What’s a Typical Day for a Blogger?

So, what do bloggers do besides look amazing in photos and get facials?

One of the scariest and coolest parts about being a blogger is that you get to make your own schedule.

The thing is that it can either be a full day or a light day depending on how many brands you’re working with or events you have.

Unlike a job where you are assigned your work, as a blogger you have to create your work.

I run Windy City Cosmo, so I have to develop the content calendar, reach out to experts and entrepreneurs, interview, and write articles and then promote them and my brand.

I’m going to go through some of the aspects of blogging and then give you a one minute recap of what a typical day looks like for bloggers.

Content Creation

Content creation is one of my favorite aspects of blogging, and I’m currently looking for a full time job in that area.

There’s many ways to come up with content ideas. I look at the different areas that my blog covers – beauty/health, building relationships, food/bar/travel scene and how to grow a business. I like to find events or people to interview for each of these topics.

Usually, I look at magazines like CS magazine or TimeOut Chicago. I also receive Google Alerts. And I subscribe to publications and organizations with similar beats like the tech and entrepreneurial news from ChicagoInno, 1871, Women Tech Founders and Built in Chicago, or the global beauty and business brands and bloggers like Marie Claire and Forbes and On-Air Beauty Expert, Deepica Mutyala, as well as connecting with people in these areas like my interview with the former editor of Vogue. I also join local Chicago groups like Creative Women’s Co. which I’ve volunteered for their events (they also have a great podcast), or Ms. Tech which I’ve covered for Windy City Cosmo, and I’ve written for them.

Then, I also think about ideas or events that I would be interested in and what might be good for that time of the year. I like to think in terms of season or holidays, but’s it’s also so important to think about evergreen content – content that is relevant all year round.

Keywords and Relevance

When I think about writing an article, I have to think of what people are searching for as well. Writing for the web is kindof like filing except you want to make sure you write something engaging not just robotic. (Hint: start with the headline). There’s a system created by Google and it’s called SEO – search engine optimization. If you label your document correctly (through your title and keywords in your post), people will know it’s relevant when they search for it. It becomes more relevant when you link to other documents/articles, and even more relevant when people share it and talk about it. You can learn some more tips about SEO here. One of my favorite authors about the subject is Orbit Media.

When I write an article I think about the specific topic I’m addressing and if it will be relevant and if it is worth filing away for reference. The only caveat is if it’s timely. I’ve learned that it’s hard to compete with bigger brands when it comes to timely news – but just because you can’t break the news, you can create a voice and opinion from that news. People like Luvvie from Awesomely Luvvie have grown their audience from doing that and writing for popular websites.

Photos

Photos are an important part of blogging. This can be the main part of blogging for some bloggers. They will have photo shoots almost everyday or spend a Saturday shooting looks for the week.

Most bloggers with recommend Canva which helps you easily create pictures for your blog. For photo editing, people use different apps. I’ve enjoyed Snapseed, which I learned about from a fashion designer.

Writing a Post

Writing an article can take awhile. There’s a lot of aspects to creating content and writing can sometimes be the hardest for bloggers. The main parts of the article to focus on is the intro and the headline and having a keyword. But, also don’t neglect the conclusion and how someone would share or learn from your post. Hubspot has a great class about how to create content for different mediums. I learned about how to take one post and truly reuse the content to get more traffic.

Another overlooked part of blogging is editing. I will recommend Grammarly for editing. If you don’t have someone who can look at your work, Grammarly can be that free extra set of eyes. It’s a Chrome plug-in that you can use on WordPress or even for your emails and social media posts.

Testing Content

I’ve read a lot of tips from other bloggers and also followed them. I learned that having a theme or style whether that’s your Instagram filter or tone on your blog have helped them to grow their following. If you look at Once Upon a Dollhouse, a blog about two best friends, they are always wearing creative outfits like twin. Chicago blogger, Emma Lenhart has a similar filter in all of her Instagram filters and she talks about her process here.

