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The Marly Dice Podcast
27 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Rugs 101: Rug Size Guide, How to Keep Rugs from Slipping & More
In this episode, Marly discusses all your rug questions! You'll learn about: the best rug sizes in your living room, bedrooms, entryway, foyer, dining room, and office how to keep rugs from slipping: the best option she has found Types of rugs as well as pros and cons Things to consider when choosing rugs for your space and how to be intentional She also answers FAQs about all things rugs including: should you put rugs over carpet? should you layer rugs? do rugs shed? AREA RUGS IN MARLY'S HOME (affiliate links below): Living room: 9x12 olive/charcoal Loloi rug - This rug is Marly's favorite rug in her whole home...so much so that she bought the same one for the kitchen runner. This rug is low pile, easy to clean, camoflouges dirt well, and has beautiful warm colors in it. It's very popular and sells out often, so if it's in stock, grab it while you can! Kitchen: olive/charcoal Loloi runner rug 2'-6'' x 7'-6''- This is the same rug in the living room (see above). Mudroom: 5x8 Sofia area rug - This rug is in a very high traffic area and sees a lot of dirt from our shoes. For the most part it camoflauges well, especially for being lighter tones. It is also easy to clean. If redesigning, Marly would opt for darker rug colors in this space. Office: 5x8 Newalla area rug - This rug is beautiful and soft. It is in a lower traffic area but could be used in a higher traffic area because of the dark colors. Master Bedroom: Taupe/stone Loloi rug - This is an 8x10 rug, but as mentioned in the podcast, Marly prefers king beds to have a 9x12 rug. This rug is low pile, camoflouges dirt well and adds a sophisticated look to the room. It has more gray tones and cool tones. Hannah's Bedroom: 3x5 Skye collection printed distressed ivory/berry Loloi rug - Marly actually found this rug at Home Goods, so be on the lookout when you're there for Loloi rugs. This has mauve and blue tones in it and is very pretty in a girl's bedroom. Guest Bedroom: 8x10 Davos Tufted area rug - This rug is textured and has dimension to it. It is very beautiful, but since it is lighter colors, dirt shows more on it. It works well in a guest bedroom, with low traffic. It also does shed slightly but it's not noticeable on the carpet, as the fabric sheds are the same color as the carpet. It doesn't shed so much that it's a big deal - you just need to regularly vacuum. LINKS DISCUSSED: Living room with current Loloi area rug (blog post) Master Bedroom with current Loloi area rug (blog post) Dining room with Safavieh rug in it - this rug has now been moved to our guest bedroom (blog post) Mudroom with floating area rug Rug tape Sign up for Marly's email list Instagram Stories HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps other find the podcast and show that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read!
26 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
8 Things to Buy at Thrift Stores: The Home Edition
In this episode, Marly chats about great home decor items to check out while you're thrifting! LINKS DISCUSSED: Side tables - chalk paint tutorial Lamp at Pottery barn I like (aff link) Stone spray paint (aff link) DIY Wall Art (paint brush effect) / DIY Wall Art (putty knife effect) Book styling post HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps other find the podcast and show that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read!
36 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
10 Decorating Mistakes I've Made
In this episode, Marly discusses ten decorating mistakes she has made and how she fixed them. Each of these mistakes are tried-and-true design errors that she's realized have truly impacted the esthetic of her home. LINKS DISCUSSED: Blog Post: Window Treatments Using Pinch Pleat Curtains Canva - the program where you can create design mood boards Podcast: How We're Transitioning Our Home to Modern Rustic Blog Post: Custom Gallery Wall HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps other find the podcast and show that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read!
28 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
5 Ways to Refresh Your Home for Under $50
In this episode, Marly discusses five ways to refresh your home for under $50. Some of these ideas require some grunt work and possibly have a learning curve, but if you’re willing to do the work and read the tutorials, you can achieve a beautiful budget-friendly home refresh! LINKS DISCUSSED: Marlydice.com - Type anything in the search bar to search for a tutorial Chalk Paint Tutorial for Beginners General Painting Tutorial How to Whitewash Your Brick Fireplace The Best White Paint for Walls Board and Batten Tutorial Pottery Barn Wall Art Hack How to Style a Bookshelf: The No-Fail Way - Wrap Your Books Instagram Stories HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps other find the podcast and show that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read!
35 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
Goals & Intentions for 2021
In this episode, Marly discusses her goals and intentions for the New Year. She chats about four goals for herself and blog as well as four goals for her home. LINKS DISCUSSED: YouTube videos: Pamela Reif exercise videos Friday Faves posts IG Stories: Infertility Story on Instagram Blog Post: The Best White Paint for Walls Blog Post: How to Paint Walls like a Pro IG Stories: How to Fill Holes in Your Wall Blog Post: Deck Makeover: A Complete Reno & The Perfect Deck Color Blog Post: Our New Patio Design with a Fire Pit Table Blog Post: How to Organize Kids’ Toys in Your Living Room HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read!
