Getting Personal

Hey all. I know I don’t normally post on Saturdays, but…

I’ve got a confession. I’m not a huge fan of the name “Killer Harmony.” I chose the name almost two years ago now, but I don’t really feel like it fits the blog. I was a college junior; I had just thought I lost my entire blog. It was time for a change.

I don’t regret the name Killer Harmony. It’s a cool name. But it’s not the best. So, I think it’s time for a change. I want to share it with you before I actually make the change, so you know it’s coming.

I have a few names in mind, and I want to share them, and my thoughts, with all of you.

Change is natural

I have grown and changed a lot in the last two years. I finished college and moved back home. And I found a “big girl” day job. Over the past two years, I have come to realize that Killer Harmony is not a very professional name. It’s cute and spunky, but it’s not professional.

I care about music and blogging, and I want to take it seriously. It’s hard to take a blog with a cute, spunky name seriously.

I know the change will be hard. I’ll have to make sure everything transfers correctly, and that you can continue to find my blog and all its content.

Looking forward

My blog has grown. It’s still very small, but it has grown and changed just as much as I have. I need a name that reflects that change and that can work for me for years to come.

Killer Harmony is a great name for a hobby blog, but I want this to be more than that. I want to create a community of flutists and other musicians. I want to share tips and tricks and to advocate for music education…for all ages.

There’s a lot I want to do with this blog, and I need a name that can handle that.

A new name?

I have narrowed the options down to two different names.

The first one is my full name: Hannah Haefele.

It’s clear that it’s my website, and it allows me to do what I want.

It’s also hard to spell and pronounce.

The second option I’m considering is Hannah B Flute.

B is my middle initial, so it represents me and what I write about. As long as I write about flute or music.

But it’s catchier and easier to spell than my full name.

My Thoughts

I’m really leaning toward Hannah B Flute. I love the flow of the name, and I don’t see myself drifting from writing about music anytime soon.

So…

I have been thinking about changing the blog name for awhile now, and I really think it’s time. The name Killer Harmony just doesn’t do it for me. Though, the name will still be found on older posts, and I plan on making sure all of the current links will work with the new domain!

So be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)! I really want this to be a community, so I want your input!

Social Media on an iPad

For this part of my “On an iPad” series, I decided to write about social media. Most of the time I spend on social media is on my iPad. The wide variety of apps make it easy to keep up with different social networks on the go.

Killer Harmony | Social Media on an iPad | Social media is a huge part of our lives, and it is not going anywhere. It is important to stay connected, and that is where devices like the iPad come in.

I have the same method for social media on an iPad as on my iPhone, and so I am going to be referencing both devices throughout this post. Social media is great to view/use on an iPad, and I actually prefer it to my laptop.

Apps

There is an app for almost every social media platform. I use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest each day. If you follow blogs with Bloglovin (which I don’t recommend), they have an app.

You can use the Instagram app for iPhone on an iPad, but it will show some blank parts on the screen since the iPhone and iPad have different dimensions. Another app that I like to use, though it’s not really a social network, is YouTube. I follow vloggers on there, and I like to watch videos on my iPad.

I also like to use my iPad and iPhone to manage my social media. For this, I use apps like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule posts. I also have the app version of Canva, a graphic design website. That way, I can create graphics for social media posts on the go.

If you are looking for apps to help manage or use your social media, a simple search in the app store is a great way to find cool apps. There are apps that will allow you to do just about anything.

Some people use the Crowdfire app to track followers and unfollowers. I know that you can have different apps to manage Facebook groups and pages, too.

How I Work

I like to schedule tweets, usually the night before they go out live. I use either Hootsuite or Buffer. Depending on my goals for the next day, I will chose one or the other. Buffer comes with a set schedule, whereas Hootsuite (the app version) saves hashtags I use in scheduled posts.

If you want me to do a full comparison, let me know!

For Facebook, I just use the main app. They do have separate apps for pages and groups, but I only have so much space for apps.

I like to use main apps, like Facebook or Twitter, to reply to people in real time. Scheduling retweets works for some, but I like to do it as I go. It makes me seem more human and less machine.

