Now Presenting: The Four Time Blogger Award Winner…

cropped-no-2-guide.pngI have hesitated to call myself a “blogger” for quite a while, I felt like it wasn’t a real thing and so I didn’t talk about it in my “real life”. It was something that I did on the side, for myself, and knew that even though I dreamt of it turning into more, that it probably wouldn’t, because who gets to live out their dreams?

I kept myself in a little bubble, not really engaging with others unless I really felt confident that we had connected already and that it wouldn’t seem strange for me to be there and reading the, sometimes personal, happenings of their lives. People with thousands of followers, making a living from what started off as a personal blog.  I was just a hobby blogger, with my 100 followers. No big deal.

And then my holiday break happened. It was 10 days for me to put my “real life” job behind me, and focus solely on writing and engaging with other bloggers. The difference in readership, relationships, and the community that has been building is palpable. I have found that my “real life” job is no longer the one that I think about at night when I can’t sleep, when I’m looking around on Pinterest it’s not about progressing that work, it’s about writing, engaging, and building a community. Blogging became a little more real.

I may never be the rich and famous blogger turned entrepreneur with perfectly designed images, dreamy workspaces, blogging full time – but I definitely think I am comfortable calling myself a blogger.

Part of the growth in my blogging community has been to look for new writers to follow and engage with. I have been on the hunt for others that I can relate to, and that can tell a compelling story. I’ve shared their stories, connected with them on social media, and commented on their posts. You wouldn’t believe the amazing talent and is out there, across the world. I aim to give them all the opportunity to share their contact information, and build relationships across the blogosphere.

In the last week, four of these amazing people nominated me for three separate blogger awards: The Blogger Recognition Award, The Versatile Blogger Award and The Mystery Blogger Award. I couldn’t believe it as the notifications started rolling in. These awards were created by bloggers, for bloggers, to help spread the word, expand reach, and showcase blogs you enjoy reading. I am so honored to have been nominated for each of these awards.

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In an attempt to streamline the continuation process, I am going to combine the three awards into this single post. Nominees are welcome to select the particular award they are most interested in displaying and participating in.

recaward

Thank you to Mrs. Mulvihill & Jasmine for nominating me for THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD! I enjoy reading both of your blogs and am honored that you thought that The Corner Office was a place you enjoyed spending time in, and wanted to share.

The Guidelines for this award are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  2. Write a post to show your award
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  5. Select 15 other bloggers for this award
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and link to the post you created.

To give you the story of how The Corner Office started, I’m going to point you toward my About Me page: What’s This All About?” – it gives a brief explanation of the transition I have gone through, and what my mission behind TCO has transformed into. Community baby, community!

My advice for new bloggers: engaged with others, and be true to yourself. If you’re trying to be someone you’re not it shows – and you’ll end up exhausted and frustrated. Find other blogs you enjoy, follow them, comment on them, share them. It makes you seem like a real person – which you are! – and makes you approachable. I promise it will increase your readership. (As long as you’re not a jerk!)

mysteryawardThank you, Tina, for nominating me for THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD! This award is for “amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they did it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma, the award creator!

The Guidelines for this Award are:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  6. Answer five questions from the nominee.
  7. Nominate from ten to twenty bloggers.
  8. Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question.
  10. Share the link to your best post.

Three Things About Me: 

[ONE] I tried yoga for the first time last week – I loved it!

[TWO] I am currently drinking my favorite coffee (Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll KCup) in a new mug!

[THREE] I have worn some version of pajamas for the last three days.

Questions from Tina – I will use these as my questions as well:

[ONE] Why did you start your blog? See response in award above.

[TWO] Do you feel young at heart or your age? I actually feel older than my age, I always have. I tend to more introverted, and in my 20s and 30s, that has not been in line with the rest of my generation.

[THREE] What kind of vehicle do you drive? A Ford Escape. My second one, I love it.

[FOUR] What is your favorite television program? Oh my, picking just one will be impossible. The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, New Girl, Parenthood, Friends, The Office – BAH! I could keep going!

