How to Become a Home Office Superhero (by setting up your personal cloud)

How to become a home office superhero and set up your own personal cloud with WD My Cloud EX2

Regina here. Helping to make your home office life super hot. Where “super hot” means secure, organized, reliable, and that which gives you peace of mind. All of those are very sexy qualities, right?

Even if you disagree (which would be ludicrous, by the way), I want to tell you about why you should set up your own private cloud for your home office or creative business, how you can use your cloud, the types of things you should be backing up, and a daily routine you can do when you finish work for the day (checklist style) to keep you organized and sane.

P.S. Virtual hugs to WD for sponsoring an upgrade to my creative life by letting me try the private cloud with My Cloud EX2. I feel so “next level” now. You’ll see what I mean shortly. But first, I’m super happy EX2 (as I call him for short) fit well with all the black and gold on my desk.

It’s pretty amazing that even though I’m talking about tech that can save our digital lives, I’m still concerned about my color game. But hey . . .

MyCloudEX2 on my desk

I know you can’t stand the suspense. You want to know three things: (1) What is a “private cloud” anyway and are you just making stuff up, yet again, Regina? (2) If it indeed does exist, how is this different from Google Drive, Dropbox, or Carbonite? What’s the benefit? Why should I set one up? (3) Did you love it enough to have a completely weird photo shoot with it in front of a very hip, Austin, art wall? [I'll just tell you right now, yes. Yes, I did.] Keep Reading

Blog Income Report: The Tools + Tips That Helped Me Earn $7,000 Last Month

Can you really make money blogging? Yes. Here is how I made $7,000 on byRegina.com last month.

I used to work 70 – 80 hours per week. Managing a shoe store. And the money was excellent. But it was a bit hectic. I was 23 and in school and had a full-time job, yet I was trying to build a business at the same time. I took breaks to go to class. I didn’t even have enough time to do my homework or study (which was a problem for a person who nerdily enjoyed school as much as I did), and I certainly didn’t have enough time to spend the money I made on anything other than rent. My friends thought I had the best life ever. I thought I had it great. How any of us drew these conclusions, I will never know . . . oh wait, that’s right, I was naive and didn’t understand the whole money-life tradeoff thing.

If the hours worked, and the personal satisfaction felt in your work leave much to be desired, then no amount of money makes it okay. I didn’t really want my life to consist of 15 minute naps in the stockroom of my shoe store. No. I wanted to be one of those really cool + mystical people who had figured out how to make an income doing what they loved.

I believed it was possible, but at the same time, I kinda didn’t believe it. My head said, “Yeah, someone like you can do it. It’s a logically possible thing,” but my heart and my fear said, “But, can someone like you, the actual you you, really do that?” That one ridiculous thought held me down for a long time. Just in case you’ve only ever heard this from scammy marketers and not “real people,” I want to tell you: Someone like you, the actual you, can make a living doing things you love. And rejoice, because if you have to put in the ridiculous hours to make it happen, they will be for you and your family and your legacy.

So, welcome to one of my blog income reports where I talk about money in real terms in the hopes that it will help. If you are trying to build an income, I hope that it will seem more possible. If you already make money online, I hope the tips help, and if you’ve far surpassed these tips, I hope that by you merely reading (or commenting), some of your mojo will rub off on us.Keep Reading

How I Started Making a Full-Time Blogging Income (Story Time Y’all)

You're not a fraud. You're a fighter. This is how I started making a full-time blog income.

The first time I realized I had the “idea problem” and/or the “fraud problem” was when I told a friend to email me the link to something he was talking about and he jokingly replied: “To which email account ‘Ms. I Have a Million Businesses Because I Can’t Make Up My Mind’?”

Burn. You know those people who want to discuss a “problem” they see in your life but they joke about it instead of addressing it? It hurts, because you realize they’re serious, but it’s hard to defend yourself to a joke.

And believe me, I get the joke. I’ll quickly lay out the basis of my “problem,” and then I’ll let you know why it’s not really a problem (and how you can avoid a few of my gaffes), then tell you how I finally accepted who I was as an entrepreneur and started making a full-time income through this blog.
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3 Classy + Profitable Ways to Turn Down Freelance Clients

How to Turn Down Freelance Clients

You’re right. It sounds crazy. “Profitable ways” to turn down work. So we’re just saying nonsensical stuff now, Regina?

Whereas normally that is the case with me, travel with me for a moment and I promise we’ll get into how each of these three ways to reject freelance work (that’s not a good fit for you) can be indirectly or directly profitable.


There are a number of reasons a potential freelance project may be a bad idea for you. // The client may not be willing/able to pay you enough, the work may be out of your specialty and not be a good fit for your portfolio (so it would make more sense to spend time on more fitting projects), you and the client may not be the best personality fit (which may mean you have communication issues and stress awaiting you), you may have so many other projects going that you don’t have the time, or, you may need to take the time you’d normally spend on an extra project to start developing products for sale, or to do some business auditing/planning, or to go on vacation.

