DIY Blog Conference Bag

This tutorial is about a year old. That is why the pictures in it are pretty nasty, but with Snap conference coming up, I thought it would be appropriate to share it! I wrote it originally for the Expressions Vinyl blog. This bag was a huge hit at Snap last year and I am making a different one for this year! I am still working on the design, but I will post all about it after I go to Snap! If you are coming to Snap, make yourself a bag! It is a great way to brand yourself!

Easy tutorial to turn a free ugly bag into a bag to advertise yourself! #diy #tutorial #blog

How many doctor’s offices have you been to that give you a free bag filled with advertisements that you probably won’t ever use? I just recently had a baby and got my fair share of these bags that I didn’t quite know what to do with. I couldn’t really throw a perfectly useful bag away, so I decided to give it a little facelift.

I had the opportunity of going to the Snap! Blogger Conference last month and wanted a way to showcase my blog name without having to talk to every, single person. Putting my name on a bag was the perfect way to do this! To make your own personalized bag you will need…

*Canvas tote

*Iron on vinyl (2 colors)

*Mulit use paper

*Cricut using Sure Cuts a Lot or Silhouette



First, you will want to measure your bag to see how large your background vinyl piece needs to be.

Go on your cutting program and create the background piece that you want. I wanted my website to be shown too so I put that in there too. Be sure to make the text flipped before cutting it out though. Having the vinyl cut out this way, will make it so the color of your bag shows through the holes that the text will be cut.

Now you wantto peel off the vinyl from your letters and iron your vinyl onto your bag. The vinyl is a little harder to get to stick to the canvas, so be sure to press really hard and to let it sit a little longer than you typically would for other materials.

Your bag will now have your background piece on it.

I have a heart in my logo and I wanted to have my logo look the same on my bag that it does on my blog. Because the bag had it’s own logo on it, I couldn’t have the heart cut out of the background, so I cut it out of felt and hot glued it onto my vinyl.

Now you want to cut out your letters for your bag. I made sure to measure how large I could have them on the background, then typed them in, flipped them, then cut it out.

Cut your vinyl words apart and lay them out where you will want them to be.

Be sure to use the multi use paper when ironing over the hot glued piece so that you don’t get hot glue on your iron.

One by one, iron your words where you want them to be.

I added felt flowers to give it a little flair and now I have a unique, personalized bag that is both stylish and totally affordable!

Easy tutorial to make a bag to promote your blog via #diy #tutorial #project

I will be linking to these great link parties here.



Blog Post Writing Checklist Free Printable!

I was sick and tired of trying to remember everything that I wanted to do for each blog post that I wrote! There is so much that goes into a blog post that I don’t think that most readers realize! There is making the project, taking the photos, editing the photos, writing the post, amping up the post, and sharing the post and frankly, sometimes it is easy to forget what you have and haven’t done for each post. I decided to ask some of my blogging besties what they would want in a checklist for each blog post and they had some great suggestions! I took those suggestions and created blog post writing checklist that is free for you to print out and use for yourself too!
Remember, my free printables are for personal use only! Just right click on the picture and save it to your computer! You can also go grab it from the Google Doc here.

Pin It


Isn’t it pretty?! Now to talk details… There are sections for before, during, and after the blog post is written. Before, you need to take specific pictures of your project/subject. You also need to edit those photos and add watermarks to them. You should also be researching what SEO keywords to use while naming your photos and what SEO keywords to use in your blog post. During your post, you need to truncate (if you do that), add a name to the photos, add “no follow” links on paid posts, label you post, add keywords, check for typos, and link back to any similar posts that you have done in the past. As for after your post, you need to add the pin it button if you don’t already have it, share on social media outlets, share with brands that would be interested, link up to link parties, and share with feature sites. I left open spots to name the specific feature sites you want to share with.
I was sure to leave plenty of open space so that you can really personalize this list for your blog. Obviously we all have different blogs so some feature sites are better for some people, while others are better for other people and some bloggers may need to do more before, during, and after the blog post. It is made for you to customize! I hope this can help you as much as it helps me!

I am linking this to these great link parties here!

