Spending money on your blog

Between Pinterest, YouTube, Medium, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress, there are infinite sources on the internet that will convince you large investments need to be made into your blog in order for it to be successful.

This is simply not the case.

If you want to spend money on your blog, and have the money to spend money on your blog, have at’er. But, if money is tight, if you have to watch your expenses, if you’re not independently wealthy, you do not need to spend large sums of money to run a successful blog.

From a personal standpoint, in the past year and a half that I have been running this blog, I have spent $120. That $120 spent is solely on the fee for having a Personal WordPress account. I consider that a worthwhile investment because I wanted the millenniallifecrisis.org URL. For what I desired from this blog when I started it, I would consider it to be successful. I’ve met tons of incredible people, I’ve shared stories, had stories shared with me. It’s been a very valuable resources for me. All that being said, some people want more from their platform. I completely understand that.

If you’re someone who wants more from your platform, if you’re someone who wants to start a business with your blog or wants to start earning income from your blog, I would strongly encourage you to do your research. I’d also encourage you to proceed with caution and understand that you need to walk before you can run. And, depending on how fresh and new your blog might be, you need to learn to crawl before you can walk.

In the past year and a half I’ve seen some really incredible writers invest hundreds, if not thousands of dollars into their blogs only to quit when they didn’t get the response they wanted. Not only is their potential wasted when they quit but that money they’ve invested into having a business WordPress account is wasted. The hundreds of dollars spent on Pinterest ads, the hundreds of dollars spent on Instagram ads, all for nothing.

The biggest mistake that I see people making is that they want to direct as many people as possible to their blog without having a plan in place to keep people interested, to keep people reading and to keep people coming back. They sign up for a blogging network to grow their blog and they don’t know what they want to grow their blog into.

You have to have a plan. A vision of where you want to take your blog and an establish process of how you intend to accomplish that vision. Don’t just throw money at people or platforms and expect your follower count to grow. I can tell you with 100% certainty that if you start throwing your money around, people will always take it. If you don’t have a plan, however, throwing that money around won’t do you any good.

I guess, what I’m really trying to say is, whether you’re rich or not, be smart about investing your money. Money is still money, no matter how much of it is in your bank account. You work hard for that money, so spend it wisely. Blindly charging Instagram ads to your credit card is not only poor marketing for your blog, but thoughtless promotion as well. Throwing money at a network without fully understanding what it can or cannot do for your will only leave you frustrated and feeling helpless.

I don’t want to see you quit.

I don’t want to see anyone quit.

Blogging brings a certain catharsis that everyone deserves. If you’re struggling to find your way in the blogging world and seeking more from your platform, I would strongly encourage you to

  1. Build a vision for your blog
  2. Then, and only then, do a lot of research about different options for promotion, marketing and growth investments.
  3. Get a second and third opinion from someone you trust, or from an unbiased source. If you ever need or want advice from me, I’d be more than happy to make suggestions and provide any help that I can. I’m not an expert, but I am an unbiased opinion.
  4. Then, and only then, make a worthwhile investment that you feel will benefit your platform.

You work hard for your money. Use it wisely. I don’t want to see you quit because you’re not getting the outcome you hoped for. I don’t want to see anyone quit.

Posting pictures of people you don’t know

Marla (MarlaOnTheMove) and I have been chatting today about the idea of posting photos online that include people you don’t know and also, about posting photos of people you do know that you haven’t asked permission to share. I’ve briefly talked about this subject on my blog in the past and I got a lot crap for my opinions. What I never did, however, was share the story that largely shaped why my opinions are the way that they are.

In 2014 whilst working PR for large event, two coworkers and myself stopped off for a breather in the media scrum room. For anyone who’s not aware, at large events that have groups of journalists come to them, the hosts will often have private rooms for the journalists to meet, talk, eat and relax between speeches or games or whatever is happening that day.

