5 Tips For Becoming A Blogger.

I contemplated a lot with what type of blog posts to put out during this time of ‘self-isolation, social distancing, quarantine & chill, working from home’ time period and what I thought to do was to write posts that will be somewhat helpful and posts that will bring some type of normality to what we all are facing right now. So today’s post I decided to share some helpful tips for people are interested in starting a blog.

I started blogging in April 2016 and I do not regret up to this day. When starting a blog there are things you need to think about before jumping into it.

FIRST, THINK ABOUT YOUR WHY FACTOR

NEXT, DECIDE ON A BLOG NAME/OR TITLE

  • Why do you want to be a blogger? This is a key question to ask yourself. If your number one response is to get “free stuff” then you are starting for the wrong reasons and you may not get very far. As a blogger, it means you have a responsibility to be truthful, vulnerable and relatable to your audience. Becoming a blogger for free items does not show that you fall into any of those three categories. So, think about why you want to be a blogger.
  • Do you have something valuable to offer others? Fashion, beauty, art, writing, etc. (some examples).
  • Do you want a platform to show your talents? Writing, teaching, DIYs, etc. Think long and hard about your reason and then move on to this next step.
  • What am I passionate about that I want to share with others? Cooking, fashion hacks, life tips, etc.
  • Think about the purpose of your blog, whether it’s for a hobby, business or a platform that is your own. This is important.

I thought this was the easiest part before I started, but in actuality guys, it’s the hardest part. It’s important to know what you want your blog title/name to be because you have to purchase your domain name (what people will type in to find you on the web). To make it easy, just think about who you are and what you want others to see when they hear your blog title/name or type in it on the web. That should do the trick! I chose “Keeping Up With MJ” because I wanted people to keep up with me and my adventures as a blogger. I wanted to get out my comfort zone and allow people to see my writing talents (at the time) and now everything else that I’ve added to my blog! 

THEN, DECIDE ON YOUR NICHE

AFTER, CHOOSE A BLOGGING PLATFORM

Keeping this part short and sweet, in my opinion, your niche is what you’re going to be focusing on. There are so many types of blogs out there and it is so important to make sure you don’t get “lost in the sauce” aka overwhelmed and undervalued. Figure out what your focus is. For me, I focus on writing (lifestyle, tips), fashion/style, beauty, and wedding. I evolved and expanded my niche over the years and I’m very much proud of it! You can and will be proud too once you figure out what your niche is!

You have to decide what blogging platform is best for you (and your pockets). When I started blogging, it was just a platform for my writing so I went with the free WordPress blogging platform. I didn’t know much at the time and I was just interested in getting myself out there. As I’m approaching 4 years next month, my thoughts and my content have evolved. I currently have WordPress Premium which allows me to do more, but I am thinking about switching to Squarespace later this year!

Some examples of blog platforms:

  • WordPress.com
  • WordPress.org
  • Blogger
  • Squarespace

LASTLY, CREATE CONTENT YOU LOVE

The most important tip to take away from this blog post, create what you love and keep it 100% YOU. It’s very easy to compare yourself to other bloggers, but remember that your audience love you and your work. The more authentic you are and real is the more they can relate and they will stick around. Add value to what you put out and it will show. When you add value to people’s lives, whether by educating them or entertaining them, they will keep coming back. Take time to plan out your blog posts and use your photos to tell your story (if that works for you).

I hope this post was helpful. In my next post, I will be sharing how you can build your social media presence (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc.). I have some tips and tricks for you so make sure to tune in next time.

Stay updated by subscribing via email to my blog! Thanks for stopping by! XO MJ.

Love Undone.

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Hello my loves, welcome back! So…great news. Today makes ONE MONTH since my wedding day, #TheMillerLove and I am in disbelief because time has been flying! I decided to just fill you guys in on how it has been going and a few extras. Keep reading, a lot of mushy lovey-dovey stuff ahead. Good luck!

What loving someone feels like…

It feels like joy on a hot summer day, with the sun shining down on your skin and the cool breeze blowing through your hair.

It feels like comfort and security and confidence when trouble arises.

It feels like bravery in the face of weapons formed against you, in the form of hate.

It feels like soft arms wrapped around your body telling you that everything will be fine because “they got you”.

It feels like God’s love shining through in human form.

It feels like lots of cuddles in the middle of the night and goodnight kisses.

It feels like not wanting to say goodbye, even though we’d see each other in a couple hours.

