Blog Updates and Things

Hello! I can’t believe that June is almost over! I just finished and submitted the last few assignments for my summer classes. That means, I am on summer break! I’m excited to announce a few exciting blog type things happening at Killer Harmony in the next few weeks. Read on the find out more!

Killer Harmony | Blog Updates & Things | I have been working on some awesome stuff for this blog, and I can't wait to share them with you all! This post has a lot of updates on everything from social media to the blog itself. I hope you enjoy!

These next couple of months will be great for the blog. Since I am done with classes, I can now dedicate more time to blogging. I can also spend more time connecting with all of you! I also have been working on a few more exciting things related to the blog.

MORE Blog Posts

Since I have a bit more time now, I am going to try and keep up with two posts a week for the next few weeks. I would love to continue with two posts a week into the fall, but I will be a senior. I will have a lot going on from marching band to planning and playing two solo recitals (I’m a music major if you didn’t know) and keeping up with writing for my school paper. If I can get enough posts written and scheduled before mid-August, then I will continue with two posts per week. I will update you on social media, so be sure to follow me!
I will always do my best to have a post up on Mondays. I don’t have any plans to change that. I will also post something on either Thursday or Friday when I have something.

MOVING TO WORDPRESS

 I spent a lot of time reading all about WordPress, and I finally decided to “bite the bullet” as they say and switch from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress. I now know why people say switching is the best thing you can do for your blog, because it really is. I decided to go with SiteGround (affiliate link) for my web hosting, and I could not be happier with my decision! They are currently having a sale where you can get hosting for up to 60% off the normal price!
I do think that self hosting your own blog or website on WordPress is not the best for a beginner. I am still learning the quirks of the program. If you want to start a blog and see if you like it, I would suggest Blogger or WordPress.com (free WordPress).

SOCIAL MEDIA

I have been posting on Instagram each day in June for my goal challenge. You can learn more about that here, but I definitely plan on continuing the daily posts into July. I might make a monthly theme, but we will see. I am really loving social media right now, so if you want to follow me, the links are on the side of this blog or in the image toward the top of this post.
I post on Twitter throughout the day, everyday. I post about my blog and business, but I also like to give little snippets into my personal life. I like posting a bit of personal stuff, because I can show you guys that I am a real person.
I am also on Pinterest. I like to post my own stuff as well as posts by other bloggers. My pins seemed to lose their links in the process of switching my blog over, so I need to do some maintenance. I hope to get everything working again soon, though.

POST REQUESTS

I am so excited to start working on some back to school posts, because I am one of those nerds who loves back to school. Unless I go to graduate school, this will be my last back to school season (tear), so I want to make it a good one. If you have any requests or ideas for blog posts, please let me know! I would love to write stuff that you need/want! Let me know in the comments or on social media what you would like to see.
I would also love to hear from you guys in the comments on what you have enjoyed most from my blog. I want to make it better and better. This blog is for you, so please share your thoughts with me!

Summer Classes

So, you might be wondering what classes I took this summer. Well, I decided to take two. At my university, I need a certain amount of “residence” credits to graduate. That means that I need to take a specific amount of classes from that university. Since I transferred, I am cutting it a little close with that requirement. The classes I took this summer and the class I took last summer will help. I am almost positive that I will graduate next May!

First, I took an ethics class, which was very interesting. I had readings over everything from the basics of morality to animal rights. The class covered a lot of cool stuff, and I enjoyed it. The class also had no tests, which was a big plus!

The other class I took was Intro to Music Tech. This class will fulfill a computer science general education requirement. I am so glad that I could take a music class for that requirement. If you can, I would suggest taking classes as related to your major as you can.

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Best iPhone Apps: Summer 2016

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

So, I normally don’t do these types of posts going through my phone and all. I mean, my phone is a pretty private thing. I decided to write a little bit about my favorite iPhone apps so that I can hopefully show you guys some new and interesting programs to try out. I should say that since I have an iPhone, I will be talking about apps that I know are available for iPhone. I’m not totally sure if some of these apps have an equivalent for Android, Blackberry, or Windows.

