Just Do It! (it’s not just for Nike)

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // "Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure" Maya Angelou quote


Taking classes, learning, growing, evolving… that is beyond important to my well being and personal fulfillment. I’ve loved education since I was a little girl. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went a full year without taking a class of some sort! From getting my MBA to Certification in Photography, from “Cooking Your First Thanksgiving Dinner” to kick-boxing, from knife skills to scrapbooking, from the Perfect Cocktail Party to painting, and everything in-between, I love to learn. Seriously, I haven’t met many classes that I didn’t love and grow from!

And that streak continues with all the classes I’ve taken at CreativeLive! Have you caught any CL classes yet? They’re fantastic! Live broadcasts are free, but I’ve actually purchased access to several classes because the content is just that valuable! I’m gonna tell you about one class in particular… so keep reading!

Have you noticed some changes here at Clicky Chick Creates? I recently participated in CreativeLive’s “Build a Successful Creative Blog” class taught by the über spunky, smart, adorable, fun and knowledgable April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle. April’s class covered tons of great topics about creative blogging, not just goals and writing, but deeper discussions including finding your voice, utilizing social media, fostering relationships, taking daily steps (no matter how small) to get closer to your goals and so much more!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Seize the Sweetness Kinda Day!

The great thing about constantly taking classes is all the new information I’m exposed to and bits and pieces I put together along the way. The tragic part of taking so many classes is it’s way more fun to take the classes and less fun to actually do the work! But April’s class was so inspiring, and the community that transpired from the student chat during the class, combined to create a fantastic ball of energy! Some of the messages that came through, loud and clear, that I decided I had to take immediate action on included:

1. Get your face on your page!

Did you notice the left side bar changes? See me smiling at you?! Here I am again… Hi, sugar!


2. Get an opt-in email list!

Have you subscribed to the Clicky Chick Creates email list? For signing up, you’ll get a downloadable list of “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos” to help you get your game plan for the next birthday! Sign up HERE!


3. Create a great freebie download!

Yup, get your hands on the super awesome “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos” for opting-in to the email list! I’m pretty proud of it 🙂


4. Make it easy to stay connected

How about the social media icons in the left sidebar? I’d love to connect with you!

facebook pinterest twitter

youtube bloglovin flickr

5. Just DO IT!

Throughout the class, April gave us loads of information and knowledge on how to do what we need to do. Lots of info. A plethora. Books worth. Some of my favorite words of wisdom from April can summarize an easily digestible plan to move forward:

  • Take it one step at a time: determine what your priorities are so you can focus on one step at a time
  • Set B&W goals: accomplish those first, then move onto adding new goals
  • Don’t aim for perfection: if at the end of the day you can say “I did at least one thing today to get closer to my goal!” then you’re doing good! (Click to Tweet)

Sounds simple enough, right?! So just DO IT! I’m glad I’ve made the changes that I did, and yet there are still a ton more I’d like to make. I had plenty of roadblocks (um, excuses, reasons, whatever you want to call them) as to why some had not been done. For example:

  • I couldn’t send out from my MailChimp account until I had a PO Box (I’m just not comfortable sharing my home address with the public), so it took a while, but I finally made time to get to the Post Office.
  • I prefer my face behind the lens, not on my sidebar! But putting myself, my face in particular, gives Clicky Chick Creates a little more personality!

So what are you doing to move your blog forward? There are tons of tips and tricks in April’s class and on her blog, as well as tons of other resources all over the web.

I came across CreativeLive last year and rarely does a week go by that I haven’t checked out a classroom or two! My two favorite channels are “Photo & Video” as well as “Craft & Maker.” Both are perfect for my worlds, but they do have a other channels, so check them out regardless of what creative world you live in 🙂

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // "Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure" Maya Angelou quote

If you landed on my page following the blog tour, you came to me from K9 Studio Photography (aren’t Kristina’s images fantastic?! I’m in love with her conceptual Doggy-Angels!) and now you’ll be headed to my sweet and amazing eco-crafting friend, Gina Zee. I’ve actually known Gina for years and have enjoyed watching her evolution as an artsy and eco-crafter – go tour her site, you won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy the rest of the hop! Lots of great blogging tips and take aways being shared via the “What #BelleLive Taught Me” blog tour! {Click to Tweet}

As always, thanks for stopping by. I know this post was a bit meatier than my usual pretty pictures and creative crafts, so thanks for sticking with me! Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! And if you haven’t signed-up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list yet, whatcha waiting for? You’ll get “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos” printable photo tips as my thank you 🙂
Live creatively!

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56 responses to “Just Do It! (it’s not just for Nike)”

  1. Great article and site link, Connie! Many thanks. Have you tried the tutorials on Lynda.com? They’re also great…but you need to buy a subscription to see all of the videos. Still, some are free.


  2. Thanks for sharing these tips, they are really useful! I’m already doing a lot of them, so I know I’m headed in the right direction. I’m currently working on a free PDF download for people who sign up to my newsletter. It’s great, because just doing it is giving me tons of ideas and makes me feel more confident about what I am about, what my site is about and what I want to do.

