Want to Know How to Build A Successful Blog? Bright-Eyed & Blog-Hearted is Here!

how to build a successful blog

 

You’ve felt the pull. You’re ready.

To get clear on your vision. To connect. To express yourself authentically. To grow your presence. To amplify your efforts. To shine. 

You’re inspired, revved up and hankering to know how to build a successful blog of your own.

Am I right?

Perhaps you’re looking to:

// Carve out your own corner of the online world and fill it up with you – but you’re overwhelmed with what to do and where to start.

// Get unstuck with your current blog. You’re struggling to find your feet, your voice, your tribe. You know it’s time to steer your ship forward.

// Turn your blog-baby into a supportive platform for a soul-centred business. But, how?

Wherever you’re at, one thing’s for sure: you want to get to the next level with ease.


With invaluable insights, step-by-step strategies, loving support, Bright-Eyed & Blog-Hearted is for you.


blogging course

This comprehensive, love-fuelled six-week program has been brewing ‘backstage’ in my head and heart for some time now. Through my booked-out blog and life coaching services, my former career in PR and digital communications, and my experience in building a gorgeous and devoted tribe of like-minded souls (you!), I’ve learned a thing or two – and I can’t wait to share the best of it with you.

Nothing gives me more joy than seeing creative women unearth their blogging brilliance and light up the world with their words – because I know you’ve got something incredible to share. Let it be declared right here: your message matters.

There’s so much to tell you about this program, so I’m going to direct you to the ‘official’ page, because… well, it’s pretty damn beautiful. A total feast for the eyes. Plus, there’s a video!

Dance on over to the Bright-Eyed & Blog-Hearted page.

PLEASE NOTE: There’s a special offer for those that jump in first, so don’t delay, beautiful!


I’m beyond excited to take this journey with you.


how to build successful blog

Visit the Bright-Eyed & Blog-Hearted page.


Elenore Bendel Zahn, Earthsprout: How I Do It Interview

elenore bendel zahn earthsprout

I have a total, raving lady crush on Elenore Bendel Zahn, and I have a feeling you will too after taking this journey into her green-hued world o’ wonder.

I can honestly say I have never met anyone quite like this woman. Her unmistakable warmth not only radiates through the screen – it reaches out, pulls you in and holds you tight in an embrace like no other.

Over emails, we’ve *put the vision in the stars* (as Elenore says) to cuddle in real life one day, and somehow, I just I know this will happen. It has to. And I can’t wait.

I’ve adored getting to know this Swedish goddess/ organic gardener/ natural nutrition coach/ green gourmet chef and founder of Earthsprout over the past year or so (perhaps longer) online – following her successes, salivating over her recipes, beaming at her effervescent, joyous approach to life – but what has truly inspired me is her evolution into motherhood after giving birth to her boy Caspian last year.

In one particularly gorgeous email exchange, I asked her about how becoming a mama felt to her, and she replied:

“Mamahood feels deeply rooted, fierce and delicate as a tiny bud at the same time. Love, love love and strong sense of really being both very gifted and also very womanly. I am in so in love with the little prince that is Caspian and so in awe of his bravery to come into this world. I am insanely grateful for the the contract that we somewhere long ago drew up together. That we’d meet here and learn from each other and go on all kinds of adventures together….”

This angel is all love, and then some.

Let her words sweep you up today.


Let’s kick off with a biggie. Why do you do what you do?

Well, ka-pow that is a biggie. I believe that creating and delivering from true inspiration can move mountains and that’s why I do what I do.

When I finally understood that I was allowed to combine all of my passions (that weirdly pointed in all kinds of directions) I realised that I had been wrong all along. They weren’t so random at all, in fact they had the same insanely strong root. Supporting this amazing planet, mama earth all while encouraging and supporting it’s inhabitants (ehrm us) to live full on crazy in-love-with-life realities in totally ecstatic bodies.

In other words, seeing the whole picture but breaking it down to over the top gorgeous and health boosting food and a Greenylicious super soul-full lifestyle.


elenore bendel earthsprout


What are three of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt since starting Earthsprout?

1 // Sometimes the bliss of living your passion can override taking good care of your self. Since I am my own personal boss, project manager, creative director, assistant, trainer, chef and website builder/designer I sometimes have to force feed myself these things:

Hanging out on the meditation pillow, reading a few chapters of an inspiring (or totally “unnecessary”) book, making raw truffles just because I want to and not for a photoshoot, long gimmie-a-break showers, the essential lying on the grass moments, awesome dates etc. You get the point.

2 // The universe wants you to succeed; you just put your boat in the river and follow the stream. Hold on tight though – things will start to happen and they will happen fast.

3 // If you force creativity it will die. Creativity comes from pure sparks of freedom and true inspiration. Head out for a trip without the computer, have a flirting session with yourself (full on with facials, mani-pedis, affirmations and kombucha champagne). Last but not least, romance and some steamy bedroom time with either yourself or a hot partner will definitely bring frequent fire bolts and freedom = creativity flow. Just sayin.  