Does it Work?

YES! Using a phone or tablet for social media is amazing. A lot of social media networks have better mobile interfaces than their website counterparts.

Social media is always changing and being updated, and it is super important to stay up to date. Having access to your favorite social networks on the go is a necessity, and it is easy with the different apps out there.

Of course, you don’t want to get too sidetracked with social media. If you need to get some “real” work done, you need to keep yourself off of Twitter and Instagram. You can always check in during a work break.

Should You Get Social?

Unless you have no space left on your device for new apps (and you can’t bear the thought of deleting anything), you should definitely have at least a couple of your social media accounts ready to go. Social media apps make staying connected super easy.

If you spend a lot of time on your phone, it can be easy to get distracted with social media. You just have to make sure that you are not sacrificing your work in the process.

Keeping it to one or two social networks on your iPad or iPhone is a great way to still keep up with friends and family while also not giving you too much of an excuse to not do your work.

So…

What do you use to stay connected on the go? What are your favorite social media apps? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

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Reflecting on 2016 and Goals for 2017

What a year it has been. A lot happened during 2016, and this blog was no exception. Since this will be the last post of 2016, I thought it would be perfect to reflect back on the year and to share some of my goals for the new year.

Killer Harmony | At the end of the year, it is important to reflect on the past and set goals for the new year. Here are the goals for 2017 that I am setting for the year.

I made some big changes to this blog last year, and I know that I will also be making some other (somewhat big) changes in 2017, so I want to also update you guys today so that you can have an idea of what’s to come.

2016 Reflection

January

In January, I changed blog names from It’s Mixed Arts to Killer Harmony, and I bought a domain name to prove it. I also moved back from WordPress.com to Blogger so that I could use the domain without having to pay extra.

Another cool thing that happened was that I was published on the Huffington Post. While I did not get paid for the post nor did it get a ton of views, I am happy I did it. I had a post that I wanted to share but it wouldn’t quite fit this blog, so I thought of Huffington Post. I am grateful for the experience, and I can now put it on a resume.

February

In February, I blogged about blogging for the first time. It was a little out of my comfort zone, because I had only ever blogged about college. But, I thought it could be cool for me and my readers (that’s you) to see something a little different.

I also liked getting to put a spin on blogging that college students could relate to. Since that first post about blogging, I have managed to include blogging related posts more often and include blogging as part of my niche.

March – April – May

These next few months, I didn’t really have much going on. I went to blogging once a week instead of two, which had its pros and cons. Other than that, it was blogging as usual.

June

At the end of June, I finally made the jump to self-hosted WordPress! I had just finished my two online summer classes and thought it would be the perfect time. I could use my extra free time to learn the ins and outs of how WordPress works, figure out plugins and themes, etc.

I am so happy I switched, I only wish I didn’t put it off so long.

July – August

I spent a lot of time learning about WordPress and working on making my blog look like my own. I also had to prepare to move back into a dorm for my last year of college. In July, I celebrated my 21st birthday…no alcohol, though.

September – October – November

With school as my main focus, I didn’t really do much out of the ordinary. I continued blogging once a week, and I got a little better at promoting my blog and posts on social media.

At the end of November, I finally worked up the courage to reopen my Etsy shop with downloads. I opened on Black Friday with ten listings and have added a few more. I plan to add more listings soon, which I will talk about more in the section on my goals.

December

I decided, literally the day before December, that I was gonna do Blogmas. I didn’t post about it on the blog or social media until December 1. One might think I was a crazy person for posting every day on my blog, and I wouldn’t disagree.

I wanted to do Blogmas, because once a week was getting a little boring, and I wanted to challenge myself. This semester, I lucked into only one final, so I didn’t have as much work to do at the end of the semester.

Related: What I Learned from Blogging Every Day

Goals for 2017

I haven’t broken my goals down monthly yet, because I want to do that on a per month basis. That way, I can change my goals each month based on the progress I make. In this post, I am going to share some goals that I want to accomplish in 2017 in general.

College Goals

I graduate in May, and I do not plan on attending graduate school this year. So the only goals related to school are to finish strong and to keep up with my friends from college (and from childhood).

