How do You Feel About Re-Blogs?

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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.

Blog Post Inspiration

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In my (nearly) one year of running this blog I have learned that inspiration is a funny thing.  Sitting and waiting for inspiration to hit never really seems to work, in fact, it never really comes if you sit and wait for it, in order to find the inspiration you need to go and seek it out.

I find inspiration in everyday things, things that I do, see, hear or read.  My phone holds a ton of images, whether they are ones I have actively taken myself or things that I have saved, screenshots of information and even a whole lot of notes made in my “Notes” app.

Whenever I see something that makes me think I like to write it down and refer back to it later.  I always ask myself “How many words could I write about this?” and “Is the subject interesting?” before turning it into a blog post.

I like working to a schedule and having tried and tested posts that I can fall back on in case I’m not particularly inspired, though most posts are inspired by something – book reviews, product reviews, outfits, the change in the seasons, things I have been up to, things I am looking forward to, what has been on my mind.  And a lot of these posts become monthly features that get incorporated into my schedule time and time again.

If you are lacking in inspiration, look around you, really take time to look and note the things that catch your eye, the sights, the smells, the thoughts you have, start reading – any book, blog or newspaper will do, take yourself somewhere – real or imaginary, and write about that.

Inspiration is always around, you just need to know where to look for it.

What things inspire you?  I know that different things inspire each and every one of us and I’d really love to hear what inspires you in the comments!

This Month On The Blog

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September marks a really important milestone in my blogging life.  My blog turns 1 later in the month so I have themed many of this month’s posts around blogging, from where I find inspiration for my blog posts, blog post ideas, what a typical “blogging” day looks like for me, blog challenges and how I have overcome them and my plans for the blog for the coming year.

I am also launching a new business which will be shared here on the day!  I am doing a series of count down posts to the big day so you shouldn’t miss the big day itself!

This month sees the return of my Saturday Shout Out series and I have a lot of brilliant blogs to share with you each Saturday!

There are also the usual posts – Top 10 Thursday, Weekly Roundups each Sunday along with the return of my Saturday Shout Out series which I am really excited to be starting back up as I have a lot of brilliant bloggers and blogs to share with you!

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

Blog Planning

Blog Planning

I know that we are still in August but my thoughts have been steadily heading towards 2020 and where I want to take this blog in terms of content.  I have been looking at my stats and at what types of post do well and which seem to be lagging behind in terms of engagement.  I have decided in 2020 that some changes will be made to my blog posting schedule.

Because I want to change the frequency of some blog topics and move other things around I have decided to start the planning of my content schedule now.  By starting my planning so early on I can work out when I want to post certain things and move things around until I’m happy with them.

I am currently using Excel to work out my posting schedule.  For me, Excel is the best program to use as I can cut and paste things, move things around and colour code where needed.

I have made a start on things that will happen frequently (like my Saturday Shout Out slots) and other daily/weekly features and blocked out where I will be taking part in blog challenges (April’s A-Z Challenge, Blogtober and Blogmas) and I have also put in the days that are important to me (Mental Health Awareness Day, Christmas, Easter, New Year etc) and so far I am happy with how it is all looking!

One thing I am not doing just yet are the general posts which I will work into my schedule the month before and give me leeway with what I want to feature on my blog that month.

As a blogger, I think that it is really useful to craft yourself a schedule for posting and review what works and what doesn’t from time to time.  I think that by taking a look at your stats and being aware of the stats for each post can help you to keep things fresh on your blog.  And by keeping things fresh you are more likely to gain new readers, engage older followers and stay enjoying your blog content from your own, writing, perspective too!

Hopefully, come the end of December or the beginning of January I will be able to share the full plans for my blog and also the new and improved blog schedule!

What plans do you have for your blog in 2020?  I’d love to hear in the comments!

This Month On The Blog

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It’s hard to believe we have passed the halfway mark of this year and are now just a few meer months away from Winter!  Before the cold and damp weather hits us, and the evenings start to draw in we should celebrate all that August has to offer us.