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Be a Better Blogger Week: Using Twitter

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I am SO excited about this topic. I need help with Twitter big time. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably agree with me! My husband is a Twitter ninja. He is so knowledgeable with this topic, I knew that he was just the guy to give us all a learning session on this topic! I’ll let him take it from here…

Stunner Shades
If I were to rank the best decisions I’ve made in my life, the top three would be 1) marrying a smokin’ hot wife, 2) fathering a child, and 3) signing up for Twitter. If you’re a frequent reader of Girl Loves Glam, you probably aren’t looking for a wife, and you physically cannot father a child, so I guess I’ll give you advice about #3, Twitter.
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I recently signed up for an account on Twitter after reading an article about how teachers use Twitter to connect with other educators. Though the façade of the building I work in identifies it as an elementary school, if you were to see our staff picture, you would wrongly think it was a postcard from a retirement home. Connecting with educators beyond my immediate reach was a must. And Twitter was how I intended to do it.
Two weeks after making the conversion, I have 200+ followers, and my teaching blog has received 4,000+ unique page views from all around the world. Let me say that a different way. . . Twitter brought over 4,000 people to my blog . . . about being a teacher. Surely, your blog is more exciting than mine. Imagine what Twitter can do for you.
To an outsider looking in, the Twittersphere looks like a very scary place. It did for me, at least. But just like the boogey man, monsters in the closet, and male craft blogs, it’s all in your head. So, hold my hand as I walk you through an introduction to the amazing world of Twitter (that was meant to sound cheesy).
First things first. Sign up for an account. If you aren’t able to succeed at this step, close this web page and sell your computer. Once you do get yourself signed up, don’t do anything until you get rid of that egg picture. Replace it with one of you. Tweeters don’t like talking to eggs. They like talking to real people. After that, be sure to fill out the bio about who you are. Be sure to let your personality shine here. This is where potential followers are going to look when trying to decide whether to follow you or not. Use up as many characters as possible. A bio that says, “Mom, blogger, and church-goer” is super boring. Do what you do best, and accessorize it! Be sure to link your website or blog to this part of your Twitter page as well. That would be silly to forget that part.
Once you’ve established an introduction to you. Follow the Twitter account of the blogs that you already read. You might have noticed the Twitter icon on some of them. You can either click those, or Google search your favorite blogger with his or her name or blog name and “twitter” as a search keyword. Click on their page link in the search findings and select “Follow”. Some good blogger Twitter accounts to get you started are . . .
Tweets from the people you follow will show up in your Twitter thread (think of it as a Facebook newsfeed). Spend a bit o’ time each day reading through these, and you will quickly find others to follow as well. It is also nice to RT (re-tweet) tweets that you like. RT shares what you are reading with your followers (don’t worry about them yet). In the networking world of Twitter, RT a tweet is like complimenting someone on their shoes. If the tweep is somewhat down to earth, he or she will thank you for the RT.
Mentioning people is a great way to draw attention to your new Twitter account too. Mentions require using the “@” followed by a person’s Twitter handle. If you were to tweet “@DaveGuymon looks like he’s been working out.” That would show up on my news feed and under my personal “mentions” tab whether I am following you or not. It’s a simple way to get someone to know you exist in the Twittersphere. With my account I generally follow three types of people: those who share valuable links and resources (blogs, webpages, videos, tutorials), those who frequently RT my tweets, and those who mention me to their followers.
Many, if not most tweets will have some sort of phrase with the # symbol in front of it. A ( # ) is called a “hash tag”. Hash tags are used to categorize tweets. If I was at the SNAP! Conference and I wanted to tweet about it, I would tweet, “I just mod-podged a siiiick birdhouse #snapconf”, and my tweet would be seen by others following #snapconf. You will also see tweets that have a # in front of random phrases like, “Call Me Maybe is on the radio again #whenwilliteverstop”. Hash tags are used this way to be silly. But all other tweets that have #whenwilliteverstop will then be connected with my Tweet about ‘Call Me Maybe’. Don’t worry about understanding or memorizing all of the hash tags right away. THERE ARE A TON OF THEM. I frequently do Google searches for hash tags in education, and bookmark pages that list them for future reference.
Using # (hash tags) is also how you can participate in Twitter chats, which are the equivalent of informational water balloon fights. I promise you that you will be overwhelmed by Twitter chats the first few times that you encounter them. Find out how I keep my cool in a Twitter chat here. However, twitter chats are the quickest way to connect with other like minded people and to collect followers. Do them, and do them often.
Seriously, I just gave you a ton of arrows to put in your quiver (does that even make any sense?). Nevertheless, you are ready to Tweet. You can follow me @DaveGuymon. There’s also a good chance that you will find everything I say by searching #genius! Tweeting a link to this blog post is a great way to get started in your tweeting adventures. Tweeting links to your blog posts is step two.

Big thanks to my sweet husband for writing this post! He really is a Twitter know it all. He wrote a free Twitter ebook that is available on his website here too. It is FREE so go check it out here! 