I have a feeling that if I don’t keep up with those friendships now, it will be harder later. Also, I want to finish college strong so that I leave with a better sense of accomplishment.

Career Goals

Since I will be able to work full time come the middle of May, that definitely made the list. Specifically, I want to make a full time income from home online. I want to work with bloggers and businesses to improve their blogs and social media.

I might have to take a job at first, but I would love to eventually work for myself and to take on clients that I choose.

Personal Goals

This year, I really want to cut out certain junk foods entirely. I have a bad habit of eating a whole bag of chips in two days, so I don’t want to ever have chips, unless they are in a portioned bag. For snacks, I want to stick to fruit and pretzels as well as the occasional popcorn.

I also want to move back in with my parents (yeah, I know what you’re thinking). I plan to move back home for awhile so that I can save money while I am just starting my career. At home, I can live rent free in a nice area, and I can save more of the money I do make for when I am ready to move out.

So…

Those were some of my memorable moments from 2016 and my goals for 2017. I will keep you guys updated as I achieve these goals, and I hope that this post will help keep me accountable.

What are your goals for 2017? Let me know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out my latest post and follow me on Twitter (@HannahHaefele) so you don’t miss future posts!

Lastly…

Plan out your goals!

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How Often Should You Blog?

Well friends, it is Christmas Eve. That means we are at the end of Blogmas. I will not be publishing a post tomorrow, because I will be spending the rest of today (Christmas Eve) and tomorrow celebrating the holiday. I figured I am long overdue for a day off from posting. Don’t worry, I’ll still be on social media. Anyway, this post will be all about how often you should blog.

Killer Harmony | How often should you blog? Most bloggers have had this question, and the answer depends on many factors. You really have to try different things yourself.

I figured that since I did do Blogmas, and I stuck it out until (almost) the bitter end, that I should share what I learned. It takes a lot of work to publish a new post every day, especially a good quality post. Here are some things I learned from going from one blog post per week to one post per day.

I hope these things help you figure out how often you should blog.

1. Motivation helps…a lot.

I learned that the accountability in promising that I would post something new each day on this blog was a great motivator. I told anyone who has access to the internet that I would publish a blog post every single day, and I did. That external motivator was awesome, but internal motivation is important, too.

I had to motivate myself, specifically during finals week. I had to study, but I didn’t want to neglect blogging either, and I think doing something for the blog daily was the best thing I could do.

2. Good post ideas have something of value.

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks (and months, if we’re being honest) that the posts that get the least amount of views and engagement are posts about my personal life. I take no offense to that, after all, who wants to read about a girl who plays flute all the time? (not me…)

I like writing personal posts occasionally, but I need to include some sort of value for you reading the post. I can’t just write a diary about my day; that’s not interesting.

3. Blogging takes time.

It is not easy to write a post, optimize it for different platforms like Google and social media, publish it and then promote it. Even with scheduling tools for posts and social media, it still takes time to schedule stuff to post.

You can’t just write a blog post and expect it to go viral anymore. That’s not how the internet works. You have to make sure you are posting good content that people want to see, and you have to somehow get it in front of those people.

4. Visuals are everything.

In the online world, your visuals can make or break someone’s first impression of you. The look of your blog, social media profiles and post graphics are super important for having a successful blog.

If you didn’t notice, I added a new color to my blog’s style this month. While I do love turquoise and grey, the blog needed something else. I found a nice complementary maroon that looked great with the colors I had in place, and I am obsessed.

I also streamlined my blog graphics, and I hope to spend some time in the near future updating the graphics from before I made the change.

5. Everyone needs a blogging “process.”

Some people prefer to work in batches. They will write all of their posts at one time, design all of their graphics at another time, schedule social media at yet another time and so on.

I have found that I like to work on a post and all of its parts in one go, if I can. I sit down and write the post, make sure it is optimized for search engines (thanks, Yoast!), create the graphics and schedule it for the appropriate time.

6. I truly love blogging and all that comes with it.

Going through my entire blogging process each day really made me love what I do. I love writing posts, editing them, creating graphics, working on search engine optimization (SEO) and promoting my blog.

