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

Stop Dreaming and Start Doing!

Creating a new life

There’s an inspirational quote that I often see shared around on Pinterest:

If you want something bad enough, it will happen.

Nonsense. It should say:

If you want something badly enough you have to get up, create a viable plan and work hard for it.

It doesn’t have the same ring to it, granted, but it’s certainly more accurate.

Things are happy. In fact, it’s the happiest it’s ever been and I was recently reminded of how life has changed when my Facebook and Twitter timelines were filled with desperate messages from teacher friends as they went back to work after the summer. A few years ago I would have been sitting in a training or data analysis session and feeling utterly miserable. Instead, I made myself a nice breakfast, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and the cat, watched some TV and then worked through my social media management checklist, followed by a bit of Bullet Journaling in the afternoon. Bliss. Continue reading

How to Create, Join and Use Pinterest Group Boards

Pinterest, despite all of the updates and changes that have been made over the last 9 months, is still a primary source of traffic to my blog. I took my time to join and develop my boards (and I wish I’d have done it sooner) but it remains my favourite way to share my posts and to access interesting posts that cover posts of lots of different topics.

One of the easiest ways of boosting my traffic has been the creation of my own board and joining those created by others.

Essentially, a blogging group board is like an ongoing link-up and sharing opportunity (and those of you who follow the blog regularly will know how much I like I good party). It works in the same way as all the other boards, but instead of just the creator sharing their pins, others are allowed to join the board and pin their own posts and posts from others that they have enjoyed. The more members and followers a board has, the more likely the pin will be seen and repinned elsewhere.

Each board is different, usually with specific rules depending on the creators preferences. Some are a free-for-all, ie. you can pin as many posts as you like, while some only allow one pin a day. Others ask that you share someone else’s post along with your own. Some are focused solely on a theme – blogging tips, DIY, recipes, crafts, beauty. Some have no theme at all, as long as they are blog posts. 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

Boost Your Following with the Bloggers Bash Twitter Chat!

 

One of the earliest (and most fun!) ways that I learned about networking and boosting my Twitter (and consequently, my blog) following was through the use of Twitter chats. They’re exciting, fast paced and a great way to meet new bloggers without leaving links or spamming the community with content. It is important to note that there any no links allowed until the very end.

The premise of a blogging chat is simple: the person hosting the chat will ask a question and include the hashtag associated with the chat eg.

Q1. What’s your favourite social media to use for blog promotion? #BlogBashChat

Everyone participating in the chat will answer the question and include the same hashtag eg.

Q1. My favourite is Twitter because… #BlogBashChat

You can then use that hashtag to see everyone else’s answers – if you type in the hashtag in the search bar at the top all of the answers that have included it will appear and the you can individually respond to others, again using the hashtag eg.

(In response to someone’s potential answer that Pinterest is their favourite) I don’t understand Pinterest – have you got any tips? #BlogBashChat

This creates a bucket load of conversations with people who you may never have met, which then leads to connections and networking, which then leads to following etc.

There are usually five to six questions asked by the host, with 5-10 minutes left in between each question to give time for people to answer and chat etc. The person hosting the chat can retweet some of the best answers, and individuals can too (this doesn’t mean that you retweet every answer, just some). At the end people are asked to leave their links, again using the hashtag, which allows everyone to check out each others Twitter accounts and blogs…

Here’s where it gets exciting – The Annual Bloggers Bash will be hosting their very first Twitter chat tonight from 7-8pm BST and this will become a weekly event – every Sunday at the same time.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Bloggers Bash (and if you haven’t, where have you been) – the Bash is an annual meet-up for bloggers that takes place in London. Now in their fourth year, the Bash hosts their own awards – nominated and voted for by the blogging community, a writing competition, presentations and networking opportunities, with attendees from the U.K, Europe, the U.S. and Canada, and it is rapidly growing in popularity, with over 5,000 votes being made last year. You can find out more by clicking on the link here

Join us tonight where I will be asking the questions for the first ever weekly Bloggers Bash Chat on the @BloggersBash Twitter account, using the hashtag #BLOGBASHCHAT.

