A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Social media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social media. Show all posts

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Tips for the Time-Challenged Blogger

Tine-challenged, bloggingIt's true that blogging will take over your life if you allow it to, and sometimes it's important to remind ourselves that we blog because that's what we love to do.

Here are my top 5 tips for getting ahead and making time for everything else when life is hectic and doesn't allow you the freedom to lavish as much time as you'd like on your blog...

1. Carry a pen, notebook and small camera around with you at all times. You never know when inspiration for a brilliant blog post, or that perfect photo op might arise - and it would be a shame to waste any idea that's potentially useful at a later date. Jot down a few notes (no matter how random) and snap a few photos as you go.

2. Aim to have several posts in reserve for when life gets in the way of everything and time is scarce. Make sure that the posts aren't seasonal or time-sensitive. Book reviews, blogging tips and recipes all work well.

3. Don't panic when you need to write a post in a hurry. If you only have an hour, log off social media, set a timer and commit to writing without interruption. It's amazing what you can achieve if put your mind to it. Get to know what type of posts you can write within a relatively short time scale. For me, it's The Week That Was posts that materialise almost effortlessly. These feature snippets of news from the previous week and, as I've often snapped a few photos during that time - these slot in rather well. Here's an example if you want to take a peek: The Week That Was.

4. Accept that there will be times when you can't be omnipresent on social media, or comment on as many blogs as you'd like to. When pushed for time, I tend to read and comment (or share) posts from twenty or so of my favourite blogs. I won't join in with linkies or comment threads if I know I won't have time to do these justice - as it's unfair to fellow bloggers and hosts. 

5. Remind yourself that it's not the end of the world if you need to step away from blogging for a while. What's going on in real life should always take precedence and because the blogging community is such a fabulous place to be - you'll be able to pick up exactly where you left off. You might even come back to blogging with a fresh outlook and lots of inspired ideas for brilliant new posts.

So that's my top 5 tips for bloggers who don't always have as much time as they'd like to lavish on their blogs.

Do you have any tips to add to the list?

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Six Lessons I've Learnt After Two Years of Blogging...

Blogging, success, lessons
I've been blogging for a little over two years now. My first post went live on 5th January 2013 just days after leaving my job in the NHS where I'd worked for the past 26 years. I'd written for a couple of blogging sites prior to this - but never been brave enough to have my own domain name until last year.

This is what I've learnt so far...

1. There's no place I'd rather be
I'm so happy I decided to start blogging as it's given me more confidence as well as some great opportunities. Most of the time I'm astounded by how much talent there is out there in the blogging world and how kind and generous fellow bloggers can be. If you're thinking about starting a blog, I'd definitely recommend it.

2.Your blog is your space on the Internet
Write about issues that are important to you and remember to be yourself. Not everyone will appreciate your unique view of the world - we're all different after all. And it's OK to say, 'No,' to a sponsored post or review that doesn't feel right. A short, but polite email to the PR company concerned will leave the door open for potential opportunities that might work for you at a later date.

3. Blogging is a journey
I may have been blogging for a couple of years, but I still have a lot to learn. The blogging world is constantly changing and that means you have to change too. There's a wealth of information on the Internet about almost anything you need to know, but I suspect I've mostly made it up as I've gone along. I know I've made a few mistakes along the way. Whenever you need help there's always someone out there who's willing to offer advice. Some things (for me) are never going to be easy - like changing the design of a blog!

(Image: Pixabay)
4. Photography
Blogging is all about the writing and that's the most important part of all. However I think the reader can become a little intimidated by vast amounts of text with nothing to capture their imagination in-between. I try to have at least one photo in every post - sometimes I go a little crazy and add as many as fifteen. If you're not a fan of taking pictures or don't have anything relevant, there are some fabulous websites with free stock photos. One of my favourites is Pixabay.

