Archives for February 2016

02.28.2016

How to Network Authentically

how to network authentically

One thing that you will learn very quickly when trying to establish your blog is that you will have a very tough time of it if you attempt to go it alone. Networking with other influencers within your industry is a must if you want to attract readership to your space.

But how do you go about connecting with these influencers?

Most importantly, when networking you must come across as authentic or else no one is going to want to associate with you or your brand, blog, or whatever else it may be that you are attempting to promote.

Authenticity is not difficult to accomplish as long as you remember a few very simple tips.

If you are trying to attract readership to your blog or attempting to promote your product or brand, consider partnering with other bloggers or entrepreneurs from your own industry for some kind of giveaway.  [Read more…]

Allison
02.26.2016

Top 5 Ways to Create Catchy Headlines for your Blog

top 5 ways to create a catchy title

I don’t think that there is anything, besides of course your content, that is more than your title. Without a catchy title, you would have no one reading your posts. Plain and simple.

Listed here are my TOP 5 suggestions for how you can achieve that catchy blog title.

  1.  Always write your headline first. It helps maintain your focus while writing your post and provides an end goal to work toward.
  2. Outline the benefits. When selecting your blog title, you must provide a clear and concise message to your readers outlining the benefits within your post. If you can continually deliver on the benefits mentioned in your title, you will secure new loyal readers for life.
  3. Consider your target audience. You will need to have a very good handle on exactly who you are writing for if you are going to appeal to your audience. What are their interests? What information could they be seeking out for? What keywords or phrases would jump out on them? Continue to draw them in with the content of your post.
  4. Use exciting words in your title. This might seem a little obvious, but it is very important. Would you rather read “13 new ways to accomplish ???” or “13 fabulous ways to rock ???”. One is just more appealing plain and simple.
  5. Use subheadings. This is extremely important and even improves the SEO rating of your posts. Your subheadings should be as exciting and eye-catching as your main title. They will also serve to make your post more readable for your audience, who tend to scan articles, grabbing onto these subheadings for further information.
Allison
02.25.2016

Blogger Profile:: Miss West End Girl

It seems that I have been browsing through a lot of Glasgow blogs lately. They are all so stylish and colourful, I can’t get enough! I have definitely put Glasgow on my bucket list of places I simply must visit, and when I do, I will have the Miss West End Girl blog to use as my guide.

Follow Lynsay as she takes us about town to spas, cafes, restaurants, and more and she has even been listed in the 10 Essential Glasgow Blogs You Should Be Reading by WOW 24/7.

She is super cute and full of style!

Exactly the type of gal that I would like to follow around town to all of the hippest hot spots!

In additon to regular posts on Miss West End Girl, Lynsay can be found as a contributor on such blogs as Trouble with Film, Scot Bloggers, and Being Erica. Her blog has been featured on all around the internet and she has also contributed articles to a number of different publications such as, Time Out Glasgow, Wear Eponymous fashion, and West End Report.

On the blog, I would suggest her 20 fun facts about Lush cosmetics post, where she takes you to her local Lush store and even delves into some bath bomb making!!

Another super great element of the blog would be The Glasgow Veggie Diaries for all of you fellow non-meat eaters out there. It is a whole tagged category of posts where Lynsay dishes on a whole plethora of meat-free Glasgow eateries where she dines with her beau, Gary.

I like her sweet and well-researched reviews on everything ranging from food to style. Miss West End Girl is truly the go-to guide for all things Glasgow. Check her out!!

Allison
02.23.2016

Business Profile:: Dandelion Sun Tea

Dandelion Sun Tea

I was so happy to be able to feature Dandelion Sun Tea this week on the blog.

Rashma Manjra, the proprietor of Dandelion Sun Tea, is a fellow Rise Asset Development alum and was the Youth Garfinkle Award winner last year. 

I first spoke of Rise Asset Development in this recent post about my Rise mentor, Jo Caragh.

I was able to connect with Rashma for the purposes of this post and chat about her business.

She started her business approximately 3 years ago after hosting a series of small tea parties for friends and family. She was motivated by all of the positive feedback that she was receiving for her blends and finally decided that she should start selling her creations.

