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.

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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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).

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?


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.


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.


+ 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.


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.


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?


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. 

A Handful of Thoughts On Writing


Life has themes and seasons and writing has shown up as one of mine at the moment. Everywhere I turn, I hear about the writing process of online women I adore. I checked the mail yesterday and discovered a beautiful deck of Spark cards, designed to inspire creative thought for writers. When I pull an oracle card from my Life Purpose deck I get either ‘Author’ or ‘Writing.’ Sometimes I select one and the other falls out, when the angels are being particularly hilarious.

I’m feeling a pull to write more. To keep honing, learning, opening myself up. To explore, often, through the written word. And I know lots of you are too.

Quick insights on how I write:

1 // I’ll dive further into my creative process in a future post (promise), but the snappy version here is that for years I employed the Edit As I Go method, which occasionally worked well for me but more often than not, resulted in me taking twice as long to get a piece of work together because I’d be stuck on that damn first paragraph – always backtracking, polishing, cutting and pasting, controlling the flow of the story.

2 // These days, I’ve befriended what Anne Lamott calls the Shitty First Draft, and I’m learning to tame my desire to ‘polish up’ in favour of ‘letting ideas flow uncensored.’ It’s not completely structure-less writing because I always know the gist of what I intend to write about, but it is about letting my creative essence grab the reins and seeing where I end up. Then editing. I gotta say, it’s infinitely more fun.

So, are you hankering to express yourself creatively? Great news, because I have a handful of thoughts on the topic. Read on, sista… 


Know you have a story to tell. You are living that story right now. 

Creation is vulnerable, and sometimes your heart will ache. If it does, let the words heal you. I want you to know that in the telling of your story – or should I say, stories, because every day we’re living them – you will be set free.

When it comes to your writing, it’s yours first and foremost, and ultimately it is up to you how deep/ light/ funny/ educational/ controversial/ poetic you go. Take comfort in that (aaaand… exhale) but also – here it comes – it would be remiss of me not to share that time and time again I hear, whether from clients or fellow online creators, that it’s the vulnerable stuff that garners the greatest connection. People want to feel like they’re not alone, and if you can be the lighthouse AND be open about the way you ‘do’ life, your audience will thank you for it.

Remember: we may not recall what someone said, but we always remember how they made us feel. 


Set an intention. 

Following on from the above, if you’re a blogger writing a blog post, think about how you want your readers to feel after reading it.

Write it at the top of the page: “I want people to feel joyful!” “I want this article to make them cry – in a good way.” “I want my tribe to walk away feeling informed about X.”

When you read it back from start to finish, does it do that for you? 


Write, not right. It doesn’t have to be perfect. 

I’ve started doing Morning Pages (a la The Artist’s Way) regularly, which involves pouring three pages of unedited, raw, messy, un-pruned thoughts into my journal every morning before I start work.

Some of these pages end up bearing nuggets I can use for blog posts, which is fantastic and frankly, appreciated, while others simply make sense of something I’ve been mulling over. Also appreciated. The rest of them, though? Pure fluff ‘n’ randomness. It doesn’t really matter which version they are, but the showing up, putting pen to paper and committing to the process does. Flexing the ol’ ‘write daily’ muscle is addictive.

Are you ready, right here and now, to take a vow that you’ll silence your inner critic, create with wild abandon, and then, only then, once you’ve got the ugly, disjointed, Year 1 English out on the page… get to the editing? Is that a HELL YES I hear? (whatever your answer, know that I’m just hearing yes right now). 


Meditate on it. 

Clapped out creatively? Too overwhelmed to string a few words together and call it a sentence? Time to get still and wade into the beautiful, colourful, spirit-filled world of YOU.

The grand thing about meditation is that it allows you to tap directly into your soul power, especially in times of uncertainty and muck, so make it your mission to clear the decks and make space for new insights and ideas to bubble up. Ideas aren’t ‘out there.’ Go in.


Edit, with glee. 

My favourite way to write a blog post is to shitty first draft it and polish just a little, leave it overnight, and come back the next day for the final cut, wax and shine.

Following that process* always makes me feel excited and competent, whereas rushing through and jerkily hitting Publish without so much as a proper proofread, leaves me feeling like the idea hasn’t had time to really percolate.

