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A Boy and His Books

A Boy and His Books

So, it’s been a long while since I’ve paid any attention to the personal side of my blog (or my blog in general). I took a break and decided to work on my photography and take pictures for me. I’m not trying to impress anyone, I was just simply trying to make myself happy. And I really love the images I’ve been producing lately.

One thing I really wanted to capture was my sons love of reading. He’s been on a reading kick lately! I want to put a disclaimer that he doesn’t actually know how to read at the young age of 17 months, but he does enjoy me reading him books and looking at the pictures.

His favorite type of books are ones that include dinosaurs.

I’m just so proud of him for his love of reading. If he brings me a book, I stop what I’m doing and read it to him. I want him to always love reading so I will never tell him no!!

Here are some favorite book pictures from the past month or so.

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Letters to My Little One | 16 Months

Letters to My Little One | 16 Months

Monday, November 12, 2018

To my little peanut,

I love you. I just love you. You are such a special blessing to me. Recently your little personality is starting to come out and I want to write it down and never forget it! Like when we call you cute and you blink at us excessively! It never fails. You also fake laugh at different things. You love your dada…I say that all the time but it really is true. You have a special bond with your daddy that just melts my heart. And when he comes home from work and you run to him yelling. ‘DADA!’ and point at him and fling into his arms….it just melts my heart to pieces. You’re slowly starting to point at me and say ‘mama’ and I know one day you will say mama more. So, for now, I will just soak up the snuggles I get that daddy doesn’t get since he’s away at work.

We took you trick or treating on Halloween and you were adorable. At the first house, we told you to say ‘trick or treat’ then get your candy, then say ‘thank you’ and then wave goodbye. By the last house, you did all by yourself! You never did say trick or treat, but you did say please (by placing your elbow into your face) and you said ‘tank’ and ‘bi’. I love how polite you are and I love that you say thanks!

At one of the houses you even got your candy and then shut the door and walked away! Everyone loved having you come get candy and even gave us some extra candy. Sweet for me!

I think it is adorable when you give me something, and you say ‘tank’ and then you shake your head once, aggressively. It’s adorable! You also say mama and pat your chest. You are also now saying ‘bobo’ for booboo (although I much prefer to call it milk!) and you know that the sheep says ‘baaa’. You are so smart and you amaze me everyday. Your smile melts my heart and I love to get you to laugh!

I can’t believe you’ve been with us for 16 months…it felt like just the other day that we welcomed you into this world. And it feels so strange that I went so long without you in my life…that might sound silly to some, but it’s true. I love being your mommy. I love being able to stay home with you and see you do all these cute things. I love watching you try to form new words. I love watching you stubbornly use your utensils to feed yourself. I love watching you figure out how to stack blocks. I love watching you read books. I feel so proud of how often you bring a book to me to read. I go to the library for my toddler, and leave with big kid books. But you sit there and (mostly) let us read them to you. So, I will always stop what I am doing to read you a book. Right now as I type this out, you are looking at books all by yourself, looking at the pictures.

I love how much you love dinosaurs and that you know they say ‘roar!’. Your favorite types of books are dinosaur books. We just recently got new dinosaur books and you love learning about the different types. You literally just brought me a dinosaur book to read!! So I’ll take a little break to read to you. 🙂 Worth the break!! Snuggles and giggles and intent listening just happened! I love how much you love to read!!

Another sweet thing you do right now is hug me and daddy and then say, ‘ohhhh’. It’s probably because I’m saying ‘oh’ and squeezing you more when you hug me. But it’s still adorable. You also love to give me a kiss and then daddy a kiss and then me a kiss…and so on. You are literally one of the sweetest. Everyone always tells me how good you are and I can’t help but agree. You are such a good 16 month old! You are obedient (for the most part) helpful, and very smart.

Last thing I want to update is that you now have 13 teeth. THIRTEEN!! Maybe it’s me being a new mom, but I feel like that’s a lot of teeth to have at 16 months. Oh well! Oh! And you are still breastfeeding and happy. You’re slowly eating more solids than breast milk, but at the moment I don’t see an end to breastfeeding any time soon. And why would I? I love it’ too much. And you do, too! And I am very much a ‘fed is best’ type gal, but I do really enjoy breastfeeding you and that I have that opportunity to breast feed you.

This next months goal is to take pictures of you breastfeeding, because I know one day, I will miss these days.

I love you so much!

