what I read | 006

what I read | 006

 

Whew! After reading six books in May, I really wasn’t sure if I would be reading quite as much in June, but somehow it happened! The books this past month were a bit different from May as they were less young adult reads and more just general fiction. I also got a few non-fiction books in, one being the first Summer Reads book (Leave Your Mark)! I’m excited for next month as I have a few edge-of-your seat books and a few young adult books checked out, and we’ll be starting the next TSR book, How To Style Your Brand.

Anyway – here’s the wrap up of last month’s books:

Get Rich Lucky Bitch

YEAR: 2013 | PAGES: 298 | RATING: 4/5

I used to be subscribed to Denise’s newsletter, and eventually let it go when I was trying to clean out my inbox a while back. However, I’ve been interested in the idea of manifesting for several years, so when I realized I could borrow this for free with my Amazon Prime account I grabbed it. For the most part this was a really great book. I didn’t walk through the steps that she outlines, but I can see how focusing 110% of your attention on manifesting money would work. On the other hand, I felt that she was pretty repetitive about certain things, and this book definitely needs an extra round of edits. I won’t be reading her other book, but if you’re interested in a book about manifesting more money – I’d happily recommend this one!

Leave Your Mark

YEAR: 2015 | PAGES: 288 | RATING: 4/5

The book club is in the final week of this book, which I wrapped up on Sunday this past weekend. Here’s my one biggest gripe: the title and tagline are absolutely misleading. I purchased the hardback of this book the week before we started it, and I nearly immediately told my husband if I realized the main focus of the book was just transitioning from college to career I wouldn’t have spent the money on it. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a really great book for those in high school or college looking to get serious about their future, but I don’t think it’s the book for people on the less traditional path of entrepreneurship. I, like the majority of the book club, was looking forward to the social media section the most, and I think it was almost the shortest section of the book, featuring more her story on how she grew the DKNY Twitter following. I totally respect Aliza’s experience, her ideas on how to get where she did (many things that younger generations would never do), though.

Horrorstör

YEAR: 2014 | PAGES: 240 | RATING: 5/5

Wow! I think I discovered this book one night when I was checking out the recent additions to the Tennessee Overdrive library. The cover intrigued me, so I read a little bit about it. It sounded interesting, but I was in the process of reading two other books, and wasn’t sure I wanted to add another. That is – until Friday afternoon when I decided to go to the actual library and checkout physical books (!!!). (D is still calling me Matilda for that trip – even though I only got three books.) I saw this book on the “new” shelf and decided to grab it figuring it would be a quick read, and well… it was. I had no idea what to expect, but this book is crazy! As I said in my Goodreads review, I’ve never read a “scary story” style book, so reading this book was an adventure. The storyline is nuts, and I ended up finishing the book in about two days. If you’re looking for a scary story to read, I’d definitely recommend this one!

Other books I read last month:
Wanted (Pretty Little Liars #8) by Sara Shepard (I’m done with this series after this book!)
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

As always, if you’d like to read my reviews or ratings of the books I’ve read or just see what I’m currently reading, feel free to check out my Goodreads account!

Craft Your Brand: The Twitter Chat

Craft Your Brand: The Twitter Chat | Wedneday, July 8th at 8PM EST

Today I’m breaking my the usual schedule to share some exciting news! As most of you know, I’m currently working on finishing up my newest eBook, Craft Your Brand: The Self Study Guide to Branding Your Blog. I’ve been thrilled to finally be creating a new ebook, and one that covers a topic that actually hasn’t been talked about in the eBook form yet (as far as I can tell).

I’ve talked countless times about the importance of branding and how you can work on your own brand, but without doing post after post of over a thousand words there’s just easy way to share the ideas and help that I’m putting into Craft Your Brand. After spending hours trying to find and compile all of the branding blog posts that are out there (not just on my blog), and then reading them, who has the patience to then get put everything you’ve read to use in the very time consuming process of crafting your brand? This is why I’m bringing it all together in one resource that will help you craft your brand from the inside out without spending thousands to hire a branding expert.

Anyway! To help promote the ebook in it’s last few weeks of pre-order, I’ve decided to launch a one time Twitter chat for everyone interested in talking more about branding, specifically for your blog. The chat will be hosted at #cybchat on Wednesday, July 8th at 8PM EST! It’ll be an hour long, and if you want to join, I’d love to have all of my fabulous readers!

Share the tweet below to let me and your friends know that you’re going to be participating!

I hope to see y’all there!

how to get ahead with your editorial calendar

The idea of having an editorial calendar has been covered here several times over the last few years of this blog. Part of the struggle is creating a calendar (how the heck do I do that when I don’t have a lot of post ideas?!) and the other struggle is how to use your calendar and time to get ahead on your posting schedule. So today I’ve got a few simple steps on how you can get ahead with your calendar!

how to get ahead with your editorial calendar

Keep a notebook of post ideas

So it all starts with having a place to collect your post ideas. For me, I get inspired by lots of things when it comes to what I want to share with y’all. It may be a podcast I’ve listened to, something people are struggling with in a Facebook group, or even a random thing that might have happened while I was running errands that could be applied to business or blogging. Because it really is that easy to come up with post ideas, it’s important to keep a notebook handy at all times so you can quickly jot down or type up your idea so you don’t forget it. I personally keep a few small notebooks in my purse at all times, and I also have a note in my Notes app on my iPhone specifically for post ideas.