Hemingway said “Write drunk, edit sober.” I say “write recklessly, edit ruthlessly.” Preferably the next day.

* Update: Reading your lovely comments, I realised I wasn’t entirely clear here. SO with you on the punch-out-and-publish method – that’s me 90% of the time. But man does I feel virtuous the other 10% when I let a post marinate! 


Read outside your niche. 

Or preferred genre/ style. If you’re a self-help book devotee (two hands in the air), bury your nose in a good fiction novel every once in a while and take note of the way the story is crafted.

What is it about the way the author writes that made you forget you were reading?


And above all, don’t wait for the perfect conditions to start. Because, even if no one sees it, even if no one reads it, even if no one comments, retweets, likes/ shares/ shouts your brilliance from the rooftops, isn’t the most powerful fact that through the act of actually ‘doing the writing’ you have no choice but develop a deeper intimacy with yourself?


I love hearing about how others approach their writing/ blogging, so tell me, how do YOU do it? Share below.

Problogger Event 2012: The Full Wrap Up (Pt 2)

Welcome to the second and final installment of my Problogger Event Wrap Up. I sat in on other sessions but didn’t take notes for all of them – and a lot of what was discussed will be covered in my blog series over the coming month. Feel free to fire away with any questions in the comments.

Click here to check out Part 1 of my recap and read on below for (even more) advice from the trenches…

Sarah presented twice, covering the topics The Media and Blogging and The Ten Simple Things That Turned Me Into a Full-Time(ish) Blogger (final keynote of the event), and even then I was left wanting more. Besides being gorgeous and a lovely person to boot, Sarah is seriously a font of knowledge – and the best part? She’s more than willing to share.

Highlights and words of wisdom below:

On blogging… 


1//  When she started out, Sarah knew she wasn’t a ‘white coat expert’ but that she was a conduit – a guinea pig experimenting and telling her own story, which helped her define her voice.

2 // Kerry Packer used to say “Don’t ask for permission, just know how to beg for forgiveness.” Be a maverick, try everything, make mistakes. You have to wade in and get dirty. Enter the fray.

3 // Sarah works with a “grubiness radar”- if what she’s doing starts to feel grubby, she stops doing it. She took comments off her blog and after a week, realised they were an important part of the site and her goal of connecting with humanity so they went back on. Don’t be afraid to change your mind.

4 // People can smell when you’re being inauthentic. Be cautious of when you’re starting to smell and ask yourself: “Am I cringing?”

{How Sarah makes her money – which is now around three times what she earned in traditional media}

5 // Map out all articles – beginning, middle and end – to ensure your article is structured and your message is clear. Try doing this the old fashioned way – pen to paper.

6 // Writer’s block? Follow the advice Sarah used to give her Cosmo staff who were struggling with a story: “Go to the pub.” She’d asked them to pretend they were at the pub with their best friend and to then explain what they were writing (which inevitably, would help them become “unstuck”).

7 // Whittle down to the minutiae when you’re telling a story. EG: Instead of saying “eat healthier food” say “eat scrambled eggs with turmeric.” Don’t be scared of the minutiae – go smaller and smaller and smaller.

8 // Work backwards. When Sarah was pulling together her I Quit Sugar eBook, she identified people she wanted to interview that already had established audiences and could help spread the word (Gwyneth Paltrow et al).

9 // Create your own boundaries. Sarah has a morning routine, checks emails twice day and steps “in and out” – sometimes she’s online more frequently and others she has to pull back and shut out the noise.

On design and essential blog components…


About page: add social proof by means of “As Seen In” media clippings. Ensure you’re making eye contact in your headshots and you have an up to date bio (or speakers spiel if you’re looking for speaking gigs) that media can easily grab from your site.

eBook design: tips from Sarah’s days as Cosmo editor – place important info in the top right and use odd numbers because from her experience, people like odd numbers (EG: 7 Reasons to Eat More Greens.)

Ensure the cover is beautifully designed with striking colours. Invest in photography.

On pitching to the media… 


1 // Keep it short and sweet and place all information in the body of the email (no attachments).