What’s been key for you in building your tribe?

Tuning in with my inner GPS and trusting myself to know what to do. And Love – cheesy but true. I just love the Earthsprouty tribe so much and I’m so immensly humbled that the Earthsprouty tribe even exists!


earthsprout elenore


I know that there’s rarely a ‘typical’ day in the life of a blogger/ entrepreneur/ lady of the interwebs, but can you talk a bit about how you approach your work? What does a week in your life usually entail?

Oh, “lady of the interwebs” – that’s funny! Well of course there is not room for any set structures in the life of this particular Earthsprout lady but some things are still always a part of my workweek:

// Journaling. Clears my mind and makes room for ideas and thoughts that want to come.

// Food styling, photoshooting, editing and writing. For either the once a week articles with recipes on Earthsprout, newsletters or freelance work stuff.

// Nordic Superfood related things are always there weather it’s sending out samples, harvesting, packing or answering to questions around this exclusive and love/nutrition packed product.

// Preparing, planning or holding workshops. I love meeting, creating together with and learning from new awesome peeps at my cooking events/workshops.

//  Developing the 30 Raw Breakfast App (yum!) and answering questions around it.

// Mini breaks often involving crazy dancing (hello Shakira and Beyoncé), singing at the top of my lungs or a 10 minute visit to the beach.

// Then there is always that important and daily inbox rendezvous.

Spending time with little Caspian is however mostly what my days consists of at the moment. I’m re-learning about life and myself in this new reality being me, a mom, an entrepreneur and – well, all other things . There is so much that I love and wish to do/see/make. Needless to say, there are some trying lessons around. So. Bring it!


Describe your creative process. How do you write/ create?

Often times certain thoughts and themes enter my life. They are not very silent, rather explosion-like and knock me in my head saying “hello, I need to be addressed very, very soon… or else!”. Some of them build up over time but either way I trust this process.

I trust that the things coming my way are the hard-core honest and guided stuff that needs to be put out there a.s.a.p, whether it’s a seems-like-nonsense post, a personal drawing, a play with words poem or a full on book draft. I think they are equally important and that you and me are the ones to birth them when they fall at my feet or burst in through the freaking front door.

When it comes to food, I dream it up, sketch it and play with ideas of colors and textures in my head before actually making it and later on styling it. Although sometimes a great recipe just happens when I need a quick lunch/snack.


30 raw food


Routines and rituals for the soul: can you tell us about the little – or big – things that keep you feeling grounded, joyful, connected, inspired?

Living life here and now for me is about recognising and remembering that we are not the stuff we do. 

It is so very easy to fall into labels and I have to pull myself from that trap often. It can make us feel safe and connected to ”be a certain something” but the truth in my heart at least is that when I let myself be all the weird parts of myself – that’s when I can step up in my work, relationships and personal development. Being all that I am for me means things like hugging trees, sharing honey love days with a soul sister, playing, laughing, resting/harvesting/working in the garden or treating myself to a meal at a fancy restaurant looking all fabulous as well as some daily rituals.

Having my golden detox drink (from the 30 Raw Breakfast app) every morning along with a little meditation/contemplation time in our sacred space (the pyramid Himalayan salt lamp is one of my greatest bff’s) somehow puts everything into place. Yoga and stretching also has that impact on me even if I sometimes do procrastinate a bit before actually rolling out that mat (shh!). I always have a little breathing space and bless time before a meal and that can definitely make a day go from foggy to fierce.

There are so many tricks and rituals that we can turn to but I think the most generous thing we can do is being as caring and understanding towards ourselves as we are to the ones in our life that we absolutely love, love, LOVE. It takes a hell of a lot of practice and it’s hard but it pays off.


The not-so-hot days. We all have them. How do you combat overwhelm and self-doubt?

I most likely do some of the things in the answer above. Allowing some tears to fall helps too as well as the above mentioned crazy dancing or walking barefoot on the grass. Or stove popped popcorn and a fave movie, I mean – why not?

RAPID FIRE Q’s

I feel empowered, electric, alive, the most ME when… I go home after a particularly awesome cooking event/workshop or when making out with my hot man on some street corner. In short, when I let myself bathe in the ever so present love.

I feel restricted when… I have not been giving myself enough breathing space and the computer screen eats me up piece by piece.

I’m inspired by… Oh my gosh, too many things! When I am really present everything from a branch on the ground, bubbles in a glass of champagne, a beautifully put plate or moon gazing, rocks my world.

My current mantra/ affirmation is… dream it and love it to live it.


elenoretwo


To wrap up, imagine you’re sitting in conversation with yourself in 10 years time. What are you doing? What does your life look – and feel – like?

