Top 10 Blogging Tips

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Today I am sharing my Top 10 Blogging Tips which I have learned in my (almost) year of running this blog!

  • Consistency.

Whether you blog once a day, week or month or any other timeframe it is worth being consistent with your publishing calendar.  If readers know when you post then they will keep coming back for more and know when to expect a post from you.  As a reader of many blogs, it can be frustrating to think you may have missed a post from someone, only to check and find that there isn’t a new post for you to read.

  • Schedule.

Writing posts in advance is a great way to ensure that you post consistently, the scheduler on WordPress is brilliant for writing posts and then being able to set when the post goes live on your blog.

The other type of schedule that is also important is a posting schedule which can be as simple or complex as you like.  Once you know when you want to post items, grab a calendar and make note of all the days you want the content to go out then start assigning blog titles or ideas to those days.  This can help you to stay focused and can help you to avoid bloggers block.

  • Spellings and Grammar.

Always check your work for spelling and grammar mistakes!  I use Grammarly to check my blog posts before hitting the publish button.  Sometimes the wrong word may be used but in all, I find this program to be a really useful tool.  It can also be used to check for any grammar mistakes too such as missing commas or full stops.

  • Links.

I find it really useful to add links when I am talking about products, and I really love it when other bloggers include links as it gives me the chance to check out the products they are talking about.  I have read about how adding links can increase your SEO and website ranking, but, for me as a blogger, I am more interested in giving my reader a link so they can view what I am talking about.  Remember, if you are using affiliate links to let people know.  I was using affiliate links but don’t anymore as I only want to link to things I have used or believe in (and Amazon kicked me off of their Affiliates program as I never got a sale through it…).

  • Tags and Categories.

Always make sure you utilize the categories and tags function!  Categories help your reader to find other posts that are similar in nature or theme on your blog and tags help new readers to find your blog posts.  For best visibility in the Reader section, I tend to use between 3 and 10 tags for my post to show up in WordPress searches.

  • Font and Layout.

Choose a layout that is easy to navigate.  I read once that you should think of an older relative visiting your site and trying to navigate around it, you want to make it simple for them to use and find what they are looking for.  Choose a font that is easy to read and not to light in a tone that it starts to disappear into the background.  You want your readers to easily be able to read what you have written and stay on your site reading other posts, not struggle to read one line of text and then leave!

  • Concise.

Think about what you want to say and stick to the point.  People have clicked onto your blog post to read something but they don’t want to have to read all of your thoughts that you have had in the day to get there.  This tip ties in really well with the Schedule tip, as with the right schedule and a little pre-planning you will know what it is that you want to say before you even write it thus eliminating the dreaded waffle!

  • Social Media.

It is ok not to have social media for your blog, and it is ok if you do but don’t use it regularly, and it’s equally as ok if you use social media constantly when it comes to your blog.  I have had facebook then came off of it at the beginning of the year, I have a Twitter account for the blog and Instagram, and while I tried for a while with Instagram I just found it hard work to keep sharing on there, and I’ve never really understood Twitter, and that is ok.  I have a few ideas planned for those channels but I’m not that bothered.  Don’t feel that you have to be on every social media platform available and don’t put pressure on yourself to post to those accounts if you do.

  • Read, Comment and Follow.

I have a wonderful group of friends on here that I have made over time, most of them I have found when searching for interesting posts to read.  I always look forward to reading their posts.  Find blogs that are in a similar niche to you and follow them, comment on their blogs from time to time and get to know them, blogging can be tough if you don’t have friends to support.

  • Blog what you Love.

Writing a blog post about something that interests you, that you are passionate about, love or know about is a whole lot easier than forcing yourself to write about something you dislike or have no idea about, this is why you will never find a post about quantum physics on this blog!  If you love or enjoy something it is much easier to write about and I have found that reading a post that someone has written with a genuine passion for the subject is a joy to read and I can feel how much they enjoy that subject.  Readers can always tell if a post has been forced or if it comes from enjoyment!

What blogging tips do you have?  I’d really love to know in the comments!

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Top 10 Blog Post Ideas

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Every now and again we bloggers can run out of content ideas which can be really frustrating when we want to keep to a blogging schedule and get content out there for our audience to read.  When this happens, I turn to my list of blog post ideas which can help to get the creativity flowing again.  Here’s my Top 10 Blog Post Ideas.

