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In the blogging world, many pieces of advice are relative. What works for one person may not work for another. There are several factors to take into consideration including focus, goals, audience, etc. But I truly believe that no matter what kind of blog you have, there are few personal changes that can make anybody a happier blogger. Today, I want to share three “rules” I have been trying to live by.

Personal Rules for Blogging |Earl Grey Blog

1. Talk about your blog in real life.

This has been on my mind constantly for the entire summer. I used to tell people about my blog as a very last resort. I would dance around the subject and mumble things about crafts when I should have just said, “I’m working on my blog.” Depending on what kind of area you live in, half the people you talk to to might be completely perplexed. They might even bring up “web logging”. 😉 But the more you tell people about your blog, the more you’ll hear people say, “I have a blog too!” And suddenly, you will have a real life blog friend. Piece of cake.

Recently, I have been challenging myself to talk about my blog in Portland. Already, I have made a few friends at work who are also bloggers! It’s crazy and wonderful how one mention of blogging can spark a conversation and connect me to someone who may also be keeping their blog on the DL. When you talk about your blog enough, I promise that blogger coffee dates will be abounding. 🙂

2. Do not try to be passionate about something you’re not passionate about.

Think about something that is really cool right now. Pineapples? Everyone is so into pineapples. I personally only like pineapples on my pizza. But I keep looking at this pineapple patterned cardigan at Target and feeling like maybe I should have it. I genuinely think it’s adorable but I also know that I’ve been strongly influenced by the interwebs. Are pineapples going to be super awesome in November? Probably not! Trends come and go every season and I fall under their spell every time. Say no to pineapples if deep down you want to say no to them.

Here is a more personal example: In high school and college, I was always the crafty girl. That was my thing. But as I said the other day in this post, I’m not too inspired in the crafty arena these days. It’s a bummer because I know people like DIY projects. But by slightly changing the direction of my blog toward what I’m more passionate about, I’ve experienced growth in the blog world, in my life, and in my heart.

3. Try not to minimize your statements or discredit yourself.

Through my psychology classes, I learned a lot about minimizing statements and I realized that I did this (and still do this) a lot! There is a big difference between being humble and being self-deprecating. I believe you can be humble and be happy for yourself at the same time. If you tear yourself down even just a little, you’re tearing at your hopes and dreams. Here are some examples of minimizing statements (and alternatives) as they relate to blogging:

“I know I’m no expert at all, but today I want to talk about staying motivated as a blogger.”
(Today I want to talk about motivation. These are a few significant things I have learned through my experience as a blogger.)

“It’s super cliche and unoriginal, but I feel most inspired when I’m at a coffee shop writing in a fresh new notebook.”
(There’s nothing like a fresh new notebook and a coffee shop to make me feel inspired.)

“I just love web design. I don’t know, I’m so nerdy!!”
(I love web design!)

I literally said that last quote word for word the other night and my coworkers replied, “No you’re not, that’s so badass!” So…do your thing. Love what you want to love. Do what inspires you. Most importantly, stop putting yourself down. 🙂

Have any of these issues been relevant in your blogging experience? I’d also love to know how you go about bringing up your blog in the real world.

Thanks for letting me share!

Gold Leaf Hand Lettering with Photoshop


Have you ever wanted to know how bloggers and designers write in what looks like pure gold ink? Me too. I’m one paycheck away from enrolling in an online calligraphy class just so that I can learn to write using pretty gold ink. Until then, I’m going to find ways to fake it. Here is how I added a gold leaf texture to my handwriting in Photoshop using my Wacom Bamboo Tablet. If you don’t have a tablet, you can still add gold text to an image or background using any font you’d like.

Gold Leaf Hand Lettering with Photoshop

1. First, open two documents in Photoshop. You’ll need a background image and a gold leaf texture. I used a solid mint colored background, and I found the gold leaf texture here. Next, select and copy the background image and paste it onto the gold leaf texture.

Gold Leaf Hand Lettering with Photoshop

Select the Pen Tool from your toolbar and change the mode to “Clear”. Make sure the top layer (not the gold texture) is selected in your Layers Panel. Then use your tablet to write something fun! If your handwriting looks shaky, try zooming in a bunch (300-400%) and then writing. It’s also fun to experiment with different brush sizes and styles.

Gold Leaf Hand Lettering with Photoshop

If you don’t have a tablet, you can just use plain text! For this, you will want to set up your layers the same exact way we did above. Then select the Horizontal Type Mask Tool. This will automatically turn your text into a selection.

Gold Leaf Hand Lettering with Photoshop

After you’ve got your type mask (seen below), select the Magic Eraser Tool and uncheck “Contiguous”. Then click the Magic Eraser over the selection, and the text should disappear. If you’re using an image as your background, you may need to erase the selection using the normal Eraser Tool or the Pen Tool (under “clear” mode).

Gold Leaf Hand Lettering with Photoshop

Gold Leaf Hand Lettering with Photoshop

To add gold leaf text in the form of a font, you can also follow this tutorial I wrote on combining photos and text.

Here’s an example of how fun it is to add gold handwriting and doodles to a photograph. You can use the method I first described, just make sure the layers are all stacked correctly.

Gold Leaf Hand Lettering with Photoshop

Let me know if you end up trying this! 🙂