2 // Go to the junior rather than the editor or executive producer. Let them bring your idea to the table for you.

3 // Look at what’s going on in the news and tie your product/ service in. Read mUmBRELLA, tune in to Media Watch.

4 // When you’re interviewed (especially on TV) always keep it to three salient points/ sound bites. Stay on message.

5 // The lead up to Xmas and over the break is generally a quieter time of year for newspapers and journo’s are looking for content. Help them out, which in turn, helps you.

It was a privilege to hear from international keynote and $100 Startup author, Chris Guillebeau, who also took the stage a few times presenting on Making Money & Changing the World Through Blogging and How to Turn Visitors Into Raving Fans with event mastermind, Darren Rowse.

Insights as follows:

On engagement…


Why are engaged readers are so important? Because engaged readers are more likely to:

+ Get something out of your blog.

+ Make your site more useful for everyone.

+ Help you promote your site and grow faster.

+ Visit repeatedly and view multiple pages per session.

+ Are more likely to contribute content.

+ Are attractive to advertisers wanting to work with you.

+ Are attractive to potential buyers of your site.

+ Are more likely to convert with genuine affiliate promotions.

On acknowledging readers and building loyalty… 


Chris sent an email back to the first 10,000 people that subscribed to his list (over the first 1.5 years) to thank them personally for joining his tribe. He said most were surprised to hear from him and often asked if the email was an auto-responder. This one-on-one connection made him mindful of who he was speaking to.

Darren also relayed a story about sending a quick personal email to first time commenters to his blog, saying that one of the readers he emailed became his most prolific commenter over many years. When Darren first started blogging, he used to do free workshops in the local library and some of those people are still engaged with his blogs.

Side note: I’ll tell you why I love Chris – he’s one of those people that genuinely gives you his full attention when you meet. You know people that look you straight in the eye and when you shake hands, will put their other hand on top to create a sense of familiarity? He does that.

He also remembers your name (amazing, considering there were 300 people at that conference) and it’s very clear that he’s not in this for the numbers or the dollars – it’s all about the people and banding together to make significant change in the world. Respect.

 Other snippets… 


1 // Chris tries to always maintain a 50% balance between creating and connecting.

2 // Darren to Chris: Has building a big tribe been serendipitous? “In a way, yes, but there’s always been a solid commitment to working hard, so really, it’s a combination of both.” Moral of the story: very rarely do things just “land in your lap.”

Apart from being an excellent (and energetic) presenter, James Tuckerman from Anthill magazine totally knows his stuff. Key takeaways from his talk Lubricate Your Mind were to ensure your work is:

1 // Measureable: Don’t do anything online that can’t be measured.

2 // Findable: explore SEO so your work can be found.

3 // Shareable: Social channels let your readers share your message for you so it’s important to make everything you do shareable. Essentially, it’s about how you empower your target market to do your marketing for you (amplification).

3 // Manageable: what do you have set up to make life easier? This includes email responders, passive income coming in through eBook sales and so on.

James also asked “Why are Masterchef stars rich and famous?” Because they share their recipes for free, and because we know the quality, we want to buy their cookbooks and dine at their restaurants. Food for thought (zing!)

Top tip: Own the eyeballs. Rent the attention of your audience. The money’s in the database.


So there you have it, I hope you got as much out of these notes as I did. In case you missed it up top, you can click here for my first Problogger Event 2012 recap.

Over to you: I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments (and if you can, please share the love using the buttons below).

Problogger Event 2012: The Full Wrap Up (Pt 1)

I’m back after two info-packed days at the Problogger Event in Melbourne!

Like last year (2011 event recaps here and here), I’ve come home with my head spinning and full of ideas that I can’t wait to implement over the coming months.

The event was brilliant. On the networking front (although I prefer “connecting” or, let’s face it, chatting up a storm) I had a ball catching up with the women I met last year, as well as meeting some of my beautiful readers in person – and let’s not forget the B-School babes. There were fabulous ladies at every turn.


