Finding My Blogging Voice & Why It’s Important For Your Readers

I’m about to be completely real with you guys.

I don’t feel like I am always 100 percent myself on my blog.

By that I mean that I think some posts from the past seem robotic, inauthentic, and not always who I am.

With my journalism background, I was trained to write in AP style. I removed some all cliches from my posts, I kept things to the point, and always took grammar into account. I removed needless words, and considered every technical writing term to see what would make the best “flow.”

That’s perfectly fine when you’re working on a news story, or a magazine feature, but not when you’re trying to create relatable content on YOUR blog. Your blog should be a direct reflection of you and the work that you want to share with the world.

For me, I was afraid for ruining my “reputation” as a writer altogether. But the truth is, I’m NOT that serious (like some of my writing may come off) when you meet me in person. I’m quirky. I make jokes and keep things laid back. I’m also incredibly sarcastic. The only person who really sees this side of me every single day is Josh and my coworkers. Trust me, they can attest to my behavior. I’m professional but like anyone, I open up a little more once you get to know me outside of the office.

I think I tried to make my blogging voice more subtle, professional and straight to the point. But when I read back my content, I wanted to add a joke here, a sarcastic comment there and make it more me.

Instead, I would hit publish and carry on with my day.

Now, I’m not saying that every post I’ve written has been this way. But there are a few where I look back think, “Wow, that’s so dry and emotionless, Kiara. That’s not you at all. You wouldn’t have said *insert long-winded, sarcastic comment here*.”

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. You’re not going to see some completely different voice in my content. I simply plan to not delete anything that I would write naturally. And, I’m not going to keep change the style of my content. I might add the occasional, sarcastic tidbit that’s completely unnecessary but it will definitely bring a smile to your face.


So here’s what I’ve learned about my blogging voice and why having your blogging voice important:

1| Your readers get to know the REAL you.

When I read other blogger’s content, I truly feel like I get to know them as a person; and I want them to feel the same way when people read my content.

2| It gives a unique edge to your content.

When you toss in a sarcastic comment here or a random pun there—it takes your post from standard to unique! It helps readers identify your content from other bloggers!

3| It helps you stand out among other bloggers.

See above. But it’s amazing what showing your true self can do for your blog content. Help your readers pick out your post from the thousands of blogging online. It will resonate with them and they will remember you.

4| You’ll be able to write more naturally.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped mid post because I felt like I had to not be myself with the jokes, comments, etc. This makes the writing process difficult and frustrating. Be yourself and the words will flow easily.

If you’re a blogger, inspiring writer, or somewhere in between—I hope you never fear to make your content uniquely yours. It’s okay if it doesn’t fit another blogger’s style. It’s not supposed to. It should fit your style.

Have you ever struggled to find your blogging voice? What tips would you share with bloggers going through this? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

 

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I Added Sugar to my Shampoo for a Month & Here’s What Happened

Girl say whaaa? 

Yes, you heard me. Shampoo + Sugar = Beautiful Hair. Who knew? If you’re interested in seeing how you can transform your hair in a month, keep on reading! I promise this one addition to your hair-care routine will be life changing!

With all the crazy, inconsistent weather and not taking care of my hair like I normally do—my hair was in desperate need of a little extra TLC. It was dry, damaged, and needed help ASAP. And you know me, you know that I’m not one to spend a lot of money on special hair treatments, products, etc. because I’m not about that life. I like to keep my beauty routine short and sweet.

In all honesty, I should lay off the dry shampoo a little more. I notice that even though it’s one of two products I use in my hair, it doesn’t help keep it healthy. Sure, you don’t need to wash your hair every day. But I have taken this a little too seriously and by Thursday my hair is 99 percent dry shampoo and one percent hair. I was out looking for a way to treat my hair and reverse some damage over the last few months.

