Brighter Day Giveaway

Friday, December 19, 2014

Brighter Day has been a favorite Etsy shop of mine for a long, long time. Whitney stole my heart with her adorable blog and even cuter little family. She is one talented woman with a huge heart and 10% of her proceeds go straight to IJM, which works to secure victims of modern day slavery. Love!

Today Whitney and I have teamed up along with some of my favorite blogging friends to bless you. The holiday season can be a busy one - end of the year work projects finishing up, ordering Christmas cards before it is too late, and finding last minute stocking stuffers. It all adds up and although it is rather joyous, I often find myself spent at the end of each day. Are you with me?

Sometimes us women just need a little tender loving care and someone to lift us up. That is what we want to do for you! We are giving away a gorgeous Sydney Clutch and pair of silver foil earrings to dress you up this holiday season and put a little jazz back in your step. Or you could say, brighten your day with Brighter Day. And as an extra pick me up you can use the code LAURAJEAN30 for 30% anything in the shop. Best of luck!

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*Giveaway only open to US residents, please see terms and conditions for full list of rules.

Christmas Favorites

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas is the happ-happiest season of all, with those holiday greetings and great happy meetings, when friends come to call. Sound familiar? This song is the heartbeat of Christmas cheer. Treasures and Travels, along with a few other blogging friends, have been sharing their Christmas favorites this year so I am jumping on board. You should too!

Get ready for the most generic answer ever - Elf! You just cannot not fall in love with this charming Christmas movie. Although I am not too fond of the ending, the humor gets me every time.

Hot apple cider, yum yum. My tongue such a baby with hot drinks and I have to wait an embarrassingly long time for them to cool down. Once they do though I am all about the apple cider.

I am loving Rend Collective's Campfire Christmas album. Also, the Indie Holiday Station on Pandora is sweeter than sweet. You should be playing it in your cubicle, like yesterday.

Everything delicious of course. For our women's ministry Christmas exchange I tested my luck with shortbread cookies and homemade frosting and almond bark frosting is on the list for this weekend.

This is our first Christmas as a married couple and we are brainstorming unique and meaningful traditions to start. What are some of your favorite traditions?

Every year my parents gave me an ornament either representing something special that happened in my life that year or something about me. It is fun to have that collection now and be able to share those memories with Jacob and one day our children.

In college, a group of girls I worked with shoved ourselves into a little car and drove around our college town to see the holiday lights. When we found a display we would quickly jump out of the car, pose in the manger scene or light display, take a picture, and drive away. Oh we laughed so hard!

All the food! I love a variety of food and taking a little bit of everything to try. It is hard for me to choose a favorite but some of them include mashed potatoes, ham, pie, and of course Christmas cookies.

As everyone who hangs around this blog knows, spruce and balsam is my holiday obsession when it comes to smells. Our candle is nearly burned and I am expecting major withdrawals.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace // Isaiah 9:6

What are some of your Christmas favorites?
What do you love about the season?

Why Tracking Blog Growth is Important

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One of my favorite parts of blogging is the growth, change, and progress that takes place over time. I think many of us would agree we are thankful that our blogs today are not the same as they were on day one. It was not until recently that I realized just how important it is to keep track of blog growth over time.

At times I feel like this space of mine gains huge attraction, opens up new doors, and has exciting opportunities ahead. Sometimes I am filled with discouragement by slow traffic and lack of creativity. Most often I find myself somewhere between this spectrum and need to step outside my own swirling thoughts within my head. Here is where analytics and following them over time becomes important.

Keeping track of your progress on a regular basis gives you insight to reoccurring trends and helps you understand your audience better. Are most of your readers college students pulling late nights or moms who are up at the crack of dawn? Try publishing your posts at different times and see what is most effective for your blog. Do Thursdays and Fridays slow down for post readership? They do for me! Think outside the box of how to bring more interaction to your blog on these days - brainstorm giveaways, link-ups, or posts your passionate about. Watching your stats closely will share a story about your blog and what works best.

Tracking the growth of your blog is also important for partnerships and working with affiliate companies. I just stepped out to work with my first affiliate program and have found that companies like to see where you have come from and where you are going. Having an idea of this yourself helps you promote your blog better and share your strengths. Do your readers interact most on Facebook? Use that to your advantage to share posts and ads. Is Twitter not your thing? Spend time learning and developing this into a strength. Track your growth to know yourself well!

How do you track your blog growth?
What have you found helpful in following analytics?
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