[FIVE] What’s the last movie you watched? We watched both We Are Your Friends and The Accountant yesterday – I enjoyed both of them!

versaward

Thank you, Jen, for nominating me for THE VERSATILE BLOG AWARD!

Guidelines for this award are:

  1. Display Award
  2. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you & provide a link to their blog
  3. Write 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate Bloggers

Seven Things About Me:

[ONE] I’m going to cheat and use the three above 🙂

[TWO] I regularly dream of being back in my northern Michigan family cottage, it was my happy place.

[THREE] I have a LulaRoe addiction, I wish it was acceptable to walk around in leggings all day.

[FOUR] Speaking of addictions, I am also a notebook and journal collector, I have so many adorable notebooks that I can’t bear to open and write in. I have this expectation that I use them for something grand…but instead they just decorate my office.

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Onto my nominees – select whichever award you would like. I selected you because I do enjoy reading your stories, and have related to something you’ve written. You’re putting yourself out there, and I love it! Pick your award and display it proudly!

Making Time for Me

Not The Average Mama

Flying Through Water

Thoughts from Jasmine

The World of Suzy Homemaker

Suzie Speaks

Crazy Love Parents

Meet and Greet: 10/1/16

It’s a Meet and Greet Weekend at Dream Big Dream Often! Find some other blogs that suit your fancy!

Dream Big, Dream Often

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It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!    

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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High Five for Friday: Happiness Tag

happiness tagEarlier this week Jess over at Not the Average Mama nominated me to continue the Happiness Tag. Jess is an amazing blogger and someone that I knew of, before I even realized who she was. Which is cryptic and odd, I know. I am proud to be a part of her blogger community and know that someday we will meet in real life and will be fast friends! Thanks for thinking of me, lady!

 

Five things that make me happy:

  1. Family: I am one of those lucky people that was born into a supportive, loving, and hilarious family. I am forever grateful for the family I was born into and the family that has grown around me as I move through life.
  2. Music: Music makes me incredibly happy. There are few things can calm me down and take me to another world like music can. I love that everyone can have their own favorite type of music, just because I love a musician doesn’t mean that you have to. It allows everyone to enjoy and appreciate the art without forcing me into a category.
  3. Friendship: I am a strong believer in quality over quantity when it comes to friendships. Just a couple of people that I don’t have to be guarded with, that I know have positive intentions, and care about me in a genuine way.
  4. Mornings: I am a classic introvert. I thrive on time to myself, not to isolate myself, but to process and recharge. Mornings have become my time to do that. I enjoy my routine and time to relax before going about my day.
  5. Writing: I wouldn’t be here if writing didn’t make me happy. Blogging has become a huge part of my life and I am incredibly grateful for this space, this community, and any writing talent that I may have.

Five songs that make me happy:

  1. The Who, Baba O’Riley
  2. Joshua James, Coal War
  3. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, After the Fire
  4. Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life (Dirty Dancing Theme Song)
  5. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Mary Jane’s Last Dance

 

For better or worse, I am always breaking rules in this blogging world. Instead of nominating specific people, I am going to nominate anyone that needs to take a few minutes to think about things that make you happy. Sometimes we just need to focus more on happiness and less on what is causing us frustration and stress. So, if you need some happiness in your life today – I encourage you to participate in The Happiness Tag!

How Scheduling Your Blog Posts Can Be Your Secret Weapon

The cornerI have been blogging, consistently and purposefully, for a little over a year. Obviously, I’m an expert.On May 25th, 2016 I wrote My First Thirty Years and over the course of the next few months I slowly built up momentum in writing. On January 4th I woke up and wrote Ninety Days, the jump start to blogging purposefully, intentionally, and consistently. Since then, I have built and rebuilt my process for planning, writing, scheduling, promoting, engaging, and connecting. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be in the perfect groove, but I’ve made progress and started to find some flow.

My secret weapon? Scheduling posts ahead of time!

