Why You NEED to Edit Your Blog Posts

So, today’s post is going to be about blogging. I have written a bit on the topic of blogging, and you can find all of those posts under the category “Blogging.” Today, I am going to tell you why it is super important to edit your blog posts. Editing and proofreading is not the most fun activity, and if you really hate doing it, I can help. Just contact me using the form in the side bar, but either way, someone needs to edit your posts for spelling and grammatical errors before it goes live.

Killer Harmony | Survey Sites: What You Need to Know | Survey sites may seem like a quick way to make some money online, but they can be deceiving. Surveys can be really long, and they don't pay as much as they advertise. Most surveys pay a dollar or less and they take time to complete. Don't waste your time. Still need convincing? Read this post in full.

1. It looks unprofessional.
Your blog or website is often what gives someone their first impression of you. You don’t want to give off the wrong impression just because you didn’t edit your most recent blog post. If you are using your blog to start a business or other career in your field, having errors in your post will make it harder for you to prove that you are an authority on your subject.

2. A blog post with errors is less readable.
The main goal of most bloggers is to make their posts readable and entertaining to anyone who reads their blog. That’s my goal, at least. If you want people to read your blog posts, you need to make sure that they are fun and easy to read. I know that when I come across a blog as a reader, I don’t want to work too hard to read the blogger’s content. If I see tons of typos in just the first paragraph, I will most likely give up on the post, and I will assume the entire blog is like that, too.

3. A blog post littered with errors is a big turn off.
And not a sexual one (um, what?!). Just as with the previous reason, people are lazy, they don’t want to put in much work to read a blog post. If you have dozens of misused “there” “their” “they’re” s, your post will be difficult to read, and in some cases, it could mean that someone misinterprets the meaning of your post.

Why should you edit you blog posts? Because it looks so unprofessional to see a blog post that has countless errors in it. It is less readable. It is a turn off. I’m not talking about a missed comma here or a misused quotation mark there. I’m talking about when the article is filled with typos. Don’t be that blogger. I can’t take people seriously when they have tons of errors in their posts. Yes, I know that as college students or busy working millennials, we are all busy. You might not have time to write until just before you have to go to bed. So, you are tired and you fumble through writing tomorrow’s post.

That’s not how you want to live. Especially if your blog is used in anyway for professional purposes, you need to be professional. You wouldn’t turn in a term paper (even if you wrote it the night before) without editing and proofreading it, right? Well, it’s the same with blogging. Even if you are not an English or journalism or communications major, you need to edit your work. Not doing it could cost you page views and drastically increase your bounce rate (things I will talk about in another blog post). You don’t want that. How will it look if you are applying for a job that involves a lot of writing or editing and your interviewer asks about why your blog has so many typos? What do you say to that?

When I am reading through a blog post by someone, especially if it is my first time on their blog, I will make a snap judgement on their professionalism based on how many (or hopefully few) typos they have. Editing is something that you have to do as a blogger. YouTubers have to edit their videos and take out any awkward pauses or random background noise. Bloggers have to edit their posts and remove or change any spelling or grammar issues.

I, personally, love editing and proofreading, and, if you couldn’t already tell, I do it even when I don’t mean to. I prefer to write my blog posts at least a few days before they are scheduled to go up so that I can give it a few days and come back to it and edit it before anyone sees any of the mistakes that I will inevitably make.

If you really hate editing and proofreading, let me help you! I am taking on new clients for my virtaul virtual assistant business. I have plans to fit your needs on any budget. Just scroll to the top of this page and click on “Services” to get started!

So, do you edit your blog posts or do you outsource it to a virtual assistant (VA)? Let me know in the comments or tweet me at @HannahHaefele. Thanks for reading!

 

Why You Should Set Goals + Exciting Announcement

Goals. You probably hear about them often, but do you really know what they are or why they’re important? You probably have a dream career or life path, right? Well, a dream or ideal life is great to have, but it’s even better to have a plan to reach that dream. Goals are little pit stops on your one way road trip to success. Goals give you a road map to follow.

Killer Harmony | Why You Should Set Goals | You probably hear quite a bit about goals, but do you really know what they are and why they are important? Goals can give you somewhere to go and a road map to reach your dreams. Here is why you need goals AND a special announcement for a goal setting Instagram challenge!

