Gratitude in Challenging Times


Three weeks ago I went to Manchester. I took my mum out for an early Mother’s Day lunch, booked a hotel room to myself, shopped, walked around in the glorious sunshine, admired the local street-art and caught up with some of my oldest girlie friends, where I got so squiffy that my hangover took several days to subside.

And then, the apocalypse seemingly happened.

It is always easy to sympathise, but equally as easy to be nonchalant when awful things are happening in a different part of the world. Despite the rapidly growing numbers of people affected and the increasing panic as Coronavirus cases arrived in the UK, it didn’t really hit home until the last ten days when the process of shutting everything down in Birmingham began. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Thoughts N Life Blog

Looking to gain more from your life?

We are already well in to the first month of the new year, and I have taken lots of inspiration from motivational blogs that encourage thought and positivity.

Meet Bella, the creator of the Thoughts N Life Blog.

She believes that the thoughts we generate can greatly impact our life greatly, and the ability to change and redirect our thought process can subsequently change our lifestyle and the impact that we have on the world. With the notion that a thought is the seed of a deed or action, being conscious of sowing the right seeds can help to provide us with the courage to do the right thing. Continue reading

Tips for Becoming an Unstoppable Blogger in 2020

Tips for Becoming an Unstoppable Blogger This Year

I usually love the feeling that accompanies a new year. I start a new Bullet Journal, map out my plans and goals and work out the direction that I want to take the blog over the next twelve months.

2020 marks the seventh (!) year of Suzie Speaks. Those who have followed the blog for a long time will already know the story – I started blogging as an outlet when I was struggling in my teaching job, then quit my job to blog full-time as my numbers grew, and then started my own Social Media Management business to supplement my blog income. It’s been a crazy rollercoaster of amazing experiences, travel, networking and online (and sometimes, in person) friendships with people from all over the world that have become very important to me, with plenty of ups and downs and more than a few lessons learned. Continue reading

Creating a Manual Pinning Strategy on Pinterest

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission should you click through and make a purchase.

One of my big blogging regrets is the number of years that I avoided using Pinterest to help bring referrals to my posts. Pinterest is my favourite part of my daily checklist and is now the primary resource of traffic referrals, bringing in tens of thousands of views with minimal effort. I’ve even been able to expand this further and incorporate it into my Social Media Management Services – growing and developing the Pinterest accounts of others.

This is nothing in comparison to Pinterest Queen Elena Peters, who has harnessed the power of Pinterest to gain over 100,000 views a month, grow her followers in her first year alone on Pinterest from 0 to 12,000 (she now has over 23,000) and increasing her impressions to almost 3 million a month. In her first year she was able to reach one million total views on her blog and quit her job to blog full-time, continuing to earn a steady income from ads due to the high volume of traffic that Pinterest sends her every single month!

I’ve learned a lot from both her blog and in discussions with her about what she does, and now she can help you too! Continue reading

Taking the Blogging High Road

‘When they go low, we go high…’

It’s become somewhat of a slogan for Michelle Obama, who first used the phrase during an incredible speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention – taking the high road and doing the right thing, even when it isn’t easy. 

While Michelle may be able to rise above it, I (however much I admire her), still find it one of the most difficult things to do. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on… well, I won’t have forgotten what you did the first time so you won’t get the chance to even think of fooling me again. 

I’m admittedly highly strung, easily rattled and have become more outspoken – even more so as I age – and as a result I find it enormously frustrating to have to keep my mouth shut and walk away when I see something that I believe to be untrue or unfair. Now that I’m self-employed I have to regularly check myself in what and how I say things because essentially, I’m on my own. 

Unfortunately, especially when working online, a thick skin and the ability to take the high road is part of the job description. It’s a confusing world to be a part of – particularly in the fact that every aspect of content creation and interaction has the ability to be edited to show the best possible side to a potential audience. This seemingly deceptive nature of blogging and accompanying false sense of security and anonymity that a computer screen provides enables a person to say whatever they want, whenever they want, often without the same fear of consequence or reciprocation that they would be held accountable for in the real world. The longer you inhabit the online world, the more common it is to witness and potentially get sucked into the self-entitlement, angst and outrage that populates the blogosphere and social media platforms on a daily basis. In fact, there are entire blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to it – ‘Drama’ content that focuses on the quarrels and spats going on between influencers. Continue reading

Complacency and An Extended Blogging Break

At the beginning of August I felt fired up and motivated. My head was spinning with ideas about what I could do and achieve over the month and I had a whole bunch of plans as to how I was going to move forward. 

It lasted two days. 

It wasn’t intentional, but I ended up having an extended blogging break. I tried to convince myself that it was needed, but the truth of it was that I simply couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm to post anything on a regular basis. After six and a half years and thousands of articles the mental burnout was real. Continue reading

Boost Your Blog or Products with my Advertising, Consultation and Photography Services!

Social Media Management Services

Want to boost your blog, engagement, subscribers and stats? Do you need beautiful images to enhance your blog posts, or professional photographs of your recipes or products?

I offer lots of different opportunities for fellow bloggers, authors and business owners to gain extra promotion.

  • Social Media Management – Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook
  • Blog of the Day opportunities
  • Hour Blog Consultation Slots
  • Canva images for your blog posts – created for any area of social media
  • Food, Product and Flat Lay Photography

Stats

At the time of publishing, Suzie Speaks has received over 1,200,000 views. Here are my readership stats:

  • WordPress: 11,000 +
  • Twitter: 8,900
  • Facebook: 800 +
  • Pinterest: 10,300 +

Of all of the blogging regrets that I have, my lack of knowledge when developing my blog and hesitation when setting up my social media accounts are the biggest. Why? Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Lorna from Gin & Lemonade

Ever wondered what to do when the power is out?

Meet Lorna! She’s the creator of Gin & Lemonade and a prolific blogger. 

I’ve written about Gin and Lemonade before – Lorna has become well-known within the blogging community and I’ve watched her blog (and content) grow and evolve enormously within the last few years, particularly as she moved over from dot com to a new self-hosted blog. 

Lorna lives in Skye, writes, reads and lives quite happily with her husband, their daughter and lots of books. She’s in her 30’s, is a wife, a mother, and is a wheelchair-user. She explains more in her rather epic ‘About’ page: Continue reading

The Viking Picture Perfect Event: A Photography Masterclass with Elouisa Georgiou

Last week I was invited to a Digital Photography Masterclass with Viking, given by professional photographer Elouisa Georgiou.

I love taking photos – amassing thousands of images over the years in various folders on my computer and blog – but usually find it easier to use my phone for the ease of taking a quick picture without having to go through the hassle of carrying a heavy camera around and the option of immediately editing and sharing across my social media. However, this masterclass was a great opportunity to develop some of my skills using a DSLR – something that I rarely use – and I asked The Bloke to give me a crash course on the basics beforehand.

The event took place at Dirty Martini in Birmingham, and I was joined by other bloggers in a Christmas-themed setting as Elouisa introduced us to her work and some of the techniques she uses to create different effects on her images.

Continue reading