I’m sharing a cup of perfectly made spicy oat milk hot chocolate with the 10 year older me while late summer sunshine flows through the big window of Fabians and my sustainably built house that we share with or kiddos.

Earthsprout has continued to grow as a loving and badass Greenylicious lifestyle revolution over the past ten years and when I look at myself I see playfulness and calm, perfectly combined. The Earthsprouty tribe grows far and wide; spreading keys that make people feel and look ecstatic – world changing in itself and also creating a ripple effect that heals the earth tremendously.

We have a big veggie garden and greenhouse and our neighbors are oak trees, streams, stags and tons of free space. The people I love hang out are here and we have a gorgeous time, sharing meals, laughter and creativity. There are books on that shelf over there that I have written and the worldwide projects, products and collaborations are never ending, just as the sparks of inspiration. We travel when we wish to and we feel free to shape our lives the way we want. Also, quite miraculously some tropical plants suddenly started to grow in our backyard (not due to climate change but pure magic) and we can have mangoes and macadamia nuts whenever we feel like.

I am me with 10 more years of things that were meant to happen in my backpack. I am in love with what I see, I say thanks for the chocolate and head back to my now with a baby kicking inside, the ocean birds singing, an e-mail to send to Rachel MacDonald and a longing for that raw berry crumble hanging out on the kitchen counter. Come over and share it with me!


And, a recipe!

deluxeporridge2

And as an extra treat from this gorgeous soul, she’s sharing one of her fave breakfast recipes with us.

Luxurious spelt porridge with sesame milk

This warming and wholesome porridge will – with it’s many luxurious additions – completely change the way you think about a plain old bowl of porridge. This one brings ecstasy to my taste buds and leaves me full and nourished for a long time. Tip 1: make a big batch of spelt – it will come in handy in salads, as snack, when baking or making a soup. Tip 2: Upon rising, start cooking the spelt, then you have time for some journalling/yoga/meditation/sunbathing while it cooks.

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole spelt (farro)

1 cup water + soaking water

1/2 vanilla bean, cut open

1/2 tsp himalayan salt or other good quality salt

1/2 tsp maca

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

1. Soak the whole spelt overnight (or 6-8 hours)

2. Rinse them well and them add to a saucepan along with the water and vanilla bean, bring to a boil and then let simmer for 45 min, add salt towards the end.

3. Add Maca and spices when ready.


Raw Sesame milk

1 cup sesame seeds – always use unhulled!

1 tsp lemon juice / apple cider vinegar

3 cups pure water + soaking water

3 Medjool dates

1 tsp cardamom

Instructions

1. Soak the sesame seeds in water and the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar overnight (or 8 hours), rinse thoroughly and drain

2. Add sesame seeds, water, dates and cardamom to a high speed blender and blend away. Done!

Tip 1: If you want to you can pour the sesame milk through a nut milk bag and remove the pulp. If so, add dates and cardamom afterwards. Tip 2: Check out Sarahs gorgeous video on how to make nut/seed milk


Toppings

1 handful lightly toasted coconut chips

1 handful unsulphured raisins

1 blood orange

Time for a luxurious and insanely tasty breakfast party!


Isn’t she just divine? Let’s keep the love flowing – leave Elenore a comment below, and also, let us know if you’re going to give her luxurious (yes!) porridge a go.


Freedom is a State of Mind

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Ahh, FREEDOM. It drives us all.

Financial freedom. Freedom to do the work we love. Freedom from the demons of our past. Freedom from fear and self-sabotage. Freedom from the lashings of our inner critic.

We’re all seeking it, in some form or another, and to celebrate the second round of her ecourse The Freedom Project, my gorgeous friend Claire has asked me to dive deeper and share on what freedom looks like for me.

As a freedom-hungry Sagittarian soul who fled her corporate cubicle a little over a year ago on the quest for sovereignty, this is a challenge I’m more than happy to rise to!

Read on for my thoughts…


What does freedom feel like?

meditation

“When I give up my ideas of how life has to go, then there’s freedom in every moment.” – Brian Andreas

Freedom feels like release. It’s unclenching, untethering myself from an outcome. Letting go. A sense of expansiveness. Being open, and light. Being wildly, authentically me – in any given moment. Speaking my truth, with love.

A stand-out, visceral ‘freedom moment’ for me…. has to be climbing to the top of the Swiss Alps, heart thrumming, drinking it all in, wondering if just maybe, my eyes were playing tricks on me. Everything felt so stupendously over-sized, and there wasn’t a cell in my being that wasn’t pulsating. Ba-boom. Ba-BOOM.

Words don’t really do experiences like these justice – the English language doesn’t seem to be able to capture the magnitude of this feeling – but I’m not sure it’s meant to. To do so would contain it, which is, of course, the opposite of freedom.

When you feel it, you just know it. It’s intoxicating.


