In my last post, I showed you how to look back at your year with a positive attitude. In this article, I’ll keep it lighter and positive by sharing my favorite online content from 2018: blog posts, podcasts and courses that affected me and how I’m going to plan the next year.
MY FAVORITE BLOG POSTS FROM 2018
FROM MY OWN BLOG
This year, I finally built a consistent blogging habit (although, there’s still so many things to improve). So I’m very proud that I can pick content not just from other amazing bloggers but from my own website too.
I encourage you to build a consistent blogging / vlogging / podcasting habit. It’s very rewarding when you can help out someone with your own digital content. This way, you can help someone even if you are busy at the moment.
So here are my 3 favorite Andimaginary Creative Blog posts from 2018:
How to Plan 3 Months’ Worth of Blog Content in Your Bullet Journal:
Are you a journal junkie like me? And are you blogging too?
Then you’ll find this post very useful. I show you how I set up 3 months’ worth of blog content in my Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal and how I prepare my blog drafts. This way I always know what to write about. No more “blank page freak-out”.
For those, who prefer digital tools, the follow-up post shows the same task in Asana.
How to Edit Social Media Templates in Photoshop:
Photoshop freaks out a lot of newbies but I think it’s the number one design tool that every small business must have. Yes, it’s a monstrum because it can handle everything from photo editing, design templates, simple 3D work and even simple animations.
But this is the cool thing! For only $10/ month you get a tool that solves all your design needs professionally.
In this video post, I show you how to edit social media templates in Photoshop in order to fit them to your brand. I also explain what are the main differences between Photoshop layer types. So if you’ve ever wondered what the heck is a “smart object layer”, this is a must watch for you. You also get 3 free Photoshop Instagram templates to practice on.
The 15 Best Paid & Free Stock Photo Sites For Feminine Brands
I loved this post because while researching the topic, I found amazing photographers and sweet deals for photos that compliment my brand. I also made available a curated collection of free stock photos that includes over 600 photos right now. I use them every single week.
FROM OTHER BLOGS
Instagram Hashtag Cheat Sheet for Handmade Careers by Blacksburgbelle:
In this post, April from Blacksburgbelle shares hundreds of Instagram hashtags for creative entrepreneurs (mostly artists, crafters, writers and designers). In addition, she gives helpful tips on which hashtag to choose depending on how many followers you have.
How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Feed (with Free Guide) by Blacksburgbelle:
Another great article from April. I recently found this and it helped me to understand what can make an Instagram feed look more cohesive (= more beautiful, professional and recognizable).
This is a must read if your posts and your feed don’t have the same wow factor as well-know Instagrammers and you struggle to express your brand in a consistent way.
99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2018 - from Medium.com:
Do you struggle to see the positivity in our world? It’s pretty easy to get sucked into the negative news flow. For a long time “Trump News” was among my most searched Google terms which is pretty sad.
Luckily, my husband shared this article with me. It’s pretty long and sometimes tear-jerking (but in a “happy tears” way) so I suggest to read around 10-15 stories at a time. Each short news story has links to the sources so you can go in-depth if you want.
The Step by Step Process for Creating a Subscription Business by Elle Drouin:
I’ve been playing with the idea of a subscription based business for a long time. While I’m not ready for it right now, it’s good to know that I can turn to someone for advice. Like Elle Drouin who shares the process and required tools for building a subscription service in this post.
Elle makes one of my favorite stock photo subscription, the Styled Stock Society (many of my blog cover images are from there or from Social Squares). So she speaks from experience.
Business How-to: 3 Key Things to Grow + Expand from the Productivity Paradox Blog:
This is a great post from productivity expert Tonya Dalton where she shows you what are the 3 main things you need so that your business can expand later on.
We started to implement her advice here at Andimaginary Creative Co. and I’ve already feel that I’m more committed to my business and see areas where I can grow it sustainably.
MY FAVORITE PODCASTS FROM 2018
This was really hard, because I listen to a lot of podcasts… So picking my favorites took me for a while.
