A Glorious Day and a Wasted Journey

It was the hottest day of the year on Thursday and the sun finally made an appearance after what seemed like the longest and most depressing winter ever. It was so nice to see a blue sky. Everyone was in the park, the people daft enough to buy convertibles were driving around with the tops down and the music blasting (basically because it’s one of about 5 days a year that they can actually do that here in the UK), and every man in sight was walking around without a top on for exactly the same reasons. Before the evening had even started there was a smell of barbecue in the air as everyone decided to burn some meat outside, just because they could, and I could hear an ice-cream truck on the next road up.

I, however, was affected by utter moron-itis. Continue reading

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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as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date.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

Laryngitis and a Polygamous Relationship with an Aldi Raspberry Sorbet

Last weekend I felt really rough. I put it down to being hungover after going out with my friend to celebrate her birthday on Saturday night – my failing voice and sore throat was initially thought to have been caused by singing a bit too enthusiastically as I was dancing around, which isn’t uncommon. However, by Monday afternoon I started to feel particularly unwell – hot and cold flashes, sore skin, headaches – and by Tuesday morning I realised that my ‘hangover’ was actually full-blown flu, which was later accompanied by a nasty head cold and a hacking cough that just wouldn’t go away. After spending the week feeling like death-warmed-up I went to the doctors where the genuinely lovely GP took one look at me and said ‘yeah, you’ve got laryngitis – I had it myself two years ago so I know you must be feeling quite poorly.’ I really did – the most poorly I’ve felt in a very long time. Continue reading

Props Under £20 for Creating Beautiful Blog & Instagram Images

Props under £20 for creating blog and Instagram images

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included

I’m certainly not a photographer by any means (that is more of The Bloke’s passion than mine), but one of the things that I enjoy doing in my free time is experimenting with props and different flat lay images that I can use for my blog and social media.

I’ve written about creating beautiful flat lay images before, but this was more about the process of how to set them up. Since then, I’ve received lots of questions asking about prop and budget ideas from others who want to create their own but don’t want to spend a fortune doing so.

There’s a million different advice posts and tutorials on the subject, but what I’ve discovered when trawling through a some of them is that many have splashed out on different lighting rigs and light boxes, backdrops and props and use an expensive SLR camera. Continue reading

Shhhhh! I’m Feeling a Bit Delicate…

Suzie + nightclub + alcohol = Suzie with a lost voice and fuzzy head

It was my friend’s birthday celebration last night and for the first time in months I went out to a nightclub. I love getting ready to go out, particularly when doing hair and make-up so I had a great time putting my face on, almost doing a lap of honour around the living room when I managed to put on my false eyelashes successfully on the first attempt without glueing my eyelids together or looking drunk before I’d even left the house. Continue reading

Useful Twitter Hashtags for Bloggers

Useful twitter hashtags for bloggers

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag, put simply, is a label or category that allows others to find something within a specific theme or content and are primarily used on Twitter and Instagram. Once you have copied a URL or used the share button on a post, hashtags can be used to direct your post towards the people you want to read them. On Twitter you can use a hashtag for everything – #cats, #dogs, #football, #sandwiches – but as a blogger the main focus is to use categories that will gain interest in your content and grow your readership and traffic.

Using Trending Hashtags

Trending hashtags are the most popular things on Twitter at a particular moment in time  and at several points in the last few years I have written a post about a topic while it was trending, with immediate effect on my traffic once it was posted.

You can find the trending hashtags in your search section of Twitter – the 20 most popular ones will automatically appear. If something is trending, take the opportunity to base a post around a hashtag and tweet it out. Continue reading

Bloggers Bash Ticket Reminder

As all of you, by now, know, the Bloggers Bash, now in its fourth year, returns bigger and better than ever. The venue is booked (here for details), and the committee is busy working behind the scenes to ensure the day is full of fun, learning opportunities, networking, and, of course, the blogtastic award ceremony.

To enjoy this day out in London surrounded by fellow bloggers, we suggest… no, we insist… you sign up for your ticket TODAY, so you don’t miss out. Continue reading

Nominations for The Bloggers Bash Awards: Now Closed!

NOMINATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

We have had a phenomenal response to the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards (ABBAs) with an incredible number of nominations. Thank you to everyone who nominated your favourite bloggers.

This year, the awards are being sponsored by Greenstory – a fantastic eco-friendly company who are awarding each of the winners with a STONE notebook… Yes, a notebook actually made of stone. For more details, check out my review of the notebook here

The committee is now busy collating all the data ready for VOTING which opens on the 6th April 2018.

While you’re waiting for voting to open it’s the perfect time to check you’ve bought your Bash Ticket, purchased any necessary travel and accommodation, printed business cards, and bought new stationery to take notes!

The countdown is on…

WHAT IS THE BASH?

If you’ve never attended a Blogger Bash event before then, you’re in for a treat. Created by Sacha Black and aided by her intrepid committee of eight bloggers, the Bash is open to any blogger, regardless of age or niche. Previous events have included speakers, competitions, a panel, and attendees from all over the UK, Europe, the US, and Canada.

There will be an opportunity to network, eat cake, and meet some amazing online friends in person! The event takes place in a single day; timings and the exact breakdown of the day will be available closer to the event, but it will start mid-morning and end in the evening. We announce the winners of the Bloggers Bash Awards, which you, the blogging public, vote for. You can see last year’s winners here.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Join Sacha and the committee on our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/991165987611263/

You can also join us for our Twitter Hour on the first Sunday of the month from 7pm-8pm using the hashtag #BlogBashChat or join in the conversation on Twitter by using the #BloggersBash hashtag.

DON’T FORGET YOU CAN BUY YOUR TICKETS here.

Why I’m Stepping Away From #SundayBlogShare

‘You fighting with people on Twitter again I see.’

My bloggy friend sent me a message on Facebook. It’s nothing new – she’s seen me go through this numerous times in recent months…

In Nov 2014 I decided to start a sharing link-up on Twitter for bloggers. It wasn’t an original idea – I’d been participating in #MondayBlogs run by @RachelintheOC (who was and has always been incredibly supportive) for a while and adopted a similar idea, but on a Sunday instead. After searching through different hashtags I decided upon the name #SundayBlogShare as this was something that hadn’t been used before. The invitation was open for any blogger to tweet out their blog links using the hashtag, and then I would retweet them, hopefully encouraging others to do the same. I created a set of easy-to-follow instructions, which was essentially keep it to blog posts only, no etsy, Amazon, inspirational quotes etc and if you’re sharing a link then retweet and interact with others. 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!