Despondency – The Daily Blogging Battle

The last few weeks have been pretty amazing, particularly with the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that The Bloke and I have participated in for his birthday. I’ve also had quite a buzz from blogging every day over the last week, rediscovering my enjoyment of simply writing things down and interacting with the community. I spent hours putting together a large and detailed post yesterday, sent it out across my social media, replied to my comments and then settled in for the evening. I always get a huge sense of satisfaction when I’ve done large post – those are the ones that are often evergreen and bring in the most amount of views over a long period of time. Continue reading

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All Change

I live in a row of terraced houses in a suburb of Birmingham with a set of neighbours on each side in the connecting properties. We’ve lived in this particular house for about 3 1/2 years, and while the residents have changed numerous times in the house to the left (which is a rental property like ours), the ones to the right have always been a nice couple that we’ve had a good relationship with.

The biggest problem with terraced housing is that the walls are often paper thin, meaning that even a basic conversation can be heard next door. A year ago I had a little rant about how noisy the new neighbours were – from the evening they moved in the music was cranked up and the parties started, but after having a conversation with one of the tenants he appeared with a bunch of flowers, an apology and his phone number with the instruction to text if they were being too loud. Continue reading

Home Alone

Today I found myself in a rather unusual situation. 

I have the whole house to myself. For the whole weekend.

I am officially home alone for three days. 

The Bloke is away on a course with one of his favourite photographers in Manchester. The course and walk-round session on Saturday takes up most of the day, so he is staying in a hotel the night before and after. He’s nervous, but I’m incredibly proud of him for putting himself in a situation that I know makes him hugely uncomfortable – he doubts his abilities as a photographer (despite the fact that his photographs are fabulous) and I’m hoping that it will prove to be a huge confidence boost and a great opportunity to meet some new people. Continue reading

Reconnecting

2018 has been quite a mixed year for blogging, so I took a little break for a little while. However, I’ve started to develop my posting schedule, have suddenly found myself with a whole list of content ideas and was quickly reminded of the sheer joy it brings and just how much I missed it. I also miss the connections that I have with some of my online friends and their posts… 

During October a number of my writer friends start to plan for National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with the goal being to write 50,000 words. To coincide with this, I’ve set myself the challenge of participating in my own little National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) but on my own terms and will be posting every single day for the entirety of November.  Continue reading

I’ve Been Shortlisted!

It’s the start of a new day, new week and new month and the weather is glorious. As always, I know it is going to be busy over the next few weeks, but there’s something about the beginning of a month that feels incredibly motivating, even if I’m still tired from the day before…

I had some amazing news on Friday. Last month I discovered that I had been nominated for Blogger of the Year at the Birmingham Awards, with the shortlist of finalists to be announced at the end of September. I honestly didn’t expect anything would come of it – those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that I love my adopted city (having lived here for 17 years now) and write about what I experience in and around Birmingham within many of my posts, but as I don’t have a specific niche dedicated to it like many of those who have been shortlisted in previous years I didn’t think I would make it past the first round. I nervously kept checking the website on the announcement day, my heart beating out of my chest when I saw the link appear… Continue reading

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

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