Writer's Corner

What No One Tells You About Blogging 2018

When I made the choice to write more, work on building my brand (which I’m still sorting through) publishing my book, and networking, I had no clue about the amount of time I would spend obsessing about the details.  Matter of fact I got side-tracked, off track, and overwhelmed by my vision and everything I was trying to do.

For a creative with a fluid stream of thought, bottling up my emotions into multiple blog posts is delicate.  It is also nerve wrecking because you want your audience to believe in your brand.

I have read numerous social media posts about brand building, mail list, and content launching, I begin to ask myself “Am I doing something wrong?”   I have even completed a few email challenges which is why after my last starter kit download I decided to revamp my epic blog… originally posted August 13, 2016.

What No One Tells You About Blogging

So I thought that I had it all figured out then and sadly, I didn’t then and I’m still figuring things out now.  I’m still tackling the same topics of the experts, products, social media, and the effort it takes.  But I’m also adding another component…NETWORKING!

The Experts

The first thing no one tells you is that the blogging industry is full of experts that have been around for YEARS!  They are the gurus, the go-tos, the coaches, and the mold.  They have been building steadily for five or more years and have their niche, audience, and branding down to a science.  They use every technology tool imaginable and create material that us novice bloggers are working hard at some day creating ourselves.  Having had to learn how to pitch ideas, and step out of faith allowed them to establish platforms and connections that further build their credibility.  I could name a few experts but there is no need, if you simply google them they are everywhere.  So now I’m trying to get in where I fit in so that I can grow my audience and build my platform.  To be an influencer you must learn to move and network like one.  Starting can be hard but they too were once where we are.

The Products:  Workbooks/Workshops/Webinars

In information overload keeping up with the trending concepts is overwhelming. Lifestyle, fashion, inspirational, relationships, everyone is offering advice.  There is tons of help being offered at low and high prices.  Some tools are even available as free downloads and starter kits that are helpful.  Others are confusing as shit so I keep what I like and toss what I found useless.  I’ll be honest some things are more complicated inside some of these free email courses.  Since I’m Type-A, I need things to be simple and spelled out.  If I’m stressed out reading these helpful “tidbits”, I wonder what these creators felt like when they were writing.  Oddly, in start-up, investing in books, workshops, webinars, and other online content comes with an expensive price tag.  It is exciting to see gifs dancing all over your screen, then as soon as you decide you are interested, you are hit with costs ranging from free to hundreds of dollars.  Now I admit some of the leadpages and magnets are fire as hell, but my next big investment is going to be a newer laptop before I go all out.  Besides I still teach full-time so blogging has yet to pay my bills.  But I’m working on it. Don’t go broke investing, take it one day at at time (note to self).

Social Media

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It is up to you to separate your personal life and your business life. Presenting your content on various sites is time consuming and intimidating.  Trying to follow a content checklist to be sure to create, share, tweet, stumble, tumble, press, pin and repost across multiple social sites is both beneficial and aggravating.  I’ll be the first to admit that my posts, my blogs, and my images were not that great when I got started but I can definitely see how I have grown.  Graphics really make a big difference, now if I could just get more into some of the other tools like mailchimp to help me with list buiding, I’d be 100% in the game.  In between using the pen name LaTilya Rashon for Amazon but TilyaRealEyes for everything else I can see how everything is starting to come together.  Setting yourself aside is worth it if your followers engage in your content.  But no one tells you that you need to recycle, update, and revise your content continuously to make it more appealing.  Which is why I’m offering this blog update.  Whew!

All I can say is let 2018 be my year for greater GROWTH!  With that being said, next time you see your favorite blogger, note that they aren’t creating new content as often as you thought. So your content should be consistent.  Be impactful! Shared content impresses followers and lasts longer.

It Is Not Easy

In the beginning of the week, your ideas are fresh, your journals are attached to your hand, and your fingers skip along the home row keys on your keyboard as your ideas flow.  In the middle of the week none of your ideas are formulating and you think that your writing needs an overhaul.  By the end of week you are in tears because no one seems to be paying attention to your work.  It is discouraging!  To top it all off you are expected to follow different people each day, leave meaningful comments on others’ post, and respond to the people that write to you.