Remember:

There are no links allowed until the end

A question is asked by the host using the hashtag #BlogBashChat

Participants respond to the question using the question number and the same hashtag #BlogBashChat

The hashtag can be used to find others participating.

It’s a brilliant way to network!

 

If you have any questions about what to do, let me know and I will do my best to answer them!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to follow my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging: Part Three

Over the last few days I have posted Part One: Materials and Ideas and Part Two: Spread Layout of my How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging series in which I gave hints and tips on materials available, content ideas and set up and layout of spreads. The final instalment of this is decoration and design – something that I enjoy immensely. It isn’t for everyone and isn’t actually necessary at all, but one of the many exciting things about creating your own Bullet Journal is that it can be personalised according to your own preferences and available time. These can be as simple or as complicated as you like. For me, if a spread that I’m working on looks nice, I’m more inclined to use it and therefore inspired to make more.

Remember: they don’t have to be super complicated or something that causes stress levels to rise – stick with what you are comfortable with.

Continue reading

Suzie Goes Wedding Dress Shopping!

Have you got your dress yet?
Have you got your dress yet?
Have you got your dress yet?

If I were given a pound for every time I’ve been asked that by increasingly concerned family members and friends in the last six months the wedding would have been paid off by now and then some.

I’m getting married at the end of October and of all of the things on my wedding ‘To Do’ list the dress was far from what I deemed to be a priority. While a number of my friends who have become engaged or got married in the last eighteen months bought their (stunning) gowns fairly early in their planning, I have waited until the last minute. Admittedly, it was more about the lack of body confidence than the money – I had a horrible imaginary scenario in my mind of not being able to find a dress that fit (or only finding ones that would make me look bigger) and having to walk away feeling worse about the whole thing than I did before. I also didn’t want to spend an enormous amount of money on something that I would wear once. Continue reading

How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging: Part Two

In my previous post I gave hints and tips about starting a Bullet Journal for bloggers, with advice about materials that can be used.

This post is about setting up pages – or SPREADS as they are known in the Bullet Journal community.

Before I even started, I worked out what I needed to help with my blogging activities each month.

A monthly overview (1 page)
A weekly calendar that would incorporate my To Do lists (4-5 pages)
Blog post ideas and earnings (1 page)
A daily checklist with a list of blogging tasks and stat tracker for the month that would incorporate clients social media trackers too (1 page) Continue reading

How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging: Part One

For the last two years, I’ve requested one thing for Christmas – a notebook. In that notebook, I keep ongoing trackers of my blog and social media stats, monthly and daily checklists, trackers of my social media client stats and some ideas and small drafts for blog posts.

What I didn’t realise that I was doing was creating my own version of a bullet journal. In fact, up until about two months ago I’d never really heard much about them, that is, until I watched a ‘July Plan With Me’ YouTube tutorial from AmandaRachLee on creating a monthly set of ‘spreads,’ (that’s page layouts to us ordinary folk). Since then it has become a bit of an obsession – I’ve watched more tutorials than I can count, allowed myself a small budget to buy materials, practiced different handwriting styles and layouts and began the process of setting up a bullet journal ready for 2018. My intention is to set up most of the journal for the year in advance, although many Bullet Journal users plan from month to month. I need something that is ready for me to use – I’m the sort of person that would fall behind and would leave myself with too much to do if I had to set up each month the day before. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Evoking Grace

Meet Antonia, from Evoking Grace…

Antonia has an inspiring story…

I grew up in “Il Mezzogiorno,” land of crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, mozzarella but also mysterious bureaucracy and eternal corruption. I arrived in London with only £50 and things went from bad to worse when I suddenly found myself penniless. I would have gone without food had it not been for the merciful help of some very generous homeless people! That day I learnt about compassion and solidarity and I knew I had to give it back out there somehow. Continue reading