A Better Way to Introduce Yourself as a Freelancer or Blogger

A Better Way to Introduce Yourself as a Freelancer or Blogger

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Imagine this: you’ve just met someone new. It could be at a conference or at your local grocery story — doesn’t matter. You’re chummin’ it up as you both introduce yourselves. A new friend in the works? I think yes. And then boom. The dreaded question…

So, what do you do?

As a freelancer, blogger, or small business owner, that question can be downright difficult to answer. If you’re anything like me, you cringe thinking about the times when you stumbled over your words trying to muster up an answer.

“Oh, I have a blog.”

“I do freelance design.”

Meanwhile, you’re met with blank stares or, possibly worse, “oh, cool.” Yikes. Unless you have a job that people are familiar with, like being an elementary school teacher or a chef, it’s pretty likely that they will have no idea what in the heck you actually do. But all hope isn’t lost, friend. Today, I’m sharing a strategy for how to introduce yourself as a freelancer or blogger that will leave a more lasting first impression.read more

How To Move Past A Creative Block

How To Move Past A Creative Block

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You know the feeling. One day you’re seemingly bursting with creative energy and the next you’re totally stuck. You have no ideas, you stare at a blank page for hours at a time, and you can’t foresee a future in which you’ll ever come up with anything worthwhile again. It’s called a “creative block” and don’t you worry, it happens to the best of us.

But for those whose livelihoods are based in a creative career (I’m talking to you: bloggers, artists, writers, photographers, designers, makers, entrepreneurs, and basically anyone who does anything that involves coming up with new ideas), creative blocks can be downright terrifying. Losing your inspirational edge can mean an inability to make a deadline, loss of income, and a whole lot of anxiety.

But before you launch into a massive panic attack, I’ve got some good news: it’s totally possible to move past a creative block. So often we simply sit and wait for inspiration to strike, but there are actually steps you can take to revive your artistic energy. Here’s how to get started:read more

How + Why to Create a Style Guide for Your Blog (Free Worksheets!)

How + Why to Create a Style Guide for Your Blog (Free Worksheets!)

How + Why to Create a Style Guide for Your Blog (Free Worksheets!)

Next month, I’ll be speaking at a blogging and design conference about “Photoshop and Branding for Bloggers.” While creating my workshop, I realized that more than knowing fancy Photoshop tricks, it’s important to really, truly know your blog. By knowing your blog — from the types of phrases it uses to the colors it employs to the audience it serves — you’ll be able to create a site that is consistent, gorgeous, and credible.

This may sound like a simple feat, but often times, I find blogs who have great content, but a very inconsistent overall brand. It’s one way to easily turn readers off. Today, we’re explaining what a style guide is and why you need one for your blog, as well as sharing free worksheets that will likely become your new blogging manifesto — they’re that important!read more

How to Get Brighter, Better Photos in Photoshop (in 60 Seconds!) by The Nectar Collective

How to Get Brighter, Better Photos in Photoshop (in 60 Seconds!)

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Even though design and photography are essential elements of a great website, I’ve noticed that many bloggers and business owners feel unnerved about using Photoshop. Today, I have a tutorial that even the most inexperienced Photoshop user could do, and it comes with pretty gorgeous results! I will be showing you how to brighten photos as well as other quick tips for making your photos pop. And by quick, I mean quick. You will have a prettified photo in 60 seconds or less.

If you look at the graphic above, the photo on the left is what the image looked like straight out of the camera. It’s a little dark and dingy, isn’t it? Now, we’re going to brighten and color correct it to create that beautiful, vivid photo on the right!read more

Melyssa's LA Living Room Tour by The Nectar Collective

Melyssa’s Bohemian Modern Living Room Tour

Melyssa's LA Living Room Tour by The Nectar Collective

At the end of February, just a couple months ago, I moved to LA with close to no living room furniture. I kid you not, that picture up there is exactly what it looked like when I arrived — a desk, a $10 IKEA lamp, and a confused looking dog (who just happened to pose there on his own free will).

After the past few years of moving around Southern California and Japan, and acquiring no furniture in the process, I decided it was time to actually make my apartment feel like a cozy, happy home — something that would make me smile as soon as I walked in the door. I went for a bohemian modern look and feel so, SO happy with the outcome. At the risk of sounding super click-baity, I really think it’s hardly recognizable now from that depressing, “before” picture up there and I’m pretty darn excited to show you around. Now, let me take you on a tour of my LA living room! :)read more

6 Reasons Why You Should Do Things Alone

6 Reasons Why You Should Do Things Alone

6 Reasons Why You Should Do Things Alone

I’m a solo-adventurer. I’m the girl you see alone at the movies. The one who eats a full dinner (plus dessert!) at a sit-down restaurant by myself, without shame. Despite the fact that I have a ton of wonderful people in my life, I frequently go on these sorts of outings all on my lonesome.

So what’s wrong with me? Certainly something must be wrong with a woman who chooses to do fun things alone, right? While doing things alone feels normal to me, I’ve noticed that others seem to have a harder time warming up to the concept. A lot people have said to me, “Oh, I could never go to the movies by myself! I would just feel embarrassed,” or “I think it’s cool that you can have dinner alone, but I would just get bored.”

Maybe you feel similarly, and if so, that’s totally okay. The idea of doing something alone, particularly something both public and fun, can be a vulnerable experience. But still, I firmly believe that it’s an experience that is worth having, one that is enriching and liberating. Here are a few reasons why you should do things alone as well:read more

Why You Should Give Away Free Content If You Want to Sell Digital Products

Why You Should Give Away Free Content If You Want to Sell Digital Products

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While creating amazing content, such as e-books and printables, can take a lot of time and work, people give it away for free all the time. Why would they do that when they could just as easily sell it? Today we’re going to explore the advantages of giving away some of your best content for free and why you should do it if you’d one-day like to sell digital products, such as e-courses, e-books, and downloads. Bottom line: if you’re not giving away freebies, you could be hurting your marketing strategy.

Here are three reasons why you should give away free content if you plan to sell digital products or want to grow your readership:

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