The food in this room on this day was a hot dog, pasta and potato bar. We grabbed some food, sat down in the far corner of the room and I secretly took off the world’s most uncomfortable heels for a few minutes. (I wear heels once in a blue moon, and when I do, I very much regret doing so)

While in the corner, minding our own business at our own table, a journalist that was sitting at a table about forty feet away from us, took a photo of my coworkers and I eating. He was far enough away that we didn’t know this photo was being taken. Not until after the fact.

We were eating hot dogs. It was a gourmet hot dog bar, with different types of meat and probably forty different items for toppings. I don’t make it a regular occurrence to eat hot dogs, but I mean… when in Rome… or when there’s a gourmet hot dog bar, why not right?

So, this journalist took a photo of us eating hot dogs without our knowing about it. This journalist proceeded to post this photo of us eating hot dogs to his Twitter account and make a lewd comment that compared the hot dogs we were eating to a penis.

He took a photo of three women who were minding their own business, eating their lunch in the middle of a busy work day, posted the photo to the internet and made a lewd comment as the caption.

We didn’t find out about the photo until probably close to midnight that night. It was actually our boss who showed us the photo. This journalist, not thinking about the reach that he had with his social media platforms, thought that it was completely appropriate to take our photo without our knowing about it and share it as a means to turn us into a joke.

That is why I don’t eat hot dogs anymore.

But also, this is largely why I have a firm, hard stance on people posting photos of someone they don’t know.

People deserve privacy.

In a world where there’s a camera on every phone (and likely to be a camera on every watch soon enough) finding privacy seems to be a harder feat with each passing day.

I’m of the firm belief that just because you can take a picture of someone doesn’t mean that you should. And, if for some reason someone has ended up in a photograph of yours on accident, you do not have permission to share that photo online without asking them first. If you want to blur them out, or crop them out, then go ahead and post the picture. But, if you can clearly identify someone in your photograph and they haven’t provided you permission to post said photo online, then you shouldn’t be posting it.

This counts for people you know, this counts for people you don’t know. This very much counts for EVERYONE under the age of 18. In my personal opinion it’s especially important if someone is under the age of 18 to either not share photographs, or seek permission from them (if they’re old enough to provide it) or their parents if they’re too young to provide permission.

If you don’t have permission to post a photo of the person in your photo then don’t post it. It’s as simple as that.

Do I think that everyone in this world is seeking to go out and take photos of people at vulnerable moments to post them online and turn them into a joke and humiliate them? No.

But, that doesn’t change my stance that people deserve privacy. They deserve the right to wander the bookstore without you taking their photo. They deserve the right to drop their kids off at school without you taking their photo. They deserve the right to privacy, no matter the circumstance or reason that saw them wind up in your photograph. They deserve the right to privacy no matter what you plan on doing with the photo. Even if your account only has ten followers.

I also believe this applies to everyone. Public figure or random nobody. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the guests of honour and speakers for a public event, go ahead and take their photo on stage while they’re speaking. They know what happens at these events and they sign up for them, likely signing a contract that agrees to their photo being taken. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are out for a walk with their son on a quiet trail on a Sunday afternoon and they can’t see you, or even if they can, don’t take their photo. It’s rude. It’s uncalled for.

People deserve the right to privacy in their lives. Walking out of your front door each morning is not a free pass for the world to use or share your likeness anywhere you go. Whether they’re Joe Schmoe from Timbuktu or the most famous person on earth. Whether you know someone or you don’t. Whether they’re in the photo purposefully (on your part or theirs) or they’re in the photo accidentally, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have the right to share it.

If your intentions are innocent and you just think it’s a cool photo that you’d like to share, get permission from the people you do know and crop out the people you don’t. It’s not that hard to figure out.

And, to the people in this world who argue there’s no such thing as privacy in 2020, there can be. If you choose to be a decent human being, there definitely can be. It’s all a matter of choice. Who do you want to be? What kind of legacy do you want to lead?

