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?

The Benefits of Joining a Book Club

Benefits of Joining a Book Club

I strongly believe in literature. The best way to pass time is with an iced coffee in the summer/hot latte in the winter, and a great book in your hand. When I was 5, I sat on the couch with my mom – who valiantly homeschooled me for two years before my dad begged her to give up homeschooling and ship my social butterfly self off to a public school – practicing phonics and learning to read. As soon as I started, I was “hooked on phonics.” Ha. Get it? Anyway, I love reading and can spend many an hour submerged in an alternate universe. In fact, I would get in trouble as a child for reading too much. If I was supposed to clean my room, maybe I would clean for a little bit, but then I would get distracted by reading. Whoops.

There was a time or two I legitimately was grounded from reading. Now that I’m an adult and married, I can read all I want – as long as I feed and water my husband daily.

Two years ago, I graduated with a B.A in English with an emphasis in creative writing. It is my lifelong dream to get paid to drink coffee, read, and discuss literature. Ever since I graduated, I wanted to start a book club. So as soon as life settled down (aka I wasn’t wedding planning anymore) I started the book club, A Novel Idea. I can’t take credit for the name; I googled clever titles.

Once a month/once every six weeks, between 6-10 women meet up at a local coffee shop, book in hand, caffeinated, ready to discuss our most recent pick.

I knew I needed intellectual discussion to enlighten my life, and I must say I leave quite invigorated from our book club meetings.

The Benefits of Joining a Book Club

The benefits of a book club are immense.

First of all, you discover new genres you didn’t know you liked.

Book clubs are a great way to pull you out of your literary comfort zone. While I love a good poet, I’m not one to pick out a collection of poems for a book club. But as some of the ladies in our group were going through finals week, we picked Milk and Honey one month and I found it to be one of our favorite reads. Each of us came armed with a poem and our analysis of it, and I was in awe of how we each picked apart our respective poems.

You see the world through multiple lenses.  

One of my favorite things about getting together in groups is the discussion that lights a fire under our idealogies. Because I come from a liberal arts background, I prefer to learn through engaging in discussion rather than a lecture based atmosphere. An aspect I enjoy about book clubs is that we see something one way, and someone else comes at it from a different perspective. Our personal stories shade the way we view the world, and the way which we view literature. We get to grow and honor each other as we learn to see through someone else’s lense.

Likewise, books open our eyes to see the world a different way. We recently finished Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I absolutely adore her writing style, but even more so, I appreciate that she speaks so vulnerably about something like immigration and the cultural nuances between the American and Non-American Black. As a white lady in the South, if I’m not surrounded by diversity,  I’m not going to know or understand immigration or the cultures associated without opening a book (or a journal article, etc.)

Your vocabulary expands. 

For instance, I can now identify when a Coquette. Of course, I could always identify when a lady was particularly flirty, but if I had not read “Lady Susan” recently, I would not associate “coquette” with a flirt because I didn’t even know the word “coquette” existed until yesterday. Had I not taken the moment to look up this new word, I would have assumed “coquette” was the same as “etiquette” because they sound similar. Thank goodness for smart phones, because now we have a dictionary at the flash of a few typed letters. Back in the olden days, I had to get off my couch, pick up the dictionary and thumb through an actual hard copy of a dictionary.

(I am now envisioning Rory Gilmore’s dismay at the smart phone; no one appreciates the old OED anymore! Remember when her dad tried to buy her the entire Oxford English Dictionary set? I kind of drooled at that scene.)

You form deeper relationships. 

There are friends, and then there are book club friends. When you have traipsed through the emotional roller coaster of an intense 600 page novel, you emerge finding yourself in a deeper community. I loved all the ladies in my book club, but now that we have been together for going on six months, exploring the depths of our society, femininity, and racial tensions through the written word, I am acknowledging a relationship that can only come from sharing a love for literature and discussion of novels and the world around us.

Benefits of Joining a Book Club

I am, of course, feeling slightly romantic as I type because I signed up to audit a Jane Austen seminar for the next month. It will be like a book club on steroids and give me the nostalgia for my collegiate days. I set up in our dining room last night surrounded by notebooks, books, pens, high lighters, and of course potato chips, and coffee, and fell in love with learning all over again (much like I do each time I open a good book.)

I will do my darndest to be consistent with posting in this little corner that I love so much, but if you find that I’ve fallen off the earth, never fear, I’ve fallen into the arms of Mr. Darcy. (Mr. Darcy, consequently, being my super supportive husband who encourages me to chase my dreams and is very appreciative of this course I’m auditing because it means I will be holed up in our dining room, allowing him more FIFA time.)

Until then, I bid you adieu.

Have you ever participated in a book club?
What are your top 3 favorite reads?

What I Learned in 30 Days of Blogging

What I Learned in 30 Days of Blogging

Today marks a full month of consistent blogging (M-F every week), and a full month of consistent Instagramming. I complete both the #PluckytoNothin and Blogging Challenges I laid out for myself. While this was fun, it was also challenging. Surprisingly, I didn’t get a bit bored with blogging; in fact, I discovered the creative juices flowed more easily because I was making time for blogging, and I was coming to “the meeting place” as my favorite poet, Mary Oliver would say. (She has a fantastic book on writing poetry. She says that in order to write well, you have to write every day at the same time at your “meeting place” with words.) I didn’t write at the same place every day, nor the same time every night, but I prioritized blogging and that’s what helped me.

