Bloggers Meet-Up?

Bloggers Meet-Up_

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about organising a bloggers meet-up.  The idea would be to meet up with other bloggers one weekend and chat all things blog, from how to create a content schedule to generating ideas and ways to engage with our readers.  I have a few ideas of things that I would like to chat about and, more than anything, this would be a weekend where we could make friends with our fellow bloggers and share advice, hints, tips and ask questions.  I was thinking of arranging something in the New Year (possibly March/April time)

So, here are a few questions for you regarding this…

  1. Would you be interested in this kind of thing?
  2. Would you be willing to travel to South Wales (UK) for this?
  3. What sort of things would you like from a bloggers meet? (e,g types of topics covered, activities etc…)
  4. Would you prefer a 1 or 2 day meet up?

Let me know in the comments, and any other thoughts you may have!

 

Birthday Giveaway! Only A Few Days Left to Enter!!!!

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Blog header

As it is my blog birthday today I wanted to do something to celebrate!  I decided to host a giveaway for you all!

I am giving you the chance to win a blog bullet journal that will be designed by me!  I managed to get my hands on a lovely dot grid journal which is the same as the one I will be using for my blog things next year…

It is silver holographic and has 192 pages of 80gsm paper.  The layouts inside will be for the full year, there will also be pages for relevant hashtags, goals, stats, pages or blog post ideas, schedule calendar and other useful pages!

To be in with a chance to win all you need to do is number off in the comments, please check the comment prior to yours and then comment with the next number up from that!

  • The giveaway is open to everyone.
  • The giveaway is open from 29th September to 16th October.
  • There will be 1 winner (I will use a random number generator to draw the winner.)
  • Winner will be announced on 17th October on the blog.
  • One entry per person.
  • I will post out the journal in November.

Good Luck everyone!!!!

A Year In Statistics

Untitled design(6)

I thought it would be interesting to share my blog statistics from when I started my blog to the day of its first birthday as a way to record them and use them as a basis for next years statistics.

I know that statistics can be a weird one when it comes to blogging, some people can see them as being a mark of failure or success, and while I have been aware of my blog’s statistics and been interested to see the highs and lows of the numbers, I have not been too hung up on them overall.  I have learned that readers will come and go, as will comments and likes and it is not really a reflection of you, the blogger, its a reflection of your audience.  Sometimes your views, likes and comments may be low but this isn’t necessarily a reflection of you, it could be that your audience is busy with their own life events.

Anyway, onto my blog statistics from the day I started blogging to 28th September 2019 when my blog turned 1!

Blog launched – 28/09/2018

Firsts

  • First post published – 16/09/2018 (I backdated the first few posts)
  • First like on a post – 24/10/2019
  • Posts published before my first like – 12
  • First comment – 12/12/2019
  • Posts published before my first comment – 31
  • First Follow – 21/11/2018

Followers Milestones

  • First 100 follows – 02/02/2019
  • 200 follows – 29/03/2019
  • 300 follows – 29/05/2019
  • 400 follows – 18/07/2019
  • 500 follows – 11/09/2019

Blog Schedule

  • Posting schedule when I started – Tuesday & Friday
  • Moved to Mon, Tues, Thurs and Friday in December 2018
  • First Blog Challenge – April A-Z Challenge 2019

Stats Now

  • Total Views – 14700
  • Visitors – 10022
  • Likes – 5585
  • Comments – 2248
  • Followers – 532
  • Posts – 353

Daily Averages

  • Views – 40
  • Visitors – 27
  • Likes – 15
  • Comments – 6
  • Followers – 1

This Month On The Blog

O(2)

It feels like yesterday when I sat down to write about what was coming up on the blog for September, yet here we are, saying a fond farewell to that month and welcoming October with open arms.

This month, in the blogosphere, October is also known as Blogtober and I shall be partaking in this challenge.  There will be a blog post a day through the whole of October focusing on the challenge I have set myself.  I shall be sharing a post about what Blogtober is and what I will be doing on the blog to take part.

Aside from Blogtober, there will be the usual mix of posts from my Recipe of the Month, Monthly Goals, Words on Wednesday, Saturday Shout Out’s, Top 10 Thursdays and my Weekly Roundups.  I will also be sharing some mental health posts as the 10th October is World Mental Health Day.