On the blog for August, I have the regular weekly features

  • Monday – Saturday Shout Out Ad
  • Wednesday – Words on Wednesday
  • Thursday – Top 10
  • Saturday – Saturday Shout Out share
  • Sunday – Weekly Roundup

Monthly features

  • Recipe of the Month
  • Monthly Goals
  • In Case You Missed

Other posts I have planned for this month are

  • Beauty product review
  • How I plan my blog schedule
  • Blog Award
  • Room Tour
  • Book Review
  • Favourite seasonal outfit
  • Things I am looking forward to

 

 

 

Building My Flat Lay Kit

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I have been thinking a lot about flat lay photography and building my own flat lay kit since I attended the Bloggers Bash a while ago.  Since that day I have been going through my craft stash and really thinking about things I can use to create flat lay images.  I also visited my local Hobbycraft store and bought a few items after deciding how I would like my flat lay images to look.

Before I went searching and shopping I decided to sit down and think about my blog, what it is about and it’s identity.  I have a theme that runs through my blog of colour, being bright and fun.  I try to theme the days using the colours of the rainbow…

  • Monday – Red
  • Tuesday – Orange
  • Wednesday – Yellow
  • Thursday – Green
  • Friday – Blue
  • Saturday – Indigo/Purple
  • Sunday – Violet

and this theme runs through the graphics I create for each blog post.  I knew that I wanted to keep that theme with any flat lay images I would be introducing to the blog and other social media platforms.

Once I had that in mind I then started to think about the kinds of blog posts that I publish, I have several different categories that I post in, from craft things, blog items, personal, fashion, reviews, beauty and food.  While a lot of these posts are not tied to specific days, they are re-occurring posts.  I sat and made a list of items that could be used as photography props for these categories – make-up brushes, stationery, hair clips, anything that I could think of went on the list.

I then narrowed down what I wanted to add to my kit that would be permanent items and separated out those items that were of everyday nature and that I could grab at any point.

I decided that I wanted colourful background papers and had a vast stash from scrapbook and card making projects that I sifted through one afternoon.  I sat and made 7 different piles according to which colours I had assigned to each day.

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I had some Project Life cards and some Smash Book pads (which I can only seem to find now on Amazon) and La-De-Da papers that I also separated out and added to the piles.  I really like that these cards and papers have patterns and quotes on them and think they could come in really useful!

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I bought some wooden letters from Hobbycraft and spent an evening watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and painting them with acrylic paint in their assigned colours.

I also bought a background paper from Amazon which was double-sided,

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I ended up with two because the first one came really badly battered, the second one was not much better.  They were really badly packaged, wrapped around a foam strip and then placed in a plastic bag, there was no protection at all.  Lesson learned – cheap is not always good.  I have had them placed under heavy books and some of the creases have become less noticeable.

I added to my kit some foliage and fake grass, all from Hobbycraft, that I can use to add interest to the background of my images.

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I have gathered other items to add to my kit from my craft stash and other places.

I have also added a ring light for my phone and a gooseneck stand to help with actually capturing the image.  I got both from Amazon with a gift certificate that I had been given.

Here’s the full kit so far!  I have it all stored in a plastic box that I had laying around, and each day has been separated out into its own zipped folder ready for me to grab when needed.  I have some things lose that can be used for any day of the week!

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Do you have a flat lay kit?  What items do you use the most?  I’d love to hear about your kit’s in the comments!

This Month on the Blog!

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How have we even got to July so quickly?  It sort of feels like we are in a massive game of snakes and ladders and have managed to move up the ladder from March to July bypassing April, May, and June, it’s gone that quick!

This month on the blog I have my regular features, weekly these are

  • Monday – Saturday Shout Out Ad
  • Thursday – Top 10
  • Saturday – Shout Out
  • Sunday – Weekly Roundup

Monthly regulars…

  • Recipe of the Month
  • Monthly Goals
  • This Month on the Blog

Other monthly articles this month…

  • Mystery and Sunshine Blog Awards
  • Book Review
  • A Day In My Life
  • Room Tour
  • Developing Your Own Style
  • Bullet Journal Set Up
  • Flatlay Kit
  • 73 Questions

I am also introducing a new weekly feature – Words on Wednesday.  To find out more about this, please come by on Wednesday when all will be revealed!!!!

What have you got planned for your blogs this month?  Let me know in the comments!!!!

 

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!!!!

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!