Getting My Mojo Back

National Writing Day

It’s National Writing Day and for the first time in almost a month I actually have the urge to write… I was having a discussion with a bloggy friend a while ago and he talked about needing to get his mojo back. That’s exactly what my problem has been – my mojo up and left without saying goodbye.

I haven’t properly been near the blog for almost a month aside from to share my stuff for my daily checklist – the longest period of time spent away from it since starting Suzie Speaks just over five years ago. It wasn’t necessarily a planned break, I just found that I had nothing to say, the Black Dog stayed around for longer than usual and it did me good to get away from everything involved with it, instead spending some time on the new(ish) project that I have been working on.  Continue reading

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So, What Now?

Blogging Goals

Have you ever had an ultimate goal set in your mind that you work towards for years and actually achieve it? With all of the blogging goals I have given myself over the years there was one that towered above all of the others, which was to reach my target amount of views. In the months leading up to it I worked particularly hard, incorporating every single technique at my disposal to reach that seemingly elusive number. The day I finally reached it was fabulous – I celebrated by taking the day off and spoiling myself…

…and then promptly lost all motivation. Continue reading

How to Create Evergreen Blog Content

How to create evergreen blog content

There are two types of content that I usually post on my blog:

Daily Experiences – things I see and do, journal-type notes, general thoughts etc. These posts are generally just for fun – I write them for enjoyment and they keep within the original purpose that the blog was intended for: therapy. I don’t pay much attention to SEO, keywords or images as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date. Essentially, non-evergreen content that has an expiration date.

Evergreen Content – posts that will be generally relevant over long periods of time and aren’t necessarily specific to my own life. Within these I am much more focused on keywords and SEO techniques, I spend a much longer period of time crafting beautiful and pinnable images and I make sure that I link to other relevant posts. I also focus heavily on these sorts of posts across my social media sharing, often resharing them at intervals to give them a boost in promotion at a later date. Continue reading

One. Million. Views.

Holy crap.

Just under five years ago (April 2013), I came home from work after a particularly bad day, created a WordPress account and hastily wrote a very short introductory post entitled ‘Stuff.’

I have a lot of stuff. When I first moved down to Birmingham to start my degree everything that I owned could be fit into the back of a Ford Escort. Now, almost twelve years later, I own everything I have except the shell of the house that I live in. This blog is an attempt to sort out the stuff that I have surrounded myself with for years… And I’m not just referring to the physical objects that are in the house…

And that’s exactly what this blog helped me to do… sort my stuff out. It has been the biggest influence in almost every aspect of life, allowing me to change my career path, discover new goals and talents, experience places and things that I could have only dreamed of in my previous existence, understand myself better, calm my demons, re-establish estranged relationships and has introduced me to some of the most inspiring, creative and incredible people from all over the world both online and in person that I would never have have the privilege to get to know otherwise. Instead of filling my house with half-finished journals, it has been my online diary and record of the unbelievable highs and struggles of my life: getting engaged and married to The Bloke, welcoming The Squidge (my niece) into the world, watching as the important people in my life get married and have children, quitting my teaching job, travel, food, reviews, hosting workshops, winning the Best Overall Blog at the Annual Bloggers Bash in London…

I only told one friend when I first started writing – I showed her one of my posts during a meal at a pizza restaurant after I’d gained about 10 followers while my heart was beating out of my chest, and after she gave me a positive reaction and boosted my confidence we had a conversation about what I could achieve with it.

“You could get a million views!” I remember her saying, and I laughed at the prospect.

And today, that’s exactly what happened – this little piece of the internet had it’s MILLIONTH VIEW…

Unbelievable.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, share, tweet, pin, advise, support… I couldn’t have done it without you!

Here’s to the next million!

Boost Your Blog and Social Media Using My Management Services!

Blog and social media management services

Of all of the blogging regrets that I have, my lack of knowledge when developing my blog and hesitation when setting up my social media accounts are the biggest. Why?

Because my social media is now responsible for HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of referrals of my total views.

The problem with social media is that, during the initial set-up in particular, it’s incredibly time consuming, even when using schedulers. Posting a blog post now doesn’t just involve pressing the publish button – I think about keywords, create a pinnable image for Pinterest and then pin it, tweet it using specific hashtags, stumble it, share it on Flipboard and then share it again into specific Facebook groups. I then use my BoardBooster Pinterest scheduler to incorporate my latest post. How, when and where I share it will depend on the specific day and time so that they get the maximum audience. Continue reading

FOMO Bloggers: Why You’re Harming Your Own Blog

FOMO Bloggers: how the fear of missing out can actually be hurting you and your blog!