Killer Harmony | Best iPhone Apps: Summer 2016 | Phone apps are pretty great. You can surf the web, creep on social media, listen to music, and do a lot on the go. In this post, I share some of my favorite apps for iPhone. They are mostly free, except one, which is only $4! I hope you enjoy!
Apps are an amazing thing. They let us do a lot with our small and portable smartphones/mini computers. Almost nothing is better than being able to access the world wide web from (basically) anywhere. Apps make accessing certain things easier or just more fun. Here are some of my current favorite iPhone apps.

PLAYTUBE
PlayTube is an awesome app for playing music. You can login to your YouTube account and play videos without needing to have the app open on your screen. I know, they have YouTube Red now, but I’m in college, and that means I’m on a budget. Plus, budget or not, free is better in almost any situation.
PUFFIN BROWSER

I talked a little bit about this app in my post Laptop vs iPad, but basically Puffin is a third party browser that has more functionality than Safari. You can more easily bypass the mobile browser view, and it even allows you to access websites and play videos that require Flash! You can also pull up an onscreen track pad to make navigating the page easier. This app does cost money (about 4 bucks), but it is totally worth it if you need to do a lot of web browsing on your phone.

PINTEREST

I wouldn’t be a blogger if I didn’t love Pinterest, so I had to include it in this list. I love browsing Pinterest for tips and tricks on how to make this blog better for you all, and I love supporting other bloggers, too. Also, quite a bit of traffic comes here from Pinterest, so if that’s you, let me know in the comments! The app makes it really easy to copy the link to my newest post and pin it to different boards. I will also use the built in browser to look at cool blog posts that I want to pin.

SNAPCHAT

I have recently been getting into Snapchat more and more. I love using it as sort of a step to vlogging, because I can be on video but I don’t have to worry about editing it. I also post some random things on there (mostly daily life stuff and other funny things) that you won’t find anywhere else.

MICROSOFT ONENOTE

I love OneNote! I know that some people use Evernote, but since I have a student package with Microsoft, I get 1 TB (so basically unlimited) storage with Microsoft’s cloud: OneDrive. That includes OneNote. I use the app to log post ideas and other quick things related to my blog when I am on the go, and I use the desktop counterpart on my computer.

BLOGGER

Since I use currently the Blogger platform, I have to have its corresponding app on my phone. That way, if I have some extra time but don’t have my laptop with me, I can start drafting a new blog post on the go. The app doesn’t have much else to it, though, so I still like to use my computer to check statistics and other things.

Update: I switched to WordPress, so if you use that platform to blog or read blogs, you should get it!

GROUPME

I don’t really have many group chats, so I don’t have much of a use for GroupMe aside from my school’s Odyssey group. I have been writing for Odyssey since April, and I would like to continue through next school year, but I have a feeling that senior year could get the best of me, so we’ll see! Either way, it’s a cool app, and I like that you can “like” someone’s post in the chat.

MUSICIANS KIT

This app is amazing for anyone who plays an instrument and doesn’t want to lug around an extra three pieces of equipment. The app comes with a tuner, metronome, and audio recorder. How cool is that! I always have my phone with me, so it’s nice to not have to worry about carrying around, let alone, buying all of those things that come with the app.

So, those are some of my favorite iPhone apps at the moment. I hope you found something new that you might like to test out. I believe that all of these apps are free, except for Puffin Browser. Also, OneNote requires a Microsoft subscription, but if you are a student, you can get a four-year subscription for around $70.
So, do you have any favorite phone apps that you absolutely love and must share with the world? Drop ’em in the comments or hit me up on Twitter at @HannahHaefele

Thanks for reading!

How to Use Social Media for Life and Work

So, you have a dozen social media accounts, but do you know how to use them well? Social media networks are a great place to connect with friends, family, and even network with other people in your industry. In order to make the best use of social media that you can, you need to be smart about how and what you post.

Killer Harmony | How to Use Social Media for Life & Work | Social media is pretty cool. We can post text and images of what is happening in our lives. Social media can also be a great way for someone to get to know you: personally or professionally. You don't want to lose out on a client or a job offer just because of a bad photo or post. Don't be that person. Here is how I use social media for life and work.

Some social media networks make it easier to have only one account. On Pinterest, for example, you can make separate boards and people can follow the boards they like and ignore the ones they don’t. On Twitter, you have one feed, so you have to be careful about what you post. Today, I am going to share with you what I have learned from using social media both for personal and professional reasons.