I will be looking for more bloggers to take part in my Saturday Shout Out series, if you would like to be featured please check out this blog post for details!

What is happening on your blog this month?  I’d love to know so leave me a comment!

My Blog is 1!!!!

Today my blog turns 1!  As a celebration, I have a giveaway for you to enter to win a bullet journal which will be designed by me (please see this post for the giveaway rules and how to enter).

I have also created a group over on Facebook (yeah, I’m back on there and will be talking about my return to Facebook in my Words on Wednesday post).  I created the group Bloggers Brew as a way to help bloggers to network with others, share blog posts and ask any questions that they may need help with and to share any ideas.  I want this group to be an extension of blogging, a way to meet other bloggers and to share any advice and help.  Please feel free to pop over to Facebook and join the group, either use the search bar and look for Bloggers Brew or click the link here.  There are a few questions to answer upon requesting to join, this is just to help the group as a whole, reduce any spam that may enter the group and make sure that anyone who joins is genuine.  I hope that will not put you off from joining.

So, what are you waiting for?  Come and join the group now!!!!

My Best and Worst Habits as a Blogger

Untitled design(5)

As humans, we inherently have good and bad habits so it makes sense that as bloggers, we also have good and bad traits.  Today I am sharing my best and worst habits as a blogger.

The Good

  • Organisation and scheduling.  There is nothing that I love more than spending time creating my blog schedule and working out which posts should be written and go live on which days.  I think I have created a schedule which works really well for me and fits in with the rest of my life and the things I want to achieve.
  • Trying new things.  I really like to push myself with trying new things on the blog, it helps to keep things fun and fresh both for myself and my readers too!
  • Enthusiasm.  I am super enthusiastic about all aspects of blogging, I eat, sleep, breathe and talk blogging most of the time! Lol!
  • Supporting other bloggers.  I love to support other bloggers and help out where I can.  I like to share other blogs via my Saturday Shout Out and am currently working on a few plans to help other bloggers too!
  • Blog post ideas.  I have a fab niche which allows me to write about many different topics which means I have tons of ideas of things to write about.  One year in and I still have not run out of ideas yet!

The Bad

  • Drinking too much coffee.  So. Much. Coffee…Seriously, who would have thought that writing a blog post or doing another bit that is blog related would be fueled by so many cups of coffee?!
  • Procrastination.  I am the Procrastination Princess, though I am not entirely sure that it is procrastination that I really have or that I can be really easily distracted at times?
  • Time management.  This is something that is both good and bad, good that I have everything planned to the minute but bad that sometimes when things go wrong and end up taking longer I can get pretty frustrated.  It can also mean that I end up working on something for a lot longer than I should!
  • Doing all the things (or wanting to).  I can get pretty overwhelmed with things, partly due to my Aspergers, but there is part of me that always wants to try to get everything done or try out new ideas there and then which isn’t the best thing to do at times!
  • Overthinking.  Sometimes, I can find it really hard to motivate myself to write something, especially if I have been thinking about it for a long time.  I sort of feel like I have written it already (albeit in my head) and really need to motivate myself to get it typed out.  I had this problem in Uni when I was supposed to be writing my dissertation.

I’d love to hear about your best and worst habits as a blogger, so leave me a comment and let me know!

Blog Goals for the Year Ahead

Blog Goals For The Year Ahead.png

As my blog nears its first Birthday I want to share some goals that I’d like to achieve in the year ahead.  I have been amazed at what I have achieved so far and while I never really set out with any goals in mind I think that this coming year I should have some things set to aim for…

  • 1000 followers.  I hit 500 Followers a short while ago so this next figure should be attainable.
  • YouTube Chanel.  I have a few ideas of things that I would like to try and doing so via video may be a better option.
  • Weekly Saturday Shout Outs.  While I am already doing this, I would like to make the shout out a little more in-depth and about the writer behind the blog as well as focusing on the blog itself.
  • Take part in Blogtober, Blogmas and the April A-Z challenge.  These challenges help keep me on my toes and share posts that may not get shared otherwise and are a fantastic way of introducing new content.
  • Daily blog posts.  While I blog nearly every day I would like to have set themes for each day of the week as well as my normal posts too.
  • More tutorials.  I love reading tutorials and have a few that I want to share in the future!

