Weekly Wind Down: Fresh Blackberry Mojito recipe

Each week I receive new and original cocktail recipes to share with you! While I have received pitches for these, I am in no way compensated…these are just my favorite picks!

Fresh Blackberry Mojito recipe - Handmade Brooklyn Fresh Blackberry Mojito recipe

Courtesy of Jack Allen’s Kitchen in Austin, TX

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 3 or 4 blackberries, fresh, plus one for garnish
  • ½ lime, cut in quarters
  • 5 medium size mint leaves, plus 1 for garnish
  • 1 ½ oz white rum
  • 3-4 oz soda water, as a top off

In 12-ounce Collins glass, gently muddle first 4 ingredients until skin of fruit is broken and all juice is extracted. Do not overdo, as mixture will become bitter. Fill glass with ice, add rum, top with soda water, and stir with bar spoon. Garnish with blackberry and mint leaf.

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Book Review: Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars by Mitch Meyerson

Book Review: Success Secrets of Online Marketing Superstars

I had Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars for about 2 months and refused to look at it. I picked it up from my library, during one of my book binges, and kept it in my reading pile towards the bottom. To me, this book sounded like a textbook or some sort of homework, where the author would wax philosophical about marketing theory and would pepper in quotes from “marketing superstars” that I had never heard of.

I was not looking forward to this book at all. But when I finally got to it, I was SO blown away.

This is really a great book. It’s not so much Mitch Meyerson’s book, as it’s a curated collection of articles by a dozen or so successful online entrepreneurs. To be fair, I only recognized a few of the names, but I think that’s more my naïveté than anything else.

There are some articles about philosophy of online marketing, but for the most part, each article contains tangible tools and guides on how to improve your marketing efforts in a variety of ways: social media (with articles on specific platforms), emails, blogs, etc. Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars really hit the nail on the head, because the book is full of experts tackling really abstract concepts and whittling them down into actionable steps.

Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely

 

Podcast Episode 004: My failures and why you shouldn’t be afraid to fail

Handmade Brooklyn Podcast Episode 004 - Why you shouldn't be afraid to fail

First off: Thank you, Shopify! They’re giving everyone a 14 day free trial to help grow your e-commerce biz so check them out.

In this episode I discuss

  • My own failures in business (and how I’m STILL doing things wrong)
  • Paralysis by Analysis
  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid of failing

Mentioned in this episode

Smart Passive Income 167 with Chalene Johnson

PRICR my pricing spreadsheet! The official launch is coming soon but if you don’t want to wait, you can head over to Gumroad to check out the beta release.

Weekly Wind Down: Blueberry Margarita recipe

Each week I receive new and original cocktail recipes to share with you! While I have received pitches for these, I am in no way compensated…these are just my favorite picks!

Blueberry Margarita recipe - Handmade BrooklynBlueberry Margarita recipe

  • 1/2 parts Sauza® Signature Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
  • 1/4 part JDK & Sons™ O3 Premium Orange Liqueur
  • 1/4 pint blueberries
  • 1/4 part agave nectar (or 1/2 teaspoon sugar)
  • Juice of 3/4 lime

Preparation: Wash your blueberries, reserving a few for garnish. In a shaker, muddle together blueberries and agave or sugar. Strain through a sieve into a Mason Jar over ice, rimmed with sugar or salt. Add the remaining ingredients and enjoy!

Book Review: Get Rich Blogging by Zoe Griffin

Get Rich Blogging Book Review - Handmade Brooklyn

First off, you gotta give it to her for putting it right there in the title. “Get Rich Blogging. This is what you want? This is what I’m going to give you.” No muss, no fuss.

Now, I didn’t know Zoe’s blog before I picked this up so I can’t say whether Live Like a VIP is the type of blog that I aspire to create. From the gist of the book it seems to be like a celeb blog or even more like a Perez Hilton-style conglomerate, so probably not. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t value in this book for everyone.