Ethel has written a post. It’s a great post and it’s receiving lots of positive feedback. Janey wants lots of positive feedback too. Janey copies the post, changes a few words around, adds in a few extra ideas and publishes it as her ‘brand new, completely original post’ in all of the 232 Facebook groups that she’s a member of. Nobody will notice, right?

In the last week I’ve read two articles that I immediately connected with. The first, a completely fabulous post by Kate Toon – 19 Things NOT to Do in a Facebook Group – which hilariously highlighted just some of the silliness that I witness daily, and the second by Elena Peters – What’s Up With the Fast Blogging? – a short set of thoughts on the misconceptions of overnight blogging success and the desperation of bloggers to achieve it. They’re both completely different posts, but they essentially focus on the same thing:

FOMO.

Fear Of Missing Out, an all-consuming desire to keep up with everyone else, to have what they have, to do what they’re doing. Continue reading

110+ Blog Post Ideas

Blog post ideas for when bloggers block strikes!

I’m asked all the time for ideas for blog posts and I’ve been through quite lengthy periods of Bloggers Block over the last few months, so here is a list of useful ideas that can hopefully spark a whole bunch of new posts for your blog! I’ve categorised many of them as best I can.

Blogging

1. How to start a blog from scratch.
2. Why I started blogging.
3. The origins of my blog name.
4. My blogging goals.
5. How to increase your traffic.
6. How to use Twitter/Facebook/StumbleUpon/Pinterest/Flipboard…
7. How to create a social media schedule.
8. How to use SEO effectively on your blog.
9. How to grow a mailing list.
10. A discussion about the pros and cons of dot com or self-hosted. Continue reading

Smoke and Mirrors: How to Avoid Hating Your Blog in 2018

Blogging tips

A new year always begins with the same pattern in the blogging world. My emails, reader and social media feeds become filled with targets for the next twelve months and an influx of New Year’s Resolution bloggers will start to appear in the comment section on my blog or across various Facebook groups.

The next few weeks will be filled with an overwhelming amount of conflicting information and I can pretty much guarantee that most will disappear as quickly as they arrived. For some, the novelty of having a blog wears off pretty quickly. For others, there’s a disappointing realisation that thousands of views can’t be achieved simply by pressing the publish button.

However, for the ones that stick it out, it can become a minefield of self-doubt and, at times, a huge knock to their confidence in their writing abilities. Continue reading

Being Realistic About Gaining a Viral Post…

Viral post

… or Why You Should Lower Your Expectations.

In the online world, the idea of going ‘viral’ is a coveted goal. There are endless explanations as to what viral is, from having ten times your normal amount of traffic to suddenly having tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of views.

The more time I spend on Pinterest, the more I see posts being shared around that focus on the whole viral nonsense: ‘How to Get Your Posts to Go Viral,’ ‘How to Have a Viral Post,’ How to Go Viral…’ Blah, blah, and again… blah. There seems to be a little obsession with it at the minute, and I get asked the same question all the time… Continue reading

I’ve Discovered that Twine Makes Me Happy…

With less than two months to go before I get married, I’ve been busy finalising the last bits and pieces required before the big day – bouquets, decorations, seating plans, food orders… Luckily, I had done a large amount of organisation at the beginning of the year so most of these jobs mainly involved checking and rechecking things, but it has still felt like I have had a large list to complete every day. On the whole, it’s been quite an enjoyable experience and of course I’m looking forward to the day, but I have learned a lot of lessons – namely the fact that I am never organising a large scale event ever again. I have also discovered an intense interest in all things crafty that I didn’t realise I had – who knew a glue gun, some scrabble tiles and some twine could be the source of so much enjoyment? I blame Pinterest, eBay, Hobbycraft and my youngest sister – the house is filled with jars for centrepieces and flower arrangements, photobooth props, photo frames, seating cards, RSVP’s… I got ridiculously excited the other day when I popped round to my next-door neighbours house after they returned from their honeymoon and they gave me a massive box of craft things left over from their own wedding that they were going to throw away, including twine. So much twine! The Bloke should count himself lucky – if I could glue gun twine onto him, I would. Continue reading