PERSONAL
Most likely, you have a few social media accounts that you use for personal stuff. These accounts are where you connect with friends and family and keep them updated. You might post an update every now and then about professional (such as blog or business) related things that seem relevant.

Facebook
I use Facebook primarily as a personal social network. Most of my friends and family members have a Facebook account, so I can post updates about my life and more personal things in general there. Facebook is my oldest social media account, but I still keep up with it so that I can stay updated on what my friends and family are doing.

Snapchat
I have recently been getting into Snapchat, and I post pretty regularly on there now. I love using it to post funny things that happen throughout my day that don’t necessarily warrant a whole post on Facebook. I can be a bit more personal, but I still try to remain professional, since I do have a public account.

PROFESSIONAL
Unless you have a business or are working for a business where you need to manage a professional social media account, you probably don’t think all that much about using social media for professional reasons. You totally should, though. Social media is an important part to networking, especially if you want to have a career in the online world.

Facebook
Yes, I also use Facebook for professional stuff, but in a different way. I have my own Facebook page for my blog and business, which I tend to neglect, but I need to work on updating it more. It is the page where I have the least following, so I need to build that following first. I also love Facebook groups. They are a great place to ask questions about things related to blogging and business, and just questions about your industry in general. Finding Facebook groups that you like is a good idea if you want to learn a lot and get more involved in your industry.

Instagram
I mostly use Instagram for professional promotion, but I am more personable there than I am on my blog. I don’t really post a ton of personal pictures, but every once in awhile, you can find one. I used to use Instagram as a personal account, but I don’t know a ton of people in my life who use it, so I found that it wasn’t really benefiting me in that way. For my blog, I post behind the scenes pictures as well as a few day in the life things when I see fit.

BOTH
You might think I’m a little crazy for sharing a social media account for my life and biz, but I think that it can work if you do it well.

Twitter
I do post some personal updates on Twitter, because I know a decent number of my friends are on there, but I also like to post blog and business updates, too. I have a public account, so anyone can follow me. For this reason, I try to keep my location pretty private, but I will post tweets regarding my university (very occasionally). I also like participating in Twitter chats. It is a great way to get your name out there, plus like Facebook groups, it is a great way to connect with people and get questions answered!

Pinterest
Pinterest is literally a blogger’s best friend. Do not neglect Pinterest if you are a blogger. I started out, as with most other social media, using Pinterest for myself and the few friends on there. Now, I use it to promote my blog and biz, too! In order to clear up my account, I did make some of my out-of-niche (non college, blog, or otherwise related) boards private. I can still see them, but you will not be able to see these boards if you go to my profile.

Snapchat?!
I know, I know. I listed Snapchat under personal, but I am starting to post more about my blog, and am starting to promote my Snapchat. I post daily fun pictures on there, and sometimes they might include blog previews that I won’t post anywhere else, even Twitter or Instagram! So, follow me if you want these exclusive updates: HannahHaefele

So, what does this mean? Social media is a great thing, but you need to be smart when using it. I know some bloggers prefer to make separate accounts for their blogs so that their personal friends don’t get too annoyed. I understand this, and maybe I will make separate accounts in the future, but right now, I see no need. I love being personable on social media, because I can show people that I am a real person. I am not just some random blog post that you may come across.

Do you have separate personal and professional social media accounts or do you combine them? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @HannahHaefele

 

The Message of ‘Me Before You’

Before starting this post, I want to make a disclaimer that I do not have a disability. I’m merely writing this post to share with you all my thoughts on the book and the trailers and previews of the movie. I am in no way trying to dehumanize people with any type of disability.

Killer Harmony | The Message of Me Before You | Me Before You is a book turned movie about a man who was injured in a motor accident two years earlier and now he must live in a wheelchair and be cared for full time by his new caregiver, Louisa. The story has been subject to criticism for misrepresenting the disabled and that life for disabled people is not worth living. I do not agree with that conclusion, but I am abled bodied.

So, you have probably heard of the newest book-turned-movie “Me Before You.” The book was written by the British author, Jojo Moyes. Since hearing about the movie adaptation, I decided to read the book, as books always tend to be better than their movie counterpart.

In case you don’t know much about the story, it focuses on William Traynor, a 35-year-old man who was injured in an accident with a motorcyclist two years prior and 26-year-old Louisa Clark, his new abled bodied care giver.

