Ideas to Stay Calm When Moving

Did you know that on average, an American will move more than 11 times during their lifetime? The chances that you might have made a big move at some point are high. Or perhaps one might be coming in the next few months. As a result, you also might know that moving can be extremely challenging not only physically but mentally as well. However, it does not need to be. Several families have found ways to make it as smooth as possible, especially those who struggle with anxiety or feel overwhelmed with the moving process. If moving causes you anxiety, try these four steps to help you stay calm while going through this process. 

1. Begin Early – One of the biggest stresses of moving is all the work that goes into it. Do not leave everything to the last minute no matter how big or small your move is. To help reduce the stress during a move, start by getting ready at least two months before the big day is here. Begin your prep early so you don’t waste money down the road on unintentional things. For instance, boxes are the biggest thing you’ll want to accumulate to pack up your belongings. Ask friends and family to stop throwing away any boxes and start by bringing them over when they can. The earlier you let them know, the more they can help contribute and assist you. 

2. Get Organized– Moving can only be made easy when you have a plan in place. One way to keep everything organized is to put a binder together. First, make sure to have a checklist in your binder. This will allow you to look at the inventory you have of all of your belongings. Print this out or design something that is easier for you to glance at and check off at a moment’s notice. You can organize your binder either by color code or space. Put a schedule in your binder as well. Having these small deadlines for yourself to get certain things done can also help you stay on track. Finally, make sure the binder has copies of any documents, receipts, or important paperwork that you need. This is a time saver if you are breaking a lease on an apartment and need certain things signed or dated. It is then all in one central location.


3. Label Your Boxes Properly – The process of packing is a lot but even unpacking is the barrier we all want to get through. It can be difficult to find everything you need once you are attempting to get settled in your new place. Labeling your boxes is key to making it easier for you. You can use either printable stickers that are color-coded to your boxes or markers to write where each box goes too. Just make sure that your handwriting is legible to read and even descriptive so you know what is in each box.

4. Be Cautious When You Pack Or Hire Professionals– Nobody wants any of their precious items to break when they are in the middle of a move. However, there is no way you can ensure that you won’t have to deal with this issue. Put heavy items in smaller boxes so they fit and are properly secure. This also makes it easier for whoever is doing the lifting, to have an easier time. You can also pack more of your lighter items in bigger boxes. Avoid packing things too loosely as well. Try putting any clothes or towels in empty spaces in your boxes to save you room as well as keep your items protected for potential breaks. If you feel that you don’t have time to do any of this, hiring a professional to do this part for you is key. A trustworthy moving company in the Chicago area is called JC Movers and Lumper Services Inc. They not only specialize in moving you from your home to a new location but they can also help you with labor movers in Chicago , long distance or specialty moving depending on your situation. Hiring a professional company to do the hard work for you is key to keeping you calm during such a big time in your life. 

I hope these tips are able to make the process of moving smoother for you. Be cautious of the time you have, get rid of any junk or items that don’t bring you joy to help minimize packing or sell items that don’t mean much to you anymore. Once you are settled in your new home, don’t procrastinate unpacking either. Take one room at a time and enjoy your new adventure!


Why Graphics/Fonts Are Important To Your Branding

When it comes to your branding, you will obviously want people to recognise it. There are many different steps you should take to ensure you have a recognisable brand and it can often be stressful trying to keep up with everything you need to be doing. After all, there’s so many experts out there telling you that you must do this and you must do that.

But there are certain things that you should always be thinking about when it comes to your brand. Social media being one of them – and a big one at that. You want your branding to reflect you and tie the different places you are online together.

There are some things you should consider.

  • What unique thing do you bring to the table?
  • How will people identify your brand?
  • How will you keep your branding cohesive and consistent?

Something I wanted to talk to you about today is why graphics and fonts are important for your branding (including your logo). You can see that I have created various graphics across the site using various different fonts and different designs. Some are images for blog posts, some are logo related – my logo in fact uses a specific font that you won’t find elsewhere on my site. This is because I wanted that part specifically to stand out as my logo. Each serves its own purpose and I use resources such as Canva to help me create them.

I sometimes can’t find the image or the font I want for my social media or even for my blog posts so I have different resources I use for those. I use copyright free stock images from sites such as Unsplash or the photos I receive from my hosting company and I utilise some great fonts from Font Bundles such as this fantastic sans serif font here. This means I can create some great graphics for my social media and even my newsletters too.

