Recently, I’ve been writing a ton of life-advice and faith-related posts. I’ve been talking about how I found my faith, resources for Christians, and a lot about college. However, because this is an advice blog and a lot of my readers are other bloggers, I love sharing blogging advice with that community. So, today I’m switching gears and talking about where I share my blog posts and why each place matters. Plus, I’ll tell you where most of my viewers come from! (Google analytics is a beautiful thing.) PS: If you click the social media links in each paragraph, you’ll find my social media accounts (which you should follow!) TWITTER The first place I post my newest blog link is on Twitter. I will usually link the post using a bit.ly link and write a short excerpt about the post. The tweet will include a few blogging-related hashtags and the picture I’m using with that blog post. Once tweeted, I’ll pin it to my Twitter page, so that it’s the first thing people see if they want to stalk me. 😉 Twitter is the social media that most bloggers have. If you’re looking to connect with other bloggers, this is where you should be. Don’t be afraid to share your posts, but don’t forget to make it personal, too! Tweet your random thoughts, opinions and beliefs. You’ll find other like-minded people this way! FACEBOOK Next up, I use Facebook! I have a page where I’ll link the post and use the same excerpt as I did on Twitter. This is usually the only time I use that page, because I don’t have a ton of people who “like” the page right now. However, I’ll also share that post to my actual Facebook account, for all of my family and friends to see. (Unless it’s a blogging-related post like this one.) This generates a lot of traffic for me! Don’t be afraid to share what you write with those around you. This website is my second-biggest referrer for traffic. I have a feeling it’s got to do with all of the family & friends I’ve got on my account! PINTEREST I love Pinterest. A while back, I wrote a long, intensive post about this website, where I explain just how to successfully use it for your blog. CLICK HERE TO SEE! I’ll share my post to about 2/3 boards I have on my Pinterest. One of them is a closed board just for bloggers to share their posts & interact with others. Each picture includes a few searchable keywords in the description, instead of a sentence description. You have to write what people are going to search for, so that they’ll find you. Also, make sure your pin links back to not just your website, but to the actual page of that post! Pinterest is also my biggest referrer for traffic. It’s so important to know how use this website correctly for blogging, because it’s going to help you so much once you do. GOOGLE PLUS I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers don’t use this website, but they should. Why? Because people love to interact on Google +, and they’re going to read what you have to say. I share my post on about 4/5 different boards on here, that are specifically aimed to exactly what I blog about (ex: Catholics, Lifestyle Bloggers, etc.). I don’t usually add a description to my links, because one pops up from what I’ve written on the post. This website is my third-biggest referrer for traffic. So, if you aren’t using it, think about it! INSTAGRAM Instagram is probably my favorite of all the social medias. I’ll usually post a new picture whenever I’ve got a new post up, but I try to elaborate a lot more on here. There’s always a link in my bio to my website (and other social medias) but I usually try to remind people of that in each picture I post. I’ve found that the more you elaborate about what you’ve written, the more excited people get to go read it. (As opposed to just saying you have a new post up and not saying anything else.) I also love to add an Insta-story to go along with what I posted. Sometimes, it’ll be a picture of the blog post and other times, it’s just me talking. These are the main things I use to promote my blog, and you should too! Each is super important to me. I have a different crowd of people that follow me on each site and it’s important to be connecting with your followers on a regular basis. Get to know the people in those communities and promote their relevant content just as much as they promote yours (if not more!) It’s a surefire way to grow your audience and be connected to who that audience is. Comment below if you have any other questions related to this topic, or any other blogging topic, and we’ll talk! What’s YOUR favorite social media!?