The book and movie has received a ton of criticism from members of the disabled community for many reasons. The first is that they chose an abled bodied actor, Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games) to portray Will. I, of course, see the problems with that as it does show a bit of ableism. However, Rachelle Friedman, a woman in a near-identical case to Will, understands the choice to choose an abled bodied actor for reasons based on time and energy required of the role.

I do understand that there is a lot of misrepresentation and lack of representation of minority groups in Hollywood and the media. I do not think that is right, but in some cases, like this, it makes sense. It takes time to dress, undress, and redress people with quadriplegia. Related health complications might affect the filming schedule. Read more on Rachelle’s thoughts here.

The other big reason that the book/film has received criticism is because of the ending *SPOILER ALERT* when Will commits assisted suicide. Some disabled people and activists for the disabled have come out and said that the message of the story is that it shows that disabled lives aren’t lives worth living.

I would like to ask some of these people if they have read the book and/or seen the movie. While Will’s assisted suicide is a major part in the story, I do not think it is the main part. Yes, Will was injured in an accident and yes, he must now live in a wheelchair and rely on constant care from others. I did not get the feeling of it being about how disabled people must commit suicide. Rather, I think the main message that the book and movie tells is that life is worth living, regardless of your situation. You can make the best of what you’ve got if you just look at all of your options.

I also believe that Will’s death is not the worst thing. Is it a good thing? Absolutely not, but with his injury, Will lost his sense of control. He is a grown man who should be able to make some sort of choice for himself. Granted, I think he should have tried to live, but in the end, “you can’t change people.”

Survey Sites: What You Need to Know

So, you want to make some money online, and you think that filling out surveys might be a good choice. I’ve done it, and I think a lot of people who want to work from home try survey sites at one point or another, and I want to tell you to not waste your time. Surveys take time to fill out, even if it’s only five or ten minutes, that’s still something. And for a survey that will only pay 50 cents maybe a dollar if you’re lucky, that’s not a good wage.

Killer Harmony | Survey Sites: What You Need to Know | Survey sites may seem like a quick way to make some money online, but they can be deceiving. Surveys can be really long, and they don't pay as much as they advertise. Most surveys pay a dollar or less and they take time to complete. Don't waste your time. Still need convincing? Read this post in full.
Over this past winter break, I tried to make money from survey sites. I signed up for Opinion Outpost and Swagbucks which are the two biggest sites that I know of. It seemed like a good deal at first. I could make some easy cash doing stuff that I already knew about. People would PAY me to give my opinion!

The thing about these sites is that they make it seem so easy. They tell you that you will probably qualify for quite a few surveys and that you can earn a decent amount of money. Well, that is true…for like the first hour of using the site. After I joined these sites, I qualified for quite a few surveys, and I continued to get emails about surveys I qualified for, but the thing is, I would get booted out of surveys despite “qualifying” for them. Not cool. This happened when there were already enough people from my demographic who took the survey, which is fine. Just tell me that before I fill out an entire survey only to not get paid for it.

I was wasting my precious time attempting to make just a little bit of money trying to find a survey I would qualify for. And the thing is, there was always a limit on the surveys that I could do at one time. It seemed like I was constantly hitting the limit. I did manage to make enough money to cash out on Opinion Outpost, but not enough for Swagbucks.

These survey sites seem to be more catered to stay at home moms, or at least the surveys I was given. They had questions about home ownership, cleaning products, cars, family stuff. Nothing really related to millennials. That’s fine, as I would rather make more money with my time.

Personally, I value my time much higher than $3-6 an hour which is what you might make if you qualified for ever survey you did. If you are a stay at home parent or need some extra money, surveys would be a great choice, but as I work towards starting a business and career, I have to know how much I value my time. I value an hour at least triple what surveys would pay…if not more.

Please don’t under value yourself or your time. The internet is filled with ways to make money, more than what survey sites pay. I can’t recommend survey sites as a money maker, because they aren’t. You can make some easy money for a nice weekly treat, but it is not enough to consider it a job. It’s a lot more work than what it’s worth. Don’t waste your time.

If you do want to make money online, there are better ways to do it.
Have you tried survey sites before? Tell me your experience in the comments or on Twitter at @HannahHaefele.
Thanks for reading!