4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

Hi guys! I hope everyone is doing well! I haven’t been posting in a while because my laptop took a dump on me (just my luck), but I couldn’t go without recognizing the four year anniversary of MegannLouise.com!

It’s insane to think that the support and encouragement of my best friend to share my writing led to one of my proudest accomplishments thus far. Sure, I took a few “vacations” here and there, but the passion I have for writing has never left.
In these last 4 years, I’ve documented so much of my life on my blog… falling in love, falling out of love, moving into my first apartment, going to a new school, and so much more. I like to call my blog my public diary.


I have to admit that I was considering ending my blogging journey recently. I found myself in a rut creatively and couldn’t find any joy in what I was producing. I have to thank my awesome friend for saying something he may have forgotten about but I never will- “I don’t want to live in a world where you gave up on something you are so damn fucking good at. The world deserves it.” Honestly, if it wasn’t for that encouragement, I 100% believe I would have thrown in the towel.


I’m so grateful for all of the love and support I’ve gotten from my friends, family, and readers. If you’ve ever backed me while I’ve explored my writing, I promise you it didn’t go unnoticed.
Right now I am still dealing with tech issues that are preventing me from posting new content, but I promise that when everything is up and working again, there will be plenty of fun FRESH material up for you guys!


Thank you so much for giving me a chance and keeping up with all the craziness I’ve been up to in the last four years! Here’s to four more! 

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Behind the Scenes of Blogging

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great week and are ready to tackle another one! The past week for me was pretty eventful. My family and I did some more yard work and I finally got to unpack some more of my things from the apartment. There’s still a ton left to do in preparation for my sister’s graduation party (in 25 days) so it’s been a race against time.


Today I wanted to go into depth about blogging and everything that goes into it. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but I’ve always brushed it off hoping that one day it would just write itself. But here I am, bundled up and comfy in bed, ready to take on this topic once and for all.

Making a Website

There’s a bunch of different ways that you can make a website for your blog. A lot of people think that making a blog is expensive, but that’s not always the case.

The first thing to do is to choose the hosting site you want to host your blog on. You can either self-host or use a free hosting option. A web hosting provider is basically a helpful hand for making your website. They provide their own tools as well as templates to create your website. By self-hosting, you can have much more of a say in what your website looks like by coding.

My very first blog was through Blogger. As a newbie in the blogging game, 12-year-old me didn’t know much at all. Blogger was super simple for me, so even though the site wasn’t that special content-wise, it still looked really neat. Now I’m using WordPress, which has given me so much more control over my website. I pay annually for my website, but don’t worry frugal friends- there’s a free plan too!

Another important step is figuring out a name for your blog. This shouldn’t be taken lightly. The name you choose for your blog is what people will recognize you as. You want it to be easy to remember and preferably short, sweet, and to the point. Think about it- when was the last time you remembered a long URL and typed the whole thing into the address bar correctly? It’s a rare occurrence.

Post Planning

Planning posts ahead of time is a great stress reliever. I like to use Google Calendar to schedule my posts. I love the color coding and overall layout of the calendar. It helps a lot to be able to jot down ideas and then drag them around until I find the perfect fit for the month.

I usually try to plan my posts around pre-existing categories that I have for my site. These categories are what I want my blog to be centered around. When I’m scheduling posts for the month, I like to look back at the recent categories I’ve written about. I monitor which do well with my audience as well as myself, and most likely those will be the categories I base my new posts around.

Whenever I can’t think about anything to write about, I ask other people for their advice. Sometimes I go to my Instagram story to ask my followers for ideas directly, and other times I will ask random questions that inspire a post.

Making Money

I don’t recommend blogging to people whose main goal is to make money. There’s a lot that goes into making money from a blog. If you aren’t motivated by putting out great content for people to enjoy, your fire will die out quickly when you see how much time and effort it takes to make even a dollar from blogging.

I run ads on my site in order to pay off my yearly subscription to the plan I use to keep my domain and host my website. With the plan that I have through WordPress, I cannot use Adsense to my blog, but I can allow ads through WordPress’ ad system. These ads don’t pay much at all, unfortunately, and their rates are always changing. I know it’s taboo to talk about your earnings, but I want to be transparent about this. I can’t even calculate my average income through ads because it fluctuates so much from month to month. One month, my site displayed 1,041 ads and I made one cent. The next month, my site only showed 322 ads and I made one cent again. If you’re hoping to make better money through ads and you use WordPress, I suggest spending the extra money for the Business plan, where you can connect Google Adsense to your site and make more money at a steadier rate.