How do you maintain freedom with a busy lifestyle?

finding freedom

Freedom noun

1. The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants.

2. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.


What I’ve learnt is that freedom truly is a state of mind. True freedom means feeling radically empowered, knowing you’re responsible for the way you react, the way you feel, and the way you live your life.

There’s the external expression of freedom – jumping on the plane, escaping, making all the rules, doing whatever you please whenever you please – but there’s a caveat with that kind of freedom and it’s this: ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’ 

You can be surface ‘free,’ yet more mentally shackled than ever before. You can be doing the work you love, but feel trapped by the very empire you’ve built around you.

In my experience, it all comes back to choice.

And – most importantly – care and celebration and deep, deep gratitude for wherever you’re at.

I had to consciously choose freedom: yesterday. When I looked at the list of jobs to be done for my (soon-to-be-launched) program, there was a moment where my heart flipped and I sucked in my breath. Ok. The list is still pretty huge.

There were two doors in front of me. To walk into the first one would be to spiral into this:

‘I’m working on a Sunday when I should be relaxing at the beach with a good book.”

But the other glimmered with this alternate truth; a brighter, positive perspective:

‘I’m working on a Sunday, creating something I’m incredibly passionate about. And I’m answering these questions for someone I love, which brings a smile to my face. AND – I can do it at the beach.’

THAT’s freedom. Swiftly steering out of the Land of Limited Thinking, packing up my gear and planting myself on a blanket at one of my favourite beaches in the world.

Busy and free co-existing? It’s possible. It really is.


If freedom were a colour what would it be?

finding freedom

freedom

There’s no doubt in my mind – it’s this one. It finds me, wherever I go. Ocean, sky, wide, free. Pure magic.


If freedom were a song what would it be?

Lately, I’ve been meditating to the song I walked down the aisle to, James Vincent McMorrow’s version of ‘Higher Love’ and there’s this part that goes:

‘I could light the night up with my soul on fire, 

I could make the sun shine from pure desire.

Let me feel the love come over me, 

Let me feel how strong it can be.’ 

And – I don’t know what it is about those lyrics and the tone in his voice – but I feel totally free when those words touch my ears. Free, covered with goosebumps and absolutely grounded in the moment.


What is the opposite to freedom?

Restriction. Forcing. Feeling pressurised. Living in a state of struggle. Being a slave to a story. Losing faith in the fact that whatever the Universe has in store for me, and whatever soul contract I’m here to fulfil, is far greater than I can possibly imagine.

Just like you can FEEL freedom, the same can be said about its opposite. It’s that one step too far, that one clouded thought, the slide back into old habits.

When we’re caught up in judgement, we’re imprisoned.

When we’re frozen in fear, we’re closed.

When we’re controlling the outcome, we’re confined.

This is different for us all… but again, we know.


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And now, a freedom-focused fill-in-the-blank for you…

I’d love you to answer this in the comments: I feel most free when ___________________________

And, once you’re done, don’t forget to head over to say a big hello to Claire and check out her ecourse. She’s a rare and sparkling gem and I completely stand by her work.


How to Create a Media Page for Your Site

how to create a media page

Since updating my site last year, I’ve received a load of beautiful comments on my Media page, so today I thought I’d share another sneak peek from my upcoming course and give you some useful tips on how to create a Media page of your own.

Your Media page is essentially your highlight reel.

It tells the world in clear, succinct ‘n’ simple terms who you are, what you’ve done and where you’ve been seen. It also amplifies your credibility (yep!) and tells those looking for a featured guest for their online program, or hunting for a stellar interviewee why they should consider you.

As an added bonus: I can’t tell you how handy it is when I’m doing interviews to be able to say: ‘Here’s the link for my Media page so you can grab my bio and headshots.’ Simplicity. That’s my kinda bliss.

Below are some guidelines on what to include to give you a solid platform to leap off, but as always, take what resonates and weave your magic through your page so it’s all you.

Just like your About page, this section of your site is a dynamic, ever-evolving beast so go wild with tweaking, adding, subtracting, refining – or starting over completely – along the way.

And don’t despair if you’re yet to gain coverage elsewhere online or in traditional media. You can simply use this page as a place to house your bio and some great photos of yourself before you wander down that path.


What to include  

#1: THE INTRO (or longer bio)

In a couple of paragraphs, sum up what you do and where you’ve been seen, leading with the most important information and your finest credentials.

Call out your big wins. Dive into your mission. Mention your years of experience. If you’ve been given an impressive testimonial, mention it here (For example: The New York Times hailed her ‘the Countess of Consciousness.’)

There’s no right or wrong here, but I’ve written my introduction in first person to keep it connective and in line with the tone of my site.

Conversely, your professional bio should be in third person, but we’ll get to that below.

#2: AS FEATURED IN LOGOS

Use Photoshop – or a designer – to whip up a visual representation of where you’ve popped up.

