Women In Biz #10 Barbara Harmon

Women In Biz #10 Barbara Harmon

Welcome to the tenth in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.

The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are current or former clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.

Barbara Harmon or Barb as I call her is a lovely woman who never fails to bring a smile to my face. She has faced hardships that many of us couldn’t even imagine but has somehow remained a beautiful, positive woman who looks toward the future with curiosity and excitement.

She recently became an ex-pat when she and her husband decided to have the grandest of adventures by moving to Pézenas, a small village in the south of France.! I am so jealous I have to admit but one day I’m determined to sit under the Eiffel Tower with her having a coffee and some great conversations.

Tell us a little bit about you

I’m a wife, mother, gram, retired cosmetic exec, entrepreneur, blogger, and now a full-time expat in Pézenas, France.

What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site? 

I started my first blog (The French Elements) in 2007 to tie in with an online business. Within months it became more of a journal than a business blog. It was a place to share family life, travel, hopes, dreams, and of course, goals as well as product. When my youngest son passed in 2015, I closed my shop and put the blog to bed. The passion for both was gone. In 2016, Chasing The Next Chapter was birthed.

What is your niche?

I’m a Gemini which pretty much says it all. Niche?… Travel, fashion, food, fun: and now I can add writing about life in a small, medieval village in France.

Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?

I’m partial, so it’s difficult to choose a favorite, but post wise it has to be the series of posts titled You Know It’s Hot When. These are annual posts that began when I was writing my first blog. The inspiration was summer in Arizona, hell on earth. My favorite page, hands down, is The Journey Begins. If I ever need encouragement, I re-visit this page as it illustrates how far we’ve come. With grit, determination, and a whole lot of prayer, we achieved a life-changing goal in a short period. We became truly serious about moving overseas in October 2018. In June 2019, we realized that dream/goal when we moved to France. It was an incredible amount of work (STRESS) but worth every gray hair.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram! It’s so easy (almost too easy) to quickly reach a variety of people with just a picture, a few words, and of course, the famous hashtag. IG has broadened my horizon and provided the opportunity to connect with folks around the globe—people I would never have ‘met.’ I wish there were fewer sponsored ads, though!

Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?

I have a love/hate relationship with WordPress, Rena. I’m always excited when I can make a change to the site, but most of the time, I’m sending you an email titled ‘HELP’ because I’ve screwed something up trying to do it myself. All I can say is, “Thank God; you respond quickly and with a smile.”

Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?

It’s a passion that does make my heart sing, but I also use it as a ‘work’ tool. Several years ago, I re-visited freelance writing (I found my voice—once more) and added a section titled Articles with a variety of my published work. It’s easy for an editor to quickly get a feel for my style by reading through a few pieces. I’m pleased to say, I’ve built some strong relationships and traveled to some exciting locations via this page!

If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?

Well, my site isn’t monetized (those ads/pop-ups drive me crazy), but a freelance writer usually receives some type of compensation for articles written, so I ‘sell’ my voice.

 

What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?

I can spot a fantastic bargain a mile away.

Would you like a little more of Barbara? Find her here:

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | WEBSITE

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Web Design

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Web Design

Designing a well-built website is more than just pretty colors & fonts. There are do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of. If you spot these don’ts on your own website I’m hoping you will recognize and fix immediately. It will benefit you, your readers, your pageviews and your followers.

#1 FONTS

Fonts that are too small or too light are a pain. I wear glasses and there are times that I can’t even read a piece of content because I literally can not see the font. Compose great headlines, write interesting content and use headline fonts that can grab attention. Also, line-height is an important factor. Give your text room! Big sections on content can overwhelm. Keep sentences & paragraphs short,

Think about it as an elevator. What do you do when the elevator door opens and it’s packed

#2 MOVING SLIDERS

A year or two moving sliders were all the rage, but as with everything else we began to see the drawbacks immediately. Slower sites, annoying movement or site bloat. Today moving sliders are so 2018 and if you’re still using them stop it!

#3 TOO MANY ADS

Listen, you’re never going to get rich running ads on your website BUT they can cost you big time. Site speed is so important these days and ads slow your site WAY DOWN! Not only that they’re annoying when there are so many you can hardly find the content. I assure you, your readers won’t. They will click off faster than you can say WAIT What?

#4 CONTENT OVERLOAD

I know it’s hard to create compelling content consistently (that’s a lot of c’s), but when you use long sentences and even longer paragraphs I can guarantee nobody is going to be reading it. People skim, they no longer read.

The best way to get more eyes on your content and lower that bounce rate is to write short complete sentences. Small paragraphs (no more than five sentences but even better three). Use your headlines correctly and space out your content so that it is easy to read quickly.

#5 BAD IMAGERY

As a designer, I think that imagery is so underrated. In my opinion, it’s the most important part of your content. Finding the right images isn’t easy but with loads of free stock photo sites, it’s a lot easier than before.

Think about your piece of content and find images that say what you mean. By that I mean if you write a post about blogging don’t use an image of a national park or if you’re a food blogger don’t use images that are money-related. I wrote the Essential Stock Image Guide that will show you what to use and where to find them.

#6 CONFUSING CONTENT

This is a little harder to explain, but what I mean is stay within your niche. If you’re a food blogger don’t suddenly throw in a travel piece. Or if you’re a travel blogger don’t suddenly start writing about crafting. It confuses your readers and a confused reader won’t be engaged.

I get it writing about the same things day after day gets boring and there are ways to incorporate different aspects. Maybe as a food blogger, you could write about the food in a city you just visited. Recreate the recipes or even build on it. If you’re a travel blogger write about the culture and display items of local color.

#7 COLOR & FONT HOARDING

This one is a constant fight. I get bored easily and changing things up keeps your site fresh and interesting BUT you can overdo it. Believe me, I can be the Queen of overdoing it. Using the wrong fonts in the wrong places or using too many different font types. Never use cursive in your main content. I seldom use serifs either just because it’s harder to read. A good crisp sans-serif is a great idea for your main font.

Limit yourself to no more than two different ones. You can always use different weights to help your content stand out. The more fonts the slower your site and the more confusing it can be to your reader. #thestruggleisreal

The same thing with color. Limits people! I never use more than three colors and seldom use that many. A good accent color and another to stand out against the rest. Any more can be confusing and choosing your color combinations is important.

It should be based on research for your niche and of course something that you AND your readers will relate to. Color psychology is real and it’s a very important step in the design process. For more information check out this post.

 

BONUS TIP

You should treat your website like the piece of prime real estate that it is. What I mean about is this;

When Google reads a website it goes from left to right just as you would read a book. So it stands to reason that the top left part of your website will be the most important space on the whole site. I’ve made a little illustration to show you exactly what I mean.

Two Google Analytics Filters Everyone Entrepreneur Should Know About

Two Google Analytics Filters Everyone Entrepreneur Should Know About

Every blogger knows just how difficult it is to build a successful blog. There are so many things that you have to learn about that most people don’t even consider. Things like:

  • Creating graphics
  • Understanding email marketing
  • Social media
  • Branding

and that list goes on and on and on. You know the old joke:

How many hats does an entrepreneur where? ANSWER: All of them!

One thing that isn’t often talked about but is definitely a necessity is analytics. If you do affiliate marketing, sponsored posts or make money off of your site in any way you need to know the stats behind it.

Things like pageviews, unique visitors, bounce rates. Terms like this usually invoke either 1. Your eyes glaze over and you skim the rest of the article or 2. Confusion about what it all means.

Today, I’m going to show you two Google Analytic filters that every blogger should be using as well.

Filters are a way of weeding out the events that you don’t want in your final counts. The first of which is the IP filter. What does this mean? You need to be filtering out your own IP address so that you are not counted along with your other stats. Why you ask? Because without this particular filter you won’t get an accurate picture of how your site is doing.

So, together we’re going to set up an IP filter. It’s really simple so don’t panic!

The next filter we’re going to set up is to keep your analytics from being hijacked. In the video below I show you exactly how to set up both filters.

How can someone hijack your analytics? Well, there’s a little known way of finding out anyone’s GA code. It’s very simple.

  1. Go to your website.
  2. Right-click your mouse.
  3. Choose “Page Source”.
  4. Hit CTRL + F for the find command and type in GA.
  5. Scroll down and you’ll see your own GA code.

There isn’t a way to hide them from this view so the only thing you can do is to add a filter that will keep your GA code safe from hijacking.

Go into your GA account, click on ADMIN>>Filters. Add a new filter and then choose “CREATE NEW FILTER” and give it a name that you will remember.

Scroll down and hit “CUSTOM” and then check the “Include” button. In the dropdown choose HOSTNAME and in the box below type in YOURDOMAINNAME.COM & click save! It’s that easy.

Need a little more help? Try this video I made to show you how to quickly filter out your IP address and including only your own hostname.

Have questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking For Some Blog Post Inspiration? I Found A Fun New Game For That!

Looking For Some Blog Post Inspiration? I Found A Fun New Game For That!

The struggle is real! Coming up with compelling content is not always as easy as it seems and sometimes it’s downright impossible! If you’re a content creator you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Recently, I came across a whole new way of coming up with new content & it’s as fun as your favorite card game! Introducing:

The Blog Inspiration Deck by Renae  Gregoire from INeedCopy.com & BlogPostInspiration.com has completely changed the way we can create content that will have readers flocking from miles around to gobble up your content gold!

This Blog Inspiration Deck comes with 60 cards in a deck and an ebook to show you exactly the best way to come up with blog post inspiration, but today I’m going to show you exactly how it works & how to get your very own set!

This would also make a terrific Christmas present for the blogger in your life!

Creativity, once nurtured, tends to grow like a weed, so you may want to keep a notebook or journal to record your ideas and inspirations. I keep a spreadsheet called “Blog Post Ideas,” which I open each time an idea for a blog

post comes to mind. On the sheet, I collect images, URL’s, quotes, and anything else that inspires me and that I think will inspire or help my audience. Spreadsheet, journal, notebook…the format doesn’t matter. What does matter is being prepared to capture the ideas that will come to you as you use The Blog Post Inspiration Deck.

I believe each of us is creative; sometimes it takes but a spark of inspiration to set that creativity on fire!

Qoute By Renae Gregoire

The first thing you do is to separate the cards into three piles.

TYPE  |  TOPIC  |  VIBE

After separating the piles you want to pick a card from each of the three piles. You will then have three stacks of 20 cards.

The first “TYPE” is the different type of posts such as (20 INCLUDED):

  • Behind The Scenes Post – With the behind-the-scenes post, give your tribe a peek at what makes you tick, or what it takes to bring your products or talents to the world.
  • Challenge Post – Could be either a post that challenges your audience or a challenge your audience might face.
  • Cheat Sheet Post – Recaps or summarizes instructions or information.
  • Checklist Post – Helps people move through a process while “checking off” items on a list.
  • How-To Post – Tell or show your tribe how to do something you know they want to do.

 

The second group “TOPIC” is pretty self-explanatory (20 INCLUDED):

  • A Hairy Best Your Customer Faces – A major problem your prospects & customers face.
  • A Bit Of Industry News – What’s your favorite industry news source, check that source and scan the latest topics.
  • A Bit Of Practical Advice – What is something that you regularly tell prospects or customers to make their results or life better?
  • A Common Mistake – What common mistakes plague your prospects or customers?
  • A Current Event – An event in your neighborhood, or an event worldwide that is big news to your prospects or customers.

The last group “VIBE” describes the feel of the blog post (20 INCLUDED).

  • How you feel when creating the post.
  • The spirit you wish people to feel while or after reading the post.
  • An underlying theme of the post.
  • The topic of the post itself.

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • Abundance – A copious supply or quantity; overflowing.
  • Balance – A state of equilibrium; a harmonious arrangement or adjustment; a just proportion.
  • Buoyancy – The quality of floating in or on; relative lightness; light-heartedness; cheerfulness; elasticity or spirit.
  • Compassion – Is suffering with another; a feeling of sorrow or pity awakened by the sufferings or misfortunes of another.
  • Courage – The quality of mind that enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear of depression of spirits; valor; boldness; daring resolution.

You would then pick one card from each pile for example:

My three were:

TOPIC= A COMMON MISTAKE

TYPE=REVIEW

VIBE=WONDER

What could you come up with for this in your own niche? Give me an example in the comments below. For me, I could create a post about how surprised I am by the number of people who never back their sites up. I could create a post where I review how to successfully back up your website or I could even create a list of common mistakes that I see new bloggers make.

See how easy that was?!? Plus it’s also really fun!

Do you want your very own Blog Inspiration Deck? You can order your very own set or even as a gift right here!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase the product or service listed above I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your cost.

Women In Biz #7 Doreen McGettigan

Women In Biz #7 Doreen McGettigan

 

Welcome to the sixth in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.

The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.

This month I want to introduce you to Doreen McGettigan from DoreenMcGettigan.com. Doreen is an Author, a Writing Coach & a Writing Consultant. If you’ve ever thought about writing & publishing a book then Doreen is someone who you absolutely need to know!

For years, she has been a blogger who has lent a helping hand to other women who dream of becoming an Author. Offering advice & support to anyone who takes the time to listen. These days, though, she’s taken that a step further and by opening her own consulting business she can work with clients one on one giving them useful advice, important tips, and ideas that you may not have even considered!

Just like with anything in life when you put yourself in the hot seat you look for advice from the pros that have come before you and that’s exactly what Doreen is. A consummate professional, an encouraging consultant & also a pretty amazing friend. We’ve been blogging buddies for a long time, meeting at a Blogging Conference years ago, but after winning a contest in 2016 she became a client and has been ever since.

Let’s hear from Doreen:

Tell us a little bit about you

I live just south of Philadelphia, am married to a man I met on Match.com 13 years ago. (Its never too late) Together we have 5 kids and 13 grandkids. I’m a bestselling author, award-winning blogger, speaker and teacher. I help people write, publish and market books. I’m on the board of Family Promise (homeless organization) and I volunteer at the shelter and drive the van.

What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site?

I started my blog 8 years ago to connect with other writers while I was writing my first book.

What is your niche?

Writing/Publishing and Marketing. I also do some influencing, caregiving, travel and family stuff.

Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?

Any that include my grandchildren.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram because it’s so easy and Twitter second because I get most of my clients there and media requests.

Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?

I avoid it like the plague. There’s so much I wish I had time to learn.

Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?

Both for sure.

If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?

I consult on all things writing, publishing and marketing. If you’ve ever said I could write a book, we should talk.

What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?

My motto is to spend more connecting with all types of people and zero time competing.
As a published author and consultant Doreen is giving a huge helping hand up to all of those future-writers out there who want to get advice from someone who’s been there and done that!

FIND DOREEN HERE:

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

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