Copyright Law for Bloggers (And What to do if You're Being Copied)

Making Sense of Copyright Law for Bloggers (And What to Do if You’re Copied)

Oooooooh baby put on your big girl pants because we’ve got a doozy for you today! We have a new resident smarty around these parts and she is dropping knowledge…

Copyright Law for Bloggers (And What to do if You're Being Copied)

Oooooooh baby put on your big girl pants because we’ve got a doozy for you today! We have a new resident smarty around these parts and she is dropping knowledge bombs on you today like it’s nobody’s business. I had the pleasure to chat a bit recently with Maria Spear of Spear Intellectual Property Law, and we got to talking about how difficult it can be as an online creative to protect your ideas. She had the brilliant idea of breaking down the mysterious concept of copyright law as it applies to bloggers and other creatives and share it here in our Blogging series! You’re definitely going to want to grab a cup of coffee and get comfy (and bookmark this one for sure!).

Read on for Maria’s input on intellectual property, and find out how to take on the copycats.

behindthescenes

Behind the Scenes // Photo Outtakes

This post has been DYING to happen for years, y’all. And Mr. Lovely officially gave me the go-ahead, so I’m pretty excited (for lack of a better word?) to share…

behindthescenes

This post has been DYING to happen for years, y’all. And Mr. Lovely officially gave me the go-ahead, so I’m pretty excited (for lack of a better word?) to share with you some of the best behind the scenes photos you’re gonna see, possibly ever. Because we work side by side day in and day out, we often help each other out with projects. I’m still a one-woman team at Lovely Indeed for the most part, which means we usually take all our own photos. Of the two of us, I’m a better photographer, so usually I’ll put the camera on the right settings and set a shot, then Ryan will hop behind the camera and actually take photos of my or my hands or whatever. But while I’m setting the shot, I need a subject, so Ryan stands in… Do you see where I’m going with this? I have the most magnificent collection of terrible, hilarious photos of my husband waiting for me to test shoot and I’m sorry but they are just begging to be shared. Let’s just get right to it, shall we? I took the liberty of pairing Ryan’s test shot alongside the final shot, just for funsies.

Sometimes, they’re not so bad, right?

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And then sometimes they just kind of look like bad cellphone photos.

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Sometimes he realllllllly doesn’t want to be doing whatever it is that we’re doing.

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And then sometimes he really gets into it.

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Behind the Scenes

I am sitting here dying laughing while I write this post! Come on, if you’re a blogger with a husband you KNOW you have similar photos. Or if not, hopefully you’ve had a laugh at my husband’s expense today. Don’t worry, he can take it. xoxo

Top Blogging Tips

Top Five // Blogging

We’re back with more of your faves! For all you bloggers out there (or just anybody fascinated by the blog world), today we’ve got your Top Five favorite Lovely Indeed…

Top Blogging Tips

We’re back with more of your faves! For all you bloggers out there (or just anybody fascinated by the blog world), today we’ve got your Top Five favorite Lovely Indeed posts about blogging! I kind of started the Blogging series on a whim but it’s turned out to be one of my favorite things to write about, and to read your comments and responses. I’ve learned a bunch from you all and hopefully you’ve found it to be a good resource as well. So without further ado, check out our top blogging posts! xoxo

Editorial Calendars and Planning
Font Resources
WordPress Tips and Tricks
How to Grow Your Blog
How Much Does it Cost to be a Blogger?

P.S. Didja catch last week Top Five posts from our Married Life series? They’re pretty hilarious.

Favorite Apps for Blogging

Blogging // Favorite Apps Part II

I’m a big nerd! I love talking apps. No joke, the apps on my phone have helped me get hundreds of hours (not an exaggeration!) of work done while I’ve been…

Favorite Apps for Blogging

I’m a big nerd! I love talking apps. No joke, the apps on my phone have helped me get hundreds of hours (not an exaggeration!) of work done while I’ve been nursing Henry over the last few months. With the right apps, you can rule the world from your iPhone. I still use most of the apps I outlined in Part I of this series, wayyyy back in the day, but I have a few new faves that deserve to be on the list. So let’s get right to it!

Infinit I use Infinit as a complement to Dropbox these days. Ryan and I are constantly sending files back and forth and Infinit makes it so you can send a file with about two clicks. It zips between computers or phones and you’ve got the file on the other end in about 3 seconds, depending on the size of the file. I use this one particularly often to send image files between my computer and phone. Like if I want to Instagram a photo that I took on my DSLR, I can shoot it from my computer to my phone in a jiffy. Both Infinit and Dropbox are perfect tools if you need to get lots of files between different devices.