Schedule time in your day or once a week to write

Next up, it’s time to start writing. This is the step that you have to take if you really want to get ahead with your calendar. It’s not enough to have two months worth of ideas scheduled if you don’t sit down and right them out. I like to do this at the end of the week for the following week(s) or on the weekend while my hubs is studying at school. A great way to keep the momentum going here is to not worry about editing or creating graphics for your posts while you’re writing. Instead, just sit down and actually write out the content you want to share. You have to make this time a priority just like you would answering emails or working on client work, especially if your blog helps promote your business.

Batch edit your posts + create your graphics

Once you’ve got a few days worth of posts done (hopefully a week at a time), you can sit down and start doing the editing and create graphics for each post. When I’m editing, I like to open the Preview version of my post so I can read it outside of the post editor, for some reason I’ve noticed that helps me catch mess ups much easier. When it comes to creating graphics, keep a few folders of your photos for posts on your computer or know your go to sites for when you just want to pull a stock image. It’s also helpful if you have an extra folder for graphic templates. I have a special folder for this inside my Blog folder on my computer, which makes making post graphics about a hundred times easier. Bonus: it also makes your graphics more consistent!

Schedule social media at the same time

We all know one key way to getting our posts out into the world is obviously through social media. There comes a struggle, though, when you have to remember whether or not you scheduled the tweets or Facebook post about your new blog post. The final thing to do for your posts each week is to schedule the social media blasts at the same time you’re finishing up scheduling the posts. Buffer and Hootsuite have been popular in the blogger world for a long time when it comes to scheduling posts, but recently I’ve made the switch from Buffer to CoSchedule. It makes it incredibly easy to schedule as many social shares as I want (whereas I was limited to 10 posts at a time on the free plan with Buffer), and I can see what’s being shared and when as well as make room to promote my peers’ posts and my services or products. I may or may not do a whole post about how CoSchedule has made things even easier, but for now I’ll leave y’all with this: it’s absolutely worth $10 a month!

Having an editorial calendar is key to taking control of what you post as well as taking your blog to the next level, but getting ahead with your editorial calendar can be as easy as adding the four steps above to your weekly blogging routine.

5 things to do for your blog this summer

5 Things To Do For Your Blog's Brand This Summer | Guest Post by Kory Woodard for The Blog Market

Think back to January for a second; did you make any goals for your blog? If you’re like most people in the blogosphere, you probably did. It might have been something like grow your blog’s readership, start collaborating with brands, or maybe it was to start earning money through your blog.

Okay, now let’s take a look at what you’ve done for your goals. Are you struggling to make things happen? If your goals were anything like what I mentioned above, your blog’s brand may be holding you back from accomplishing them. That means no matter how much time or hard work you put into getting these things done, it just won’t happen because your current branding is standing in the way.

Here are a few things to do for your blog’s brand this summer to help you accomplish those goals you wrote in January:

COMPARE YOUR CURRENT CONTENT TO YOUR TARGET NICHE

When we’re busy with other things in life (say: school, job, family, etc) and trying to crank out a certain number of posts per week, a super easy thing to do is just start writing about popular topics that others are or have covered. Every now and then it’s important to compare what you’re writing to who you want to be writing for. If you’ve got an editorial calendar full of posts that your target niche wouldn’t care about, scrap it and create a new one!

Why: Writing unique content for your target niche helps you become an expert in your field, which will help you when it comes to growing your readership and exploring ways to make money.

Click here to read the rest of the post on The Blog Market

launch | coffee + love + talk

Oh goodness, y’all! It’s been too long since I shared a recent launch here, and I’m so happy that I’ve wrapped up a few projects that I can share with you guys here today as well as in the coming weeks. This project has been such a blast to work on, and I’m stoked to finally share it with y’all!

coffee + love + talk | branding by kory woodard

So, Kristin got in touch with me back in April to get a new design as well as some help on starting a blog. Funny enough, she actually found me through Instagram (so if you’re second guessing putting a few extra hours into your feed, I recommend you reconsider that)! She had some really neat ideas on where she wanted to go with her blog, and of course I was excited to work with her.

inspiration board for coffee + love + talk | by kory woodard
girl / floral theorybike / back / design / flower / roadtrip

You guys might remember this moodboard, above, from when I shared it a while back on the blog. I was so excited to get started on her project the second she approved this board. Based on the typography here, I knew that I’d probably be using my handwriting for the logo. I played around a bit with physically writing the name before grabbing my Wacom tablet and writing it digitally to come to the final logo.

coffee + love + talk | branding by kory woodard

As you can see in the brand board above, we ended up changing the colors a bit from where we were with the moodboard to ended up. I really like the original color scheme, but I’m super happy with the color palette that we ended up with. It’s a lot softer, but I still think it works really well! I don’t usually play around with pattern for my clients, but I thought incorporating a fun brushed pattern would be fun.

branding + blog design for coffee + love + talk | by kory woodard

Similarly to the last project I worked on, I wanted to do something a little different with Kristin’s About page. Instead of going for the fun facts, I went for something a little more simple, and we ended up including a few extra photos along with her bio.

Overall, like I said – this project was so much fun to work on. Kristin was super easy going and let me have full creative control, which makes a project go so smoothly. I literally couldn’t have asked for more!

P.s. Want new branding or a new blog design this summer? I’m currently booking for July + August! Let’s chat if you’re interested in working with me!