What loving someone looks like…

It looks like hands holding on to each other, ever so tightly,

It looks like arguments over little things but making up the next minute because it’s not worth it.

It looks like races to the bathroom, ‘double or nothing’ for the loser.

It looks like me winning ‘rock, paper, scissors’ to see who’s turn it is to turn off the lights at nighttime.

It looks like waking up early and letting the next person sleep a little while longer while you make breakfast.

It looks like phone calls on breaks just because you miss the other person and want to hear their voice.

It looks like working extra hours so that you both are living comfortably.

It looks like laughter and dance sessions around the house just because that’s what you both enjoy doing. (Dedicated to my husbae)

Loving someone else fully, is scary for some, especially if you’re afraid of being extremely vulnerable or of getting hurt because you’ve been hurt before. However, love is an amazing thing and I’ll always recommend extending your love to someone other than yourself. Most people fear vulnerability because of the stigma behind it, but for me being vulnerable isn’t a bad thing (check out this post here). I have always been a ‘sucker for love’ not only because it’s a beautiful thing, but because of the strength it takes to keep loving someone else, “in spite of”. As I reflect on my one month wedding anniversary, I’m in complete awe because I am genuinely in love with my husband and I’m so happy. Aside from the “Aww’s” and “You guys are so cute” in reality we are human beings just like you. We are imperfectly perfect and I’m okay with that. We argue over stupid stuff, but in the end, we try to understand each other’s point of view and learn and grow. That is not an easy task, but we have made a vow to not give up on each other because of love. *And honestly the make-ups are better than break-ups haha.

I know a lot of you are wondering and have asked me “how’s the married life going?”, so I’m here to fill you guys in (hopefully). Living with your better half is completely different from living with siblings/parents. You have to get used to doing things a certain way that is suitable for both of you. It has taught me how to share. Yes, as small as that is, I have been mastering the art of sharing (I can’t speak for Husbae though, he’s still learning haha). I have seen more of a side of my husbae that feeds my mind, body, and soul. He makes me feel like my worries are no more. It is important for newlyweds to not go into marriages solely expecting too much from their mates and remember that ultimately (and firstly) God should be the sole person we rely on for everything. We are growing with each other daily and relearning how to “not sweat the little stuff”. My one-month takeaway is that our love is undone, meaning it is still growing, still blooming and it is far from being done. I look forward to our love lasting years and years to come and never dying.

If you made it to the end, I applaud you. Be sure to check out my other wedding posts HERE & HEREHERE & HERE if you haven’t!

Keep up with me on my socials! I follow back!

As always…Thanks for stopping by! xoxo MJ.

what’s next?

Humans have a tendency of wanting to know what’s going on, ALL THE TIME! Like 24/7, no breaks, no heads up, no chill, no nothing its bananas.
That’s cool, but give me a break. Please.

[Real. Raw. Respect.]

01. Real.

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I am a new college graduate, which means I’m supposed to have my life figured out already, 10,000 job offers on the table or a secured job stacked away, a family, a house, a baby, a glow of success, money stashed, ideas planned, a life plan, health insurance, life insurance, happiness, no fears, no doubts, and most importantly ANSWERS to everyone’s questions on MY LIFE 🙂. Sounds familiar? Is that real enough for ya? I hope it was because I was being super sarcastic. Keeping it 1000% REAL, we do not like being asked: “WHAT’S NEXT?” It literally grinds our gears. What’s real is that sometimes we do not have all the answers you are looking for and to be honest THAT’S OKAY.

Can we recuperate from this HUGE accomplishment?
Can we BASK in our moment…even if it’s ONE WEEK POST-GRADUATION? ONE MONTH POST-GRADUATION? ONE YEAR POST-GRADUATION?
Can we just LIVE OUR BEST LIVES?
I mean we literally just walked across the stage and collected our diplomas. We did not expect to be bombarded with questions as soon as we stepped off the stage. WOW. Can we breathe?

02. Raw.

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Let people underestimate you. To be honest, you should be honored when someone underestimates you because you are now in control! I read somewhere once that “Being underestimated is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have. Embrace it.” How deep and true is that statement? You have the upper hand because 1. you know exactly what you are capable of doing and 2. you can take advantage of that opportunity and take over the world!