31 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
5 Tips for Starting a Blog This Year
In this episode, Marly discusses 5 tips for starting a blog in 2021. If you're thinking about starting a blog or have recently started one, this episode is for you! LINKS DISCUSSED: Start a Blog Tutorial (get a blog set up in just 15 minutes!) Start a Blog e-course (a free course sent to your email with more explanation about starting a blog) Instagram Goals, Marly's course to help you get your first 10K Instagram followers and learn about photography on your phone. Instagram page HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read.
25 minutes | Sep 28, 2020
Organization Ideas: 5 Things I'm Tossing Right Now
In this episode, Marly chats about 5 things she is purging from her home right now. She chats about: the less is more approach the big items that she's swapping out to help improve her season of life why it's so important to create a home you love/feel happy to be in right now options for where to remove items why purging is so important for organizing your space Listen in and get some ideas of things to purge in your own home! LINKS DISCUSSED: Instagram page French country dining chairs blog post Dining room updates blog post Email sign up HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read!
26 minutes | Sep 7, 2020
How We're Transitioning our Home to Modern Rustic Design
In this episode, Marly chats about how she and Jason are transitioning their french country farmhouse style home to a more modern rustic style home. She chats about: who and where she gets inspiration from the process she uses to design new spaces budget-friendly ideas to update your space which areas in her home are getting a revamp as well as what those plans are the three main colors she will be using for her home She also discusses how you can apply her design process to your own home. LINKS DISCUSSED: Coffee table post (to see the gray-brown color Marly refers to) Dining table post (to see the gray-brown color Marly refers to) Living room layout post DIY fireplace bookcase tutorial Current Kitchen post Initial redesign of kitchen Canva (the program Marly uses to make mood boards) Instagram page HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read!
25 minutes | Aug 23, 2020
8 Cheap Fall Home Decor Ideas
WHAT'S IN THIS EPISODE? In this episode, Marly chats about eight, budget-friendly ways to decorate your home for the upcoming fall season! If you're getting the itch to decorate for fall and need some ideas, this episode is for you. Marly chats about: ways to save money on pumpkins an alternative to buying faux fall florals items to use around your home for fall decor a fun activity that doubles as decor and so much more! Plus Marly chats all about why she hasn't put out an episode in awhile as well as what to expect for future podcast content. LINKS DISCUSSED: New blog URL: marlydice.com Blog post about blog rebrand DIY artwork to adapt for fall decor DIY fall wreath using dried hydrangeas HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A REVIEW: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read! Click here to subscribe and leave a review.
27 minutes | Feb 4, 2020
3 Metrics to Track in Google Analytics
WHAT’S IN THIS EPISODE? In this episode, Marly chats about three metrics she tracks in Google Analytics on almost a daily basis. Marly used to be a corporate marketer, so Google Analytics is very familiar to her. She spent a lot of time in it as a marketer and continues to do so for her blog. She talks about: month over month tracking vs. year over year tracking and why you should look at both how to set your date range in Google Analytics why you need to monitor your traffic in Google Analytics the difference between users, sessions and page views what to do if you don’t know what a term means in Google Analytics ideas on what to do if you see a spike in traffic At the end of this episode, Marly tells you one thing she’s loving right now! Hint: it has to do with a DIY project. How to subscribe & leave a review: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read! Click here to subscribe and leave a review. Shout Out (Review Marly Read): Thank you to Jen at everydayoldhouse.com for this wonderful review of The Marly Dice Podcast:
33 minutes | Jan 28, 2020
6 Habits for More Productive Days
WHAT’S IN THIS EPISODE? In this episode, Marly chats about six habits that fuel her day and allow her to get more done. There are tons of habits out there that people talk about, and Marly has tried lots of them, some of which work well to keep her on track and others that haven't helped very much. Learn which habits are helping her push through the noise of life and be the most productive she can be to move the needle in her blogging business. At the end of this episode, Marly tells you one thing she's loving right now! Hint: it's an item that is helping her stay healthy-conscious! Other links discussed: Marly’s Instagram account (@abrickhome) - Watch Marly's Instagram stories to keep up with her day to day shenanigans around A Brick Home! How to subscribe & leave a review: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read! Click here to subscribe and leave a review. Shout Out (Review Marly Read): Thank you to Kirsten Brehmer Home for this wonderful review of The Marly Dice Podcast:
27 minutes | Jan 21, 2020
5 Lessons Learned on Instagram in 2019
WHAT’S IN THIS EPISODE? This episode covers five lessons that Marly learned on Instagram in 2019, mostly related to growing a home decor Instagram account. Marly grew her Instagram account to over 10K Instagram followers in 2019 and learned so many strategies along the way that actually work when growing a home decor Instagram account. Marly covers the following in this episode: the addition in Marly's Instagram images that is helping Marly with her Instagram account the one thing that made Marly's account suffer in 2019 what her audience (and mostly all people) loves to do and how she's able to utilize that knowledge to help her grow her account what she's going to do more of from now on, on Instagram Starting with this episode, Marly also chats about one thing she's thankful for right now. This will be a new addition to The Marly Dice Podcast where Marly will discuss one thing, person, idea or anything else that she's currently thankful for. This new idea happened because in a world of comparison we often forget about things we're thankful for in our lives. This little added bit at the end of episodes will hopefully get you thinking about things you're thankful for in your life! Other links discussed: Instagram Goals – This is Marly’s course about growing your home decor Instagram account. In this course, Marly offers over 4.5 hours of video content broken down into 20 videos. If you're struggling to grow a home decor Instagram account, this course is for you! You'll learn how to get beautiful photos, engagement on your photos, and grow your following with the right audience. Marly’s Instagram account (@abrickhome) How to subscribe & leave a review: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read! Click here to subscribe and leave a review.
