Coffee with GLOW

GLOW hosts virtual coffee dates from time to time with women we love and want to know more about. Now that GLOW has been around for a few months, we have been asked quite a few questions about who we are and what we do! I thought this week we would host a coffee date with us and all of YOU – our readers.

coffeewith

So last week on social media we put a call out for questions and you all responded…some of you asked the same or similar questions, so I have combined the duplicates below.

Grab a cup of coffee and join us for today’s coffee date! If you have more questions as you are reading, feel free to type them in the comments below! I’ll answer as I see them throughout the day. 

  • Why did you get this blog started?

About a year ago I started feeling a stirring passion for women in a ministry setting. I deeply desired women to know God more, to grow deeper in their relationship with Him and to have a place filled with encouragement to go to on a daily basis. I am a creative who has always loved blogging myself and I have consistently read other blogs for the last five years. I was praying one day that the Lord would give me something that I could do in my current state of life, through my busy days working full time, managing a side business and being a pastor’s wife, to reach women throughout the nation. I was so excited about the idea of GLOW and I quickly began researching the best ways to get things off to a great start.

Don’t think that it was as easy as it sounds though! Let me just say that GLOW would not be here today if it weren’t from the encouragement of my husband and other women that I reached out to in the beginning. I would come home nearly every day for weeks convinced that I couldn’t do it, it’s a dumb idea and sure that I would fail and look stupid. Then my husband said something to me that took root, “Are you doing this for yourself, or are you doing this to reach women?” And that’s when it hit me, “If I were able to encourage ONE woman, just one, all of this hard work would be worth it.” That’s what I told myself from that moment forward when I felt doubt or worry. The Lord has blessed GLOW in so many ways. He has blessed me with a WONDERFUL team to work with – Jesus pours from Andi and Kelsey and I can count of them for anything. I have also enjoyed meeting many of our readers, and although this blog was started to reach other women, it has in fact encouraged ME in many ways and has even helped me better understand my calling. I can’t wait to see what else the Lord has in store!

  • What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a blog?

I have a few thoughts for those wanting to start a blog. First, I encourage you to determine what it is you want to do, specifically! Find your niche. Are you just writing for yourself, to get your thoughts on paper? Are you writing to reach others for a certain cause? Are you writing to promote a business and gain clientele? Clearly understanding your purpose from the start is vital in getting your blog going in the right direction.

Second, get your blog custom designed. Yes, it does cost some money…but do your research because it doesn’t HAVE to cost a ton of money! I believe I spent a total of around $300 to get GLOW started as you see it. That included the domain name, hosting for a year, a designer to help with the logo, a template off of Bluchic and a web designer to customize. It seems like a lot up front, but it makes a WORLD of a difference regarding growth. First impressions mean almost everything. Aside from quality content, people want to go to a site that looks professional and like effort has been put into its aesthetics.

Finally, realize that maintaining a blog is A LOT of work. It may not seem like it, but there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that is happening with each and every blog post. If I am writing, I set aside a minimum of 2 hours to get my post drafted, edited, graphics created and uploaded. With others, there are countless emails back and forth that require extra work other than just the uploading of content that is sent my way. For an average giveaway post, there are on average about 5-10 emails that go back and forth between myself and the guest blogger. I love it though and wouldn’t change it for one second, but it IS time consuming and you can quickly get overwhelmed if you are not aware of that at the beginning! Make sure that you are blogging because of your love for blogging or love for the subject at hand. Do not blog because you make money. Trust me, you don’t. Pennies on the dollar in fact and you have to have an audience built up before advertising is even a possibility! Be sure to focus on quality content, slow and steady growth and consistency!

  • How can I get involved or help contribute to GLOW?

GLOW LOVES meeting and connecting with women! That is the very nature of the blog, in fact. While we have a team of three that posts once a week, we offer TWO guest spots each week to learn and grow from as many other women as possible! If you would like to post for GLOW, simply visit our Submissions page and follow the instructions to submit a post! It’s simple and easy. Just email me all the info listed and we will get back to you as quickly as possible! If you would like to get more involved, but don’t see yourself as a writer, that’s okay too! We LOVE to hear your feedback on the posts, on social media, and we would love for you to invite your friends to join the community. If you have ideas or thoughts that you think would fit the GLOW brand, feel free to shoot us and email. We would love to hear from you and we are open to many different ideas!

  • What are your favorite beauty products?

Here’s the thing, I’m a girly-girl, and I love beauty products. In fact, I’m subscribed to Birchbox and it’s like having a birthday every single month. Anyone else subscribed? What are your thoughts?

My favorite products? Right now I am loving my Loreal Colour Riche Balm in Nourishing Nude. My sister gave it to me and it is moist with some color and shine. I am also loving my Bare Minerals mascara and eye shadow. I always thought of Bare Minerals as expensive, but did you know they have amazing sales at Ulta throughout the year? You can literally buy it cheaper than Walgreens makeup if you buy it at the right time. My sister let me in on this little secret a few months ago and I’m never going back. Finally, I’m in love with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power Foam face wash. Seriously, this does the trick! I’ve used it every night since my teenage years and it’s great about removing makeup AND cleansing my face to prevent oil build up. HIGHLY recommend and you can find it at any grocery store. Now if they would only start making it in travel size…

  • What is your favorite song/band?

I can’t pick one. I’m all over the place! I’ll give you a few of my favorite bands! As far as Christian bands, I love Desperation, Hillsong, Kari Jobe and Needtobreathe. Non-Christian, I love The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Eli Young Band and Lady Antebellum.

  • What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV):

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I feel like my life has been a winding road and I’ve never quite had a clear direction on what it is that He wants me to do. Being the Type-A personality that I am, this has always bothered me. So this verse, in many ways, has changed my life and I remind myself of these encouraging words often.

What’s one Bible study you would recommend?

First off, I’d recommend anything Beth Moore. I love her, she’s great. While I think Bible studies are GREAT, my quiet times are more often spent going through a book of the Bible and using a commentary to supplement. I really like the MacArthur Old and New Testament commentaries (see link in side bar). I’m also currently reading a book that’s changing my life and how I study Scripture: “Women of the Word: How to study the Bible with both our hearts and our minds” (link to purchase is in the side column to the right). The book is short, cheap but FULL of quality content.

 

  • Kristen C

    I love the MacArthur commentaries! For those who want a commentary but can’t afford a multi-volume set, I suggested the “MacArthur Bible Commentary”, which is currently $30 on Amazon (link below).

    http://www.amazon.com/MacArthur-Bible-Commentary-John/dp/0785250662/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424217970&sr=1-1&keywords=macarthur+bible+commentary

    • http://alyssamartinphoto.com Alyssa Martin

      Thank you, Kristen! That’s a GREAT option for the Bible Commentary!

  • Emily D.

    Yay, my question was in here! :) Thank you for answering honestly..I have been getting some great advice on starting a blog, and this is included in that! Thanks again, and God Bless!

    • http://alyssamartinphoto.com Alyssa Martin

      Emily, I’m so glad you found your question in here! I do not have any secrets! I’m an open book so feel free to ask questions any time! :)