Today, or rather yesterday, marks the day of one year of blogging! I can’t believe how much has come from me purchasing a domain name and downloading WordPress for the first time, a year ago. I’ve found opportunities I’d never have heard about otherwise, and gained a worldview that is so different than it used to be. I’m so proud of myself for keeping this blog up consistently, for an entire year. It’s not an easy thing to do (as I’m sure my fellow bloggers can understand). Although my posts on this blog start a few weeks ago, that’s only because of the hosting mishap I went through. In reality, my baby turns one today!!! And I couldn’t be happier! I wanted to share some of the insight and wisdom I’ve gained from keeping with this fantastic pastime for so long. It’s been a rollercoaster and I’ve messed up so much, but I took memorable experiences away from each situation. If you’re reading this right now and you’re not sure whether to start blogging or keep it going, read on. Hopefully, I can inspire you in the same way I was inspired by others. WHAT I LEARNED FROM ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING… Don’t be afraid to share your blog with family & friends. They’ll be your support system and inspiration when you have none. Don’t expect to make a huge following right away, or even after a few months. Those things take time to grow. Don’t share everything about your life. Some things are meant to be kept private. Don’t plagiarize. From other bloggers. From articles. From videos. Nothing. Value every person that you come into contact with on this journey. Put time in effort into what you write. You’ll see the results later on. Don’t spend your entire life on your computer. You need boundaries and you need to know when to just shut it all down. Inspiration can and will strike whenever it feels like it. Be ready. Plan your content out. Don’t listen to anyone else when they tell you what you should be writing on your own blog. If you’re happy with it, that’s all that matters. Other people will see that too. Love what you do. If you don’t, then redirect your passions somewhere better. Don’t be afraid to mess up. It’s going to happen. A lot. You’re not alone & you’ll learn from it. If something isn’t working on your blog, change it. Even if it’s working for someone else. You aren’t them. Don’t be afraid to share your personal beliefs and opinions on here. Be genuine. Love,
A while back, I wrote a post titled: Why I Blog + My Story. I talked about how much I went through to get to this point of blogging, but why it’s all worth it. It almost played out like a timeline of my life, because a lot of it involved having some type of blog I wrote on. Today, I’m going to expand on that post and tell you about some of the awesome benefits of starting a blog. My three biggest reasons!? The People The Experience The Opportunities Although I’m not the biggest blogger or influencer out there, and probably not even remotely close, I still can see so many great things that have come from what I’ve started. People ask me all the time why I continue to spend so much time doing what I do, although I don’t earn money from it (yet!!). That question will really make you think, because you’ll either realize it’s a waste of your time or you’ll decide that your passion exceeds the need for making an income (although it would be nice in the future). However, none of that is meant to scare you away. If you’re truly feeling called to this place on the internet, you should go for it. God will take care of the rest. I’ve found three major reasons why that’s true. THE PEOPLE Blogging can really become a favorite hobby so quickly, especially for those creative people out there like me. The awesome thing about this hobby, though, is that it’s one where you connect with people from all over the world. That, in the best way possible, can become almost addicting. You’ll meet people who share so many of the same beliefs, opinions & passions as you, which will be insanely inspiring. This network of bloggers is a wonderful one. I’ve never seen a group that’s more supportive with each other, because they all know the struggles of the game. Whenever you have questions or concerns, someone is there to help you, no matter the social media platform. I’ve also seen endless amounts of bloggers meet in real life & create long-lasting friendships. Your world can entirely expand beyond the city you live in with this platform. THE EXPERIENCE Having a blog is also wonderful if you’re looking for something extra & exciting to put on your resume or LinkedIn. It shows that you’re ambitious enough to create something as big & important as a website and will showcase your writing/creative skills perfectly. If you’re like me, you’ve spent hours upon hours perfecting your blog & the posts you write on it. At that point, I think the blog will speak for itself, and that’s a great thing. I’ve also found that my writing skills have increased a ton. I know how to write short & concise things, but also how to write longer posts filled with information and stories. Both of those things are important to know. My style of writing has sharpened and I know exactly what voice I have that makes me stand out. Those writing skills will come in handy if you’re looking for freelance work or are applying for a job where there is some kind of writing involved. You’ll know how to “wow” your potential employers, because, for you, writing has kind-of become life (even though it won’t feel like it). I also feel that I’ve gained experience in the social media world & with creative content (think