Bloggers also experiment with their posts. For Instance, Macy Stucke found out that her pictures would get reposted if she was at a crosswalk. In a podcast I’ve listened to The Chris Loves Julia Podcast and Julia talks about how she would post a few different photos to figure out what her audience liked. For instance she would post a photo of a room and then she would post a photo of someone in the room to see what had more engagement on Instagram. A huge part of creating content as a blogger is testing content.

Events: Hosting or Attending

One of the best parts of blogging is meeting new people. To do this, you go to events or you create your own and invite others.

Some bloggers are know for their events like Once Upon a Dollhouse threw an amazing Friendsgiving at The Four Seasons.

A lot of bloggers simply go to events. I average anywhere from an event a week to four events a night depending on my schedule. Some of my favorite events was a staycation in Rosemont or a cocktail party with The Everygirl at Celeste or the Popculture themed real estate party.

Gaining a Following from Social Media

Another main aspect of blogging is social media. I spend about an hour to well, I really don’t want to admit how much time I spend on social media a day. I’m primarily on Instagram or Snapchat and Facebook and then I also go on LinkedIn and Twitter. Some of the main things I do on these platforms is follow bloggers like me or people I want to connect with for articles or events or brand sponsorships (so PR).

Then I also reach out to my followers and see who they are following. I spend a good chunk looking at content and using that to think of my own brand.

Another thing I use social media for is outreach. I write comments and I go to other websites and read and comment on articles. I think when I first started blogging I was so focused on my content, but now I realize three years later that caring about other people’s content and learning about your followers helps you build a more engaged brand.

How to Make a Business from Blogging:

While writing for my blog and going to events is fun, I’ve really wanted to turn my passion into a profit. I have to make blogging a business by applying for speaking opportunities and networking and working with brands for sponsorships. Other ways bloggers make money is through affiliate links, coaching bloggers in how to blog, freelancing and managing brands social media profiles.

Sometimes I join blogger groups, but I also go to a lot of events and my relationships with PR people from when I was a journalist have really helped me grow my brand. From that, I’ve met some great PR people at parties and on social media.

Making Connections Through Social Media and Email Marketing

One of the key ways to connect is either going to parties and running into the same people and also combining that with social media and email marketing. One of my tips is to find people going to the same party as you and connecting with them before the event on social media. You’ll be surprised that people look for you at the party when you follow them and drop a line. I also connect with people after a party by using the Instagram Geo filter to see who tagged photos or by using the hashtag.

Another good way to follow-up is by email. I have a few templates I use. You want to include a blurb about your blog and how you can help each other. Sometimes it’s as simple as saying – hey, I’m a blogger. I cover this beat. I’d love to know more about the brands you’re working with and how I might be able to help your clients reach their target markets.

It’s also good to see which brands are working with bloggers. You’ll notice that Chicago bloggers like Emma Lenhart and LincolnParkMin have sponsorships with Glossier.

Other sides of the blogging business include setting my rates and invoicing.

Understanding Algorithms and Social Media Rules

Another aspect of being a blogger is reading about new algorithms on Facebook or Instagram. A lot of fellow bloggers have been shadow banned which means their post won’t show up in the hashtag feeds because Instagram feels that they violated their terms of use. Chicagogrammers, a Chicago based Instagram community, has a weekly newsletter about Instagram influenced trends and regulations.

A Blogger’s Daily Life

Below is a one minute video of what my Monday schedule looks like.

There’s a lot of aspects to blogging. I don’t do all of these tasks everyday, but I do touch on them in some form or another. I know bloggers who delegate their tasks or who build a team and others like me who do everything themselves and sometimes have guest contributions.

What’s your favorite part about blogging?

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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The App That Helps Grow Your Instagram Following is Banned

There’s one thing you’ll learn when you’re looking for Instagram following secrets and blogger success stories and tips – and that is 1) they automate and 2) they delegate. One of the best secrets of the Instagram popularity world is Archie – until now.

In the world of influence, numbers matter. And bloggers and influencers and celebrities alike have been turning to a number of sources to inflate their numbers, their Istagram followers and likes. But, as I’ve built connections in the blogger community through groups like Chicagogrammers and through Chicago foodie brunches, I’ve noticed that they all seem to want to play fair.