I also have an ‘As Featured In’ graphic in my sidebar which allows you to click through to my Media page when you hover over it (which serves a purpose, as this page isn’t highlighted on my top navigation bar).

#3: FEATURED INTERVIEWS

Been fielding interview q’s like a boss? Share a collection of your favourite interviews, aiming to showcase your expertise on a variety of topics that you’d ideally love to be known for.

#4: PROFESSIONAL BIO

Third person. The essential facts. What you do. How you’re described. What you’ve created. All of this belongs in your professional bio.

In addition, ensure you include: links to your site and your social media profiles, and either your contact details, or a link to your Contact page.

#5: HEADSHOTS

When you’re interviewed, other bloggers/ the media will ask for a headshot – or several – so include a range of quality shots here that they can take their pick from. Different styles work well too (that is, a more ‘official’ looking headshot, fun lifestyle images, different angles).

Ditch the cropped or blurry shots in favour of professional-looking snaps (even if they weren’t actually taken by a pro). Standing against a plain wall or fence, with natural lighting and a tripod is a great option if you’re not yet ready to invest in professional pics.

Also worth including here: images of your products, if relevant.

#6: LOGO 

Along with your headshot and bio, you’ll often be asked to provide your logo when you’re interviewed or spotlighted, so having a high res version available for download on your Media page will make things at least 650 times easier for everyone. Win.

#7: TESTIMONIALS

People saying lovely things about you? Throw a few compliments in here, linking back to your Praise page for the full list.


Extra considerations

I have a few updates planned for my own Media page (yay, evolution) and below are some additional ideas you might like to explore too:

// Video. This can be in the form of a piece-to-camera, a show reel (particularly useful if you’re looking for speaking or presenting gigs), or a mash-up of where you’ve been seen and the purpose, or why, behind your work in the world. Be creative with this one, and if you’re ready to, consider bringing in a pro to take it to the next level.

// Podcast/ audio links. To show your skills across a range of media platforms.

// Press clippings and published articles. Snippets or downloadable PDF’s that feature your quotes, or are written by you.

// A ‘Product’ Section. Short paragraphs on your products, linking through to your sales pages. Be sure to include product images and kind words from others.

// A list of relevant and favoured topics. Are you expert on women’s health? Social media strategy? Yoga? Make a list of topics you love to be interviewed on.


This is a preview from my upcoming blogging ecourse. It’s unlike anything else out there. It’s about blogging from the inside out. Bringing soul to your site. Infusing serious ‘how to blog’ substance with a whole lotta heart. 

Do you have a Media page? Thinking of adding one? Share below.

(and always ever-grateful for your helping in spreading the love. Use the buttons below to give this post wings on Twitter/ F’Book/ Pinterest).


Such Different Eats + Meditative Magic: A Couple of Things Worth Shouting About

such-different-eats-cookbook

Today, it’s all about the love. I’m loading it up. You ready?

Let me share with you a few things that are currently blowing my mind…


Such Different Eats

such-different-eats

I’m so outrageously proud of my gorgeous friend Tara and her rad dude of a husband Glen for their brand spankin,’ mouth-waterin’ new creation Such Different Eats: Radical, Real Food Recipes.

You only have to read the first few pages to feel the magnitude of how much heart and soul has been poured in to this baby.

All 36 recipes are thoughtful. Beautifully presented. Nutritious, delicious. This is REAL FOOD. Wholesome AND exquisite.

To give you a bit of a rundown, I’ve pinched some of the ‘official’ copy about the book, which reads:

“You want to nourish your body, but you want it to taste really.damn.good. at the same time.

You’re a foodie and a wellness passionista, but lately you’ve just felt bored in the kitchen. Uninspired. Like it’s all a bit of a yawnfest.

You see the same old recipes zipping around online. Nothing’s new, nothing’s making your tastebuds swoon, nothing’s setting your kitchen on fire with its straight-up, sensual deliciousness.”

Can I get a hell yes? Bring on the swoon-y tastebuds! Having devoured a handful of these recipes already – straight from the kitchen, made with passion by the man himself – let it be said: this is next level nourishment. And my tastebuds were swooning, long after the fact.

I know what a labour of love the creation process has been behind-the-scenes for this healthy, happy offering, so if you’re feeling called, I want you to know you are in for a real treat.

Get your hands on Such Different Eats.


Guided Chakra Cleanse for Busy People 

belinda-davidson-chakra

Ahh, Belinda Davidson. My incredible mentor. I’m forever recommending her and her meditations to my coaching clients who are looking for peace and a deeper connection with themselves, and the awesome news is, B has just added a shorter Guided Chakra Cleanse for Busy People to her store which I’m really loving.

This medi is the perfect length – enough time to get those chakras humming, and drop deep into my meditation, but also short enough to fit into my day.

