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.


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


Tips When Visiting Barcelona

Barcelona TipsChoose your hotel wisely. When going on a city break, it’s more than likely that you will spend most of your time outside, but, for me at least, it’s important that the room is clean and you feel safe to leave possessions behind while you are out exploring. We did very little research on this, but were extremely lucky with what we booked. The Hotel Sant Augusti was exactly that – clean, safe and in a fabulous location, being right next to one of the main metro lines, La Bouquiera Market, the beach, The Gothic Quarter and La Rambla. It also served a buffet breakfast every morning from 7.30am – 11.00am and had free wi-fi, which was useful when keeping in contact with loved ones.

Work out in advance what it is that you really want to see, and where possible, book tickets online before you go as there are enormous queues and long waits for the main attractions. For example, we arrived at La Sagrada Familia early, but had to queue for about half an hour to buy a ticket and then waited a further three hours before we were allowed in as there were timed entrance spots. It may be also useful to take a guidebook and print off maps of the areas you wish to travel to in advance – we had to buy a map when we were there and soon discovered that it was poorly labelled and many of the sights were in the wrong place. Continue reading

How To Survive Your NQT Year

It’s the end of summer and in a few days time I will be sitting in the school theatre, surrounded by my colleagues. Among them will be faces that I’m not familiar with, sitting awkwardly in their new departments, making polite conversation about their summer adventures and desperately trying to hide the fact that they are terrified.

These people are the Newly Qualified Teachers. They’ve successfully completed their training year, whether it be a PGCE, GTP or equivalent, and they are now likely to be in a role of responsibility for the first time. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Numbers…


As I spend more and more time in the online world I have noticed that there are quite a few little spats that break out between various people. It isn’t often that I have had to deal with quarrels – I’ve been lucky in that there are only one or two incidents where others have been so offended by what I have written that they launched personal attacks. However, there was a little Twitter spat that appeared on my feed this morning that seemed to be about copying posts and stealing followers. The final tweet, before I’m assuming that people started getting blocked, was simply: “You can f*ck off with your 200 followers.” This made me smile – it highlights perfectly what I feel the social media world represents – it’s all about the numbers. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I see ‘Follow me on bloglovin’ I need three more followers to make it to thirty’ appear on my Twitter feed.

I arrived in the blogging world extremely late, only starting my own litte blog in April 2013. I’ve never hidden the fact that Suzie81 Speaks was a personal project – I was experiencing quite a difficult time in my life and as writing has always been therapeutic for me, blogging seemed to be the perfect solution.

For the first few months I wrote and pressed the publish button as often as I could, with no expectations. I discussed every little thought that entered my mind, I included photographs of my daily life and I started to get to know other members of the same WordPress community. Over time, my little space of the Internet grew – I purchased my own domain name and spent a lot of my free time talking to interesting and entertaining people, reading posts and customising my site. I was (and still am) immensely proud of my achievements – every award and every milestone was shouted from the rooftops of the online world and my personal life – because they were completely unexpected and a wonderful addition to the act of writing in itself. Lots of other bloggers do the same… and why not! Such achievements deserve to be celebrated! A lovely bloggy friend of mine recently had a second one of his posts go viral, and I’m really pleased for him – he has a fantastic blog and deserves every success!

I get lots of emails that ask for blogging tips and request reblogs of their own sites. However, most of those emails discuss the same thing: my numbers. How did you get those numbers? How can I get those numbers?


Let’s talk about those numbers shall we?

I’m a self-confessed stat obsessive. In sixteen months I’ve had just over 250,000 views and gained over 7,000 followers. 90,000 of those views have come from one specific post that went viral on Facebook in the UK earlier in the year. Again, I am very proud of those numbers, in my little world they are amazing, and I bore The Bloke about them on a daily basis. However, in the blogging world they are minuscule. Tiny. Over the summer I have received between 400 – 1000 views a day, but during an average working day it is about half of that.