So, on a platform where you have to get up early to scroll through and like and comment (the suggestion rate is 3 likes and 1 comment for someone to follow you, but to each their own), there was a better way – a more accepted in the Instagram community way – and that way was Archie.

Bloggers Share Why They Use Bots for Likes on Instagram:

Archie.co is a platform that helps grow your social media exposure. Essentially it likes photos for you on Instagram based on approved hashtags. It doesn’t comment.

According to Chicago Blogger, Erin’s Inside Job, she mentioned Archie as one of her secrets to maximizing her reach in a blog post:

“I have heard a number of social media presenters talk about growing their Instagram presence by spending hours of their time searching through hashtags and liking pictures. I’m sorry, but I really don’t have time to do that. I do spend time checking the site to make sure that the pictures I am liking align with my own brand and I will even head over to ones I especially like and leave a comment to start the interaction. For me, Archie simply helps cut down the time it takes for me to find like-minded people to start a conversation with!”

I liked her point of view, and I had seen a number of people use apps like Archie to like photos for them.

Another blogger, Maddy Osman from The BlogSmith wrote a detailed post outlining her hashtag strategy and how she uses Archie to maximize her social media presence. 

“Auto-liking, on the other hand, doesn’t come off any way but “interested.” A like is a show of support for a user’s content. People who are creating public content tend to appreciate a show of support. Archie once shared a statistic that claimed that for every 31 likes on average, you can expect a new follower. Oftentimes, a person who gets a like from someone they don’t know (especially if they don’t have a lot of followers) gets curious about the person who liked them. They might then investigate the account, enjoy the content, and follow for more.”

Are Using Bots Authentic?

In a community that is based on authenticity, is paying for a bot to like posts inauthentic?

Well, let me rephrase – how would you feel if you know someone liked your post themselves or if they liked it because you used a hashtag – not because they actually saw it? And that question begs – do you even care if someone actually liked it (because why are you using hashtags anyway?) or are you just thankful for the attention? I mean is using a bot more polite than using the hashtag #like4alike and other variations?

I always go back to that time I was dating someone and I noticed they texted me “Hey, how are you?” almost everyday. I was starting to think I was being autotexted. And that made the texts become meaningless to me. Let’s face it, if someone famous (with a verified account) likes something on social media or comments – you want it to come from the famous person, not the bot, right? But, then how do you get their attention – mining through hashtags all day is not the answer.

How Instagram works is confusing to a lot of people – most recently with the algorithm changes that are even banning people from using hashtags by not letting them show up in searches.

Instagram is Stopping Bots:

In a recent article, The New York Times reported that Instagram has been shutting down Archie and apps like it Instagress, PeerBoost, InstaPlus, Mass Planner and Fan Harvest – to name a few.

So, since Archie has been an integral way for bloggers and Instagrammers to grow their social media following – what’s next? How will this change your likes, follows, and comments moving forward?

Stay tuned for a follow-up article.

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Bloggers Meet Startups: Hear From Windy City Cosmo at 1871

Are bloggers startups?

Maybe. Sure.

This week there are a lot of startup events and blogger events in Chicago.

I’m going to start with some exciting news—I’m speaking at one of these events. I’m so honored that my first speaking event is at the most innovative hubs for women and men in Chicago, 1871.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, bloggers and startups will be meeting for a special edition of Bloggers Meet Startups, a local networking group where startups and bloggers can pitch their ideas and connect with other entrepreneurs in Chicago.

This networking event will mark the four year anniversary of Bloggers Meet Startups.

In the past, I’ve met local startup founders and even international startup founders at these events. Mike Bandar, for instance, spoke about a new startup he was involved with in London called, Hopper, which helps individuals and businesses create and schedule Instagram posts. Hopper is the Hootsuite of Instagram.

Bloggers Meet Startups is a casual event and starts with featured speakers, who give a five-minute presentation. Then, the floor is open for attendees to pitch their blog or startup with a one-minute presentation.

Featured Bloggers Meet Startups Presenters:

Amanda of WindyCityCosmo.com – Windy City Cosmo is a lifestyle blog that invites you to meet entrepreneurs, taste inventive cocktails, and explore Chicago through events (with or without heels).