Belinda often says ‘Change your energy, change your life’ so if you’re looking for balance, stress relief, and to find your centre and ‘come home’ to you – you might want to give this a go. It rocks.


 Meditones

I teared up when I first heard the Allied Forces meditone created by Tahlee from The Attitude Revolution. Holy WOW. Talk about transformational.

I actually find it hard to describe this soul-soothing, other-wordly meditation track in words because it’s the way it makes you feel that’s where the true gold is at, but to whet your appetite, you can listen to a short Allied Forces preview on her site.

I love listening to this on my iPod as I write, or take it outside with me as I wander on the beach because it transports me… somewhere. (somewhere pretty awesome, I must say!)

One for your Spirit kit. Grab it here. 


And, in other news!

Development for my blogging ecourse is coming along beautifully, and I’ll be able to reveal the name very soon. The launch for earlybird pricing is not far off, so stay tuned, my friend.

I’ll be coming at you with more info in no time – but before then, feel free to let me know if you’ll be joining us for six weeks of blogging brilliance in the comments below, or share what you’re most excited about.

As always, I adore hearing from you. x


Letting It Go

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Yesterday I felt it creep back. That old familiar feeling.

Too much.

Too much to do. Too much squeezed into too little time. Too much, too much, too much.

After the fullness of last year, my intention coming into this one was to feel expansive and aligned, and with that intent came the knowledge, that to feel that way, I’d have to buck up, breath in and let go of some old ways of being. It was time, and I was excited about dismantling things a little – going back to the blueprint and considering whether the architecture I was building around me could support me and my vision moving forward.

Letting it go. What a powerful, beautiful – and sometimes scary – concept.

The complete opposite of letting go, to me, is clinging. Clutching, grabbing, over-doing it. Burrowing myself so deeply ‘in’ that I become convinced that if I just do these five more big things (just them! That’s it!) then I’ll be free. Except, there will always be more. 

I’ve spent plenty of time hanging out in the (dis)comfort zone of crazy in this lifetime, so as 2014 dawned – with all its promise and magic and high vibin,’ let’s do things differently energy – I declared to myself (and anyone who would listen) that I was ready for a more supportive way.

My measure of success this year will be this: how well did I truly LIVE?

At once so pure in its simplicity, and in other ways, an enormous feat, this passionate declaration – to me – means:

Trading friction for freedom.

Replacing desperation with devotion – to my dreams, and what it takes to make them happen. To produce work that makes me proud as punch without having to hurry it along or ‘push’ it out. To stay the course… as long as the course feels right.

It also means that in stressed out moments when I fall out of flow, say yes before pausing, or forget my heart’s desires, I remember that I can always steer myself back home with gratitude. Thank you for the opportunity to deepen my commitment to this goal of mine. 

I want to feel spacious over spreading myself too thin.

I want to feel focused over frazzled.

I want to have the courage to not fill up my white space with more. To sit with not-much-at-all sometimes and know that that is absolutely enough.

Yesterday, when I found myself in a pool of Too Much, it was several deep breaths, a decluttering of my schedule – reshuffling commitments with love (guilt-free!) – and a few timely universal reminders that helped bring me back to centre.

I flipped open my day planner and here’s what I was greeted with:


letting go


Your heart says: I want to do less.

And your head says: Then, you’ll get less. 

Your body says: I want more ease. 

And your head says: You better work harder.

And:

The cosmos doesn’t measure sweat and hours for reward. The cosmos deals in the currencies of joy and satisfaction.

Whoa. I was meant to read that. Thank you Danielle.

I then leant over and pulled all four decks of oracle cards sitting by my altar towards me and took one card from each, craving more of that sweet cosmic comfort that could be delivered in a flash.

Focused intention. 

Be happy now. 

Remember who you are. 

Trust.

Okay Life. I get it. I really do.

+++

Life will continue to hurl lessons our way until we transcend, or make peace with them. Acceptance. Without doubt – there’s always another skin that can be a shed, a limiting belief that can be tucked away in a box marked ‘Old Stuff’ or a deeply-embedded story from long ago that we can dissolve with a spot of active awareness.

Yesterday was a poignant, not-so-gentle reminder for me to do just that. To lift up the lid and peer beneath to see what else I could let go of. And what I found was a misguided belief that if I didn’t keep forging forward – riding the wave of momentum and endlessly working my way towards ‘something’ – then somehow my life wouldn’t be as ‘rewarding’ or ‘exciting’ or ‘meaningful.’

Let me say this right here: I’m SO ready to burn that belief to a crisp and to instead, allow myself to soar (which is actually my word for the year). Because to SOAR means to rise or fly high with ease. Yep. That’s more like it.

Buddha famously said:

“In the end, these things matter most:

How well did you love?

How fully did you live?

How deeply did you let go?”

And while we may not get this letting go thing right every time, when we do, we’re always better for it.