I started blogging my freshman year of college as a means to let my family see what was going on in more detail than Facebook. When Google Reader shut down, I saw another friend on my Facebook who blogged talk about Bloglovin and with Bloglovin, I discovered there was a community of bloggers. I had no clue what Google Reader was so I wasn’t heartbroken when it shut down. But with Bloglovin I learned I could follow people and people could follow me back. From there I started networking and making friends and joining Facebook groups.

And then I met Pai. At this point in my life I was watching umpteen episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, running, and blogging. That’s all I did, so I was able to stay consistent with all three. But when this handsome man waltzed into my life, everything except running wasn’t as important as spending time with him, so the blog life took a dip. And then my senior year of college happened, moving happened, and starting a new job happened. I feel like I’m finally at a place in my life where I am standing on solid ground for a moment, so I’m taking this time to maximize my opportunities.

I have lots of dreams for this little place of mine; the first goal is to reopen sponsorships. When I switched from The Grand Adventures of Me to Hugs and Lattes, though, I discovered my pageviews went wayyyyy down. I want to bring my pageviews back up to a place where I can offer people quality content and a sponsorship where they will get noticed.

Blogging consistently helped people come back to this page every day. It helped me to produce content. That being said, I learned a lot about quality vs quantity both on this blog and on my Instagram. There is at least one post I wrote in a hurry that I think was horrendous. And there were a couple weeks where I just posted link up announcements for the sake of getting a blog up each day. Those are cop outs, but hey, I make my own rules. On the Instagram side, I learned a lot about taking better quality photos and the type of photos people like. Hint: Clean photos, preferably with cute nail polish and a Starbucks cup in hand. 😉 If you don’t have a great photo or a great blog post, don’t publish it. End of story.

I enjoyed challenging myself in the blog world and social media world. It pushed me to write better and take better photos. I fell in love with blogging all over again.

To read anything else I’ve written this month, click on any of these links. 🙂

7 Things to Look Forward to in November

What to Think About this Election Season

It’s OK to be Basically Basic

25 Things Every Blogger Does

Friday Faves

The Best Thing About Mondays

#Thankful Heart: Link Up Announcement!

The Dark Side of Blogging

If Your Dream Scares You

Pizza Rolls + Pringles for Lunch

Helping the World

#Thankful Heart

6 Fool-Proof Ways to Wake Up Early

How Many is too Many #Hashtags?

Links You’ll Love

When that (Butterball) Hotline Bling

Count Your Blessings #ThankfulHeart

Road Trip Survival Kit

The Beauty of Thanksgiving

6 Cures for a Food Hangover

If Your Dream Scares You

This summer I sat down with three excited, doe-eyed rising seniors who were interested in coming to college. I asked them what they wanted to do with their life; what are your passions? what is your dream job? They told me boldly about the dream to be a dentist, a nurse, to help people. I was going to help them achieve their next step in accomplishing their dream: Going to college.

Their enthusiasm encouraged me to think about my own passions. One of my biggest passions is writing. Since I was little, I’ve loved to read and write. I have a box of journals upon journals I kept, logging (mostly) the guys I had crushes on, stories that I started (and never finished)and little things God has done in my life. I love looking back on these to see who I used to be and how much I’ve grown.

One day I want to write something meaningful. I want to write a compelling essay, story, novel – something that changes your perspective on life, your culture, and your world. Yes, you may live in America and I may live in America, but we live in two totally separate worlds. Your history is different than my history. You have a story that is all YOU. Our stories of our lives are different. I want to explore those and share those.

I want to release our stories. I want each of us to be heard, understood, fully-known and loved. Whether I write the stories of women coming out of human trafficking, or create fictional characters who go through very real things, I want my writing to open your mind.

I believe that dreams that have been planted in our hearts since we can remember are opportunities. Over the years, the dream may remain the same but develop into a more mature action plan. Or sometimes they are just downright crazy. But we all know in the bottom of our hearts if we don’t chase the dream that has been stirring in our souls – the type of dream that makes your heart beat faster, makes you scared, makes you excited – then we will regret it. The thought of starting to chase a dream is daunting. But the thought of giving up a dream is devastating.

I sat down at my desk after talking to 3 high school students about going to college and I opened up my browser to look into MFA Creative Writing programs. All the while voices in my head questioned:

Have you even written enough to submit a portfolio?

You seriously need to spend more time reading and writing instead of watching TV.

These are competitive, and your GRE scores are average.

Are you really going to pay to be a “poor, starving artist?”

It’s hard to quiet those voices in our heads that remind us of all the things we can’t do. How do we believe in the things we can do?

By being bold.

By taking risks.

By surrounding ourselves in a community of people who believe in us.

What would you do to accomplish your dreams?