Social Media and Sanity Saving Apps For A Small Business

This week I continue with sharing three more go to tools and gadgets on my solopreneur adventure and achieving the work-life balance. The three tools are grouped into two categories - social media management and all round ‘sanity saving’ must have gadget.ronnie bliss photography


  1. Writing and publishing a blog has so many moving parts it is easy to want to throw in the towel but it doesn’t have to be. Preparing the images used in each blog post for social media used to send me back into Photoshop until Amy and Jordan Ramos did a review on Blog Stomp and I was hooked. As the app touts, “Blog like a boss, then relax – you’ve earned it.” Seriously, their website says so but of all the bells and whistles of this app, the following three features are my go to: a. Automatic image sizing, multiple layout with preview option before you ‘Stomp It!’. Be forewarned, the preview option can become your new friend. b. Writing my blog and having direct access to just the perfect image that is correctly sized for all hand held devices; all within the same app is an awesome timesaver. c. Add categories, alt or title tags for SEO (yes, there’s that too) and you’re ready to either publish directly or upload as draft to Word Press to add your finishing touches.
  2. Next is Hootsuite. Finding just the right time to post on Instagram and connecting with your ideal audience in a sea of visually stimulating images reminds me of mastering the art of tightrope walking. Enter Hootsuite! The social network management platform that performs wonders for my business. My two go to features are: a. Ability to manage my 3 social platforms – Facebook, Instagram and Google+ b. IT analyzes my audience interaction and recommends just the right time to post. When its time, Hootsuite sends a notification to my smartphone, follow about 3 or so prompts and it's done. As in posted. Online! That alone is worth the admission for me.
  3. Ever needed to save the day? Or your sanity and you’re stuck in a major metropolis traffic? Oh, like let’s say Maryland/DC/VA i495 beltway or Houston, TX loop? I have just the remedy. Waze App! This magic GPS uses the power of social media to “outsmart traffic” and I can vouch for their claim to fame. Here are the three of the features I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE the most: a. You can customize your preference and it remembers your favorite way home, or out. b. It alerts you on upcoming gridlock and automatically reroute based on that info. c. It very nicely informs you when one of the ‘state finest’ is up ahead, hidden or visible.

Wave outsmarts traffic so well I once considered making a donation just for saving my sanity after a particularly difficult rainy 45-minute-ride-turned-to-90-minutes on I495 beltway only to find Waze has been purchased by Google at which point I promptly put my card away, nah, Google doesn’t need my 2 cents but the app IS. THAT. GOOD!

As you already know, there are more apps out there that does similar or better than these three, they are simply the ones that I rely on for my business. Next week, I will share the three go to apps for my images. Full disclaimer, I use the free version of most applications and only subscribe until I absolutely have to.

I hope you find these apps useful. If you do please consider sharing it with your friends.



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Write the vision, make it plain ...(Hab. 2:2). So, I wrote my vision for 2016, on this hi-tech tablet.
A #bosslady once told me to write my big hairy AUDACIOUS goals, naturally some are lofty goals, some requires nothing but discipline while others will challenge me. In the process of writing, I managed to work some personal goal into the vision. Here's to 2016.
Business goals:
  • Introduce Vibrant Journal, a weekly journal to bring you along on my journey, share relevant  and even entertaining vibrant life, love and living.
  • Expand Ronnie Bliss Photography. More to come on this topic in future posts.
  • Enhance the Ronnie Bliss Wedding Experience. My ultimate goal is to pull off an annual weekend getaway with my brides. Lofty for now but I'll get there.
  • Continue to improve my craft by getting out of my comfort zone. Never stop learning.
  • Surround me with people that are smarter, wiser and all round interested in my success. Business coach, mentors and cheerleaders.
  • Improve blogging to at least 2 times a week. Consistently. This blogging thing is HARD work!
  • Read at least 1 business book per month. January read - Jab, jab, jab, RIGHT HOOK by Gary Vaynerchuk.
  • Hire an intern or part-time assistant. I can't do it alone.

A great segway into my personal goals:

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep. Every day sleep. Any small business owner will understand this one.
  • Travel, travel, travel. Did I say travel? I promise to bring you along through my images. Or better yet, pack a bag, let's go!
  • Read 2 books per month for pleasure. My daughter does not agree that audiobooks are same as 'reading', so I will 'listen' to at least 2 books. 
  • Complete a 52-week photo challenge just for pleasure. This is a CHALLENGE I'm willing to try. I already missed week 1, but I'm not deterred, be patient with me. Clickin Moms is my source of inspiration, in case you wish to tag along. 
Phew! There I wrote it. If you have read this far, thank you for spending part of your day with me. If there's a topic you would love to read, please let me know. Don't forget to subscribe and share my posts with friends. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead.

5 Fun Things To Do For The Newly Engaged. Plus a bonus tip

Ronnie-Bliss-Photography_0014.jpgAssuming you’ve returned from cloud nine – whoooo, and coherent, here are 5 fun things to do before the whirlwind of the budget, headcount, venue, date, dress, shoes, color, coordinator etc. kicks in.