5. Promote on social media
You may have written a post you're desperate to share with your readers, but how are they going to find it exactly? From experience - I've learnt that it's essential to promote posts on social media in addition to hitting the publish button. There's a knack to doing this in moderation however. It's also important to interact with fellow bloggers by leaving comments on their blogs and sharing any posts that inspire you. And, if you join in with linkies - remember to share the love by commenting on several posts.

I may have saved the most important tip of all for last...

6. Time away from the laptop is always time well spent
It's easy to spend all day creating content for your blog and replying to emails, but it's also important to interact in the real world as that's where most of the inspiration for great content will come from. If you're feeling a bit meh about blogging, there's nothing more inspiring than taking a couple of days away from the laptop to recharge, come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes and hopefully, some fabulous new ideas for posts.

So there you have it, those are my thoughts after two years of blogging. I'd love to hear any tips you've learnt along the way.

Until next time...

 Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton
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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Do You Suffer From FOMO?

FOMO, Fear of missing outDefinition: FOMO (an acronym) fear of missing out.

It's 6:30am and after foraging for a mug of tea and biscuits, the laptop is on. Before the rest of the family have surfaced, I've checked Twitter, blogging stats, comments, emails and caught up on the latest news headlines. Isn't this normal?

Mr A makes an appearance and seems unimpressed that I'm already online. "What happened to breakfast with my wife?" he asks. I log off reluctantly to share a meal with him, while plotting what I need to do online just as soon as he leaves for work.

After he's gone, I write a blog post, join a blog hop, add a few comments and reply to a stack of emails. I also check on Facebook updates; although FB is not where my addiction lies and I can take it or leave it.

Later, I click onto the Boden site to see if the petite maxi dress I'm currently coveting is back in stock. At 5' 3" it's the only way I'm getting away with that particular look this year and I could kick myself for not nabbing one earlier.

I also check out a website for an attraction we're planning to visit next weekend. We haven't been in ages and I need to check opening times. We're away from Saturday onwards for a few days and I have no idea if we'll have WiFi. The thought of this is making me hyperventilate ever so slightly. How will I cope for four whole days without it?

After lunch, I decide that it's a beautiful day and I  should go into town to stock up on essential supplies for our trip. As soon as I'm home, the laptop's back on for more updates. Next, I begrudgingly tackle the basket of ironing that's been sitting in the dining room for quite some time and cook dinner. As it's such a lovely evening, we take drinks and dessert into the garden and talk for a while.

It's 9pm and Mr A is watching something I can't abide on TV. I guess I could read in peace, but heck no. I have Pimms and feel the need to socialise. Back onto Twitter I go... It's Friday night and the mood on Twitter is a happy one. I chat to lots of people about the merits of what goes best with a jug of Pimms. My personal favourite is strawberries, wedges of lime and lots of ice. Later, I devour a bag of cheese puffs and feel the need to share this too; I suspect that might have been the alcohol. Twitter agrees that crispy snacks are the perfect accompaniment. It's also BritMums Live and I'm reading the Twitter feed and wishing I was there too. Isn't this the next best thing?

I spot an adorable photo of a koala being given water by a firefighter after a bush fire. It's the most compassionate picture I've spied all day and so this gets shared. And I'll always Retweet pleas for missing persons and pets in the hope that social media has the power to reunite them.

If I'm having trouble sleeping, Twitter is where I go to distract myself from worrying about lack of ZZZZs. There's always someone online somewhere around the world and this takes my mind off why I can't sleep. At 5am on Saturday morning, the inevitable happens: I'm wide awake, scheduling blog posts and checking in on Twitter.

If you feel the need to connect on Twitter, you can find me here: @IzzieAnderton
If I'm online, chances are I have Twitter/ Notifications open in the header tab. Why on earth would I want to miss out on the latest updates?

So are we all a little bit addicted to social media and all that the internet has to offer I wonder? I'm thinking only that I need to set myself a challenge and see if I can stay offline for a full twenty four hours.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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