Building a Business Blog Tip #3: Get Organized

Notes, Notes, Notes

What do these all have in common?

  • Post-It notes
  • Scraps of paper
  • Forgotten web pages on the computer
  • Spiral bound notebook

Being a completely unproductive and inefficient way of keeping track of our awesome blog ideas!

And after knowing that I had to be strategic in planning my new business blog, I quickly realized that my spiral bound notebook was not working!

So, I had to …

Get Organized!

It’s so easy, but sometimes that procrastination bug kicks in and we think, “Oh, I’ll just write down this idea [somewhere] and find it later.”


Don’t do it!

Tools for Getting Organized

I realized that I just needed to put three simple things in place and I would be much better prepared for building my business.

  1. 3-Ring Binder with dividers and lined paper (for written ideas)
  2. Bookmark folder on my computer (with sub-folders to organize all those fantastic online ideas)
  3. Folder on my hard drive (to save documents and other ideas)

Two other online tools that are extremely helpful and can be accessed anywhere on any device are:

  1. Pinterest (organizing images and online ideas)
  2. Evernote (organizing written ideas as well as things you like, see and hear)

End Result

Now I have a binder organized into five topics:

  • Blog Help
  • Post Ideas
  • Revenue Ideas
  • Blog Design
  • eBook Ideas

And in less than one hour, I had:

  • Cut out pages from my spiral notebook and put them into my binder
  • Created 11 sub-folders for my 92 website links in my main business blog folder
  • Created a folder on my hard drive labeled “New Blog”

Save yourself hours of frustration and repeated work by simply getting organized!

What have you done to get organized for your blog?

Posts in this series:

    1. Building a Business Blog Tip #1: You Don’t Make Money Blogging
    2. Building a Business Blog Tip #2: Be Strategic
    3. Building a Business Blog Tip #3: Get Organized
Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any of my future tips!
(Sign up above on the left in the “Email Subscription” area or click the “RSS Link” if you prefer.)


Filed under Blogging

Get Organized!

Yep, I finally did it! After over a year of having the luxury of a maid clean my house (usually once a week), I decided to jump back into the cleaning arena.

I’ve been keeping busy with taking care of Ethan, directing the Christmas and Easter choirs and helping lead worship at church, and the typical household chores. But I really let the house cleaning fall to the capable hands of our maid.

Well, with baby #2 on the way and other bills/debts taking priority, we decided to cut back to having our maid come every other week. But I didn’t really change my routine. Oh, I still got the dishes washed and clean clothes put away, but the dust would pile up and the floors got pretty dirty (not to mention the toilets and, well, everything else!)

So, last week, I finally started getting organized!

Lists and Charts

I’ve had lists and charts for years – chores, menu planning, groceries, to-do’s – but I needed to get motivated again.

My hubby has offered numerous times to help out more around the house, if only I would let him know what he could do on a more consistent basis. He already would jump in and tidy the house, make the bed, put Ethan to bed and change diapers (often!) … but he wanted to do more!

(I know, I’m the envy of all you women reading this post!)

Also, we want to teach our kids that every family member is expected to contribute to our family goals. And one of our goals is an efficiently run household.

So, what was I waiting for?!

I spent less than an hour surfing the web and pulled up a few chore charts. (Then I remembered that I actually had some of my own from several years ago.) I combined the ideas of both and … I created a new Chore Chart!

Getting Motivated

It seems silly, but putting a check in that little box totally motivates me!

Consequently, the house was picked up and clean every day, lunches and dinners were served on time, AND I got a lot of work done for both of my blogs.

What a relief!

Now, I’m happily charging through my weekly and monthly chores, feeling so accomplished.

Like I said …

maybe it’s silly, but it works!

And I’d love to share my charts and lists with you (which also can be edited), so click on the links below to download your copy for FREE!

Chore Chart

Grocery List

Menu Planner

I’d like to know what helps you stay motivated. Will you write a comment below? (It’s nice to know someone actually reads my posts!)


Filed under Crafts & Kitchen, Life Journal, Living in Mexico

Building a Business Blog Tip #2: Be Strategic

Six basic questions for bloggers

Now that we’ve both gotten over the shock from finding out that blogging doesn’t make money, it will be much easier to move forward with building a business blog!