I just need to sit down and work out the hows, and whens!  🙂

What blog goals do you have?  I’d love to hear about them so let me know in the comments!

My Biggest Blogging Obstacles and How I’m Overcoming Them

lifetime

Blogging is not all sunshine and roses, and neither is it easy.  There is a common misconception that bloggers just need to open a new post, write it and then publish it.  But blogging, as with any job or hobby can come with its own set of obstacles.  Today I am sharing my biggest blogging obstacles and the strategies I use to overcome them.

  • Time Management

Writing a blog post and getting it ready for publishing can take time.  I don’t want to spend all of my time sitting at a screen and thinking about what I am going to write, nor do I want to miss out on other life events because of my blog, and I especially do not want to rush a blog post in order to hit any schedule I have in place.  This is where time management is crucial.  I have gotten into a routine of scheduling time of an evening to write blog posts, work on post ideas and plan my schedule.  I set aside 2 hours of my evening in which to write, plan and read other blogs.  It has taken time to get to this stage where it just comes naturally to me, that on returning from my 9-5 job I put the kettle on and make a coffee then settle down to craft a post.  It’s all about being time savvy and finding a good balance.

If you are struggling with time management and feel that you don’t have the time to spend on your blog that you want it is worth keeping a log of how you spend your time for a week.  The time log can be as detailed as you want but all you really need to see is when you have any downtime that could be used blogging.  Once you have identified these blocks of time you can start scheduling in blog time.

  • Productivity

Productivity can be a hard one to measure as a blogger especially when there are so many blogging activities that need to be done including writing posts, editing, images, links, catching up with other blogs, commenting and a whole host of other things.  There are also distractions that can make being productive quite hard.

Productivity is one thing I am forever struggling with.  Have I been productive by writing 3 posts this week?  By keeping on top of my comments?  By staying up to date with my fellow bloggers?  Every day can be so different that comparing one day to another in terms of what I have accomplished doesn’t really work.

I manage my productivity by making lists of the things I want to achieve on my blog each week and then break it down into smaller, more manageable lists that I aim to complete each day.  I roughly know how long each task will take me and try to allocate the tasks so that the time allowance is the same for each day.  I find that when I know what needs to be done and I can cross things off that I can then measure how productive I have been.

  • Lack of Motivation

Some days I am super motivated and seem to get a ton of blog things accomplished but then another day I have all the intentions of working on my blog but all I seem to manage to do is sit and stare into space and not get anything done.  We are only human and need to have back up plans for when the lack of motivation hits us.

I like to deal with this kind of day by having a few posts written in advance (I write these on the days I am feeling super motivated) which I keep in my drafts folder.  On the days I have a lack of motivation I open up my drafts folder and edit a post before scheduling it.  Just this little act can boost my motivation and I can then work on some other blog things.

But, I have learned that on days when my motivation is lacking sometimes it is best to step away from the blog and work on something else I enjoy.  There is no point in being harsh with yourself when you have zero motivation, it is your brain’s way of saying that you need a bit of time out.

  • Bloggers Block

When I first started this blog I went through a bit of Bloggers Block, its a bit like writers block (but for bloggers) where you have all the will in the world to write, you want to write and have a need to write but there are no words appearing on the screen no matter how hard you stare at it and will them to appear.  Bloggers block is one of the biggest fears of mine and one that I hope not to experience again any time soon.

I have developed a system in order to avoid the dreaded blogger’s block and that is to have a journal where I write down any ideas for posts that I may have.  Any idea, no matter how big or small or crazy gets written down.  I go through the book when I am working on my posting schedule for the month and schedule the ideas in for the following month.

  • Idea Generating

Coming up with ideas for the blog can be a bit hit or miss at times, and even though I add any ideas I have to a blog journal I am always conscious that these ideas may run out in the future.  I like to sit down every few months and go through some exercises that can help with generating fresh content ideas.

The first exercise is to look at the categories I write posts in, for example, Fashion And Beauty.  I get a piece of blank paper and write the heading in the centre then try to think of as many topics related to that category as possible, so for Fashion and Beauty, there may be things like the outfit, season, new shoes, shower gel, cleanser etc, a bit like a spider diagram.  From this I can then come up with ideas for blog posts.

