HOW I GOT TO WHERE I AM TODAY - AN INTERVIEW WITH KRISTA RAE

HOW I GOT TO WHERE I AM TODAY - AN INTERVIEW WITH KRISTA RAE

Krista is a WordPress developer and blog strategist who helps female creatives elevate their business, increase conversions, and boost engagement through crafting strategic blogs. She uses personalised, goal-driven strategies to set her clients apart from the competition and highlight their unique offerings.

I'm a huge fan of Krista so was thrilled when she wanted to take part in the career series. Hope you enjoy the interview!

DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO GO INTO YOUR CHOSEN CAREER?

Definitely not. I didn’t even know what software or web development was until I was a sophomore in college. My husband was a computer science major and started coming home from class all excited about the things he’d learned. In return, he’d get completely blank stares.

In order to get a better understanding of what he did, I took an introductory class on computer programming. I was in love from day one and ended up getting two degrees in the field.

After a couple years working in software development I transferred to web development. Once I discovered the online space shortly after that, I knew that’s where I wanted to end up.


WHEN DID YOU START TO DEVELOP A PASSION FOR WHAT YOU CURRENTLY DO?

Honestly, the very first time code was explained to me, I was in love. I’ve always enjoyed math and logical thinking and being able to combine that with making something beautiful and functional is perfection to me.


WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AT SCHOOL? DID YOU ENJOY IT? WHAT WERE YOUR FAVOURITE SUBJECTS?

I was an extremely dedicated student. I didn’t say much and I wasn’t a teacher’s pet, but I enjoyed learning and (usually) loved doing homework assignments - yep, total nerd. My favourite subjects were math and band. In my senior year in college I had one quarter where my classes were Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Advanced Placement Statistics, and band. Yikes.

 

8 OF THE MOST POWERFUL WAYS TO GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM COMMUNITY

8 OF THE MOST POWERFUL WAYS TO GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM COMMUNITY

Are you struggling to grow your Instagram community right now?

I feel you.

 

Instagram is a really exciting and frustrating platform to get to know a bit better. This popular photo-sharing app (that now has even more monthly users than Twitter), is simple, fun and growing every single day.

But whilst it's a really exciting tool to use to market your blog or business, there have also been new features introduced lately that a lot of people aren't a fan of. The new business profiles and analytics? Tick. The fact that posts are now in a new algorithm-style feed instead of chronological? Not so cool.

But even though these new changes have come into effect, I still love Instagram and if you're reading this right now, I'm guessing you are too. Lately though, I've found myself stuck on the same number for ages, and I've not seen the results I wanted. So I implemented a strategy - a simple strategy that I've been using to try and grow my Instagram community.

So whether you're a blogger running your own race, a social media freelancer or you manage social media on behalf of a company, read on to find out the best tactics I've using for A Branch of Holly that could help you build the Instagram community you want and deserve.

IS INSTAGRAM REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?

Before we dive in, I thought it'd be great for us to get up to speed with why Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. Here are some of the latest facts I've picked up:


BUT WHAT ABOUT THE NEW FEATURES?

Let's start off with the most exciting one...

 

4 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIGITAL MARKETING FOR THE REST OF 2016

4 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIGITAL MARKETING FOR THE REST OF 2016

If I told you there were over 120 different social networks, what would you say? Or that email marketing is one of the best (and easiest) ways to get directly in front of your target audience? Or that you need to be using video, because it’s six times more effective than anything else?

I know what you’re thinking.

But Holly, I don’t have time to start making videos!

I don’t have a clue which social platforms I should be focusing on.

Where would I even start with managing and email list for my website?

You’re in luck, friend.

Something I love to do is help other people. Over the past few days, I’ve helped my brother apply for a job, my auntie unsubscribe from email notifications and today, I want to help you.

Recently, I got the chance to attend a seminar all about digital marketing, hosted by a business that the company I work for have strong connections with. I picked up some fantastic blogging, social media and website tips that I’m sharing with you all here in this blog post. So sit back and take note - this is how to get results with your marketing efforts for the rest of 2016.

WHY YOU NEED TO THINK ‘DIGITAL MARKETING’

It’s nothing new that we’re living in the online world. If anything, it’s just getting bigger and bigger everyday. Jobs are being created, websites are being introduced and lots of business promote and sell purely on the web.