And since my previous method of business blog creation:

  1. have great idea
  2. write about great ideas on new blog
  3. someday, figure out how to make money with great ideas

was completely unlikely to produce any revenue, I quickly concluded that a new blogger must …

Be Strategic

OK, I admit, that’s probably really obvious to all of you business geniuses out there. But for those of us that are new to blogging for income, well, I had to wise up.

And if you’re new to the scene, hopefully I’ll save you some embarrassment and time by helping you learn how to do it, too!

Essentially, I realized that:

I have to sell something, or I won’t have a business.


As a music educator, I sold my time, knowledge and skills as a musician to teach students to play the piano, the flute, and to sing. As a business blogger, what would I sell?

Well, I started asking myself A LOT of questions. And the more I asked and researched and read other people’s blogs, the more I realized that not only did I need to know what I would sell, I needed to answer the six basic questions in order to be strategic:

  1. Who?
  2. What?
  3. Where?
  4. When?
  5. Why?
  6. How?

I knew if I could answer those questions (especially the “How”), then “someday” would actually become “soon,” and I would be able to make money from blogging!

So, here are my answers:

  1. Who? Music Educators
  2. What? Business Resources
  3. Where? My new website/blog
  4. When? Launch date: February 2013
  5. Why? To earn income and help other music educators
  6. How? Printables/Downloadables, Advertisers, Affiliates, eBooks, Memberships, Consultations, and other brilliant ideas that will cross my mind in the future

Yep, that’s my goal! And to reach that goal, I had A LOT of research that was piling up on my desk and in my “Bookmarks”!

Which leads to tip #3 in my next post …

Posts in this series:

    1. Building A Business Blog Tip #1: You Don’t Make Money Blogging
    2. Building a Business Blog Tip #2: Be Strategic

Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any of my future tips! (Sign up above on the right in the “Email Subscription” area or click the “RSS Link” if you prefer.)

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Filed under Blogging

Building a Business Blog (What I’ve Learned Along The Way)

Turn your blog into a business

So, you want to create a blog that can make you money? That’s what I’m working towards, and I’ve learned A LOT so far.

And the best part is …

I’m going to share what I’ve found with you.

Yep, that’s right. I’ll give you one tip with each post, starting today.

Of course, you could do all of your own research and spend hours bookmarking (and organizing) tons of information, like I have. I won’t stop you! Or, you could be smart and learn from me instead.

When I started this personal blog, it was all about journaling about stuff that interests me. But isn’t that why I don’t have many readers? It’s all about me!

I don’t have anything to sell and I’m not trying to make money on Dare to Re-Dream. But even though I haven’t launched my business blog yet, I thought, “What am I waiting for? I might as well put all this great research to use!” Maybe I’ll even get more readers.

(By the way, I’ll still throw in a ‘journal’ post here and there for my current readers. So, don’t give up on me now. Maybe you can use these tips for your personal blog, too!)

So, here’s what’s happening:

  1. I’ll give you one tip with each post, and links to other reading material in case you want to do the research yourself, or know my sources. (Subscribe on the top right to make sure you don’t miss out on any of my future tips!)
  2. I’ll be implementing the ideas and techniques that I’ve learned along the way (actually, I’ve done a lot of those things in this post already!).
  3. Also, I’ll post my stats each week so you can see if what I’m saying works.

I won’t lie though … I’M NO EXPERT. I’m just another blogger like you. But hopefully, you’ll see a difference in my blog in the next few months – and I’ll get more readers! More readers translates into more customers, right? (That is, if I actually had something to sell.)

I don’t know how many tips I’ll have, but here we go …

Building a Business Blog Tip #1:

You don’t make money blogging

Are you totally bummed right now? I was too, when I read David Risley‘s awesome post, “Reality Check: A Blog Is Not A Business.

I TOTALLY followed the steps he said most bloggers take – well, I was working on #3 when I wised up. Thanks to my entrepreneurial husband, everything Risley said made sense!