Her passion for teas grew from her love of plants and her desire to holistically help people. She herself was often sick prior to familiarizing herself holistic teas, which was the inspiration behind her first commercial blend, Original Goodness: Immunity Booster.

Her biggest milestone thus far in her business has been the ability to dream about an idea and then make it into a reality. She has taken business courses to better understand financial planning, website creation, and even the process of speaking to cafes and other marketplaces about her product.

It is Rashma’s future goal to return to school and gain her Masters degree in Social Work so that one day she could open a Dandelion Sun Wellness Centre.

What sets Rashma’s product apart from her competition would be her care and attention paid to the quality of her herbs and tea. There are no processed natural flavours or sugars added to her blends. She prides herself on creating all extractions that go into her teas.

Every blend that she makes not only tastes good, but feels good too!

It’s the ultimate experience!

I wish Rashma the best of luck as she continues to grow her business and expand on her product line. If you get the opportunity, please follow the links in this post and check out some of her unique blends for yourself!

Allison
02.22.2016

Book Review:: How to Make Money Using Etsy

How to Make Money Using Etsy

Timothy Adam is an early Etsy adopter, having started his shop in 2007, only 2 years after the site began hosting sellers. He is one of the first authors to write a book dedicated to walking you through the process of opening your Etsy store, Etsy SEO, social media and blog marketing for your Etsy shop, and all the other nitty gritty.

I believe his book, “How to Make Money Using Etsy” stands the tests of time and remains a super good read for anyone looking to open their first Etsy store, or perhaps anyone who is hoping to get better exposure for their shop.

The book contains many insights from buyers and sellers about the, then new, Etsy community. It is almost like travelling back in time! At the time of print, Etsy only had 400,000 sellers and had only generated a little more than $180 dollars.

As of 2014, there were more than 1.4 million sellers on Etsy and had generated more than $195 million in sales.

Although Etsy has obviously come a very long way since the first pressing of Timothy Adam’s book, I assure that it is still holds lots of valuable information that is time tested and true.

He walks you through your Etsy shop from end to end, gets into detail about marketing and branding your products, helps you in product research to discover what is trending and what is not, helps you list your first product, provides details on shipping your first product, introduces you to the Etsy forum, and much, much more.

I had already been running a shop on Etsy for many years before I picked up this book and still, I found it very useful. Especially the information he shared on advanced SEO for your Etsy shop.

For this reason, I would definitely recommend this book for seasoned sellers and newbies alike. It’s an easy read and will get you selling like a star in no time!!

**This post contains affiliate links**

Allison
02.20.2016

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

Jocelyne moyer

I read somewhere that February 20 was ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’ and I just so happen to have an engineer in my very own family that I would to introduce you to! My sister, Jocelyne Moyer.

Jocelyne is presently away at Harvard Business School, just about to finish her degree, but she started her educational career at McMaster University as a Mechanical Engineering student.

I recently did an interview with her in honour of ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’.

She was happy to participate. I hope that you enjoy the interview and perhaps even find the inspiration to pass on some of her insights to a special girl in your life who may be interested in a career in engineering.

For starters, what exactly is an engineer and what do they do?

An engineer does all sorts of things! It really depends on your chosen field. You may design buildings or roads, computer programs or managing large projects. The best thing about engineering is that it opens so many doors to different fields and careers.

When did you think that you first wanted to become an engineer? 

I used to tinker when I was a kid and I loved to build things. Dad suggested that I should be an engineer and the idea just kind of stuck. I made sure to take all the math and science classes that I could!

Describe the engineering program that you took in school.

Mechanical Engineering focuses on anything that moves. We learned about things like mechanical systems, fluids, and vibrations. We also did a ton of calculus and algebra courses, which are important to be able to understand the fundamentals of engineering systems. We did a combination of lectures, small groups, and labs so that we could learn concepts in all different ways.

How long was your program?

5 years.

What was one of the most important lessons you learned during the course of your program?

The most important thing that I learned was systematic problem solving. We learn how to find all the important variables in a problem and break it down into smaller pieces. This has been so valuable in my career. Problem solving is one of the most important skills you can have and you need it in every field.