Font Bundles are a fantastic resource and I use them often for social media templates when I have something to share on my platforms, whether that be for my blog, my business or something else entirely.


So just why are they so important for your branding?

Graphics and fonts help us to showcase our brand and ensure people tie all our different platforms together. Let’s think about some branding or typography that is instantly iconic – such as Helvetica Black for American Apparel or Avant Garde Gothic for Calvin Klein. You see the typography, you think of the brand, right? How about the fonts used for brands such as McDonalds and Adidas? Instantly recognisable, right?

Graphics and fonts are something that we can use to showcase our ideas. The better the graphic, the better we communicate what we want to put across and the more memorable we will be.

For instance, I created a little graphic with my branding for this site, advertising this site and my services here and placed it on my lifestyle blog. It shared everything I needed it to and led those interested through to this website. I have had plenty of positive feedback from placing that and I know that it has actually persuaded at least three previous or existing clients to check out my services – and buy them!

Good graphics give a great first impression and encourage viewers to take a second look. They show that you have a professional image and that you are cohesive and consistent in your branding.

If you are utilising graphics and even fonts in a good way, you might even achieve some brand recognition with people being able to identify you from the graphics you share.

You can also expect higher conversions too – this is a key benefit of graphics and graphic design because they offer you higher visibility, just like in the case of the graphic on my lifestyle site.

Let’s recap. Graphics are great for:

  1. Communicating what we want to put across
  2. Giving a good first impression and encouraging people to look again
  3. Achieving brand recognition
  4. Maximising your conversions if you are a business- who doesn’t want more work and more income?

I hope this post has helped you understand why graphics and fonts are so important for your branding and logo and why you should be utilising them.


3 Reasons Why You Should Start A Blog

Ever wondered why people start blogging? Ever considered it yourself? There are many reasons why someone might start blogging and here are three reasons why I think you should start a blog.

You Have A Passion For Writing

It is easy to tell the difference between those who have a passion for what they do and those who don’t and are more likely to give up easily. If you have a passion for writing, it will shine through in your words and people believe what you have to say. If you don’t, your words and your tone will seem forced and people are likely to be more sceptical about the information you are putting out there.

If you have a passion for writing, especially if that passion lies with a particular niche, then a blog definitely seems like the right avenue for you.

three reasons why you should start a blog


It Can Bring You Plenty Of Opportunities

You may not realise it – especially if you start a blog for the love of writing – but a blog can bring you plenty of opportunities. I managed to get my first freelance article commissioned off the back of my blog – this may never have happened if I didn’t have the blog in the first place. I also was able to take the redundancy from my retail job when it was offered and jump into writing pretty much full time. You could even make blogging a side hustle!

Sometimes a blog can work wonders alongside your day job too – I know of plenty people in SEO or PPC management who have started a blog on the side, sharing their knowledge.

There Is A Wonderful Community

If community is a big thing for you, then the blogging community is a wonderful thing to get involved with. I personally am a member of a number of different blogging community groups on Facebook and have made some lifelong friends, all because I decided to set up a blog one day back in January 2011. Some of these ladies are people I speak to everyday and my life wouldn’t be the same without them now.

So if you are still considering it, what are you waiting for? Get started today!


BLOG Writing

Where I Get My Inspiration As A Writer

I love to write. You will often find me writing for pleasure on my websites or writing fiction or poetry. You’ll also often find me writing content for clients, hoping my written word conveys exactly what they wanted to achieve.

I get paid to write and I am lucky that I love it. There is nothing worse than hating the job you are paid to do. Sure, there will sometimes be jobs that are a little more tedious than others but that is all part and parcel of the job.

But where exactly do I get my inspiration as a writer? You will often find authors, writings and poets naming well known writers or poets as their inspirations and I totally agree. I adore Agatha Christie’s writing style – the way she can deceive a reader until the very end where she reveals the twist. I love Christina Rossetti’s poetry – she really makes you see it all in front of you.

I occasionally share my poetry on my lifestyle site but it takes a lot for me to do so. I have a lot of confidence in sharing the work I write for others but somehow sharing my poetry and my fiction makes me a little more guarded.

inspiration for writers


It isn’t just authors and poets that inspire me though. The world around me inspires me as does the news – a news article may just provoke a timely opinion piece whereas a walk around my childhood village may inspire a poem. I was lucky to grow up in a little village with plenty of inspiration to draw from.

