An Interview With My Husband | Would You Rather

One of my favorite things to do with the hubs is pick his brain about absolutely anything and everything. He can be quite reserved sometimes, but I know there’s a lot tinkering inside that mind of his. So, when I asked him last year if he’d be willing to participate in a new little series here on the blog, he was happy to do so.

It’s been a little while since we’ve had our last interview (you know, having a baby and all) but I am excited to reintroduce my husband, Philip, and welcome him back on the blog today! For this installation of our interview I’ve decided on a Would You Rather…theme for the line of questions. These questions span a few different areas of his/our personalities so I was curious to see which preference he would have!

Would you rather be immune to hangovers forever or never have to go to the dentist ever again?

Immune to hangovers because we like to imbibe (See that big word he used? Totally learned something new today). We also enjoy traveling and a part of that is enjoying the food and drinks of our travels.

Would you rather look 90 starting right now but live until you’re 90, or look 21 starting right now but only live for another 10 years?

This is tricky because it questions ones vanity and quality of life. For the sake of Greyson (and although I do care about what I look like) I would choose to rather look 90 vs looking 21 and living only for ten years more. Greyson would be 11 years old and it wouldn’t be fair of me to leave him without a father at that age.

Would you rather never wash your sheets ever again or only be able to shower once every two weeks?

Heavy sigh.

Having clean sheets is important to me because of dirt, skin, bed bugs, etc., but I can still take a “Trucker Shower” (i.e. wiping down the pertinent body parts) every day even though I’m not actually in/or taking a shower everyday.

Would you rather spend the rest of your life always cold or always exhausted?

Always cold. If I were exhausted all the time I would get nothing done, but to be cold I can just throw layers on. Plus I think I look good in a coat.

Would you rather be allergic to most foods but travel the world, or be able to eat anything you wanted but be stuck in California forever?

This was one of the hardest questions for me. There is no other place in the U.S. that I would want to live other than CA. The best part of traveling is food and wine and those go hand-in-hand. So, I would stay in CA and enjoy life to the fullest.

Be sure to join us this month by linking your very own Interview post with your husband! Just grab your man, ask him this month’s questions, and link up your post before the end of the month! It’s that easy. Interested in joining this linkup each month and receive the questions in advance? Join our mailing list to ensure you stay in the loop!

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How To Succeed As A Linqia Newbie

 How To Succeed As A Linqia Newbie | theprimarilyinspired.com |
Referral links are included in this post. I will earn a small commission for any blogger who is accepted to Linqia that goes towards funding this blog. So, thank you!

As a relatively new blogger, I’ve only been at it for almost three years in October, I am always looking for new ways to take my blog farther. I know it all starts with authenticity and an inspiration to bring quality content to my readers. With that said, it’s sometimes more daunting to think about all that goes in to running a successful blog and eventually reaching a point where I can begin to make a few dollars in the process.

In the beginning…

When I first began blogging, much like everyone, it blossomed from loneliness and a need to connect. I had just moved with my newly minted husband to a far away land called California from Virginia and I knew absolutely no one. As a teacher, and moving in September, there were no teaching positions open considering the school year had just begun. (Not to mention the whole process of switching my VA teaching license to a CA credential, but that’s a story for another day). So there I was jobless, too.

A lifestyle blog is born…

After a month or so going by and being a stay-at-home-wife, I began reading various blogs (and running my teacher blog) and made the decision to branch out and start a lifestyle blog. I had the inspiration almost instantly and began writing various posts that I found fun to share. I was all over the place! From sharing DIYs to my mere attempts at style posts and keeping up with those weekly What I Wore linkups (OMG, dressing and documenting your outfits takes a lot more effort than it seems). I didn’t have a clear vision for my new blog, but I can say that over the course of the last few years I’ve been able to learn from those early missteps and really make Primarily Inspired my own and more successful.

Disclaimer: I am no Linqia expert – I’m a newbie myself. However, I love sharing my own experiences in hopes that it reaches a fellow newbie and reassures them to never give up on attaining sponsored posts and making their blog successful.

Becoming an influencer with Linqia

I am still in my early journey of lifestyle blogging, as there’s always something new to learn, and the moment I was accepted into Linqia’s network of influencers it was a major milestone for me. Linqia is an influencer platform in which to gain membership your blog must reach a certain amount of readers per day, followers on social media, as well as quality photos and content on a weekly basis. However, finally being accepted took time and rejection.