Susie of Suzlyfe.com – Susie is a Chicago-based Certified Running Coach and Personal Trainer (Coach Suz Training) and the voice behind Suzlyfe, a fitness and wellness blog that aims to educate, connect, and inspire readers to live beyond expectations.

Justin and Matt of Backspace App – Backspace is a community of people who are just like you. Nothing shared on Backspace lasts forever. Be funny. Be weird. Be quirky. Be unique. Be you.

Niku of Paris 312 – Paris312 is a party planning company specializing in Party Boxes wrapped in a bow and shipped to you.

 

Bloggers Meet Startups Four Year Anniversary Photo: Bloggers Meet Startups

 

RSVP to Bloggers Meet Startups:

RSVP to this free networking event through Eventbrite. Bloggers Meet Startups at 1871 is sold out, but more seats may become available, so add yourself to the waitlist!

Special thanks to Intelligent Events for the featured image.

Special thanks to Maddy Osman, Founder of Chicago Cheap Ass, for this opportunity. Osman is a new leading member of Bloggers Meet Startups and you can read about her plans and involvement on Built in Chicago here.

Other Blog Events and Tech Events This Week:

February Wine & Web: Blogging Best Practices

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm,  learn about writing better blog posts from Orbit Media. The event includes wine and Lou Malnati’s pizza, and tips on the following:

  • How to write for scanners
  • How to write blog posts that get more traffic and clicks
  • How to optimize for social
  • How to use visuals to increase dwell time

RSVP to Wine and Web here.  P.S. There are only five tickets left!

Chicago has a monthly tech showcase sponsored by Technori. The Technori Winter Showcase brings together 500 entrepreneurs, developers, designers, investors, and tech enthusiasts to watch five companies present for five minutes each, with an interactive Q&A session. The event is Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, with an after party at Rosebud Teatre District.

RSVP to Technori Winter Showcase for last-minute tickets here.

P.S. I know this event is the same day as my event, Bloggers Meet Startups, but I really wanted to go to this event, so I’m sharing it.

P.S.S. The conference is recorded and you can watch past speakers here. 

Hope to meet you in person and share with you the story behind Windy City Cosmo!

 

 

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10 Blogging Tips: What I Have Learned From One Year as a Chicago Blogger

Windy City Cosmo turned one this January! Thank you for reading this blog and for walking through city life with me.

It’s been quite a journey, but a fabulous one filled with dinner parties, faking French, cosmos, new friends, boy next door’s, and more opinions.

Looking back on this past year of blogging, I want to share with you special blog tips. Some of my readers are fellow bloggers or in the digital marketing realm, so these blog tips are for you.

If you’re curious about

  • content creation
  • building your personal brand
  • networking

these blog tips will keep you in the know!

  1. Get on the (Mailing) List:

One of the most important blogging tips is to have a constant stream of content. It’s fun to come up with your own content through events in the city and your own social calendar, but being on the list, the PR list, is crucial.

PR contacts are your friends. They have insider information, they can hook you up with party invites, and they have beautiful photography, so you can focus on the experience and the marketing. They have the research. As a journalist, you should still do your own research, but PR media kits, interviews, and connections make it a lot easier to get a story that is not only relevant, but has a subject matter expert.

One of my favorite articles,“CDM Media Moves into Google’s Previous Chicago Office and Seeks Rock Stars” was through a PR connection at CDM Media in River North. It was an article that would have only happened by being on the right mailing list. I got on one of the biggest lists simply by buying my domain name: windycitycosmo.com. Before it was a wordpress.com site URL.

2. Build Community With Fellow Bloggers:

Another important blog tip is to build community! You may have your own blog or business (congrats!), but you will need to build community to succeed. You need other bloggers and readers to help you a) promote your blog b) support your blog c) help you find contacts and story ideas.

A) Promote Your Blog

Promoting your blog is hard work. You don’t want to only promote your own content. You want others to share your content, as well. And, you want your social media channel to include more perspectives and content than yours (unless you are Mashable or The New York Times).

I learned a little blog tip at my first event, that other bloggers were tagging bloggers and promoting their content as well. It’s not as much as a competition as a mission for everyone to succeed. It’s a win win.