graphics). These things come easily when you start blogging. You might not even realize it’s a talent you’ve now gained. Plus, blogging has really shaped the way I think about schedules and timelines. I’ve never been much of a planner, but now I am. I have a list of things I’d love to write about and when they’ll go up. The best part? I’ve actually stuck to it. I have that little voice in my head that nudges me to get writing, because I’ve got a deadline coming up. It isn’t annoying, rather it’s helpful and has caused me to use that skill in the rest of my life. THE OPPORTUNITIES This is something I’m just starting to see as a result of my blog. However, I have one example that stands out the most for me. I’ve been contacted with the opportunity to write posts this summer for an online magazine called Step Up Magazine. The posts I write there are a little different than what you’d see on this blog, but I’ve grown to love that. It’s challenged me to think outside of my “Lifestyle” niche and see what else I’m capable of writing about. I’ve definitely surprised myself. There have been tons of smaller things I’ve been able to do as well. The list is endless, and I think it will expand even more as time goes on. For some of the bigger bloggers, I’ve heard of them getting the chance to travel, speak around the country, collaborate with companies, etc. One of the opportunities that I recently created for myself was an e-mail newsletter.>>>SUBSCRIBE TO IT HERE! Every Friday, my subscribers receive a devotional about the reading that stood out to me most from the week before. Plus, it’s a place where I can create cute graphics and send them out to be used as lock screens or pins on Pinterest. It’s super fun for me to do, but is something that’s hopefully super useful for others as well. The platform has such a huge influence on the world, and that’s why I feel it’s calling me to it. I’d love to influence people in an immensely positive way, and this is just the place for that. Although this hobby will not be easy to start or maintain, I think it’s completely worth it. As the saying goes, if God is pulling you to it, He’ll pull you through it. PS: Want to get that Friday devotional tomorrow? (Or if you’re reading this later on, next Friday?) You should sign up HERE. It’s free. It’s awesome. I’d love to have you on the list. Why do YOU blog?! Comment below,
About a year ago, I went on a retreat that sought to answer the questions; What is a vocation? and Why is it important? Going into it, I definitely expected the weekend to be an infomercial as to why I should dump my boyfriend, throw away college and become a nun. However, the holy spirit brought me there for a completely different reason. He wanted to de-bunk that myth for me, which is exactly what I’ll be doing for you today. First, though, let me give a bit of an intro. Today’s blog marks the first of what I hope will be an awesome new series. I find that so many people around me call themselves Catholic, want to be Catholic or have just heard about Catholicism, yet they’ve got some (or a lot of) questions about the basics. When I first decided I wanted to really put everything I had into Catholicism and into God’s hands, I knew basically…nothing. I seriously couldn’t have even recited the Hail Mary to you. Awkward as it was to admit, I think it’s important that I do. Being a Catholic is so much more than a title; it’s completely a way of life. There’s a lot to it, and I truly believe it’s all interesting to learn about. My journey has been never-ending since I made that decision, and I feel like I could write novels on how much there is to know about Catholicism (even though there’s still so much I don’t know). It’s such a thorough religion and when you look at the reasonings behind why everything is the way it is–it’s just so cool and rock-solid. So, I created this series to help you on your journey, and possibly just to open your eyes to what Catholics believe. It’s something I wish I’d had in college, so I know it will be of use to my lovely readers. Also, because I want this series to be Q & A style, I need your input! What do you want to know more about? You can leave a comment below, click on any of my social medias or go to my contact page to let me know. What is a vocation? If you do a quick Google search for the definition, you’ll find this: “A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.” It comes from the Latin word “vocare” which means “to call”. (Via Dictionary.com.) Basically, your vocation is your calling in life. Knowing that, we can debunk the misconception right now that vocation means joining the religious life. Yes, it can mean that, but it can also mean a whole list of others things. In Catholic terms, your vocation is how you devote your life to Christ. Whether that be through becoming a priest, marriage or something else–every person is called to do it somehow. As Pope John Paul II says, “Every life is a vocation.” However, what sets Catholic vocations apart from a worldly vocation is discernment (or perceiving/judging what God is calling us toward). Every person, whether they actually do it or not, is called to discern what God wants them to do in their life. This is very different from just planning for the future, for one very specific reason. As Russell Shaw states in this article, “Typically, people who plan but don’t discern organize their lives in light of goals that promise personal satisfaction.” In other words, they try to figure out what they want to do with their life, rather than what God is asking them to do. One is done to satisfy the self, while