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Be a Better Blogger Week: Windows Live Writer

Be A Better Blogger copy
How much are you loving this Be a Better Blogger series?! I’m learning so much from my guests. It’s my turn to talk to you now! I get to tell you about one of my all time favorite tools to use, Windows Live Writer. I use Blogger for my blog, but I rarely actually write my posts using Blogger. I LOVE the way Windows Live Writer works. I made you a little video to show you some of my favorite things about it…
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I honestly can say that I can’t live without this. Many times, the Blogger servers have issues and won’t let anyone post to their blogs. Because I use Windows Live Writer, I haven’t ever had that problem. Do any of you use this? I’m obsessed.
On a side note, how did you like my first screencast video? Was it lame or sweet?
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Be a Better Blogger Week: Be a Contributor

Can I just tell you how excited I am to have a CELEBRITY on the blog today? You guys have probably all heard about this crazy fast growing blog called My Sister’s Suitcase, right? Well, you get the pleasure of hearing from Nat today! These girls are super amazing, funny, adorable, and everything that is good in the world. I am so excited that they are helping us all to become better bloggers!

Hi! I’m Nat, {one half of the sister-duo} from My Sister’s Suitcase! My sister Holly and I live in different states and started blogging to have a place to share our crazy ideas and work on something together. She is the best older sister (even though she’s so gorgeous that people always think she’s younger) and closest friend. We’ve been blogging for almost one year now, and it has been a fun, crazy, busy ride!

We met McKenzie at SNAP in April and had SO much fun getting to know her! Seriously, she let me hang out with her and her awesome friends for dinner one night when I was sister-less. We had a blast. {That’s us in the back. Yeah, check out all the cool bloggers at that table. Whoa!}

And NOW, I’m super jealous because McKenzie and Holly live by each other and get to do fun bloggy stuff together! Anyway, we are excited to be a part of Girl Loves Glam’s “Be A Better Blogger Week”! I feel like we are still so new to blogging and have a ton to learn, so I’m looking forward this week! Today we’re sharing what we do know about being contributors. {And if you’re totally new to blogging, that means writing a post regularly for another blog/or website.} About 8 months into our blogging adventure, we were approached by a few blogs asking if we would be interested in being monthly contributors. Holly & I were so flattered because we still feel so new! So how did we get noticed? Good question! We have a couple ideas to share with you on what seems to have worked well for us. 1. Content When Holly &  I started our blog, we honestly were just starting to start. We didn’t know what we were doing (and sometimes still don’t – Ha!) but we knew we wanted to have original ideas. On My Sister’s Suitcase we try to strive for original and quality content. That’s really hard sometimes! We rarely do round-ups or filler posts and that means we don’t post every single day. We recently asked one of the bloggers we are contributors for what made our blog stand out, and this was her answer: quality, original content. If you haven’t heard it before, that’s one of the things we have heard from our mentors in the blogging world over and over. The first year (or years) you really need to build up your blog through great content, original projects and quality tutorials.

{Note: we don’t have anything against blogs who do otherwise, and we have definitely not had amazing mind-blowing ideas for every post!} 2. Getting your stuff out there! Yes, linking up to Parties is still a huge way to drive traffic to your blog and get your ideas out there. They are time-consuming, but in the beginning we felt that was the best way to get our name and our content noticed. There are a few other things we have also done.

  • Social Media {Facebook, Twitter} 
  • Pinterest – Add “Pin It” buttons to every single post under your main picture(s) of your project Here’s how to do it! Pin It Buttons
  • E-mail blogs you like and give them examples of some of your greatest projects (only 2-3 and include great pictures)
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Last Christmas, Holly sent one of her project ideas to some of her favorite bloggers/websites and it totally paid off! A Utah Daytime TV Show loved it and asked if they could feature it and do a live Skype chat with her on the show! So fun!

3. Quality Pictures of your Projects In the world of blogging, the quality of your pictures is one of the first things people notice…. so make a good impression! For small blogs like us, we are most often found by a pin of one of our projects on Pinterest. In fact, that is how we were discovered for our first contributor gig. You can have the most creative idea in the world, but if you have a bad picture of it, you are really discrediting yourself and your blog. Now, I am in no way saying that we have amazing pictures of all of our projects…. we don’t. BUT, we have taken the time to learn some photo editing and simple tricks to make the most of what we have.

Holly uses an old point-and-shoot camera for everything she’s done on the blog, and her pictures look pretty dang good! I honestly think editing your pictures and making some nice “pin-friendly” images, is one of the best investments of your time as a new blogger. Okay….  So once you have built up your content, have great pictures, and make it easy for people to find your projects {via link parties, Pinterest, etc.} what do you do next? I promise you WILL get noticed. One of our favorite blog mentors told us this, “The cream always rises to the top.” If you are consistently putting great content out there, it won’t be long before you might be contacted to be a contributor for one of your favorite blogs. When this happens, here are a few things that you should know…. 1. Most blogs require some type of contract/commitment from you when you agree to become a contributor – anywhere from 3 months to a year. So make sure you can really commit before you say YES! 2.  You may or may not be offered monetary compensation for writing your contributor posts. As a general rule of thumb, guest posts are not usually paid opportunities, but monthly contributor posts often are paying jobs. The amount you are paid will depend on several factors, but don’t sell yourself short! After all, you will be spending time {and often money} on your contributor project so don’t feel guilty expecting a little something in return.