Another way you can make money through your blog is with brand deals. Brand deals are usually presented to blogs with a good online presence. Some brands will do deep dives into your site to make sure you are a right fit to represent and promote them. Before reaching out to brands, it’s important that you have a media kit to provide them. As we speak, I’m working on my media kit to be able to present my blog to brands. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes of brand deals, so if you’re interested in the process, let me know and I can write a separate post all about that!

Promoting

It’s important to promote your blog, especially if it’s a source of income for you. Social media helps a lot with promoting your site. I personally like to share links to my new posts on all of my social media platforms after they’re posted. That ensures that different people will see the link and some will even see it more than once.

I get a lot of traffic through Instagram stories, Facebook posts, and tweets when I share links to my posts. Another way I share my posts is through Snapchat stories with a swipe-up link embedded. But each person is different and I encourage everyone to take a stab at promoting on social media. It’s a shameless plug.

Networking

One of my favorite parts of blogging is meeting new people. I’ve met a lot of fellow bloggers through WordPress, and their support is amazing! It’s so fun to talk to people who share the love for writing that you have. It’s also nice to bounce ideas off each other from time to time.

Like I mentioned earlier, you make money through networking with brands. Media kits help a lot in the networking process by providing stats and other important information regarding your blog to brands to show them who you are and whether or not it’s worth it to collaborate.

Never Turning Off Your Brain

This is one of the hardest parts of blogging at first. You can never turn your brain off of blogging mode. At first, you have to teach yourself to keep your brain turned on for ideas. You have to train yourself to be constantly listening to conversations, watching the news, and monitoring social media trends to draw inspiration for posts. Now it’s a habit. It happens naturally. My brain won’t shut off even if I try.


Out of all of this, I’ve learned that nothing with blogging is set in stone. Things are always changing and evolving, and it’s my job to ride those waves.

If you’re interested in starting a blog or you’re in the early stages of blogging, I’d love to help answer any questions you have about the platform. Message me and let’s get your site going strong!

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Let Me Update Ya

I figured it was about time to update everyone on my schooling and other things going on. I finished the semester up last Wednesday and most of my final grades seem to be in (although there’s a couple classes that will definitely wait until the day final grades are due to release them).

After a long semester, I got a 99% on my math final which gave me an A in the class. In one of my history classes, I got 100% on my final and managed to get a final grade of an A in the class. After cramming for my bio exam only 5 hours before the exam (typical meg fashion) I got an 87% and ended the semester with an A in the class. Although I never took a real exam for my communication class, I ended the semester with a B. Taking my intro to com class online was a disadvantage to me for a few reasons- tech difficulties being one. I missed a few assignments due to wifi slip-ups and computer crashes, but I’m still happy I was able to mostly make up for them at the end of the semester. My Middle Eastern History and Bio lab final grades are not in yet and I expect that they won’t be for a while, so I can’t really determine what my GPA will be just yet.

I’m moving out of my apartment on Wednesday and heading back to my hometown for the summer. Next fall I’ll be moving into an apartment much closer to campus so I guess leaving the place I’ve called my second home for the past nine months will be worth it. It’s still going to be really hard to say goodbye to my bigger bedroom and own kitchen though. I’m really grateful for the opportunities this year has given me. I’ve gotten to live alone, and who knows if I’ll ever get to do that again?

I’m looking into getting a job this summer after I get a bit of time to settle back in at home. I’d like to be working a lot to save up for rent, groceries, etc. once school starts back up. So before I really start looking around for work, I’m hoping to spend lots of time with my friends while I can.

That being said, in my free time I plan to be writing a bit more. It’s been really weird not writing. I’ve had quite a few impulses to start writing but I didn’t want to start posting if I was just going to stop abruptly again due to school. But now I have a few months to get myself together and write a little more. I’ve got some ideas for the future of this site and I’m hoping to implement them this summer.

Thank you to everyone who supported me when I took a semester off last year and when I went back to school in the fall. Everyone’s kind words and well wishes these past nine months have been really appreciated. I’m super excited to go back in the fall (I know, who says that?!) and explore my major even further.

Also, I’ve changed my update schedule to every Monday at noon, so keep an eye out for my new posts!

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5 Things I Learned When I Redirected My Focus to My Blog

Another year has come to a close so that means another year of MegannLouise.com has come and gone. 2018 was an eventful year for this site. Toward the end of the year, I took the bull by the horns (sorry PETA) and focused more time on writing.

When I started writing for MegannLouise.com, I had no intention of posting regularly. I just wanted a platform for me to post my work when I did write. And for roughly 75% of the time I’ve had this site, that’s exactly what I did. But now I dedicate time out of my day to work on new content. In doing this, I learned a lot about myself as a writer, creator, and individual. I know that sounds extremely corny. I’m sorry. But here’s the top 5 things I learned after I focused on my blog this year.