In fact, I might have something in the works that can help you and your blog…hint, hint. Stay tuned for more information.

So…

How often should you blog? Blogging daily is one option. It is not something I would do again, at least not until next December, but I did enjoy it. I love getting to share things I have learned with my readers, and that is why I am working so hard to make this blog successful.

I will probably move to about two posts per week. As I said, I really nailed down my process this month, and I will have more time in the next few months to write more.

Have you written or blogged daily? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments! Also, be sure to catch up on my latest posts and follow me on Twitter (@HannahHaefele) so you don’t miss future updates!

Lastly…

Be a Goal Getter!

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How to Start a Blog

In this day and age, the internet is becoming an important part of our lives. We use it to communicate with family and friends, check emails, check grades and watch funny cat videos. It is also a great time to start a blog.

Killer Harmony | There are many ways to start a blog. You have a lot to think about, such as your topic and how much you are able to dedicate to it. Here's how to start.

Blogs are great for almost everyone, because you can write about any topic you want. You can write about blogging (inception? blogception?), or you can have a hobby or DIY blog. You can write about college and productivity or even about parenting.

I am going to tell you all about how and why you should start a blog.

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. See my Privacy Policy for more information.

Why Blog?

Blogging, whether you have a small account on Tumblr or a huge website, is a great way to build your online presence. Even if you do not plan to make money from your blog, it can give you a place to be creative.

Blogging involves so much more than just writing posts. You have to find or create good quality images to share, optimize posts for search engines, share posts on social media and interact with your visitors. Blogging teaches you how to do a lot of different things, and you learn skills that you can apply to almost any job.

If you are interested in marketing, starting a blog can be a great way to get experience in the online marketing field. You have to write compelling content and share it in the right places to get views.

If a career in graphic or web design is more your speed, a blog will definitely give you relevant experience. All of the skills you learn or improve through your blog can go on your resume and can set you apart when applying for jobs.

Want a career as a writer? A blog is the perfect way to build your portfolio to showcase your skills and experience. Writing posts on a few different, yet related, topics can help you gain experience in your niche as well as gain clients who trust your skills.

Even if you don’t want to turn blogging into a career, you can use a blog to share information with your family and friends. You can post regular updates of what you are doing, or you can just create a blog for you.

How to Start a Blog

Now that you know why you should blog, how do you start? There are a few things to consider when starting out.

What’s your budget?

Can you afford to spend a little bit of money or would you prefer to do it completely free? Your budget will determine where you can start your blog, because some programs cost a bit of money while others don’t cost a thing.

You also have to consider the costs associated with blogging. Will you need a new computer or a new camera? How about an internet connection?

What will you write about?

If you do want to turn your blog into a career, you need to come up with a certain niche to write about. I will talk more about what a niche is in an upcoming post, but it’s basically just the main topic of your blog. It can be about blogging, school, parenting, fashion or whatever your heart desires.

If you just want to write as a hobby, you have a little leeway at the beginning to work to find your niche. After awhile, you will still want to pick a niche so that you can grow your audience.

What program will you use?

Once you know your budget and your niche, it is time to pick a platform. There are countless options, but the most common blogging platforms are WordPress (.org and .com), Blogger and Squarespace as well as a few others. WordPress.com and Blogger can be used for no cost at all, and WordPress.org and Squarespace come with monthly fees for hosting and yearly domain fees.

If you decide to go with WordPress.org, you need to pick your own hosting company. I decided to use SiteGround, and it was the best decision I made.

Related: WordPress (.org) vs. Blogger

What else?

After choosing your platform, niche and getting the proper accounts set up, you are ready to get started with your blog. At this point, you can write your first blog post, work on the different pages of your blog and customize the look to make it your own.

I plan to write more posts about starting a blog here in the future on different topics related to starting a blog, so stay tuned!

 

Have you started a blog? How did the process go? Let me know in the comments. Also, be sure to read my previous post and follow me on Twitter (@HannahHaefele) so you don’t miss future updates!

Thanks for reading!