Snapseed I have Jeff and Kelly’s Can’t Crop This Class to thank for the intro to Snapseed, and I don’t know how I ever missed it! It’s now on my go-to list for editing photos on my phone. What sets it apart is that you can selectively edit only certain portions of an image, as opposed to most other apps that only have capability to edit the entire image at once. It’s got a spot repair tool too, which is super handy.

Periscope & Snapchat Instagram will always have my heart, but Periscope and Snapchat are like the fun new (to me) kids on the block that I like playing with. I’m loving Snapchat for keeping up with friends while they go gallivanting around the world — it’s so fun to see peeks at what everybody is doing, or what people find funny. I also love the fact that there are no filters and almost no thought that goes into it. It really takes the pressure out of social media. (I’m lovely-indeed on Snapchat! Follow along there.) And Periscope! Periscope is insane. At first I thought it would be weird — you literally can live broadcast yourself while people tune in to watch and chat. But then we tried it and it’s trippy and fun! We actually have some cool things planned for Periscope coming up soon, so you can find me there @lovelyindeed.

Amazon Photo This one is brilliant for families who take a ton of photos on their phones. Ryan and I were going crazy trying to share photos of Henry with each other until we found this. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can upload all your photos to the cloud. Then, multiple family members connect to the app and when you open it, everybody’s photos load. So essentially you have access to each others’ photo streams. Woaahhhhhh it’s really rad.

So! Are any of these new to you? Or have you been using them for a while? I’d love to know which apps are your favorites! Leave a comment and let me know which you’re always using so I can check ’em out. xoxo

 

Best Tools for Blogging

Blogging // Tools of the Trade

Having been a blogger for almost five years (whaaaaat?!?), I’ve spent lots of time developing systems, processes, and a list of tools that make my job so much easier. I thought…

Best Tools for Blogging

Having been a blogger for almost five years (whaaaaat?!?), I’ve spent lots of time developing systems, processes, and a list of tools that make my job so much easier. I thought I’d share a list of the tools that I use on a daily basis, in case it helps anyone out there to build an arsenal! Some are digital and some are analog, some are no-brainers and some are smack-me-why-didn’t-I-think-of-that-forever-ago. Read on for my tried and true tools, and please leave a comment with your own favorite tools of the trade so we can all up our game!

White Foam Core Board The answer to everything! I use it for white backdrops on flatlay photos, to bounce light around when there are too many shadows, and sometimes to sketch things out or test paint patterns, and so on. They’re affordable, easy to store, and so useful!

Colored Posterboard So cheap and so fun to play with! I keep a rotating stack of different colors to use as backdrops for DIY projects or Instagram photos. Lay them on the floor for flatlay photos or tape them up on the wall to act as a backdrop.

Camera Remote Shutter Lots of what we use this for is personal family photos, but I’ve used it plenty on the blog! This little remote shutter pairs with your camera and you can set up a tripod to take photos from a few yards away. That’s how we get shots like this one, no photographer needed!

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Camera I saved and saved my duckets to spring for this camera, and I can actually pinpoint the time when I got it as the time that my photos improved vastly and my business improved because of it. This is the one area where, for me, it made sense to invest in my business.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens This little lens is a cheapie but has been a workhorse for me. I love shooting on a 50mm because it’s pretty versatile and this little guy helps me get nice, bright photos even when the weather isn’t necessarily cooperating. My next purchase will definitely be this lens
; also 50mm but a higher quality.

Camera Hand Strap I get asked all the time about my hand strap for my camera! For some reason I don’t get along with a regular neck strap, so this hand strap is my favorite way to go. I’ve toted my camera all over the place this way — on shoots, on vacations, and just around home — and it’s been great. It feels secure in your hand and helps me steady the camera.

Apple Time Capsule We’re in the process of revamping how our computers and files are backed up, but this is always our constant. It backs up your computer automatically, and if you ever have an issue with lost files or crashed computers, you can reboot your system to replicate what was in your computer at a certain day or time. It’s crucial and has saved us a few times for sure.

Apps, apps, apps! I did a post on my favorite apps a while back, but I’ve definitely got some new ones. Stay tuned next time for the apps that help me the most. And until then, find more blogging resources in the rest of our Blogging column!  xoxo

Blogging // Reader Engagement

Blogging // Engagement

Hey gang! Coming at you today to pick your big beautiful brains about a few things. I’ve been thinking lots lately about blogging and engagement with blog readers and what…

Blogging // Reader Engagement

Hey gang! Coming at you today to pick your big beautiful brains about a few things. I’ve been thinking lots lately about blogging and engagement with blog readers and what that looks like. I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter, whether you’re a blog reader or a blogger yourself.

