The other week, I decided it was time to up my ‘Pinterest game.’

Why I Decided to Hire a Graphic Designer for my blog - an interview with Leah Everly

Why I Decided to Hire a Graphic Designer for my Blog: Interview with Leah Everly

As an ongoing Elite Blog Academy student, I am acutely aware of how important is it to have images that ‘pop’ (attract the reader’s attention) and in particular, design images, known as pins, that are optimized for Pinterest. That said, although I can deal with the basics of Canva, graphic design just isn’t my forte.

What to do?!

As fate would have it, the day I realized I needed to outsource pin redesign, a member of the blogging mastermind group I belong to asked our group for recommendations. (Thank you, ladies!)

Leah Everly, also a blogger, was highly recommended by two members of our mastermind group. Convinced it was time to move forward and test out pin redesign, I reached out to Leah and was delighted to learn that she was willing to work with me.

I cannot thank Leah enough for making the process painless.

First, she asked me to send a list of posts that needed new pins and asked me to send examples of pins I like to get a feel for the style/look I wanted.

After reviewing what I sent, Leah made font recommendations — she said that I should purchase fonts. I absolutely loved her suggestions!!

As someone once said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

The before and after redesign pins are a testament to Leah’s talent!

 

Before Pinterest Pin Redesign

The pin below just doesn’t ‘pop out’ at the reader. The font and colors just aren’t inspiring enough to make one click. Also, the title is too generic and doesn’t fit the actual post.

Stepping Up to the Self-Care Plate

Stepping Up to the Self-Care Plate (Before Pin Redesign)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-Redesign – Pinterest Perfect!

The Best Resource for Self-Care after Diagnosis of Hashimoto's

The Best Resource for Self-Care after Diagnosis of Hashimoto’s

 

See how the fonts and colors tie in with my overall blog theme and the background image fits my avatar better!

Working with Leah is a joy – it’s like working with a dear friend who will not only look out for your best interest but also isn’t shy about making suggestions. Thanks to her insights and diplomatic recommendations, I edited the post and image titles to better convey the content and also updated the post to provide value-added content.

After she redesigned the first batch of pins, I asked if I could interview her because I felt she would inspire and encourage other bloggers through her story.

Enjoy!

 

Interview with Leah Everly–Blogger and VA Extraordinaire

 

Interview with Leah Everly

  1. Could you please tell us about your blog. How long have you been blogging? Who is your avatar?

Funny story, I actually have two blogs.  One is for law enforcement wives, Love and Blues, for which my avatar is a newly married police wife who’s struggling with the fear, loneliness, and uncertainty that comes with that life.  That’s my main one.

The other is a fitness blog for moms, Mommy Works Out, which is still sort of a “hobby blog: in that I don’t devote a ton of time to it every week.  Just a little bit here and there.  For that one, my avatar is a new mom who’s struggling with her body image and wants to be fit and healthy, but doesn’t want to feel ashamed of her body as it is, either.

  1. How did you realize you could be of service to other bloggers by helping them with their graphics?

I advertised my services as a VA when we were struggling financially, and one of the bloggers who was interested asked if I made Pinterest graphics.  I’d never done them for anyone else, just my own blogs, but when I showed her what mine looked like, she hired me.

Since creating the pins for her, she said her traffic tripled within about a few weeks (possibly less). I thought it was awesome!  But I didn’t continue to advertise after that, because I didn’t consider myself a “graphic designer.” But she referred a few people to me, and here I am!

  1. What advice would you give bloggers who are struggling with developing a following?

Focus on writing to your people.  Don’t worry about what you should write or how you should sound.  Just write like you’re talking to your best friend who’s seeking your advice on something. And most of all, don’t worry about the people who think you suck.  Because there will be many of them — and their opinion is really none of your business 🙂

  1. What are some of your ‘go to’ blogging resources? For example, I started blogging after reading Ruth Soukup’s Blogging for a Profit Without Losing Your Soul and enrolled in Elite Blog Academy through Rosemarie Groner’s blog.

I second both of those 🙂  I also have a tendency to “do it recklessly” (versus Ruth’s [Soukup] more conservative, “do it scared”) – so I signed up for Convertkit and Coschedule a few months ago, not 100% knowing how it was going to work out financially, but investing in both of them has made me more committed to making things work.

  1. What advice would you give to other bloggers who want to do virtual assistant type work on the side? Conversely, what advice would you give to bloggers looking to hire an assistant to outsource some of their work?

I’d say know your strengths and weaknesses – for both bloggers who’d like to VA and those who want to hire one.  If you’re strong in an area and it’s easy for you, that’s definitely marketable.  Conversely, if there’s something you hate doing and dread it every week, hire it out as soon as you get a chance.  Also, for those hiring, have a clear system for your VA.  You can’t just say, “Make me money.” and expect it to work 😉

For instance, let’s say you hire for social scheduling.  If you’re hiring an expert, you’re probably fine.  But if you’re hiring a newer blogger, have a system in place – how many posts to each channel?  What kinds of posts?  How should they respond to comments?  And so on.

The clearer you make your expectations, the happier you’ll both be.  I also VA for Rosemarie [Groner], and one thing I absolutely love about her is how she corrects.  Whenever she has negative feedback for me, it’s always sandwiched between good things.  It makes me feel super appreciated!

  1. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, what techniques do you use to overcome it?

Sometimes.  It’s not necessarily writer’s block so much as writer’s “I don’t wanna.”  Sometimes I give myself the break, other times I’ll just keep writing, even if what I’m writing is awful.  I typically never run out of blog post ideas, though, because I have a running list in a bullet journal of post ideas 🙂

  1. Which entrepreneurial woman/women do you admire most?

Honestly, Rosemarie Groner.  Every penny I’ve made online in the past year comes back to her.  She’s given me a brand new life and I can’t thank her enough.  Besides that, she’s extremely generous and humble… And of course, good at what she does.  She’s just awesome. [Note: Having met Rosemarie at a blogging conference in May, I agree 100% with Leah. She truly is a fountain of knowledge, down-to-earth, and genuinely nice person!]

  1. What do you find to be the biggest struggle with balancing family and working at home?

I’m not a naturally flexible person.  My time as a police wife has helped with that a lot, but having a toddler is a whole new level of inconsistency.  I struggle to moderate between working, playing, cleaning, and exercising, and sometimes have a tendency to do all of one and neglect the others.

One thing that’s helped is bringing my son to a friend’s house two days a week for four hours.  I pay her, of course, but it’s a wonderfully flexible daycare option, and gives me the break I need and allows him to interact with others.  It helps a lot.

  1. What is your ‘go-to’ comfort food?

Soda, hands down.  I live in Utah where there are a lot of “dirty soda” shops.  My current favorite is Dr. Pepper with peach puree, green apple syrup, and lime.  Call me crazy 😉

  1. What do you do to relax?

Don’t hate me — running.  It’s such a great stress reliever when I have the time.  But if it’s nap time and I can’t leave the house, I either read a book and enjoy the quiet, or turn off my phone and computer, make popcorn, and watch a guilty pleasure movie all by myself.

~~~~~

Leah, thank you so much for taking the time out of your super busy day to answer my questions!

If you are struggling with figuring out how to up your Pinterest game, I highly recommend reaching out to Leah to see if you can work with her. This is not a sponsored post nor am I an affiliate — I just want to provide you with inspiration and potentially a resource so that you can focus on the writing if like me, graphics are not your forte.

If you have additional resources or tools you’ve found helpful as a blogger, please feel free to comment below!

 

 

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