I am a “write when I get the motivation and inspiration” type of person I also have a difficult time with delayed gratification. I blame social media and my generation. We just can’t wait for anything. When I write, I do it quickly, I make sure I have original art to include and I want to post right that second. I want immediate feedback. That is an exhausting way to blog. I ended up feeling guilty on the days that I didn’t write or post, had an ever growing list of topics I wanted to cover, and an even longer list of blog housekeeping tasks I wanted to start checking off. BAH!

About 60% of the blogs that I follow have a posting schedule. I love it and I hate it. I love the organization and consistency that it brings, but I have always hated that I thought it would pigeon hole me into only 3-5 topics and posts. I tried to find the middle ground with creating “series” on the blog: EJFP Chapters, The New Normal, Saturday Share, High Five for Friday, and Throwback Thursday. For the most part, I could post them whenever I wanted, they are just categories on steroids. But the structure they created gave me the motivation to write ahead of time, posting four days in advance for the first time last week. 

Those four days gave me a window. A window to build momentum in my writing. If I keep writing consistently, 3-4 days a week and schedule them to post a few days later, I’ll push through the next writing block that I come across. Never mind the fact that it’s super fun to watch them post while you’re going about your life. With a little encouragement from my blogger friend Niki, I found a process that works for me. Writing on a daily basis has never been so easy!

So, in my expert opinion: find a process that works for you, that allows you to post in advance. It doesn’t have to stop you from writing (and posting) on the fly – that’s part of the fun of blogging, but it can help you feel not so…crazy.

For more inspiration and blogging tutorials, check out Niki’s Blogging Tips posts!

Stalling the Finish Line

I’ve been stalling.

Almost nine weeks ago, I signed up for my first blogging challenge. I had witnessed a few from afar by reading posts and themes, but I had never before committed my writing to a particular theme or person. I had very little expectation for what this would do for me, beyond meeting new bloggers and just extending my circle in this world a little bit. What I ended up walking away with was so much more.

But still, I’ve been stalling.

revofkindnessThe seventh and final week of the Kindness Challenge was to focus on secret kindness, to spread kindness without mentioning it in conversation, to just put kindness out in the universe and watch the natural ripple effect that occurs. For the first time in those seven weeks, I had decided that I would move forward without a plan. I wouldn’t plan how to be kind, I wouldn’t go out looking for the bloggable moment to share. I wanted to just live, and when the opportunities presented themselves to be kind, to do more, to be the best version of myself, I took them. No questions asked. It was, by far the easiest week of the challenge, the previous six weeks had prepared me to live in this way, the most challenging part of my final week participating was that I’m not even allowed to blog about the actual kindness “tasks” that happened. It forced me to even rethink the words I would use to describe the actions that took place.

Of all the words, all the sentences, all the posts that came to my head, it all boiled down to one word: happy. I spent that week being happy, feeling loved by those that I purposefully was kind to, I remained positive when my natural inclination would be to be negative, I was calm, I was helpful, I saw some of my relationships strengthen in a matter of days, I was just happier.

But yes, I was stalling. I was stalling because I wasn’t ready for the challenge to be over. Writing this post and sharing my final reflection was the one thing I had to hold onto and force myself to keep moving forward in this mindset. Once I hit publish, I have no anchor to keeping my focus, no task at hand. I just have to live and keep it moving myself. I can no longer depend on Niki to give me a prompt for the week, to check in with me, and to ask questions that make me think deeper. I had to do all of that on my own and I wasn’t entirely sure I trusted myself to do it.

In the last two weeks I’ve been both successful and challenged in my quest to keep moving forward, acting with kindness. It was obvious to both myself, and those around me when I was feeling challenged by it, and incredibly obvious to me when I was feeling successful. It was now up to me to notice the difference and make the choice as to which road I would take. I will continue to look at the inspirational people in my life that I use as pillars of kindness, the people that have somehow managed to make this a part of their personality naturally. They will be my yardstick for measuring my success, and I will keep moving forward.

I want to finish with my appreciation for Niki, who put together this challenge and did an amazing job facilitating conversation and insight throughout the entire process. I don’t think you realized the impact that this would have on so many people when you had your initial thought to put it together. I applaud your courageousness for doing it, and your engagement with each of us throughout the process. Thank you for spreading kindness.