B) Support Your Blog

Having someone support you means everything. In the beginning, growing your following may seem impossible. When I reached my first 100 followers on Instagram I felt famous, and even this weekend, having other bloggers congratulate me on my one year of blogging felt amazing.

C) Help You Find Contacts And Story Ideas

While PR people are awesome, you want to have story ideas from different sources.

There are a few awesome blogging communities in Chicago. One of the most popular ones Windy City Blogger Collective, is run by Kit Graham and Erin Bassett. In this one membership blogging community, you have access to hundreds of bloggers and can meetup with them at monthly and weekly events hosted by the group. My good friend and fellow blogger, who I met on Twitter, Maddy Osman of ChicagoCheapAss.com, highly recommends it.

Membership is $70/year (that’s less than your Netflix subscription) and includes:

  • Profile on WindyCityBloggers.com & Access to the Members Only Forum
  • Free copy of our ebook “WCBC’s Tips for (almost) Everything Blogging!” (a $35 value)
  • Opportunity to contribute content to WindyCityBloggers.com
  • Opportunity to take over the @WindyCityBlogCo Instagram account
  • Invitations to exclusive member events
  • Early access to register for educational workshops and conferences
  • Inclusion in the weekly email sent to members covering events and exclusive opportunities
  • Consideration for sponsored content campaigns with WCBC brand partners
  • Access to the group Pinterest boards
  • Meet The Member post to the @WindyCityBlogCo Instagram Account
  • WCBC Widget for your sidebar!

Full Disclosure, I have not committed to joining Windy City Blogger Collective, but I have benefited from this group through their Monday night Twitter chats and Chicago events, where I have met their members, such as at Social Media Week Chicago.

To join Windy City Blogger Collective click here. 

If you are low on budget, it helps to create your own small group of bloggers. There is a private Facebook group called “Girl Bosses of Chicago” that is meant for Chicago bloggers and business owners to share advice and meet fellow bloggers in the city.

Having fellow bloggers comrade is critical to your success.

3. Join an Accountability Group or Get a Mentor:

Having a group of fellow bloggers is great. But, it’s also important to have someone or a group help you develop skills and check-in on your goals and progress. That’s why my third blogging tip is to have an accountability group.  SheSays Chicago, an international organization aimed to help women grow and become leaders in creative fields, started a mentorship program last year and multiple accountability groups. I led one of the accountability groups in Uptown. There were only four people in our group and we met bi-weekly or monthly depending on everyone’s schedule. We all had different projects, but each of us helped one another make goals and actually reach them by providing specific advice.

4. Learn SEO and Google Analytics:

Knowing your audience is the most important part about being a blogger and growing your brand. So, my fourth blogging tip is that you want to use the right tools to understand your target market and what they are searching for. Google Analytics will give you key insights on gender and age, but will also help you plan a better content strategy. Google Analytics teaches you valuable information like who is coming to your blog, if they are coming back and how long they stayed. If you have ever done retail management, you had to track this every night to tell corporate how your store performed.

While good content is important, good content cannot be found if you don’t lace it with the right keywords. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps you do that. To get started, check out SEO Moz for articles about link building, getting started and other specialties.

Side note: Make sure you are tagging your photos and every article for maximum reach.

What do you think my keywords were in this article? (Answer in the comments).

5. Be Interesting, But Be Interested:

Being on social media is about conversations and connections. While the Buffer App and Hootsuite can help you generate scheduled tweets, remember that the purpose of social media is to be social. This means that we should use it to support people and businesses, share good content from others, and share updates. It’s easy to post updates as a one-way conversation, but it’s truly beneficial when you use it to connect with others.

We all can’t be like Beyonce and follow no one on Instagram and yet have millions of followers.

Some of my greatest growth for Windy City Cosmo came through social media because I was interested AND interesting.

I will share with you two stories.

Celebrity Retweet:

The first is that Giuliana Rancic, the host for E! News, retweeted a tweet, and my blog almost tripled it’s traffic and since then, has kept growing. In all fairness, I wrote an article,”Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market Opens in Bucktown with a Donation to FAB-U-WISH and Breast Cancer Research,” about a non-profit organization that she founded, FAB-U-WISH. By tagging her in the tweet and using the campaign hashtag, I was able to grab her attention and gain a lot of awareness about my blog.