The first part of Get Rich Blogging might turn you off if you’ve been in blogging for awhile, as it’s sort of a “Blogging 101″ guide. It skims over platforms, ideas, and basic things that help you get set up in this world.

Now, the 2nd part was incredibly useful and well done. This is the section where Zoe breaks down resources for different niches. She interviewed bloggers in each category on the best way to grow your business and monetize, so it’s a wealth of knowledge for food bloggers, lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and celeb. She didn’t tackle business blogging specifically, but she did have a section on IT blogs.

Some of the interviews were useful and incredibly helpful. Some (like Perez Hilton’s 1 sentence answer that was something like “blogging is fun!”) seemed to be in there just for the name dropping, but I can’t fault her for that. Each section also included a wealth of information on organizations and PR companies that work in those specific categories. The drawback for me, though, was that it’s UK-based so there weren’t many specifics for US-based resources, but those aren’t hard to find if you’re resourceful.

Overall I felt that Get Rich Blogging was a great guide, full of useful information and I would recommend it to all UK bloggers that are looking for ways to grow their niche blogs.

Podcast Episode 003: Mid Year Goals

Handmade Brooklyn Episode 003 - Mid Year Goals

Okay, full disclosure: I recorded this in July and had planned on launching it then. But then…vacation, you guys. You know how it goes.

So I begin the podcast by talking about how it’s already July, but actually it’s already August. So, you know…

In this episode I discuss

  • My goals for the remainder of the year
  • What you should be looking for in others to help you achieve your goals

Mentioned in this episode:

Smart Passive Income Episode 159: Best Practices for Increasing Sales with Email with Dan Faggella

6 tools I use in 2015 to make running my business easier

6 tools I use to grow my business

The longer I’ve been in business, the more I’ve realized that there are just things that need to be delegated in my business if I’m going to get any sleep at night. I know that when it comes to delegating, however, it can get SUPER expensive really quickly…but it doesn’t have to be that way.

These are tools that I use in my own business to keep MSC running. I will preface this with, some of these tools might be a little controversial but I hope you can see where I’m coming from for these. Also, I’ve got affiliate links below which help me keep this blog running at no extra cost to you, so thanks! :

6 tools I use to make running my business easier:

1. Fiverr

I love Fiverr. Let me repeat, I. LOVE. FIVERR. I’ve written an entire post specifically on how I use Fiverr

 

so I won’t get too much into it, but I go to Fiverr when I need something small done that can be done by a professional in a shorter amount of time than it would take me to research and learn how to do (effective press releases, for example). I’ve turned my husband on to using Fiverr and he’s now getting his novels formatted for Create Space, which I would normally do for him but…I’ve got a lot going on, you know? And now we know it’s done, and it’s done well.

2. 99 Designs

I use 99 designs mostly for packaging reasons for MSC, and it’s really cool to have pros handling the vision for your packaging without spending crazy amounts of money. I prefer using 99 designs for the simple reason that I want to get multiple eyes and ideas on a project, especially because I get to see ideas I would’ve never even thought of!

3. Shopify

Recently (like, a week ago) I threw in the towel and moved MSC from Woocommerce to Shopify because: I cannot be my IT department any more. I can’t! It takes so much time to troubleshoot problems. I was a little whiny about spending more money on a platform, but I realized that the money I’ve been losing due to checkout errors would more than pay for Shopifys fee (also, that 14 day free trial ain’t too shabby). I actually made a video about how to import Etsy listings to Shopify in under 4 minutes (actually it was under 2:30 but I already made the title card, you see). Check it:

4. Hootsuite

I think I mentioned Hootsuite back in 2013 and you know what? I still love Hootsuite. I’ve tried Buffer, and Buffer is cool, but Hootsuite will do more for less (read: free). I’ve upgraded to Hootsuite Pro because I want to run a bunch of social media platforms and need the extra goodies, but I used Hootsuite’s free version for about 5 years without any complaints. It’s really made my life easier when it comes to managing my social media.