What do you think is most interesting about engineering?

I think that engineering is a great intersection between science and the real world. If you like math, you’ll love engineering.

When you first entered your program, what profession were you hoping to pursue?

I was hoping to start out in manufacturing to get a base knowledge before moving to the business side. So far, everything has gone according to plan!

How many other girls were in your class?

Our class was about 20% women. There wasn’t many of us and we all became great friends during the course of our program. One thing I loved about engineering was how supportive everyone was, guys and girls. We all studied together and supported one another. I made some of my best friends in engineering.

What was your most positive school experience?

I think the best part was the study sessions I would have with my friends. We would be in the library with snacks, hanging out for hours. We all just became so close during that time. It was studying and bonding at the same time.

What would your dream engineering job look like?

I no longer work as an engineer, so it’s hard to say. The best thing about engineering for is that it gave me the skills and confidence that I needed to pursue any career I want! I know that the knowledge that I gained from my degree is applied every day.

I would like to thank my wonderful sister for participating in this little interview and opening the window to Engineering and what it is like to be a girl in the field.

Once she finishes studying at Harvard in late April, the lucky gal will be doing some travelling before returning to Canada and settling into a new position at Bain & Company, a consulting firm in Toronto.

She may not have decided to stay in the field of Engineering, but as she alluded to in her interview, it was her Engineering degree that has led her to where she is today and opened many doors for herself. moving forward.

Jocelyne has always been one of the hardest workers that I have ever know, whether it be in school (especially in school) or in her career and I am so proud for what she has been able to accomplish thus far in her life.

 

Allison
02.18.2016

Blogger Profile:: Forever Yours Betty

Forever Yours Betty

As Betty, from foreveryoursbetty.com, puts it herself, she is “a tangerine haired, glasses wearing Scottish Fashion blogger with a nose for a good sandwich and an eye for style”.

Her blog is bright and bold, brimming with images of her on the streets of her native Glasgow, showcasing her eccentric style.

Categories range from “Betty’s Fashion” to “Betty’s Hair” to “Betty’s Travels” and beyond.

She sometimes blogs with BFF’s on travel and style features, which always adds an extra spectrum of pop and colour. One example of a BFF post was this post about Betty’s recent trip to Marrakech with her best pal, Honey Pop!

Betty and Honey Pop

Aren’t they the cutest little colourful couple! I love them!!

If you think that the pictures pop on the blog, then you should check out Betty’s Instagram feed, where she boasts over 25.9k followers. It is fun and never dull. Well worth a follow.

When reading about what Betty plans to bring into her 2016, it looks like we can look forward to a daring year full of even further self-expression and experimentation with colour, style, and tone of voice.

If you are interested in working with Betty, you can connect with her through her blog agent, The Blogger Agent. She’s the real thing, right?

I, for one, will be reading along with her as she explores everything that the new year has to offer.

Allison
02.16.2016

Business Profile:: This Kid Clothing Co

spring-banner_large

This Kid Clothing Co is the team effort of Melissa, Tim, and 2 year old Anton. They have recently been joined by a new little baby, which thankfully hasn’t put a glitch in any of their plans for the up and coming SS16 line.

The new line consists of flowy tanks, onesies, long sleeve tees, sweat shirts, crop tanks, and classic tees. All donning their simple designs and texts that their brand is becoming so well known for.

Phrases like “Bad Mother Hugger”, “This Kid” and “This Kid’s Mom”, “Wife Life”, and more.

 Their e-boutique also includes accessories like totes bags, cinch bags, spirit animal necklaces, beanie hats, and tablet sleeves. In their home section, they have lovely animal printed pillows and fleece blankets.

Truly something for everyone!

Price points for their most popular tees are $18 – $25 and hoodies from the AW15 line are $30 – $42. Sizes are available from infant to toddler to adult.

So what are you waiting for? Make a statement with one of This Kid Clothing Co’s clothing options!