36 minutes | Jan 14, 2020
Should You Start A Blog in 2020?
WHAT'S IN THIS EPISODE? If you're not sure if starting a blog is a good fit for you, listen in on this episode. Marly covers the following questions in this episode: Is blogging dead? Can you make money blogging and how do you do it? Should you have a blog and an Instagram account? Is a blog necessary if you have an Instagram account? What do you need to think about when considering starting a blog? She also discusses what she loves about blogging as well as some tips when you start a blog. She even reveals what she would've done differently if she were starting a blog today. How to start a blog: If you are ready to start a blog, Marly offers a free tutorial to get your blog started right now. Just go to abrickhome.com/startablog and you can get your blog up and running in about 15 minutes. If you are interested in starting a blog, but want more information about it, you can take Marly's free Start A Blog E-course. In this free course, you'll learn more than just the basics about starting a blog. When you sign up, you'll receive an email, everyday, for 7 days, that is packed with information to not only set up your blog but also lay a proper foundation for it so you can begin earning money. Other links discussed: Instagram Goals - This is Marly's course about growing your home decor Instagram account. In this course, Marly offers over 4.5 hours of video content broken down into 20 videos. Marly's Instagram account (@abrickhome) How to subscribe & leave a review: We are honored that you listen to The Marly Dice Podcast. Subscribing and leaving a review on iTunes is the best gift you can give Marly. This helps others find the podcast and shows that we provide quality content on the show. To show thanks, Marly likes to read reviews on her podcast, and yours could be the next one read! Click here to subscribe and leave a review.
27 minutes | Jan 7, 2020
A New Year's Chat: Words, Goals & Resolutions
WHAT'S IN THIS EPISODE? In this episode, Marly chats about New Year's goals, resolutions and her word of the year. This episode is aimed to motivate you for the year ahead and help you get set up with some goals, a word of the year, and/or a resolution.
24 minutes | Oct 1, 2019
The Two #1 Ways I Get Email Subscribers
Getting email subscribers can be a struggle, especially if you don't have any background in email marketing. In this episode, Marly chats about the two number one ways she grows her email list. Marly is a former corporate marketer and her background includes lots of email marketing. She started with a solid foundation to grow her list from scratch and pivoted her brand and messaging to capture leads quickly. She talks about her favorite email provider to use when capturing email addresses as well as the functionality it provides. She also talks about the best ways to label subscriber forms so you can analyze which ones work and which ones don't, helping you strategize future form opt-ins. Marly explains the difference between using a form and a landing page and which one you should use at different times. Enticing messaging and lead magnet quality are also part of this discussion. Listen in to learn which forms are converting the best for Marly to grow her email list so you can try these methods as well! Links discussed: Abrickhome.com Instagram Link on Instagram page Example of Hometalk post that includes subscriber landing page link Form used for Hometalk
30 minutes | Sep 10, 2019
How to Earn Money with Hometalk
Learn how to earn money with Hometalk using Hometalk's Pinterest program...in this episode of The Marly Dice Podcast. Hometalk's Pinterest Brand & Partnership Manager Raquel Amster joins Marly in this episode to explain the ins and outs of the Pinterest program. If you're unfamiliar with Hometalk, it is the world's largest online community of home and garden DIYers filled with how-to tutorials, ideas and advice. In this episode, you'll learn: how much others are making in this program on a monthly basis what the Pinterest program is all about how a blogger can join the program how to come up with a good strategy to earn money in this program about the features available in this program, including their Pinterest library and their dashboard other programs you can be part of within Hometalk and so much more! Links discussed in this episode: Hometalk Hometalk's Pinterest account Blogger hub Influencer sign up
38 minutes | Jul 24, 2019
5 Blogging Tools I Wish I'd Used Sooner
Welcome back to another episode of The Marly Dice Podcast. This is your host Marly, and thank you for tuning in today. We are talking about five must-have tools as a blogger. I personally have invested in all these tools and use all of the tools that I’m talking about today on a consistent basis and I feel that each ONE of these tools has contributed to my growth as a blogger. I remember even just a couple years ago that I didn’t feel like I needed some of these tools because 1. I was trying to be frugal with blogging expenses and 2. I thought I could use other methods, that is, free or cheaper tools, to achieve whatever it is that I was trying to accomplish. As it turns out, I really should’ve used all of these tools, early on, in my blogging career. Some of these tools are free and some are investments that I have found to be necessary for my blog. The five blogging tools that I wish I’d used sooner for my blog: ConvertKit ConvertKit is an email marketing software that is incredibly powerful for bloggers. When I first started out, I used MailChimp, another marketing software that offers a completely free option for users, whereas ConvertKit is a software that you have to pay a monthly subscription fee for no mater which option you get. MailChimp worked fine for awhile, but I was finding that there were so many things I couldn’t do that I wanted to be able to do. Ultimately, MailChimp wasn’t able to accommodate my needs as a blogger once I