5. IFTTT

IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” and is an app (Free!) where you can create “recipes” that do different things for your business…or your life if your home is tricked out with smart technology you can use it to turn on lights, set your alarm, etc. (I live in an apartment that was built in the 1930’s so…not for me).  I think I’ve really only scratched the surface of what IFTTT can do as I use it to push out social media when new blogs are posted, but it’s really REALLY nice to know that it’s set up and runs without me.

6. Instagress

Okay, I think that this one is going to be really controversial, but hear me out on this. So…Instagress automates your Instagram outreach. Some say it’s spam, and I think that if you don’t know how to use it, it can totally be spammy. But, I think (I hope?), I’ve tweaked it enough (and guys: YOU NEED TO TWEAK INSTAGRESS. “So Nice!” comments are what get you listed as spam. You gotta be original.) where it does exactly what I would do, and comments on exactly what I would comment on myself, but does it without me having to take the time to do it. I never saw Instagress as a spam tool, instead I see Instagress as my social media manager robot, as it does the exact same things a social media manager human would do, and even then it wouldn’t be me commenting, you know what I mean?

What tools do you use in your own business? Tell me what I’m missing out on in the comments!

Weekly Wind Down: Rye Squeeze

Each week I receive new and original cocktail recipes to share with you! While I have received pitches for these, I am in no way compensated…these are just my favorite picks!

This weeks recipe comes courtesy of Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky: an award-winning, super-premium rye whisky from the highly acclaimed Alberta Distillers. The liquid is known for its bold, complex flavor profile and rich, dark color — it is a front finishing whisky best enjoyed in a variety of cocktails that highlight its unique flavor and is perfect for the whisky lover looking to try something new.

Personally, this is (in my opinion) one of the prettiest looking cocktails I’ve received a pitch for. I really love the way this one looks.

Rye Squeeze Cocktail RecipeRye Squeeze

 
INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 parts Alberta® Rye Dark Batch™ Whisky
4-5 parts ginger beer
2 dashes Agnostura® bitters
1 orange wedge pressed
 
METHOD
Add all ingredients to a bourbon glass. Fill with ice, top with ginger beer and stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

Weekly Wind Down: RyeBall cocktail recipe

Each week I receive new and original cocktail recipes to share with you! While I have received pitches for these, I am in no way compensated…these are just my favorite picks!

This weeks recipe comes courtesy of Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky: an award-winning, super-premium rye whisky from the highly acclaimed Alberta Distillers. The liquid is known for its bold, complex flavor profile and rich, dark color — it is a front finishing whisky best enjoyed in a variety of cocktails that highlight its unique flavor and is perfect for the whisky lover looking to try something new.

RyeBall Cocktail Recipe - Handmade BrooklynRyeBall

 
INGREDIENTS
1 part Alberta® Rye Dark Batch™ Whisky
4-5 parts hard cider
1 dash aromatic bitters
 
METHOD
Build in Collins glass over ice.
 

Missions Accomplished today

I worked from home today and sometimes I really get down on myself when I do that. I feel like I slack off and get less productive because I’m on my couch instead of in my studio. But I know today was pretty awesome, so I wanted to share!

Today I:

  • recorded a podcast with Laura Fisk about custom design
  • did my first ever Periscope! It was terrifying, I didn’t prepare so I just went for it…and got cut short thanks to technical difficulties (read: iPhone 4S slowness) but I finally did it.
  • marketed my newest product: PRICR beta (blog post about it next week)
  • finished 1 of my new set of free printables that will be exclusive for newsletter subscribers (I’m just sayin…)
  • Tweeted (I know that doesn’t sound big, but I never have the chance to live tweet; it was great to spend the time working on my community)
  • Brainstormed 2 new products
  • Sent out videos for editing
  • Sent out my next bonus product to be drafted by Catherine of Lovely Downloads
  • Worked a smidge on the new layout for this site

WHEW, amirite?