  1. Gather the girls together. You know, your bff’s, wing(wo)man, keeper of all your secrets, minder of your broken heart. Before you put it on social media, this is waayyyy to important to drop it on social media. You’ll have all the time to hit ‘post’, trust me. I’m talking serious girls night out here, details, details, details, it’s on!
  2. Get a manicure, you have some serious bling to show off. Go for clear or neutral color, you don't want anything to compete with your bling. No punchy neon color or glitters. YOU. ARE. THE. STAR. not OPI, Essie or China Glaze. And, oh bring the girls along.
  3. Perfect your engagement story. Why? Because you didn't hear what he said in the first place. You saw the ring and everything else was a blur. You are going to be tell this epic story over and over and over again. The idea here is not to tell a fib, but to perfect your unique, award winning, New York best seller story of how he proposed. Perfect one for the ages.
  4. Dream. You’ll thank me for this later. Dream. A lot. It’s free.  Imagine how you would love your very special day to unfold. What would you love to happen on that day? You know, ... out of the abundance of the heart.... It’s free and cheaper. You’ve been dreaming of this moment your entire life, haven’t you? You time has finally come. You're limited only by your imagination.
  5. Start practicing your new signature and the sound of your new name. Remember what you did with your first boyfriend’s name? Practicing your signature as a kid, a combination of your maiden name and his? Or altogether adopting his name, aww, it doesn’t matter, the idea is to have fun before the details hits.

Most importantly, get a professional engagement photo. Right away. As in now. While you’re still glowing. Selfies are great, there nothing wrong with them, it just the fashion right now. Don’t believe me? How selfie crazy were we 10 years ago? You’ll need professional images for your announcements, invitation cards, giveaways, websites, social media profile, phone, tablet, laptop, pc screen cover, right? You get it. Call me, let’s capture the glow and leave evidence of your love for your children, grandchildren and generations to come.

Bonus tip. Add your honeymoon fund to the wedding registry, you can afford your own toaster or that 20 place setting you'll never use. Your friends and families truly would love to give you a great start. Take the trip of a lifetime and fall in love all over again.

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Eye candy

Why drive 70 miles for a photo shoot?

When it's in the company of great friends, beautiful couple, wonderful creatives and an old cadillac.

Julie and Caleb looks absolutely gorgeous it was well worth the drive.

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And the venue? well, take a look.

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Here's to all the creatives who work hand in hand in support of one another:

floral designer | EightTreeStreet hair and makeup | Carolyn Thombs Makeup Artistry & Consulting table design | Jennifer Burackler with Cassel Interiors, Inc. event planning | Ali McLaughlin Photography and Daisy Saulls Photography calligarphy | Spotch & Line venue | Poplar Springs Inn Spa and Manor House Restaurant model | Julie and Caleb website | instagram | ronnieblissphotography

Another Step In The Right Direction

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The challenge was another simple task that lead to developing my good habit.

Write a list. That's it. A list. A very simple list. Nothing fancy, she wrote. Keep it with important papers or digital files.

So I wrote my list. A list of thoughts and ideas, interests and passion. And yes, there's a difference between interests and passion but that's for another day.

My list started simply enough, but grew quickly. Out of the list came 'Do Good Mondays', an inspirational short read geared toward doing something GOOD, mostly for others, sometimes for ourselves. Call it my Monday morning nudging.

I’m taking baby steps. Which of your business or personal goals do you need help with? There are 27 days left in August. Let’s do this together.

xo ... Ronnie

Sometimes baby steps is all you need

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General theory is that it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit. Let's see if that holds true on my personal quest.

Day 2 of my blogging challenge is taking baby steps by performing a simple task: make sure all updates on wordpress are applied.

Why are updates important? It ensures that the latest version of a software is running. Simply put today's task is to make sure my copy of wordpress is in a healthy state. This simple task is often overlooked if you use another plugin to write your blog like I do. I just started using BlogStomp which for many creatives and small business owners, is a major time saver. That time element alone is one of the reasons my blogging takes a back seat. By taking baby steps now I'm crossing three items off my mile long to-do list: 1) image placement? Check! 2) posting to multiple sites with one action? Check!! 3) apply wordpress updates? Check!!!

I'm taking baby steps. Which of your business or personal goals do you need help with? There's a whole 29 days left in August. Let's do this together.

xo ... Ronnie

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again

An old adage that fits my situation perfectly. Try as I may, my blogging continues to take a back seat amidst the mile long to do list of a small business photopreneur. I know the advice I'd give anyone struggling with a attaining a goal is to try again, therefore, I'm taking a dose of my own medicine. In large quantities.


I'm joining photography awesomesauce's month long challenge to develop a better blogging habit. No I'm not writing the next best seller, just sharing a bit of my work and piece of my universe with you. So, come along for the ride.

Look forward to seeing your comments.  xo Ronnie Ronnie Bliss Photography_0003.jpg