The second exercise I have is to perform a hashtag search to see what kind of things are trending which are relative to my niche.  Sometimes words or phrases will come up that I had never thought of or expected which can then generate ideas for blog posts.

  • Accountability

As a blogger I often feel that I am only accountable to myself, and being accountable to myself is something that I don’t do well with as I am one of those people who will put off today the things I can do tomorrow.

In order to bring accountability to my blog and get things done in a timely manner, I have a blog posting schedule which I have loosely planned out until the end of 2020.  I created a calendar in Excel which I have written in re-occurring posts such as my Saturday Shout Out, Top 10 Thursday and Weekly Roundup, all the posts that are assigned to specific days.  I have also written out onto certain days the category of the blog post I want to be written for that day, there is nothing very specific on it.  However, I then start assigning specific blog posts and titles the month prior, so this month (September) I have already planned out the majority of my posts to their specifics for October.  Working to a schedule means that I always know what is coming up, what I need to write and when I need it written for.

The other way I have bought accountability to my blog is by sharing a post each month letting all of my readers know what is coming up on the blog in that coming month.  This works really well for me as I know, with my reader’s expectations, I stay accountable to them as well as myself.

  • Lonliness

Blogging is a fairly solitary activity and it can be easy to feel a bit lonely at times.  With other activities, such as a job, you are surrounded by people all in the same boat and it is easy to chat, share problems and generally talk about the job, but blogging can be one of those things that friends and family may not fully understand.  I have found that the best way to overcome these feelings of loneliness is to find other bloggers that you enjoy reading, start commenting on their blogs and build up a network of like-minded people.

I have been incredibly lucky to meet some really supportive, like-minded bloggers since starting this blog, and I am pleased to be able to call them friends.  But, I have only been able to build up this group of friends through following, reading, commenting and replying to comments.  I have found that if you reach out to another blogger, or if they reach out to you then it is worthwhile investing time in conversations, you won’t often feel lonely at all.

What are your biggest blogging obstacles and how have you overcome them?  Let me know in the comments, your responses may be able to help another blogger who is struggling.

 

How do You Feel About Re-Blogs?

How Do You Feel About Re-Blogs_.png

I’ve been fairly lucky with the blog in the past year, I have not had any negative or hateful comments left for me and when the Tygpress blog skim thing happened I seemed to escape that where many other bloggers had work of theirs taken and shared on that site without their knowledge.  But today I am asking how you feel about re-blogs?

Re-blogging is a way for bloggers to share great content that they have read, written by another blogger, that is shared to the re-blogger’s audience.  Usually, there is a comment by the re-blogger about the post they are sharing and could be about how great the post was, or how it is relevant to something that has been raised on their own blog, or something about how the post resonated with them.  I have occasionally re-blogged others posts if I think it will help them (for example, I have shared a blog post where someone was looking for people to answer a Survey Monkey questionnaire to help with their dissertation), or because I really loved what they had written and thought other readers may like it and other work that the original writer had written.

I don’t usually mind my posts being re-blogged, I have always either been asked if I minded someone sharing my posts or they have re-blogged with a lovely comment about my writing.

Since Tygpress happened I have always checked out the blog that has re-shared my posts, and mostly it has been people that I follow, regular commenters or genuine blogs that I have then taken a look at and started to follow as they put out their own work which is brilliant.

Yesterday though, I had to disable my re-blog button.  I had a blog share a few posts of mine a short while ago but forgot to check out the blog to see what the blog my work was being shared to was like and the sort of content they were putting out.  I had 2 notifications in quick succession of each other yesterday to say that 2 of my posts had been shared by this blogger.  Having recognised the name of the blogger it jolted my memory and I set about checking this site out.

A couple of things have got me suspicious of the site that re-blogged my work.  Scrolling through their site it seems that all they have ever done is re-blog other peoples posts, never leave a comment why they were re-blogging it, all of the posts are different to each other that have been re-blogged – there is no overarching theme to any of them, the reblogged posts all seem to be on certain days and within minutes of each other, there is no “About” page for the author of the site just a generic contact form, there don’t seem to be any comments on the posts shared but a few likes here and there, and the comments that I left on my re-blogged content asking for my posts to be removed seem to have been deleted.

Something doesn’t feel right to me about this, so what should I do?  Any advice would be greaty appreciated.