started growing. That’s when I switched to ConvertKit. I knew it was a great software immediately when I started using it. It was easy to switch over all my current subscribers and get going quickly. It’s also very user friendly. It’s really easy to navigate and understand all the behind the scenes work you’re doing. You can easily see your analytics, like how many subscribers you’re getting, and when, and on which forms. Early on, when I became a new user, I immediately knew it was a great platform, but what I didn’t realize early on was exactly HOW powerful ConvertKit is. After having ConvertKit for at least a year, I really started delving into it, learning the ins and outs of the tool and how I could optimize it for maximum results. I began learning its expansive functionality, and I started using it in different ways on my site. So, I’m not going to talk about the fact that it has forms and you can collect emails. Of course it has that. I’m going to talk about the features that WOW me as a blogger. Now, I use ConvertKit in some pretty awesome ways, including: -As a pop up form that is triggered by text. If you’re unsure what I mean by this, head over to my blog abrickhome.com and click on “subscribe” in my top navigation bar. Immediately a pop up box will appear with the ability to subscribe to my list. So, why is this so powerful? For one, when you click on subscribe on my website, it doesn’t take you to a completely different page, what is called a landing page, to subscribe. You’re able to keep the user on your site, and they can quickly sign up and be done or they can X out of the pop up box. This function greatly improves the user experience because they don’t have to click a “back button” after being taken to a landing page, if they decide they don’t want to subscribe. It’s so user friendly, and that’s always my goal with my site - to make it the best possible experience for a reader. It also looks really polished, and you know how important that is. The functionality to trigger a pop up subscription box by clicking on text is amazing. Also, while I’m talking about the subscriber pop up, let’s chat quickly about making it easy to subscribe! Subscribing to your list should be the easiest thing for someone to do. If a user has to search for the subscriber box, you’ve failed. You’re making it harder for YOU as a blogger to get subscribers. Make subscribing the easiest thing for a user to do. It should basically be staring them in the face when they’re on your website. Ok, had to get in that quick, because sometimes I find that it’s really hard to subscribe to people’s website because I can’t find a way to subscribe and that just shouldn’t be the case. Another place you use the feature of a pop up triggered by text is anywhere in your text. For example, I say the word subscribe in my page content on my about page. The word “subscribe” triggers the general subscription box when clicked on. And you don’t have to limit this to just a general subscribe. You could have a form for anything and link it to any word. Another awesome feature of ConvertKit for bloggers is the landing page feature. A landing page is kind of like a form, in that you collect emails on it, but a landing page is more extensive. It’s an actual page which means you can have a lot more information and words on it. So why is this so cool? It’s awesome because you can host the landing page directly on your site. This means that you have your URL attached to the landing page. So, for example, I have an e-course landing page that I made in ConvertKit and I’m able to host that landing page on abrickhome.com. So the URL is abrickhome.com/start-a-blog-crash-course. ConvertKit also can host the landing page for you, if you prefer, but If you’re a blogger, I can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t host it on your site, so host it on your site. Also, you can create all kinds of pop of forms, inline forms, and slide in forms. And a quick side note about pop up forms. I know they are annoying but I have the biggest success rate with pop up forms, I get the most subscribers with them. I will say I don’t do generic sign up pop up forms. You should be offering your readers something when they see a pop up form. And, you want to make sure you’re catering to your mobile and desktop audiences separately. So if you have a pop up form running on your site, you’ve probably made it for a desktop viewer. Make sure you check how that pop up looks on mobile. It probably gets cut off - the words get off, the image gets off. You want to make sure you check that because if you’re on mobile and you get a pop up and can’t even read it because it was designed for desktop viewers, then yes, that’s super annoying. Make sure you’re creating ease for your user. In ConvertKit, you can create a separate pop up form for mobile and desktop users. That’s what I do, and it works incredibly well, especially considering a lot of my traffic is on mobile devices. It’s cool too because you can see if your mobile or desktop pop up is performing better since they’re separate forms. I can hear myself starting to sound really nerdy. I just love email marketing stuff. Before I was a blogger, I was a full-time marketer so that’s why I really get into this stuff. But one more thing I want to say about ConvertKit is that their customer service is awesome! I am impressed with their customer service, and that’s saying a lot because I am an avid question-asker and I constantly reach out to customer service support when I can’t figure things out, so anytime a company has great customer service, I become even more of a supporter. Ultimately, just to kind of recap here, ConvertKit helps you grow an audience and connect with them in an easy way. It is an incredibly powerful tool that I love using. Canva I am a huge fan of Canva. It is a free graphic design software that allows you to create beautiful works of art. I create all my pins for Pinterest