I had applied once before and received one of those dreaded, “we’ll keep your blog on file, but we cannot accept you at this time” emails and my heart sank. However, I didn’t let that get me down. I really focused on taking quality photos, upped my engagement, and became more of a presence on social media and on a whim I found that old email and contacted them again; crossing my fingers that I had enough followers to be accepted. It was about a day or two later that I received a welcome email. Yes! I did it!

But this is when the real work began for me as a blogger. I was on the cusp of monetizing my blog, pocket change really, but it’s meaningful nonetheless. I knew that one day I would be contacted to join a campaign and I would have my first experience with sponsored posts. After having now completed three campaigns with Linqia, here are a few tips on how you can find success even as a Linqia newbie.

A Newbie

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into Linqia’s network of influencers and now you have a newfound opportunity to work with top brands to share with your readers! It’s such a thrill, isn’t it?!

Fortunately for you, this is a time where you get to sit and wait for a campaign to come your way which can be an upwards of 30 days, but use this precious time wisely. This is a time for you to spruce up your blog, get it cohesive with your social media, update your cover photos, and continue working on your brand and original content. Eventually you’ll receive an email for a campaign that you might want to be a part of. This is the exciting part!

Like with anything, before you hit the accept button there are a few things you should consider first…

 

“This is a time for you to spruce up your blog, get it cohesive with your social media, update your cover photos, and continue working on your brand and original content.”

Accepting a campaign…or not

Not all Linqia campaigns may resonate with you or your readers, so it’s important to understand that declining a campaign is just as important as accepting one. Keep your published content authentic to your life, which includes these sponsored posts. People aren’t dumb and can spot an inauthentic sponsored post a mile away and may actually drive followers and readers away. I know I’ve stopped following blogs because of that same reason. I personally joined the campaign for Gerber twice because it’s a product I already use and my motherhood posts are amongst the most popular on my blog. Working with Libman on this most recent campaign was an easy choice for me because I’m all about keeping a clean and organized home so I was happy to share with my readers the benefits of the Wonder Mop.

On the flip side, I was just contacted by Linqia  last week to offer a campaign with a paint company. Unfortunately I had to decline because the timing of the post conflicted with when I could authentically use the product. With moving in a few months I know I’ll be doing a lot of painting in our new home, but I also knew that I couldn’t complete the post within the time frame they needed. So, it’s okay to decline a campaign and share with them the reason why you couldn’t accept.

Another tip is to read through the entire email that details what the campaign expects of you. There’s a lot of helpful information included so it’s important to become knowledgable about the timing, sharing, and work required of the post. You’ll even be partnered with a Brand Success Manager to whom you can contact about any questions you may have! Most often you have to purchase the product yourself, then as a part of your payout you’ll be reimbursed. It’s vital to evaluate if you’ll be able to give 100% for the campaign before accepting; otherwise it could really hurt your standing with Linqia to cancel a campaign after you’ve already accepted it.

“[…] it’s important to understand that declining a campaign is just as important as accepting one.”

Creating and sharing your post…

Luckily Linqia does an amazing job at giving you all the information, and some inspiration, for your post. They outline what exactly it is they are looking for in your post (i.e. high quality personal photos using the product, not to show or mention competitors, etc.) and the social hashtags and handles for the company to use when promoting it. This makes drafting and publishing your post a breeze.

But like any blog post, it will take time and effort to pull it all together. It was working on my first sponsored post that I realized that those who blog for a profession truly work hard at it just like any other job. I personally like to break up my writing and polishing across a few days, spending a few hours a day on it. That way I don’t feel overwhelmed and I can edit and re-edit my post before publishing it. Then, scheduling out the marketing piece frees up my non-blogging time and ensures my post continues to be shared without me needing to be on my phone all day.

“But like any blog post, it will take time and effort to pull it all together.”

Seeing and learning with a goal…

With each campaign I’ve managed to increase my clicks by using the estimate as a guide and goal. Having a goal throughout the active dates of any one campaign helps me see where I am gaining the most reach and by which medium: my blog? Instagram? Facebook? Using video or photos? Getting familiar with my dashboard and reporting pages is crucial for my success with that brand. As you complete campaigns your estimated clicks will grow.

I really enjoyed working on the Libman Company campaign this last time and kept a goal in mind. Although I was slightly short of making that goal, the takeaways were that I spread out my marketing, I incorporated the Boomerang feature on Instagram vs simple photos, and I sent out tweets periodically to keep my post fresh on people’s feeds. Using the proper hashtags also help out a lot. In the end, I’ve learned to do the very things I should be doing as a blogger on everyday content.

So, how are the numbers looking?