Even in the few short years that I’ve been in the blogging game, I’ve seen engagement style change over and over again. It seems to go through cycles — sometimes there’s lots of action on the blog, with great comments and people really wanting to have conversations there. Sometimes that dies out and the engagement is on social media. These days Instagram is an awesome place for engaging with readers and other bloggers. Twitter and Facebook have both always been spotty for me; it comes and goes.

So my question for you is this: how do you like to engage, whether you’re a reader or a blogger? Do you prefer to comment on blogs? Or maybe you would rather just communicate via social media. And if it is on social media, do you show your support with ‘likes’ and ‘follows,’ or do you actually like to start conversations?

And speaking of social media, what’s your fave? I know for me there are some that I love and find totally energizing and exciting, and some that I just. can’t. stand. What about you? Do you have favorites or certain platforms that just make you crazy?

There are so many questions! I’d love to know your thoughts on any or all of it, so let’s talk it out. Part of me wants to know so that I can make things better for you lovelies with regards to how we communicate, and part of me is just interested because I find this stuff fascinating. We live in the future, you guys. Leave a comment and let’s hash it out! xoxo

The Future of Blogging

Blogging // The Future

Hey Monday lovers! Hope you had an absolutely swell weekend. I’m coming atcha this fine morning with a few thoughts and a question for you: What do you think is…

The Future of Blogging

Hey Monday lovers! Hope you had an absolutely swell weekend. I’m coming atcha this fine morning with a few thoughts and a question for you: What do you think is the future of blogging?

Usually when I write posts in this here Blogging series, I share my processes or thoughts about my blogging experience. But I’ve been thinking lots lately about my job, and how it might look in the future. What do you think blogging will look like in the years to come? Do you think it will stand the test of time? Do you think that it’ll be a relative flash in the pan and eventually make way for some new type of technology or media that doesn’t yet exist? Something in between?

No one could have ever predicted that magazines and newspapers would suffer because of this magical, futuristic technology we call the internet. I’m sure when the concept of the blog was created it was never meant to take the place of print journalism. But that’s what’s happening, little by little. So is there something out there that will take the place of blogging? These days, I feel  like part of my job is to keep my eye on the horizon to find out that very thing. And to bring it to you, ASAP, when I find out what it is. That’s part of the reason that we did our big fancy redesign — I wanted the blog to feel more like a destination, an experience. Because I’m feeling like that might be the future for Lovely Indeed.

I’d love to know your thoughts! The face and world of blogging has already changed dramatically and it’s still such a relatively new medium, in the grand scheme of things. What do you think is next? Is there a next? Or will blogs be around for a while? Let me know what you think and let’s have a convo! xoxo

Blogging // The Comparison Trap

Blogging // The Comparison Trap

This is a topic that’s been clanging around inside of my heart recently. Blogging can be such an inspiring world — there’s an endless stream of insane creativity that gets…

Blogging // The Comparison Trap

This is a topic that’s been clanging around inside of my heart recently. Blogging can be such an inspiring world — there’s an endless stream of insane creativity that gets splashed over the internet every day. But sometimes I find myself moving beyond inspiration and ending up sort of overwhelmed.

It always happens when I start comparing. It’s so easy to get inside your head and start thinking crazy thoughts. Well, that blogger has 100,000 Instagram followers. I need that. This blogger is renovating a house. I should do larger projects. The other blogger is best friends with Beyonce. Why am I not best friends with Beyonce?! Okay, so I haven’t officially seen any bloggers being best friends with Bey. But you get what I’m saying, right? Where do we draw the line between being inspired by others to strive for better things and just trying to keep up with that we’re seeing online?

It’s a tough distinction to make. Especially in a world that’s so filtered and styled and edited. When everything looks beautiful and fun and flashy, it’s hard to keep your head on straight and remember that there’s a real person behind each photo, each blog post. And the real person probably has struggles just like we all have struggles. It’s also tough sometimes to not discount the things that are going well, when you see other people accomplishing things you’d like to accomplish. Maybe that blogger just hit 100K on Instagram, but you’ve doubled your followers in the last few months. That’s no small feat. So why is it so easy to look right past it and wish that we had moremoremore?