  1. Review post.  Used a new product, read a new book, listened to a new album, tried a new restaurant?  Write a blog post about it, these types of post are always really interesting to read and will give your audience ideas of things they may want to check out.
  2. Recipe.  I love to find new recipes to try out or even read peoples own take on a recipe.
  3. How To.  How-to posts are really useful, not only for your audience but for your own reference too.  You could write a DIY how-to, a gaming how-to, gardening…the list is pretty much endless!
  4. Goals.  Goals are really interesting and can be really motivational too.  No matter whether you write a post about the goals you wish to achieve in a day, week or year I always find that I am more likely to achieve the things I post about as it keeps me accountable.  I also get inspired as a reader when I see other people’s goals.
  5. Something fun you have done.  If you have had fun doing something, whether it is a games night, a party or event you attended, to a night out or a trip to the beach or museum, why not write about it, from what you did, what you ate to how you travelled there?
  6. Photo post.  I love seeing peoples photos, whether it is a collated post of flower photos, home, products, scenery, there are so many different things you can take photos of that would be interesting for your readers to see.
  7. List-post.  I love reading list posts, whether it is a list of things you need to buy, to tips, experiences, outfits, accessories, lists can be utilised in so many different ways and contain a plethora of information.
  8. What you wore to…Outfit posts are one of my favourite kinds of posts to search for, especially when I have an event or occasion coming up and have no idea of what to wear, I love to see how people put together outfits and how they style their clothing.
  9. Things to do.  You could write a post about things to do in your area, on a night out, with the kids, in the winter, people are always looking for inspiration for ways to chase away the boredom, and this sort of post really helps with that!
  10. A project you are working on.  Sharing a project you are working on can be a bit scary the first time but you can get some really helpful and lovely comments from your readers, along with help, tips and advice, and also gives you motivation to continue with the project, it can also help inspire others to try their hand at a project they want to start.

What are your favourite blog post ideas?  Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Workspace Must-Haves

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When I say workspace, I don’t necessarily mean an office space, but any place that you may work or craft from, whether it is, indeed an office, home office, craft room or coffee table.  There are certain things that should be to hand wherever you are working from.  Here are my Top 10 Workspace Must-Haves

  • A notepad.  Whether it is lined, dotted or plain, it is always really handy to keep a notepad nearby as you never know what you may need to jot down.
  • A decent pen.  Please don’t confuse decent with expensive, any pen will do but make sure it is one that writes well and doesn’t skip, isn’t comfortable to hold or any other little nuance that comes with writing implements!
  • Post It notes.  These little things are so useful for writing down lists, dates or any other information that you want to put somewhere else (like a diary or calendar!)
  • Ruler.  Sometimes I use a ruler to measure the dimensions of something, to draw lines or use as a guide when reading lengthy texts.
  • Pencil.  An HB one is one that I always reach for.  Good for making notes, sketching something out, drafting out an idea or for making lines with (or for doodling with!)
  • Eraser.  For getting rid of any mistakes you may make with your pencil.
  • Stapler.  This is one thing on my list that I never thought I would need or use, yet it is one of the most useful little implements I have and reach for it daily.
  • Calculator.  I don’t think I could survive without one, either using one on my phone, my laptop or a good, old -fashioned desk calculator.
  • Highlighters.  So very useful for drawing attention to important information, dates, or anything else that you want to remember.
  • Water bottle.  In order to function properly and stay hydrated and awake, a water bottle is a must in any workspace.  Just remember to drink from it regularly and top it up when it is empty.

