The No Brainer Blog

The No Brainer Blog ReviewToday I’m very excited to share a new resource with you. My friend Hayley Morgan (of The Tiny Twig fame) just rolled out her new ebook The No Brainer Blog, and I think you’re going to like it.

(If you’re not a blogger, no worries. Just go grab yourself a copy of her ebook The No Brainer Wardrobe if you haven’t yet, enjoy it over the weekend, and come back on Monday when we’ll be talking about non-bloggy stuff like normal.)

The No Brainer Blog is a tool to help bloggers cast their vision (why am I blogging?), define their voice (what is my writing style?), and refine their space (how can my blog be functional and pretty?).

I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half–I’m not exactly a newbie, but I’m by no means a seasoned expert. And I found Hayley’s ebook enormously helpful, especially when it came to the portion on visual design.

I recently initiated a redesign for Modern Mrs Darcy, and I first read The No Brainer Blog right after I began that process. Hayley’s perspective on design–and several of the specific tips, tricks, and tools she shares–were enormously helpful to me as I mulled over my color scheme, layout, and overall “feel” of this blog. (You’ll see the results soon–I’ll be rolling out the redesign next month!)

If you’re a blogger, this is a great time to take a step back and evaluate your vision for your blog, your voice, and your visual design. Most bloggers–if they’re not blogging Black Friday deals–see major dips in traffic and engagement Thanksgiving weekend and for much of the holiday season, especially the week between Christmas and the New Year. This is a great time to ease up on your posting schedule and focus on the big picture.

If your blog is in need of a check-up, if you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck with your blogging efforts, or if you’re just thinking about dipping your toe in the blogosphere, The No Brainer Blog will help you get the most out of your blogging efforts–and save you a lot of wasted time and energy.

After reading The No Brainer Blog, I asked Hayley a few questions about the blogging process. Here’s our brief Q&A about the book:

1. When I start to think about the possibilities for my blog, it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed by all my options. How do you overcome the paralysis of indecision and move into action?

Hayley: My grandpa (someone in my life who has always been abundantly on my side) has always said, you make the best decision you can with what you know at the time…then, you move forward and don’t look to the other ways it could have turned out. That advice has served me well and has profoundly impacted my confidence in decision making. I don’t always have to make perfect decisions as long as I make the best decision with the information I know. 

2. Design doesn’t come easy to me. How do you quit being intimidated by visual design and start making it fun?

Hayley: Paying someone to do my design on big projects has always served me well. But, on small projects, I just remember that it’s not forever, I have decent taste, and if I like it and it’s true to me then the people who have been attracted to my blog and projects will likely appreciate it.

3. How do you know when it’s time to change things up?

Hayley: I try to keep things visually steady for a good long time. I have normally invested good money into the aesthetic and have worked hard at honing how things look. I’m not someone who changes my online space every time I’m bored with how it looks. If I want to do that, I’ll paint a wall in my house or buy a new bottle of nail polish. My brand equity is too important to change on a whim; it is my desire that people would begin to feel familiar and at home at Tiny Twig.

The No Brainer Blog also contains a helpful section on best social media practices and 4 worksheets to help you turn your goals into reality (and save you lots of time, money, and frustration). The worksheets alone are well worth the $7.99 purchase price.

Hayley has offered to give away The No Brainer Blog to two lucky readers. To enter, just leave a comment.

(Go ahead and buy the book with no worries–if you buy the book and then win the giveaway, I’ll refund your purchase price.)

Giveaway ends Saturday at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be contacted by email.

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. The winners have been notified by email. 

What aspect of blogging is toughest for you: vision, voice, or visual design?

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Comments

  1. says

    Visual design is the toughest thing for me, but April over at The Flourishing Abode did a fantastic job giving my blog a makeover. The toughest thing for me now is holding onto the good stuff that comes to me in the shower and writing about it when I’m dry and dressed.

  2. says

    Sounds like a great book! Vision is definitely the hardest for me. I’m something of an eclectic person, so figuring out how to focus my blog in such a way that it reflects me but also has a coherent voice people can connect with is challenging!

  3. Libby says

    Oooh! So excited to check this out! The hardest thing for me is keeping the vision/energy of an idea until I find the time to post about it.

  4. says

    I struggle most with visual design because I do not speak “Internet.” However, I also struggle knowing how to get my voice in the mix with all of the other voices around me. It’s all a learning curve though, and I know I would benefit from this book!

  5. says

    {Sigh} Probably all three. Finding a voice – my voice – has been difficult. I’ve been blogging for 3 years and still have a tiny following (tiny, compared to other blogs). However, I’m also not sure that I want to put the work in to build it – but I think there must be an easier way. I also struggle with a vision for Busy Nothings (though I’m beginning to get a vision for What’s On My Nightstand, and I’m quite excited about that), which is why I sometimes consider chucking it. As for the visual – yeah – I’m too cheap to pay someone, and I hate HTML. It makes life interesting. :) Would enjoy reading this book.