Love, mommy

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read month 1 here
read month 2 here
read month 3 here
read month 4 here
read month 5 here
read month 6 here
read month 7 here
read month 8 here
read month 9 here
read month 10 here
read month 11 here
read month 12 here

 

Baby S {Kentuckiana Newborn Photographers}

Baby S {Kentuckiana Newborn Photographers}

I love it when clients want newborn photoshoots! I love being a newborn lifestyle photographer. I love capturing the real life moments. I love trying to figure out how to use the light in different homes. I love seeing the nursery. I love seeing them be a new family. I love seeing them welcome a new member to their family. There’s something so special about bringing home a new baby. And I love capturing it all! Being a newborn lifestyle photographer is definitely a favorite.

I try to capture the new families as honest and real as I can get. During this session, I could just tell how proud the new parents were of their newest little bundle. I loved it! They were so happy! They were overwhelmed, as well (as one should be) but they wore it with a smile on their face! They knew being a parent wasn’t going to be easy, and that their sweet little bundle was totally worth all the hard things.

Their home was so beautiful! I loved their use of green in the nursery and the use of animals. They had quite a few sloth things. I also LOVED their bookshelf! Such a cute idea!

Kentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

Kentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

I LOVED the rug in their nursery – I knew I had to use it to get some sweet pictures of that sweet baby. And B&W is my favorite!

Kentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

I absolutely LOVE photographing newborns with their daddy’s. Mom’s do a LOT for their newborn, and you can see the love they have for them, but their something about the dad experiencing the newborn out of the womb for the first time that is just magical. Their love is unconditional. And I just love how sweet they look with a tiny little bundle in their arms!

Kentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle PhotographerKentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle PhotographerKentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

Momma’s are just so beautiful. They’ve been through a lot the last couple of months. Their body’s create such a miracle. I am always in awe of the strength of a mother.

Kentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle PhotographerKentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle Photographer2018-10-27_00112018-10-27_0010Kentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

And if the images above didn’t just melt your heart completely, I can guarantee the one’s below will!!

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And you guys ALL know that I LOVE baby feet. And if you don’t, well then you should learn now, I love baby feet haha! Like seriously, so adorable!

Kentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle PhotographerKentuckiana Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

Dad had this hand-me-down crib that was just so charming. I LOVED it. It was so cute.

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Ahh if your heart didn’t melt during that whole session, than I literally don’t know what else to show you! My heart is so full. I have the best clients ever and I love photographing newborns!

If you’re interested in having your own family photographed, contact me! Let’s chat. I want to give you memories that you will cherish for years to come. <3

Thank you for stopping by!

Tailwind: The Number One Pinterest Tool You Should Be Using

Tailwind: The Number One Pinterest Tool You Should Be Using

Tailwind allows you to schedule pins to Pinterest…which leads me to a fun announcement! This week’s blog posts will be all about PINTEREST!! It’s literally a bloggers favorite tool for bringing in traffic. But not only that, it will also help you to continue to bring traffic for months or even years to come. If you’re not on Pinterest yet…GET. ON. IT. Like, seriously. Go make a profile right now and then come back and read this blog series! Pinterest will be your favorite blogging tool if you use it right!

I recently went from 100k profile views (which is still a lot by itself) to over 200k monthly profile views. I know eventually these numbers will translate into website views if I stick at it! This blog post is going to be part of a blog series – my first blog series! I have spent countless hours researching how to get traffic from Pinterest and I am so excited to share with you what I’ve learned! By doing all that I’m going to share with you, I was able to grow my profile views by over 100k! That’s a lot!! My website will slowly benefit from it. I’m just being honest, you will see results right away but you’re not going to go from 0 website views to 50k website views overnight. You might, however, go from 0 views to 50 views and that’s really good. Just keep at it, keep pinning, and it will pay off eventually! Let’s get started!

Hey! I wrote a blog series all about Pinterest! If you want to read the rest of the series, check out the posts below:

check out my 5 Ways to Get Sincere Followers on Instagram post

Aly Dawn Blog Tailwind: The Number One Pinterest Tool You Should be Using

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

pinterest business account

If you’re at all serious about blogging, then you need to invest some money up front. It will make your life a whole lot easier if you buy the right tools for your blog. Before investing any money, though, one thing you really need to do is make your Pinterest profile into a business account.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • you can track how your pins are doing – which is really helpful in determining which pins are bringing you traffic (more on this in this post)
  • you can turn on rich pins (again, we’ll talk more about that here)
  • more traffic!