Big shout outs to: 

Steph (Lipstick & Cake); Christina (Hair Romance); Serena (Pretty Fluffy); Cara (Ultra Inspired); Celeste (As Seen In); Rose (Stylisa Mama); Chantelle (Fat Mum Slim); Kesh (The Bold and the Blunt); Denise (Denise Duffield-Thomas); Kylie (The Tall Poppy Project); Victoria (FB Ad Queen); Melissa (Soul Wellness); Kerry (Awaken Kinesiology); Lesh (The Mindful Foodie) and I’m sure I’m forgetting plenty of others, so hi hi hi to you too!

Other highlights of the weekend were having a good ol’ chat to Sarah Wilson at the post-event drinks on Friday night (yes, she is beyond amazing) and Chris Guillebeau, who has to be one of the nicest and most humble souls on the planet.

Both Sarah and Chris are huge inspirations to me for the way they show up in the world and it was a joy to be in their presence. When it comes to following your passion and living life on your own terms, these two have got it nailed.

{Clearly loving the Smilebooth}

And now to the recap. I’ll post my conference wrap up over a few different posts so your brain doesn’t explode with all the blogging info I’ll be serving up over the next few weeks (including my ‘build a blog’ series, that is).

Let’s launch in with a summary of two of the sessions from Day 1, shall we?

The first session was an introductory keynote from Mr Problogger himself, Darren Rowse. He eloquently made the point that we all start out small (and that small can be bigger than you think) and that growth comes as a result of taking consistent action.

Look for sparks.


When you’re thinking about ways to grow and monetise your blog, train yourself to look for sparks of energy that you can turn into something incredible.

+ Think about what it is that gives you energy – what posts flow easily, what topics do you love writing about?

+ What are your readers gathering around? Align what you’re excited about with what your readers are excited about and already responding positively to.

+ What are potential collaborators responding to?

+ Where is momentum growing? Darren identified iPhone photography was on the rise, so he created an instructional eBook to meet the need for information on the topic. Easy win.

Be active. 


Do you take daily action to monetise your blog? Consistent small actions have a big impact, so ask yourself What action will I take today that will grow my blog?

Darren issued a 15 Minutes a Day Challenge, which is as simple as adding 15 minutes every day to your workflow to focus on the activities that will make you money including:

1 // Writing an eBook or book

2 // Contacting potential advertisers

3 // Writing affiliate reviews

4 // Creating videos for a course

5 // Developing a media kit

6 // Building a coaching service

7 // Organising an event

8 // Evaluating what other blogs in your niche are doing to monetise their blogs

* 15 minutes a day helped Darren create a book that has now earned him $250,000. 

Nikki Parkinson, Styling You (pic source); Eden Riley, Edenland; Lorraine Murphy, The Remarkables Group (blog agency); Mrs Woog, Woogsworld

Next up was a panel discussion with the wonderful women above, who shared their experiences working with brands, and in Lorraine’s case, being the facilitator of the blogger-brand relationship.

If you’re looking to explore sponsored posts, giveaways and everything in between, it’s important to get your head around the below:

Ensure you’re tracking your stats. 


Brands will want information on the traffic coming to your website, so ensure you have Google Analytics installed and you’re tracking two key stats: Unique Visitors and Page Views.

Lorraine mentioned that brands are also interested in the return visitor percentage (to show how loyal your readers are) and that when she’s working with a blogger, she’ll take the average of their last three months of traffic because one month may be an inaccurate representation of real traffic to the site (EG: if a blog is linked to by a big blog the traffic may spike that month).

Know the difference between PR and marketing. 


PR: The aim of PR is to garner free editorial coverage for a brand or organisation. Most PR’s do not have (much of) a budget for sponsored posts.

Marketing: Large brands will generally have an allocated budget for marketing, which can include paying bloggers to promote a product. Bloggers with reasonable traffic (5000 uniques a month is a good start) can be paid on a scale ranging from $100 – $200 (for a sponsored post or email newsletter inclusion, for example) through to $15,000 for a print advertising campaign.

Get your blog noticed. 


Start a conversation with brands and PR’s on Twitter and Facebook. A good shortcut is to approach brands that are already working with bloggers as they’ll generally be more receptive. Ensure you love/ can relate to the product/ brand to keep the whole process authentic.

Attend events hosted by brands.

Monitor Source Bottle, an online site that connects journalists with credible sources for their stories. Coverage in mainstream media does get you noticed.