I’m sure I’ll get harsh critique of these opinions, but that’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and I get that not everyone thinks the same way as I do. That journalist seemed to think it was a completely okay thing to do to take a photo of us eating hot dogs and post it to Twitter with a lewd comment. Myself, my coworkers, my boss, we all did not.

In my opinion

I’m so livid right now.

If you think the small, simple act of wearing a mask in public is infringing upon your rights, or doesn’t do anything, then next time you or someone you love needs to have surgery (which could very well happen soon if you/they contract COVID) then please feel free to go ahead and tell the doctors, nurses and surgical aids they need not wear masks to protect the sterility of the operating room. Because if you truly don’t think masks do anything, why should anyone wear them for your sugery?

Also, if someone knowingly has a COVID 19 diagnosis and willingly and purposefully goes out into public whilst sick, they should be charged with public endangerment. (Yeah I’m talking about the COVIDIOT case from Fire Island) At that point you’re purposefully releasing a biological contagion onto innocent people that could potentially cause them lengthy hospital stays/death. Yeah… that should be a crime.

Opinions.

I’m not calling these unpopular opinions because, quite frankly – whether they’re popular or unpopular, they’re just opinions. They’re just my opinions. So, if you disagree with me, that’s totally okay.


It’s better to be too cold than too hot.

Putting people on mute is a nice break. Whether a phone call, on twitter, instagram, email or any other form of communication, sometimes you just need to mute someone for a little bit without them knowing. Sometimes you just need that extra time.

LED headlights are fucking awful.

There is a large number of people, both male and female, who attribute their fame, popularity or notability to talent or hard work when (let’s be honest) they’ve actually reached their present celebrity because they’re beautiful and wear minimal clothing.

A lot of what Gucci makes is actually really ugly. Bags, shoes, belts, the majority of it looks like colours and patterns put together in a middle school sewing class.

Getting presents causes more stress than happiness.

I have zero desire to visit Disneyland, Disneyworld or any other Disney theme park on this planet. When I think of all the places I want to travel and all of the things I want to see, an overpriced, overcrowded theme park doesn’t rank even remotely close to being on my list.

Top sheets are overrated and, quite frankly, absolutely useless.

Hiring managers should worry less about finding someone who lives near their office and more about finding someone who can do the job the best. Also, I realize nepotism isn’t going away any time soon, but if it’s happening and there is proof, the public should have open right to name and shame them.

Meat pies are an abomination to food.

Family photo ‘Christmas Cards’ are absolutely cringe-worthy. If you want to send me a photo of your family, please do. Please don’t put a shitty-designed border around it and use a tacky font to write ‘Merry Christmas from my family’. I know it’s your family… you sent me the card and you’re in the photo.


What are some of your opinions on random subjects?

Personal opinions on religion.

I had some people come to my door with some rather unpleasant messaging and pushy behaviours when I politely told them I did not wish to converse with them further. And, I have a lot of thoughts…

I believe that everyone has, or should have, the right to believe whatever they want in their life. I wish that religious freedoms were available to everyone and that no one had to suffer persecution for their beliefs, or choice to not believe.

I do not believe that any one religion is better than another. No one gets to claim moral high ground because of a religion they do or do not follow. I do not believe that people should be able to push their religious convictions on others. I do not believe that politics should be guided by religion.

I believe that talking about religion should be much the same as talking about salaries. If someone wants to share it, that’s great. But, if someone wishes to keep it to themselves, that should be an accepted answer and the subject should be dropped.

I do not believe that it’s appropriate to knock on a strangers door, beg them to read scriptures with you and tell them they’re bound for eternal damnation if they don’t listen to you. I don’t believe that fear, shame or anxiety should be able to be used as tools of religion to try and convert anyone, or make anyone feel less than for not being a part of a certain faith.

I believe that everyone is entitled (or should be entitled, as I do acknowledge that there are portions of this world where you can be persecuted for your convictions) to their own beliefs and I just wish for a world in which everyone would accept everyone’s own right to choose. Because there are certainly some religious activities that are extremely discriminatory if you don’t follow the same beliefs as say… the person who knocks on your door and begs you to read scriptures, for example.

