The Bloggers Bash Review

The Bloggers Bash

I was going to write this post as a run through of the day but have decided to tell you all about my favourite parts of the day instead.

On Saturday morning my brother accompanied me to the Annual Bloggers Bash which took place in the Grange Wellington Hotel in Westminster in London.  We got the train from Lewisham to Victoria and walked the last part of the journey to the hotel which wasn’t too far away.  The weather was warm but overcast and there were dark rainclouds on the horison but the day remained dry and warm.

2 guest speakers had been invited to speak with us, Laura of Full To The Brum, a food blog based in Birmingham, and G X Todd, an author.  Both speakers were really interesting.  Laura spoke about how she has evolved from writing about food and drink on her blog to writing features for magazines and newspapers, her love of newsletters and about the struggles related to social media.  G X Todd, (also know as Gemma) took us through her journet to becoming an author, her inspirations and how things have changed for authors in the modern, internet and social media age.  I found both speakers to be really interesting and have given me food for thought.  From Laura, I left thinking about my personal brand and making my blog my own and from Gemma it was that we should all take what we do seriously.

There was a question and answer session with Esther Chiltern – a writer, tutor and blog tutor, Shelley Wilson a self help, motivation, holistic health and personal development blogger, and Laura (from above.). Questions posed to the panel were varied and the answers given were really interesting.  There was a question about blog awards, such as the Liebster and Sunshine blog awards that are given by bloggers to other bloggers, and the panel gave answers that they found the awards to be motivational, fun, encouraging, a way to network and find new content.  Another interesting question was with regards to newlsetters and what they were.  I was a bit unsure about what a newsletter was so the answers were really useful to me – they are a way to share interesting things, content that has not been blogged about, a bit like a parish newsletter.  Newsletters can be more personal and contain things that are important or personal to you, they can take the form of a letter and be written in a chatty, informal way.  Newsletters can also provide a way to provide extra content and add value to your blog.

A Flat Lay Workshop had been organised for us, hosted by Sacha Black and Suzie.  We were talked through the basic concept of the flat lay, Suzie and Sacha both created an example to show us before we were challenged to create our own.

Once we had the basics down, it was just a case of tweaking the layout and moving things around slightly, taking photos along the way to check how everything looked through the lens.  We spoke about lighting and filters to improve our layouts and really make them pop.

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This was my favourite image which I then lightened using Instagram (you can view the image here).  The workshop was really useful and even my brother enjoyed it!

I also got to meet some bloggers, some that I follow and others that are new to me!  I do struggle with meeting people and get super anxious due to my aspergers but the people that I met were really lovely!  I met Simon from Planet Simon, my blog friend since I started this blog and now a real life friend!  he was lovely, and it was so nice to be able to meet the face behind the blog.  I also met Adam Dixon of AdamDixonFiction, Marje of MJMallon, Marian Wood of JustMuddlingThroughLife, Willow Willers of Willowdot21, and Jemima Pett of JemimaPett.com.  All were really welcoming and friendly and lovely to speak with!

I had a really brilliant day and I can’t wait for the next one to roll around!!!!

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This Month On The Blog!

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The months seem to be passing quicker and quicker as the year is progressing and it only feels like last week that I was preparing my “This Month On The Blog” post for May!  The weather has been improving so much this month, we started with flurries of snow and have ended with the most lovely sunshine and warm days, it’s so good to be greeting summer!

This month I will be attending the Bloggers Bash in London, spending some time with my brother, and, hopefully going on a museum visit to see an art exhibition by one of my favourite artist (hopefully!).

Blog-wise, this month I will be sharing the following posts

  • Recipe of the Month – A lovely, summery quiche
  • Monthly Goals
  • What Are Soap Nuts?
  • Diary, Planner and Journal Quarterly Review
  • A makeup review
  • A book review
  • Current Interior Trends for Summer
  • What happened at the Bloggers Bash
  • A Garden Update
  • A House Wish List
  • Celebrating a Year in My Home
  • House Plants

There will also be my “New” regular features of Saturday Shoutouts! and Weekly Round-Up along with my Top 10 Thursday posts!

I’d love to know what you have planned for your blogs this month!  Let me know in the comments!

Blog Maintenance – Routine Checks

Blog Maintenance. Routine Checks.

You may have read a few of my blog posts where I say I have been or am working on my blog but not all of that time is dedicated to writing blog posts or anything to do with the posts themselves.  A chunk of my time is dedicated to running routine checks on my blog and making sure everything works as it should.  Today I am sharing with you some routine checks that are worth carrying out in order to maintain your blog so it can continue running as it should.

Firstly, I tend to view my blog from the “other side”.   Much of blogging means that you don’t really ever see the entrance way that visitors to your site get to see.  We tend to only see the service entrance so to speak and lurk around in the back corridors doing our thing.

