Category Archives: Random

For every post that doesn’t fit a unique category.

When Blogging Becomes Stagnant

When Blogging Becomes Stagnant

Let’s face it, any job can become boring; blogging isn’t exempt from that. Sure, us bloggers love blogging, but like any job, it can have it’s drawbacks. I suppose the greatest thing about blogging is that even while I am not “actively working” on my blog, my blog is still working for me.

But, we all know that nothing remains stagnant. Unless one is actively trying to better something, over time it will degrade. As evidenced in my lack of posting, I have not been working on this blog. I have so many topics I want to discuss, but I often feel like putting them here isn’t the right choice.

So….. The time has come to move on. I will no longer be blogging at Life as a Convert.

Please note that Life as A Convert is not shutting down completely… The Life as a Convert domain will remain open, but from now on, I will be posting at AdukeSchulist.com

Social Media Transfers

I have already changed all of my social media over to the new AdukeSchulist moniker. Some of you may have already noticed the change on social media. I can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. Please note the YouTube URL is still “LifeAsAConvertTV” but the name has changed to Aduke Schulist.

Aduke Schulist - lifestyle blogger

Why did I choose Aduke Schulist?

Simply enough, Aduke is a second name and Schulist is my last name. I wanted something that didn’t back me into a corner.

There was nothing at all wrong with Life as a Convert. In fact, it lead to many discussions about my religion, and I created it as a way to share my life and my religion with others, but I felt increasingly with the “convert” part that I should be doing more religious posts. I don’t particularly feel that the Life as a Convert name backed me into a religious corner because it encompassed all of my life, but many readers came looking for religious material or wondering what I am “converting”.

Have you ever re-branded your blog?

Being such a small blogger made it easier to switch things over, but I imagine a bigger brand would likely have more troubles.

Don’t forget to add AdukeSchulist.com to your blog readers and check for new posts every Friday at 8 am Central Standard Time.

Geocaching Benefits

Geocaching Benefits

Last month my family began Geocaching. Geocaching is basically modern day treasure hunting. Somebody hides a “cache” and posts the GPS coordinates on a geocaching website. Others then go and find that cache, sign a log (piece of paper) to say they have found it and log their find on a geocaching website. The caches vary from small (tip of your pinky finger) to large (ammo cases). Some contain only the log to sign, and others have treasures inside with the notion that you leave behind something if you take something out. We have found not only geocaches in our area, but also geocaching benefits.

Geocaching Benefits for you and your family by Life as a Convert #geocaching #geocache #cache

Exercise
This is perhaps the greatest benefit. Many caches require you to walk a short distance in order to find them. Some caches are also tough to find and leave you wandering in circles. Those circles add up! One cache (seen in #6) required us to make use of a local bike trail.

 

Map Reading / Orienteering
My boys are both boy scouts and one thing they are learning is how to read a map and compass and basic orienteering skills. Geocaching has helped cement these lessons. They are able to put their knowledge to use in a real-life setting.

 

Family Time Together
Some may argue that exercise and family time together could be contenders for the “Greatest Benefit” spot, but as a homeschooling family, we already spend a LOT of time together. Geocaching has given us additional time together participating in an activity that we all enjoy doing. There is often a little competitiveness to see who can find the caches first.
P1270214

 

Handwriting Practice
I have younger children who are still working on writing their names. Signing the logs has given them a lot of practice writing their names.

 

Environmental Stewardship
Geocaching benefits our environment too! Many geocachers will practice what is known at CITO (Cache In Trash Out) where they will remove trash and other unsightly debris in an area when geocaching.

 

Exploring new areas
When you begin geocaching you can look at a map of your area. The map may be speckled with little dots. These dots indicate caches that have been hidden. I have been able to explore a few new areas where geocaches are hidden that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.
Geocaching Benefits - Explore New Areas - Searcy, AR

 

Learning History
Many people who hide caches hide them near areas containing history. One example we have found was hidden near a Statute of Liberty. The cache description gave a brief history of the Statute of Liberty.

 

Perseverance
Geocaching benefits can be found in the form of character building traits too! There have been some caches we simply could not find. It took us multiple attempts to find this particular cache. Geocaching teaches you patience and to not give up. If you get frustrated, stop and come back another time.

This one took us 4 tries to find:
Geocaching Benefits - Perseverance - Berryhill Park Searcy AR

 

Geocaching benefits the whole family, but as you can see there are individual benefits too. I think it is important for families to be active together and find something everybody enjoys. For us, this has translated into geocaching. We also enjoy hiking, but now try to “hike” where geocaches can be found.

Does your family participate in geocaching?
Do you know of any other geocaching benefits?

Quit Blogging for Free!!

