People. Urgh.

After attending the Annual Bloggers Bash on Saturday, The Bloke and I decided to stay overnight and travel back to Birmingham the following day. We’d got up, had breakfast, went to Chiswick House really early in the morning with Shelley as neither of them had seen it and then made our way back up to Euston to catch the train home. The Bloke surprised me with First Class tickets, and after the post-Royal-Wedding madness I was enormously grateful not to have to battle with my massive bag and the epic amounts of people all trying to get a seat. It was a real treat – something that we’ve only ever done once before on a different train service. We got ourselves settled and comfortable and I started writing up my Bash post on my phone with the intention of loading it up later. It had been a really nice morning, but I was shattered and looking forward to getting home. Continue reading

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Make-Up, Marco and Music

Last weekend we experienced more glorious weather and I was able to indulge of three of my favourite things: make-up shopping, lunch with The Bloke at a restaurant and Eurovision.

Awesome.

My friend is getting married at the end of July and she asked me if I would accompany her while she tried out some ideas during a makeover she had scheduled at Dior.

Ooh, go on then!

It was nice to watch the make-up artist try out some ideas, particularly as her finished look was not something that my friend would usually wear, and I ended up having a lovely chat with numerous people about make-up looks, our favourite vloggers and blogging. To be fair, it’s inevitable that a conversation in my world ends up with a discussion about blogging – it’s something that my friends have grown used to over the years.

I then met The Bloke for lunch at Marco Pierre White’s restaurant at the top of the Cube in the Mailbox. It was the first time we had visited and I had heard and read mixed reviews, so I was interested to see what was available on the lunchtime menu. 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

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

Laryngitis and a Polygamous Relationship with an Aldi Raspberry Sorbet

Last weekend I felt really rough. I put it down to being hungover after going out with my friend to celebrate her birthday on Saturday night – my failing voice and sore throat was initially thought to have been caused by singing a bit too enthusiastically as I was dancing around, which isn’t uncommon. However, by Monday afternoon I started to feel particularly unwell – hot and cold flashes, sore skin, headaches – and by Tuesday morning I realised that my ‘hangover’ was actually full-blown flu, which was later accompanied by a nasty head cold and a hacking cough that just wouldn’t go away. After spending the week feeling like death-warmed-up I went to the doctors where the genuinely lovely GP took one look at me and said ‘yeah, you’ve got laryngitis – I had it myself two years ago so I know you must be feeling quite poorly.’ I really did – the most poorly I’ve felt in a very long time. Continue reading

Why I’m Stepping Away From #SundayBlogShare

‘You fighting with people on Twitter again I see.’

My bloggy friend sent me a message on Facebook. It’s nothing new – she’s seen me go through this numerous times in recent months…

In Nov 2014 I decided to start a sharing link-up on Twitter for bloggers. It wasn’t an original idea – I’d been participating in #MondayBlogs run by @RachelintheOC (who was and has always been incredibly supportive) for a while and adopted a similar idea, but on a Sunday instead. After searching through different hashtags I decided upon the name #SundayBlogShare as this was something that hadn’t been used before. The invitation was open for any blogger to tweet out their blog links using the hashtag, and then I would retweet them, hopefully encouraging others to do the same. I created a set of easy-to-follow instructions, which was essentially keep it to blog posts only, no etsy, Amazon, inspirational quotes etc and if you’re sharing a link then retweet and interact with others. Continue reading

One. Million. Views.

Holy crap.

Just under five years ago (April 2013), I came home from work after a particularly bad day, created a WordPress account and hastily wrote a very short introductory post entitled ‘Stuff.’

I have a lot of stuff. When I first moved down to Birmingham to start my degree everything that I owned could be fit into the back of a Ford Escort. Now, almost twelve years later, I own everything I have except the shell of the house that I live in. This blog is an attempt to sort out the stuff that I have surrounded myself with for years… And I’m not just referring to the physical objects that are in the house…

And that’s exactly what this blog helped me to do… sort my stuff out. It has been the biggest influence in almost every aspect of life, allowing me to change my career path, discover new goals and talents, experience places and things that I could have only dreamed of in my previous existence, understand myself better, calm my demons, re-establish estranged relationships and has introduced me to some of the most inspiring, creative and incredible people from all over the world both online and in person that I would never have have the privilege to get to know otherwise. Instead of filling my house with half-finished journals, it has been my online diary and record of the unbelievable highs and struggles of my life: getting engaged and married to The Bloke, welcoming The Squidge (my niece) into the world, watching as the important people in my life get married and have children, quitting my teaching job, travel, food, reviews, hosting workshops, winning the Best Overall Blog at the Annual Bloggers Bash in London…

I only told one friend when I first started writing – I showed her one of my posts during a meal at a pizza restaurant after I’d gained about 10 followers while my heart was beating out of my chest, and after she gave me a positive reaction and boosted my confidence we had a conversation about what I could achieve with it.

“You could get a million views!” I remember her saying, and I laughed at the prospect.

And today, that’s exactly what happened – this little piece of the internet had it’s MILLIONTH VIEW…

Unbelievable.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, share, tweet, pin, advise, support… I couldn’t have done it without you!

Here’s to the next million!