Right here, right now, I propose we LET GO, together. Let’s pull some antiquated stories out of those heavy backpacks we’ve been carrying around, like, forever, and set ’em free for good.

Riddle me this, my gorgeous partner-in-releasing-that-which-no-longer-serves:

What are you ready to let go of?


This post is part of the Let it Go Project: a collection of stories leading up to a beautiful releasing ritual, hosted by Sas Petherick on the 30th of January. Join us and be inspired by the other posts in this project over here.

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Flower image: Petra Bindel


How to Write Your About Me Page

how to write an about me page

A reader has just landed on your blog, devoured your latest post and fallen in love with your content. Curiosity: piqued. They’re hungry for more. They want to dive deeper, to know more about you – the gorgeous creature behind the words. So, what’s the next thing they do?

Yep. They head over to your About Me page.

The About page is the soul of your site. The essence. The warm, welcoming hug that reels your reader in and connects them to your story, and by virtue, to you. It’s where you can reveal your personality and the heart of why you do what you do.

An unforgettable About page has to be more than a biography, or a bulging list of qualifications and your biggest achievements. It has to give your reader an insight into who you are, what you blog about and – importantly – why they should stick around for more.

The big (or not-so-big) secret 

The truth is, your About page is actually more about your reader than it is about you. Your ultimate aim is to answer that all-important question that every reader is asking themselves as they browse through your site (whether they realise it or not):

What’s in it for me?


THE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF 

I’ll preface this by saying that there’s no secret, step-by-step formula for writing the perfect About page, but there are essential elements (which I’ll go into below) that will guide you as you breathe life into your story and your work.

The style, tone, language and design should all be unique to you. What rings true for you and your audience probably won’t be the same as what floats other another bloggers’ boat. Aim for authenticity, always.

Before you start crafting, take some time to ponder these questions:

#1. How do you want people to feel when they read your words?

Like a rocket has been lit underneath them. Soaked in love. Held. Supported. Inspired. Informed. Empowered. Connected. Soothed. Intrigued.

Whip up with a list of your own guiding words before you sit down for the business of writing, and make a point to check back in throughout the process. Does your original intention match what’s unfolding? Have you veered off course?

#2. How can you be different?

In the vast ocean that is the blogosphere, how can you stand out? Where can you inject a little magic that’s yours and yours alone? How can you be innovative and memorable? Incite curiosity? Leave your reader thinking? Perhaps, even, rile them up a little if it’s aligned with your message?

#3. What speaks to YOU? (or: Research Time)

Can you think of an About page that reeled you in from the get go? What was it about the page that resonated with you? The tone? The words? The story? The length? Additional elements (images, video, design?)

Take yourself on a journey of inspiration around the web and find five About pages that leave a lasting imprint on you, and break down exactly why they speak your language.

Dig deeper into what is is that turns you on, and – this is key! – visualise yourself having the same impact on your ‘right people,’ because when you infuse your page with you and come from a place of service and good intent, you will. Words have vibrations.


THE ELEMENTS 

Before we dive in, I want to mention that if you’re looking to deeply connect with your readers – rather than drive a big ol’ wedge between you and them – it’s important your About page is written in first person.

As a friend of mine recently said: “If someone writes in third person, they’ve lost me.” I couldn’t agree more. Instantly. It just doesn’t work in the world of personality-driven blogging. Keep it real. Keep it relatable. Keep it conversational.

Right, that said, let’s get this show on the road. The key elements are…

A big, bold opening statement.

This is how you first hook your readers’ interest.

Consider touching on an emotion or problem that you know affects your audience and that you can help them fix, like: “Are you ready to get rid of overwhelm, once and for all?

Or – proclaim your passion-fuelled purpose to the world: “I’m on a mission to take the fear out of sharing your message.

You could also give a manifesto-style declaration a go: “I believe that wellness starts from within.

Whatever you choose, make it potent. It should powerfully connect with your readers and leave them absolutely certain that they are in the right place.

Who you are and what you do.

When we’re captivated by someone’s words, we naturally want to know more about the voice behind the curtain. This is also your big chance to tell your readers how you can help them. Don’t be afraid to step up, declare your brilliance and own it.

A template to get you started:

I’m {your full name} and I am {your title/ vocation} ___________ [a writer/ blogger/ life coach/ motivational speaker/ jewellery designer]

I work with/ write for {your target market/ ideal client/ ideal reader}  ___________ [overworked corporate goddesses/ budding entrepreneurs/ wild-hearted women]

Helping them {how you serve}  ___________ [reclaim their energy/ build their dream business/ hone their intuition]

You might be thinking: but what if I’m not yet fully where I want to be? (for example, if you’re an aspiring health coach but still knee-deep in a corporate cubicle while you figure out how to move full-time into your dream biz).

My answer? This is your chance to declare your big, bold vision, focusing on how you can serve your readers… now.