You don’t want to be digitally directionless.

Without knowledge of the digital world, you can never be truly successful. You need to know how to use online platforms to be suit your brand so you can get in front of your target audience and build a readership or customer base.

You know how online influencers talk about consistency? Yeah - I bet you’ve read that somewhere in a blog post before. It’s so important, not just in how often you post content to your blog, but in all the platforms that you’re active one. You’ve got to be integrated with everything. Your website, your social channels, making sure your website is responsive - you want people to find one of your channels online and know they’ve found the right person.

Thinking in terms of digital marketing as a whole also makes it a lot easier for you to set strategic goals. Once everything is integrated, your goals can then reflect this. Want to increase your blog traffic? That’s a very vague goal? Want to increase your blog traffic through Pinterest? That’s a lot more achievable. 

So that’s the why - let’s get onto the how. Starting with your little hub.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE ACTION TODAY

WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE ACTION TODAY

This is a guest post written by Ksenia from The Life Degree.


Perhaps you’re reading this after a nice start to the day...

Sun shining, coffee in hand, to-do list successfully broken into. Or perhaps not, because let’s face it, adult life can be hard. For many, health, financial security and domestic stability are serious struggles.

But if, like me, you are fortunate to be securely employed and healthy, an altogether different problem can arise: the fear of falling behind.

Not having the jobs we want, the possessions we see others buying, the quality relationships we crave and the experiences which we think will let us live life to the full.

In some form, the fear of not fulfilling our potential is immense. Trips we haven’t been on, jobs we haven’t landed, jeans we don’t fit into or friends we don’t see anymore.

Simultaneously, we carry both the weight of exhaustion and underachievement, wondering “why me?” or “what’s the point?". Waiting for the feeling to pass, we remedy it all with ready meals and box sets or head out for nights of drinks. When the feeling recedes, we can carry on as if it never happened - until the next cycle.

Yet truth be told, what we have in our lives is infinitely so much more than so many others ever get.

Despite 24/7 news feeds, we forget as quickly as we’re reminded. Did you know that globally, half the population lives on less than £2 a day? Earning £20,000 a year puts you in the top 5% of richest people in the world! Here in the UK, food banks gave out over a million rations of emergency three day supplies last year. And if you think about it, you could probably count a number of people facing greater hardships to you in nearby streets - perhaps fighting illness, loneliness or the cold.

Recently, during a bout of feeling unmotivated, I happened to run past a school. It was lunchtime; children were running and playing - energetic, carefree. It struck me: we were all little once, with so few worries and so many options. When did we build all the barriers we see surrounding us?

When did we start thinking so much more than doing?

COME AND SHARE MY YEAR ON YOUTUBE BY SIMON ALEXANDER

COME AND SHARE MY YEAR ON YOUTUBE BY SIMON ALEXANDER

This is a guest post written by Simon Alexander.

What makes a good and successful Youtube channel?  Don’t ask me - that's not really why I’m doing it to be honest. Well, it wasn’t when I started.  Almost a full 5 months in, let me Share My Year with you.

On January 1st 2016, I decided to launch a Youtube channel - a kind of spur of the moment/New Years resolution. To be fair, it was probably late in 2015 when I decided, but it was this year when I finally plucked put the courage to start chatting to a camera.

Last year was one hell of a busy year for me with lots of exciting things that I will fondly remember. Sadly, very little of it is logged for future consumption by anything other than just a simple photo, and I thought that maybe Youtube might be a good way to change this.  

I had two goals initially - to log my activities of 2016 so that I could reminisce in my golden years, and also to improve my understanding of film-making and learn the intricacies of promoting on YouTube.

I’m one of those people who likes to learn and always asks questions. I also work in digital marking and all things digital and social interest me, so this was a perfect match. So this was a great excuse to watch hours of footage on Youtube!  I quickly found a number of channels that I really enjoyed and I subscribed for inspiration and entertainment.  I enjoy watching Casey Neistat’s daily vlog, it’s a bit like tuning in to your favourite TV show.

On that Friday afternoon in January, I set up my old digital camera on a pile of books and spoke continuously for 2 minutes and 46 seconds.  No edits.  No special effects.  Now clearly this wasn’t the best video in the history of Youtube, but it provides an excellent yard stick for me now as to how much I have learned so far.  

That video to date has had 86 views.