Instead of saying “I want to be a business owner,” you should set goals such as picking the type of business you want to start, writing a business plan, starting a website or blog and different social media accounts, and other relevant steps. This makes the dream of owning a business that much more achievable and that much less scary.
So, what can goals do for you?
1. Goals can give you a sense of direction when you have something that you want to achieve or a dream that you have and want to realize.
I love having goals for everything from getting class assignments done early to graduating from college on time to turning my blog into a successful business. Having goals of any magnitude is important to giving yourself somewhere to go.
2. Goals can motivate you to get things done.
We all have those days where we just don’t feel like doing anything. It’s normal to feel off occasionally, but doesn’t it make you just feel stressed when you can’t get things done? Having goals can ease that stress. If you have a goal to spend an hour a day writing either blog posts or chapters for a novel, you will have more of a reason to actually pull through and get it done.
3. Goals can give you a sense of purpose when you otherwise might be feeling down.
I know that when I am on a school break or I just for some reason don’t feel like what I am doing has any purpose or motive behind it, I will start to feel like staying in bed all day. Having a goal to write (as in the example above) will give me something not only to do, but something to look forward to.
4. Goals break down larger, scarier dreams into smaller, more realistic parts.
Let’s take the “graduate on time” goal from the first point in this list. If you want to graduate from college in four years, that’s great. You’ve set that goal, that’s the first and most important step towards reaching your goal. Now, you can take the goal and break it down into more realistic steps.
Setting goals and breaking down those goals into small steps will make it easier to achieve those goals. You need to set goals so that you can make a change in your life for the better and so that you have a direction that you know you can follow. You need to set goals so that you aren’t just going through your day to day life with no real focus.
ONE MORE THING.
I truly believe that we all have something that we are meant to do and that we won’t all be happy just taking any job or majoring in any subject that comes our way. It’s okay to take the time to figure out what you want to do, but know that you should have dreams and you should set goals to help you reach those dreams. I want to help you succeed, because following your dreams is so important to living a life filled with happiness. If you want my help in pursuing your dreams, don’t hesitate to contact me about your needs.

Also, before I forget, I am pleased to announce my first ever Instagram photo challenge! Throughout the month of June, I will be running the Summer Goal Setting Challenge. Each day during June, post a photo to Instagram that follows that day’s theme. Post the following photo on your Instagram, and tag me (@killerharmony) using the hashtag #killerharmonygoalchallenge

Killer Harmony | Why You Should Set Goals | You probably hear quite a bit about goals, but do you really know what they are and why they are important? Goals can give you somewhere to go and a road map to reach your dreams. Here is why you need goals AND a special announcement for a goal setting Instagram challenge!

Do you set goals already? Will you start and participate in this challenge? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter (@HannahHaefele), or on Instagram (@killerharmony).
Thanks for reading!

Don’t Want to Practice Music? Don’t.

We all have those times where we just don’t want to pick up our instrument. It may scare you. You may feel burdened by a new piece that you have been assigned. You may simply just not be in the mood. That third reason is what I am going to focus in on today. I am a music major (if you were not aware), and not only that, but I am a performance major: flute to be exact. That means I have to practice a lot. Quite a bit more than music ed majors and even other performance majors, based on their instrument. If you are curious about my thoughts on how much to practice, click here. Now on to the part about what to do when you just can’t find the energy to get to a practice room, take out your instrument, and get your music out to just go through the motions.