Why You Aren’t Taking Action - Amy Porterfiled interviews Brooke Castillo:
This episode on the Marketing Made Easy Podcast was mind-blowing!
If you’ve ever felt busy in your business but in the same time you felt unproductive or if you’ve ever felt that you’re not ready to launch something because it’s not an A++++++ quality, YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS.
Brooke shows you how to change your mindset about your work and everyday tasks so that you start delivering results.
Do You Know What Makes You Unique? A Brand Building chat with Laura Belgray:
If you’ve ever struggled to infuse more of your personality into your brand, this is an amazing interview to listen and learn from. Laura shares many different ways you can skip the generic robot-tone and start sharing the true you.
This is great for every solopreneur or small business where you, the business owner is the main face of the brand.
Overcoming Your Distractions with Chris Bailey:
This episode on the The Productivity Paradox Podcast teaches a very important lesson about productivity. You see, when we talk about productivity, we often think about “checking as many tasks off as possible” and being insanely busy. For some, it even sounds negative, soulless and corporate.
But honestly, real productivity is about putting your effort into what really matters.
For this, you must have clear focused time periods (or as Chris says, hyperfocus times). AND you also need times to let your mind freely wander (off device, off screen) and join the dots between ideas in order to create a new solution.
This episode was also very calming and at some times really funny. I could never imagine a man knitting but now I know that phenomenon exists.
I found that many of Tonya’s podcasts were helpful for me this year. I often struggle with mindset and if you are in the same boat, I highly recommend her content.
MY FAVORITE VIDEOS / VLOG POSTS FROM 2018
This is an area where Youtube and it’s algorithm really pushed me into bad habits. If you would see my current home feed, you’d find everything from Stephen Colbert, to Tiny House videos and vegan diets tips… And I don’t live in the US (so their politics don’t affect me as much), I don’t plan to move into a tiny house and I’m not vegan…
So next year I want to cultivate better habits regarding video content.
There were two Marie Forleo episode that resonated with me a lot:
Stop Competing & Start Creating: How to Be Uniquely Successful With Renée Mauborgne:
If you struggle with competing with thousands of other businesses, this interview will fill your head with so many new ideas. The author of Blue Ocean Strategy, Renée Mauborgne talks about how to set yourself apart by figuring out why someone wouldn’t choose you.
The Secret of Happiness & Longevity: Dan Buettner & Marie Forleo discuss Blue Zones:
In this interview, Dan Buettner shares his research about the so called Blue Zones where people live the longest lives. Hint: the reason is not only about physical health like diet and exercise but a lot more.
It’s an interesting topic and you’ll find yourself questioning a lot of modern age, social inventions, e.g. retirement.
MY FAVORITE COURSES IN 2018
This year I decided that I invest into Marie Forleo’s B-School and it was a very good decision. Instead of cutting and pasting strategies from multiple lower priced courses, this one program answered all my online marketing, online business, branding, copywriting, pricing, digital content development and sales questions. So for this reason, I recommend you to check it out when it relaunches in early 2019.
In addition to the great content, this program also gave me new connections to like-minded entrepreneurs and the chance to travel to San Diego which was amazing (here’s a post about my key takeaways).
However, one thing that didn’t work for me: the insane amount of information and interactions inside the related B-School Facebook groups. I got so overwhelmed by the flow of comments and posts that in the second part of the year I ignored Facebook altogether.
For this reason, next year I want to be more mindful about how I interact in Facebook Groups. I found them very valuable but also a huge timesucker. I’ll only join to a group or keep my membership if I know I can add to the conversation and learn from it on a regular basis.
I’ll also put more emphasize on in-person conversations with fellow B-Schoolers in my area.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ONLINE CONTENT IN 2018?
It’s your turn now. I’m very curious to hear which online content inspired you the most and which digital tools you loved using in 2018.
Leave your thoughts in the comment section.