Whatever faith you follow, I wish you fulfillment and happiness from that. And I hope that everyone feels the same, whether their beliefs align with yours personally, or not.

Things I wish would die in 2020

All of the following opinions are completely my own. If you disagree with me, that’s totally okay. I’d be happy to have open and honest discussions about that, so long as it’s done in a respectful manner.

OVERCONSUMPTION. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. You do not need a closet filled with clothing you’ll never wear. I don’t care if the display is pretty. It’s not necessary. Having a lot of one thing, or many things, does not make you cooler. What’s cool is making use of what you have. What’s cool is investing your money in pieces that will last for a long time, things that you will love and appreciate and be good to you.

Single-use plastics. These have got to go. You can buy cloth grocery bags at the Dollar Store for 50 cents each. You can buy produce bags for just a few dollars, or make your own for free. Food that comes in plastic can come in glass jars, or recyclable cardboard. Water bottles? Well it’s 2019, if you don’t have a reusable water bottle at this stage of the game, you’re behind the times. Will it be a slow transition? Probably. But I’m genuinely hoping the world as a whole takes more strides in the direction of eliminating single use plastics and that I don’t have to see so many photos of whales with red-solo-cups found in their belly.

“What I eat in a day” videos on YouTube. On the rare occasion I stumble across a YouTuber who showcases what they eat in a day and it’s actually proper, balanced nutritional intake for a 24 hour period, they’re typically the YouTube videos that only have 100 views. The people who get views are those that promote really unhealthy or dangerous diets. They promote extreme levels of intermittent fasting, or just all in all, are making under-eating look glamorous.

Something that a lot of people don’t understand is that, just because you’re eating a lot of Kale doesn’t mean that you’re eating healthy. We just treat food as food. You know… green is good. Potato chips are bad. Simple concepts like that the masses know and understand. But most people don’t take a deep dive into what proper nutrition is for them and their own body. A diet that’s right for you isn’t going to be the same as the diet of a girl with 1.5 million subscribers on youtube.

You need regular doses of vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins to keep your body functioning properly and to be taking in the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Watching someone drink their first two meals of the day and then eat a half a salad for dinner is dangerous misinformation. And honestly, I can’t prove it, but I’d bet they’re eating a lot more behind the scenes that they aren’t showing you. There’s a reason why there have been so many ‘scandals’ in the YouTube Vegan Community this year and why one of the most famous YouTube Vegans who sold meal plan guides and promoted her raw vegan lifestyle for several years was caught with a plate of fish in front of her and fessed up to eating animal products all along. Your body needs proper fuel to function properly. So please don’t believe when the pretty, skinny girl on YoutTube is telling you. If Nutrition is that important to you, save up some cash and go see a Nutritionist.

Bike Shorts. I don’t understand this trend and I never have. I’ll say it – they’re not flattering. Whether you’re size 2, size 12 or size 22, these don’t look good on people. I understand the use of them if you’re actually biking, but unless you’re about to get on your bike and ride 70 miles, why are they being worn? Some of (what I consider to be) the most beautiful women in the world I have seen wearing bike shorts this year and they just don’t look good. Girls everywhere, please find a new trend!

College/University Textbooks. For too many years too many trees have had to die for overpriced, underused College/University Textbooks. Professors know this. They know students aren’t reading 1200 pages of content in four months when they have four other subjects to do as well. They tell students they know this. They told us this when I was in University from 2006-2010. So, let’s be real. It’s 2019. Everyone is practically required to have a computer, and likely a tablet/Ipad to get through their degree. Why can there not be digital copies of a textbook? There has to be a better solution. Couldn’t students purchase digital copies? Copyright materials have protections now better than ever before. And could someone hack them? Maybe. What’s the likelihood of every college/university textbook material on earth being hacked and distributed? It just seems as though there could be better options.