Establishing your network and doing your research is important. But be reminded that plenty of others have felt this very same way. I am learning that there is no true right or wrong way to create but as a creative you have to be mindful of your voice and the style you create for yourself.  Bloggers write to establish their platforms, create useful products, and produce content driven to keep their audience engaged.

No one is telling your the perfect formula for creation, because you have to do the work!

xoxo

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Brown Sugar Magic

Create Your Vision

I would be remissed to say that the recent release of my second inspirational book, Brown Sugar Magic: Goal Setting and Reflections Journal has been met with lukewarm acceptance and I want to change that reception.  Receiving the “likes” on my social media is okay, but in true entrepreneurial spirit I would like to see those “likes” convert to sales.

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Order Here

I have been dealing with so much lately over these past six months, between a divorce being finalized, regaining control of my finances now as single mom, and closing out a school year, I’m surprised I got this second book out, but it was something that I HAD to do.

Yesterday after feeling like I had hit a brick wall emotionally and feeling a twinge of being burned out I laid across my bed and began listening to a couple of podcasts by Cara Alwill Leyba.  Her message is clear and distinct and it pushed me to look back at my “do what you love” notebook and really plan out my course of action for these next few months.

I have to remind myself that yes it has only been a year, and my need to be good at everything I do is taking over my thought processes and essentially making me overthink EVERYTHING in my life.  I had taken to Facebook and joined all of these groups and I find that this blogging industry is SATURATED.  Everybody is creating a lot of the same things and the competition is STEEP.  Even though regionally everyone is spread out, and there are some small hubs of creators in the same area, I see why now more than ever I must stake my claim in this creative industry and CREATE MY VISION!

So I see for myself in my vision and my future:

BROWN SUGAR MAGIC

I want Brown Sugar Magic to be my main inspirational platform.  Creating my vision started with setting some realistic and achievable goals for myself.  Through planning a course of action to take and being unafraid to put my words on paper, self-publishing my first book was a personal goal that I accomplished.  My education was not pursued haphazardly, I was deliberate and intentional as I attained higher degrees of education.  I know what it’s like and even sometimes find it overwhelming to want to do one thing but then have to revamp that objective or goal to take care of smaller things first.  God planned my path for me and he innately gave me the ability to aspire for great things and become successful in my own right.

If I can inspire someone to be SMART about their choices in life as they design their future, be in touch with their needs and take care of themselves before they have nothing to offer to the people around them; I take on the role.  Additionally, I want to help African-American women and girls build themselves up to only rely on their independence to see them through life.  That’s not to say that having help in life is not good, but this is to say be able to help yourself so that if you are ever in the position to have to do for yourself, YOU ARE NOT HELPLESS!  As I walk in my purpose, my dream, and define my vision; I will celebrate my setbacks, imperfect moments, and my growth.  I see this as a way to encourage many others.

SPEAKING AND HOSTING

All throughout school I was constantly reminded by my teachers about my continuous talking in class.  I was a fast learner and completed my work often times ahead of my classmates so I was always looking for someone to talk to.  It could have been the fact that I was an only child but that would be an excuse.  I simply just love to talk.  The cheerleader in me wants to be in the limelight spreading inspiration, joy, and motivation.  I have a lot to say about coming from a SINGLE parent home and PERSERVERING through the STEREOTYPES that were placed on me.  I have had to be disciplined, make tough decisions, and show my resiliency to get to this place in my 35 years of life.  I say this time and time again, I DEFY stereotypes and my authentic rawness at times is just the dose of reality people need to know that LIFE
AIN’T FAIR! Put me on a stage…I will rock the party, keep you engaged, but most importantly MOTIVATE!