If you’re half-way there with starting your health coaching practice, it’s more powerful to say: “As a passionate health coach-in-training, I write for women looking to reclaim their bounce-outta-bed energy through high quality nutrition” than it is to say “I work in an accounting firm but I really want to be a health coach”.

How you got here.

We’re all suckers for stories. We’re wired for them, latching on to narratives and losing ourselves in the unfurling. By divulging the story of how you got to where you are, you create empathy and connection with your readers. You give them an insight into the catalyst for starting your journey, the challenges you met along the way and why it makes you qualified to do what you do.

Consider:

+ The turning point or aha! moment that lead you to where you are

+ What obstacles or conflict you had to overcome to get to that point (real life or internal or emotional – like fear, self-doubt, self-sabotage)

If you’ve had a big career transition (like going from corporate to coach) feel free to bring in your past experience and draw parallels with what you do today.

“In my former life as a media executive, I learnt how to master a message for maximum impact. These days, I put those hard-won skills to use working as a copywriter for wellness visionaries on a mission to change the world.”

Your big why.

Your readers want to know what you stand for. What you believe in. What’s fuelling this giant, love-laden mission of yours. Let ‘em know, loud and proud.

Who your audience is.

Tell them who your people are, who your tribe is. As your readers browse your page, they are subconsciously trying to work out whether they’ve found somewhere they belong. Speak to their needs and desires (especially the ones they didn’t know they had).

This blog is for women who want it all and are absolutely done with settling for less.”

Get up close + personal.

Bare some little known facts about yourself. Share a quirky nugget or two of goodness. Show your readers that you’re not like everyone else out there – you’ve got a distinct personality, a unique perspective and your own special flair. Think random tidbits that give a broader insight into your personality. Things that show who you really are, that your audience might be interested in. Get creative and see where it takes you.


EXTRA CONSIDERATIONS

Photos. Include at least one headshot (preferably at the top of the page) and if you have them available, one or two other shots that show the ‘real you’ or your lifestyle.

Links to popular posts. Introduce your newfound friend to a selection of your greatest hits. “I write about: how to blog, the essentials when you’re starting out, and the secrets to creating a remarkable product.” Then link ‘em up.

A newsletter opt-in. This is the call to action. When someone has just finished reading your (brilliant) About page, give them the opportunity to sign up for your list, then and there, by including an opt-in form.

Street cred. If you don’t have a separate Media page, include a snapshot of where you’ve been featured, whether it’s your favourite interviews, guest posts, or rave reviews of your work. Anything that shows you as an expert in your corner of the blogosphere will help to build social proof and credibility.

Professional bio. If it fits with your vibe and your brand, consider including a professional biography down the bottom of your About page. This part can list those shiny quals and career achievements you’ve collected along the way.

Social media. Link to all the other places they can find you around the web.


SOME OF THE BEST 

When it comes to writing compelling web copy, it helps to see what the pros are doing. Some of my favourite About pages include:

Alexandra FranzenDanielle LaPorte | Kris Carr | Marie Forleo | The Middle Finger Project | Stratejoy

When you’re seeking inspiration, remember that what your readers are truly seeking is to see you on the page, in all your authentic glory. So take pointers, note what you love and what you loathe, get inspired… and then make it your own. Infuse everything with your own vision and your own essence.

Anything less than that and you are doing yourself – and your audience – a disservice.


How did the In Spaces Between About page come… about?

in-spaces-between-about-me


The current version of my About page was part of my site re-launch late last year. For months leading up to the launch, I had been gathering up scraps of sentences and beautiful collisions of words as they came to me, storing them all in an inspiration file (an Evernote notebook).

It was definitely a journey of tweaking, tinkering, adding, subtracting, fine-tuning, fiddling and polishing, until I finally felt like I had successfully got my heart onto the page.

The thing is, I’m still going. I continue to fiddle, tweak and tinker. Your About page is a dynamic creature. Just as you are always growing and changing, it should evolve with you.

It’s a constant work-in-progress. The way it should be.

The biggest thing to remember

Is that there’s no right and wrong when it comes to writing your copy – or in fact, when it comes to building a blog that is all you. There’s no cookie-cutter blueprint to ensure success. All you can do is align with what feels good and right to you, because when it’s authentic and shows your inner light ablaze, your people will love it.

They’ll connect, they’ll join in, and they’ll devour everything you write.


This is a preview from my upcoming blogging ecourse. It’s unlike anything else out there. It’s about blogging from the inside out. Bringing soul to your site. Infusing serious ‘how to blog’ substance with a whole lotta heart. 

I’d love your help in sharing this post around (tweet it! Facebook it! Pin it!) using the buttons below (thank you ever-so-much) and also:

Let’s hear it from you. Did you struggle with writing your About page? Do you have a favourite page you want to share? Let’s get chatty in the comments.