Killer Harmony | Don't Want to Practice Music? Don't | There are somethings that we just have to suffer through, music, especially if it is not your major, should be fun. Don't force yourself to practice if it will only lead to stress and frustration. Music should be enjoyable.
If you don’t want to practice, I don’t think you should. Well, I think you should keep consistent with your practice schedule, but don’t force yourself. If you are not engaged with what you are working on, you will not be as productive. If your mind is on something else, you will not get anything done. You will just be fingering along, bowing or blowing into your instrument with the end result being that you are unhappy. It is a lose-lose situation.
Of course you need to practice to get better, but you shouldn’t have to force yourself to do it. You should practice and study music because it is what you want to do, because nothing else would come as close to satisfying you as music. If it is a struggle to practice everyday, music is probably not for you. Keep playing your instrument, but if you major in music in college, you will have to play everyday for a decent amount of time. Are you up for that?
As a flute performance major, I usually don’t have a problem practicing. I always have some sort of goal (or a few) that I want to accomplish that day. Goals help. Making a to do list or a schedule can help. I have a weekly practice log that I use to track my practice, which I may offer in the future if there is enough interest. I have tried using an app to log my practicing, but it logged time, and I just felt really bad about not reaching my goal. When I got close, I would “practice” just about anything to reach my goal. I would just go through the motions, not really thinking about the results. Don’t be like that.
Ever since I dropped the app, my practice productivity has improved. I now think about what needs to get done during a particular week, day, or practice session. If that goal only takes 30 minutes, that’s great. If it takes two hours, then so be it. If I am warming up for a lesson and still haven’t mastered that week’s etude, that would be a good goal for that session. If I have a rehearsal with an accompanist coming up, I would make it a goal to polish the piece that I would soon be rehearsing. But having goals does not always make it easy to practice. Maybe I am having a bad tone day and nothing seems to help. I don’t want to get in the bad habit of a less-than-stellar tone. I will put my flute away and come back to it later.
I think it is normal to have days where you just don’t want to practice, as long as the days you are excited about it outweigh the days where you dread practicing. If the opposite is true, you might want to consider majoring in something other than music. You can still play in an ensemble or two, but when your grade depends on it, practicing is not something that you can just throw to the wayside on a regular basis.
I am also working on a post about how to make the most of your practice and how to motivate yourself to do it. Check back soon or follow me on social media so that you will always know when I publish new stuff!
Thanks for reading!

 

Coming Soon to Killer Harmony

“Change is the law of life.” That quote, by John F. Kennedy, is something that I have learned recently. As my junior year of college came to a close, I began to think about what I will do after I graduate next year. I have considered many different paths. The first path is of course finding a job and working there for who knows how long. I’m a music major, so that doesn’t really set me up for any clear job, especially since I am performance rather than education. However, my major has provided me with many transferable skills, such as teamwork (from playing in ensembles), critical thinking (analyzing pieces of music in music theory class), time management (individual practice time with all of my other classes and responsibilities), social marketing (sharing concerts and events on social media), and many more.
I could also continue my education either by pursuing a masters or professional degree (music majors have the highest acceptance rate to medical schools, even higher than that of biology or chemistry majors) or by getting a certificate in a specialized field, such as technology. At this point, I am leaning towards earning a certificate in digital media. I have really come to love blogging, social media, online marketing, and running an online business in general. The certificate would allow me to show others that I have formal training, though I do not think it is absolutely necessary. It has been a dream of mine to own my own business and work from home since 2007. Yes, little eleven year old me had that dream.
So, how does this relate to my blog? Why am I telling you all of this? Two main reasons, the first being that it is okay if plans change. life happens, and while a year ago or even as recent as six months ago, I thought that I would want to teach private lessons after college, I can’t say that now, and I am totally okay with that. Secondly, I am telling you this, because I will be making some changes to this blog. As I grow and begin the ending of my undergraduate career, I plan to start including more posts about careers and post-college options and what have you. I will still be posting about college; I am already working on some great back to school related posts for this fall. This blog will be for more than just college. If you hadn’t noticed, I recently changed the tagline to “a 21st century college and career info center for millennials and more.” I did this as a first step to make these changes. I know it will be hard to get used to, and that is why I am starting now and starting slowly, so that as I grow, I hope you grow, too.
Also, I created a Facebook group! If you need help finding your way and starting the best career for you, join this awesome community of people. I want you to have a place where you can get and give advice relating to jobs, interviews, starting a business, and anything else related to careers and career development for millennials. Check it out here!
Are you struggling with what to do after school? Let me know in the comments, tweet me, or join the Facebook group!
Thanks for reading!

