Category Archives: Born to Blog

Were you BORN to blog: Part 5

Hey there! I don’t have much time today so I am actually multi-tasking! Reading my chapters and creating this post. I have to be completely honest…I am actually going to be skipping over a few chapters of Born to Blog. I was reading over the weekend and something suddenly wasn’t clicking. As I was reading I had no idea how I wanted to write about it…

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It’s funny because the next two chapters from where I left off last week are about YOUR business & BLOGGING. Hmmm kinda does seem like a priority don’t ya think? Sometimes you just nees to step back, take a different direction, & learn to NOT overcomplicate things. Funny thing is that is what the next chapter of Born to Blog is about: Keeping your blog at a minimum! I loved this chapter so much.
It is not unusual to want every detail laid out for perfection BUT keep in mind it is also okay to change your direction. As long as you stay consistent (which I am working on being better at) & hook your readers you can keep it as simple as possible!

Let me give you a little personal and honest insight: My blog is pretty bare and basic at this point. Why have I kept it this way? I feel as though I am still going through a “test run” period if that makes sense. I wanna make sure this is where I want my time and effort to be going. I know that sounds like I lack confidence but before I put MORE time and any money I want to be able to keep up with my weekly minimum. And I am having a blast because I have learned SO much from all of the new friends I have made from the blogging scene. But before I slowed sown a bit and created my own post calendar I did some rapid publishing, which I highly recommend. What I mean by this is posting as many posts as possible during a short amount of time to gain quick experience & exposure. This way right from the beginning you can receive feedback from readers so you can have a good idea of what they like and want to see more of! I did this through the Alex Beadon Feel Good Challenge!

This is pretty much the jist of this chapter. Feel out what kind of content you wanna produce, how much content you wanna produce, your audience, your platform, etc. Identify YOUR blogging skills: Remember there were 5! There is a quiz to find out what you are. (I will leave details on how to receive that below) As you start out you want to begin to build momemtum! How can you so this? Do not be afraid to post links back to your blog on Facebook or Instagram: I do all the time! Your audience is more then the bloggers on the same platform as you. Some of your readers may not be bloggers at all! My Mom told me she is always reading my content ๐Ÿ™‚

So my biggest and best advice I have learned through both business and blogging is: KISS!

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P.S. If you are interested in taking a look at the quiz to see what YOUR blogging characteristics may be feel free to email me (brookeashley0319@gmail.com) OR message me on Facebook (Brooke Ducati)

Much love,
Brooke Ashley xoxox

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Were you BORN to blog: Part 4

Hellooooo bloggers! I am a day behind (I’m sorry!) Been a little hectic but I am here with the next 2 characteristics of what it takes to be a GOOD blogger. Now remember ANYONE CAN BE A BLOGGER. It’s just a matter of how you implement the 5 traits! Last week I discussed storytelling, dreaming, & persuading. Tonight I am gonna touch on teaching & curation! And if you don’t know what curating is that is okay because I didn’t know either until I read! Sooo let’s go!

We are teaching every single day whether we know it or not. Through blogging we are teaching. It may be a lesson, sharing motivational/inspirational expertise, how to, or tutorial! In the book Born to Blog there are 3 different types of teaching encounters: Teaching by doing, conversation, and coaching & mentoring. The method that usually gets looked over (but I connect with the most) is coaching & mentoring! I have a natural feel for this method. People who have a knack for creating lists or how to scenarios can be considered a “coach” or a “mentor.” You are coaching someone through a task or project. Although it gets looked over a lot, people enjoy this type of style because it is pre-organized right in front of them. They are given a set of “rules” or check points on how to do a particular task. It may not come off as a formal mentor per-say but it does kinda make it seem like you know what your doing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Like I said we are ALL teaching everyday whether we know it or not. EMBRACE it, even if you don’t think your the best at it. As long as you bring the energy and passion for whatever it is your discussing people will be attracted to your writing! Teaching is only natural in all of us.