I found this handy little guide to making the transition into a business account really helpful. Do all that it says up until she starts pitching her class to you (I’m sure her class is awesome, though, if you’re interested in taking it!). I’ll dive in a little further about what she talks about in this blog series, but essentially, we want to first transition our Pinterest account into a business one.

tailwind – why you should use it

The number one thing I did to help get all these page views was use Tailwind. Now, I really wish I could tell you that I didn’t have to pay a cent to get more page views, but it’s not true. That being said, it is possible to build up your Pinterest viewers without Tailwind, it’s just a whole lot harder and more time consuming! You could do exactly what Tailwind does everyday but spend hours doing it! With Tailwind, you set it up on one day and let the magic happen in the background (you still have to pin daily).

Tailwind Pinterest App

Here’s what Tailwind does – it allows you to schedule your posts and then posts them for you. It sounds so simple but it works magic! Like I said above, though, you can’t just let Tailwind be the only stuff pinning. You still should strive to pin at least 10 pins each day. If you don’t believe me about how great Tailwind is – give it a try yourself! They have a free version and best yet is that you don’t have to provide your credit card information at all to try it out. I love it when that happens! You get 100 free pins to try with Tailwind. I must warn you, though, if you do this free trial you will fall in love and have to upgrade to the paid version. That’s what happened to me. 😀

So the reason Tailwind is such a success is because the more active your Pinterest profile is, the more followers you will get, and the more repins you will get. Which is the ultimate goal. Tailwind just makes it easier to look like you are always pinning, even when you’re not.

Aly Dawn Blog Tailwind: The Number One Pinterest Tool You Should be Using

tailwind – why i love it

Ok there are some pretty awesome features included in Tailwind. I’m not gonna lie, it’s definitely worth the little investment! Especially since it will bring you traffic. My favorite features of Tailwind are below:

  1. bulk scheduling – I’ve already touched a bit on this and I will talk about it more in a little bit, but the bulk scheduling is great! I love how easy it is.
  2. best time to pin – this is literally the best feature ever! Tailwind will analyse your profile and tell you when the best time to post would be. That way, the pins that you schedule will automatically post to those best times.
  3. set intervals for pins – I just recently found this feature and it’s great! If you are a contributor to group boards, this handy little feature is for you! Setting intervals will help it look like genuine pinning and not spammy
  4. warns you about spam – speaking about being spammy, Tailwind will actually warn you about if you’re pinning something that might be spam. Which is really helpful! It will let you know about broken links, as well.
  5. tailwind tribes – which are apparently better than Pinterest boards! I’m still working my way through being in a tribe, but they basically work the same.

There’s many, many other great wonderful features about Tailwind. I legit might have to do another blog post haha!

But for now, let’s take it one step at a time.

tailwind – scheduling

Now that you’re giving Tailwind a try (and if you’re not, just give it a free trial!!) let me show you what I did to increase my Pinterest traffic! I literally saw results in one week. That’s pretty incredible! When I say results, I mean I saw people pinning my pins and website views coming from Pinterest.

Before I go any further, if you haven’t read my blog post about making pinnable images yet, you really need to read that first before you read this post! If you don’t have pinnable images on your website and images that you could pin weekly from your website, Tailwind won’t help much.

tailwind – as a backup

So, I really want to stress that Tailwind shouldn’t be doing all of the work. You should schedule pins (I like to schedule my own pins, the ones that come from my blog) and then also be pinning every day. So, you’re still doing some work, but this way Tailwind is posting your pins at the best time of day for your viewers to see them. And what’s more, is that you can special loop it so that it doesn’t look like you’re spamming boards!

I could write an excellent post about special looping, but I really don’t think I could do a better job than Suzi does at Start a Mom Blog. Her looping tutorial is so fantastic! I use it all the time.

So, again, you’re scheduling pins with Tailwind but you aren’t letting it do all the work. You still need to pin pins. But what pins are good to pin? And should I just mindlessly pin pins? Well…

what pins to pin

No. You should just pin any old pin. Make sure it fits your niche. Are you a wedding photographer? Pin wedding pins! Niche down even further and pin rustic wedding pins to a rustic wedding board. Pin indoor reception pins to an indoor reception board. Etc.

Another thing I really want to point out is make sure your pins don’t lead to a bad link. Make sure they are taking you to what the pin says. If the pin says ‘How to earn money blogging’ and then it’s all about food…then that’s a bad link! Make sure you are pinning quality pins!

how to use tailwind to schedule pins

This is a very brief tutorial. Tailwind has plenty of videos and help to show you how to use their system. But basically, I usually go to the homepage of Pinterest or I go to a group board (are you on group boards? If not, you should definitely join some! My group board is for photographers big and small to share their tips and tricks. If you need a tutorial on how to join group boards, I wrote an article just for you!) and then I click on the fancy little Tailwind google chrome extension.

