There is a certain safety in doing things myself. Asking for help is hard. I don’t like to inconvenience anyone, and perhaps more accurately, I don’t want to look stupid. Asking for help also means I have to really open up and let someone see inside my head. If someone is helping me create something that communicates what I am feeling, that person needs to actually understand what it is I am feeling! So simple, right? Yeah…right.
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“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
I could say that 5,672 times and it wouldn’t be enough! So many people have given me guidance, advice, support, technical help, professional help, and encouragement over the past several months. This is my public “Thank you!” for the personal help, and also a shout-out to some of the people and resources that I found to be the most helpful.
Website architect and co-owner of Designs by Sandbox, Meg considers herself “a ‘communication facilitator’ who works with clients to develop a manageable website that accurately reflects their intent.” I consider her my friend — and my technical guru! She is an expert at website design and her company specializes in creating the design elements a business needs to create their brand identity. Though she didn’t design my site (I used a theme from Restored 316), she did help me customize it, teaching me so much about how things work on the technical side of the blog. More than that, she talked me through so much of the muck inside my own brain and helped me to articulate my goals. I love that she does not hesitate to say, “Oh, no, don’t do that!” or “Yes, that is a good idea.” I also love that she is still helping me figure out a few things that aren’t quite the way we want them. She’s not asking me to promote her business (she doesn’t even know I’m writing this – hope it’s okay, Meg! 😉 ), but if your organization is looking for someone who knows how to create tools to express your brand to the world, take a look at Designs by Sandbox!
The first thing you see when you look at my new home page is a new logo and a new picture. Well, okay, it’s not just a “new” logo, it’s also my first logo! 🙂 My daughter, Michaela, did both! I would love, love to link to her website here, but she would kill me since it is not complete. There just isn’t enough time to get the college work done for three separate programs, work two jobs, get a few hours of sleep, and still finish your website. 😉 But she did spend a good part of her fall break trying to make her mom look a little more professional, and we had a whole lot of fun in the process. Thank you, Michaela!
Resources I Am Loving Right Now
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I’ve also discovered some wonderful new resources and even more importantly, the creators of those resources! It is amazing to me how much time these people are willing to spend answering questions, encouraging, and providing feedback.
RESTORED 316 DESIGNS. I chose the Divine theme, created by Lauren Gaige of Restored 316 Designs. I love her motto: “Making the internet beautiful one website at a time.” The other thing I love is how interactive and helpful she is in the Facebook group she has created for those who use her themes. If you are looking for a pretty, feminine theme that is highly customizable and that comes with a group of incredibly helpful and supportive people, you should check out Restored 316 Designs!
DESIGN YOUR OWN (LOVELY) BLOG. Marianne Manthey has written an e-book called Blog Beautiful: 50 Tips + Fixes to Make Your Blog Glow and it has been beyond helpful!! Yes, I know I just used italics and double exclamation points, and I also know I’m not supposed to do either of those for emphasis, but people, I need emphasis!! The tagline for her book? “From Ugly to Lovely.” Could it speak to me anymore specifically than that? This ebook is a compilation of 50 tips to help take your blog to the next level, and even beyond. It’s not just about things that make it “prettier” such as colors and font choices, but about changes that help your layout make more sense, using valuable blog real estate the right way, and so much more. Fifty tips more, to be exact! Do you want a better looking blog? Then you want to take a look at Marianne’s book. Whether you get the book or not, subscribe to her VIP email list – you get access to “Ask Marianne,” a monthly column where she answers design questions from her VIPs. And talk about a super helpful Facebook group, well, I’ll just say that if you join her group and scroll through the discussions, you will see a whole lot of questions from me that have been answered by a whole lot of people, from Marianne to lots of other group members!
PROBLOGGER. Darren Rowse has built the ultimate resource for bloggers over at Problogger.net. I could probably read hours per day and it would take half of forever to dig my way through all the information he has provided — for free! He has a program called 31 Days to a Better Blog, a workbook and a podcast, that has proven incredibly helpful. I like that his information is actionable, and he has a way of explaining things that just simply makes sense. If you are a blogger and have not been using this resource, start today. Let me put it this way, my phone’s memory is almost completely full, but I don’t delete any of these podcasts after I’ve listened to them. I always go back and listen again!
In this Part 2 post, I’ve been telling you the “how,” but in my last post, I explained the “why.” As much fun as the “how” has been, my heart was truly in the “why,” so take a peek if you missed it. 🙂
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Until next time…“Why Not” make today extraordinary!
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