One night I was 150 pins deep on Pinterest when I found an article about adding white sugar to shampoo to help exfoliate it and help treat the damaged parts of your hair. Needless to say my mind was BLOWN because I use sugar to create my own lip/face/body scrubs, so why wouldn’t I think to do the same for my hair? I was ready to try this the same night and create my own experiment to see how it would change my hair after a few weeks.

The perk of using sugar is that it dissolves easily while still giving all those benefits for your scalp. When I realized that I could incorporate this into my hair-care routine, I got to work. Since I wash my hair every other day, I thought that exfoliating my hair once a week would be acceptable. I simply added a tablespoon of sugar to my shampoo, lathered up, rinsed, and conditioned as normal. I recommend really taking your time when you shampoo your hair to work the sugar and shampoo all over your scalp. Take your time since you’re only going to do this once a week.

While exfoliating my hair for the first time, I immediately noticed how good it made my scalp feel. TBH it was a mini massage, which felt incredible. When I finished washing my hair, it felt even more clean and pampered than normal. It was an extra treat for my hair. The next day, styling my hair felt like a breeze. I don’t know if this was because I was having a good hair day or, or if it was from exfoliating—but I’ll take it! You know when you exfoliate your face, and it feels soft and free of any excess dryness? That’s exactly how my hair felt after my shower and the following day. Needless to say, I was hooked.

After three weeks, I noticed that my hair wasn’t shedding as much when I shampooed my hair. I know it’s completely normal to shed hair throughout the day, but it helps keep the drain clean and doesn’t make me panic like when I used to see a cat-sized mound of hair on the shower wall. (I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way, right?!) Also, I noticed that my scalp was less oily. I learned that when you stimulate your scalp more, it helps to remove excess oils to keep your hair healthy. This was  a huge perk for me because it helps me use just a little less dry shampoo than I normally would on my no-wash days for my hair.

All in all, I have noticed that this once simple addition to my hair routine has shown a huge difference in my hair. Like exfoliating your face, body or lips, your hair deserves to reap the benefits of exfoliating, too!

Have you ever tried this beauty hack before? Would you consider it? What other tips to you have to treat your hair in winter? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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8 Tips to Master Your Closet

It’s that time of year where we declutter old items that no longer fit our style or lifestyle; and take control of our closet space as we transition from winter to spring. Decluttering your closet can be a huge undertaking, especially if you haven’t gone through your wardrobe in over a year or longer. Regardless if it’s your first time decluttering or your tenth time decluttering, I’m here to share 8 tips to help you master your closet. Keep reading if you’re looking to add a little bliss to your space as we move into spring.

1| Make A Plan

Don’t just go into your closet and start throwing things out and putting clothes in a donation bin. Sit down and set aside five minutes to plan out when and how long you’ll need to go through your closet and clothes altogether. Will it take a day or a few hours? Scheduled adequate time to go through your clothes so you don’t run out of time or feel rushed to get it done in an hour.

2| Take It All Out

Yes, take it all out and put it on your bed or floor. Literally everything from tops to seasonal items to shoes. You will be surprised with how much you truly have in your closet. This will help so much because you can see what the damage it and see how much you can donate, sell, toss, etc.

3| Try It All On

Does it fit? Does it look flattering on you? Does it fit your style? It is damaged at all? Is it versatile? Do you feel good when you wear that item? Ask yourself all these questions (and more) when you’re trying on different pieces in your closet. Don’t keep something unless your truly love it and it fits your personal style. If it doesn’t fit/if it’s damaged or you simply don’t love it—out it goes. Read 10 things to remove from your closet right now for help!

4| Create A “6-Month Box”

If you’re not too sure about some items, put them away in a box and store them in your basement, spare closet, or attic for six months. If you don’t find yourself looking for any of those items over the six months, or even thinking about them—you should definitely donate or sell those items once the period is up. it’s a sure way of knowing you didn’t love or need those pieces in your life.