BOOKS AND BLOGGING

Ever since being told by a teacher my senior year in high school that “MY PEOPLE“ need me, I get tickled at the thought of her saying that often.  I love books and have read what I like over the years and always knew that one day I would write a book of my own.  My flagship book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching chronicles my transition into what was spoke on to me at the age of 18.  If my people need me, whether it be teachers, African-American women and girls, writers, or whomever feels inspired by my words, I’m glad to be of SERVICE.  I have always wanted to write, and the urgency I feel to be great will take time, after all, I teach full-time and pursue my writing when I am not in the classroom.  I blog as much as possible and I am continuing to find inspiration and write what I think people need to read from me.  Writing what I consider to be my first epic blog, What No One Tells You About Blogging, was the tip of the iceberg.  One day my persistence with pay off!  I am establishing my voice.  This creative journey is personal.

THE EXTRAS

If an ebook, writer’s apparel and other products surface as I make my stamp then so be it.  Anybody can make a t-shirt, cup, bag, and other doodads and it will sell, but I want to be as consistent with my message that I anticipate being with these other endeavors. The ones that are selling everything under the moon, make it look easy from books to lip gloss.  However, I’m learning that when you have a concrete audience, it is doable to make those kinds of sales.  Because I’m still new to this I will limit my conversation on that.

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 Click to Purchase

If it takes me a few years to get this entrepreneurial niche down pact, I will do what I have do.

~LaTilya Rashon

 

Writer's Corner

Everybody Loves Free Stuff

As promised I have created a free mini-book based on my epic blog

What No One Tells You About Blogging

The response to this blog was so overwhelming and delightful that I decided to expand it just a little and create a free product to give you insight on what gets my blood pumping.

I have created categories that are completely based on my perception and you will see yourself falling into one as we are all ultimately seeking to become the EXPERTS!

Of course I do not have the magical formula that will take you from smaller appeal to internationally known.  I just know that I am navigating the industry, reading, studying, and creating a space for myself as I continue to partially pursue my writing dreams.

There is plenty of room for me to grow, for me to help you grow, and for us to grow together.  This is my first of many products to come!  Enjoy this free product and stay tuned for more!

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Click Here for Your Freebie!

Writer's Corner

A New Way to Think About Blogging

A New Way to Think About Bloggingcropped-photo-1430165558479-de3cf8cf14782.jpeg

Breaking into a market that is bustling with creativity is not an easy feat once you have decided to share your words and your voice with the masses.  Becoming an author you are choosing to write compelling stories that tell of heroism and out of this world adventures.  As a blogger you cover beauty, inspiration, lifestyles, and other social woes that need a platform.  Some writers are content driven entrepreneurs with classes, tips and workshops based on written curriculum designed to help you grow your business so presentation is everything.  

Writers appeal to your senses and hope to gain respected audiences and followers of their works.  Because writing is personal and is time consuming, there are writing mechanics needed in order to invoke your audience.  You will gain a broader audience when you pay close attention to the five areas writers should focus on that will keep readers engaged.

Choosing a Topic

This may sound very easy, but sometimes writing takes on a mind of its own and very soon you lose your intended direction.  There are a plethora of subjects to cover, but choose topics that you have experience in and can be looked upon as an expert.  Start with your interests, hobbies, your career and look to your family.  The most intimate and exciting parts of your life will help you create a list long enough to generate content for weeks or even months.  Write from your heart. You can always revisit previous pieces and update them when new trends arise.

Hooking Your Audience

No one wants to read boring titles because that directly attributes to boring content.  Asking an interesting question or making a strong statement will immediately grab your reader’s attention.  The purpose behind writing is to hook your target audience and keep them hungry for your work.  Command the reader’s attention by being deliberate with your words.  Reader’s want to be exposed to new ideas, but will never know the greatness of a writer’s words if they are not drawn in completely.  Don’t be afraid to push the envelope and say what everyone is thinking.

Provide Background Information

In order to provide background information you have to draw from your experiences.  Readers do not want to hear from experts all of the time.  Readers want to hear from everyday people, walking through life experiencing some of the same victories and defeats.  They want to know what your experience was like when you tried online dating, they want to hear your quirky first date stories, and all of the other things writers dive into as their niche.  I couldn’t possibly take anyone serious that had no experience in my areas of interest but constantly cranked out material on that topic like a sausage mill.  So be true to what you like and be unafraid to share your feelings.  Readers will always come back for the heartfelt messages.