Allison
02.11.2016

Blogger Profile:: The House That Lars Built

Blogger Profile:: The House that Lars Built

Let me introduce you to Brittany Watson Jepsen. The lovely brains behind ‘The House That Lars Built‘. I have to tell you that I absolutely love this blog. It is a soft and beautiful blog about crafting and other pretty things that offers tips on party planning, creating cool DIYs, recipes, and smatterings of a life lived in full colour. It is well written and incredibly pleasing to the eyes.

Brittany has been blogging at The House That Lars Built for the past 8 years, with only starting to take her blogging seriously within the last 3 years. She initially started the blog as a grad school project for an interior design class. Look how far she has come in such little time?!

These days, Brittany is working hard, everyday, on the blog, as well as in her shop on Etsy, which carries her cards, calendars, and other illustrations.

Brittany has also collaborated with Twig NY on a dinnerware line that is absolutely charming.

[Read more…]

Allison
02.10.2016

The Beekeeper’s Quilt:: My day at Stitch

Stitch

I have been chomping on the bit to get started on that Beekeeper’s Quilt that I mentioned as part of my goals for 2016. I had attempted to get started a number of times, but I had never knit in the round before and couldn’t figure it out.

Luckily, my Dad just so happens to be lifelong friends with Jocelyne from Stitch, a place for knitters, quilters and needle artists, located at 3799 Main Street in Jordan Village, Ontario.

So, on one sunny afternoon, my Dad and I grabbed my double pointed needles and some yarn and I headed over to Jocelyne’s, with some handmade chocolates in hand to treat her for the favour of helping with my pattern.

Stitch is operated out of an old house, right in the centre of Jordan Village. Every nook and cranny is filled with luxurious yarns and fat quarter squares. The atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. I wish that I lived closer so that I could attend some of the regular workshops that Jocelyne hosts there.

Stitch

I sat in the back section of the store, next to a huge wood burning stove, at a table surrounded by chairs draped in meticulously hand stitched quilts in every colour and design.

I cast on extremely tightly (a habit that I am working to break) so our lesson was slow going at first. Eventually, once we worked past the first row, things became a little easier and I was able to see what Jocelyne was doing with the needles.

Stitch

As it turns out, I am using a slightly heavier yarn than is recommended in the pattern, but if I stick with that weight and my 4mm dpns throughout construction, it shouldn’t affect the outcome. My quilt will just have slightly larger dimensions than if I had actually used the recommended sock wool.

I had asked for assistance when purchasing my yarn from Fabricland, so I was a little frustrated to hear that I had gotten it wrong. Maybe I should have gone to a store that actually specializes in yarn. I was only after the cheaper Red Heart brand, so I thought that it wouldn’t matter. Guess I was wrong.

Stitch

Jocelyne continued to work through a couple of rows, as I tried to master the simplistic art of increasing a stitch, and my Dad and Jocie chatted about what has been going on in their lives.

Jocelyne’s son had just bought a house in nearby Fenwick and was trying to convince her to make the move there as well. My Dad was told stories about the interesting characters that he runs into on a regular basis while working his delivery job.

I quietly worked, with each row becoming easier and easier to manage.

Finally, after about an hour, I had worked the pattern to the widest point of the “hexapuff” and it was time to start decreasing.

I had worked decreasing rows before and told Jocelyne that I wouldn’t need her help to finish the pattern. I would later regret this because, although I did know how to decrease stitches, it took me two full days of trial and error to figure out how to do it properly, so that both sides of my “hexapuff” would hold together.

Now, it is about it is about a week since my trip to Stitch and I have almost 15 “hexapuffs” completed and I am hard at work making more.

I have been spending the week at my parent’s house, so I have had lots of time on my own to work on my knitting. Hopefully, I will be able to find the free moments I need to continue working on my “hexapuffs” when I am back at home. I still have nearly 400 to go!!

So thank you Jocelyne! Without your gentle assistance the other day, I would not have made the progress that I have already made in the past week. I am well on my way to a full quilt. I will be sure to post many pics in progress and once the quilt is done.

I recommend a special journey over to Stitch to anyone who is planning on being in the Jordan Village area and be prepared to spend some time there, as it will take you that long to look through everything that Jocelyne has in store.

stitch-image06

 

Allison