This is what I originally thought … I had a great idea and I would start a blog to write about all those great ideas. Then someday, I would figure out how to make money with my great ideas.

Why would someone pay for my great ideas when they can likely find those same ideas for free somewhere else? And exactly how did I expect that to make me any money? It didn’t matter. All I cared about was getting started! (Read my post about it here.)

But back to Risley’s post … by the time I got to the end, I was completely convinced that what he said was true.

“If you’re not selling something, you don’t have a business.”

David Risley

And that’s when I started thinking differently about my business blog.

Read my next post to see what I’m doing differently now.

Or, subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any of my future tips! (Sign up above on the left in the “Email Subscription” area or click the “RSS Link” if you prefer.)

Posts in this series:

    1. Building a Business Blog Tip #1: You Don’t Make Money Blogging
    2. Building a Business Blog Tip #2: Be Strategic

Dare to Re-Dream: launched Apr 2011

Total all-time views: 8,035          Busiest day: Apr 12, 2011 – 448 views          Current E-mail subscribers: 27

Stats for Aug 2012:

  • Total views: 462
  • Average views per day: 15
  • Posts published: 5
  • Top post: Mending a broken heart (108 views on publication date)

Stats for Sept 2012 (before this post):

Disclosure: I am compensated for purchases made via the affiliate links in this post.

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Filed under Blogging

Keeping up with the Joneses

When you live in southern California – namely, Orange County – it’s REALLY hard not to want what it seems everyone else has. Especially when you can’t afford it! I’ll be honest, here’s what I wanted as a young married person (the 1st time around, that is):

  • Nicer cars
  • Nicer clothes
  • Nicer furniture
  • Better vacations
  • Kids and family experiences
  • Buying a house instead of renting

And to top it off, renting included being able to check the traffic by looking out the dining room window of our 1 bedroom apartment to see how packed the freeway was! I was SO ready to move somewhere more affordable and less affluent so I could feel like I fit in.

Hello, Colorado! When my ex and I moved, we rented a 3 BD, 2 BA house with a huge yard for less than that apartment in CA. But, Colorado Springs was still bussling with plenty of Coach bags, high heels and fancy cars, know what I mean?

And then, life happened.

I got divorced, met my sweet husband and we moved to Mexico to start a new life together. Ironically, he also had lived in southern CA with his ex-wife. He did make a good income and had a few nice houses and a fancy sports car. But none of it was very fulfilling because, in the end, his marriage was on the rocks just like mine was.

Well, we’ve had a much simpler life here in San Carlos for the last couple years. Most days I wear shorts and a tank top and sport a pony tail. And no make-up (gasp!). High heels? Maybe on Sundays for church, or if we go out on a date. But for the most part, I’m at home being a Mom, enjoying the basics.

Of course, life happened again and with baby #2 on the way, we decided to move back to the U.S.

But I’m nervous about one thing …

falling back into a lifestyle of “keeping up with the Joneses”.

I must be on a movie kick these days, because I keep thinking of how our lives and choices are often reflected in various movies (read my last post “The Importance of Being Earnest” – another great movie!). Anyway, The Joneses (2009), with Demi Moore and David Duchovny portrayed a family that wasn’t really a family. They were business people pretending to be a family in order to make BIG BUCKS!

That movie was a great reminder that trying to keep up with your neighbors and what the media wants you to think you need is really not what’s important in life. And as we head back to life in the U.S., I want to be fully aware of what my priorities are.

Let’s face it …

we all place value on relationships, things, and experiences.

What I’m willing to spend on a cup of coffee, or a movie, or a pair of running shoes, or the latest cell phone, or a computer, or a car, or a house, or a (fill in the blank) may not be the same as my neighbor. But I need to know what I value, and not feel bad about spending money or not spending money the way other people do (or don’t).

Of course, I’ll be honest, I do want to own a home and enjoy eating at nice restaurants, wear nicer clothes (sometimes) and look beautiful. I want to be able to use my Coach bag (yep, got one from hubby as a birthday gift!) and hang with other Mom’s and talk about our kids (all the while, checking out each other’s trendy outfits, right?!)

But, I don’t want those things to consume me. That’s the difference!


Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Moving to U.S.