If you aren’t paid, that’s okay too! More often than not, the exposure itself is well worth the time and effort it takes to be a contributor. 3. You will need to provide original content for all contributor posts, and each blog will have their own rules about when you can re-post it on your own blog. So make sure you are aware of their guidelines ahead of time. We have really enjoyed our contributor gigs so far! We have made some great connections within the blog community, and gained more subscribers to our blog and other social media sites. I hope this has inspired you to put your blog out there and seek opportunities that might be a little outside of your comfort zone. It will definitely pay off! Thanks for letting us join in your series McKenzie!

Find us here:
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Be a Better Blogger Week: Put Yourself Out There

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I am PUMPED about this series! I have readers asking me questions about being a better blogger, and honestly, I need the help just as much as someone with 2 followers. I can’t wait to learn from all of the awesome guests I have lined up for this series. Our first guest is one of my favorite people. I met her at Snap and I instantly came to adore her…

I feel so honored to be a guest today talking about “putting yourself out there”. I am Staci and I blog over at The Potters – Place. I blog about things we are creating, making, DIY-ing, and doing at our place.

I blog for fun, but blogging is A LOT of work. I have been blogging for a while now. At first my best friend was the only one who ever read it!!! I really wanted to teach or inspire someone {besides her} to take what you’ve got and make it work. So I asked a few blogging friends what I could do to get others to read my blog. This is the tricky part. You have to link up to other people’s blogs and get involved with other bloggers to help drive traffic to your blog. I LOVE people and I LOVE talking/getting to know new people. I know this has helped me put myself out there. Now, I have to tell you that it hasn’t always been easy. I went to a blogger’s conference and I was a loner for some of the time because I didn’t reallly know anybody. Sometimes I was nervous and just wanted to get in my car and go home. But I stuck it out and ended up meeting the most amazing people ever. {This is how I met McKenzie. We became instant friends. I just wish she lived closer!} I also had to get over worrying that I didn’t have a big blog or that I wasn’t like others who had successful blogs.

I AM ME!!!

That is what is so GREAT about blogging. You get to show others what makes you who YOU are!

I used to be so nervous about what people thought about my blog but was encouraged to write like I was talking to another person and not to worry about being perfect. That helped a lot. I didn’t have to be someone who I wasn’t.

Ask yourself, “Why do I visit people’s blogs?” It’s usually because you like what they do and who they are. Just be you!!! Do your thing, link your posts to other blogs, and leave a comment on posts that you like {I need to work on this}. Guest posting on other blogs {like I did today} is another way to get yourself out there.

Figure out your goals, be proud of what you do, and DO IT!!!

Get out of your comfort zone and you will not regret it. It is fun to get comments or emails from readers who just created something inspired by something you did.

I have had some amazing experiences. I met a local daytime TV host and told her about my glitterized laundry room. Next thing I knew I was on her show. If I wouldn’t have put myself out there that wouldn’t have happened.

I am limited with my time. As you can see I have 2 little girls and I love spending time with them. My family is my priority! Since I blog for fun, I blog when I want. I have done a few posts for trade or pay. Of course, these posts have to be done by a deadline. How do I balance everything? I make crafting and blogging part of my life. My craft room is kid friendly. We paint, make messes, and have a blast. While I work on projects my girls work on theirs or with with me. We do alot as a family. They don’t even know we are working. My girls are so creative. I don’t want to have my kids remember me as the one behind the computer all the time and not spending time with them so I craft during the day and blog during nap times, while they are at friends, during a movie, or when they are in bed. I feel very blessed because I have the support I need from my family. They are my biggest fans!

I kinda joke and say that bloggers are in their own world! Well, we kind of are! Put yourself out there. What have you got to loose? Make some new friends{you will be glad you did}, and just BE YOU!!!

Thank you so much Staci for the amazing post. I can’t agree with her more about getting out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you just have to step out there and say “Here I go! Take me as I am!” and go for it. I am a huge advocate for linking up at link parties. I would guess that a lot of you found my blog from another blog or from Pinterest. Well most of those pins came from blogs that I linked up at. Link! Link! Link! I can’t stress it enough. If you don’t know where to link up, do a quick Google search and you will find plenty. A lot of times, one link party can lead to another one too. Also, I really recommend commenting on other blogs. I feel like I have gotten to know some of my favorite bloggers because of commenting. That also leads me to getting to know other bloggers… Take a chance and go to a blogger meet up, a conference, or event! I went to the Snap conference alone, but I was able to make the greatest contacts and friendships there. As Staci put it, just BE YOU! The blogger world is all about originality. If you are just YOU, you can’t be anything BUT original!

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