Once on the main page that your visitors land on, I check that the font for all of the text is readable and of the right size and colour.  I then check that the pictures I have uploaded to my blog are clear and are relevant to that post’s topic.  I check that the background and look of the blog are in keeping with my general theme.  I also make sure that posts load in a timely fashion, there is nothing worse than slow loading pages.  I note down any problems that there might be or things that I am not happy with that may need tweaking or changing.

Next, while I am on the landing page I check the sidebar, I always ask myself if the things displayed on the side are relevant, interesting, necessary and useful.  If I answer no to any of these questions I will remove the item.  I then check that the items function as they should, whether it is links to articles or other sites or that the information contained is correct.  I tend to amend these things as I work my way down the sidebar.

My next task is to check that all posts are categorised correctly and tagged with relevant words.  I read somewhere that posts should have up to 10 tags in order for them to appear in searches, any more and your post will be flagged as being spam.  I am not sure how true that is but I like to stick to between 5 and 10 as it makes things easier for me to tag and categorise and run checks further down the line.  Any posts that have been categorised incorrectly or have not been tagged I amend as I work my way through the posts.

I also check any links I have added.  There are several ways to do this (have a look on Google for link checkers).  I have used link checkers and have found them to be pretty handy if you have a load of posts to check, but now, personally, I prefer to check the links as I work my way through the posts manually.  I had a problem with my Instagram link recently, I changed my username on Instagram and didn’t realise that it would affect the links on my blog, so it is worth checking these things out!

One of the other things I do is to check the formatting of my posts.  I skim through my posts from the readers landing page and check that my posts all have similar formatting and that I am happy with the placement of images and how text appears.  Again, if I am not happy with anything I will change it as I go.

Blog maintenance should be done at least once a month if you blog regularly (around 3 or more times a week) and for less frequent bloggers once a quarter should be sufficient.  If it is done regularly then it will become a quicker process as some of the posts will only need to be checked for certain things (like broken links) after a while.

Do you run any sort of blog maintenance?  What things do you check on your blog?  Do you have any blog maintenance tips?  Let me know in the comments!

This Month on the Blog!

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I can’t quite believe that April is over though I’m sure I say this every month!  This month seems to have passed by so quickly, aided in part by my taking part in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge which saw me posting a new topic each day, starting with A on the 1st of April and finishing with Z today (Sundays were a day of rest!).  It has been a month of blogging and coffee!

This month on the blog things start to return to normal, though I am considering introducing a few new things to the blog just to see whether they work and are something I can sustain for the future so bear with me!

This month on the blog I will be sharing…

  • Recipe of the Month.  I am going to share with you an easy veggie rice salad that is perfect hot or cold and super easy to prepare!
  • Top 10’s which will appear each Thursday.
  • Monthly Goals for May
  • Blog Bullet Journal
  • What is a Blogger?
  • A Day in My Life – Weekend
  • Product Review
  • Blog Maintainance
  • Things I am Looking Forward to – Summer
  • Favorite Outfit – Summer
  • Product Empties

There may be other posts along the way including introduction posts for things I want to add to my blog on a regular basis, look out for these!!!!

What is happening on your blog this month?

WordPress Glitches

I’ve been reading a lot of posts recently about various glitches being experienced on WordPress from comments and likes never being seen and being sent to the spam folder, posts being scheduled to never get published and vanishing into the unknown, the stats being scrambled… I’m currently experiencing 2 totally separate glitches it seems…

1) My reader isn’t showing hardly any of the blogs that I follow. I can see a few hours worth of posts by people I follow then it shows me things I saw 2 weeks ago. This is super frustrating as I really like to read all the posts my blog friends publish.

2) My spell check button has totally disappeared. I can’t find it on the app or on the website when writing posts. I’ve tried logging out and back in, refreshing the page and still nothing…

If anyone has any suggestions, especially with the spell check then help would be greatly appreciated! Writing everything on word to copy and paste into the editor is a P.I.T.A (pain in the a$$)

Just to note I am using the Classic editor as I’m still figuring out Gutenberg….

Edited to add, this is my current screen when blogging….

This Month on the Blog!

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It’s really starting to feel like Spring now, the nights are getting lighter and the weather is getting substantially better!  This is the month which I think I enjoy most as it is getting warmer but is still feels fresh, I can get my washing out on the line to dry (there is nothing that beats the scent of washing dry from the line!) and I can ditch the coat and bulky sweaters and start to phase in my summer clothes!