I spent a lot of time looking through my list of followers, and discovered that hundreds of them are from blogs that haven’t been updated since last year. I know of quite a few people that I personally follow that are currently having a break from blogging after experiencing burnout, and there are a few who still continue to read and comment despite not writing anything themselves. While the numbers may suggest one thing, the traffic that I get is considerably less.

Of the 7,000 followers, nearly 2,000 of them are from my Twitter account, and a large percentage of these are the same people that follow my blog. I have nearly 100 people on Tumblr, and over 100 people on Facebook. Again, these are predominantly made up of the same people from WordPress. The rest on Twitter are people who, like myself, enjoy participating in the many hashtag wars that take place and have no real interest in reading my blog.


In essence, there are about fifty people who regularly read, comment on and promote my posts. They are incredibly supportive and they care about the well being of those within the online community. These are people who maintain their own highly entertaining blogs, which I thoroughly enjoy reading. Of those fifty people, I have email conversations with five of them, and I have just one on my personal Facebook account. While I love the little buzz that I gain from seeing an unexpected spike in my stats, it doesn’t compare to the comments that are left daily from these people. They make my day, even if I don’t always have time to reply to them.


So, instead of questioning your number of followers, you should be asking yourself about the quality of your posts and your ability to engage your readers. Blogging is an ongoing and lengthy process, it takes weeks, months and even years to build up a community, and you are not going to gain thousands of followers and millions of views by simply pressing the ‘publish’ button. Regardless of your blogging goals and ambitions, you should be looking for quality, not quantity in your posts and the followers that you gain from it, and also in the blogs that you follow yourself.

And to those fifty, thank you… X

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog


If I Knew Then: What I’ve Learned About Blogging

imageJust over a year ago I started Suzie81 Speaks as an online journal. I had been experiencing a difficult time and as writing has always been therapeutic it was the perfect solution. I had no goals – the act of writing was simply enough. However, over a short space of time, this little space of the Internet grew beyond any expectations that I had ever imagined and I found that as I began to recover, my writing style and goals changed.

I’ve learned a lot, and if I could go back and do it again these are the things that I would do differently.

1. I would decide on a name that I was happy with at the very beginning. In my excitement about the prospect of starting the blog, I hastily chose the name ‘Suzie81’ – my name and the year that I was born. After a while I became really dissatisfied with my choice – it had no real reference to any of the content in the blog – but by this point everybody knew me as this name. When I later purchased my domain name, there were very few options that I could use and I ended up changing it to ‘Suzie81 Speaks’ so as not to confuse my followers.

2. I would create a set of profiles on other social media networks from the beginning. It took me about eight months to establish a Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest account, and I’ve always regretted not doing this sooner as these are now responsible for the majority of my views on my site. An important thing to know here is that none of them are linked to my personal pages on the same sites – I created a completely separate account for each, along with a new email address.

3. I would participate in link ups earlier. I participate in regular link ups on Twitter, particularly at the Sits Girls #sitssharefest on Saturdays and Rachel in the OC’s #MondayBlogs on Mondays. I’ve been able to meet hundreds of lovely people and it’s a great opportunity to share and read new posts.

4. I wouldn’t share the fact that I have a blog with many people in my personal life. I have lots of lovely friends who have been very supportive, but as the blog became more popular it has been used against me, which caused some issues. I have also found that as lots of people in my life now read my ramblings it prevents me from writing about certain issues that are very personal, which defeats the point of the blog in the first place.

5. I wouldn’t be as hasty to post something just for the sake of posting it. In my early blogging madness I posted everything I could think of. Looking back, I’ve had to revisit lots of things and delete them, simply because they have no meaning with what I thought I was trying to create.


Here are some simple ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ that may be useful if you are starting your blog.

1. Don’t expect too much. There are MILLIONS of blogs out there. You are not going to gain thousands of followers (unless your post goes viral) simply by pressing the publish button. Blogging takes LOTS of time and effort.