Prove people wrong. Here’s my story that I rarely discuss: When I began my education program, my advisor for the department was not supportive of me. She did not think I could have the “perfect grades” and maintain those grades throughout the program all because of the previous semester (while I was still a math major), I got my first F in a course (which brought my whole GPA down). My first feelings were to report her, then to say some stuff that would be out of character but instead, the chair-person got involved. He was very supportive and gave me all the encouragement I needed. He looked at all my previous grades, not just the one F I received previously and knew I was a smart girl with a bright future. He told her to sign me up for the courses and give me a chance. Let’s say I got all A’s that semester! And proved her wrong. I continued to prove her wrong every semester after that. As an education major you cannot have a GPA under a 3.5 or else you would get kicked out the program however, I managed to sustain that GPA throughout everything.
Fun fact: I became super close with her to the point where my last semester she gave me so much well wishes and told me I would be a great teacher in the future. Isn’t life crazy? You never know what the outcome will be.

03. Respect.

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Let me respect the process. Understand that people will not always believe in you. They would say whatever it takes to break you and make you feel lesser than you are. I can recall situations in college where some of my professors were not encouraging at all and others who were just so inspiring and wanted me to succeed. Those are the types of qualities I looked for in my teachers and the qualities I aspire to have in my classroom in the future.

As a young adult it is prevalent to develop an attitude that when others see you, they know you have a purpose. It is in those craziest moments of your life where you have to show people who you really are, by maintaining a good attitude and a positive spirit. Don’t let people make you sweat, instead make them sweat by your abilities, qualities, smile, personality and overall lifestyle…regardless of how cruel they are. It’s not always easy, but it’s always a satisfying feeling in the end. This is something I truly hope to adopt in every single situation, where it will become the norm for me!

SOOO WHAT’S NEXT? Life. New Beginnings. & God leading the way!

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All photos were taken by Duran M, @DuranAndrae (on IG).

Thanks for stopping by! xoxo MJ.

fail​ure is an option.

Happy Sunday everyone!

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Bare face + my comfiest sweater = relaxation

 

Today’s post gives me such a cozy feel. Before you go crazy about the topic or move on to the next post, hear me out. I strongly can say that you will rethink opting out failure from being an option after you read this post. Here’s my take on it.

You probably know this already, but let me remind you that after failure comes success. As simple as that is to comprehend, often times we tend to blur out the part that says success and replace it with depression or sadness or the END of us trying to make a change. That is our biggest setback, lack of acceptance and lack of pushing ourselves to keep going.

What causes us to not push ourselves?
That’s simple, we do. We overthink everything and instead of filling our minds with positiveness and expectancy of something good, we replace it with negativeness. I have been a victim of this oh too many times. Within who I am, I know that with God all things are possible and with faith + prayer the outcomes are limitless, but sometimes I give in to doubt. I feel like doubt is just a mere feeling and as previously told…feelings are temporary. I give in to doubt before I give in to the possibility of greatness. That is the problem.

How can we change having a doubtful mindset?
Changing our mindset from doubt to endless possibilities starts with the acceptance of where we are and the knowledge of where we want to be. Failure is something that is inevitable. It will happen, with or without our permission, but that does not mean that we have to allow it to put us in a wormhole of darkness. I have learned that we have to feed our minds with food that will nourish, build, and produce a healthier way of thought. We have to keep our circles filled with people who are GOING SOMEWHERE. We have to have positive people around us so on the days where we feel like giving up, they can sprinkle a little sunshine on our cloudy/rainy situations. That is the key.

Failure is an option when we have the correct mindset and even when we do not. It is unreal to say that a person is always positive in EVERY situation that life puts them in, however, what is real is how that person handles themselves when that situation arises. I have failed a lot, whether it was a test, a life situation, not getting the job, getting let go of a job, school situations and so much more, but does that mean life has ended? Does that mean that I have to be in a slump? Does that mean that I did not try harder the next time? And the time after that? NO. I picked myself up, wiped my tears away, got all my negativeness out and encouraged myself to keep it pushing! You have to tell yourself, “I am moving forward.” – (affirmation was given to me by Evelyn from hnow.co)
You will be surprised at how God can pick you up from where you are and place you where he wants you to be. I encourage failure because I am no longer afraid of failing. I know that my failure does not define who I am and with that mindset, I will keep on reaching for the stars, until they fall down from the sky! We have to realize that yesterday’s mistakes are not today’s success. Failure just means that we have another opportunity to try something again another way.

TIP: Use failure to empower yourself, rather than an outlet for loss.
Acquire confidence through your experiences.
Stay grounded because your victories are right around the corner.

Quote for the week: “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” 
― Marilyn Monroe  

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments below! 🙂