Whatever your reason for rejecting a project, there’s only one rule. // Do not leave people empty-handed. Oh, and be courteous, even if the other person wasn’t.

And now, for my three ways to profitably reject people, I mean projects . . .


#1 >> NO, BUT HERE ARE SOME FREE RESOURCES

If you haven’t already, you’re probably gonna get some emails that make you think, “Umm, hecks to the no, I’m not taking this project.” You know, those times when people suggest a price that’s 10% of what you charge, or they want to see if you can fly to the moon and take moon selfies and then bring them back to Earth and include the images in your final deliverables for their project. Sometimes you’ll even get those emails that make you wonder if the person read ANY of your website content before asking you for help.

You don’t want to be rude, but you also don’t want to not respond. I get ya. This is where I recommend response #1: (Heck) No, but here are some free resources. This response can be a standard email you have saved, ready to go, that turns down their project kindly and points the person to at least three free resources (on your blog or someone else’s) that may help them. This is the email you want to send when you don’t have a lot of time to think of your rejection. An example email script is below:

Sandra, thank you for your email. I appreciate that you thought of me for your ______ project. Unfortunately I’m not able to take on another project of this level right now, but I do have two resources on my blog, and one from ____, that I think can really help with the _____ aspect of your workload.

  • Link to the first resource with a slight description of how it will help
  • Ditto for second
  • Ditto ditto for third

Thank you again for thinking of me and taking the time to contact me. I hope you’ll keep me in mind for the future because I truly enjoy what you’re doing with your brand.

Why is this a good idea? How can it be profitable? Umm. You gave them free resources (that were hopefully epic and truly tailored to their needs),  and you (seemingly) didn’t turn them down just because you don’t like them. They will come back in the future or send others your way if they like your work and/or if they like the resources you directed them to.

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How to Write a Freelance Business Plan

How to write a freelance business plan

If the phrase “just winging it” makes you smile and sounds like epic wisdom to you, this post is for you. If you are a serious freelance business planner and want to outline all the details of how to acquire clients and run a freelance business, this post is also for you. I’ve lived both ways. Both have their benefits.

But my goal today is to get you organized. I’ve already talked with you extremely attractive people about the 12 Essential Steps to Starting a Freelance Business, and today I’m sharing one more step: writing a business plan. A freelance business plan or creative business plan is immensely helpful for your creativity, brand goals, client acquisition, client retention, budgeting, and marketing goals, among others. Starting a business that can potentially replace your full-time income and help you live the lifestyle you desire is too epic to be left to the “fly by the seat of your pants” doctrine.

Transparent moment coming:

It makes me incredibly sad when I see people (friends included) half-tail their way through a freelance business. I promise that I have done it that way. I promise it doesn’t work. And I promise I see a lot of people’s creative businesses fold because they’re not prepared. It hurts, because all of the people I’ve met happen to be talented.

I know that you’re busy. Believe me. I have been writing and creating content for the last 12 hours straight, and I have at least 5 more to go. So, I believe that you are busy. However, please, if you run a freelance business, take some time to watch this FREE webinar on how to create a freelance business plan. If you want a bit more guidance or input, I also have personal, one-on-one workshops called Create Labs that include business plan writing for your blog or freelance business, so feel free to check those out too. But for now . . .

The video training includes:

  • links to 5 free downloads (including a creative business plan template)
  • instructions on how to fill out each section of a 10-section freelance business plan
  • links to resources that will help you with your business plan
  • other awesomeness

Free Freelance Business Plan Template
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Create Labs are Here // Hint: Get Excited

Create Labs: one-on-one blog workshops and freelance workshops

What is a Create LabTM?

In the same way that high school and college “labs” are class extensions where you get hands-on practice with whatever you’re learning in your main class (ex: a biology lab), Create Labs are hands-on workshops (with just you and me) during which we work on your blog, brand, or creative freelance business for seven hours. Say what?

Let me put this another way: YOU and REGINA and COFFEE and TACOS will get together for a full work day, in person, to revamp, refresh, or plan your brand. We’ll meet at a super cool Austin coffee shop or coworking space, and we will have an epic time. Create Labs come in four tracks:

Blog Lab: one-on-one blog workshop by Regina Freelance Lab: one-on-one freelance workshop by ReginaSocial Strategy Lab: one-on-one social media workshop by Regina Product Creation Lab: one-on-one product creation workshop by Regina


Blog LabTM
Your personal Blog Lab starts with adult homework that I send ahead of time. You’ll be answering some questions and finishing a few worksheets to ensure that we are on the same page and that some of the foundational work is done by the time we meet.

Then, you and I meet in person (in Austin, Texas) for a full-day workshop, one-on-one. We will be together from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. working on your blog.

  • In the morning, we will start by making a mini blog business plan and discussing best practices when it comes to blogging.
  • During our working lunch (that I pay for–because you HAVE to try my favorite tacos), we will discuss promotion strategies, blogging frequency, and community-building activities.
  • In the afternoon, we’ll be busy creating a style guide for your promotions, planning out your online content for the next three months, and filling out your editorial calendar.