A lot starts happening this month – gardening, Spring cleaning, Easter amongst others, and there is a lot happening on the blog this month too…

  • April Blogging from A to Z Challenge which will see me sharing a post a day (except Sundays) starting with a topic starting with A on the 1st and finishing with Z on the 30th.
  • Recipe of the Month.  This month I have chosen Mediterranean Wild Mushroom Pie
  • Top 10 Thursday posts each thursday
  • Monthly Goals for April
  • A Room Tour
  • Ways to be more eco and reduce plastic consumption
  • What is Bohemian?
  • Earth Day
  • Product Swaps that will help you become more eco-friendly

The only day that there may not be any post up will be sunday but check back just incase!

Happy April and I hope you enjoy my posts!

Defining My Blog

Having an idea of where your blog fits in the blogging world is a really useful thing when it comes to thinking about topics to write about and creating your blog posts.  It also gives you a general idea of the kind of readers you may get and what kind of audience to aim your posts towards.  Defining your blog is something to look at, maybe once every few months, to see if your post topics have caused a shift into another theme of blog from when you started, help to re-assess what works and what doesn’t and is also really useful when crafting future content for your site.

Today I am examining my blog, where it currently sits in terms of theme of blog and determining the definition of my blog.

At present my blog sits in the lifestyle theme of blogs.  A lifestyle blog can incorporate many different topics and subjects but usually cover things that the blogger is interested in.  My blog covers topics such as mental health, arts and crafts, reviews, interior design, decorating, stationery, planning, organising and recipes.  I chose the theme of a lifestyle blog as content can be vast and not tied to just one subject.  Being a lifestyle blogger gives me more freedom in what I write about and share.  I knew, before I started, that I wanted to be able to write about a range of different things including help and advice articles and sharing my own opinions.

I can’t see my blog moving from the Lifestyle category but it will be interesting to see where it sits in a few months time.

What type of blog do you have?  And how do you define it?

 

This Month on the Blog!

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I can’t believe we are now heading into our 3rd month of the year and that 2019 is nearly a quarter of the way through!  To see you through to the quarter year mark here are some of the posts I will be sharing on the blog this month.

  • Recipe of the month – a lovely, creamy, vegan mushroom tagliatelle
  • Monthly Goals for March
  • 10 Things That Have Happened Since Leaving Facebook
  • Top 10 Thursday posts including Cleaning Products, Laundry Products and Quick Cleaning Ideas
  • Upcycle Project – Table Lamp
  • What Is Upcycling?
  • The Importance of Having a Content Plan
  • Earth Hour
  • Defining my Blog

These posts will be up on my blog on a Tuesday, Thursday (Top 10) and Friday!

There will be a few other posts shared during the month too so keep an eye out for them!!!

I hope you enjoy them!

The Real Neat Blog Award

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This morning I awoke to several notifications on my phone from WordPress…Nothing unusual there, but one of them was from My Quirky Friend who had nominated me for The Real Neat Blog Award!  Thank you so much!!!!  I’m so touched to have been considered for this award and, just like them, this is my first blog award!

The rules:

Although a blogger doesn’t really need to participate in any award nominations, I don’t mind as it gives me a chance to show my appreciation to other bloggers. Plus, it’s free exposure should you wish to participate. Now, for the rules:

Put the award logo on your blog.
Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc.)

Answers to the questions I got asked by My Quirky Friend

  • What inspired you to start blogging?  I was inspired to start this blog as I wanted to start writing again.  I had a few blogs in the past, and really enjoyed creating content and posting to them though they were a bit all over the place – I never blogged regularly and the blogs were too niche in topic to fully write about everything.  While I was off from work I decided that I would like to start writing again and so, this blog was born!
  • What’s the weirdest food/dish you enjoy eating?  I love so many different foods but I think that the weirdest is strong cheddar and strawberry jam sandwiches (using white bread)!
  • What is your favorite topic to blog about?  I don’t really have one kind of topic that I enjoy writing more about than another, all of the topics I write about on this blog are ones I really enjoy writing about!
  • What do you like to do in your down time?  In my down time I really like to curl up on the sofa with a blanket, my dog Roxy, a glass of wine and watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix, read, work on my blog or do a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Are there any other writers/bloggers in your family?  No, but they are all pretty creative in their own way, my Mum is an awesome knitter, my Dad is really good at painting and drawing, my one brother are really good at technical things like fixing computers and cars and my youngest brother is good at cooking.
  • How close do you live to the town/city you grew up in?  I live about 3.5 miles from the town I grew up in and my parents still live in the house I grew up in too.
  • What’s the best advice you have for other bloggers?  Post regularly, interact with your followers, write about things you love, your hobbies, interests and what you have a passion for, don’t ever get disheartened by stats – they are there to guide you.  And most of all, have fun and enjoy the process!

My Questions to You…

  1. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
  2. What is your star sign, and do you show any of the signs traits in your personality?
  3. If you had £1000 given to you, how would you spend it?
  4. What is your favorite season and why?
  5. What is your favorite quote?
  6. What is your biggest dislike?
  7. If you could live anywhere where would it be?

My Nominations…