A New Phase for The Bloke and Learning to Work Backwards

It’s been an interesting few weeks. I decided to focus my attentions on areas outside of my blog primarily and get a fresh perspective on various aspects of life that weren’t as positive as they should have been. I was full of ideas of where I could go and what I could do, and started by feeling motivated.

And then I got drunk, and it ended up being far more therapeutic than anything that I had planned. Continue reading

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Blog of the Day and a Blog Party: Hélene Fermont

Meet Hélene! She’s hosting a blog party today. A blogger and author of three books, with a fourth due out later this year, Hélene is one of my new found discoveries. She explains more in her ‘About’ page.

My name is Hélene and I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Born into an Anglo-Swedish family, I was brought up bilingual – I write in English – and my writing is inspired by Nordic or Scandinavian literature with strong characterisation and morally complex elements.

My novels are reflective of my professional and personal experiences but are completely fictitious. I blend the above elements with my own unique style of contemporary women’s fiction with a psychological twist. At all times I write from the heart and work hard to ensure my novels are genuine, emotive and relatable. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Unfold and Begin

Unfold and Begin

I’ve featured Jennifer from Unfold and Begin as I’ve followed and enjoyed her blog for a long time, but since the beginning of this year I’ve had the opportunity to work with her to build her social media, and this has given me a further insight into lots more of her posts…

I love interesting About pages, and Jennifer’s is entertaining and explains exactly what her blog is about.

My name is Jennifer Koshak and I’m on the tail end of the baby boomers. You should know that I’m willing to enjoy chocolate, practice some yoga, have some fun and explore new places and new things in my next 50 years. 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

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

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

The Bloggers Bash Awards Are Back!

Annual Bloggers Bash

Now in its fourth year, the Annual Bloggers Bash returns bigger and better than ever. The venue is booked, 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.

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 nominations will open soon but we wanted to share the award categories with you to give everyone plenty of time to think about who they feel deserves a nomination.

Get your thinking caps on and keep an eye out for future posts. Nominations will open on March 6th, 2018. Continue reading

Lessons, Limoges and Lilliput Lane

George Orwell’s house in Notting Hill

This week has been a little hectic. The Bloke has had a week off, we’ve been organising a bajillion things at once and trying to spend some quality time together, and I’ve been desperately trying to keep on top of my daily checklists. It’s been a mixed bag of fun and stress all rolled into one busy package.

But, we’re never too old to learn new things, and this week I have learned a lot.

A raspberry in a glass of prosecco makes it taste less like what I imagine unwashed feet do. I must be the only female I know who doesn’t like it, but it’s almost palatable with a raspberry.

Upgrading on a travel West Midlands train is a pointless waste of money.

I make a mean French Toast, after trying it out for the first time last Sunday. My buzz was cut short, however, after my friend informed me that her 11 year old regularly makes it for herself. Continue reading

Greenstory STONE Notebook: A Review

 

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know of my obsession with Bullet Journals and stationery. You can imagine my excitement when I was asked to try out a brand new notebook by Greenstory... made of STONE.

Yes, you read it correctly… it’s made of stone.

Developed by Dutch brother & sister duo Kaim and Yagmur and supported by copywriter Fleur, Greenstory seeks to make a difference for sustainability. The paper for the Stone Notebook is made of 80% calcium carbonate, which is waste material from marble quarries. 20% polyethylene is added, and that’s it. It uses 6X less energy to produce and leaves a 3X smaller CO2 footprint. No coating, water, acid, bleach or optical brighteners. The material can be infinitely recycled to make more Stone notebooks!

It also makes the paper waterproof and much stronger – one of the first things that I attempted to do when I received the notebook was rip the corner of one of the back pages, and while it was possible to tear it – there was a noticeable difference in the overall strength than other notebooks I have used. Continue reading