Enter blog competitions/ awards, which are judged on your writing.

Pitch your blog.


Approach a pitch as you would a job application (tailor the message and keep it professional).

Attach your media kit to a short and sweet emailing telling the brand manager who you are, what your blog is about and what you’re looking for.

Create a media kit. 


1 // Keep your kit to three pages with the most important information presented clearly, including all contact details and your bio.

2 // Get your point of difference across on the front page.

3 // Current stats (and don’t be misleading!) including blog traffic, Twitter/ Facebook numbers (including “talking about” number), Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube (if applicable, as well as any other social networks).

4 // Include details on you reader demographic, which can be derived from Facebook Insights and reader surveys.

5 // Include prices for sponsored posts and any banner advertising you might offer.

6 // Include ways that brands can be involved in giveaways and other editorial (free) opportunities.

The last session I’ll be recapping in this post was presented by Nicole Avery from Planning with Kids and covered the how-to’s for making money through sponsored posts.

What are sponsored posts?


A post published on a blog for which the blogger has received money from a company/ brand.

Sponsored post: a product/ experience is given to a blogger, who then writes about the product/ experience tying in key messaging and that blogger is then paid for doing so. It’s important to disclose that the post has been sponsored by including a line such as “This is a sponsored post” and linking off to your disclosure policy.

Review: a product/ experience is given to a blogger, who then writes about the product/ experience, without payment.

What you’ll need to run sponsored posts.


1 // An advertising/ Work With Me page (examples here and here).

2 // Professional and up to date media kit.

3 // A disclosure policy. If you’re stuck on what to include, generate a policy here at disclosurepolicy.org.

4 // An ABN/ invoice system/ way to be paid.

Blogger agencies and setting your rates.


Nuffnang – starting rate for sponsored posts is $110.

The Remarkables Group – starting rate for sponsored posts is $1500 (less agency fee of 30%).

Digital Parents Collective – starting rate for sponsored posts is $150 (less agency fee).

Rocketman Media – starting rate for sponsored posts is $100.

Social Call Out – based on what the brand is offering.

When it comes to setting your rates, the following need to be considered:

1 // Unique visitors to your site.

2 // Australian traffic percentage.

3 // Reader engagement.

4 // Blog and brand reputation.

5 // Social media reach (number of fans/ followers).

Converting PR pitches to sponsored posts.


Hands up if you receive a slew of emails from PR’s looking for you to write about the brand they’re promoting? Yep. If you’re looking to take things a step further and have the traffic to back up a request to be paid for the promotion, Nicole suggests creating a standard template email that goes something like this:

Hi xxx

Thank you for your email regarding a product review on {your blog}. Due to the sheer volume of requests I now receive to do product reviews, I am no longer taking items for review, with the exception of items from sponsors for sponsored posts. I have attached my media kit with rates for your consideration. 

King regards

{your name} 

Reporting back.


Track the performance of your posts through things like: click through rates, reader reactions on social media (take screen captures) and total visitors to the post.

So there you go, lots of information to take in there! As always, I encourage you to leave any questions you might have in the comments below and (pretty please) spread the love using the ‘Share’ and ‘Tweet’ buttons below. Thank you so much!

Image: Society 6 

Building a Blog You Love: Start With Heart

I’ve been blogging since June 2011 and along the way, and through my full-time job in PR/ digital communications, I’ve learnt plenty. This series is about sharing everything I know.

Born out of requests from you guys, over the next month I’ll be posting on what’s worked for me along with a collection of wise words from an incredible group of guest interviewees who’ll discuss design essentials, working with brands and PR’s, creating and launching a product, mastering Instagram and more. I’ll also share the key takeaways from the Problogger event in Melbourne next week.

I’m so pumped to show you how to build a blog you truly love, so before we start – are you ready for an onslaught of blogging how-to’s? Yes? Ok, let’s do this!

In Spaces Between is the manifestation of two simple desires:

1 // To be creatively fulfilled. I needed a outlet separate to my full-time job and the blogging platform allowed me to carve out that sacred space beautifully.

2 // To connect and be of service. I wanted to start a conversation, share useful resources, join the dots with like-minded souls and spread the message that living from a place of empowerment and creating a magnificent life is something available to us all.

