Tag Archives: blogging

Up In Smoke Pt. 2

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No man can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true- Hawthorne

I saw this quote while watching The Sopranos believe it or not. So much of my written stuff is inspired by somethonf I saw on television.

At first I interpreted it as “you can’t keep being phony all your life without eventually forgetting who the real you is”. That statement all by itseld is enough to make you think about your authenticity. However, after mulling it over and even praying for deeper insight, I had an “aha” moment.

I am celebrating a year of quitting cigarettes. I quit on my mother’s birthday, June 21st. My mom had been beghing me to quit since she found out I started (which coincidentally was around her birthday in 2012)She had quit smoking cigarettes and marijuana in 1993. But whenever she asked me to quit, I brought up her past history. NOTE: NEVER THROW YOUR MOM’S PAST UP TO HER. IT’S A S****Y THING TO DO.

So anyway, I started feeling physically drained and I was tired and irritable and just off. I went to my doctor and after telling me I’m anemic, I told him I wanted to quit smoking. He put me on meds and about three weeks later, I felt better. The first two weeks were tortuous and I wanted to go on a rampage but I made it through.

I noticed that the person I was when I was smoking was far different from when I quit. I wasn’t so focused on when I could puff again or how I would pay for it. I could be the real me before I picked up the habit. I only picked up smoking because I had a stressful work and home life. My biological mom,stepfather, and youngest brother had moved in unannounced and my job demanded so much of my time, I was missing time with my rapidly growing three-year-old. I wanted to be care free and unbothered so I put on a mask. I smoked EVERY chance I got. Double time when I was out with friends. Now that I’m thinking about it, I was still missing time with my kid whenever I interrupted our play rime to smoke.

In the first two weeks of quitting, I was in a daze or fog a lot. I forgot who I was and what made me actually happy. I was bewildered as Hawthorne says. A year later and I’m physically healthier and God helped me quit in preparation to carry this life inside me. Everything works for His glory. Amen.

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How To Build Authority, Influence, and Trust When Nobody Knows You

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I have been working on improving things here at Mommy In Color. To that end, I have been reading a lot of blogs full of tips on how to improve the look, content, and promotion of my blog. I didn’t stop to think about how I can get folks to listen to anything I say. How do I prove I know what I’m talking about? Enter The Pro Blogger Podcast to the rescue.

I enjoy much of the content on the Pro Blogger website,but today was the first time I listened to the podcast. The host, Darren Rowse shares a few tips on becoming a reliable authority when you’re not exactly well know. Here’s what I learned:

1) Being an authority is not just about what you know,but you should also share what you know. Even the Bible speaks about sharing.Beginners, you know a little something something as well. Share it!

2) Don’t just share what you know,talk a little about what you don’t know. Transparency is relatable.

3) Learn in public. Interviews are a good way to show others that you are learning all you can about the field/subject in which you want to be the authority Showing the journey,once again, is relatable.

4) Use case studies. Showing the numbers and proven facts helps you gain credibilty.

5) Show vulnerability. You don’t want to lose your humanity or intimidate the audience into thinking you know it all and never slip or struggle.

6) Share transformations and conversion. People like to hear about the beginning of your journey because it makes them comfortable to know that you were a newbie as well.

7) Have a positive and constructive outlook. It’s okay to talk about when you make mistakes but dont dwell on it. Instead,share how you intend to improve.

8) Build a platform of giving and generosity before asking or promoting. Of course your goal is to profit or gain additional followers but people respond better when there is an offer on the table for them in exchange for what you want from them.

9) Be reliable and consistent. If you put it out there, back it up when you say you will. If you’re telling folks you’re posting 3x a week,or you’re hosting a raffle or giveaway, DO IT!

10) Keep messaging clear and simple. You don’t have to use large words or complicated formulas. Being an authority means making your customer/follower/reader feel smarter,not just you being a smarty pants.K.I.S.S.= Keep It Simple, Sweetie!

11)Use your influence for the benefit of others,not just yourself. What can you do with your power to make things better for those who are loyal to your product or brand?

12) Don’t just seek to be known,liked,or trusted. Let your audience know that you know,like,and trust them as well. Research who they are,what their niche or business is. Tall to them directly. Comment,repost/retweet,respind to questions,and ask questions. Show that you trust them by sharing things about yourself as well.

13) Take your time. Becoming the authority in your field takes time. How much time? That’s up to you and whether or not you’re willing to do the work and have the patience to stick it out.

I hope these tips have helped you because they definitely helped me. Make sure you check out the podcast, Pro Blogger for more tips on blogging and social media. Be blessed and be a blessing, y’all!!!

Old School Blogging: 12 Questions

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Thanks again to the lovely Elaine, of the Miss Elaine-ous Life for another OSB gem! Hey,girl!!!

Are you young at heart or an old soul?