on Canva and all my images for my blog on Canva. At first, I used the free version of Canva, which is great and it worked well for all my needs for a couple years actually. More recently though, I made the decision to upgrade to Canva Pro. I think it’s a great investment because you can do so many more things, including Creating folders. This is so necessary after you’ve been blogging for awhile because your designs start to accumulate and then you just have a mess of designs floating around with no organization method at all. It becomes almost impossible to find a particular design once you’ve created so many. The ability to create folders is an amazing feature of Canva Pro so you can get super organized. Adding a brand kit. This makes your life so much more convenient when you’re designing because you can have your font and colors easily accessible to ensure you’re always on-brand. In the free version of Canva you can’t add your own fonts, which is a huge bummer. That reason alone led me to investing in the paid version. Downloading designs with transparent backgrounds. This is critical for good design work. If you’re creating a logo, for example, you need to have the ability to create a design with a transparent background. This allows you to put your logo or watermark on your images for Pinterest. If you don’t have a transparent background, your logo will have a white background surrounding it, which makes for really poor design if you’re putting it as an overlap image on a Pinterest image you’re making. Canva Pro allows you to download your images with transparent backgrounds, which is a game changer if you need a watermark or new logo. I’m thrilled with Canva Pro and I highly recommend it. If you’re not ready to pay the monthly fee, the regular, free-version of Canva is also still great to use! The third tool that is critical for bloggers is: Tailwind Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool and, in my opinion, is 100% necessary to have as a blogger. I actually invested in Tailwind early on because most of my traffic came from Pinterest and continues to come from Pinterest. I knew there was no feasible way I could actually pin to Pinterest consistently, so I looked into a scheduling tool. Tailwind is an official Pinterest Marketing Developer Partner (it says so on their website), so you know they’re a
72 minutes | Jun 11, 2019
Tasha's Story: From Unhappy Lawyer to Six-Figure Blogger
Catch up with Marly and her interviewee Tasha Agruso from Kaleidoscope Living in this episode of The Marly Dice Podcast. Marly chats with Tasha about how she transitioned from a lawyer to a design & DIY blogger, and how she makes six-figures a year doing what she loves. Tasha is such an inspiration in the home blogging niche, and in this episode, you'll hear Tasha's story first-hand, about how she's been able to grow her blog from scratch into the thriving business it is today. She gives you an in-depth look at how she started earning an income early on in her blogging career and how she's grown that income to six-figures a year by adding more monetization avenues in her business. Tasha gives pointers for new bloggers as well as experienced bloggers on how to grow their income. Spoiler alert: it doesn't have to do with growing your page views. Marly and Tasha also chat about: becoming known in the industry Tasha's experience on The Rachael Ray Show rebranding her blog and some important logistical information to consider if you're thinking about rebranding your blog the good parts and more challenging parts of being a blogger product creation including Tasha's own, successful product Designer in a Binder and so much more Tasha even talks about mistakes she made along the way, in hopes of helping you not make the same ones. Tasha is incredibly transparent and gives solid advice for bloggers looking to grow their blog and income. This is a must-listen for home bloggers! Links mentioned in this episode: Kaleidoscope Living Designer in a Binder Instagram: @tasha.kaleidoscope Facebook: Kaleidoscope Living Tasha on The Rachael Ray Show Colorful Conversations Podcast
59 minutes | Jun 4, 2019
How to Grow an Authentic Instagram Following
Kelly Beswitherick joins Marly on The Marly Dice Podcast to chat about how to grow an authentic and engaged following on Instagram, including why it's important, how she did it, and how you can too. Transcript: Hey guys! Marly here. You are listening to the Marly Dice Podcast, and you’re about to learn how to step up your Instagram game and take your account to the next level. This episode is packed with practical ideas you can easily implement on your home décor Instagram account right now. I chat with Kelly Beswitherick, who transitioned as a stay at home mom to a health food blogger to now a home décor blogger. She’s an entrepreneur, who started an online program called Décor Addicts Unite to help other home décor accounts grow an authentic Instagram following. She’s got an online shop where she sells wooden arches made by a local craftsman (cool, right?), and get this: she’s about to launch a line of decorate pillow covers that she designed herself. I mean, Kelly is the real deal. She is doing it all, and with an authentic approach. She’s garnered a loyal Instagram following along the way, and we chat all about that in today’s episode. This episode is one you’re going to want to take notes on, so get ready…let’s dive in. [podcast intro] Hey there and welcome back to another episode of The Marly Dice Podcast. If this is the first time you’re joining, welcome, I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so thrilled about today’s episode because we have a special guest: Kelly Beswitherick from the blog Home with Kelly. Kelly is actually one of the first home bloggers I started following on Instagram when I really got into the platform. Not only is her home and her Instagram feed stunning, she’s also such a genuine person, which I think is one