A third, more hopeful reason for starting this blog was that eventually it would become the backbone of a future business – probably not the primary money spinner, but an essential piece of the pie.

One look at my sidebar will show you that over the past year I’ve approached blogging from a broad perspective, covering a range of topics that interest me rather than a super tight, super defined niche. I chose this path originally because, to be perfectly honest, I’m a multi-passionate creature and I saw blogging as a freaking excellent opportunity to express all sides of my personality – the creative side, my inner personal development-lovin’ word-nerd, the parts of me that love styling and decorating, the health lover and for a while there, my journey as a bride-to-be (more on this approach in later posts).

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I just knew I wanted to start. And so I did.

A nostalgic wander through my Google Analytics shows that back in June 2011, there were 1925 visits to In Spaces Between (755 unique visitors) and by the second month that had more than doubled to 4650 visits (1905 uniques).

I’m not entirely sure where the traffic came from in the first instance – I suspect friends telling their friends and the word spreading that way – but from the outset there were definitely three essential elements in play: (1) A helluva lot of passion (or should that be obsession?) (2) an optimistic view that my blog would reach the right people at the right time and (3) a commitment to being authentically me.

I certainly haven’t followed traditional blogging advice to the letter but if I had to sum up everything that’s worked for me in short form, those key principles would be it. While the first post was the hardest one to write (you know it!) since then, I’ve posted 337 times… and counting. Blogging has, quite literally, changed my life.

There’s one question I’ve always asked myself when it comes to writing here and I’ll continue to do so as the site evolves. It’s profound in its simplicity.

How can I be useful? 

I’m hugely passionate about you guys and the desire to be generous, add value and make your lives better! brighter! happier! has always underpinned everything I do on In Spaces Between. The spin off has been that you can’t impart wisdom without learning something new yourself (or about yourself), and I think my favourite thing about this blog is that we’re all progressively growing, moving forward and embracing change together.

So with the ‘Why I blog’ bits covered, let’s dive headfirst into the foundations of building a blog that makes your heart sing, shall we?

3 quick questions to discover if blogging right for you:

1. Do you like to write – or alternatively, communicate your message through visuals or by speaking on camera?

2. Are you disciplined and self-motivated?

3. Are you willing to put yourself and your work “out there?”

If you answered yes, we’re golden. Let me just quickly interrupt programming here to say that – in case you’re feeling doubtful – there’s more than enough space in the blogosphere for you and your soulful wisdom. There’s a tribe waiting out there, just for you.

I truly believe the world is a better place when we’re out there unleashing our passions, so if you’re on the precipice and looking for a nudge in the right direction to go out and shine your light, this is it!

Take a look at the blogs you read. 

+ What sort of content are you drawn to?

+ If you’re reading several blogs covering similar areas of interest, which one do you seem to visit first, and why?

+ Is it the design? The author’s writing style, or swagger, or they way they throw together a vintage outfit like nobody’s business? Is there a weekly feature you always hang out for? The fact the blogger also happens to be an amazing photographer? Are you stoked that they update often, or love that they don’t update too much?

Just like there’s a reason you bought the books on your bookshelf and the songs on your iPod,  there’s a reason you continue to go back and read the blogs you do. Trawl through your Google Reader, grab and pen and a notepad and start scribbling. Bookmark inspiration a-plenty. Get to the bottom of what makes these blogs ‘sticky’ for you and let that guide you as you come up with a topic/ topics of your own.

+ What are your short and long term goals with blogging?

+ Who’s your “ideal reader” (or customer if you plan on selling products or services?) Can you describe the type of person you plan on writing for/ selling to in detail?

+ What image do you want to portray?

+ How do you want people to feel after they leave your site?

+ Who will you align yourself with? (list the top bloggers in your category and start thinking about how you can make contact in completely un-douchey, genuine way)

Your answers to these questions will no doubt change as your blog grows and changes form, but knowing why you’re blogging and who you’re blogging for is insanely useful – especially when it comes to dealing with brands down the track and evaluating whether a product is the correct fit for your audience.

The final step in the pre-planning process is deciding how to hone and own YOUR unique perspective.