My children also inspire me – whether it is for simply being them or it is for something small they have said and done. My Dad was always a big inspiration too and was always my biggest cheerleader when it came to my writing. Another family member who inspires me is my Nan who has battled through such adversity and always has a smile on my face just like my aunt who has been through so much in the last few years yet never lets the smile leave her face.

Lastly, I would have to say I find inspiration from myself. I am not always the most confident in my work but I often go back and look at past work and think ‘Actually, that was pretty good!’ – this inspires me to be able to recreate that and hopefully produce something just as good in the future. I think this is a good thing too as it helps you to work out your strengths as a writer and improve in the areas where you are a little weaker.

Where do you find inspiration as a writer?




5 Tried & Tested Ways To Increase Your Blog Traffic

Blog traffic is something we always want to increase.

If you are wanting to boost your blog traffic, there are a few different things that you can do. Increasing your blog traffic is something you should always be striving to do whether it is because you simply love writing and want to see those numbers go up or whether you need the higher traffic to secure better paid work.

As a freelance writer, you will often find me writing content for websites and even other bloggers and I always bear my own tips in mind when creating their content as well as mine. So what tips do I suggest?

Make sure your posts are optimised

People say to optimise your content for search engines but you should also be optimising for your readers. Keywords are perfect for search engine optimisation so research the best keywords for your content and be sure to use them throughout your content, alt tag your photos and include in the meta data (among other things) to boost your rankings. If you truly know your audience, however, then you will know exactly what they want so write the content they want to see.

Guest blog for other sites

I used to be really good at this when I first started out, writing guest posts for other bloggers to cover periods of time where they needed to be away from their sites or simply when they were looking for input on a particular topic. I am not so good at doing it now but it is a great way of increasing your traffic. You are being introduced to a whole new audience through the guest post and hopefully enough of them will like your content and click through. I once guest posted for a large US blogger.

I’ve also hosted guest posts before too – in fact, Emma guest posted on my lifestyle site a few years ago. She recently mentioned that very guest post in her new eBook and I gained traffic myself from that!

Make sure the content you are creating is something people will want to host on their blog however – here are some great tips on how to write a good article.

5 ways to increase your blog traffic

Participate in crowdsourcing

You will often find people asking other’s opinions to include in a blog post or they are looking for particular crafts or recipes for a certain holiday or festivity. An example of this would be this Christmas recipe round up I put together for a blog I write for. As you can see, I have included different delicious recipes from a selection of amazing bloggers, included photos of the recipes and linked back to their content.

These are great ways to build your traffic as they are often very timely. Leave a quote or a post you want to share and you may just be included and see some click throughs.

Create evergreen content

Have you ever heard of the term evergreen content? This is content that is perfect for all year round. It isn’t seasonal, it isn’t based on a current news story which will be forgotten about by next week. It is content that people will always be looking for and these get traffic all year round. I have a couple on my lifestyle site which still see traffic years later including this post about potty training a toddler. People often say a niche site works best for creating evergreen content but I find that my lifestyle site means I have the opportunity to create even more evergreen content than I would be able to if I was tied down to a niche.

Talk about stuff you know – a food blogger may talk about their dishes, made using meat from an online butcher such as Swaledale.

Create a product or service

I haven’t yet got round to creating a product but there are some people who already do it brilliantly – Emma who I mentioned before has some fantastic products and Jenni and Joseph who run the company I host with, Lyrical Host, have some fantastic products and resources too – many of which I get for free due to paying for their hosting {affiliate link} but which those who aren’t customers can purchase and utilise as well, such as their Speed Boost course {affiliate link}.

I offer services, such as the ones I offer on this very site. People love products, resources and services as it means getting people to help them do stuff they couldn’t do on their own or don’t have the time to do which make them great traffic pushers.

These are my top five tried and tested ways to increase your blog traffic. Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Jenny has some great tips to explode your blog traffic!


BLOG Introduction Updates


Welcome to Rebecca JL Smith, my website for all my work related content. If you don’t know me, I am Rebecca Smith, a UK based freelance writer, blogger and proofreader. I currently write for a selection of my own blogs and a few collaborative blogs, as well as freelance publications.

This website is here to serve a purpose of getting what I can offer to you out there in the open for people to find me. I can’t wait to work with you! Please take a look around and if you like what you see, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.