In reflection, I can see on my dashboard that on my very first campaign with Gerber Lil’ Beanies I made more of an effort to promote that post. This also considers how new I was to sponsored posts and the effort that went into it. Then, I take a peek and notice that my Gerber Cereals campaign didn’t perform as well. What caused me to only make a few bucks? Well, I had accepted the campaign during the active dates of my first campaign with the Lil’ Beanies. Although I am very happy for the experience, I have learned that I wasn’t prepared to take on two live campaigns at the same time (even though they were the same brand)! I’ve taken this with me and use it to guide me in my next sponsored posts!

“I’ve managed to increase my clicks by using the estimate as a guide and goal.”

Making those dolla-dolla bills…

As a newbie, Linqia limits your total potential earnings based on your blog’s reach and viewership…at first. Once you participate in a few different campaigns and perform higher, they’ll increase how much you can make for each campaign. Some have reported being able to make a few hundred dollars! The one downside people have mentioned about working with Linqia is this very platform. What if I earned more than my potential earnings dollar amount? Sorry, you’re cut off despite the number of clicks you’ve earned for that campaign.

But, as a newbie this won’t be an issue for you just yet.

Breathe and just have fun…

At the end of the day blogging and promoting the brands and products you use and love should be fun for both you as the storyteller and for your readers. Yes, blogging can become a business, but don’t lose sight of what inspired you to blog in the first place. Enjoy sharing your life, don’t take it too seriously, pray on it, and connect with your audience in meaningful ways. Start small, create ideal goals, accomplish them, then repeat.

If you can make a few bucks per sponsored post – awesome! I personally felt pretty great making only a few bucks of a commission because it meant I learned something that in turn helped me earn more on the next campaign. My hope is that I can turn these beginning goals into meeting my estimate and beyond! Your blog will grow regardless because you will have learned a few new things in the process! Enjoy those wins!

“[…] blogging and promoting the brands and products you use and love should be fun for both you as the storyteller and for your readers.”

It’s easy to succeed as a new influencer with Linqia. Here’s how as a newbie, much like me, you can take your blog to new heights with these easy steps! | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Are you an influencer with Linqia? Is there another influencer network you love? What advice would you give me and other newbie influencers out there?

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Best of 2016 | A Look Back

It’s almost the new year which means it’s a great time to take a peek back at some of my most popular posts from the year. This is not only great as a means to see which posts you all have enjoyed reading in 2016, but it’s great to keep a thumb on the pulse of my blog and see what kind of content brings you all to visit! Today I am sharing my TOP 10 popular posts from the past year!

#10 The Only Child Debate: 7 Reasons We May Only Have One

Ever since Greyson was born we had a strong feeling of completeness to our family. So much so that even 9 months later we’re still 99.99% sure that he’ll be our only child. Of course things can change over time, but there’s this concept that only wanting one child is debatable. So, one of my favorite posts from the year was laying out the pros to having only one and the seven reasons my husband and I may only be a family of three.

#9 About Page

Okay, this isn’t really a post at all, but it goes to show that an About page is very important as it ranks as one of my highest traffic pages on my blog. Updating my About page is as equally important (learn more tips on maintaining your blog) as well as including a little bit more about myself and why I blog. This page is also important for collaborations or brands to get a sense of who you are – so make it pretty!

#8 Storybook Baby Shower + Invite Etiquette

I loved putting together this baby shower inspiration board because I loved getting to see how others pulled together a common baby shower theme: storybooks. I knew right away that I wanted a shower that would also serve a practical purpose and receiving books for Greyson’s first home library was great. Also, instead of a traditional guest book I really liked the idea of everyone bringing a favorite book and writing a little note to him inside – that way he remembers all the friends and family who love on him.

#7 Styling With Stitch Fix | December

Apparently this past month’s Stitch Fix was a hit! And I am glad because it was one of my favorites since scheduling them again. My stylist Whitney seems to really know me by now and I have really looked forward to the goodies she’s been sending my way. December was full of cozy knits, sweaters, and this awesome olive cargo jacket!

#6 Stitch Fix

I love using this Indexes plugin for WordPress because its allowed me to easily showcase index pages all on one landing page. Since I have multiple posts related to style and my Stitch Fix reviews, which are apparently pretty popular this year, having this index helps my readers browse and see which post they’d like to visit without having to scroll through entire posts. I highly recommend this plugin to anyone wanting to clean up their site!