Cast your eyes back to the first point and consider:

+ What can you add to the conversation that your counterparts may have missed?

+ What do you “know some things about” that you’d be willing to share?

+ Instead of following the standard formula, how can you buck the trend, ever-so-slightly or completely, and infuse your blog with ‘you’ – your experience, opinions, personal taste, mad skills?

A personal example: 

I’ve always enjoyed link roundup posts on other blogs because I’m an information sponge and love the expansive feeling of discovering something new.

In my experience, most link roundups seem to be done the same way – a numbered list with a short description and a link through to the article. It’s a tried and true format but because I love a good visual, it wasn’t The Perfect Format for me so when I was developing my plan for In Spaces Between I knew that, yes, there would be a regular feature pimping out cool cats, but I wanted to present it in a way I wished it was done elsewhere (also known as “identifying an unfulfilled need.”)

The decision was that not only would I link to five blogs I was digging each week – the whole blog, not an individual post, although I do that underneath as well – but I’d include a screen capture so readers could get an idea straight away of the look and feel of the sites I was recommending.

I hadn’t seen link roundups done like that anywhere else, so analysing what was been done by other bloggers and then presenting it a little differently on my own blog was my way of adding a new dimension to an existing formula.

Question: How can you do the same on your site?

I’m going to be honest with you: the techy, back-end stuff is not really my area of expertise (or interest). I know enough to get by so I’ll provide you with an overview on setting up a WordPress blog here but I suggest you do some research for a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to setting up your site if you choose to do it yourself.

If you’re like me and go down the path of setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog and want to keep things as stress-free as possible, I can’t speak highly enough about paying a developer to do the full setup for you.


You can set up a free blog with Blogger or WordPress.com in no time or go straight to a self-hosted WordPress (wordpress.org) blog (my recommendation), which will allow you more flexibility and more freedom to customise as you please.

Choosing a platform definitely requires further reading so check out thisthis and this.


Decide what you’re going to call your blog and check the availability/ register it on a site like Crazy Domains or Go Daddy. For more, Amy Andrews has some great advice on choosing a domain name.


Blue Host are a reputable hosting company but when I was hosted with them I had quite a few problems with my site loading slowly or not at all (I assume because they’re based in the U.S) so I changed to a local host 123host earlier this year and haven’t had a problem since (they also sell domains). Do some research to find the best option for you depending on where you’re based and what the plan looks like. An important step! 


Download WordPress and install the software yourself using this easy guide or have a web developer do it for you.

* This is also the part where you can install your theme (the way your blog looks). Blog Milk sell stunning themes, as do Theme Forest


Once you start getting traffic to your site, you’ll want to know where it’s coming from, how often people and checking in and what content they’re digging, and Google Analytics will deliver all that valuable information in spades. The ‘Real Time’ feature is pretty sweet too. Follow the steps to set your account up here.


This one is a definitely case of “do as I say, not as I do” because I only set up my mailing list a month ago! While it might seem like just another thing you have to worry about at the start (I know that was the reason for me) building your list is super important if you want to eventually create a business from your blog. Mail Chimp – who I use – are free up to 2000 subscribers or you can set up a paid account with Aweber.

* Note: I had my newsletter template professionally designed and my designer tells me Mail Chimp offers greater flexibility when it comes to templates.  


If you haven’t already, jump on board with Twitter, set up a Facebook fan page (this is different to your personal profile), create a Pinterest account and if it’s of interest, hop on Instagram. I don’t personally use Google + but by all means, set yourself up there as well if you think you’ll use it.

I’m all about doing more with less and given Facebook is the number one referrer of traffic to my blog, it’s where I spend most of my time “socialising,” followed closely by Twitter.

So there you have it – the nuts and bolts of planning and setting up a brand spankin’ new blog. This is just the beginning and in the next week I’ll be sharing oodles of tips on design and the essential functionalities for a successful blog.

I’d love to hear from you so if you have any questions about today’s post or future topics, please leave ’em below!

PS: If you found this post useful, use the buttons below to share or tweet it out. Huge thanks for your support! 

Images: A Merry Mishap via Design Love Fest | Cygne NoirTrendenser