory keeping and travel, your pillar content would probably be an ‘ultimate guide to scrapbooking on the road’ or something similar. If you write for your handmade children’s aprons company, your pillar content would probably be something like, ‘top 10 reasons to cook with your child.’

There is so much more to Pillar Content! I hope you join me for a FREE webinar ‘Pillar Content: The backbone of your blog’! All you need is an internet connection to attend! I’m pretty excited!

We’ll discuss:

  • What is Pillar Content?
  • How do you come up with Pillar Content ideas – and how do you identify posts you’ve already written as Pillar Content?
  • What is the best structure for your Pillar Content?
  • What can you do to get the most bang for your Pillar Content?
  • How to you change or grow your Pillar Content as your blog grows?
  • … and more

 CLICK HERE to RSVP – I’ll send you details!

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in blogging, BUILD YOUR PLATFORM

Found

Around here in the last week …

… We went to Phoenix again over the weekend to visit my grandma. And my parents took us out to breakfast for my birthday where we ordered this flight of bacon. Kind of amazing!

bacon

… While in Phoenix we took my aunt and uncle’s dogs for a little walk. They’re both such sweet boys.

dogs

… my birthday gift from Andrew was AMAZING. He did 30 Days of Lists in March unbeknownst to me, paired those in a Moleskine journal with a hand-carved stamp and a note to me EVERY DAY for the month! Which means every day I get to read something fun that Andrew wrote just for me. He’s the BEST!

birthday month

… Andrew took the day off for my birthday – we went to lunch and to see the new Muppet movie! There were only 2 other people in the theater and Andrew and I felt a little awkward laughing so loudly in a mostly empty theater. We then spent the rest of the day quoting the movie. I love the Muppets.

birthday Muppet

And now for this week’s links …

 

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in found

Giveaway: MyDetails online workshop

Ready to record some of those little memories that slip through the cracks?

At least once a week I think of a totally random story from my past that I don’t have any scrapbook pages for because there are no associated photos. I grew up as an ‘event’ scrapbooker, not really recording all the little stories.

Here’s a fun solution!

xMy-Details-Logo-with-Websi

I am so excited to let you know about this new online workshop from my friends Kristin and Megan!

CLICK HERE to grab your spot AND use discount code LEMONDETAILS for $2 off!

Use the 10 prompts to document about your present details or use them to document about the you from the past, or do BOTH as Megan and Kristin have! They will inspire you with 40+ takes on the prompts between the two of them in the form of mini-book pages, pocket page spreads, traditional layouts, and more! You can return to these prompts again and again to document your details and can even return to them later to translate them into documenting the details of others!

Whether you’re a blogger, a mini book maker, a journaler, a pocket scrapbooker, or a traditional scrapbooker, we’ve got ideas for you to make sure you are telling YOUR story and YOUR details in your memory keeping! Join us–the pre-classroom is accessible NOW and prompts begin April 14!

xMy-Details-Sneak-PeeksThere is a TON of content already in the workshop private blog to go through between now and the workshop beginning April 14.

Beginning April 14, you’ll have access to:

  • A new prompt each weekday over the duration of the class–10 in all
  • Detailed suggestions for interpretations of each prompt, making each prompt something you can return to for inspiration again and again
  • Two interpretations of each prompt from each instructor
  • 40+ exclusive takes on the prompts from instructors Megan and Kristin
  • Design and documentation tips with each project
  • Saturday Share days in which inspiration from the community members is shared
  • Supply lists with links to resources used in the workshop examples
  • E-mail access to instructors
  • Access to classroom indefinitely

I am taking part in the class – brainstorming how I’ll collect my work this week!

CLICK HERE to grab your spot AND use discount code LEMONDETAILS for $2 off!

or enter the giveaway below….

P.S. There is a giveaway for a 3-MONTH OHDEERME KIT SUBSCRIPTION on the MyDetails private blog. This giveaway will be open through April 7th! Register today for your chance at this SOLD OUT kit. You *cannot* wait to see if you win a spot to enter this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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in giveaway, memory keeping, TELL YOUR STORY

Giveaway winner: Project Life Lessons

Project Life LessonsThank you everyone who entered the Project Life Lessons giveaway last week! I hope you all grab a seat in the class so we can take it together!

The winner as randomly selected by Rafflecopter is:

Kat Greene aka @ramblekatramble

Kat, email me to claim your prize please!

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in giveaway

Can you help? L&R Reader Survey

Today is my birthday!!! I plan on doing ZERO work today (benefit of working ahead) and spending a lot of time reading in my hammock with an iced coffee drink.

But I do have something for you to do today, if you don’t mind helping. I really would love to know what you think about this site and how I can make it better so I’ve put together a short reader survey.

I want to be very clear: This is NOT a reader survey to get demographic data to sell you all to advertisers. This info will not be shared.

I want to gather honest, anonymous answers so I can BUILD this platform into the best it can be.

Click here to open the survey in a new window, or simply fill out the survey below:

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!

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in Lemon and Raspberry

April is for …

  • My birthday! (it’s tomorrow)
  • Also, my cats’ birthday on Saturday. I kinda love that we know when it is.
  • Free blogging webinar! Learn more here
  • Doing our taxes. We are *finally* hooking up with an accountant.
  • springtime activities like yardwork, hammocks, iced coffee and weekend adventures
  • Day trip with Kam!
  • Maybe going to Phoenix another time or two
  • Project Life and Currently List and working on my Scotland Blurb book
  • finishing Linchpin
  • My brother may be staying with us for a few days on his way to move to Hawaii!! SO fun!

What do you have planned this month?

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in Amy