Sooooo now I can tie in the last and final part of the 5 characteristics of a GOOD blogger- curation. Hmmm seems tricky! Curation is about collecting and bringing information all together. Even further then that curation is about bringing together the best info about a subject. Mark and Stanford say ” think of your blog as the gallery and the blogger as the gallery owner.”ย 

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PINTEREST! Isn’t it crazy how much Pinterest comes into play with blogging? I LOVE it. Pinterest is a perfect way to wrap up and better explain curation. Also, I didn’t just think this up….this is the example the authors use ๐Ÿ˜‰ Pinterest is a unique way for people to share there story and experiences through pictures & links (kinda like Instagram!) You are creating boards to express your personality and categorize your your passions and hobbies…which can then further lead to blog posts! If you are able to create collections of a particular themes to discuss different topics on your blog you will be able to connect with those of similar passion. BONUS: If you learn how to curate properly it could definitely save you time! It will be useful if you are not the greatest at coming up with original content…BUT if you do this always remember to give credit where needed ๐Ÿ˜‰ I would teach you how to properly curate & apply all these other characteristics BUT it’s all a learning experience that you will have to read for yourself! Next week I will be shifting into a little bit of different direction as we take these skills and talk about if you have a business WHY you SHOULD be blogging!

I apologize again for the late post!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley

xoxox

Were you BORN to blog: Part 3

Hey hey blogging friends! I almost didn’t write this post today because I am EXHAUSTED but I knew I had to do it! I was just not in a reading mood today and I was extremely blah…But once I picked up the book and got my brain going I made it!

So refresher: I am currently reading Born to Blog. Last week I discussed “Can you blog?” And the easy answer to that question was ANYONE CAN BLOG! This week I started to dive into the characteristics of a good blogger. This week I am going to share 3 of the 5 and what I learned from them: Storytelling, Dreaming, & Persuading!

Hmmmm storytelling…never was my forte. But what can we learn from being a storyteller? I will tell you what MORE people will be attracted to you as a storyteller and NOT a salesperson. Especially when you are using your blog for business. Nobody, not even me wants to be “SOLD” on a product. The authors of this book said it perfectly “People won’t spend a second with an advertisement, but they’ll spend 30 minutes with a great story.”ย We cannot help but pay attention to stories. Being open and willing to share your thoughts, opinions, and perspectives makes a great blogger…and any of us can achieve that!

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Begin to pay attention to how many stories you tell during the day. If you are intriguing your real life audience MAYBE it will reel in your online audience as well! Your stories you share with others during the day could help spark a post about your business or product. You will be able to share in a “non-salesperson” way. I wanna tie in persuasion with storytelling. The only important detail I think you need to know about being a persuasive writer in blogging is this:

Find common ground, build relationships, & make your case for your values and what you believe in!

How can you do this to relate with your readers and customers? Don’t try so hard. Just simply discover how you can chat about your everyday life BUT appear professional to share your business & service. Does this make sense?

The third characteristic and by far my favorite is DREAMING! We as humans are meant to dream and not enough of us do it. Dreaming is super essential. Dreams are probably the reason your here. Am I right? What inspired you to blog? You probably had a vision and you wanted to make it come to life. I know for me I kinda woke up one day and said “How can I share my passion and business of cosmetics, fashion, my everyday story, & life AND inspire people as an entrepreneur?” I then said to myself I will start a blog! My mind went stir crazy. I started to watch videos and read articles and started posting all my ideas with post it notes on my bedroom walls. I had a dream!

Let me just clarify one tiny detail. In the book a part was mentioned where people label others as either visionaries or dreamers. I never really knew there was a difference. Apparently a visionary is someone who makes the money & a dreamer is when your plans never happen or they don’t happen the way you want. Don’t let this label catch you! It’s only a label. Next week I will be diving into teaching and curation in blogging!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Were you BORN to blog: Part 2


If you can dream… —> Then you can blog.

If you can tell a story… —> Then you can blog.

If you have opinions & passion… —> Then you can blog.

If you can answer your readers questions… —> Then you can blog.

(Were almost there!)

If you enjoy categorizing, critiquing, creating & managing…guess what? —> Your ready to blog!


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Well here we in week 2 of my first book series. Just to refresh I have started to read the book: Born to Blog by Mark Schaefer & Standford Smith. I received tons of great feedback from last week & it made me very anxious to share what I have read over the past few days! This week I read chapters 3 & 4. Now remember I am not going to share everything that was discussed and written (that is for YOU to do on your own time!) I will be sharing what I thought was most important or what MY biggest take away was. So what was it?

If you couldn’t already tell from above, this week was all about “Can you blog?” Well there is a simple…YES anyone can blog! That’s it. Post over.

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Kidding your not getting away that easy. There is a good chance you are sitting here right now and still have no idea what your purpose is OR if this whole blogging thing is even for you. Well let me tell ya something, ANYONE is capable of having power on the web. Mark & Standford even used those exact words in chapter 3.

