Inspiration

Friday Inspiration: Diamond is Just a Piece of Charcoal

April 17, 2015
diamond quote

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” – Unknown

I’m wrapping up an exceptionally challenging week. Each year a client I contract for hosts a huge sales meeting for our 200+ representatives. This is the third year I’ve attended the events. While the meetings are fun, the week typically requires 80+ hours of work, plus constant socializing, which exhausts my introverted self.

What I keep in mind, though, is that everyone has stress. I could complain about how hard my week was, or be thankful for the opportunity and learn from the hard work.

Blogging, Social Media

3 Quick Tips to Keep Readers Engaged With Your Brand

April 15, 2015
keep readers engaged

Once you’ve gotten readers to your blog, you want to keep them engaged. You want them to start clicking around and interacting with you and your content, getting to know you, and getting as much value as possible in each visit.

This list is short and sweet so you can start employing these right away without getting overwhelmed.

1. Link to your other posts in your blog post.
There are three ways you can do this effectively.

  1. Use keywords within your post to link to related blog posts.
  2. Manually add your own in a list at the end of your blog post.
  3. Install a plug-in to do the work for you. I’ve used Yet Another Related Post Plugin, but there are many options out there.

Continue Reading…

Health + Wellness

15 Benefits of Massage Therapy (+ Why Every Entrepreneur Should Get Massages)

April 13, 2015
15 benefits of massage

Growing up, I only heard massages spoken of as luxury services and sometimes even frowned upon as frivolous. I remember for my 20th birthday I decided to treat myself to a massage and facial and thought that was a huge deal.

Over the past few years I’ve been experiencing increased general muscle tension, high levels of stress, and some repetitive stress injuries from working on the computer. Massage therapy has been the only thing that has made a real difference so far, so I’m definitely a firm believer now. I try to go at least once a month. I still haven’t gotten to a maintenance point yet (each therapist shrieks and tells me how bad the knots are….ugh!) but eventually I will.

So today I feel obligated to share the benefits of massage therapy. As entrepreneurs, we deal with high levels of stress from the roller-coaster nature of our trade to the long hours we sit hunched at a computer. If you’re like me, you’ll finally look up from your laptop and realize it’s 9pm and you haven’t eaten and may not even know what day it is. But I digress…

Self-care is absolutely vital to living a healthy life, let alone running a successful business.

If you want to learn more about what massage therapy is and the different types, click here.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

  • Increases blood flow
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves posture
  • Improves circulation
  • Promotes deeper and easier breathing
  • Improves flexibility and range of motion
  • Relieves headaches
  • Strengthens the immune system by increasing white blood cells
  • Reduces pain and inflammation
  • Increases alertness
  • Reduce symptoms associated with PMS such as bloating and mood swings
  • Improves sleep by affecting delta waves in the brain (those connected with deep sleep)
  • Helps to manage depression and anxiety by lowering the stress hormone cortisol and increasing serotonin and dopamine
  • Relieve symptoms associated with cancer treatment

Benefits pulled from Massage Envy and Huffington Post.

Now let’s look at some stats:

Benefits of Massage
86% of people agree that massage can effectively reduce pain? That’s extremely impressive, and I can attest to it being true!
I also agree that massage therapy should be covered by insurance, just like chiropractic care and physical therapy. Sometimes you can get around it if your physical therapist or chiropractor has a masseuse in-office, but I’d really like to see all massage therapy covered.

Why it’s Worth the Cost

With an increased immune system and increased relaxation, you are likely to have lower medical bills and take less sick days from work. You may even be able to use those sick days for self-care or vacation days to further increase the benefits.

Some insurance companies cover massage therapy, so be sure to check with your insurance. If you’re having medical issues that you believe could benefit from massage, speak with your doctor. If you can’t get it covered by insurance, it’s still highly worth it!

If you’re new to massage therapy, I recommend searching on Groupon or a similar site for local deals.

Do you get regular massages? What’s your #1 reason for going?


SEO

SEO Basics: How to Use + Research Keywords

April 8, 2015
seo keywords

By popular demand, I’m breaking down the basics of search engine optimization in this series called SEO Basics. If you have any topics you’d like me to cover or any questions, let me know in the comments!

What is a keyword or keyword phrase?
  • Keywords are the words or phrases that describe your site.
  • They are what people might type into a search engine to pull up your website or blog post.
  • A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that is really specific, detailed, long, etc.
Where Your Keywords are Displayed Continue Reading…
Resources

Sunday Link Love: Blog + Business-Heavy Resources {April v1}

April 5, 2015
Sunday Link Love: Health, Nutrition + Blogging
Health, Fitness + Lifestyle

The Dirtiest Things You Touch Everyday
Just a heads up!

What Happens to Your Body When You Sit All Day

39 Insanely Stupid Things You Should Probably Stop Doing <—Love this!

So, Does Compression Gear Really Work?

Beating Fear as a Young Professional

I Refuse to Work Out, but I Do These 4 Things Instead

The Case for Replacing Exercise with Play

Why Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Matters

The Difference Between True Love and Love Addiction

Continue Reading…
Inspiration

Friday Inspiration: Freedom Comes When You Take Nothing Personally

April 3, 2015
take nothing personally quote image

“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” -Don Miguel Ruiz

This is something I’ve been working on over the past few years. It’s important to keep in mind that people are seeing the world and your actions through their own lens.

If you apply mindfulness, you’ll understand that people can feel an emotion without being that emotion. You can feel anger without being an angry person.

Blogging

It’s Not Perfect. Launch Anyway.

April 1, 2015
not perfect

I’ve been haunted by perfectionism my whole life. I tend to be very hard on myself for making mistakes or not getting the results I’ve envisioned. Starting my own business brought this to light even more, but also helped me overcome it (to some degree). I’ve made so many mistakes since starting my blog, alone.

A Few Mistakes I’ve Made Since Launching My Blog:

  • Just last week I forgot to change the subject line in my email newsletter, so it ended up going out with the same subject as the week before. (Sorry, guys, I’m sure that was confusing! My open rate was still 34%…this is why I love my readers.)
  • In fact, I’m not that great with emails in general. That little description at the top of the email in MailChimp? My enemy. (Sorry, Danielle!)
  • I almost always edit a blog post after it’s already gone live.
  • I had image examples for this blog post that I’ve been saving for awhile…but now I can’t find them.
  • I constantly forget to share things to my Facebook business page.
  • I’ve shared things to the wrong Facebook business page! (ugh!)
  • I’ve spent money on WP themes I’ve never used.
  • I had two websites when I launched. I’ve been doing this long enough to know better. Oh well.
  • My SEO plugin was messed up for an ENTIRE YEAR. I specialize in SEO.

But you know what? Nothing bad happened. I survived. If anything, I’ve learned from all these little mistakes and have learned to move on quickly. I don’t have time to worry about it because I’m already moving on to the next thing (client work, blog post, ebook, redesign, etc, etc.) Continue Reading…