Commenting on Instagram:

While going through my Instagram feed, 312Food, a predominant Chicago foodie with 22k followers on Instagram and one of the most widely used Chicago food hashtags #312food with 15+k posts tagged, posted a picture with chocolates and I nonchalantly made a comment that I wanted some. To my surprise, she private messaged me and told me I could meetup with her in Lakeview to have some of the photographed chocolates. Due to scheduling conflicts (because we are basically celebrities jk) we didn’t meetup for chocolate. But, I did invite her to a cocktail mixer that I was invited to. We met up and now she is one of my favorite people and a huge supporter for my blog.

 

6. Edit:

I consider myself a writer. I have been actively writing since 2008, when I joined my college newspaper. Since then, I have interned or worked for digital marketing agencies, PR firms, magazines, online publications, etc. While I have written business proposals and RFPs, newsletters, cover stories, blog posts, speeches and product descriptions, I am still trying to improve my vocabulary, grammar, and editing/proofing skills. (Sorry to all of my English teachers.) And, blogging helps you be a better writer.

As good as your writing is, if the grammar is terrible and words are misspelled, you lose credibility. Below are some tools that I use to help me improve my writing.

A) Vocabulary:

B) Grammar:

Confession, I have saved all of my grammar lessons from high school English class. I have been practicing grammar my whole life, and surprisingly learning to speak Spanish helped me learn English grammar. However, I still need guidance.

I turned to the Grammarly app. It is a Google Chrome extension and provides you with weekly reports about how many words you wrote and how many grammar mistakes you made. Most importantly, it instantly edits your blog posts, your emails, your tweets, etc.

7. Create an Editorial Calendar:

One of the best parts about blogging is that it forces you to be accountable and to stop procrastinating. To do that you need a schedule. Developing story ideas and writing good content with good pictures is a lot of work. Editorial calendars will help you better manage your time and be more organized. Also, as you grow as a blogger, you will be working with more brands and you will want to easily see what your capacity is to write blog posts.

By creating an editorial calendar it will help you:

  • Produce Better Content
  • Find Better Pictures
  • Give You Time to Edit and Create Multiple Drafts
  • Give You Time to Plan your Promotions on Social Media
  • Be Consistent for You and Your Readers

Articles to read to help you get started with editorial calendars:

8. Be Social:

The best way to promote your blog is through:

  • Word of Mouth (Over Cocktails)
  • Social Media (newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)
  • Online Blogging Communities (Bloglovin)

This blogging tip is simple: make sure you have social media accounts where you can engage and grow your audience. The second part of the blogging tip is that you are actually producing content that will engage and grow your audience.

Note: Don’t be on every platform. You will find you are better at some social media platforms than others. For instance, food bloggers tend to prefer Instagram to Twitter.

9. Create Facebook Ads:

Ads are scary. They cost money. People think they are annoying, etc. But, by creating a targeted Facebook Ad, you can reach a whole new audience that you could not reach organically.

Let me put this in your language. Think about your friends. Do you think you are going to have more luck finding a guy through friends of friends or through a dating app?

For my 9th blogging tip, the secret to blogging is that you balance organic marketing with paid advertising.

I just recently discovered the power of paid advertising. One of my top posts on Facebook received about 500 organic views. For a separate post, Windy City Cosmo received more than four times the amount of views through paid advertising then through organic reach.

An article in Fortune Magazine,“How Vera Bradley’s Founder Bagged Success,” about Vera Bradley inspired me:

“A seamstress made the first bag, then we put an ad in the newspaper for people who wanted to sew in their homes.”

Vera Bradley was founded by two housewives and they started with $250 loans from their husbands, which they used to start their company AND take out a newspaper ad for employees.

10. Go For The Sponsored Post:

Blogging is about coordinating events and posts, promoting blog posts, writing good content, and building great contact mailing lists. Blogging is as much as a business as it is a hobby.

