My Girlfriend Renee

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Listening to Feedback is a Good Thing!

Self ImprovementRenee DickComment

You know that feeling after you get a facial, hair done, or a fresh pedicure? That deep breathe you take after because you are totally relaxed and feel so refreshed? That is exactly how I feel after a weekend full of rebuilding my website. I launched back in April 2019 with literally no clue what I was doing. I found a template that was simple to use on the back end and had a visual aesthetic that appealed to me. I was new to the blogging world heck even website world. So when I launched it I was so proud, it was the first step to creating my brand. I didn’t understand what to look for in a website as far as being user friendly, easy to navigate, and how it looks on all devices. I just wanted it to be pretty.

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Now that it has been almost 5 months I accumulated a lot of feedback throughout that time. At first I didn’t consider it, you can say I was defensive, it was my baby, my first project that I have ever created and put into the world. So when I would get feedback I wouldn’t take it seriously because I thought it was perfect. Talk about insecure…. I was getting the same advice from people on what I should change to make it easier but I was still hesitant, even though all the feedback was coming from people who have websites and businesses. The feedback I was getting was for GirlCode as well, which GirlCode is like my second baby so I was trying to make it easy to use and amazing but instead I over complicated it.

I finally took a step back and really thought about the things people were telling me. Nothing was going to work if the people don’t find it easy to use or fun to use. I had to stop being protective and insecure and really look at my stuff from a different point of view. I started seeing the problems they were having, the hiccups, the places where they were confused. I listened and I learned. I took every bit of feedback that I got and worked with it, changed it and organized it. Now it is amazing, it is easy, fun and simple to use, which is what I wanted all along. I am so thankful for those people taking the initiative to tell me that feedback.

I am better because of it and so is my website. I am sharing it because I know this is something that will come up for you when you are starting your journey, or if you already are, people are going to give you feedback, it is your choice whether you want to use it to make things better or take it as harsh criticism. Just be sure to recognize when someone is genuinely trying to help versus being discouraging. I have been on both sides. If you need any feedback or just need someone to talk ideas with reach out or feel free to post in GirlCode!

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3 Tips to Start your Blog

Self ImprovementRenee DickComment

What is the first step to starting a website or blog? That is probably going to be different depending on each person. I am going to speak as though I am talking to myself, zero clue where to start, and unfamiliar with technology.

First thing I would recommend is figuring out what exactly you want to do, now this isn’t your end all be all because you will evolve and grow with each month. I started with wanting to start a blog, this then led to video, interviews and helping others. You have to start somewhere first, so choose that one thing that you want to tackle first and that’s where you will start. You don’t have to be a pro or know exactly where you will end up, I honestly think we all evolve and our brand reveals itself once you start taking those steps.

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Second thing is to figure out your name, what best describes the feel, vibe of your content or brand? Once you choose the name you can start searching the domains to see if it is available, a Domain name is used to identify your IP address. I knew I wanted to be a fun girly vibe, like you were talking to your girlfriend in sweat pants on the couch. Once I knew the vibe the name came shortly after, and yours will too! I was so nervous when I started searching for my domain, luckily no one had it yet!

Third is to figure out who you are talking to, again this will change and evolve over time but you have to start with one person in mind. I started with my personal avatar and now she has evolved into a different version of herself, yours will too. The content you are going to be writing is for that specific person, there will be more people that benefit from your content but by narrowing it down you don’t feel so overwhelmed with what to write or say.

Deciding to start is the hardest part, since you landed here and are reading this specific blog post I am willing to guess you already took that huge step, and for that congratulations! Do not feel like you have to know everything today, trust me you won’t. I am learning more and more everyday just like you are going to. I hope to share more of my journey to eliminate some of the alone feelings you might be going through. It helps to have someone to talk to or to cheer you on during this time. I am always happy to help and be that resource for you, feel free to reach out if you need your girlfriend Renee to chat with. If you have a Blog or anything you want to share, I created Girlcode, a forum page that is free to use, you can post links to blog posts, outfits, recipes, tips and tricks and instagram posts. It is a place where we can have safe place to share and grow our content and community! You can read more on this topic on this Blog Post!

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Never Sent an Email, to Launching a Blog!

Self ImprovementRenee DickComment

I sent every single email from my phone because that is what I knew how to use. The last time I was up to date on computers was when AOL came out. You know the hugely annoying random noises that happened when you wanted to go on myspace? That’s what stage my computer knowledge was at. The jobs I had required me to work with my hands, not technology. Occasionally I would have random things to do through email or fax machines, but I always relied on someone to do these things for me.

Long story short, technology was not my thing at all. I could care less about what a computer could do, all I needed was my phone and all was good. Not the ideal mindset for the goals and dreams I wanted to accomplish. When I came to the decision that I wanted to start a blog, the first task on my list was google “How to start a blog”. I didn’t have a domain name, didn’t have a clue where to get one either, heck if I am being completely honest I had no clue how to even pick one. Luckily I was sharing a room with my friend who had already gone through these steps and helped me. Having someone who already was doing the things I wanted made figuring out how to start so much easier. I announced that I wanted to start a blog Friday afternoon, by 11:00 that night I owned my domain names.

The reason I am sharing this is because you do not have to wait until you have the skills to do the thing you want to do. You will learn and acquire them as you go. How would I have known I needed a domain without making the decision to start a blog? The things you will need to figure out will come once you make the first step. By making the decision to start, the next step always revealed itself, there is no perfect time to start, there is no skill you have to master, all of that will come in time.

It isn’t easy and you are going to struggle, there were and are so many times that I wanted to quit. I would feel so frustrated when I couldn’t figure something out. I felt like if I just had someone to talk to it would make things so much easier. That is why I try to share my journey, the stressful moments, and the wins. That way it makes starting your journey less intimidating. I have had so many people reach out with questions or just want to brainstorm ideas, that is the most rewarding part of this journey, to know that by showing the process in real time it is inspiring others to start their own. Thank you all for following along and I am more than happy to help you.


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