  6. says

    Sounds like a book I’d like to read. I do wonder a lot what exactly my voice is trying to say and wondering where I want my blog to go, what I want it to be, how I want it to look…so…yeah.

  7. Rebekah says

    This sounds great! Currently I’m struggling with all of it, which is why I’m not even linking up to my blog! :-)

  8. says

    I’m going to go with “paralysis of indecision” as my biggest problem (which covers all 3 topics). It’s not that I don’t have ideas, but I doubt myself and still feel so very new to it all (though after 1 year+ that’s not really true). Can’t wait to check it out!

  9. says

    Rather than having a no-brainer blog – and in the spirit of doing what we can with what we (don’t) have – I think I’m going to have to settle for being the blogger with no brain.

    ;-)
    Tim

  10. says

    I have voice & vision down, but visual design is toughest because I am not design-savvy at all! I paid someone to do my blog layout. It looks amazing but I always find myself comparing my little blog to everyone else! I need to realize that my content will speak for itself. :)

  11. says

    I think voice AND visual design are the hardest for me. For so long, I’ve focused on my accounting education/career, but there’s a whole other side of me that I want to develop. It’s hard to get back in the swing of writing!

  12. says

    I think it’s the visual design. I’m not creative about it and don’t have any real design skills in any area of life. I want my blog to be pretty and appealing and am never really sure how to get it to look like I’d like.

  13. CJ says

    I struggle most with the visual. I think in words rather than images, but I know that design is crucial for a blog…would love this resource!

  14. Leanna says

    to be honest for me it’s vision. I haven’t actually started a blog yet because there are so many ideas and I don’t know yet what I should focus on

  15. says

    I would looooove a copy of this ebook!! Can’t wait to see the exciting new changes coming to your blog design! ~Bri~

  16. says

    This sounds like a great read! I’ve been thinking about how to not only improve my own blog, but the start up one I manage at work. This will probably help with both!

  17. Tina M. says

    This looks like a great book! I’ve been considering starting a blog. I’m sure this book would put me on the right path.

  18. Annette Skarin says

    I’ve found my voice – my teeny, tiny voice under piles of bloggers, and my vision is for writing my memoir by blogging. I get frustrated with things not working right on my wordpress. I usually never win things. I won a pie once at a grocery store years ago. But here goes.

  19. says

    I have 2 blogs, because I am doing 2 different things (about to start leading a retreat house; and writing a devotional for the first year of bereavement.) I have a vision for each, and a voice for each. But I struggle with the technical side of things, not sure how to improve, upgrade, add …. so I guess that comes under the visual side! I know how I would like each blog to be but often have no idea how to implement my ideas. And there are so many helpful resources available, I know – but haven’t the time to read them all. I would love ONE easy-to-understand, simple to put into practice, go-to resource. Maybe this is it!

  20. Kristen Larson says

    This is a great post! I’m in the process of updating my blog and would love a copy of the book to help me along the way!

  21. says

    Sounds great! Maybe this book will help me get motivated again…I’ve become so inconsistent with my blog entries and I know that really affects my readership. I have a hard time with 2 things – either making the time for it now that I seem to be in a way-too-busy season of my life OR coming up with new, fresh original ideas that I’m motivated to write about.

  22. says

    The visual design aspect is the hardest for me. I used to blog daily over on another blog, but then when I began a new one, I could never seem topper because I didn’t like how it looked.

    I would love to win her e-book even for that reason alone!!

  23. says

    Voice. I’m not “a writer”. I don’t blog to write. I blog to share my “art” with the world. Writing is just what I do to make it happen. :)

  24. Candy Belanger says

    Definitely voice for me and that’s why I am a reluctant blogger. I have a head full of thoughts and ideas but I find it challenging to voice them in a way that others will find interesting/entertaining.

  25. says

    All three are difficult for me, because I am always blogging with my brain going seven different directions…distracted.

    It would be nice to have a no-brainer blog, because I don’t have it to spare.

  26. says

    This book sounds like a great blogging resource! I’m planning on starting a real health/fitness/lifestyle blog once I’m on Christmas break (college student)! The visual design of my blog is something I will need a lot of help on!

  27. JennW says

    I have created and stalled out on more than a couple blogs, each time I end up not sure who it is I’m trying to talk to when I put my writing out there. So frustrating! So both voice and vision are challenges for me.

  28. says

    Sounds like just what I need. I’m starting over in a new space. I’m sure I can benefit from Haley’s tips on all three categories. Thanks for the review!

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