Being Realistic About Gaining a Viral Post…

Viral post

… or Why You Should Lower Your Expectations.

In the online world, the idea of going ‘viral’ is a coveted goal. There are endless explanations as to what viral is, from having ten times your normal amount of traffic to suddenly having tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of views.

The more time I spend on Pinterest, the more I see posts being shared around that focus on the whole viral nonsense: ‘How to Get Your Posts to Go Viral,’ ‘How to Have a Viral Post,’ How to Go Viral…’ Blah, blah, and again… blah. There seems to be a little obsession with it at the minute, and I get asked the same question all the time… Continue reading

Stop Dreaming and Start Doing!

Creating a new life

There’s an inspirational quote that I often see shared around on Pinterest:

If you want something bad enough, it will happen.

Nonsense. It should say:

If you want something badly enough you have to get up, create a viable plan and work hard for it.

It doesn’t have the same ring to it, granted, but it’s certainly more accurate.

Things are happy. In fact, it’s the happiest it’s ever been and I was recently reminded of how life has changed when my Facebook and Twitter timelines were filled with desperate messages from teacher friends as they went back to work after the summer. A few years ago I would have been sitting in a training or data analysis session and feeling utterly miserable. Instead, I made myself a nice breakfast, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and the cat, watched some TV and then worked through my social media management checklist, followed by a bit of Bullet Journaling in the afternoon. Bliss. Continue reading

How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging: Part One

For the last two years, I’ve requested one thing for Christmas – a notebook. In that notebook, I keep ongoing trackers of my blog and social media stats, monthly and daily checklists, trackers of my social media client stats and some ideas and small drafts for blog posts.

What I didn’t realise that I was doing was creating my own version of a bullet journal. In fact, up until about two months ago I’d never really heard much about them, that is, until I watched a ‘July Plan With Me’ YouTube tutorial from AmandaRachLee on creating a monthly set of ‘spreads,’ (that’s page layouts to us ordinary folk). Since then it has become a bit of an obsession – I’ve watched more tutorials than I can count, allowed myself a small budget to buy materials, practiced different handwriting styles and layouts and began the process of setting up a bullet journal ready for 2018. My intention is to set up most of the journal for the year in advance, although many Bullet Journal users plan from month to month. I need something that is ready for me to use – I’m the sort of person that would fall behind and would leave myself with too much to do if I had to set up each month the day before. Continue reading

Dougal, Dinner for One and Dolph Lundgren

I haven’t been on the blog much at all over the last week or so, mainly due to this:

This is Dougal, my sister’s dog, who I have been looking after while she went on holiday. My sis lives quite a distance from me, so I moved into her flat where (for the first time in about nine years), I was living on my own for an extended period of time. Continue reading

The Problem with Overthinking

Of all the negative personality traits that I posses, one stands high above the rest as being the most destructive.

I’m a thinker. If something bothers me, particularly in a situation where I feel unfairly treated, I’ll think about it… and then I’ll think some more. I’ll even think about the way that I’m thinking about something and by the time I have finished thinking I will have inevitably blown the initial annoyance out of all proportion in my mind. I think about what I could or should have said or done, what I wish I hadn’t said or done, what I will say and do in the future. I think about what has been said and done to me, and what should have been said to me instead.

It’s a lot of thinking… and it’s exhausting.

Despite the fact that I’m fully aware that this is not a healthy thing to do, I have found it difficult to control at times and the end result is always the same – I will have wound myself up and become agitated, the problem still remains unresolved and the only person left feeling angry, anxious or hurt is me. Continue reading

Should You Self-Censor Your Personal Blog?

Should you self-censor your personal blog?

It’s common knowledge that employers will check social media pages during an interview process and things that are deemed inappropriate can have a potentially damaging impact on a candidates success when applying for a job. Similarly, there are endless stories of people who have had their employment terminated after posting something online. Social media has now become a part of our daily lives, to the point where are now teaching students in the education system about how to manage social media accounts appropriately.

It seems logical for me that blogs that are solely for the purpose of business should be handled in a professional, efficient and eloquent manner, in the same way you would expect someone in any profession to behave in person within the workplace. Continue reading

My New Obsession… Love Island!

When it comes to ‘reality’ television, I lost a lot of interest in it years ago. I remember avidly watching Big Brother and X Factor for the first three seasons, I got into TOWIE and Made in Chelsea for a while, and watched a season or two of I’m a Celebrity, but other than that my only regular viewing has been of the Real Housewives franchise, and that’s mainly because there isn’t anything else on the TV at 5.00pm which is when it is generally shown on Freeview. Continue reading

Adele at Wembley Stadium: The Finale

**Warning – spoilers**

Last night I went to see Adele perform at Wembley Stadium. It was the final leg of her 124 date tour (we were at performance 120) that has seen her go through Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand, and with an audience of 98,000 people she had broken the record for a concert of that size at the venue. My sister (who had bought the tickets as a wedding present) had also booked us into a hotel on the Wembley Complex for two nights, so it became a three day mini break and I was ridiculously excited. Continue reading

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

The U.K. is currently experiencing a heatwave and I am loving every second of it. I seem to be in the minority – my Facebook and Twitter timelines are filled with complaints about it being too hot to handle – but I have embraced what will almost certainly be our only summer weather this year. Let’s face it, as a nation we spend so many months complaining about the cold, rain and dark, spending a fortune on foreign holidays just so we can experience this sort of weather, so I have little understanding of why everyone is so unhappy about it. I’ve taken full advantage of the temperature change – I’ve done loads of laundry and put it outside (having to time it in order to avoid the barbecues from the neighbours), opened loads of windows around the house, sat in a beer garden drinking a cider with my friend at the local pub, made some summery food and eaten ice-cream. Perfect. The only regret I have is that we are far away from a beach, otherwise you would have found me with my feet in the sand. Continue reading

Author Interview with Sacha Black: 13 Steps to Evil

Sacha Black

The lovely Sacha Black

Those of you who have been in the blogging world for some time will know the name Sacha Black. Creator of www.sachablack.co.uk and, of course, The Annual Bloggers Bash, Sacha has now written and published her first book: 13 Steps to Evil (and from all accounts this is the first of many that will be out within the next twelve months) and she’s kindly agreed to let me interview her about her new creation, her process and a little of what makes her… Sacha.

Tell us about your new book – 13 Steps to Evil.

13 Steps To Evil – How To Craft Superbad Villains is every writer’s comprehensive guide to creating kick-ass villains. It’s based on a commonly held misnomer by writers: that their hero is the most important character. Without the villain or antagonist within a story, there is no conflict. Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is. Continue reading