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!

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Blogging from A to Z

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This month I am going to be taking part in  the Blogging from A to Z Challenge where each day through April, excluding Sundays, I will be working my way through the alphabet, one day at a time.  To see more about this challenge please see the link (here)

You can expect to see a post from me each day with a topic relating to that days letter, these will be posted each day except Sunday’s.  I will also be posting my usual blog posts (Top 10 Thursday, and posts on a Tuesday and Friday too).

Here’s a calendar so you can see which letters will be on which days…

Blog Calendar April A-Z Challenge

 

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?

 

The Importance of Having a Content Plan

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I’ve had several blogs over the years which I would add to when I thought of something to write about, sometimes this would be several times a day and other times 3 or 4 months would pass by before I published anything.  In that time I would have ideas but they would come and go, especially if I wasn’t near a computer at the time.  Often I would think about my blog and have the fullest of intentions of adding to it but then sit at the desk, the little cursor on-screen blinking away and not have an iota of what to write.  And in time ALL of my previous blogs failed – I failed to write posts in a timely manner, I rushed what I was writing and didn’t really think about my words or topic carefully, I missed opportunities to link to interesting articles or previous posts, photos were rushed or non-existent and the general quality of the post was poor overall.

Now though, I have approached this blog differently.  Before I even signed up and created MyColourfulLifeUK, I started to write down ideas for this blog, I talked about it with friends and family and generated a few ideas of what they found interesting in the subject fields I enjoyed.  And so started the beginnings of a content plan.

A content plan is so important as a blogger as it gives you a framework with which to create blog posts and help you with what you are going to write about on a day-to-day basis.  Having a content plan is like driving somewhere you have never been before but with well written directions.

Here are 7 things that having a content plan has helped me with

  • Knowing what I am going to write about

Having a plan has helped me no end.  I always have an idea of what I am going to be writing about and now I don’t waste half of my time sitting and staring at a blank screen.  What I didn’t bank on was that having a plan actually encourages me to write and I am always excited to sit down and draft up a blog post now.

  • Helps me to prepare content (Including links and images)

Having the knowledge of what I want to write about allows me to thoroughly prepare, from researching topics, making notes, finding useful links, taking photos, writing the post and editing it.  If you know then you can prepare.

  • Helps me to generate new post ideas

Whenever I sit and look through my content plan I seem to be able to come up with new ideas to write about, and in researching topics I will often find something else that piques my interest and opens up a whole new set of thoughts about posts I can create further down the line.  Now I have a content plan I never seem to be short of ideas!

  • Provides well thought out posts for your readers

My English A Level lecturer always said he could spot an essay that had been hastily written and I didn’t really believe him back then, but now, after reading lots of different blogs on all sorts of different topics I know exactly what he means.  When you have a content plan there are not many posts you will write in a rush which in turn means that your posts will be well thought out, the points raised will be clear and there will be a good flow to the words and pace.  Rushed posts often meander off track, words are clumsily thrown together and even the reading pace feels rushed.

  • Helps me to stick within the theme of my blog

I’m a lifestyle blogger which means that I can over a lot of different subjects and still be within the theme of my blog overall but if you have a niche blog, I had one covering art when in university, it could be really easy to stray from that overall theme.  I know that it’s your blog and you can pretty much write what you want, but if you have a niche theme then it’s worth sticking to it, trust me, your readers will thank you!

  • Helps me to build a schedule for my posts

Once I have a list of content that I want to write about I then open Excel and use a calendar that I created to schedule my content, colour code each topic and start placing the topics against dates to publish.  This helps me to see what to write and when as well as not having too many posts on the same topic being crowded together.

  • Keeps readers interested and gains return visitors and followers

All of the above points lead to this – keeping readers engaged with your writing, gaining repeat visitors and, hopefully, gaining followers who will keep coming back to read the content that bought them to your blog in the first place.

I hope you find this useful.  What are your thoughts on having a content plan?

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…

Why I Love Blogging

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Blogging

I’ve not really been writing this blog for that long, around 5 months really, but in that time I have really enjoyed the process from thinking about topics to write about, researching the topics, taking photos and actually sitting down and creating the post.

I love the freedom my blog gives me to write about whatever I wish, I have covered some of my mental health issues, decorating, things I have done, projects I have been working on and a lot more besides that!

I love how blogging has become part of my life again and how I find it quite a calming thing just to be able to sit and write.  Blogging seems to slow my mind and I find I can focus on it without any distractions.

I love getting notifications when my post has gone live (I write my posts a short while in advance), and I find that little ping and message appearing on my phone screen gives me a sense of achievement and, so far, has never failed to raise a smile.

I love sitting down and reading the posts that the people I follow have written and try to make it a daily habit.  I find that reading posts is so much more interesting than skimming through other social media platforms.

I really enjoy being part of a community that takes time to express themselves and their hobbies, ideas and interests through writing and images, being able to connect and have conversations with people who have similar ideas, and I love being able to share my thoughts and creativity with other.

I love how there is so much more to blogging than writing and publishing content.

This Month On The Blog!

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The nights are slowly starting to get shorter and the days are gradually stretching out and growing in minutes and before we know it Spring will have well and truly sprung, but until then I have all these posts lined up for you…

  • Recipe of the Month
  • Monthly Goals
  • Hygge – What is it?
  • A-Z of Date Ideas
  • Why I Love Blogging
  • Upcycle Project – Fake Flowers
  • The Art of Thrifting
  • My Favorite Outfit for Spring

I hope you will enjoy reading these posts as much as I have enjoyed planning them and putting them together!

Blog Milestones Worth Celebrating?

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I’m not far off hitting a blog milestone – 100 followers… I currently have 87 followers (Thank you to each and every one of you!) and it got me thinking about how I’d like to celebrate reaching 100 follows…currently I have 3 ideas but am keeping them to myself for the time being!

Getting close to a blog milestone made me think about other milestones that are worth celebrating.  I am already planning my Blogversary #1 but I have also been thinking about whether to celebrate any other kinds of milestones.

I had ideas for celebrating

100th blog post, 200th blog post, 300th blog post etc…

100th follower, 200th follower, 300th follower etc…

And also throwing some kind of celebration for my Birthday as well…

What sort of milestones do you celebrate?  And what sort of things do you do to celebrate these milestones on your blog?