Getting paid for your work through affiliate links and sponsored posts can be intimidating. Legally, you have to indicate in your blog post that it is a paid/sponsored blog post. When we write this in our blog post, bloggers may feel like they may lose their audience because it appears that bloggers aren’t genuine or are doing it for the money. But there are awesome benefits to sponsored posts, like working with great brands and gaining more sponsored posts.

Not only will you gain credibility, but it’s an opportunity to make money for your blog to do things like pay for your blog’s domain name and buy advertising to promote blog posts and invest in new camera equipment, digital services and blogger courses.

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I hope this blog post helps you during your first year of blogging. Being a blogger gives you the opportunity to be an influencer, a responsible and informed member of your community, and it also can give you access to prominent and successful business leaders and fun events.

What is your favorite blog tip?

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Why You Will Fall In Love With The Guy Who Won’t Check All The Boxes

Today is an exciting day.

Windy City Cosmo is featured on Elite Daily, an online publication written by Millennials for Millennials to give you the voice of Generation Y.

This year, as I finish writing my book, Blow Me Away: Dating in the Windy City, I will be sharing posts with you about finding love in the city, date night stories, and book reviews focusing on love and relationships.

Being single in Chicago is awesome. Yes, if you are single right now, I think you are awesome.

I see the Valentine’s Day decor, as well, but being single is truly awesome. And being in a relationship is only great if a) you love yourself, b) you find someone good for you.

Many of us are in relationships just to be in relationships or we date to date. Honestly, meeting new people is fun and exciting, but it can also be downright uncomfortable and exhausting.

Dating Detox:

This year, I have decided to take a detox. Yes, I know we are all trying to detox in January. But I don’t mean juicing or our average cleanse.

I mean I want a detox from men.

What does this mean? A detox from men means that I’m not going to say, “yes” to every guy who asks me out. And, I won’t ask men out on a date anymore. Nope. Not going to do it.

I have already dated A LOT in the city. And this year, I have decided to add filters and other activities to my life besides dating and cocktail parties. Okay, I’ll keep the cocktail parties.

I have been reading, I have been seeking out advice, and seriously, I have too many stories about the matter.

I hope you find your Mr. Perfect. I hope you find happiness and contentment in whatever stage you are in life. Single. Married. Divorced. Dating.

One of my favorite yoga instructors, Adriene Mishler, the founder of  Yoga with Adriene, a happy and successful online yoga community that offers free yoga classes, has the mantra, “Find what feels good.”

I think that’s the key to success and happiness. It’s not about doing certain things. It’s about doing things with set intentions and goals, and stretching yourself to be happy with where you are, but striving and working towards a better future and daily growth.

It doesn’t feel good to date a jerk.

It doesn’t feel good to have one night stands.

It doesn’t feel good to hurt someone’s feelings.

It doesn’t feel good to have unrequited love.

After reading Aziz Ansari’s best selling book, “Modern Romance” and sitting down with a few Chicago bloggers to talk candidly about Chicago food and dating, I was inspired to write a post for Elite Daily about love and standards.

Below is an excerpt from the Elite Daily article published on January, 6, 2016.

Elite Daily Article Excerpt:

Why You Will Fall In Love With The Guy Who Won’t Check All The Boxes

Your life is important.

You want someone special to share your life with. But this means there are compromises to be made.

I think it’s awesome being single.

I went to a blogger dinner with nine other women in their 20s and 30s, and they dished about the single life.

Honestly, they cannot find anyone they want to factor in their vacation days and sick days for, but I personally laughed a little bit inside because I never thought that’s what it meant to factor someone else in.

 

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There are seriously too many perks to living alone and being single.

The main one is the fact that we get to do whatever we want, whenever we want.

We can work later, we can go to events, we can buy that new dress, we can set our own budget and we can vacation where and when we want to.

Factoring someone else in and caring about someone else’s happiness is hard work.

So, yes, we have boxes that need to be checked. Yes, we would like pleasure in our love lives.

Read more of the article, “Why You Will Fall In Love With The Guy Who Won’t Check All The Boxes.”

Share Your Dating Story:

Are you recently dating someone? Share your story with me in the comments.

 

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