2. Don’t feel that your blog should have a niche. I follow lots of great blogs that do, but I prefer to cover lots of topics within my own.

3. Do take the time to visit lots of other blogs and follow them.

4. Don’t automatically expect (or even worse, request and plead for) a follow back. This is one of my biggest annoyances – I follow about 250, but I often receive messages saying ‘I’ve followed you, now you need to follow me.’ Why? Others shouldn’t be made to feel obliged or bullied into following you simply to return the favour.

5. Do leave comments on other blogs to let them know that you have enjoyed what you have read.

6. Don’t spam comment sections with links to your own posts. This happens to me a lot, and while I always try and share, tweet and reblog posts I get irritated when others end their comment with a link to their latest post, demanding that we ‘check it out.’

7. Do make the effort to reply to comments that have been left on your posts. I read and appreciate every single comment that is ever written, but until recently I have been poor at replying to some of them. This was because work became a priority and took over life somewhat, but I always make the effort to reply when I can.

8. Do remember that content is key. I love inspirational posters, but there are only so many that you can post before your audience may start to get bored. Make sure that your content is your own – if you have used somebody else’s and images, be sure to credit them.

9. Do be respectful at all times. One of the best things about the WordPress community is that the majority of people are unbelievably friendly and supportive.

10. Don’t expect everyone to agree with you. If you choose to write about a controversial subject, it is highly unlikely that all of your audience will support you in your arguments. Listen, respond and be respectful about it.

What about you guys? Any hints and tips that you have learned in your blogging endeavours?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog


Image credits:




How To Get Motivated: Things To Do Today

Motivation, motivated, list

As the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Procrastination,’ I have found myself in quite a slump as of late. The smallest tasks, however menial, seemed daunting and impossible to achieve and I fell behind in all areas of my life.

It’s been extremely difficult to get back on track, but over time I have been able to very slowly pull myself out of the rut and change the way that I was living on a daily basis. Here are some of the hints and tips I have learned that have helped me along the way.

1. Get up at a reasonable time. Have a shower. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. (Thanks to Ray for this – it’s possibly the most important, the most obvious and the least overlooked).

2. Get some sleep. Where possible (and this is easier said than done for people who are parents and those who work long hours), try and get as much sleep as possible. The more tired you are, the less likely you are to remain motivated.

4. Break things down into small steps. Instead of looking at the big picture, work out the small things that you need to do now, today.

5. Tackle just one task at a time. Trying to juggle too many tasks in one go will become overwhelming. Start a task, finish the task, then move onto something else.

6. Do things when they need to be done. Don’t allow yourself to sit down with the idea of ‘doing it later.’ The quicker you start, the quicker you’ll finish. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to truly relax until it’s finished anyway!

7. Ask for help. If someone joins you in a task, whether it is cleaning, working out or organising something, it is more likely to be done in a shorter amount of time and you’ll almost certainly have more fun doing it!

8. Create the ultimate playlist. Music is an integral part of my daily life, and I have a playlist of songs that genuinely pump me up and make me happy.

9. Get excited about it! Try and gain inspiration from other people – talk to them and ask for advice. Try and see the benefits that are to be gained from completing something rather than focusing on the negative.

10. Read about it. If I’m not sure how to begin something, I’ll search for articles about the same subject. I’m always left feeling inspired afterwards.

11. Find places and activities that inspire you. This could be a building, a park, a museum or your local coffee shop. It could be a dance class, a book reading or a film. Whatever it is, visit and/or participate.

12. Reward yourself! If you know there is a positive reward at the end of it, you’re more likely to push yourself.

13. Remember that it is ok to fail. Fear of failure is often reason for not doing something at all. If you fail – stop and start again.

14. Don’t initially set the bar too high. If fear of failure is a barrier to achieving your goal, lower your sights and build it up.

What about you guys? Have you got any useful hints and tips for motivating yourself when you are in a slump?

You can also find me on Twitter and tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Pinterest page http://www.Pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks