One Wacky Combination: Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat

feed the beat, taco bell

Never in a million years would I pair Passion Pit with Taco Bell, but guess what folks, the two have intertwined.

In an incredibly cool marketing push, Taco Bell has publicly launched it’s Feed the Beat campaign, which apparently, has been seven years in the making.

They are helping up-and-coming bands reach new audiences, supporting them with free food, stage appearances, commercial spots, and promotions on social media. I absolutely love the idea that a national company like Taco Bell is using it’s corporate power to reach out to young people dreaming and living their passion.

Seriously, what a cool campaign, website, imagery, film. It’s all stellar. A round of applause. Turn up the music and bring me some queso.

Take It With You: DSLR Camera Bag Insert

express insert for dslr camera camaroo amazon

I set out on a search for a small camera bag backpack that I could fit my Nikon D90 and 24-70mm lens into. That’s all I want to put in it. No extra lenses. No flash equipment. I want to begin taking my camera with me to concerts, hiking, on motorcycle rides, but I want it to be protected obviously. And cute. Is this too much to ask?!

It seemed like all the bags I found were either large, ugly, or just black (boring!) The cutesy, girly camera bags like Epiphanie or Jill-e, seemed to cater to the purse or laptop style. I actually already have Epiphanie’s Lola style bag – and I LOVE IT! However, it’s not an easy addition to strap on your back when you’re hanging on for your life on the back of your boyfriend’s motorcycle.

What I discovered on the camera bag search, was a handy-dandy little padded insert designed for DSLR cameras that you can slip your camera and lens into and then slip the entire padded insert into any bag or purse you want. I found it on Amazon.com for $22.00 and it’s an awesome addition to have for the on-the-go, journalistic-like photographers out there. The only downfall is that I should have purchased a larger size because my lens (24-77mm) attached to my camera body is slightly larger than the insert allows for so just check the size requirements you will need with the size of the insert before purchasing. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it! Now I get to go shop for some super fun backpacks – horray!

Blog Tip #4: SEO on images

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Blog Tip #4 relates to optimizing your images for search engines. How do search engines like Google and Bing find your tiny little real estate of a blog in the sea of the world wide web? What do you need to do in order for your images to become search-worthy? I was clueless (let’s be honest) so here are the primary tips I came across:

Files Names:

Name your image files with your key words. If you are talking about wedding photography in a downtown vintage reception location, name your file, “wedding-photography-downtown-vintage-reception.jpg”. The more repetition from your blog title to your blog content to your image alt tags, keywords, and file names, the better your SEO chances of google bots tracking your blog post down and bumping it up in the rankings.

ALT Text:

When you upload an image to wordpress, there is a spot to insert ALT text keywords before pressing “insert into post.” USE THIS. Add your keywords relating to your image. This may be the most crucial step to making your images search-able. In the example used above, your ALT text would read: “wedding photography downtown vintage reception” Match your alt tag to your image file name, use keywords relating to your post, and it doesn’t hurt to through in the title of your blog either. Use model or serial numbers if you are selling or speaking to a specific product. This helps search engines pinpoint your topic.

Image Title:

Again, WordPress allows you to change the title of the image. WordPress automatically inserts it’s own image title based on the name of your file, however, you have the ability to expand the title of your image.

Flickr:

I am not currently doing this one, but Flickr is one of the best search-optimized photo sharing sites in the world. Uploading all your images to Flickr and linking back to your site, increases your chances for more exposure.

Remember:

1. Put yourself in the “searcher’s” shoes. What would they google if they wanted to find examples of wedding photography in a downtown setting with a vintage twist? “Wedding photography vintage,” “vintage downtown photography,” and “vintage wedding” are just a few search terms they may type into a Google search bar.

2. Don’t over complicate your word choices. Using too many keywords makes your image hard to find because it makes it too specific. Using too few keywords makes your image hard to find because it makes it too broad. You need to use the right words and the right amount of words in order to be found in the right niche.

3. Keep file sizes small. The larger the file size, the longer it takes for your page to load and the more metadata a search engine needs to sift through in order to optimize your image. Don’t sacrifice image quality, but make sure your file size isn’t outrageously large. Nothing is more annoying than being super interested in a blog and waiting 30 seconds for a series of images to load.

Those are the basics.

If I forgot something, share in the comments!

The Fear Game

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Let’s play a game.

It’s simple. List your fears.

Why? Because fears have a tendency to hold you back. They have a tendency to shut you down, make you question your every move, paralyze you. They hinder you from making decisions, from holding a strong opinion, from speaking out. Fear is your own worst enemy and it’s time to move past your enemy. You have great things to accomplish and you will only learn by stepping outside your front door, interacting with people, learning from triumphs and mistakes, taking chances, and gaining as many experiences as you can as fast as you can.

So let’s play a game. Here’s my list. What’s yours?

1. Fear of being judged, for my thoughts, my actions, my emotions, my way of life

2. Fear that I’m not a good writer

3. Fear of being alone

4. Fear of not improving, remaining stagnant

5. Fear of trying really hard and failing

6. Fear of not taking a chance

7. Fear of criticism, mean critisim

8. Fear of getting in trouble

9. Fear of regretting

10. Fear of not seizing an opportunity

The Fear Game. Look at your own list and see what fears are holding you back from something you are trying to accomplish. Whether it’s career or personal in nature, your fears are your own worst enemy. Take a moment and share you fear list – get it out in the public, be vulnerable, and see your fears listed in black and white. I am going to bet that many, if not all, of your fears are worrying tendencies that can be battled with positivity and confidence.

So fight back. Don’t let doubts and worries take over your true potential.

P.S.

Everyone admire my Fear Monster. I didn’t know what to do with an image so I scribbled him with my mouse. He’s a scary little beast, am I right?!

Etsy Shop: “Treasury-ed”

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Hello friends! I have exciting news! My business card design has been put into a “Treasury” via Etsy’s curators. It sits in the “Textured Treasury.” I think it’s pretty fun that Etsy handpicks certain items and collects them into similar groups. I’m hoping it will get my name out there a little bit.

So far, my experience with opening a store on Etsy has been super interesting and far from what I had expected. I have received a lot of custom orders – people requesting changes or updates or personalization to designs I already have out there. I expected to just see a couple of purchases and downloads once in a while but I have actually communicated with quite a few different people, all with different ideas in mind. Etsy is a great way for any freelancer to get their name out there and although there is a lot of competition to the custom designs game, I have still received quite a few purchases and custom orders.