    I TOTALLY agree about getting your face on your site by the way. I’ve visited sites before where there is no information whatsoever about the blogger. And even though they might do stuff that is nice, unless there is a bit of information about them (a face, or at least, where are they from?) I just switch off and don’t really want to follow their blog. There are so many blogs out there, the successful ones really want to CONNECT with their readers.

    What are the colourful labelled things in your background photo? Are they stamp pads? Looks wonderful!


    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Iris! Great to hear you’re on the right path. Sometimes it can feel so overwhelming and confusing, but getting a little bit done everyday is so worth it and does help define your vision! Your site is fantastic! I love mixed media, although I’m still on the surface and haven’t dug too deep into it. Yes, those are ink pads in my background – my collection of Tim Holtz Distress Inks 🙂 I actually just used some to create a watercolor card – love using items in clever and unintended ways! Thanks again and have a blessed day!


  3. This post is fantastic, Connie! I’m so impressed by all the changes you’ve made so far. I really love that you added your picture to the sidebar. Of course, we want to know the woman behind the words! And, it’s a beautiful photo.

    Thank you so much for participating in this blog tour and for sharing your big takeaways. It’s very inspiring!


    • Thanks April! Your class was filled with a wealth of digestible knowledge and great, actionable steps to roll right into action! But it doesn’t just stop at what I’ve implemented so far on my blog – your social media tips have helped immensely as well and the energy from the class and Facebook group continues to propel me forward!

      All in all April, you are the Bee’s Knees! Thanks again for everything you shared (and continue to share) with us!


  4. Wow, Connie! You did such a great job! I am so impressed that you executed all those changes in this little time! For me, the course inspired me to step up my game and get things done every day, and you are an inspiration for me, too! Just do it! That is the thing!!!


    • Thanks Margareta! So many things I’ve wanted to get done for a while and so many new things too! The energy from the class to move forward and implement the changes has felt fantastic! Glad you’re getting your changes done too! When will we see your pretty face on your landing pages?! BTW, I’m in love with your sites, yes, plural! You are a rockstar!! Glad we’re on this journey together!!


  5. The photo of you looks fab.
    I loved April’s course. I love to learn, love coming away feeling inspired with a list of goals I am eager to achieve.


    • Aww, thank you! April’s CreativeLive class was amazing! I’ve taken lots of classes, but this was the most energized I’ve felt which led to great inspiration and motivation for action! Hope you’re making progress on your goals – one step at a time! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  6. Oh, and I think your photo in sidebar should go up above the fold, it’s so important to relate to the person immediately to start their experience with you.


  7. Connie, I have so much to learn from you. You’re really a go getter and put into practice stuff you learn like immediately. Loved how you included all those important things like signing up for your newsletter, etc. I have trouble with ‘call to action’! My comment didn’t load first time round, so trying again and I have a WP account!


  8. Connie, you are so smart to include your sign up etc. in this post! I’m still learning about ‘call to action’! So admire your go getter attitude! I think you need your pretty photo of you even higher above the fold! I really think it’ll make a difference to how your visitors will relate to you immediately. Try it.


  9. Connie, this post is awesome! Seriously, are you in my head? I launched my own blog this week after digesting April’s course and still need to go get that PO Box so I can use MailChimp. Good for you putting yourself out there and stepping out from behind the scenes!


  10. What a beautiful blog! I was mesmerized right away by your creative layout and design! And of course, your content was so helpful! I admire your courage, adding your photo etc., and all the upgrades you have ALREADY done! You are going to be a good inspiration and role model for me! Thank you!!!


    • Wow and thank you, Michael! You are so sweet and kind! Glad to offer inspiration and insight – the community from the class has been phenomenal for that : ) I look forward to digging deeper on your blog – your ponytail, bubbles & mismatched socks post really resonated with me!


  11. Connie, I love this post and I am going to use it for inspiration. I have a few ideas/plans that I need to carry out and I am going to be sure to refer to these points when creating my blog! Thank you!


  12. Oh man, you didn’t have your face on your sidebar before? That’s such a gorgeous photo (not to mention – you’re beautiful!) it would be a shame not to let your visitors see you, and it increases the trust factor by a gazzillion.

    And good for you for putting together a freebie, I think you should definitely need to make it more prominent and make a separate “landing page” for the freebie that you can link elsewhere.

    Now, if you don’t mind me adding a tip, perhaps not all of the things in your sidebar are necessary – for example the archives list, tagcloud, WordPress “meta”, blog stats… If you remove what doesn’t need to be there, then what is there will move toward the top and be more visible 🙂


  13. YES! I’ve learned sooooo much from April’s class already and I’m still only on day 1. I carried her around on my iPhone the whole weekend when it was live (watching rebroadcasts because I’m international) but I knew that I needed to buy it because it was sooooo jam packed with great info, the exact great info I needed!