1. Writing isn’t always easy. And writer’s block is real.

There have been days where I’ve spent hours just trying to write an introduction or even come up with a topic. Since I’ve been writing for a long time, I know my style and whenever my brain fails me and I don’t do my best work, I get upset. I’ve spent entire days working on posts before, arguing with myself over wording or formatting. At the end of it all, I’ve felt defeated when I give in and post whatever I came up with even when I wasn’t happy with it.

And here’s the thing- writer’s block happens. It can kick your ass at the worst times but that’s how it goes. I had to learn to roll with the punches and give myself breaks while writing to recoup. Sometimes nothing would pop into my head for days or even weeks. It wasn’t pretty. I would usually go into a dark place whenever that happened. It’s pretty devastating to fall into a place where doing what you love takes a brutal toll on you. But like I said- it happens. I just had to accept that and work with what I had.

2. Writing ahead of time saves my sanity.

To piggy-back off the last point, my self-deprecation took up so much of my time and made it almost impossible for me to crank out content like I wanted. I eventually mustered up the ability to “mass produce” posts. I would write three or four posts in a day and schedule them for later dates so I wouldn’t have to worry about them the day I needed something to go up. This helped a lot during Blogmas since I had to have a post up every single day for almost two weeks. I think the best part about writing in bulk is that I can pump out a lot of content whenever I’m feeling really creative, and relax on the days where I can’t come up with anything.

3. Quality over quantity.

This one was a hard pill to swallow. Once I found time and motivation to write, I wanted to keep writing and create an arsenal of posts stocked up for scheduled posting. However, during Blogmas I realized that the short posts that didn’t take as much effort weren’t as good as the longer ones that I put more of my heart into. It took a lot out of me to know that although I was getting these posts done early, they weren’t as good as they could have been if I worked a little harder and didn’t spread myself thin.

Now I look at it as a reader instead of a writer. What would I want to read? What would I think if someone posted something like this? Would I continue to read their work?

4. It takes determination.

No successful blogger made it where they are now without determination. Slacking isn’t an option. Consistency is really important- just as important as content. Sure, breaks are great for the mind and can lead to better content, but disappearing for large chunks of time really doesn’t work. It leaves everyone wondering where you are and if you really take writing seriously. Trust me, I’ve been there. I had no motivation for this site and it ruined the great path I had made for myself. I had to almost completely start over.

5. This is a community.

I had to repeatedly remind myself that people actually read this. When I write, deep down I know that people will read it but I sometimes forget about it and throw all caution to the wind. So it’s freaky for a second when I get to meet people who read my blog and they bring up something that I forgot I wrote about. I’m always like, “HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT?!” and then it freaks them out. Sometimes I really feel like I’m writing in my diary.

I found myself heavily relying on my blog to write about my feelings. This is still true at times today. I always say that I try to remain open with my readers, and although it’s hard, it’s extremely empowering at times too. When I feel like my voice does not matter, I come here and I feel heard. I can be happy, sad, or just not myself and I know I have a community here who is willing to listen.

With that, I also had to learn how to censor myself. Although I believe it is crucial to be open with your readers, a line has to be drawn. I used to be far too open and it would ultimately backfire on me. Sometimes I post about something and look back at it later in regret. Now I have to use my better judgment whenever I write about something personal. It’s hard to hold back on occasions, but it’s for the best.

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2019 New Year’s Resolutions

First and foremost, happy new year everyone!

2018 was an amazing year for me. After being on and off with my writing, I made me official “return” to writing for MegannLouise. I slowly eased back into things and by the end of the year, I was comfortable enough to participate in my first Blogmas series. 12 days of writing was extremely tiring, but it didn’t scare me off. Now I’m here in the new year, still keeping up with my writing!

Every year at around this time, we are bombarded with people’s New Year’s Resolutions. I know we’re all thinking, “yeah right” every time we see one. Well, I usually don’t make resolutions because I know after the first couple of weeks I’ll give up on it (like I gave up on writing for a while). However, this year I’ve made a list of goals for this year, and by sharing them with you guys, I will feel like I’m being held accountable and I can’t give up on them. So without further ado, here is my list of goals for 2019!

Life

  • Give myself more time to relax
  • Don’t push things off until the last minute (plans, school, etc.)
  • Get active
  • Do something out of my comfort zone
  • Be more confident in myself
  • Read more
  • Journal
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Eat healthier
  • Drink more water
  • Stop using plastic straws

Blog

  • Follow a posting schedule
  • Only post what makes me proud
  • Be more confident in my writing
  • Post at least once a week
  • Meet more fellow bloggers
  • Take risks with my work

 

Thank you all for an amazing 2018 and “return” to writing. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for me. Hopefully it will be even better than the year before!

I hope everyone has a healthy, happy, and love-filled 2019. ♡

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