Starting a Blog?

IMG_2866

Within the past few months, several people have come to me with questions about blogging, so I thought it might be beneficial to share my insight for all new/existing bloggers out there. I have been blogging for several years now, so I am very happy to share my personal tips and advice… Whether you are considering your own site, just starting off, or have had lots of experience, I hope this post is helpful!

1: It’s what you want it to be.

Embrace your unique style of writing because your blog is whatever you want it to be. Don’t feel like you have to follow strict guidelines because there is no right or wrong way to do it. Your blog is very personal, so be creative, have fun, and enjoy writing about anything and everything you want!

2: Be aware of your audience.

The entire world has access to your site at any given moment, so the publicity of a blog (without privacy settings) is pretty immense. Therefore, it is very important that you are aware of the information that you post and pay close attention to photos to ensure that your location isn’t outwardly revealed unless you want it to be. Blogging is one of my biggest hobbies, but safety is always taken into consideration before I hit the “publish” button. I don’t mean to discourage you; I just want you to be aware of your audience and make smart decisions when you post.

3: It takes time to grow.

One of the most common concerns that you may have when you first begin a blog is the lack of readers because it takes a while to become recognized in the community. Don’t become discouraged, but use this time to improve your site and become familiar with certain blogging techniques. I recommend that you engage with other bloggers by following, liking, and commenting on their sites, and it also helps to promote your blog on existing social media platforms. With time, you will gain more followers and your status/traffic will continue to grow!

4: Quality over quantity.

I think one of the worst mistakes that you can make as a blogger is forgetting that the quality of posts always overrules quantity. Don’t rush the writing process just to post something because this will lead to poor quality posts that will bore both you and your readers, so write when you are inspired. Your posts do not have deadline, so you can take as long as you need (days, weeks, or even months.) Whatever you do, you must always maintain quality over quantity.

5: Respond to readers.

When people take time to comment on your posts, it is always good to like and respond to them even if it is a simple ‘thank you.’ They made the effort to reach out to you and express their thoughts and appreciation for your writing, so don’t let that go unrecognized.

6: Research writing prompts.

There are going to be times when you really want to write something, but you just don’t know what. Whenever this happens, I honestly Google writing prompts to get my creativity flowing again. That is my little blogging secret…

7: Why not?

Blogging has really given me the opportunity to express myself, share my passion of writing with the world, meet hundreds of inspiring people, and document memorable moments of my life that can be revisited in the future. If blogging has ever crossed your mind, I really encourage you to at least try it because why not? You can always delete your site if you hate it, but you will never know unless you try. My blog has really impacted my life, and I don’t have a single regret. I am so thankful for all of my readers, and I hope to continue posting for many years to come.


Please feel free to drop any individual questions in the comments section because I am happy to help you begin/continue your blogging journey! A few months ago, I released a post that provided a small overview of my experience on WordPress so far, so be sure to go check that out if you are interested. Thank you so much for reading, and good luck blogging!

What are your thoughts on this post? Do you have any tips or advice? Are there any questions that you still have? Ask away!

Backstage Secrets

Pas de deux

The house lights start to dim, and hushed voices lead into silence. The orchestra begins to play the first few notes as the curtain rises. The show has begun. Audience members witness the artists’ story, but the other side of the stage remains hidden from them. Behind the backdrop, beyond the Marley floors, and in the depths of the wings lays an unknown world filled with secrets that only dancers share… until today. I have selected my top 6. Enjoy!

Toothbrush Trick: Believe it or not, I blend my hair together with a toothbrush before shows to to remove the dreaded streaks from a wide toothed brush/comb. Gel and hairspray makes hair stick together, so this trick is lifesaving. I have a specific toothbrush dedicated for this purpose, and it has never been used in my mouth. I thought I should clarify.

Calamine: We always have to apply a light layer of calamine onto our new pointe shoes before a performance so they don’t reflect the bright stage lights. Most directors would agree that shiny shoes can be very distracting.

Butt Glue: It isn’t ballet related (DO NOT use this with tights), but this is crucial for contemporary/modern shows when we are only wearing a leotard. We put a line of butt glue on the edge of our leotard so that it doesn’t move onstage. Trust me, it has spared us from countless wedgies. Enough said.

Securing Ribbon: It is practically impossible to tie all of the pointe shoe ribbon around ankles, so the remaining ribbon is tucked in under the knot. However, they occasionally fall out, so we always have to sew them to the top layer with a few stitches with thick thread (dental floss works too).