the other is done to satisfy a plan larger than self. One is selfish, one is selfless. Whether or not we discern and follow through with whatever we discern, we still all have a vocation. And once we figure out what God is calling us to do, we can be sure that He’ll show us the path. Why are vocations important? Although I touched on this a bit in the last section, I need to reiterate something: God is love. By that I mean; no matter what path God wants you to go down, it’s going to be the path of the most outward love. It’s the exact reason why vocations are important and, more so, why it’s important to discern what yours is. When you go down the path that God has chosen for you, you’ll be choosing love. It will be the vocation that allows you to give that love to others in the best way possible. Although I won’t go into too much detail in this post, look at what you think you’re currently being called to. A way to know it’s your calling is by the fruits that it bears. Does it give you real joy? Does it teach you patience, virtue and responsibility? And, most importantly, does it cause you to constantly be giving love to those around you (no matter who they are)? God wants love to be central in our lives, which is why we need to make sure we’re constantly aligning our plan to meet that goal. It may not be the thing we currently want to do in life, but it’s going to pay off in so many unseen ways. Extra resources about vocations. Click here for an amazing book (that I highly recommend) on discerning God’s will in YOUR life. Click here to hear more about why vocations are important and how to figure out yours, click here! Click here if you’d like to read about how I found one of my smaller callings. Click here to hear Father Mike Schmitz talk about vocation basics! Let’s have a conversation about vocations below! (Or let me know what questions you have and I’ll try and help you figure them out.) Love,
I get it. It’s hard to know how to find a Godly man. Honestly, it’s tough to just find a guy worth pursuing, let alone one that has a strong faith. However, it isn’t impossible. You need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to find him, even if sometimes you feel like you’re backtracking instead. When it comes to dating, I’m no expert. I’ve had more romantic mess-ups than I could count. Along the way, though, I learned. I picked myself back up and pushed forward yet again. I adjusted my course and set sail somewhere new. And although I don’t have all the answers, this is what I find true about how to find a Godly man in today’s society. 1. Everything starts & ends with prayer. If your end goal is to find a Godly man, you can’t do that if you’re not also “of God”. Right now, you’re single for a reason. Either God is trying to prepare you for marriage, or He’s trying to prepare you for a completely different path in life. In both instances, it’s prayer He’s asking you to come back to. Read your Bible, because it says so much about how to live your life (honestly, that’s exactly what the Bible is). If you’re pining for a Godly man, first see what the Bible has to say about it. Then, see what the Bible has to say about you. How can you better yourself and grow right now, before you add on another component to the equation? Check out this mini Bible study on my favorite book in the Bible (so far)! And if you’re truly feeling called to find a Godly man, make sure it’s a staple in your prayers each night. As Father Solanus Casey used to instruct us to do, thank God before He answers your prayer. 2. Don’t completely throw out dating apps. I’m sure this point sounds crazy, and that everyone else may have told you the opposite. However, I think there’s something to be said for opening yourself up to new ways of finding people. It’s not impossible to go onto an app like Tinder or Bumble, and wind up finding the love of your life (who also happens to be religious). Don’t ever rely solely on these apps, and don’t let them control your life, but I do think there is a time and place for them. Keep in mind, though, ladies: while you may find a needle in a haystack on one of those apps, be prepared for all the hay you’re about to find, too. 3. Get involved in your local church. I think this one goes without saying, but still deserves an honorable mention. If you really want to know how to find a godly man, in a practical way, involve yourself in your church. There are youth groups, prayer groups, bible studies, retreats, outreaches and way more–and they’re all a great place to focus your search. If you’re looking for someone who’s actively serving the Lord, look to the place where you worship and don’t be afraid to say hi. 4. Readjust your focus from marriage to Jesus. If all you’ve been typing into Google recently is, “how to find a Godly man,” we need to chat for a sec. That’s awesome. I’m glad your focus is on a Godly man, and not a worldly one, but–is that your only focus? Is finding a guy the thing you’ve been thinking about non-stop the last few years? Do you see your friends getting married, and want nothing more than to be there too? I get it. It’s hard to admit and you just want the kind of happiness you see virtually everyone else experiencing. But, can you not experience it in other ways? Have you thought of throwing marriage out the window for a second, and just sitting down to spend some time with the Lord? Whether you worry about it or not, marriage (and finding a Godly man) is going to come when it comes. You can’t force it, and you can’t make it happen any faster (or at all). When you look at it that way, do you really want to have spent all your time worrying for no apparent reason? Instead, you could be growing your relationship with Someone who is more important than anything else in this entire world. Check out this awesome article that inspired point #4. 5. Spend your time not figuring out how to find a Godly man. This point builds on the last, but needed to be separated. If you find yourself to wound up in thoughts of finding a man, stop. Just for a little while, do you. Enjoy where you’re at in life, without the pressure of having to share it with someone else. You’re in a unique time in your life when you can still do that. One day, it’ll be a husband and kids you may have to share it all with. And as fun as that will be, it’ll also be tiring and stressful sometimes. So just for a little bit, enjoy the freedom. Plus, the best moments come unexpectedly–at the time when you’re not even thinking about it at all. (PS-That’s how I met my current man!) What’s your number-one tip on how to find a Godly man in today’s society? Comment below! Love,
Letting go of something good: it’s hard. So…how are you supposed to know if it’s the right decision or not? Sometimes, God puts something on your heart, and it doesn’t show in the form of excitement or happiness. In fact, it may come in a package that looks a lot like exhaustion, sweat, tears and blood. Enticing, right? I was that person who let go of something good. There was a time last year when I wasn’t sure where my life was going to take me. I was torn between two very different things: completing my student teaching year or going to teach English in Spain. Both completely big decisions, and I just couldn’t figure out what to pick. Each had the opportunity to impact my life in a way I’d never see coming, but that only made it harder. You know those moments in life where you glance up toward Heaven and ask God where in the heck the dang manual is for this thing? (This thing, of course, being life.) I mean, come on, how are you supposed to just know what to choose every time without the clouds parting and a booming voice directing you? Your parents don’t know. Neither does your boyfriend. Or your friends. They all have opinions, sure, but at the end of the day, they aren’t you and they don’t know what’s going to make you happiest all of the time. Their opinions, while valid and helpful, are also biased because they live a completely different life than you do. That’s where I was at. But, let me also tell you a tiny secret: My emotions were pulling me toward Spain. Everything in me wanted to go; badly. How cool would it have been to put that on my resume and just be able to talk about in the future? How many people can say they got the chance to life in a another country for a year? What crazy, beautiful, unexpected adventures would be awaiting me in that foreign land? How many lives would I impact every day in this position? It was Spain for crying out loud. Who doesn’t want the opportunity to live in Spain? Meanwhile, student teaching was looking all the more desolate in the background. It was an afterthought. Never mind the amount of work it had taken me to get there in the first place. I was ready to hit the “postpone until further notice” button on that portion of my life. It seemed to be all set out in front of me; my feelings were completely pulling me toward a land of mystery and beauty. I wasn’t about to deal with another year of snow and darkness hitting at 4:30pm every day. However, an invisible hand kept reaching out to stop me every time I tried to move forward (or at least what I thought was forward). Something was stopping me from what I thought I was set on. In reality, God was trying to show me that choice was a dead-end street, and that was why I couldn’t walk any further in that direction. I knew I could still ultimately decide on Spain if I wanted to, God was silently begging me not to. I didn’t know it last year, but God was trying to show me that feelings aren’t always trustworthy. Feelings can change in a millisecond and shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on. God told me to take a second look at things and it ended up being the beginning of a million other open doors and more happiness than I know what to do with. I don’t always love the work I’m doing this year (it’s hard!!), but I can understand that it’s worth it. Faith can’t be based off of how you’re feeling that day, or you’d never have anything to fall back on. What does God say about our feelings? God’s design for our lives stands strong and taller than any other flimsy thing in this world. Yes, one of those flimsy things is feelings. We might not always love what we’re being called to do in the beginning, but we need to follow anyway. Although it doesn’t always seem appetizing, it doesn’t mean it’s not going to be good for us. If life was as easy as following what made us seemingly happiest all the time, why would we need God? Where and when would we learn to fall back on Him? Just because we aren’t excited or happy about something in the moment, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still pursue it. And, likewise, just because we are excited or happy about something, doesn’t mean we should always pursue it. While we’re looking at one tree, God is busy looking at the entire forest. And although we can’t see it from His perspective just yet, we can trust that He knows what He’s doing. We can also trust that sometimes, our feelings don’t know what they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to let something go that you think you’re in love with, because sometimes it’s necessary. Love,