5| Don’t Be Sentimental

You still have your bridesmaid dress from your friend’s wedding from five years ago. It doesn’t fit and you know you will never wear it again. You have scarves from Europe that are damaged and you can’t even wear anymore, yet they’re taking up space in your closet. Why keep those things if you want wear them? Try to remove the sentimental memories from those pieces and stay practical.

6| Be Honest With Yourself

No pair of shoes are worthy of keeping if you can’t wear them for 30 minutes without screaming in pain. Get rid of things that don’t make sense to keep. Why keep a pair of jeans from high school that you probably won’t fit into when you can appreciate the jeans you have now that also fit your body? Don’t hold onto things you don’t need or can’t wear.

7| Organization is Key

Find an organization system that works well for you. If you love to organize your closet by color and sleeve length, perfect! If you prefer to organize the Kon Marie way, that’s great, too! It’s all about what works best for you and what you love. Everyone will have a different preference and that’s okay! Take time to see what is visually appealing to you and what will help you keep your closet organized.

8| Maintain Consistently

Your closet will be easy to maintain if you find an organization system you love (see #7). Also make sure you set aside time every season to review your closet again and see what you can remove, donate, sell, etc. After your initial declutter, it will be much easier to see what you love and don’t love in terms of fashion, style, etc. As long as you dedicate 30 minutes to go through your closet, you will be able to maintain your hard work.

Are you ready to tackle your own closet? When is the last time you decluttered? What other tips do you have for mastering your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: March 2017

Who else is so excited for the new month?!

Can we have a moment, y’all? I’m in denial about how quickly this year has passed by so far. 2017 has been beautiful so far, so part of me wants it to slow down a little. But I will say I’m ready for a new month and a new list of goals to accomplish.

Catch up on February’s edition of “5 Things to Be Happy About!”  

Now we can move onto a little gratitude and happiness for March. Make sure to leave a comment below letting me know what you’re excited about for the month. Let’s share a little gratitude and happiness in the blogging community!

1| First Day of Spring 

Last month I talked about how I was excited to skip through February so we can get into spring. You have no idea how excited I am to know that spring is around the corner. Spring is a sure sign that warmer weather and lighter days are ahead. It also means I get to finally change up my wardrobe after wearing winter coats and boots for months on end.

2| Lighter Days

You all know that Christmas is my favorite time of year. But once the holidays are over, I’m ready to jump in spring head on and get a little more sunshine and warmer weather in my life. Living in Pennsylvania can be difficult because it can snow until May. I’m definitely looking forward to more sun as the days grow a little longer.

3| Flowers

I’m all about fresh flowers and brining the beauty of nature indoors. March is when I can go crazy with buying new plants for my office, my home and treat myself to more flowers. Because life is too short to have a home without flowers, amiright? So make sure to #treatyoself to some fresh blooms this month because you deserve it (and it will bring a smile to your face every morning).

4| Spring Cleaning

Raise your hand if spring cleaning and decluttering makes you so happy you can’t stand it! (Oh, just me? Okay.) Anyway, I’m ready to go through my spring and summer clothes and declutter more as a new season begins. I’m also ready for a deep clean in our home to freshen everything in a new season. Do you have any spring cleaning checklists that you love? Make sure to send some my way!

5| Wardrobe Change

I’m all about making my needs few and focusing on my more minimalist lifestyle, but with spring comes a change in my wardrobe. I can start putting away bulky sweaters in exchange for light fabrics in pastel colors. My wardrobe and style will get a mini makeover this month as I edit my clothes and bring in new, staple pieces I’ve been looking for. Leave a comment below telling me what your spring wardrobe essentials are. I would love to know!

What are you looking forward to now that it’s March!? Do you have any exciting blog plans for the month? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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Monthly Favorites & Sharing Love: February

Goodbye February and Hello March.

