3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

At our staff retreat the other day, we played a game called Snowballs.

The objection of Snowballs is to figure out who wrote what. It’s like the Game of the Things, but more personal. Everyone writes down 1-3 things on separate pieces of paper and then crumples it up into a snowball. You then go around and guess who wrote what. Some things were obvious, and some obscure. The obscure ones are always my favorite because you are usually surprised and shocked about how much you don’t know about someone.

“About Me” sections are like Snowballs. Your “About Me” gives your reader a reason to continue to peruse your site after they make initial contact. It’s like an elongated Tinder profile. Your “About Me” gives your readers a first impression of who you are, and why you need to become best friends. And because I want to be best friends with everyone (my husband tells me this is impossible,) I finally took the plunge and updated my “About Me” section.

Updating your “About Me” can be a daunting task. On one hand, you want it to be authentic and show the real you. But you also want to be professional.

3 Steps to Revamp Your About MeAdd heading

Do Your Research

Before I updated my “About Me,” I looked at other blogs. I checked out bloggers who had the same niche and objective I had. I checked out bloggers who were killin’ it in the business and whose “About Me” sections meant business.

Tiffany from Endless Bliss has a killer about me section, but instead of saying “About Me,” her tab says “My Story.” The drop down menu then shows her 30×30 and where she’s published. Not only do you get to know about her through her 30×30, you get to know about her writing style and her work.

Summer from Coffee With Summer‘s “About Me” section draws you in because instead of saying “About Me,” it says “Start here!” Because let’s be real, as lifestyle bloggers, we do talk about ourselves a little. In a sense, our whole blog is an about me section. Summer tells her readers first what her blog is about, and then who she is.

In addition to reading bloggers’ “About Me” section, I also consulted Pinterest. Pinterest is my go-to resource for almost everything because it is essentially a wealth of knowledge from bloggers for bloggers.

I typed in “About Me” in the search bar then read and pinned what I found to be the most helpful guides. You can peruse those pins on my blogging board here:

 

 

Make Your Mission Statement

One of the many things my husband excels in is intentionality. He lives with intention, and every action step he takes is purposeful. Mr. M has a mission statement for his life, he had a purpose in dating, he knew what kind of woman he wanted to marry (somehow I made all the qualifications), and now we have a mission statement for our marriage.

I have not always been this type. I’m more the “Go with your Gut” kinda gal because I believe my conscience and gut know what to do. But sometimes your gut is wrong, which is why you need a mission statement. Yesterday I sat down and figured out my mission statement for my life – or purpose, if you will.

Once I knew my mission statement for my life, I knew in what direction I wanted Hugs & Lattes to go.

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

Hugs & Lattes’ Mission

My desire is to propel women into their identity by empowering them to be strong, and confident women. Hugs & Lattes is my way to reach beyond my small community.

As such, Hugs & Lattes is a lifestyle blog that seeks to empower women to become confident in their identity, their relationship with faith, and their relationship with others.

Knowing my mission statement allowed me to focus my writing. Thanks to my mission statement, I knew what I wanted to write about:

Faith and Relationships

When I knew what I wanted to write about, I was able to become more disciplined in my schedule. Readers may notice if they click on my page on a Monday, they will find a faith-related/inspirational post.

If you mosey on over to Hugs & Lattes on a Friday, you will mostly find posts on relationships. My original objective was to hone in on marriage and dating relationships, but I am finding the desire to expand into relationships with anybody. 

And because I cannot confine myself to a box completely, I left Wednesdays open for whatever it is on my heart I desire to write about. This gives me the freedom to just be me. If I want to write about coffee, I’ll write about coffee.

If you show up on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and there are no posts to be found, then you can just assume I chose to snuggle with my husband instead of typing away one night.

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

Update Your Head Shots 

This one isn’t a have to, but it sure is fun. I took head shots when I first transitioned The Grand Adventures of Me over to Hugs & Lattes two summers ago. Well, in 2 years I chopped my hair off and gained 15 pounds of post-grad/marriage weight, so I knew it was time for some updated head shots.

I read somewhere that whenever you drastically change your hair, you should update your head shots. Unfortunately I took my head shots a month ago, before I drastically changed my hair. I am not retaking head shots. I’ll just grow my hair back out. Ha!

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

Bonus Step

Always be on the lookout for revisions.

My mission statement for Hugs & Lattes is only a working mission statement. It’s a working mission statement from 2 years ago. As you grow and as your blog goes, your mission may morph, and that’s okay.

What is important is that you stay true to you.

PHEW. OK now that you read all that. . . tell me – what do you think?

How often do you change your “About Me?”

What is your favorite part about your “About Me” section?