I know that for me, it’s a constant battle to stop comparing and stop trying to keep up. I do my best to keep my head on straight, set goals that seem right for me, and work toward those goals. That’s not to say that I don’t lose it sometimes. But I find that when I stop looking around for comparisons and put my head down and just work is when I start feeling good again about my own progress. After all, wishing and stewing and hoping won’t get you anywhere, but hard work and a good attitude usually will, at least in my experience.

What about you? If you spend lots of your time online, is this something that you struggle with too? I’d love to know your take on it, and how you combat the comparison trap. xoxo

Tips for Working From Home

Blogging // Working from Home

Sometimes blogging is a really niche, weird profession to understand, and sometimes it’s just exactly like any other profession. I have been sitting here trying to sort out how it might…

Tips for Working From Home

Sometimes blogging is a really niche, weird profession to understand, and sometimes it’s just exactly like any other profession. I have been sitting here trying to sort out how it might be different to be a blogger at home and, say, a financial manager at home, and really I think they might be pretty similar. Because while a blogger’s workday might have a little more glitter or Instagramming than some other at-home professions, anyone working from home has to find a way to make it productive and fulfilling.

Blogging has been my “job” now for a few years, and during that time I’ve realized that working from home has some major benefits and some major challenges. Obviously, it looks pretty amazing to make your own schedule, work in sweatpants, and be your own boss. But I know that I also have to keep myself in check when there’s no bossman to answer to or timeclock to punch. So I have a few little rules and tricks that I use for myself when I work from home, to be sure I stay productive and keep rocking out.

Get Dressed. I’m not gonna lie. There are days when I wake up at 6 am and I sit down at my computer and start working and I look up and it’s 10 am and oopsie I’m still working in my pajamas. But most days I make sure that I get to the gym, get cleaned up, and put on regular clothes like regular people. There’s just something about being put together that gives ya a little extra boost of productivity and professionalism, even if you’re at your kitchen table.

Get Out. Don’t get stuck at home. It’s a trap. Especially if you are feeling creatively stuck or in a professional rut. Get out! Go take your computer to a coffee shop, or take a research trip to a new location, or scout and source some materials that you might need. Maybe not every day, but if you tune in you’ll know when you need to get out. Sometimes you need a change of scenery to get refreshed, and puttering up and down your own hallway just ain’t gonna cut it.

Connect. This particularly has been something that’s changed my work experience over the last year or two. It can be so isolating to work at home for yourself, and connecting with other people can shoo away the isolation. Schedule meetings, plan work dates, put events together, find a partner to tackle a project with. Whatever it looks like to you, find a network of people to connect with.

Have a (Vague) Schedule. Mr. Lovely and I both work from home, and I wouldn’t say we have strict stop and start times, but we do have a structure to our day and that helps immensely (especially now with a little one). Mornings are usually administrative business, email catchup, and phone meetings. We always, always break for lunch — neither one of us do well when we’re hangry. Then afternoons are website builds for him and usually creating or photoshooting for me, with lots of flexibility for both of us when other things pop up. Sometimes we get sidetracked when the doorbell rings or something comes up at home, but we can always get back on track if we stay flexible.

Have a Workspace. When we finally found a place to live with enough space to create a little office, both the quality and the quantity of the work we do skyrocketed. It’s a luxury for sure to have an office if you work at home, but a “workspace” can mean anything — a small desk with just the essentials, or a favorite spot at the kitchen table. Carve it out and treasure it. (Disclaimer: Sometimes I loooove working on my couch. Especially in my final weeks of pregnancy, it was the only comfortable place to sit and work. I fully endorse a couch workday every now and then.)

Do you work from home? I’d love to know what you do and how you set yourself up to rock out. Do leave a comment and gimme your two cents! xoxo

Finding Inspiration for Blogging

Blogging // Coming Up with Inspiration (Part 2)

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me over the years whether I have trouble coming up with things to write about or share here on the blog….

Finding Inspiration for Blogging

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me over the years whether I have trouble coming up with things to write about or share here on the blog. And for the most part (aside from the odd dry spell or creative rut — we all get ’em), the answer is no. What I’ve always loved about this space is that it’s essentially just a journal of the things that Mr. Lovely and I like to do or include in our every day lives. We travel, we eat, we make things, we have deep convos. And all of that gets shared here. I think life is just the greatest inspiration. But there are definitely times when I have a more focused intent on creating posts to share, and that’s when I go to my tried and true methods of stirring up some inspiration.

Noticing a Need Oftentimes if I’m feeling like I want to make something and just don’t know what, I’ll check out my surroundings to see if there’s anything I need. The day I realized that my mousepad was old and tired, I accidentally made one of my very favorite DIYs! Similarly, if I feel like there’s an empty space on the internet where there could be a great conversation, I’ll put together a blog post (or series) that addresses it. That’s why I started writing about Married Life.