The Penny. This is nothing to do with Canada (as we did away with the penny years ago). This is to specifically take aim at any country that uses the penny as a unit of currency. To use the United States of America as an example, it costs 22 cents to make one single penny in the USA. That’s right, it takes 22 cents to put 1 cent into circulation. In 2018 the United States produced roughly 7.5 billion pennies. 22 cents times 7.5 billion is a whole lot of money spent on a currency that is practically useless in society and could easily be done without.

Vaping. It’s not cool. It’s not cute. It’s not good for you, your health or your well being. People all over the world are getting sick and dying from Vaping related illnesses. Physicians and researches have yet to get a full grasp on what effects it has on the body. If you quit smoking and started vaping, you likely should assess why you’re jumping from one addiction to another. And if you started vaping without ever smoking, just stop. Find a hobby.

Facetune. I’m so tired of seeing people change their entire appearance in photos. Facetune is probably the worst app that was ever invented. Actually, I’ll just go ahead and say it, it’s not probably the worst app, it is the worst app. Prior to Facetune, we had to remind ourselves that magazines were photoshopped and try to not compare ourselves to the men and women that graced the pages. Now, everyone has the potential to change their appearance in it’s entirety. And, since society is a beauty worshiping pit of vanity, Facetune sells. Changing your appearance sells. As a society we’ve accepted these completely unrealistic standards of beauty that is a waist so small a woman’s arms look larger than their waist, or lips so large, they take up half their face. It’s dangerous, not just to vulnerable minds, but to all of us. If we see something enough times, we normalize it. These overly Facetuned images should never be normalized.

An excess of lip injections. I would like to stipulate that I have no problem with lip injections, when done properly. A lot of women have an insecurity about their lips and I can understand the desire to fix that. But, A LOT of women take it too far. A lot of women will get so much lip injections at one time that they begin to take on the appearance of what resembles that of baboon lips. It’s not cute. It doesn’t look natural.

Mukbang. I don’t like watching people eat. I don’t understand the point. I think it’s even more annoying to watch people try to eat and talk at the same time. And, a lot of people look really disgusting when they’re eating. I also, personally, hate the sound of people chewing. Mukbangs need to go out of style. Fast.

Crop Tops. I’m 31 years old. Dear EVERY brand on earth, I want a full shirt. Midriffs are so fifteen years ago, honestly. If someone wants a crop top, they should have to cut it themselves. It’s bloody ridiculous to go into a store and see the women’s clothing section filled with cropped shirts and cropped sweatshirts that are $80+. If it’s half the shirt, it should be half the price… Bring back full shirts.

Tiny sunglasses. They’re not cute. They’re not functional. They’re basically a useless accessory for you to spend your money on and to look stupid on your face. I’ve yet to see someone pull them off. The point of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun. If your sunglasses aren’t doing that, why are you wearing them on your face? My apologies to anyone who likes them, but my opinion stands. This is a trend that needs to die in 2020.

What are some things you wish would die in 2020?

Let’s talk about Environmental Consciousness.

My incredible best friend sent me a Sephora gift card for my birthday. Naturally, since I love all things Sephora, I had to place an order right away to take advantage of their annual sale.

I ordered the Drunk Elephant ‘Midi Committee’ kit, used my gift card and was told that it would be to my house in 7-9 business days.

The package ended up getting to my house a lot quicker than expected, and what I got in the package I was less than impressed with it.

The Drunk Elephant ‘Midi Committee’ is a collection of travel size, and smaller than travel size, skincare items. There are five in total. As one could imagine, the products are small and don’t take up a lot of space.

The packaging, on the other hand, was over-the-top, and absolutely unnecessary.

The packaging the Drunk Elephant products came in.
The actual (tiny little) collection of products that were in the package.

I consider myself a very environmentally conscious person. I don’t speak about it always, but I do try to make my friends and family members more aware of the choices they’re making. I don’t use plastic bags, plastic straws, I try to limit my waste, try to recycle as much as possible. I want to be good to the planet. As good as I can be.