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Tips for Blogging for Beginners

So, I debated starting a second blog or trying to integrate career and blogging related posts into Killer Harmony. I decided that I want to grow this blog and help out my already amazing group of readers, so I am introducing Killer Careers, where I will be blogging about blogging and about things related to blogging. I will be giving advice about how I started and more! This series will focus on options for the future and what to do after completing college or music school.
Killer Harmony | Killer Careers | Blogging for Beginners | A few questions that everyone seems to have when they start blogging. Here are my answers, I hope they help!
Now that that’s done, we will get to the good stuff…blogging about blogging (and other related things)! I hope that this series can help me grow as a blogger and that I can use this platform to help anyone who needs it! This first post is going to be similar to a post I did a while ago, which you can check out here! Only this time, I am going to talk more in detail about starting a blog for the aspiring professional in addition to the average college student. So, here goes.
First things first, what exactly is a blog? A blog is short for weblog, and blogs can be used for many different purposes. Some people use them as online journals whereas others, like myself, use them as a way to gain expertise in an area of interest in order to build their careers. There are many people who have built entire businesses through a blog. How cool is that?
 
Why should I start a blog? In two words: it’s fun! Starting and running a blog is a relatively inexpensive hobby, and you can get going in just a couple of hours! If you want to grow your online presence, whether for personal or professional reasons, you need a blog. A blog can be whatever you want. It can be a portfolio, an online magazine of sorts, or you could even create a static website.

How is blogging relevant to a music major? Blogging is relevant to anyone. It is a place for you to write about what you know about and to help others who are in similar situations. With a blog, you can prove yourself in your niche, and it looks insanely good on a resume.
For music majors, it can help open doors to non-music jobs, because it will show that you have practical hands on experience with writing, photo editing, internet marketing, and more. It has even taught me that I enjoy things like writing, editing, and marketing. Now I don’t have to be stuck in the whole starving artist mode after graduation. Woo hoo!

 
What do you need to start? If you want to stick with just the bare necessities, all you really need is a computer with internet access and an email address. If you have a Google account and chose to start on Blogger, that’s even easier, because a Google account comes with access to Blogger. You should also have a decent camera (a phone works fine if it is good quality), and a little bit of cash to buy a domain name.
Is blogging expensive? It depends. If you have the means, go ahead and splurge on a domain name, a hosting package, and whatever else that might be relevant to your blog. But, if you’re broke or just don’t want to invest so heavily into something that you don’t know if you’ll even enjoy, you can start for free. Choose a free platform, use a subdomain, and you’re good to go!
 
What is a blogging platform and which ones are the best/most popular? A blogging platform is the place where you go to work on your blog, and in some cases, it is where your blog is hosted (where it lives online). The two most popular blogging platforms are Blogger (which I use, because I can’t afford paid WordPress at the moment), and the two versions of WordPress: free and paid. Most blogs are on one of these platforms, but there are others out there, such as Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly.
How often should you post? That is one of those questions that really depends on you, your subject, and how much time you are able to dedicate to blogging. I say that no matter what, you should post regularly. Even if that means you only post once every week or two, that looks better than a bunch of posts one week followed by a month of nothing. I try to write one to two posts each week, even though they might not be published for a while.
Is blogging just about writing blog posts? What else goes into it? Blogging is very much like running a business, even if you aren’t making money. You are writing posts, but you also have to find and create images (either graphics or regular photos) to add to your posts to make them interesting. You also need to be able to edit your writing, edit photos, market yourself on social media, and much more. Blogging is great experience, and it can help you with many skills businesses are looking for.
How much time does it take? Again, it depends. Your blog is what you make of it, so use it well. Don’t go hard for two weeks then blow it off for six months. If you don’t have much time to dedicate to blogging (i.e. you have a ton of classes, rehearsals, and a job), I would suggest picking a topic that won’t take as much time to blog about or a technique called batching.
I need to do this more, but batching is basically where you do similar tasks together. You write all of your posts for the week or month in one go, take all of the pictures together, edit all of your images in one sitting. You get it, right? Blogging can take however much time you can give it.
Well, I hope this first post helps. I’m not so sure about the name of this series, though. Let me know if you have any ideas for a better name or any questions or ideas for future posts in the comments or tweet me at @HannahHaefele
Thanks for reading!

Interested in learning more? I have a whole eBook on blogging and getting started which you can find more information about here!