Weird Words: This was actually my idea, and a few of my fellow dancers still think this is a bit odd… During a long corps de ballet section, we are continuously going on and offstage, and it can be intimidating to run offstage with ten seconds to remember which part of the dance comes next. I create weird words or letters so that I don’t blank out in the wings before my next enterance. I still remember the Friends dance of Copellia was “SAP D-G.” The first time I went offstage, I came back on with my Solo… ran offstage for a few seconds and waited for the Adagio section to begin. I continued to go through SAP D-G until the end of the dance!

Rosin: We often coat the back of our heels with rosin so that our pointe shoes don’t slip off of our feet if they feel loose.

Thanks for reading! Did some of these things surprise you? What are some of YOUR backstage secrets?

Alice, Results, and Tutus

friends

Have you wondered how Alice in Wonderland is coming together? Did you stop by to see which blog post won the most votes? Why is there a tutu in my title? I have lots of updates…

Alice in Wonderland is less than a week away, and these past two weeks have been so stressful (mentally and physically)  as we put this entire ballet together. The cast list has been slightly adjusted, so I will now be dancing as Alice’s sister, garden flower, lead deck of cards, maid, and white queen corps de ballet. Yesterday, I was also given the responsibility to understudy the Mad Hatter due to a foot injury. I am praying that my friend gets better, but I will be sure to learn all of the choreography so that I can step in if she needs me during the long show weekend. I am excited to dance in this fun ballet, but I also am getting very nervous as all of these dancers whirl my brain in circles.

The blog post poll officially closed yesterday, and I am so excited to announce that Backstage Secrets won the most votes! I am so thankful for everyone who participated, and I will be sure to post all of these ideas at some point in the future. Right now, I am looking forward to sharing all of the weird things that dancers do before/during a show that the public doesn’t know. This will be very amusing and probably shocking to most of you. This post should be up on Tuesday, but please be patient if it gets delayed for some reason.

HAPPY TUTU DAY! (2/2/19) I know it isn’t on a Tuesday this year, but it is still a dance day worth celebrating.

Thank you for reading, and have a fantastic Superbowl Sunday! 🙂

From my window…

fromwindow

From my window, I sit frozen in time as the bitter wind cuts across the night sky. My gaze shifts to the lonely pieces of paper as I contemplate the words running deep within my mind. Hidden corners of these cold thoughts contain unwanted memories of what use to be. My pen remains untouched as I am not sure where to begin writing the story that left me lost in my own imagination. The confusion still rings as I wonder what could have been. The sting of another winter day sends shivers down my spine as I sit frozen in time sipping warm tea from my window…

_____________

I know this one was deep. I wrote this a few nights ago, but I am actually quite pleased with how it turned out. What are your thoughts? Did this connect to you in some way?

On a lighter note, I am thrilled to see so many votes coming in for my blog post poll! As I am writing this, Backstage Secrets is in the lead, but it is very closely followed by My Blogging Experience. If you haven’t voted yet, be sure to head over here and drop your top choice(s) in the comments section. Remember, this poll closes February 1st! 🙂 Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Blog Post Current Polls:

Embarrassing Moments: 3 votes

Backstage Secrets: 8 votes

First Few Months of Driving: 2 votes

Guilty Confessions: 3 votes

Playlist: 3 votes

My Blogging Experience: 5 votes

Readers, I Need You!

snowcap

Help! I have compiled a small list of upcoming post ideas, but I need you to vote on what you would be most interested in reading. You can drop you top choice(s) in the comments section, and the post with the highest vote will be released on February 5th! Your input is very much appreciated because it will help me develop fun content that you all enjoy! All of these ideas will probably be used sometime in the future, but I am wondering which one will generate the most interest… If you have any post suggestions, you can add it in the comments section along with your top choice from the list below. I love inspiration from other amazing bloggers, and I am looking forward to hearing from you!

*Embarrassing moments: I will reveal some memories that left me cringing or laughing at my own foolish actions.

*Backstage Secrets: There are some things non-dancers never know. Discover some of the weird tricks and backstage secrets that is not public knowledge…

*First Few Months of Driving: My thoughts and experiences as a newly licensed driver.

*Guilty Confessions: Do you want me to admit some concealed truths about myself?

*Playlist: I will share my top favorite songs that I am listening to right now!

*My Blogging Experience: Find out about my experience with blogging and some of the things that I love/hate about owning this internet space. It might surprise you!

Important notice: Your votes will be counted until February 1st, so you have about a week to make your decision. Now, go cast your vote! 🙂