My Favorite Plugins

Updated: June 29, 2015

Once you know how to install plugins, you’ll want to find some good ones. Before you go crazy (it’s easy to go crazy), I recommend you read my plugin tips. In short, plugins have a frustrating way of breaking sites so I aim to use as few as possible.

My favorite plugins and the ones I'm no longer using.

Below is a list of the plugins currently active on my site.

I’m keeping the list of plugins I’ve stopped using at the bottom of the page for reference. I noted the reason why I stopped using a specific plugin when applicable. [Read more…]

Hey Amy, how do you find & organize the tips for the Useletter?

I have been sending out the Useletter every Saturday since June 2013. Many people have asked me how I find and organize the tips I share. Here’s my basic process.


Can’t see the video? Watch it here.

1. Consume LOTS of content

My sources include podcasts, blog posts, YouTube videos, newsletters, ebooks, books, social media or whatever else I can find. I funnel most of it into Feedly.

2. Organize the content as I consume

I try to organize all incoming info into categories in Feedly, but…that system works a lot better in my head.

As I’m reading, I save anything Useletter-worthy in Evernote (referral link).

I have tags in Evernote corresponding to the basic topics I share in the Useletter and tag things as I go.

3. Write the Useletter

When I’m ready to write the Useletter, I use my editorial calendar to see which topics I’m due to cover. I write up the tips in Mad Mimi (referral link). (If you’re looking for an email service provider, Mad Mimi is easy & dreamy.)

Still curious?

  • Subscribe to the Useletter and see for yourself!
  • Got a question? Use hashtag #HeyAmy and perhaps I will feature yours!

What Makes Readers Lose Interest in a Blog?

Mostly because I’m curious, the other night I posted this fill-in-the-blank question on my Facebook page:

“I lose interest in a blog when ___________.”

What makes readers lose interest in a blog?
Clearly it’s not a scientific study, but the comments contain a treasure trove of helpful info for bloggers who don’t want to lose readers.

I asked the same question back in 2012. Many of the answers are similar, but there are some differences too. (For example, in 2012, several people mentioned their dislike of auto-play music. In 2015, this isn’t so much of an issue.)

A major theme in 2015 is being turned off by money-making endeavors like ads, sponsored posts, product launches, etc. Another theme that showed up in 2015 that wasn’t mentioned in 2012 was a desire for ease-of-use on mobile.

In 2012, an interesting theme that emerged was disliking too many contributing authors or guest posts. I found this interesting because I often check the author of the post first. If it’s a contributor or a guest post, many times I’ll click away and don’t read at all.

Another interesting theme that began in 2012 and continued in 2015 was a preference for less information. Many people said they didn’t want to see multiple posts in a day and they didn’t want to get multiple emails in a week. Some also said they didn’t want long introductions or long posts.

Overall, it seems readers want to see the bloggers personality, they are looking for concise yet helpful content and not regurgitations or round-ups of other peoples’ stuff and they appreciate being acknowledged in comments or social media reaction. They are turned off by a “preachy” style and wish bloggers wouldn’t be afraid to show their non-perfect sides.

I’m definitely taking notes.

I lose interest in a blog when...

How I Coach Myself Through the Unexpected

My traffic has plummeted in the last month. When I say “plummeted” I mean it has dropped almost 40%. And as of this morning, it’s still going down. That’s significant. Traffic always fluctuates but I don’t remember a time when it’s dropped like this.

How I coach myself through the unexpected.

The bulk of our income comes from this blog and related projects. Our income is not tied only to traffic, but it’s tied nonetheless. Traffic’s down, income’s down. It has caused concern.

There’s a fine line between concern and panic. My usual self leans heavily in the direction of panic. [Read more…]

Elite Blog Academy: My Review

Updated April 27, 2015

Please note this course is now closed and won’t open again until 2016. However, feel free to read about it below.

Wondering if Elite Blog Academy is for you? This is my honest review after purchasing it at the end of 2014. Like all online products, I think it’s right for some, but not all. I hope this post will help you decide if it’s right for you. The links in this post are my referral links.

elite blog academy review

What is Elite Blog Academy (EBA)?

Elite Blog Academy is an online course intended to help bloggers “take their blogs to the next level.” The focus is on making income, although the first part of the course covers the basics of laying a good blogging foundation. If you don’t yet have your blog started, you will certainly want to do that first, since the course assumes you already have. (You can follow my simple steps to do that here.) [Read more…]