of the main reasons I started following along in the first place. Kelly started her Instagram account, which is instagram.com/homewithkelly in November 2016 and has grown it to over 17,000 authentic, loyal followers and counting. She even has her own online program called Décor Addicts Unite, where she helps other home décor Instagram accounts (that’s us) grow an authentic following on Instagram. Growing an authentic following is something I think we all want to do as home décor bloggers, and Kelly has done exactly that. So welcome, Kelly, to the show. I’m so glad you’re joining me today. Kelly: Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure to be here with you. Marly: Before we get into all the Instagram things, can we talk about your transition from being a heath food blogger and having a blog called Kitchen Caleigh and putting out a cook book of recipes and doing live cooking shows at large trade shows in Vancouver to becoming a home décor blogger. Can you talk a little bit about that? How and why did that transition happen? Kelly: Yea, well, I became a health food blogger because I was using food to help save my life after I became very ill and almost died. It’s a crazy story, but at the end of 2011, my husband and I (and our two young children) actually moved into a rental home, which we didn’t know was toxic. We found out later that we had essentially (unknowingly) moved into a former grow-op and meth house. The bottom line for a meth house is that it is incredibly toxic and the toxins go right into the drywall. And everyone’s liver can process a different amount of toxins, and I’ve since learned that my liver was overrun and my body became flooded with these toxins. Within 2.5 months of moving into the house, I was bed ridden with debilitating migraines, severe vertigo, numb patches and muscle spasms through the my body, and even my sight and my hearing were both affected. Then 5.5 months after moving in, with the help of a naturopath, we found the remnants of the grow-op and where they cooked the meth in the crawl space below the house. So I began very intensive treatments to detox my body and one of the things I had to do was to go on a very strict detox diet, basically a limited Paleo Diet, in order to save my life. I started documenting my food journey on Facebook and then I had a friend approach me who owned a health food company and asked if I would come work for them as their recipe writer and food blogger, all while sharing my health journey and using their products. I was happy to do it and I loved the blogging. And then not long after, I started my own website and my own Instagram and Facebook page under the name Kitchen Caleigh. And I shared my story on radio shows, and at Trade shows, even in a cook book, and it was a lot of fun. But... in the back of my mind, something felt a bit off. I would describe it to my friends, like “I was going the right direction on the wrong track.” And I just kept coming back to the fact that cooking and baking wasn’t really my passion. I had actually never enjoyed working in the kitchen and this was something that was born out of an illness, but not something I really wanted to do with my life. So, in the Spring and summer of 2016, I started slowing down my food blogging and began praying about “what next?” Where was I really supposed to be? And it was a long, 6-month conversation with God about my passion, my calling, my desires... I felt God asking me, “What could you do 5 days a week, and never get bored?” After a lot of thought and prayer, my answer was “home decor”. I had always loved home decorating, since I was a little girl. It’s something that was always in me and it was always a creative outlet for me. And I felt like I had my answer, and this time it felt right. It felt good. On November 29th, 2016, I started Home With Kelly with an Instagram account and a Facebook page, and I finally felt like I was going in the right direction, on the right track. Marly: Wow, wow that is a crazy story though, like from the meth house and how it all got started. I’m glad you’re better now, first and foremost .. And I’m glad you started your blog and your Instagram account because I look up to you and I know a ton of other bloggers – not even bloggers but also home décor accounts on Instagram look up to you. So with that, lead’s chat about Instagram. You have an authentic, loyal following of over 17,000 people, which you’ve been building since November 2016. There are a lot of tactics to grow our Instagram accounts, which we’ll get into, but let’s talk about the ‘why’ first. Why is it important to grow authentically rather than pay for fake followers or bots or use the follow/unfollow method for gaining followers, for example? Can you talk about the why? Kelly: To answer the “why” here, I’ll first answer the “why not”. Paying for fake followers is just so pointless. Fake followers don’t actually engage with you. If you’ve set up your Instagram to inspire people, or to sell a product, those fake followers are worth nothing. You’re certainly not going to inspire them, and you definitely won’t sell them anything! Plus, people can tell when an account has bought followers. They have this large following and very low engagement. It just looks shady, and at the end of the day, our reputation is worth so much more than our follower number. Buying fake followers will kill your reputation. Brands won’t want to work with you, and other influencers won’t want to work with you. It’s a dead end and it’s never worth it to buy followers. As for the follow/unfollow method... it boggles my mind that there are still people teaching this as a method to grow your account. It’s just a terrible practice. And when people catch on that you’re doing it, your reputation will be seriously damaged. And people will catch on! Almost everyone has a “followers app” now so they can see who has followed just to unfollow them. It is not worth it and it is not