Blogs Deserve A MAKE-OVER Too!

I found Kassie Garlock (Designs by Kassie) through a friend.  She does what I like to refer to as, "Blog Make-Overs".  I am truly not "tech savvy" at all...just ask anybody (especially my children...) and they will tell you THAT is sort of "putting it under the table", so to speak.  So, when I saw what Kassie had done to my friend's blog (My Heart With Pleasure Fills), I just KNEW that my blog deserved a "Make-Over" too!

Kassie was incredibly easy to work with and had ENORMOUS patience with me as I continuously emailed her concerning things that I wanted for my "Blog Make-Over" and then asking her HOW to operate all of those new things.   I had recently been accepted as a BlogHer blogger and decided to become really more focused on my writing.  With this is mind, I determined that I needed a more "professional looking" site.  These were some of the things I was looking for:  A "Nav Bar" that included the most important things that I wanted my readers to be able to access.  You will notice that in addition to the information "About Me" and "Home", I have included several other sections.  One of the things I try to write about frequently is some of my "Favorite Things"; I asked her to create this section so that I could file those away under here.  Also, one of my passions is reading; I read a LOT.  People are often asking me what I'm reading and to recommend books to them; what better way to do this, than to have a section reviewing books that I have read?  The final section I asked her to create for me is entitled, "Books I've Written".  I am REALLY excited about this section because my FIRST children's book is in publication right now!  As soon as it is out for sale, Cassie will create a link, where you can go to review this book and order a copy if you'd like.

Along with the "Nav Bar", I had her frame pictures of the members of my family, whom I generally blog about (including my doxies!) and then create an archive section, where ALL of the blog posts I've written can be viewed.  There are also a couple of links on the side bar, that you can click on to take a look at  those blogs too.  One is my friend's blog,My Heart With Pleasure wedding planner! AND "Pray For Lucy", the story of a mom of 3 young children, whose daughter, Lucy, is currently undergoing treatment at St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

When I originally began blogging, it was for the purposeof determining if I had enough discipline to write.  Oh, I had MANY ideas, but I never really had the time to write when all of my children were at home.  Once I found myself with an "Empty Nest", I went back to thinking about writing.  In the back of my mind somewhere, I KNEW, that it could become "My new obsession"...but did I REALLY want to make it a J-O-B?!   Well, after proving to myself that I could indeed become disciplined (if only in my own quirky way...) by blogging consistently for a year, I decided to take on writing as a J-O-B of sorts.

I applied to write for BlogHer and be accepted by their advertisers.  And while I was waiting to see if they would even accept me (there is a long waiting list...), I went ahead and "Bit the Bullet" and contacted someone about publishing my children's book.  NOW, I really WAS talking about writing as a J-O-B...although I didn't realize it at the moment.  "Writing" was the EASY part...making all of the other decisions was...well, that was "Business Stuff"!  And THAT scared me.

It seemed as though EVERYTHING happened at once!  BlogHer contacted me to tell me that I had been accepted...which meant that I now had to blog on a "regular basis" AND my book was being published in full force...which meant that I had a LOT of decisions to make; book size and format, illustrations, type of characters to be drawn, color usage and saturation, marketing, book reviews, i-pad app...OH MY GOSH!!!  WHAT had I gotten myself into?!  And THEN, I stopped.  This was MY DREAM...What I had always wanted to do.  I needed to "Put On My Big Girl Panties And Deal With It"!  And THAT is exactly what I did. 

Step One:  I contacted Cassie about getting my site up to speed and professional looking.
Step Two:  I got organized, creating files for each business endeavor I was working on.
Step Three:  I "Kicked EVERYTHING Up A Notch" and began making decisions about my writing
                     and where I wanted it to take me.

Well, I'm definitely NOT going to say that I have become "tech savvy" over this process, BUT I will say that I am learning!  Oh, I have sent MANY e-mails to people concerning technical issues and have become more proficient at asking questions about HOW to do things.  I have also JUMPED (not waded...) into the publishing world and become VERY involved in EVERY aspect of my book.  I realize it may only be a children's book, but it is "My Baby" and I have sent countless corrections back on the illustrations alone.  However, when I get that final copy in my hand, I don't believe anyone will be able to wipe that smile off of my face!

So, what would I encourage YOU to do?  Why, anything that your heart desires...GO FOR IT!  Don't give up your dreams just because you may be getting older or they are too difficult to achieve.  I'll tell you like I always tell my children..."IF IT WAS EASY, EVERYBODY WOULD DO IT"! 


P.S.  Here's how to officially "Follow" my blog:  Just click on the "Join This Site" button and set up a
         "Google Account" (that way you can make comments after signing in).  How do you do that?
         I simply picked my e-mail address as my user name and created a password; it's THAT easy!

********************Want to see more of Designs by Kassie?  Click on the button at the bottom of my page and check her out!************************************

1 comment

  1. I have been enjoying your new look. Ann Marie is using Kassie right now for her persoanl blog too. Best of luck with your writing.