I’m a firm believer that small changes every day can make the difference. I also believe that if everyone made small changes every day we could collectively make one hell of an impact on the earth.

I don’t believe that it’s just individuals responsible for making these changes. Companies should be doing it to.

While I don’t use plastic bags, only use stainless steel straws, try to limit the amount of trash I am creating and overall just try to be good to the planet, it really disheartens me to see companies like Sephora and Drunk Elephant putting so damn much packaging on such small products.

The trial sized Drunk Elephant products came in plastic molding that was inside of a box, that was inside of a plastic/cardboard mixed wrapping that had branding on it, that was inside of the white box, that was inside of the Sephora box that was filled with brown paper because the Sephora box was so damn big it was easily 5-6 times the size of the Drunk Elephant packaging.

I’m not impressed.

Firstly – if my order alone had this much packaging to it, think of how much truly unnecessary packaging is shipped out of Sephora’s facilities each and every day to fill the thousands of orders they get. Are all of those thousands of people going to recycle or reuse the packaging? How much of that excess packaging is going to wind up in a landfill?

Secondly – With respect to Drunk Elephant, there is absolutely zero need to have products in plastic, in a box, in a plastic/cardboard wrapper, in another box. If Drunk Elephant has this much packaging on one kit, I can’t imagine how much packaging the rest of their skincare line has.

As a planet, we’re quite literally in the middle of an environmental crisis and WE ALL need to do our parts. Even companies. We all need to limit packaging, cut down our waste and make a difference. The onus cannot be put solely on consumers because we’ll be fighting a losing battle if we try to make changes and companies are still pulling this shit.

This is not sustainable.

This is not environmentally conscious.

This is not right.

Companies need to do their parts as well.

Blogging opinions from a Marketing/Communications/PR Perspective

So, I’ve been working in the Marketing/Communications/PR realm for a decade. I’ve held numerous positions with numerous companies which delved into the world’s of digital marketing, print marketing and television marketing.

When I speak these thoughts, please know they are my own personal opinions so please take them with a grain of salt. If you disagree with them, don’t take my word as the only, and please do what is right for your blog.


Your ‘ABOUT ME’ page is the most important page on your blog. If you don’t have one, you need to make one. And if you do have one, you need to make sure that it’s a page that will simultaneously tell the readers about you and your niche/niches, whilst enticing readers to come back.

The ‘About Me’ page should be the second item on any and every menu. This is because when people who don’t know you come to your page and read something they like, the next page they’re going to look for is to find out more about you and see if you’re someone they could see themselves following. If your ‘About Me’ page is hard to find, then you’re missing the opportunity to tell potential readers who you are.

Stop asking what’s in it for you and start asking what you can give. I saw someone on twitter the other day complaining that they commented on four blogs and no one came back to comment on their blog so they weren’t going to comment on anyone’s blog anymore.

Firstly, I can appreciate the hustle of just starting out. I can. And I am sure they are a very nice person. But when you say stuff like that you sound like a bit of a whiner, and also, verrrrrrrrrrry entitled. Please don’t just expect that if you comment on someone’s blog they’re going to come and leave a comment on your blog. They could, they might, but they’re not required to.

What if they don’t like what you write about? Or share about? Should they be required to comment on your blog solely because you commented on theirs? And if they are required to comment on your blog, solely because you commented on theirs, are they really going to leave that great of a comment?

If you want to bring something to the blogging community, then bring something to the blogging community. But stop asking ‘what’s in it for me?’ What’s in it for you? An opportunity to share your thoughts, an opportunity to connect and communicate, an opportunity to share and to hear other perspectives. But it’s worth noting you’re not entitled to any of those things. And you likely won’t get them if you’re going to complain and whine about it.