You then select the pins you want to schedule and then click ‘go schedule’ now you can decide which board these should be pinned to. Then you’ll just click the ‘schedule all’ button. Now, if you go back to Tailwind, ALL of those pins will now be in your queue ready to pin at the best time! And because I’m really bad at explaining things, here’s a video that should help you understand it better:

Interested in trying Tailwind? Try it out for free here!

tailwind tells you the best time to pin

Yep. That’s right. Tailwind let’s you know (well, it actually does it automatically) when it’s the best time to post. As soon as you schedule a pin and put it in your ‘queue’, Tailwind has already done all the work to figure out when to post your pin and will now just pin it at the most precise time. Pretty cool, huh?

After you hook up your Pinterest account to Tailwind, Tailwind will analyze your Pinterest account and figure out the best time for your profile to post pins. Ahhh. It’s so sweet. It’s customized for each profile! That alone should make you pay Tailwind, haha! I’m only half kidding!

after two weeks of using tailwind…

After only two weeks of using Tailwind, my profile went from 100k views to over 200k views. WOW! And My pins were getting way more exposure, with less work and half the time. I’d call that a win. Take a look at my analytics from Pinterest:

Tailwind is the Best tool for PinterestTailwind is the Best tool for Pinterest

tailwind is the best tool for pinterest

I really think that everyone should invest in Tailwind. And, again, if you aren’t sure if you’ll like it or not, Tailwind let’s you try them out for free. I’d call that a win.

But don’t worry, I have other information about how to grow your Pinterest traffic without using Tailwind. The benefit of Tailwind is that it does a lot of the work for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get genuine traffic without it!

In the next post in this series, we’ll talk about how to get traffic without Tailwind and what you can do to grow your Pinterest profile.

Pinterest Strategy

Hey! This is part of a blog series all about Pinterest! If you want to read the rest of the series, check out the posts below:

How to Get Pinterest Traffic With Group Boards

How to Get Pinterest Traffic With Group Boards

Pinterest is a bloggers best friend. If you haven’t made your Pinterest profile into something that will bring you lots of traffic, you have come to the right place. I wrote a blog post about how Tailwind can bring you lots of traffic with little work. But I wanted to point out that it is possible to get your Pinterest profile up and going without spending a dime. Tailwind just gives you some of your time back, which is really handy. Because money is time in the blogging world #amiright. So, stick with me in my handy blog series and we’ll talk all about Pinterest and how it can benefit your blog.

Hey! I wrote a blog series all about Pinterest! If you want to read the rest of the series, check out the posts below:

check out my 5 Ways to Get Sincere Followers on Instagram post

Aly Dawn Blog How to Get Pinterest Traffic with Group Boards

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

pinterest business account

If you’re at all serious about blogging, then you need to invest some money up front. It will make your life a whole lot easier if you buy the right tools for your blog. Before investing any money, though, one thing you really need to do is make your Pinterest profile into a business account.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • you can track how your pins are doing – which is really helpful in determining which pins are bringing you traffic
  • you can turn on rich pins
  • more traffic!

I found this handy little guide to making the transition into a business account really helpful. Do all that it says up until she starts pitching her class to you (I’m sure her class is awesome, though, if you’re interested in taking it!). I’ll dive in a little further about what she talks about in this blog series, but essentially, we want to first transition our Pinterest account into a business one.

track how your pins are doing

I really love this fancy feature that comes with a Pinterest business account. You get an email every so often telling me which pins are hot and I love this because it helps me understand which pins worked and which ones didn’t. You can also go to Pinterest > Analytics > Overview to learn more about what pins are doing well and which ones aren’t.

Pinterest Group Board

turn on rich pins

One thing you might notice when you go to the analytics page is it will say ‘pin type’ and then usually have an R underneath it. The R stands for Rich Pins. And if you don’t have this feature turned on, you need to do it right away. Rich pins help you track your pins. In order to turn rich pins on, you need to connect your website to your Pinterest account. I found this handy dandy guide to be excellent for connecting your website and turning on rich pins. And bonus! It also tells you lots of juicy information about Rich Pins and why you should be using them!

By turning on Rich Pins you will be getting more traffic just from that simple step. Rich pins make your pins look more professional and therefore make people want to repin them more. I also love that rich pins can be connected to your website, so that you know exactly what pins are working. Go switch to rich pins now – you won’t regret it!

join pinterest group boards

The video below will walk you through how to join group boards and why they are good for your Pinterest profile!