#5 Styling With Stitch Fix | November

November’s fix was my first Stitch Fix since welcoming Greyson nine months ago. I was curious to see if my stylist could find me new pieces after being absent for so long and clothing that would make me feel comfortable in my postpartum body. I have yet to really lose the baby weight around my midsection and finding high-waisted pants and flowy tops are key for me right now. I wasn’t disappointed and I’m glad this was amongst the top 5 most popular posts!

#4 Bringing Up Bebe: The Art Of Doing Their Nights

When I was pregnant there were thousands of baby books to choose from that aimed to help prepare me for what will happen once baby comes home. It was overwhelming for me to say the least, but one book stood out above all the rest and that was Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. I really enjoyed reading every chapter of this book (as well as hosting this study!), especially about how the French sleep train their newborns and get them to sleep soundly during the night. A lot of what I read in this book, and the helpful tips from French parenting customs, has helped my husband and I get a hold on raising our infant son even to this day (read about our crying it out journey).

#3 Top Picks: Minimalist Baby Registry

Other popular posts have been related to living minimally and this registry board was a very popular post in 2016. I think there’s a misconception that new moms need everything under the sun and to not have certain products will leave you in distress or not as capable to care for your baby as others. All you really need are the basics or baby items that have longevity. This posts is dedicated to my favorite baby products that helped me transition home with baby and helped us into his first few months.

#2 Stitch Fix | Maternity Edition v2

Thankfully Stitch Fix began offering maternity fashions right after I got pregnant and so I was eager to find a few items that were affordable and would last me the rest of my pregnancy. I only had two maternity fixes, but really enjoyed the items I received from my stylist during such a transitional time. I ended up keeping four out of the five items and even still wear my thick cardigan today! The top I was undecided on, I ended up keeping, was perfect for me right after delivery as it was drapey, comfortable, and covered me up.

#1 Optimize Your Blog SEO Today

One of my favorite posts to write this year was exactly the kind of post I so often need reminding of: what to write when you have nothing to write about. Maintaining your blog is essential to any type of success and with blogging being very popular these days, you’re competing for page views and traffic against hundreds of thousands of others doing the same thing. Writing content is only a small percentage of your overall time and these helpful tips are geared to help you in those stagnant times.

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10 Things About Me | An Introduction

A throwback to last year in Hawaii. Love this photo – the hair, how skinny I was, us in a nutshell.

I feel like ever since I began blogging I never really took the time to formally introduce myself to my readers. Many of you who are friends and family know me pretty well (and thank you for following along on this little blog of mine!), but I thought it would be fun to share a little more about me and what inspires me both here on the blog as well as in my personal life. These questions dig deeper than just a what’s your favorite color so it is my hope that you learn a bit more about me and my life thus far.

  1. What inspires you to blog?

    I first began blogging back in 2012 when I created my kindergarten teacher blog, but after that school year I moved up to 2nd grade and created Sliding Into Second Grade. It was a fun way for me to share and journal my teaching experiences and over time really got involved in the teacher blogging community. Then Teachers Pay Teachers was born and I began creating and selling my own educational resources, which continues to be a blessing to our family now that I’m a SAHM. After blogging for so many years I began to realize that my posts were more about my life than teaching, so I thought to start a lifestyle blog. Primarily Inspired is a take on my primary teacher influences that are blended with what inspires me whether it be teaching, home life, decorating, cooking, being a wife and mother.

  2. What is your favorite season and why?

    For the longest time spring was my favorite because of that sense of a new beginning. However, living on the east coast my whole life I couldn’t deny the beauty that is fall. So, I would say that fall is my favorite season because of everything associated with it; the clothes, colors, coffee, pumpkin everything, the decorations…and the list goes on. Although fall is my favorite actual season, Christmas should also be considered the fifth season for obvious reasons. Nestled between fall and winter, Christmas is all about cozying up with your favorite pine scented candle, wrapped up in your blanket scarf, and watching feel-good Christmas movies while sipping on gingerbread coffee just sounds so lovely.