Layout of your blog matters. It always matters. If you’re just blogging for you, as an online journal and you don’t care who sees your blog, or if anyone ever does, then your layout only matters to you. But, if you’re blogging to find a community, grow an audience, hopefully become an established place for people to come and hear/see your thoughts, then your blog layout really needs to be clean, simple and easy to use. While you might like that neon green look, or the eight giant photos at the top of the page that need to get scrolled through to get to your actual content, most people likely won’t. And if you want their attention you need to make your blog layout appeal to them.

Think of it like the age old lesson they teach in real estate: a home with white walls is a whole lot easier to sell than a home with neon colours on the walls. This is because when people walk into a home with neon walls, they have a hard time seeing past the colours and cannot possibly picture themselves living there. A few people may walk into a home with a neon green kitchen and think ‘Yeah, I love that I want to live here’. Probably 90% of people can walking to a home with a white kitchen and think ‘Yeah, I love that and want to live here’.

It’s a simple fact of life, neutral colours appeal to more people. Neutral colours appeal to even those who loved the neon. So if you’re looking to grow an audience and want people to find your blog and fall in love, make sure that your layout is one that is neutral, one that can appeal to the most eyes that see it.

If you’d like to see what I speak in action – view the website of Nike, Nordstrom and even the WordPress homepage. All of these websites have something in common – they’re neutral to allow the content to speak for itself.

People focus far too much on getting readers to “click here for more” when they should be focusing on spreading their posts as far and wide as possible. I see a lot of people complain about how people just don’t click their ‘read more’ buttons. Well, I mean… I don’t really blame them. Unless you’re an established blogger, or my best friend, I’m likely not going to kick your ‘read more’ button either.

Without an established, guaranteed audience to read your content each day, the only thing you’re doing is making it harder for people to access your content. The more clicks required to actually view a single post of yours, the more potential audience members you’re going to lose in the process because they just can’t be bothered with clicking further.

Imagine someone clicks on a post and really likes what they’re reading. They then have to click back to your homepage to click another post to be able to read that. I’ve seen some layouts where you have to click on a photo to get the ‘read more’ button to click on that to actually read the text. In a world where there are 75 million blogs on wordpress alone, you’re really making it easy for people to just completely move on from your blog and forget it ever existed.

And hey, if you think ‘If they’re not going to click to read more then I don’t want them on my blog’, that’s fine, I respect that opinion. If that’s how you truly feel, though, then stop complaining about a lack of audience. Because if you really want to grow your audience, you need to make it easy for them to view your content.

Social media is not mandatory, but you will find more success with blogging if you have social media accounts for your blog. Social media is a beast that, if you use properly can benefit you immensely. I’m talking bringing hundreds, if not thousands, of organic hits to your website just with the sharing of a link to twitter, facebook and pinterest.

For reference, I have had a Pinterest Account for maybe 2 or 3 weeks at this point and the only posts I’ve actually posted to Pinterest are my travel posts. I have more than 3,100 hits to my Pinterest Account and more than a tousand referrers from those hits to my blog. You can say that 33 percent turning into actual hits isn’t that big, but I’d still say that 1,000 organic hits from Pinterest is more hits than I had before.

You do not have to have social media accounts. Not in any way, shape or form. But, if you make them, and you use them properly, they can drive organic traffic to your blog that you haven’t previously had. So I would strongly encourage you consider it.

If you don’t like what someone has to say, don’t leave them nasty comments. It’s a fact of life, you’re not going to agree with what everyone says on their blog. If that’s the case, find a new blog. You don’t need to leave them nasty comments calling them names or telling them they’re an idiot. You can simply just move on.


If you have any questions about anything I’ve said, feel free to ask.

If you’d like to read more of my posts about blog marketing, click here>

Natalia Grace on Dr. Phil

Well, today was the day. For the first time after all these months hearing Michael and Kristine Barnett slandering their adoptive daughter in the news with nothing but speculation they’re trying to claim as ‘evidence’, Natalia finally got her chance to share her side to the story.