Quit Blogging for Free!!

I apologize in advance if anybody finds this post offensive. I was once one of those bloggers that would do things for free/product/exposure/etc. While I don’t disagree with doing those things entirely, I have to say, Quit Blogging for Free!!

Quit Blogging for Free by Life as a Convert #knowyourworth

I get emails all the time asking if I will publish a post to my blog because “my readers will find it fascinating!“. Sometimes the posts are pre-written. Other times, these individuals are asking me to write the content myself. If it is something I am truly interested in, I will reply with my rate and state that I look forward to working with them.

Their response?

I’m not working with a budget.” or “We will tweet your content.

Guess what, guys? A tweet won’t pay my bills! I kindly tell them that while I appreciate their offer, I can’t work for free (a tweet won’t pay my bills) and am sure they understand. They tend to get the point pretty quick after that. I can only imagine they move on to the other bloggers they emailed.

Know Your Worth:

I am writing this post because I want to encourage fellow bloggers to stand up for yourself. Know your worth! And QUIT BLOGGING FOR FREE!! These kinds of emails are still happening because so many bloggers are accepting these pitches and blogging for free.

If you are truly interested in a product and/or it is something you use and think your audience will like, then by all means, go for it, but don’t think that you are only worth a product or tweet. Do you see Wal-Mart or Target employee’s working for social media mentions? I don’t think so!

The average rate for a sponsored blog post is $150. A social media push? $25.

Don’t be afraid to state your rate and say “No” when somebody is not willing to meet it. Don’t lower your rate for somebody’s budget. If they truly understood the value of your work and the influence you have, they would be more than willing to pay your rate. As bloggers continue working for free, these companies will continue asking for free work. So, bloggers I beg you: quit blogging for free!

Quit Blogging for Free

How to Grow your Instagram Followers

How to Grow your Instagram Followers

A question I am often asked is “How do I grow my Instagram followers?” – The answer is simple. It will require a little effort on your part, but nothing too complicated. Here are my best tips for how to grow your Instagram followers:

How to Grow your Instagram Followers

Define your NICHE. It’s ok to have a lifestyle Instagram feed. I do! But, feeds with a defined niche (think travel, food, yoga, etc) gain more followers. This is because people know what to expect. If you don’t have a defined niche, then try to keep your pictures related somehow.

Post CLEAR images. Instagram is all about photos. The better your photos, the better your chances of gaining followers. Avoid posting blurry pictures or pictures with poor lighting. Clear, bright, and colorful images get the most interaction.

Use relevant HASHTAGS. Posting a selfie of you in bed with the hashtag #food isn’t going to help you get followers. Use hashtags relevant to your picture. I find it works best if you use one or two of the most relevant hashtags in your caption and then put your other hashtags in the first comment. Take advantage of the limit and use at least 5-10 hashtags.

COMMENT on others photos.  “Liking” photos are important, but commenting is more personal. People often skim through the list of likes, but will take time to read the comments and who they are from. Comments show that you put effort into being a good friend/follower. Make yourself stick out by commenting. (Side-note: Make sure your comments are relevant and not considered “spammy”. Good comment: I’ve used that same curriculum. It worked well for us. Bad/Spammy Comment: Thanks for sharing!)

LIKE multiple pictures at a time. Pick a friend or pick a person that has used a hashtag relevant to your feed and like multiple pictures from that individual. Don’t forget to add a comment or two! Your name stands out when commenting and you may even get a shout-out for liking multiple pictures from an individual.

FOLLOW people with similar interests. You can find them by browsing hashtags or looking at who your followers are following.

INTERACT with those in your niche. Browse the hashtags that you use most frequently and interact with those people. Like and comment on their pictures. Ask questions to facilitate conversation.

AVOID posting too much or too many of the same image. It’s ok to post every day, but you don’t want to post 5-10 pictures in a row, especially when the pictures are similar. Keep similar pictures to a minimum of 2 and space them out.

LINK your Instagram account to other social media accounts. Whenever you post on Instagram, share it with the other social media accounts. This lets your followers on other platforms know that you are on Instagram.

That’s it. Sounds simple enough, right? I bet you are already doing the majority of these. Remember, the biggest key to growing your Instagram following is staying consistent!

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Do you have any additional tips for how you grow your Instagram followers? 

Do you follow me on Instagram?
You should check me out. Here’s a glimpse at what I post:

Chronic Lung Disease looks a little like this… #cld #specialneeds

A photo posted by Life As A Convert (@lifeasaconvert) on

Finished Aybra a hat.

A photo posted by Life As A Convert (@lifeasaconvert) on

I am early so… #selfie

A photo posted by Life As A Convert (@lifeasaconvert) on