    • Awesome to hear it Cara! I was pretty glued to my computer during the live airing, well, as glued as a mom to 2 little girls could be, but I knew I had to buy it without a doubt! Definitely consider joining the Facebook group – the resources and ideas, as well as April’s direct contributions there are AMAZING!


  14. Connie, I finally made it to your blog. I’ve been trying on my phone all day long and it just wasn’t working fro me so I’m home now catching up on the blog hop. You really accomplished a lot. You are my motivator! I’m using you as my guide when it comes to getting things done. You rock!!!!


    • Thanks Kymona! That makes me happy (and blush a bit) that I’m your motivator! I’m loving the feeling of accomplishment implementing these changes. I’m learning everyday and instead of waiting for everything to be “perfect” before moving forward, I’m just doing it, taking one step at a time! Jump on the “productivity and just do it” train, there’s plenty of room 🙂


  15. I love how you have put some of those practical things into use, right in your post, well played! I may have to follow your lead on that. p.s. great pic 🙂 I shared a pre coffee one on my blog, what! :/ lol


  16. Awesome post! I love how you broke it up to keep it interesting to the eye! Something I need to work on…
    I too am a creativeLIVE junkie. It really has changed my life!


    • Thanks Richelle! I *loved* learning about your photo-jewelry during the class – totally up my alley!

      As for breaking up the segments of my post, I think I’ve been a bit spoiled leaning on my photography posts do most of the talking for me. This post felt so meaty, I felt I *had* to add the images for visual interest! Haha!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  17. Your photos are gorgeous!!!! And I’m glad to see you smiling from the sidebar…which reminds me..EEEK! I still haven’t put a sidebar back on my site, lol.

    I loved her tip to set a few B&W goals, DO THEM, and then add more. I’m the reigning queen of trying add 7-8-9-37 new habits/ideas/plans at one time. Not a good idea, lol.

    And oddly that was my very first CL course, but I’m on Skillshare, and CreativeBug. I’ve ogled Lynda classes too. 🙂


    • Thanks Amanda! I’m with you on the keep adding more ideas/plans to the point I sometimes freeze from doing anything! I like the idea of a few things to get done and then add more, too!

      Another friend/coach/mentor advised me to break items into 15 minute chunks, and sprinkle them into my day as time permits, as opposed to trying to get it all done in one sitting. So if I’m working on a new promo piece for my photography, I’ll dedicate 15-mins to deciding on a color scheme; 15-mins on selecting images for the piece; 15-mins editing images; 15-mins sketching layout, etc. Might take a few days to complete a 3 hr project, but at least it’ll get done!

      Thanks again for helping put the tour together – your graphic worked wonderfully to tie it all together, with a pretty (blue) bow 🙂


  18. What a great, organized blog.

    I am coming from the New Blogger group on Facebook enjoying the Blog tour. There really is too much to share from April. She is amazing. I enjoyed reading your blog because it is so conversational. Thank you for the great reminders and overview of April’s Creative Live education. I have always been a life-long learner as well. Once you think you have learned all you can learn, that is when you stop learning. That is such a dangerous place to be in, in my book.

    Great job! If you want, you can check my blog out at http://www.timecapsule.com/blog.

    I learned a lot from April about ways to help our business through our blog, so my husband was very understanding that I was watching Creative Live for several hours, to help us advance our lives and business.

    Best of Luck to you,

    Marcie Norton


    • Thanks so much, Marcie! Before I even started my blog, I knew my voice would be important, so I think the conversational aspect has been pretty consistent 🙂 There are times when I read a draft and if I find myself stumbling while reading / proofing, I know I need to make some changes!

      Glad you stopped by, Your Time Capsules are fantastic – such a lovely way to capture a treasured moment and the emotions that go with it!


  19. Nice to see your smiling face here! Enjoyed the post. Not sure I could be dedicated enough to blog regularly (or have anything to say anyone wanted to read…). Food for thought.


    • Thanks Libby! It’s been almost a year and a half of blogging, and I didn’t think I’d have this much to say either 🙂 It’s been a great journey and I look forward to growing! And as long as you would post consistently – doesn’t have to be daily, weekly or monthly is fine – as long as your readers can depend on that frequency, you’d be good to go!!


  20. Beautiful post Connie. I am so glad that you took the course and got so much out of it. Love seeing your face on the sidebar 🙂


  21. I love your photo on the page! This is something that is on my to-do list as well, even though I am very self-conscious about not being photogenic and so on. I did realize that not having a picture of me anywhere (including social media profiles) is really not such a great idea! The blog becomes instantly more relatable when you can see who is talking to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Anastasia! Yes, I really mean it when I say I’d rather be behind the lens! Lol! But it definitely makes sense to have our faces on our page — it adds a connection with our readers and adds so much more personality! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  22. I love taking classes too and agree that taking them can be so much more fun than actually doing the work lol! Love the message ‘Just Do it’ It’s one I have learnt well after taking the course but it can be hard at first!


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