Anyone can produce posts & be a blogger. Whether we are good at it or not every single one of usย ย have theย capability to create writing material. BUT the number one thing that sets you apart (or at least in my opinion) from everyone else is PERSONALITY. You need to find your voice. No matter what you are discussing (business, recipes, DIY projects, makeup, fashion, etc) you want other bloggers & readers admire what you are talking about so they will want to come back for more!


Who are you?

Who are you at this moment in time?

People wanna know YOU.

The web is crowded and YOU need to stand out.

Can you do that?


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When writing your next post DO THIS simple task. Always, always, always relate whatever it is your discussing to a personal or unique experience. It can be difficult but adding a personal touch sets you apart from the other person who may be writing about the same exact thing. Someone may connect with you over the John Doe. make sense?

P.S. If you couldn’t already tell PERSONALITY means everything to me and my writing! ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S.S. Please keep your book recommendations coming! See ya next Tuesday!ย 

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Were you BORN to BLOG: Part 1

Happy Tuesday bloggers! I am super excited for this next segment that I will be starting. A few Fridays ago I was looking for a new place to work so I went to the local Barnes and Noble. I looked around aimlessly and discovered an awesome book. I decided to take it to the Starbucks, grab a coffee, and dive in. Before I knew it I was more then halfway done the book and was overwhelmed with information! What was this book? It’s called “Born to Blog” by Mark W. Schaeffer & Standford A. Smith. Soooo needless to say it inspired me for this blog.

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I wanna take every Tuesday and work through the current book I am reading. And when I say that I don’t wanna cram one book per week, I want to actually take the time and break the book down and share the information with you all ๐Ÿ™‚ (in so many words…I don’t wanna spoil ALL the juicy info…you can read it for yourself) PLUS, this will help keep me accountable to stay on top of reading & feeding my brain! So here we go let’s dive into the Intro:

What I pulled away with here is that people think blogging is an all or nothing kinda thing, your either good or your bad, you can either write OR you can’t. This is soooo not true, because I myself am certainly not a writer, but hey here I am! The purpose of this book (the authors purpose) is to prove that ANYONE can be a blogger with a little coaching and tweaking of their skills, Mark and Stanford then share 5 traits/skills/characteristics that will help you along your journey! I will share my personal favorite one. ( and you will have to read for yourself to find out the other four)

Relate, Don’t Compare.

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WOW this is so important. We are not here to compete, we are not here to put down one another, we are certainly not here to see who gets more hits, comments, & likes. WE are here to share our strengths and passion, learn from one another, create a network, & have fun. Stay focused on YOU, your story, & purpose.

Then quickly we move into chapter one titled: The Common Traits of Successful Bloggers. My 3 favorite traits I pulled away from this chapter were flexibility, consistency, & courage. After they touched on the actual trait there was a “Take Action” exercise to follow to really get your wheels turning. Let me share one with you so you can see ๐Ÿ™‚

The 3rd trait that Mark and Stanford discuss is flexibility. They begin to discuss a man who had published a blog but he was getting ZERO readers, hits, comments…no traffic at all what so ever. Do any of you have this issue? I most certainly did! When I started my blog I did to say “Ooooo let me start a blog, that would be fun!” I had no idea what I was doing. But now I have direction and purpose. The flexibility is about being okay with letting you mind go in a different direction. Maybe you are writing and posting but you know you are capable of better BUT you already started on your way so you can’t change everything you doing now, right? OR can you? So I am going to challenge you right now…


Mark and Stanford ask you to evaluate yourself. After six/nine months of blogging ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. What did you have the most fun writing about? (How can you create MORE of this content)

2. Which of my posts received the MOST feedback and interaction?

3. Are you still having fun writing about these topics? YES, NO, Maybe?


I know I am going to do this for myself come March/ April. At this point I will be about 6 months in since I started blogging again. The authors then go into talking about courage. AND YES believe it or not blogging does require a little bit of courage. One of the hardest decisions we make as bloggers is whether to push the publish button…admit it. I will simply say this: DO NOT strive for perfection. If you do your hand will be stuck on that mouse for a very long time. Mark Schaeffer says, “focus on being GOOD instead of perfect.” It goes back to DON”T COMPARE…there will always be someone better.

So you don’t have to be perfect BUT do you have to be a great writer? Hmmmm. I guess you will have to come back next Tuesday to find out!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

P.S. PLEASE begin leaving book suggestions below! They do not have to specifically be about blogging, they can be business, marketing, self-help, etc! I am open to anything ๐Ÿ™‚