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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The Annual Bloggers Bash 2018

Photo by Duncan Walker

Last weekend was the fourth Annual Bloggers Bash, which was held in London. It had been nearly a year in the planning and on Saturday morning a whole bunch of bloggers descended on the George IV pub in Chiswick. Continue reading

A Blog Party and Massive Bullet Journal Giveaway!

There’s a few things that are well overdue for properly celebrating, particularly my five year blog anniversary and millionth view, so I decided that today, a Blog Party is needed. I haven’t held a blog party in quite a while. I enjoy hosting them – it’s a great way to catch up with lots of blog posts that I have missed out on and allows others to connect with other members of the community and it is open to everyone…

However, as an added bonus, I am also hosting an epic Bullet Journal giveaway competition in which participants have the chance to win an amazing Bullet Journal Starter Kit, worth £40! The kit contains:

  • A Moleskine Dotted Bullet Journal
  • Three Pigma Micron fineliners in sizes 2, 4 and 8
  • A set of four Stabilo pastel highlighters
  • Three Paperchase washi tapes – red and purple flower, champagne glitter and black polka
  • Four Paperchase Polaroid style postcards

Note: There is only ONE Bullet Journal set to be won. Unfortunately, the giveaway is only open to UK participants due to the cost of postage, but the blog party is open to everyone… Continue reading

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

A Writers Retreat

What do you get when you combine three published author bloggers and me, a converted hospital, rolling countryside, pig farms, beautiful beach huts and a spare weekend?

A self-made writers retreat.

Yes, I’ve just spent the weekend in a gorgeous house with my blogger friends Sacha, Helen and Geoff with the purpose of using some rare free-time and utilising each other’s knowledge, experience and skills to not only attempt to catch up with our writing goals, but to take the opportunity to throw a few ideas around and get some immediate feedback on what we were working on. Geoff had very kindly offered to host us at his home, which was part of a converted former hospital. 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

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

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