TBH I’m in denial that it’s already the third month of the year. In some ways, I feel like so much has happened in 2017, but at the same time I feel like nothing has changed. Does that even make sense? I feel myself starting off this post way. too. deep. Before I get too philosophical over a cup of coffee, let’s get right into what I’ve been loving throughout the month. Make sure to leave a comment below telling what you have been loving this month whether it’s beauty, fashion, food, TV, books. If you’ve been loving it, I want to know about it. 

1| The Flash

I already know people are going to judge me hardcore for this, but I have been binge-watching The Flash on Netflix and it is not okay. I went through almost three seasons in a month, which is pretty impressive (and embarrassing) if you ask me. But it’s a show Josh and I have picked up and we’ve been crazy about this past month.

2| Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

When I got my hands on the last black mask at my Sephora, I was SO happy. The store associate said they can not keep them on the shelves since beauty videos of the product have been going viral online. Needless to say, I’m used it A TON this month and my pores have been thanking me since. It’s perfect to clear your pores without irritating your skin.

3| Anastasia Brow Wiz

Why has it taken me this long to try this? I’m set in my ways when it comes to beauty products. If I love something, I will stay faithful to it until it fails me. I decided to give this a try once I found out I couldn’t order my other brow pencil. I’m happy that I couldn’t reorder it because this product has given me #eyebrowgoals and I’ve been loving it. I am a dedicated fan and have jumped on the bandwagon for this product.

4| Decluttering Videos

Want an easy way to get motivated to declutter? Watch other people declutter their homes, closets, etc. It will give you the motivation you need. I love watching people get rid of stuff, but it also inspired to go into into my own home and reevaluate what I need and don’t need. Trust me guys, you won’t regret it!

5| Self-Care

This past month, I teamed up with Erin from “A Welder’s Wife” to create a 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge that focused on self-care, and other mental-based challenges. The entire experience was eye-opening and helped me realized that self-care and challenging myself consistently is SO IMPORTANT for growth with minimalism, simple living and intentional living, too!


Sharing Love:

1| Mental-Cleanse Challenge Week One from Erin

I loved working with Erin on this project because she has always been a source of inspiration and motivation for me along my journey toward living a more minimalist, simple life. Seeing how she thrived in these challenges (not only in week one) motivated me to focus more on self care in my own life, and that minimalism is more than decluttering the items in your home. Catch up on all her posts from this past month on her blog!

2| 7 Investments Worth Making For Your Blog from Summer

Summer absolutely killed it with this post. Her talk about design, photography, and everything in between showed the main components of what you truly should focus on for your blog! She made me think about what I can invest in for my blog and how I can improve it in those specific areas she writes about.

3| Questions to Ask Yourself to Declutter Your Home from Erin

You all know I love reading motivational posts on minimalism, decluttering and everything related to simplifying your life altogether. Erin’s posts are always an awesome source of inspiration for me. She had me thinking: “I think I could get rid of X, Y and Z.” The one question that helped me get rid of more than 60 % of my closet is: “If I was out shopping today, would I buy this item?” Erin has a ton of amazing questions to help you declutter your home.

4| Life Happens—Why I’m Not Apologizing from Cara

ALL. THE. PREACH. HANDS. Cara absolutely slayed this post. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this post because I’m sure many bloggers can relate to this. Life happens, and sometimes we can’t keep up with our content, social media, schedule, etc. But that’s okay! We are human and simply can’t do it all. We shouldn’t apologize for needing a break or to take a step back. Cara wrote a post that will truly resonate with you.

5| How to Streamline Your Schedule With Batching from Jenny

Jenny’s post helped me rethink how to schedule my time for blogging. Instead of thinking and working in a consecutive order: write post, take photos, edit photos, edit post, schedule social media; she taught me how batching can help me get more accomplished and feel less stressed. Since her post, I’ve incorporated this a lot more than just scheduling tweets and planning out Instagram content. It has changed how I schedule my time altogether.

What have you been loving this month and what blog posts you have loved this month? (So that I can catch up on your favorites!) Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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