new york film academy

Blogging

20 Ways To Get Serious About Blogging


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1. Think long & hard about your blog categories

Your categories are the main sections or “magazine columns” that you feature on your blog. Your categories can be a drop down menu on your sidebar. They should be simple and logical. Use hierarchies to organise your ideas better. Try think of a catchy angle for them so you peak your viewer’s interest and stand out from the rest.

2. Design your site as simple as possible

Keep your design simple and appealing. Make it intuitive and well-structured. People should intuitively know how to navigate your space. Make pages along the top for sections you want to highlight. Use a category drop down menu and a follow widget wouldn’t hurt. If there are other platforms you want your viewers to know about, include those widgets also. A direct link to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram invites viewers to connect with you.

3. Operate it like a real magazine

Decide on your target audience just like Cosmo or House and Garden does. This means deciding:

+ Who you want to appeal to (age group, gender, interests)

+ What your content will be (which topics you choose)

+ How involved you’ll get in your articles (short, long, lots of resources)

Plan out each piece well. It’s always a good idea to think about a catchy title and invest time into each piece. Edit and format your posts and add great designs to them. Write in a natural tone and keep it simple. Decide on your intentions with each post. Publish often (weekly is great). If your favourite magazine missed a few issues, you’d eventually find a replacement.

4. Share each post into infinity

You write and publish something once, but who’s to say you can’t share that post once per month on Twitter, a couple times a year on Facebook or every other month on Google+? Pinterest is a lovely fresh platform with a constant stream of ideas. It’s a great way to advertise your blog. Make a board dedicated to your blog and pin your stuff to it! It will make it easier for people to find you and re-pin your stuff. Due to the “timeline” nature of most social media platforms, if you only share something once, it will only be seen by a small percent of your followers. It’s also a good idea to make an advert with your heading and URL on for sharing purposes.

5. Make sure you know what  your audience wants and needs

Your readers/clients have specific questions, desires and needs. You can start to figure out these needs by putting yourself in their shoes. What would you want to read about if you were them, visiting your blog? What tools can make things simpler for your viewers? Why do they come to your blog? Read more about figuring this out here.

6. Post frequently + consistently, with quality as your best friend

Remember to keep your material current and up-to-date. Try cater for a blog audience while maintaining your brand goals and sanity. This is, of course, if you are operating your blog like a business.

7. Invest in your blog

The things you spend money on are the things you want to get value out of. The things you spend money on are the important things that you care about. The best things in life are free, but some of the things that help you create your best life cost money. Invest in marketing your blog online or elsewhere if you want the traffic that will get you money in the long run.

8. Format your posts to be read by busy, lazy humans

This means short titles, bullet points and headings. Also, it means blog posts which aren’t too long.

9. Create a content calendar

….One that includes suggested post dates and categories. Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin is great because I like a visual representation of when I should post. Without a calendar and some type of plan, you’ll get around to that one post about that one thing on the 10th of NeverEver.

10. Add in promotion & maintenance tasks

Sponsored blogging (getting paid to publish promotional stuff) must be scheduled into your usual blogging routine. A lot of the time, clients/sponsors need a date for publishing. It’s good to plan ahead so you can give them an exact date.

11. Establish a writing routine that gives you time to think

Creative people are always thinking. Sometimes I have great ideas that pop into my head which I jot down. When I get around to writing a post, I’m always excited to publish it straight away. But I’ve learnt that it’s better to save the draft and give it an ‘incubation’ period in your head. Trust me, you’ll think of different things to add over a period of just 24 hours which will add value to your post.

12. Be you. We won’t like you if you’re being someone else

Enjoy your own space online. Add photos of your life. Write the way you would speak in real life. See how you do this in my post Find Your Voice Online.

13. Get high quality photos of yourself

It’s a good idea to have quality photos of yourself. These will come in handy for your “about” page, as well as any articles you write where you have personal experience. Allow your readers to connect with you! Keep a professional flavour by getting nice photos taken. It’s good for you and will be a plus for the photographer. There’s power in collaboration!

14. Audit your blog regularly

That post you wrote three months ago? It totally needs a link to the post you published earlier this week because they’re heavily related and your readers will be happy to have guided/quick access to both. Always keep in mind that no matter what order you write things in, any post or page on your website has the potential to be the first post a visitor sees. P.S. Blog audits are also a great way to make sure you’ve included your affiliate links and product/service links in all the organic ways possible.

15. Check your grammar

Make sure to double-check your articles.

16. Be available + interactive

No one likes a person who never responds to anything. Granted, you may be so “big time” that you can’t get to every blog comment or tweet, but none of them? I’ll accept that when you become the President of the United States. Even then, you can hire some people to help you out!

17. Pay attention to the questions your readers ask

There may be a new blog post you’ve written, a new eBook you can sell, a problem you can fix or a service you can offer that is lingering in questions from readers. Cultivate community around your blog so people feel they are in a safe space where they are supported and encouraged. Grow a family around your blog. You do this by being attentive to your readers.

18. Guest post like a champ

Once you have a healthy collection of quality content to lead people back to, pitch to some sites that fit your brand (or that are frequented by your ideal readers) to do a guest post. Think about larger online magazines and websites as well. These guest posting opportunities will help you build relationships and will lead new readers back to your site.

19. Accept guest posts like a champ

If someone else is willing to say some valuable and entertaining stuff on your blog, let them. Make sure each post fits your blog, fits your readers, and is the type of quality content you want your blog to be known for. Make sure to promote your guest authors and show them love. They will likely spread the word of their guest post, which can potentially give you lots of new readers.

20. Stay focused

We creatives like shiny new projects and get distracted easily. When you have lots of ideas racing through your head, stop and focus your energy on one thing at a time. Make a list. Lists are great.

Photo: Death To The Stock Photo

Blog, New York, USA

South African In: New York


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After studying in New York, I arrived home in South Africa inspired and changed. I love New York! Every single day felt like I was in a fairytale. The flight to New York from South Africa is 14 hours. I can honestly say I was welcomed into the city with open arms. I’d always imagined New York to be an intimidating place. I was thinking “Sex in the City” and famous stars like Beyonce and Jay Z walking the streets on the flight over. Not to mention that it’s the financial capital of the world – the Wall Street Stock Exchange sounds scary. But I was pleasantly surprised with how friendly the people were and how do-able the city was.

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❤ My Work, Blog, Modelling, New York

Photography Thesis


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I’m currently helping a photography grad student at the school with his final thesis project …. portraits & body shots. Can’t wait to see the pictures when they’re done 🙂 We shot at a studio in SOHO, Manhattan, and I think we ended up shooting until midnight from being there in the afternoon! I did my own make-up for this. I used Rimmel ‘Special Eyes’ Black Eye Liner, Estee Lauder Double Wear Mascara, Clinique ‘Precious Posy’ Blush, Maybelline ‘Pink Quartz’ Lipstick and for my foundation I used Estee Lauder ‘Pale Almond’ Futurist.

Shoot with NYFA

My Life in Africa

In class with someone famous :)


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I’m so thrilled to be in class in New York with well-known soapie star Jorge Consejo, who is most famous for his roles on various TV soap operas in Mexico on the “Telemundo” Network.  It’s such a pleasure working with him in class – I’m learning a lot! Now he is moving to New York and setting his sights on working in the film industry here. I have no doubt he will be very successful!! Check out his Twitter and his official website.

Blog, New York

Breakdown of My Course at NYFA


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Tamika Doubell New York Film Academy

I really enjoyed my course at the New York Film Academy in Manhattan. They call it “NYFA” for short. I was impressed with all the school has to offer in every aspect of motion picture, film-making + showbiz in general. Aside from their acting courses, they also offer courses in film-making, producing, editing, photography, cinematography, 3D animation, game design, digital editing, screenwriting, broadcast journalism, documentary film-making, musical theatre, music video creation + so much more. We had class daily from 8:30am – 5pm, in which we studied:

  • Text / script analysis
  • Audition Technique
  • Scene Study
  • Monologue Techniques
  • Acting for film
  • Voice and Movement
  • Improvisation
  • Branding & Marketing for the actor

We had these classes with various coaches every day at NYFA campuses across the city. One of our campuses was at a place called “Pearl Studios” + it’s where all the Broadway shows go to rehearse and hold auditions! We had “Jersey Boys”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Rock of Ages”, “Wicked”, “Newsies” rehearsing + holding auditions for the new season every day. Exciting stuff! What I loved about NYFA is that they coached us in every way possible … we would act, film ourselves acting, watch ourselves + critique ourselves / have our coaches critique us. We did monologues + scenes with scene partners where we got assigned a partner + a scene from an award-winning play or film. We practiced with each other during structured rehearsal blocks in the week. We then filmed it on location with professional equipment + crew. At the end of the course we had material for our showreels which was great. Another awesome part of the course was having industry professionals come in + talk to us. They’d give us coaching advice, which I found invaluable. All our teachers were actively involved in the industry themselves, working either in feature films, sitcoms, television shows or commercials. I loved getting taught by them, trained by them + I especially loved getting their advice. What amazed me most was all the avenues students in acting can branch into. Some of our teachers studied acting for screen + then went on to work on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) or “30 Rock” which is its own career. I would personally enjoy the experience of working on feature films. I loved the talk we had one evening from the Director of Photography for “World War Z”, Ben Seresin. Below is a picture of my class outside the Union Square campus.

New York Film Academy 8-week acting for film

See more articles about my time in New York:

– Meeting the Rotary Club of Wall Street

– My Experience Eating The Big Apple

– The US Open

 Here We Go: East Village

 Shoot with John Tona

My Short Film

In Class with Someone Famous

– I love Polaroids

– Art Meets Fashion Event in Brooklyn

– A Night out in NYC

– Remembering 9/11

– My Life in New York in Pictures

 Prices in New York

– Quote for the Day

– Photography Thesis

New York Film Academy

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New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

Blog, New York

VIVA South Africa! Another night out in New York


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So again we hit the clubs this weekend (I promise I am actually here doing a course and not just going out :P) ……. We went to Hudson Terrace again because one of my classmates Katie had her boyfriend visiting from Baltimore. Again, thank you Catherine for getting us in free (usually entry to this club is $20) and for MJ Perez for the table and complimentary alcohol. Also a huge thanks to Reflections NYC Photography for the great pictures. This time I took my South African flag with me to spice things up and let me say it was a hit! I was surprised at how many people came up to me and asked about Mandela. I was very impressed. The outfit I wore is entirely from H&M (we don’t have it in SA, what’s up with that?!). I had such a great night out and found myself dancing on a table before long.

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