Why I Gave Up Social Media

Why You Should Cleanse Yourself from Social Media

It’s not until someone says, “Oh, did you see this on Facebook?” and I reply, “No, I gave up social media for Lent” that they say, “Ohhh that makes sense. I was wondering why you’ve been quiet.”

I’m the type of blogger who is hit with the elusive muse, pounds out a couple of blog posts for a consistent month, and then I just get tired. I get tired by a lot of different things – maybe because I have too many irons in the fire, or the harder truth – maybe because I’m just lazy.

Why I Gave Up an Online Presence 

I gave up social media for Lent for 3 reasons:

1 ) I didn’t think I could. I was so addicted to Scrolling Syndrome that I didn’t actually believe I could make it through an entire work day without checking Facebook. I didn’t think I could sit through a Netflix binge without seeing what was up with Instagram

2 ) I needed to cleanse myself of opinions. I found myself bogged down with everyone’s thoughts and opinions. Anxiety started to take control of my heart and I started worrying about things 100% beyond my control. I questioned people. I questioned myself. I found myself increasingly disappointed with others and myself.

3 ) I couldn’t keep up. I started to see my Instagram following grow. I was hashtagging, curating a “theme” on my feed, and spending way too much time thinking of pictures, how to edit them, and how to caption them. When I first had Instagram, I would scroll for 10 minutes before I went to bed and called it a day. Now I found myself obsessively checking my notifications, planning posts, and forgetting to enjoy the moment without thinking, “How can I add this to my feed?.”

What I Expected

I expected to spend more time in my Bible, in quiet time, and journaling.

I expected my house to get cleaner.

I expected to feel lighter.

I expected to be more productive at work.

I expected to finally get our office organized and finally start on my creative writing portfolio.

I expected to read more.

What Actually Happened

I have been sleeping better because I wasn’t on my phone as much before I go to sleep, and if I was, I was reading my Bible app.

I didn’t spend as much quality quiet time as I thought I would because there were still many other distractions i.e. sleeping in, Netflix, Snapchat, books, Pinterest. . .the list could go on.

My house did not get much cleaner. I’m just not a good housekeeper.

Some days at work I wondered how I was going to fill my time because my to-do list seemed so short. But I found every day there was always something to do even when I didn’t think there was. It’s like the mountains of laundry that are never finished.

I did read more. I read a LOT. And I was able to enjoy it without feeling like I needed to check my phone.

Surprising Finds

I was surprised to find that I didn’t miss Instagram or Twitter one iota throughout my Lenten fast. In fact, I was relieved that I didn’t have the tug to scroll. I did miss Facebook almost every day, though. I felt out of the loop in the lives of people and in the world and I missed the important NY Times and NPR articles about food and anthropology and sociology. Never mind that I could have visited these sites on my own accord. . .

I thought all my anxiety would subside without the Internet world, but anxiety is sometimes inescapable. While it was better, I still experienced bouts of anxiety. It’s up to me to choose what I dwell on. It is up to me to pray through/meditate through those moments when I felt anxiety in the pit of my stomach.

I spent a lot of time introspecting on my online presence and the purpose behind it. I almost didn’t come back. But through the encouragement of my husband, I knew I needed to continue to write.

It’s been a day since I’ve added social media back into my life, and I already hate it. I got on Facebook several times yesterday just for a few minutes each. Did I need to? No. I was just bored.

So moving forward. . .

I know that I don’t need to be on social media when I’m bored. I can find other things to do.

I know that I need to find time to myself throughout the day where I’m not with my phone. The silence is so refreshing.

I know that I need to continue writing, both on the blog, and in my personal time. I am so thankful to have a place where I can share my thoughts. I forget how much I love the quiet of a morning with my cup of coffee, the sun pouring in, and the clackity-clack of my fingers dancing across the keyboard. Thank you for continuing on this journey with me.

 

Publishing for Yourself

publish for yourself

After I went political on Facebook, I dove deep into a Gilmore Girls binge. I hid under the covers of provocative books [provactive here meaning books that take your breath away with the cruelty of man, causing your brain to process multiple emotions at once – anger, shock, sadness, relief – and filter through thoughts such as “This happens in real life.”] and surrounded myself with happy throw pillows.

Most of my thoughts lately have been released into safer spheres like my journal and my husband, friends who agree, friends with different perspectives and a Jesus who listens, even on those days where praying is sometimes an afterthought.

Introspection:searching for God in you

Bravery is confronting yourself before you put yourself out there. It’s a year of new adventures and I’ve lazily been avoiding the art of introspection. I’m learning that introspection is not about me. Introspection is about finding who God made me to be.

You can’t be authentic online when you’re not authentically you

The important things my heart needs to say are trapped between lists and DIY projects. In my creative writing class in college, my professor critiqued my submissions saying, “Make this sound less bloggy.” I’ve been bloggy for almost 5 years and that puts my writing style in a box.