  3. What are 10 interesting facts about you?

    1. I am the youngest of five siblings
    2. I am the last of my siblings to have children
    3. I learned American Sign Language in high school
    4. Paris was my very first out-of-country traveling experience
    5. I played soccer starting at 4 years old up to club soccer in college
    6. Moving to California with my husband was my first move to a different state
    7. I worked retail all throughout college: Deliah’s, Victoria’s Secret, and The Gap
    8. I spent an alternative spring break in college to go down to New Orleans to help rebuild homes after Katrina
    9. My first tattoo was at 18. I now have five including a cover-up
    10. We are pretty firm on the idea that Greyson will be our only child

  4. What was your most cherished childhood possession?

    My most cherished possession as a child was my pillow. I literally took it everywhere with me, and as gross as it sounds, would only wash it when my mom got disgusted enough and made me. I don’t know what it was; possibly the comforting smell it had or how I could just wrap my arms around it and feel okay. But, as a kid if the house was on fire I would be my pillow for sure that I would grab. To give you an idea, I didn’t get rid of it until I moved in with my boyfriend (now husband). He was actually really gracious about my need for this pillow – he told me that since it was falling apart (and it was pretty gross by this point- I was 24 years old) that instead of throwing it away I could keep the pillowcase folded up in the closet. That way if I needed it it was there. Eventually I completely forgot about it and felt comfortable tossing it. Weird, right?!

  5. How do you define family?

    Family is a funny thing because you have family that is blood then there’s a family you create with your friends. The saying, “you can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends” is so true as it relates to my understanding. For example, I come from a blended family. My parents were both married previously and had two children, then divorced, met each other, got married, and had me in between. I was an ‘oops baby’ in the sense that I wasn’t planned, and according to my mom, was a deep consideration considering how old she was at the time and if my parents were really ready to have another child. Thankfully for me they decided to keep me 😉 but in doing so I was four years younger than my closest sister. I was the baby of the family to older siblings and although I had a lot of family, I felt like an outsider. I don’t have a close sisterly bond like some of my friends do but I’ve learned to be okay with it. Friends make for wonderful family because they’re there when you need a release from the stress of your actual family or life in general. I love my family, I love my friends who are like family, and consider myself blessed regardless of bloodline.

  6. What are your current favorite shows or movies?

    In our home we don’t have cable so it comes down to streaming the shows or movies we want. Staying home with Greyson has really helped me catch up on some TV and helps my husband and I wind down from our day. Some of my favorite shows that we routinely watch is The Walking Dead, Ink Master, various competition cooking shows, and American Horror Story. On Netflix and Hulu I love catching shows like Gilmore Girls (thanks Janelle and Catherine!), Empire, and Bob’s Burgers to name a few. I’m getting into This Is Us (OMG all the tears!) and the new American Housewife. However, my mainstays are always my Housewives of [fill in the blank city] and Ladies of London on Bravo.

  7. Name your favorite coffee/tea flavors for each season! Go!

    Fall: pumpkin spice latte
    Winter: gingerbread latte or creme brûlée late
    Christmas (remember the 5th season?!): Christmas Blend coffee
    Spring: iced caramel macchiato or a frap of some kind
    Summer: iced caramel macchiato

  8. What describes your style?

    I like to think that I have a pretty classic and conservative style – think skinny jeans, basic tops, and a comfy cardigan. Living in CA and by the beach has me wearing things that I wouldn’t typically wear when living back on the east coast. There’s definitely a different trend out here than I’ve seen in any other place. For example, flip flops are a staple and style here is more relaxed. No one really gets dressed up unless you’re headed to Santa Barbara or want to brave going into L.A. I love living here in Ventura because there’s no need to be trendy – just comfortable. I’m also adopting a more capsule wardrobe in my attempts at living more minimally. With me being home with Greyson I’m pretty much wearing the same thing anyways so I enjoy having a limited closet.

  9. What would you like to learn before you die?

    I would love to try and learn to drive a manual again. I hope you noticed the word again there. My husband attempted to teach me (and he’s a wonderful teacher – very patient!) a few years ago back when I was shopping for my dream Mini Cooper. I had the fleeting thought of buying it in a manual considering it is British, but after getting stuck on a hill and rolling backwards I decided to purchase an automatic and never got behind the wheel of a manual again. So, if I could learn one useful skill before I die it would be that.

  10. How will you spend the holiday break?

    We are traveling to Texas for Christmas, like we do every year, and it will also mark our first airplane trip with baby Greyson and Murphy in tow. I’m praying we’ll be properly prepared (thanks #NetflixEverywhere!) for the trip and it goes smoothly. We always get excited to visit with my husband’s family because of all the Christmas traditions they celebrate. There’s a ton of Scrabble and Catchphrase to be played, wine to be drunk, cookies to be made and decorated, and his extended family always hosts a fun Christmas Eve gathering with songs, games, and tons of food. Christmas is also very special this year because my sister-in-law also had a baby this year and his parents will get to enjoy their first Christmas with the grand-babies and cousins will get to meet for the first time!

What are some fun things about you that others may not know?
Grab these questions and link up your post!

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