the right way to grow a following. Plus those who follow you, just because you followed them first, those are not engaged followers who actually care about your content. The likelihood of them engaging with you is pretty slim, so they’re just damaging your reach. Every time Instagram offers your post to someone and they don’t engage, that signals the algorithm to offer it to less people. We don’t want those kinds of followers. At the end of the day, they hurt our accounts, and they hinder our growth. To answer the “why”... why is it important to grow an authentic following... a following who follows you because they choose to, rather than “have to” will be engaged with you. They will become invested in what you share, and they’ll listen to what you have to say, because they are there simply because they want to be, not because they have to be, and this really changes their level of engagement. Engagement is KING when it comes to Instagram. It’s really not so much the followers that matter, it’s the engagement that matters, and then the following will come naturally. For example - If I have 50k followers but they never engage with me, that sends a signal to the algorithm that my content must not be very good, so Instagram will stop offering it to more people. My reach would be so low, and then those followers would be useless. Nobody would see my content. So what’s the point of having 50k followers is very few of them ever see what I post? There’s just no point in that. But on the other hand... if I have only 5k followers, but those 5k followers really love my content, and they’re following me because they want to, and they engage with my posts regularly, then my reach will be huge, and my content will be seen by more and more people all the time because their engagement tells the algorithm that my content must be really good so it’ll offer it to even more people. My hashtags will become more effective (because I’ll start hitting Top Posts) and my stories will be more effective because my audience
24 minutes | May 15, 2019
6 Easy Updates to Make an Awesome About Page on Your Blog
Learn how to make your about page stand out from the crowd with easy and practical tips that you can do right now! Hey there, you’re listening to The Marly Dice Podcast and I’m your host Marly. As always, thank you so much for listening in. If this is your first time here, welcome! I’m so glad you found your way here. Today’s episode is entitled, “6 Easy Updates to Make an Awesome About Page on your Blog,” and I think at least a few of these may be some new ideas for you. Now, if you’re anything like me, your about page is probably one of the first pages you ever made on your blog. I can remember starting my blog years ago and rewriting my bio, which was comprised of a couple sentences, over and over until it felt just right. I was so eager to get just the right bio. And then that was it, I was done. A check mark on my to-do list. Does this sound familiar? There are so many things we as bloggers have to do, especially when we’re just starting out, and many times bloggers like to make their about page and then forget it, for months and months and months. It just happens like that because there are so many tasks we’re doing daily, like social media and writing blog posts. So, your about page just seems to sit there, with those couple sentences or couple paragraphs that give an inkling about you along with a photo of yourself. Does this sound familiar? If this is the case for you, your about page isn’t doing you much good. But it can do you A LOT of good. Now, your about page isn’t something that necessarily needs to be updated all the time, but it’s all not a page you should just forget about after you make it. It’s important to keep that page up to date because, chances are, it’s a highly visited page on your blog. Which side note - when’s the last time you checked your about page’s ranking? You should check that periodically, along with your top visited pages. You can do this easily in Google Analytics. If you have a way to jot this down, here’s how you do it. Pull up Google Analytics, then select your timeframe in the upper right hand corner, then on the left, select Behavior, then select site content, then select all pages, and you’ll be able to see your top performing pages. I could chat all about Google Analytics, but that’s another episode. A lot of times, bloggers’ about pages consist of a photo of themself and a few ‘bio’ sentences that may be enough to make up a paragraph. And then… that’s it. If this sounds anything like your about page, then listen up because you’ve got work to do. If you want to stand out, drive more traffic to other pages of your website, get visitors to sign up to your email list, and lead users to your social media pages, (and you should want all of that), then it’s time to spend a little time sprucing up your about page. The good news is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Chances are you already have a lot of content on your blog done, so you just need to find ways to link around to all your offerings, content, products, email list and social pages. I’m also going to be chatting about how to really stand out from the crowd of bloggers, because having a mediocre about page is not going to help you achieve that. You need to really put some thought about who you are and what you want want your readers to know about you, into your about page. So, without further ado, here are 6 easy updates you can make right now to make an awesome about page on your blog. Add updated photos that capture your brand. If you’re working with a photo of yourself from 2009, I think it’s time you swap it out. Especially if your readers are seeing your face somewhere else - like Instagram stories and you’re doing videos of you talking - and then someone hops over to your blog, and you look ten years younger on your blog photo on your about page - they may question if they’re even on the right blog. Having an old photo that looks grainy or is just dark and hard to see also makes your blog seem outdated. So, do yourself and your visitors a favor and put a newer photo of yourself. If you want to take it a step further, you can add photos of your family if you want. The key here is that you want not the photos that you incorporate on your about page to be not only new-er, but also to be ones that represent your brand. By the way, if you need help with branding, after you’re done listening to this episode, make sure to go to episode #24 entitled ‘What Bloggers Miss when Branding Their Blog.’ I chat all about branding, both the esthetic side of it and the messaging side of it. It’s a good listen. To the point of branding, if you use a photo editor and a filter on your photos on Instagram, you should also be using that same filter on your photos on your about page - and across all parts of your blog and brand. And, by increasing the amount of photos of yourself and your family, you’re providing more content for your readers. Now don’t go wild here and add your family photo album from the last 3 years, but adding several photos of yourself and family helps your readers connect with you. Again, just make sure the photos that you do add are on-brand, that is, they are filtered the same way as your photos across your blog. In my humble opinion, a few photos is better than one. Y’all, spruce up those couple sentences that you have that you’re counting as a bio about yourself. Listen, people may first follow you because they love your decor and DIY projects, but they stay because of YOU. They want to get to know you. Give your readers some insight into you. Here are some ideas for things you can write about in your bio to spruce it up. Tell your readers about your life, your family, why you started a blog, what you hope your blog helps your readers do. Tell your readers something unusual about yourself. Tell them something about your past, something that makes you who you are today, something that not a lot of people may have done. Tell them about all your favorite things, outside of decor. Tell them about your favorite food, movie, color. Just because you have a blog about home -decor -DIY, doesn’t mean you can’t talk about other things. Your goal here is to stand out. Don’t just write two sentences and call that good enough. Be better than good enough. Add a way to subscribe. Write this one down because this one may be the most important one. Having a subscribe button on the main page of your site is good, but you want to make subscribing to your blog the EASIEST thing someone can do. And, you want to tell your readers to subscribe, often!! And you want to give them a reason to subscribe. You can give them something, a freebie, also known as a lead magnet, in return for their email address. So make a freebie for them. Your freebie could be anything under the sun that you think your readers will benefit from. It could be a fun printable, or a handy checklist, or to a library of printables, or it could be an eBook. It’s a good idea to have this on your about page, your home page, in pop ups, if you have those, and in so many other places all over your blog. I think having a great freebie on your about page is great because 1. A lot of people are already coming to this page on your site and 2. You’ve just told the reader all about yourself (remember #2), and you’re ‘know, like & trust’ factor has now gone up having learned about you, which means having a lead magnet on this page is a no brainer! Repurpose your content & send readers to your blog posts. You’ve already done the hard work of creating awesome content. Use your about page as a marketing tool to get people to check out those blog posts you worked so hard on to create. I love repurposing my content and linking to it on other pages, especially my about page. You can go to abrickhome.com/about to see what I’m working with & how I spruce mine up. By the way, I may or may not still have these examples I’m about to talk about up on my about page, but you can still get a general idea of some examples either way. One section I created on my about page is called “some of my faves.” In this section, I repurpose some of my photography content by showing several images I had previously taken for posts in a reworked manor, with copy on top the images. Then I link those repurposed images to the accompanying blog post. So, for example, one of my faves in this section is our vintage chair makeovers. I found a picture I had taken of them that was in the original post, added the text “vintage chair makeovers” to overlay on the image, and then linked that new image to a post about them. Another way I repurpose my content is by having a section called “get inspired” where I show photos of my spring home, my winter home, my Christmas home etc. It’s basically seasonal focused and shows my best work. It’s a portfolio, if you will, of my best or favorite images from posts. What I do here is I grab a photo from various posts on my blog - again, I usually choose my favorite image or best performing image from each post - and then post that photo on my about page and link to the blog post it goes to. What’s cool about this is that I show my best work from my blog all under one place. And, I typically know it’s my best work because the images I choose will either be ones that performed well on Pinterest or got tons of saves and engagement on Instagram. Then, a reader can quickly scroll down this section and see tons of beautiful images and if they feel inspired by an image, they can easily click on it and see more similar images to that one in the blog post it was in. This is such an easy one to do that will really beef up your about section because this content is already created. You’ve already done the work. Just go through your posts, grab your best images from those posts, rep
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