 

Hello, June!

HELLOBoy, was May the month of transitions. April was crazy, overly busy, too much going on, packing, moving, packing, moving, cleaning, unpacking, and so on. For some reason I figured the transition would end on May 1st, that’s a lot of pressure for the month of May. The craziness may have decreased but the transitions were really just starting.

A couple of weeks before we moved I was talking with my uncle about the whole process. I was kind of blowing him off because he randomly showed up while my mom and I were finishing up for the day, he was drunk, and was just so unaware of how annoyed we were. He told me he was going to give me a month to get settled in our new house. I laughed and said “Ha! I’ll be settled in three days!” and I honestly believed it. I figured I’d be in, unpacked, settled, and relaxed by day three. Funny, it’s now day thirty-three and there’s still some boxes that need to be unpacked, stuff to be organized, shelves to be hung, and a garage full of grandma’s stuff that needs to be sold. Nevermind the fact that it took me all thirty-one days in May to get through my transition period, to remember where I put things, to create some new routines, to not feel like I’m having a sleepover in my grandma’s house. Maybe I should listen to my uncle more often…maybe not.

May wasn’t a high viewer month for The Corner Office, however I spent a lot of time cultivating relationships with other bloggers that I have been following, so to me, that is the mark of a complete success. I’ve seen a decline in readership among the people in my personal life, but my blogger friends have been reading, liking and commenting. Thank you!

May had 327 views, 13 posts, readers from 11 countries, 81 likes, and 39 comments. So, while my overall views have decreased, the engagement on the blog has spiked pretty dramatically.

I have been participating in the Kindness Challenge, hosted by Niki at The Richness of a Simple Life – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 – are here.

I guest posted for Stephanie on Making Time for Me by writing an introductory post, which was harder than I had anticipated but I absolutely loved how it turned out.

I posted 3 High Five for Friday posts, which are always one of my favorites to put together. H54F 5/13, H54F 5/20, H54F 5/27

May was fun! Less stressful, more relaxing, and allowed me to build some new routines and recharge for the summer. I’m looking forward to June – thanks for continuing on this ride with me!

February by the Numbers

blogging.jpgIt’s been just over a month since I started taking more initiative to be purposeful and engaged on this blog. I started writing as a creative outlet and eventually it morphed into a form of emotional support for me as the posts were published and the followers increased. I really enjoy interacting with other people, sharing my stories or thoughts, and hearing from those that have read. So, with that in mind I have decided to add an additional category to my blog that specifically will relate to the art of blogging, sharing posts from other authors, the status of this particular blog, and content specifically about building a presence on the interwebs. All of these posts will be categorized with “Blogosphere”. Since I assume that not all of my followers will be interested in this content, I will, at least initially, not be publicizing these posts on Facebook or Instagram. They will be promoted via Twitter as that is where I connect with other bloggers. I’m excited to expand my focus and continue connecting with other writers as I share my life and experience with everyone.

February was the first month where I actually spent time and energy planning my focus, my posts, and incorporated some structure into the blog. I am completely blown away by the response and engagement I’ve seen over the last 29 days. Between January and February of 2016 I more than DOUBLED my views and visitors than any other YEAR since I started in 2012. That’s awesome!

Thank you so much for reading, for sharing, liking, commenting, and just even poking around here – I appreciate every person that has taken the time to read something I’ve written. Writing is a dream of mine, and in some small way, this is making my dreams come true! Without further adieu, here’s February by the Numbers:

  • 829 Views
  • 447 Visitors
  • 32 Likes
  • 12 Comments
  • Read in 6 Countries (USA, India, UK, Netherlands – New TODAY!, Thailand, and Sweden)
  • 16 total posts published
  • Most popular post ever: The New Normal with 366 Total Views 2/11 when it was posted

My closest timeframe to what was accomplished in February is the YEAR of 2015, which came in under half of the Views and Visitors!

Let’s see what March has in store! Thanks again for reading!