Establish Your Voice

A writer’s diction is everything!  Your word choice is what pushes as article, critique, review, novel, or blog post along.  The more vivid your words are in your descriptions and explanations, the better your piece will read.  Create a word flow that makes your writing distinctive.  When writers find a format and style that attracts readers repeatedly, they have established their concrete voice.  Readers will be able to spot their favorite writers by the words and tone used in each publication.  Once you have established your voice, test the limits of that voice and you’ll be amazed at how your words come to life.

Write Coherently

Ask yourself if your writing sounds natural?  If your writing does not sound natural when you read it, it is not going to win big with your audience.The writing process is brutal! Be organized going into your topics that way all of your ideas are connected.  Make the points throughout your writing you want readers to pay attention to.  Your details should be specific and thought provoking.  Planning, drafting, revising and editing is necessary in order to get the intended outcome of a written piece of work.  Organize your writing so that it flows easily and does not leave your reader with questions at the end.

Insert yourself into your writing, not being afraid to expose your truth and lessons learned. Let your voice resonate in your writing.  Push the envelope and say exactly what you want to say.

Writer's Corner

What No One Tells You About Blogging

What No One Tells You About Blogging

When I made the choice to dedicate my time write more, work on building my brand (which I’m still sorting through TilyaRealEyes “The Educated Butler”), publishing my book, and networking, I had no clue about the amount of time I would spend obsessing about the details.  For a creative with a fluid stream of thought, bottling up my emotions into multiple blog posts is delicate.  When I read numerous social media posts about brand building, mail list, and content launching, I begin to ask myself “Am I doing something wrong?”  So I decided to cleanse my mind to tell you all what I am learning so far about what no one tells you about blogging.

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The Experts

The first thing no one tells you is that the blogging industry is full of experts that have been around for YEARS!  And I do mean they have been building steadily for five or more years and somewhat already had a platform when they began.  Their platforms from corporate America, pageantry, and other connections already created a buzz, so people that have worked closely with influencers already had a captive audience.  That does not mean that in the blogging start-up market you do not have a chance.  It just means that you have to work harder to meet your mark.

Workbooks/Workshops/Webinars

In information overload keeping up with the trending concepts is overwhelming.  Lifestyle, fashion, inspirational, relationships, everyone is offering advice.  There is tons of help being offered at low and high prices.  Oddly, in start-up, investing in books, workshops, webinars, and other online content comes with an expensive price tag.  It is exciting to see gifs dancing all over your screen, then as soon as you decide you are interested, you are hit with costs ranging from free to hundreds of dollars.  These resources are helpful, but the information is recycled and tweaked to individual liking from author to author.  It is true, you have to spend money to make money.  But don’t go broke investing, take it one day at at time (note to self).

Social Media

It is up to you to separate your personal life and your business life.  Presenting your content on various sites is time consuming and confusing.  Trying to follow a content checklist to be sure to share, tweet, stumble, tumble, press, and pin is both beneficial and aggravating at the same time.  It’s worth it if your followers engage in your content.  But no one tells you that you need to recycle, update, and revise your content continuously to make it more appealing.  So next time you see your favorite blogger, note that they aren’t creating new content as often as you thought.  So your content should be consistently impactful each and every time it is shared because impressions really matter.

It Is Not Easy

In the beginning of the week, your ideas are fresh, your journals are attached to your hand, and your fingers skip along the home row keys on your keyboard as your ideas flow.  In the middle of the week none of your ideas are formulating and you think that your writing needs an overhaul.  By the end of week you are in tears because no one seems to be paying attention to your work.  It is discouraging!  But be reminded that plenty of others have felt this very same way.

I am learning that there is no true right or wrong way to launch, and that consistency is key.  Bloggers write to establish their platforms, create useful products, and produce content driven to keep their audience engaged.  No one is telling your the perfect formula for creation, because you have to do the work!

*image from wordpress.com*