I will share tips, resources, real life experiences, and best practices with you as we go. You will be “borrowing my brain” and adding it to all your awesome brain power. And with our powers combined . . . (someone please start singing the Captain Planet song here) . . .

Oh. And I’m only offering five Create Labs before the end of the year. You can reserve your spot, then let me know which track you’re selecting, and I’ll send along the correct questions and workbook for you to get started.

Find out more about blog lab


Freelance LabTM
Your personal Freelance Lab is set up just like the Blog Lab, except we’ll be discussing your freelance business. We’ll go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and again, I’m buying the taco lunch.

  • In the morning, we will create a mini business plan after reviewing your platform goals and defining your ideal audience.
  • During our working lunch, we’ll review your visuals and current social media strategy.
  • In the afternoon, we will create your marketing calendar and content calendar for the next three months. We’ll also do a documents audit (to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in place) + processes audit (to verify or set up a smooth client flow and work processes).

I will share tips, resources, real life experiences, and best practices with you as we go. You’ll be able to ask me anything about freelance business. I’ve run a successful freelance business and I’ve helped many freelancers craft a clear vision and get more clients.

Since I’m only offering five Create Labs before year end, feel free to head over and reserve your spot or contact me with questions.

Find out more about Freelance Lab


Social Strategy LabTM
Your personal Social (Media + Community) Strategy Lab is set up just like the previous labs, but we’ll be making epic plans for your social platforms and community-building strategies. We’ll go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and again, I’m buying the tacos (lunch) that you will love me for, forever and ever.

  • In the morning, we will review the audit of your current social platform use (the audit will be distributed before we meet) and create a mini social strategy plan after reviewing your platform goals and ideal audience.
  • During our working lunch, we will discuss how to best use each platform for your specific brand and review/create on-brand visuals and a style guide for your future use.
  • In the afternoon, we will continue to create brand visuals and craft a social media editorial calendar for the next three months. We’ll also do a processes audit for your social strategy and make sure you’re using all the tools and tricks recommended to make everything easier.

I will share tips, resources, real life experiences, and best practices with you as we go. You’ll be able to ask me anything about social media and/or how I’ve successfully used social media to grow my website traffic and spread my blog content (to the point where I make a full-time income from my blog).

Again, I’m only offering five Create Labs before year end. Please feel free to head over and reserve your spot or contact me with questions.

Find out more about Social Strategy Lab


Product Creation LabTM
Your personal Product Creation Lab is a one-day workshop in which we’ll be planning, outlining, and creating a marketing plan for your information product (workshop, eBook, class, physical book, etc.). We’ll go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Austin, Texas, and because you are so loved and wonderful, I’m buying the tacos (for lunch).

  • In the morning, we will review the product idea questionnaire (which will be distributed before we meet) and create an outline for your product. We’ll also establish a timeline and milestones for your product’s creation.
  • During our working lunch, we will research other similar products and begin to work on pricing. We’ll also review some of the best online sales platforms, plugins, and shopping carts for your product sales.
  • In the afternoon, we will create a marketing plan, strategy for customer acquisition, and marketing calendar for your product. We will also create some on-brand visuals to help promote your product.

I will share tips, resources, real life experiences, and best practices with you as we go. You’ll be able to ask me anything about information product creation and/or how I’ve created and sold numerous products.

Find out more about Product Creation Lab


So, what do you think? Will I be seeing you in Austin before the end of the year?


Images:
Main coffee and beans image—Alie Lengyelova
Woman in chair—Lumina
Woman writing—Ondine Corewijn
Woman on phone—Mosuno
Man on phone—Marija Savic

Getting Started with Pinterest For Bloggers

How to Use Pinterest: for bloggers

First off, I hope you didn’t come for the donuts, because I lied about those to lure you here. There’s really only a video tutorial and three free worksheets to go along with this post on getting started with Pinterest for bloggers.

So, #1: Download the worksheets that you can use to follow along and take notes during the video.
And, #2: Watch the video below.
Or, #3: Check out the description below this Pinterest tutorial video to see what I talk about in the video, and then watch the video because you’ll hopefully be utterly convinced it’s worth your time. Love you bunches and all that.

In this webinar I talk about seven things you can do when you are getting started with Pinterest or using it for a brand/blog for the first time:

  1. Build boards that make sense (for your brand).
  2. Fill your boards with truly high-quality pins. (And how you can determine whether other people’s pins are quality/legit links or not.)
  3. Research what influencers in your niche/area are pinning and doing.
  4. Develop a strategy.
  5. Get your site ready. (And the five key places from which you can encourage pins on your blog.)
  6. Do your homework. (And the three pieces of homework you can do each day on Pinterest to learn how to grow your blog.)
  7. Engage. (And three simple ways you can engage on Pinterest, with both your readers and other bloggers.)

Pinterest for Bloggers worksheet byRegina Pinterest for Bloggers worksheet byRegina

Please let me know what you think and let us all know (in the comments) if you have any other essential tips for bloggers who are just starting out on Pinterest.

Photo: © Fisher Photostudio