There are varying degrees of opinions following the interview today. A lot of people online still painting her to be a liar, still doing… what I would consider to be online bullying with their words.

While I admit, there are some things I would love to have been asked/answered that weren’t, I trust that if Dr. Phil thought anything ridiculous going on he either would have 1) Stated that, or 2) Not aired the episode at all. He, as an executive producer has the power to decide what makes it to air and what doesn’t. He doesn’t need the ratings, his show isn’t in jeopardy. So, there was no reason for him to air this interview other than him wanting to let Natalia share her story.

In my personal opinion, Natalia is a 16 year old. I thought this before I watched Dr. Phil and after watching Dr. Phil, my opinion is only stronger that that is, in fact, the case.

A couple of important things happened on the show today:

  • Dr. Phil asked Natalia over and over and over again what her thoughts were so far as to the Barnett’s and their actions and, not once, did Natalia say a bad or negative thing about them.
  • When asked if she thinks the Barnett’s should serve jail time for their actions, Natalia said that all she wants to happen is that she gets her life back. She wants her age changed back to what it should be. She said that the court could give them jail time, and if they do that would be the courts decision. She said that she just wants her age changed back on paper and to be able to move on with her life.
  • Natalia said it wasn’t two months into her adoption that the Barnett’s started questioning her age and stopped treating her like family.
  • Dr. Phil asked Natalia about the speculations the Barnett’s have blasted through media cycles the past couple of months and Natalia responded to each of them. And honestly, it just seems like things the Barnett’s are blowing out of proportion to try and play a victim card.
  • Natalia’s parents, the people who have looked after her since she was abandoned, speculated a couple of things. 1) The father speculated they were trying to discredit her mental stability and when they couldn’t do that, that’s when they came up with the plan to change her age so they could leave her ‘because she was an adult’ and 2) The mother speculated that Natalia’s medical conditions and need for surgery would slow down their ability to devote their lives to their boy genius son and be touted in the media as an incredible mother looking after a son with Autism and advocating for people with disabilities, and that Kristine just didn’t want the negative press.

Honestly, I do think it’s a bit of both.

As mentioned in the previous posts I have done about Natalia Grace, I do believe she is a child. I do believe she is still a minor. Call this opinion biased if you’d like, but I am stating this is, in fact my opinion because I don’t want people to ‘come for me’ for saying it’s fact.

I’m grateful for the Mann family for taking in Natalia, a little girl who was forced to grow up way too quickly and who deserved better from both the Barnett’s and the United States government.

I sincerely hope, when all is said and done and the trial is over, that her age is legally changed back and she gets to lead a normal life. The Barnett’s are callous. The State of Indiana fucked up here. They really did. The judge who legally changed her age needs to be investigated. To me, it’s abundantly clear the Barnett’s crafted a way to ‘dispose’ of her that wouldn’t hurt their image and public notoriety gained from being the amazing parents to their child prodigy son Jacob. Natalia wasn’t an daughter to them. Natalia was an inconvenience to them. She’s the victim here.

I’m so disappointed in the media. I really am. All of these people who’ve been promoting Kristine and Michael’s lies and dragging this girl through the mud, they should have to apologize. I really hope they swallow the sword and grow up and apologize. Because until they do, Natalia is never going to be able to lead a normal life. Her name, face, likeness and person has been dragged through the mud for months… at the hands of this couple who refuse to admit their wrong doings.

** Oh, Dr. Phil also said that he’s arranging for Natalia’s birth mother to come to the United States to reunite the two. Which is awesome. I hope this birth mother is, in fact her birth mother and that Dr. Phil can help prove that. Because if so, that’ll be a big help into getting to the bottom of this case!


Couple of Dr. Phil clips:

Natalia responding to specific claims made by Kristine Barnett
Natalia answering with what she wants when all is said and done.

Previous posts about this subject:

Natalia Grace Speaks! – Nov 4, 2019

Natalia Grace – I can’t even with this crazy story… – October 9, 2019

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