Window Shopping Mr. Lovely and I are notoriously frugal, but it don’t cost nothin’ to window shop baby! I love going to beautiful shops that have either gorgeous merchandising or really lovely things for sale (or both!) and getting inspired. Sometimes just seeing the way that other people organize or create is enough to get me inspired.

Local Adventures Go somewhere new! Every town has a whole mess of spots to explore, whether it’s a restaurant, a park, a shop, or an event. I love finding things in town that I didn’t know existed — and that’s a blog post in and of itself right there!

Travel I’ve had wanderlust my whole life. And traveling is one of the things that inspires me most. Sometimes our worlds are so small, and we travel in the same paths every day, and we forget that there are places, communities, cultures, vistas, roads we’ve never seen. Go see that stuff if you have the chance. Notice everything you can and see how it enhances your creative vibes.

Talking with Pals Inspiration doesn’t have to cost a dime. I’ve had more than a few creative lightning bolts strike while I’ve been brainstorming or just talking shop with friends. And sometimes I find that the best ideas come from chatting with people in an entirely different industry than mine! It’s so refreshing to get a totally new perspective, and it can sometimes open your eyes to an idea that was sitting right in front of you.

I’d love to know how you get inspired to do what you do! Whether you’re a blogger, teacher, doctor, or anything in between — where do you go or what do you do when you’re in a rut? xoxo

P.S. After I wrote this I realized I wrote something similar about a year ago — and interestingly enough, it’s a little different! See more tips for getting inspired from last year.

Best Apps for Blogging

Blogging // Favorite Apps

Does this stuff bore you guys? Sometimes I get so nerdy about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into putting a blog together I might get a little over excited about…

Best Apps for Blogging

Does this stuff bore you guys? Sometimes I get so nerdy about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into putting a blog together I might get a little over excited about it. But this one (I swear) is perfect for bloggers and non-bloggers alike! Some of my favorite apps to help with putting blogs together just happen to be apps that also help with being a real person. Ya know, one of those crazy folks who doesn’t share every moment of their day online. Who are those people, anyway?

So! Let’s talk apps. These are m’ go-to, tried and true apps that help me keep track of what I’m doing, what I need to be doing, things I want to write about, all my photos, and way more. Let’s break it down.

Social Apps. I’m sure you’re all up on these, but I had to mention the group of them anyway. I’m always using Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook (probably in that order) to help share bits of my every day and the blog. But mayyyybe my favorite social app is actually HootSuite, which allows you to combine streams from various social media and see it all in one place. You can also schedule tweets and posts, which is so helpful.

Teux Deux. Teux Deux has been my to-do list app for yearrrrs. They actually went to a pay model a year or two back and I stayed with it because it’s the only list app that does everything I like. You can add items to any specific day, including months and years into the future so you don’t forget them. You can cross things off the list. You can drag and drop to-dos. And there are “Someday” lists, for things that you need to accomplish but not on a certain time frame. And my favorite thing about it is that if you don’t finish a to-do, it automatically rolls over to the next day.

Evernote. Evernote is another list app, with more rich features. It’s more for storing ideas and combinations of media. You can organize your notes into folders, bookmark web addresses, and include photos. I use it often to keep track of DIY ideas that I think of but can’t put together for a while.

Sunrise. A totally beautiful calendar app, that syncs with iCal and Google Calendar. I love that it’s got a great, clean design, it’s easy to use, and it has a little weather notification attached to it to help plan if you’re headed out.

Dropbox. If you don’t use Dropbox and you share lots of files, you are missing out! It’s so handy to be able to send large files back and forth without using email. You can just add a file to your account, invite a friend, and they have access to it too. Mr. Lovely and I use it to trade files back and forth almost daily.

Photo Editing Apps. This could probably be a whole post unto itself. I’m waaaayyy into photo editing apps. I just checked and I have 26 of them on my phone. Hashtag excessive. But! If I had to pick only three, they’d be VSCO, Afterlight, and Studio. VSCO is a gorgeous app with a beautiful design, and it breaks down editing images to a few really key, simple steps. Afterlight has a few more capabilities without being overwhelming, so if I want to add light effects or other cool stuff I go there. And Studio is my favorite for overlays — there are so many cool fonts and image packs that you can download to jazz up your images.

If you have more apps that you just love, please leave them in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for fun ways to stay organized and be creative. Do tell! xoxo