Definitely an old soul. I love old school music(anything Motown that’s predated from the 80s) and I love old movies and old people. All myfirends call me ‘old lady” and I own it becuase the old things I love represent something genuine that I feel is lost in this generation. For me, my parents grew up in the BEST era and I try to take some of their old school upbringing and values and morals and insert into my daughter’s life.

Tell me about a movie/book that changed your life?

As of right now, I have yet to come across either a book or movie that has changed  my life. Even my favorite books and movies haven’t changed my life. Ask me again in twenty years

Would you like to reconnect with any friends you’ve lost contact with?

Definitely. Lately, my best friend has been really on my mind. We haven’t spoken in a long time and I fear that our reconnection would be awkward. She had a baby a year ago and I have yet to meet her daughter even though the live about 45 minutes away. I know, I know I’m a terrible friend. I do plan on calling her real soon and meeting her gorgeous little girl.

Where was your favorite place to go when you were a little kid?

In the summer, my mom and I would walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Sometimes it was because we didn’t have money for carfare when my mom had importaant appointments and sometimes it was just because we wanted to. I remember once ,my mom had just bought some awesome clog sandals and they were pinching her feet as we were walking the bridge. We stopped in the middle of it and she asked me if we could switch shoes( we have the same size foot) and we did. I felt so cool in my mom’s shoes.

Do you enjoy being with only one or two friends,or with a large group of friends?

I like having dinner and catching up with three friends at the most. However, when ther is a birthday celebration I love hanging with a large diverse group.BTW, guess who has a birthday coming up? (May 8th)

What’s your “quirkiest” habit?

I have a strange and slightly disgusting habit of ripping off my cuticles. Sometimes, I rip them off without incident,other times things get so…bloody *cringes*

What part of the past year sticks out in your mind?

Hmm…I’m going to have to say getting a job at TJ Maxx last April (I was fired in March). I met some awesome people and I made a couple new best friends.

What do you use more often:your intuition or your logical reasoning?

I’m not really sure. I think with my heart alot which sometimes gets me in trouble.

Where is your favorite place to go out and eat?

APPLEBEES!!!! Their Bourbon Black and Bleu Burger is the greatest thing ever crested by man! Plus, it’s also the place I take Bubba on mommy/daughter dates.

What was the last song that was stuck in your head?

If I mention it, it will get stuckAl in my head again. No,no,no!! OK fine it was Everything Is Awesome from The Lego Movie. Aww geez, its stuck in my head again. Thanks alot, Elaine!

What is your ethnic heritage?

African American, as far as I know. I’m sure that its diluted somewhere becuase of the light skin me,my father,and my grandfather have. No one has ever said anything to me about any other ethnicities so I’m just guessing.

Give me the story of your life in six words.

Always looking for the answer.

2014 Blogging Goals

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I think that Mommy In Color had a decent 2013. I got quite a few more followers, both on the blog and on Twitter,and even more of my personal friends are reading and talking about it. No, I’m not getting paid and I havent gotten nominated for any blog awards,but you have to crawl before you can walk. I’ve grown as a blogger and a woman and Mommy In Color reflects that growth. But…I could be doing better and here’s how I want to do that.

1) I plan on posting twp to three times a week. Although I didn’t finish NaBloPoMo,I got alot of ideas for series I’d like to do. Some of them were You May Quote Me… and From My Personal Diary

2)I got a chance to get some exposure,on my favorite natural hair blog, Good Hair Diaries and that motivated me to start trying to get featured on some of my other favorite blogs in the new year so don’t be surprised if I come a-knocking on your blog door.I’d also like to be featured on other blogs that are about what I know the most about: parenting!

3) Listen, Mommy In Color is meant to show the colorful life of a mother and I want the look to reflect that. Realistically,I can’t afford to pay someone to do a revamp for me. Ain’t nobody got that kind of money! So,my onlyoption is to learn how to do it myself. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of blogs do well with a WordPress theme & format but I’m so much more than that. A blog design is supposed to reflect the blogger’s persona and mine is odd & colorful. I’m hoping in 2014 that I can figure out how to do my own design

4) Mama needs a new pair of shoes! I’m so serious. I want to start getting a couple dollars for my words. I seriously don’t know where to start or how much I should be making but I know a community of bloggers who can point me in the right direction. I don’t expect to make much at first, but I want to start somewhere.

5)Last but not least, I want Mommy in Color to become a place where all young moms can come when they need inspiration, encouragement, or at least to know they are not alone. My content will be digging deeper into the tough stuff while simultaneously showing what it is that young moms care about. I want to do some interviews and feature some brave teen/young moms. I have alot of work ahead of me,but I also am motivated and ready for a challenge!

WHAT ARE YOUR BLOG GOALS?LEAVE THEM TO ME IN YOUR COMMENTS OR THE LINK TO YOUR BLOG ABOUT IT!