What are your Top 10 Workspace Must-Haves?  Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Free (or cheap) Things to Do in the Summer Holidays

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  • Check out your local library and see what events they have on.  Many libraries have reading groups or storytelling times that can be fun to go to.  Even if the library isn’t holding an event you could get your child to pick out a book to take home and read together.  To make it even more fun you could suggest a theme for the book to have or a character (like monsters, or time travel).
  • Visit your local museum, often entry is free and there are so many things to look at and learn about.
  • Set a project for everyone to work on.  The project could be based around their favourite subject in school, where they live or any number of different things.  A fun one could be about the history of the area you live in or even your home or street.
  • Give your child an old digital camera and get them to document their day in photos.  At the end of the day get them to do a show and tell about their photos.
  • Cook something together.  Kids love to make things and this is a perfect activity to help them learn some essential skills.  Simple things like biscuits or a cake that can be enjoyed after dinner are good ideas to try!
  • Make a packed lunch and go exploring.  You could take them for a walk somewhere new, visit some woodland, walk up a mountain, go to a park, the list of places to go exploring are pretty endless!
  • If the weather is bad how about a PJ day?  Dig out the board games or a jigsaw and work on it together, watch some films, go through old photos together or read a book together.
  • Go on a bug-finding mission at a local park or in the garden, see how many different kinds of bug you can find, see if you can name them and find out about them on the internet.
  • Get them involved in something that you are doing or want to do, whether it is housework or decorating or something else.  Make it fun by setting challenges such as how quickly they can gather the laundry together and get it to the machine or see how many red things they can find that need to be put away.
  • Gardening is always a fun activity, whether you have plants that need re-potting or seeds that need to be planted, weeding that needs doing or a bed that needs digging over, get the kids to help.

Top 10 Phone Lock Screen and Background Wallpapers

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I love to change my phone lock screen image and background wallpaper on my phone.  By changing these images it can give my phone a new feel and I really enjoy picking out images that are similar to customise my screens with.  I tend to choose visually similar images which echo the elements of the other image, whether it be a shape, colour, style or character.

In today’s Top 10 I am sharing my favourite pairs of images that I have either found on Pinterest or created myself.

The first column is the images I have used for my lock screen and the second column are the background wallpaper images.

What have you got set as your lock screen and background wallpaper at the moment?  Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Top 10 Tips When Buying Clothing On-Line

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With so many shops abandoning the high street, many of us are turning to buy our clothes on-line. Here are my Top 10 tips to take into consideration when buying clothing on-line.

  • Check the sizing – most sellers provide clothing sizes and measurements, check both as the UK sizing can vary so much from garment to garment and place to place.
  • Read reviews. More often than not, the reviews will give you extra information about the sizing, style and fabric as well as how well the item is made.
  • Check out 5 or 6 different sellers and check the pricing, I have found that the same piece of clothing is for sale at several different price points from different sellers.
  • Check how much delivery will cost. Some places offer free delivery while others can charge a lot. Also, check how long delivery will take.
  • Check the returns policy and whether the company offer free returns. Also, look at the returns policy.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask any questions, either of the other people who have left reviews or of the seller.
  • Know how to contact the seller in case you need to speak to them regarding the order, any questions you may have or for information on how to return the item if necessary.
  • Search for the item on Instagram or google image search to find images of real people wearing the clothes, you will get a real idea of how the item fits, hangs and wears.
  • Remember that the colours shown on-screen are not always true to life, what may look bright green on the screen may, in reality, be a muddy moss green. All screens show colours in different ways and could have been edited to show details rather than the true colour.
  • Don’t get your hopes up about the item until you receive it and try it on. Sometimes even the best research and reading of reviews can leave you with an item that is not as described. On the other hand, I have been pleasantly surprised by what I have received too!

Top 10 Phone Apps

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  • Moodnotes  This little app allows you to log your mood and other notes to go along with how you are feeling (should you feel like it).  I have this app linked to my Apple Watch and get reminders every few hours to log my mood.  I find this really useful to help my stress and anxiety levels as I can jot down my thoughts and feelings about situations which can help to reduce those feelings.  The app also asks questions which can help you to reframe your feelings and thoughts.
  • Flo  I used to track my cycle using an inbuilt app that came as part of my BellaBeat Leaf band and had not really found any other way to record it other than putting it in my diary.  Then Flo got mentioned to me, by a male friend(!), so I thought I would give it ago.  This app is so much more than a period tracker…I can log mood, other symptoms, weight, sleep, reminders for medication,  and other things which get analysed for a better idea of your cycle overall.  So far I have loved this app and have found it really useful and insightful.
  • Star Chart  I have loved the stars and been interested in the night sky for so long and this app enables me to name the stars and planets that I can see.  The app uses augmented reality so you can see the stars even when there is dense cloud cover.  The app has kept me entertained for hours!
  • Pocket  This app is another recent addition to my phone! I had been looking for a way to keep all my saved links tidy on my phone rather than just saving them to my phone screen and then putting into a file.  This app keeps them all tidy and easily accessible whenever I need them!
  • Weather Live  I am not really one for checking the weather much, I live in the UK and much of the time the weather sort of stays the same for the day, but with the recent heatwave and then a cooler spell it has been useful to check so I can dress accordingly, carry an umbrella or cardigan if needed.  And, out of all the weather apps I have used in the past, this one has proved the most accurate.  I also really like that there is a section for you to report what the weather is doing if it is different from the reports too!
  • Moon Calendar  I love this app, not only can you use it as a journal but it provides in-depth information on the moon and the phase it is in.  I don’t use this app much but do like to read about all the different types of the moon that we have and the meanings behind them.
  • Flush  If you have small children, or are visiting an unfamiliar area, or if you are at all human then this app will be useful for you too!  I downloaded this app through a recommendation from my brother as it is always useful to know where the nearest loo may be!
  • AA  I’ve not had to use this app for a while now, but when I do break down (and I’m covered by the AA), this app has proved super useful, from booking a call out, checking on the call out progression to receiving notifications about how far away my recovery person is and has helped me through some pretty stressful times!
  • Spotify  I honestly don’t know where I would be without Spotify!  I don’t listen o a ton of music or anything but it is really nice to have any genre of music available at the touch of a screen!  I don’t really see the need for downloading music to my phone anymore or carrying around a separate music player when there are apps like this one available!
  • Navmii  After owning several different sat-nav systems and them all failing in one way or another I decided to utilise my phone as my sat-nav.  Gone are the days of forgetting my sat nav and having to return home to collect it, my phone is always with me.  Navmii is really easy to use and the directions are spoken clearly and in enough time for you to get into the right place on the road.  It has never let me down and is all I use to get around places I don’t know too well!

Top 10 Favourite Flowers

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I did have a whole other Top 10 planned for today, but after receiving some beautiful flowers from my Mum a short while ago I was inspired to do a Top 10 Favourite Flowers post!

Here goes… In no particular order

  1. Sunflowers
  2. Sweet Peas
  3. Freesia
  4. Rose
  5. Bluebell
  6. Lavender
  7. Gerberas
  8. Honeysuckle
  9. Pansies
  10. Jasmine

 

Top 10 Ways to Stay Hydrated

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In the UK we have hit our summertime, and with that comes temperatures that can reach 25-26-27 degrees.  In this heat, it can be really easy to not get enough hydration into our systems and, as a result, can start feeling the effects with headaches, tiredness, dry skin and a host of other symptoms.  It is really important, any day of the year, to be well hydrated, but in the summer months, this is even more essential.  Today’s Top 10 are my favorite ways to make sure I stay hydrated.

  1.  Set an alarm on your phone at 1-hour intervals, and if you have not had a glass of water in that time go and get yourself a glass and drink it.
  2. Avoid salty snacks.  I find that these can make you feel dehydrated quite quickly.
  3. Go easy on the coffee.  Caffeine is a mild diuretic, making you pee more.  Can’t give up the caffeine fix?  Have a glass of water with every cup of coffee you have.
  4. Ease up on drinking anything too sugary, like fizzy drinks.  I find that they can accelerate the symptoms of dehydration (especially headaches) rather than lessen them.
  5. Eat fruit and veg with a high water content – watermelon (or any kind of melon), cucumber and salads are great at providing extra water for your body.
  6. Make your own healthy ice lollies (I shared some ideas here) and snack on them during the day.
  7. Make sure to carry a (reusable) bottle full of water around with you in your bag.  You never know when you might get thirsty.
  8. Listen to your body…Hunger pangs and thirst often manifest in similar ways.  If you feel hungry then have a glass of water as it may be thirst you are feeling.
  9. Don’t like plain water?  There are loads of different things you can do to make water more interesting, from fruit infused water to adding cold brew fruit tea bags, play around until you find something that you love!
  10. Ice cube chips in a glass can be really refreshing to crunch on and help to cool you down in the process while adding to your hydration levels!

Do you have any favorite ways to stay hydrated?  Let me know in the comments!

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