The search continues

Every so often you have to go back and find your voice. The last time I tried to post 5 days ago my words just trailed off and I found myself too deep in thought and too frustrated with the writer’s block.

I write about it often – the curse of the blinker and the white screen. I’ve found that blogging comes easier when I write it down on paper first.

A lot of bloggers talk about writing for your audience. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. And I agree half heartedly.

I would say first:

Know yourself.
Know your worth.

And it’s ok to publish for yourself. The people who want to see more of you will show up.

The Blogging Balance Beam

The Blogging Balance Beam

When you’re a lifestyle blogger, you do crazy things. You take a picture of your food; you Snapchat a story about homemade DIY Dry Shampoo; and sometimes you take personal moments and craft them into a story that your readers will love. I love blogging, but I also have had to learn about boundaries and how to juggle life and blogging at the same time.

The other day I was at the Cheesecake Factory with my boss (thankfully we have a tight knit office and she is also a millennial) and I just had to take a picture of my cheesecake. The waitress walks up while I’m practicing iPhone photography and I defended myself by saying, “I’m a blogger.” and then I thought to myself, I don’t really have to take a picture of that cheesecake. The world will still turn on its axis if I don’t post a picture on Instagram today. We will all be okay if I spend Sunday evening trying to regain my bearings after a full weekend of Mother’s Day and graduation instead of trying to pound out a blog post at 10:30 when I’m exhausted and incoherent.

As lifestyle bloggers, we are able to write about anything we want, and so sometimes it’s hard to have boundaries. I use to spend a lot of my brain power and thinking time about how I could turn an ordinary occasion into a moment to memorialize forever through a creative writing piece or the blog. But I’ve come to realize in my 5 years of blogging that there are special moments that are meant just for real life and the Snapchat/Instagram/Facebook/Blog world will survive if they don’t know all the details of the exact moment.

As someone who loves to entertain and overshare in general, this was a hard conclusion to come to. I want to share anything exciting in my life and let people into my story. But not everyone deserves to know every little detail of every story. We have to hold our stories sacred and share them with those we trust.

Not only do we have to be careful about what we share, we also have to protect our time and the important people in our lives. Some days a planned post doesn’t go up because I chose to spend time with people and go to sleep rather than stay up late to write a post. And other days, because this is my passion and my hobby, I have to protect my blog space and my blog time and take the time to invest in this little corner of the Internet. It’s like a blogging balance beam. Every day is just one foot in front of the other.

What do you guys to do balance blogging and life? 

 

10 Signs It’s Finally Spring

10 Signs It's FINALLY Spring

Last month I was quite the bitter betty because it was the first day of spring and we were experiencing a frigid Dogwood Winter. This weekend, I spent a glorious Sunday by a river and walking around my favorite city in the East: Downtown Asheville. I wore a t-shirt and my floppy hat and I was in a good. mood. Y’all, it is FINALLY spring time and I could be none the happier. In case it’s not spring where you live, (I’m looking at you, Canada), here are the tell-tale signs it is finally spring time!

1 – Your car has a thick layer of yellow-green stuff allll over. Do you wash it? Do you wait for summer to arrive and the pollination season to cease? Who knows. My car is gold, so it practically matches the pollen anyway.

2 – Speaking of pollen, you can’t breathe and neither can your S/O. Invest in some ear plugs and allergy medicine instead of plotting how to best cut off his nose because he won’t. quit. snorting.

3 – Skies out, Thighs out. A couple of summers ago, I worked an internship with the epitomy of a frat boy who said this. I couldn’t sand the kid, but this phrase has been in my vocabulary since then. Who wears short shorts? We wear short shorts. Even though it’s only 67° out.

4 – And you know short shorts in April mean you need to put on your sunglasses just to keep from being blinded by those (me) who have hid their legs from any UV rays since September. Sorry, guys. My paleness will destroy your eyes.

5 – 1 word: Chacos.

10 Signs It's Finally Spring

6 – You discover you have a serious case of Officesitis. Officesitis (n): An illness brought by the onset of sun and warm weather. Similar to Senioritis. Used in a sentence: “Dear Boss, I cannot come into work today. Yeah, I’m really sick. . . with officesitis.”

7 – You actually feel like being a real person, who does real things past 5pm. Dinner on the patio at 7:30? Yes! Going for a leisurely stroll at 8? Yes!

8 – You are suddenly motivated to work out. Running outside sounds like fun again instead of something dreadful. Unless you hate running.

9 – Everybody is posting beach pictures. Half of them are probably from last summer. But still.

10 – Oops. You had to buy a new wardrobe. #Because Spring.

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