To Pin or Not to Pin

This is something I struggle with. I often forget to pin things to Pinterest, even when it’s in my interests to do so.

It’s often said that pinning items on Pinterest attracts more viewers, readers, or customers. It’s also said that pinned articles have a longer shelf life than those that don’t. I haven’t noticed if either of these are true or not.

However, I don’t yet pin consistently. In a time of making changes to what I do and how I do it when it comes to this blog, this is one more thing I’m changing.

Every time I publish a post, I will pin it. Maybe after a while, I will be able to look at my stats and see a difference.

Riddle me this: Do you use Pinterest for your business/blog/writing? Have you noticed a difference when you do vs when you don’t?

Choosing Pictures for Blog Posts

I thought I would share a little peek behind the scenes and talk about how I choose pictures for blog posts.

First, I start with the topic of the blog post. If it’s a general post, I might just use a picture of me. If it’s about something specific, like this one, I know I need one that’s more relevant.

Second, I will look at the images I already have uploaded to my blog. Sometimes I can reuse one of them. I’ve done that several times. If I don’t find a usable one, I will look in the photo library of pictures I have taken.

If I don’t find a photo I want to use from my files, I have two more options. I can either take a photo or use one from the WordPress library.

It’s easy to get caught up in the image search and spend too much time on it. I’ve actually opted to publish a post without an image if I can’t find one and am short on time. I try not to do that very often, though.

Third, when I have the image in place, I finish the post. I will give it a once-over, set the category and tags, and publish or schedule the post.

That’s a little bit about how I do it things. What about you? Do you always include photos with your blog posts?

Blog It All (or Not)

Have you ever started something and you were so excited about it? I’m sure you have.

Then, something about it, maybe the way you bad it set up, made it feel more like a chore. You didn’t look forward to it anymore and you didn’t really want to do it. It wasn’t fun. You only did it because you felt like you had to. It was expected.

That, my friends, is where I had gotten with this blog. I needed something to make me want to do it again.

This weekend, I watched the Launch Bloggers Conference live feed. (I was originally going to go, but couldn’t.) I had a couple Aha! moments while listening to Melissa George and Marisa Mohi. Because of that, I’m making some changes here.

The main thing you’ll notice is frequency. I will no longer be trying to post every day. Instead, you can expect posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Beyond that, I will post links to podcast episodes and videos when they go up, most likely on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I’m also going to make better use of blog categories and tags. Instead of trying to do articles/opinion pieces on things I don’t know enough about, I’ll be talking more about what I know, what I’m working on, and things I use to get my work done.

There will be more behind-the-scenes stuff and explanations of why and how I do things. Instead of talking generically about creativity, I’m going to be showing more about how I use it in my life so I can give practical examples.

I think these changes will make for a more interesting and fun experience for all of us.

I’ll have another post up on Wednesday.

2019 Goals

I know you can set goals and meet them at any time of the year, but there’s something about the beginning of the year that just seems appropriate. Maybe because it’s an external frame of measurement. Regardless, I do goals instead of resolutions and it works for me.

To provide a frame of reference for my goals, I choose a word for the year. Last year, my word was “Prosperity.” This year, I have two words. The main word is “Intentional” and a supplemental word of “Consistent.”

That said, my goals for the year are:

  1. Launch courses: 40 Days to Creativity and Journal Your Way to Creativity.
  2. Release 12 JEN Enterprises Presents titles (one per month).
  3. Publish RealmWalker: New Beginnings with The Wild Rose Press.
  4. Podcast every other week.
  5. 1 YouTube video a week.
  6. 2 public speaking gigs.
  7. 4 coaching clients.

Every year, I hesitate to make my goals public because “what if I don’t do them?” But the fact that they are public provides some external motivation to get them done.

That’s where I am for goals this year. They are listed in my planner with steps and plans to achieve them.

What about you? Do you make goals or resolutions?

Notebook Challenge

A few days ago, I shared a video from Sarra Cannon of HeartBreathings where she talked about different ways to fill a notebook. At the end of that video, she mentioned a challenge she is doing for herself and anyone who wants to participate.

I’m in.

What’s the challenge? To fill one notebook a month in 2019.

Why am I doing this?

I have a lot of little, pretty notebooks. I start them and don’t finish them. Or I don’t write in them at all because I don’t want to mess them up.

And then I bought more. The picture is a few of them. The first one says, “living my best life.” The second says, “Anything is possible with confidence and cute shoes.” The last one pictured says, “Just put on your favorite lipstick & deal with it.”

I think I’m going to start with the best life one. As for what I’m going to put in it, I need to get back into daily writing practice, so that’s what I’m going to do.

What about you?

Coming Up: Guest Posts

One of the things I have been wanting to do here is to have some guest posts. To that end, I have some coming up pretty soon.  I only have a few currently planned, but if you want to share a post with us, here’s how you can do that:

If you’re interested in writing a guest post for my blog, I’d love to have you. You can check out my site and decide from there. It’s at www.jennippsonline.com.
My focus is on creativity, regardless of what form that may take, whether writing, cooking, painting, or something else. I love hearing about projects people are working on, how they discovered their creativity, and/or their creative process.
Requirements:
  • Posts should be around 500-800 words.
  • Have at least one image.
  • Include a short bio.
  • Provide a link to your blog/website/social media platforms. (If you just have one of these, that’s fine.)
  • Provide a head shot you would like to go with your post (optional).
  • Promote your post anywhere you wish.
  • Check in from time-to-time on the day your post goes live to respond to comments.

What I’ll do:

  • Schedule your post for a future date.
  • Inform you of the projected date.
  • Remind you on the day it goes live.
  • Promote your post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
If you decide this is something you would like to do, you can send it to me at jennippsonline@gmail.com with “Guest Post” in the subject line.

 

Boredom vs. Quiet

Let’s revisit the poll I posted a few days ago. I asked if boredom was necessary for creatives. I didn’t get a lot of response, but that’s OK. I got a couple comments — here and on other social media platforms — that helped me formulate what I want to say.

On my Facebook page, Terri M. said:

I’m not a writer or whatever, BUT I have come up with some of my greatest garden or craft ideas while sitting here doing nothing 

On the poll post, Janet said:

I think a quiet mind is needful to be creative with words. A frantic life seldom produces much. I don’t call it boredom though. Just quiet.

That is, in a nutshell, where I stand. Or sit.

As for the poll, it is still open, but results so far are evenly split between yes and no about boredom being necessary for creatives.

I have never liked being bored. It’s just not me, if that makes sense. I have always, as long as I can remember, had something with me to ensure I am never bored. That may be a pen and paper (even scrap paper in the bottom of my purse or other bag), a book to read, a sketchbook, or something to knit or crochet. I have a cousin who has commented that she has never seen me when I don’t have something to do.

That is intentional.

That is not to say I don’t have quiet time or downtime. I do. I just structure it differently. My quiet time comes in the short meditations I have started doing. It comes in the times when I am knitting or crocheting and the pattern doesn’t require a lot of attention. It comes in doodling in a sketchbook or writing practice/Morning Pages (refer to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron if this is a new concept to you – I highly recommend that book/study).

Everyone is different. Don’t let anyone tell you that the way you do something or what you call something is wrong. It might be different, but it’s not wrong. Especially if it works for you.

What I call downtime or quiet time may indeed be boredom to someone else. Whatever you call it, it boils down to this: We need to give ourselves time for ideas to form and incubate so we can continue our creative work.  Whatever name you give to that incubation time doesn’t really matter. It’s what you do with the results of it that count.

And who decides if it counts?

You.