If you’re anything like I was when I first started investigating how to use Pinterest, then you probably haven’t heard about Pinterest group boards. WELL. Let me tell you about them! The number one thing I love about Pinterest group boards is that they are free. Yep. Free!

The reason you want to join pinterest group boards is because you’ll pin your pins to this board, and then someone else who is also a member of this board will pin your pin to one of their boards. This increases your traffic. Joining and finding boards aren’t hard at all. In fact, I even have a Photography Tips Pinterest Board you can join if you so wish! Just follow the instructions at the top to join (and if you’re still having trouble, just leave a comment below!). Joining Pinterest group boards is probably the number one thing I did to build my Pinterest traffic over night. I didn’t have to work very hard to get traffic from the boards.

how many boards should i join?

I’ve seen a few different opinions on this…don’t join a bunch, join a bunch, somewhere in the middle. For me, I joined quality group boards. What do I mean by quality group boards? I mean group boards that don’t have a ton of contributors. If the group board has a ton of people adding pins each day, then your pin can be lost.

You also want to give what you take. If you pin a pin to a group board, you want to be sure to pin a few of the other pins to your own boards. Sharing all of their content with your followers. That’s the main point of group boards, is to help each other reach more people.

You also don’t want to join a board that is dead. This is a little tricky to tell, though. You’ll probably have to join and see if it’s dead or not. If you pin one pin and then a week later you’re still the only one pinning your pins to the board…you might want to leave that board!

Be smart about the boards you pick!

how to find group boards

The only hard part about joining boards is finding boards in your niche. That’s the key, in your niche! If you are a photographer, like myself, then you’ll want to search up in the search bar on Pinterest ‘photography tips’ as you are typing this, a drop down will appear. At the bottom it will have ‘Boards called ‘photography tips’. You’ll want to click on that.

PinterestBoards

After you click on that, a ton of boards will pop up. So how do you know a group board from a regular board? There will be a little circle at the bottom with different profiles in them. See below:

Group board

After clicking on a group board, you can usually find in the board description how to join the board. It usually involves you emailing someone. If there is no instructions on how to join the board in the description, then you will need to contact the boards creator. To figure out who the board owner is, just look at the top right of the board. There will be a few profiles shown. The first profile shown is the board leader. Message them on Pinterest and they usually let you join if they feel like you will benefit their board.

That being said, if you aren’t a photographer, don’t join the photography tips boards. If you don’t sew, don’t join a sewing board. Make sure you are joining boards that are specific to your niche.

Once you get accepted into some of these group boards, you will want to start pinning your pins! For this to get you traffic to your website, it’s important that you are pinning your pins. You want to make sure they are relevant to the group boards topic. Again, if you join a photography tips group board, don’t pin a pin that is about sewing. That’ll get you kicked out fast. 😉 Join boards that will benefit you!

If you’re not sure how to create pinnable images for your website, check out this post!

A great way to find group boards that will benefit you is to find a influencer in your niche and look at what group boards they joined. If they work for your niche and what type of pins you want to pin, then you should see if you can join it!

what if i don’t get accepted into any boards?

Sometimes it takes a while for group board owners to get back to you. And then other times, they don’t. Sometimes group boards aren’t accepting any more contributors. When I first started, I just sent a ton of emails and I got accepted into about 50% of them. I didn’t have much following and I didn’t have very many pins on my profile.

I think if you still aren’t being accepted into pinterest group boards, it might benefit you to start pinning a ton of pins from the top contributor. That way, they see that you pin quality pins (because it’s their own pins!) and they see that you are active on pinterest. Many group board owners will check your Pinterest account, and if they don’t see any of their pins there and you’ve never interacted with them on social media, they will have a difficult time believing you’ll be an asset to the board. Poor-performing group boards can hurt a Pinterest account.

Before applying to any group boards, you want to make sure your Pinterest account is up to date. I wrote the perfect tutorial for this! Check it out.

pinterest group boards will bring you traffic

I’ve touched on this a little bit, but let’s talk about why pinterest group boards will bring you traffic.

First and foremost, they will bring you more exposure because when you pin a pin to the group board, someone who also contributes will pin your pin to their own boards. Most group boards also have a lot of followers, probably more than you have, and they will also see your pins and pin them.

By contributing to group boards I grew my website traffic significantly. I went from about 10 page views to over 100 page views a day. This was just from about a week of pinterest group boards.

Pinterest Strategy

Hey! This post is part of a blog series all about Pinterest! If you want to read the rest of the series, check out the posts below: