A few weeks ago, I turned off social media notifications on my phone. Push notifications on my phone were constantly dinging, pulling me away from what I was working on in that moment. The reality was, I knew that something had to change in order for me to be able to accomplish more. I turned off social media notifications, and I’m never going back.
I Now Have a Clear Home Screen on My Phone
Notifications don’t necessarily bother me: the constant stream of red dots doesn’t give me the anxiety that it does some people. However, each one of those red dots is a call to see what is going on. Red things are meant to draw your attention: stop signs are red; stop lights are red. They are meant to stop you from what you are doing and make you pay attention.
A clear home screen doesn’t stop me from doing what I picked up my phone to do. Notifications distract me.
I No Longer am Interrupted by Notifications
It’s hard to concentrate when constantly interrupted. Many people pride themselves on being master multi-taskers, but I have found that I personally perform better when I am able to complete the tasks uninterrupted. Because I work a part time job, and balance blogging and my direct sales company (Color Street), I must use my time wisely and effectively.
Studies show that the brain completes tasks more effectively when able to focus on a single task. The two sides of the brain are able to work together in harmony, and get more done. In fact, it gets done better.
I Become the Master of My Time
Clearing those red dots becomes a game. Every time I opened my phone, those notifications were a pull to look at the apps with the notification. In fact, the higher the red number, the more likely I was to click on that app first. That changed my productivity habits, because instead of going to post in my VIP group, I would go to clear the notifications.
Now, I go to apps when I specifically need to go to the app. I go specifically to the place where I need to be, and get the things that I need to get done accomplished. This lends a focus to my work that I have desperately needed.
How are you working to help increase your productivity? Do you have your notifications still on, or have you taken the plunge to turn them off?
Coming up with a social media plan can be a time consuming part of blogging. This is why finding prompts for your social media channels is super helpful. My favorite form of social media prompts comes in the form of one-word prompts, as they are not restrictive. It’s easy to use them as inspiration for Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Here’s three ways to use these 30 days of social media post prompts.
Use Post Prompts to Plan Instagram Images
This is probably the easiest way to use one-word post prompts. The one word prompts can help inspire imagery that elicits the thoughts or emotions in the prompts. For example:
Joy – a happy looking picture of you, when you felt joy
B&W – well, this is pretty simple – a black and white photo you like!
Vintage – find a vintage item you love and snap a pic!
Reading those, you see what I mean – these simply serve as prompts to help you look for things. This is particularly helpful when you feel totally lost on what to post.
Use Post Prompts to Plan Instagram Captions
Ohhhh, captions. Those can be a challenge. Some folks opt for inspirational quotes. Some just share their thoughts from the photos they are posting. Others share their feelings. Having prompts helps you to find captions with intentionality. It can also help you find new hashtags outside of your usual ones to help grow your following – make sure to use Tailwind’s hashtag planner to find new hashtags to help you find and use the best ones for your posts.
Social Media Post Prompts Provide Community
Many of those who use social media post prompts are part of a community that uses the same hashtag. It helps them find each other, and be inspired by others who are using the same prompts. Social media is all about community, and gathering around common things - so finding a good set of social media prompts helps a lot with continuing to develop relationships. Grab the image with the prompts here, and save it to Pinterest for future use!
Nail health is important to anyone who does their nails frequently. There’s something about clean, well-groomed nails that make a woman feel put together and complete. Now that I am a Color Street stylist, my nail appearance and health is more important than ever! Here are 7 ways to get healthy nails naturally.
Moisturize Your Nails Regularly
Dry, brittle nails are unhealthy nails and are prone to breakage and splitting. You can find a large variety of cuticle oils available at drug stores or beauty supply stores, but I recommend just starting out with the best: jojoba oil. You can make your own nail oil pens using Jojoba oil and buying these empty applicator pens on Amazon. I mix the Jojoba oil with different essential oils, and use the pens to apply the mixture all around my cuticle.
I have seen a huge difference in my nails as I have started moisturizing my nails and cuticles. I recommend giving it a try.
Ditch the Emory Board
You know those orange rough emory boards that every single woman probably owns? Ditch those, friend. That rough grit, combined with the back and forth sawing motion used to file nails, is one of the worst things that you can do to your nails.
Did you know that your nails are technically layers of keratin? That sawing motion, combined with the coarse grit of the emory board, pushes those layers apart, causing damage to the tips of your nails.
Reduce the length of your nails with clippers, reserving the file for shaping only
Only file in one direction to avoid pushing the layers of your nail apart
Take Collagen Supplements
Collagen is a secret weapon for nail and hair growth. It’s often recommended for joint health and for skin elasticity, but those who take it often report seeing an increase in hair and nail growth. A study by the National Institute of Health found that 88% of patients in a clinical trial for collagen supplements experienced an improvement in nail health within 4 weeks of beginning an oral supplement of collagen in their diet. Overall, 80% of those in the trial were pleased with the results – that sounds like a win to me!
Additional benefit: collagen also is known to impact hair growth, so it you’re wanting to see hair improvements (like I am), you’ll be glad you added this to your daily arsenal. I add 1 tablespoon a day into my morning coffee, and don’t notice a difference in taste at all.
Don’t like collagen from a can? Add bone broth to your diet.
Use Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
A major source of damage to nails is acetone nail polish remover. Glitter nail polishes can be more stubborn to remove, so many folks bring out the strong stuff: acetone. Acetone can be super drying to your nails, so it’s a bad choice for those wanting to keep nails strong and healthy.
Switching to a natural nail polish remover is a healthy choice for your nails. This one is cruelty-free and nourishing to your nails. For it to work best, soak a cotton ball in the remover, set it on your nails, allow it to soak for a few minutes to allow the remover to break down the polish, and then wipe off. I love using these silicone caps to hold it on the nails so that the remover has time to work. Many people use tinfoil to hold the cotton balls on, but I like the silicone caps just for times’ sake.
For Healthy Nails, Check Your Diet
Your nails are just another small indicator of what’s going on INSIDE your body. Just like your skin, hair, and appearance can indicate that something isn’t right on the inside of your body, your nails can be telling you that you need to change up your diet.
Some of the best foods for nail health are:
Dark leafy greens (think kale and spinach)
Protein (salmon, beef, eggs)
Oatmeal (has a lot of micronutrients that help make nails and hair stronger)
Bone broth (contains collagen)
Check out this article from Health magazine about 12 foods to eat for healthy nails and hair.
Take a Hair and Nail Vitamin
Micronutrients impact the overall health of your nails, which is why Biotin hair and nail supplements are becoming more popular. While the Kardashians have made supplements like the “Sugar Bear Hair” popular, adding a hair and nail vitamin can be a great addition to your vitamin regimen.
Biotin, when taken regularly, can help with thinning nails. Remember, supplements are a long term game – it will be at least a month before you begin to see results in your physical appearance.
Talk to your doctor for the best medical advice, including potential drug interactions with any medications that you are already taking.
Avoid Nail Hardeners
Nail hardeners are readily available, but are they really the best for your nails? Some nail hardeners are good, but you’ll want to be picky with your choices. Many nail hardeners contain formaldehyde or formalin, and other toxic chemicals (read more here). Rather than turning to a temporary fix, it’s better to fix your nail health from the inside.
What are some changes that you are going to make in order to have better nail health? Was this article helpful? Sharing is caring; pin it here.
Amazon Prime Day is coming on July 16-17. That should bring joy to every direct seller’s heart. Prime is a life-saver for the busy business owner; delivering pretty much anything needed to their door. I mean, who doesn’t love getting supplies delivered to their front door, so they don’t even have to put on pants to get the ring lights, shipping supplies, customer gifts, and anything that is needed. I mean, why wouldn’t that be wonderful? Here’s a list of 3 Amazon Prime Day picks for direct sellers.
Prime Day Pick: Amazon Echo Dot
Once you get a little piece of Echo technology in your house, you never go back. This little handy dandy device has been one of my favorite Amazon purchases. Why get an Echo dot? Here’s just a few of the basic capabilities:
Play music while you work
Listen to Audible books while you work (this is my favorite usage – I am able to use my time effectively).
Use Echo devices to create an intercom in the house
Also, the joy of the Echo device is that it typically goes on sale for Prime day – historically, a deal has offered two for a discounted rate, or a discount off one device. This was the number 1 seller worldwide last year for Prime Day.
Don’t forget to check out the Amazon Echo Show, where you can have a screen too! It’s currently on sale for nearly 50% off leading up to Prime Day.
Prime Day Pick: Instant Pot
An instant pot will always be on the prime day picks, and there’s no disputing it. The instant pot has always been one of the top sellers on Prime Day, and was the number 1 item in Canada last year.
Here’s why you need it.
Picture yourself. It’s been a busy day, planning parties, making graphics, connecting with your team, and hustling hard. Suddenly, like magic, it’s dinner time. AGAIN. How does that happen every day? Throw your ingredients in the instant pot, turn it on, and VOILA! You have an amazing, home-cooked meal ready in minutes rather than the hours that a traditional crock pot would take.
Typically, the Instant Pot is one of the best deals on Prime Day, and can be scored for nearly 50% off the normal retail price. Fun fact: rather than waiting for my instant pot to be purchased from my registry for my August wedding, I purchased mine on Prime Day in July 2015, and she’s still going strong!
Prime Day Pick: Audible Membership or Kindle Unlimited Membership
One of the top questions that I hear from direct sellers is a request for book recommendations. Many trending books in the business world are on the top seller list, which can get expensive. When I priced books for myself, they were typically $12-25 each. That adds up quickly, and led to me finding Audible.
With Audible, I receive a “credit” monthly, which I can redeem for any book I choose. Audible has literally thousands of titles to choose from. I’ll be honest – I strategize for my books. In fact, every other month or so, Audible offers a “2 for 1 credit” sale, and I get books from my list then. My monthly Audible credit is GOLD and allows me to plow through books about strategy and mindset that my budget minded self would never otherwise get the chance to read.
Even better is that Amazon is offering 66% off a three month membership: click here to get started!
If you want to try Kindle Unlimited, Amazon is offering a 3 month membership for 99 cents. If listening to audio books isn’t your jam, that’s ok! The handy dandy Kindle reading app lets you take your books with you where ever you go.
Need some ideas to start your list? Here’s five books that influenced my business.
If you’re one of the holdouts who doesn’t have a Prime account, click here to fix that and get a free 30 day trial. It’s going to change your life! So tell me….what is on your list for Prime Day?
Blogging is simple….until suddenly it isn’t. Buying a domain isn’t rocket science. Getting WordPress installed can be a little complicated, but there are resources to get you through. Your theme? It can be installed fairly simply. Let’s assume you’ve made it to this point, and you’re ready to blog, and make millions of dollars. Easy peasy, right? Well, close – you want to take advantage of tools available for bloggers to work smarter, rather than harder. Plugins are some of my favorite resources: here are 5 plugins every blogger should have.
Oh wait. FIRST: what is a plugin?
A plugin is a software component that enhances capacity. That means some savvy programmer saw a need or a capability and said, “I can tweak this and make it better.” Voila. A plugin was born. Bloggers simply install that snippet of software into their blog, activate it (if required), and take advantage of the capability that the plugin offers.
Plugin: Maintenance Mode
What Does it Do?
When you activate Maintenance mode, it’s like your blog is changing clothes, and you’ve shut the door of the dressing room so that no one can see it. This is helpful if you JUST started out with your blog, and you don’t have enough posts to fill all the spots on your theme. It’s also great if you’re rebranding and want to hide that from the world as you make changes. This plugin is helpful if you’re just starting out and feeling insecure about you blog and you don’t want to show the world.
How Do I Get It?
Simply download the plugin here! Oh, and it’s free. This is a win!
Plugin: Yoast SEO
What Does it Do?
Yoast is one of my favorite plugins, because it helps me with SEO optimization as I write. Using Yoast enables me to select a keyword, and write for that keyword. It also allows me to add Facebook and twitter optimized images. The red, yellow, and green lights as I write help me to know that my posts are both readable and findable
How Do I Get Yoast?
Yoast has two versions: free and paid. If you cannot swing the money for the paid version, at least get the free one to get started. The main difference is that the paid version will suggest posts to link in your post, suggest additional keywords based off your text, and most of all, let you write for up to 5 keywords per post.
What Does it Do?
When you’re on my site, and begin scrolling, have you seen the popup that suggests you follow me on Pinterest? That magical event was powered by MiloTree. Pinterest is one of my targeted growth areas, so having a pop up on my site that directs people to follow me on Pinterest feels like a no-brainer. However, the cool thing about MiloTree is that you can grow whatever social media platform you want: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or your email list! I opted for Pinterest, and am LOVING the upward trajectory that the included analytics helps me know that I made the right choice by choosing MiloTree!
How Do I Get It?
Click HERE to purchase MiloTree. MiloTree costs $99 per year, and includes a FREE one-month trial. If you start with the $9 a month plan, you miss out on that trial – make sure to take advantage of it for the best value.
Plugin: Tasty Pins
What Does it Do?
Ok, so one of the best ways to get traffic on your blog is through Pinterest. In order for your posts to be shareable on Pinterest, you’ll need to have images optimized. However, optimized pins don’t fit the typical featured sizes for a blog post. Picmonkey published a handy blog post with the optimized sizes, but let’s be realistic: you don’t want an image taking that much of your blog space real estate. Tasty Pins also allows you to disable pinning on images that are not Pinterest optimized.
How Do I Get It?
You can get Tasty Pins here. Tasty Pins is a $29 yearly purchase.
What Does it Do?
Spam happens. Akismet helps filter it out so that you can delete it from your blog. You don’t need to have “nice site, very helpful, please check out my site for how to get more followers” comments on your blog. Links to online poker games are unnecessary as well. Nope. Install Akismet and easily filter out those comments.
How Do I Get It?
Go here and get a free Akismet account (connected with your WordPress login), and stop the spam.
So tell me: what are your favorite plugins that you have installed on your blog?
Also, if you haven’t checked out my free blogger’s toolkit, what are you waiting for? Find it here.
Blogging can be intimidating for a beginner, but there are resources to make the process easier for a beginner. The three that I am about to share with you are ones that I use on a daily basis, that are a game-changer in my blogging journey. Here are three of my favorite resources to use while blogging.
PicMonkey Helps a New Blogger Create Amazing Graphics
Graphics can be incredibly intimidating to new bloggers. That’s why that cheeky little monkey is a new blogger’s best friend. PicMonkey is a powerful tool to help bloggers create graphics as featured images, Facebook graphics, and twitter images.
This web-based tool provides customizable templates. “The Hub” stores templates you create. See the images that I use on my blog? Most of these are templates that remain in the hub. I do not spend hours creating graphics for blog posts; I simply edit the templates, replace some photos in the templates, export them to my computer, and then add them to my posts.
Graphics no longer intimidate me, and I have PicMonkey to thank for that.
TailWind Allows New Bloggers to Promote their Content Effectively on Pinterest
No successful blogger hits the “publish” button and sits back, hoping for the best. Bloggers must promote their content effectively and efficiently. Pinterest is one of the top resources for sharing blog posts, and Tailwind helps schedule content so that it does not flood the feed of followers all at once.
Additionally, “tribe,” or groups that mutually share content help your posts reach further and further. When used effectively these repins can help your content reach further audiences, exploding your reach and helping you become a more valued authority.
Creative Market Provides Resource Templates Perfect for a New Blogger
Scared of creating resources on your own? Need to try out templates created just for your needs? Look no further than Creative Market. You can find hundreds of downloadable templates and resources, many of which you can customize to fit your own branding and colors. Many of the templates are made for Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, but most are editable in Canva (another free online graphics editor).
You can purchase almost anything you need to create amazing graphics on Creative Market. Fonts, digital papers, infographics, pre-designed templates – you name it, you can find it. Additionally, Creative Market offers bonuses with purchases – that means you can build an incredible digital library of resources quickly.
Bonus Resource: An Excellent Hosting Provider
Oh yeahhhhh friends. New bloggers, you gotta find a good hosting provider. I’m a huge fan of SiteGround – which is why I wrote an entire blog post all about SiteGround. Make sure you check it out and see if SiteGround might be a good fit for you as well.
So now you’ve heard of my favorite resources – what are some of yours? Share some of your favorite blogging resources in the comments.