• Blogging,  business,  writing

    Writing Wednesdays #2 // 2021 update

    I haven’t done an update post like this, in over a year.

    I decided in 2020 I would have a break from writing and put my novels on hiatus for a year, but now I have started to miss writing blog posts, as well missing writing my fiction work.

    I have got 4 potential novels that I am writing with very different themes from mental health fiction, to fiction crime. I am hoping to be under the young adult category and have published at least 1 novel, if not more, within 2 years. I don’t mind if I self-publish or traditional.
    In the world, 2020 has been a nightmare for everyone, especially areas and countries hit bad with Covid-19/Coronavirus. Where I live was hit at its worst right now, in December 2020. We thought we were out of the woods months ago but Covid hit back badly.

    Since Covid, I like many others, felt a slump in my writing and personal life too. When I should have made the most of free time, due to quitting the library shifts (due to a Covid scare and it having to close with temporary restrictions, earlier in the year!) & the various restrictions in and out of Lockdown for Wales, I actually became less attentive to my blog (You will notice not many posts were done this year) & stopped writing my fiction work completely.
    I felt drained and it is only now with the promise of a fresh start in the new year and a new 2021 diary, did I feel up to carrying on with my blog and writing. I am hoping for a fresh start for 2021. I am aiming to complete at least one of my novels by the end of the year 2021 and I also want to regularly post on my blog again.

    As I have fell out of love with books and want to explore other areas such as home care, food/drink, TV/film reviews, etc, I will be doing lots of new content next year. So look out for it.
    I know I change it up a lot on my blog, especially since 2019, but please stick with me as I like writing for my favourite hobby, but also because I love to read other people’s opinions about what I post!

  • Blogging

    HOW TO: Start a blog (& maintain it)

    This is a common post most bloggers end up creating – about how they survived the first few months blogging. It is crucial that in the first few months you don’t give up as they are the most challenging of all the months. After you have established a brand or started working with brands hopefully it will get easier. I’m not quite at that level yet but I am actively searching for brands to collaborate with, in 2019. Anyway, here’s my top 5 tips…

    1. Make sure you have content ready BEFORE making your blog.

    This is important because when you first open your blog and ask people to view it, you want to have some content already so they want to come back for more in the future. I know from experience when I first started uploading content people were confused by it as they didn’t know what I would post next & if they would like it (I’m sure some still do wonder where this blog is going, I’m working on it – I promise!). The more consistent content you have the more a person is likely to follow it as they want to read more in the future.

    2. Find a topic YOU love talking about, a lot!

    This is a decider on whether your blog will thrive or fail. If you have a topic you love and can’t stop talking about that’s what you should talk about on your blog. I know from experience that I choose a topic and ran out of things to talk about because I wasn’t enthusiastic enough and had no more conversation to write about. I have since changed my blog name & topics to suit what I like and it works much better.

    3. Decide early on, what themes you like

    This is something you should do preferably before you promote your blog. It is important that a theme shows your uniqueness in a rapidly growing world of blogs. Your theme should be something you would want to read & is drawn to you. To put it bluntly, if it is a shit theme & does not follow what you’re saying, people won’t want to read it anymore … of course, you can always change your theme after and make it better in time.

    4. Get solid advice from other bloggers and friends

    This is a tough one if none of your friends and family blog or work in IT/graphics. It will be crucial that you view other blogs that you admire or want as a base to start your blog (however you can not under any circumstances copy them… EVER!) My advice would be to create your site but do not publish it until you have asked others you know to look over it, even if its just the menu’s don’t look quite right or the theme doesn’t show your personality (see above), in the long run, you will thank them!

    5. Think of an AWESOME blog name

    This is a really interesting one. Although if you stick with a hosting site (I will talk more about what that means in another post or Google it now!) you can change your name multiple times if you don’t like it. the best blog start with a unique name (or the bloggers own) which get them noticed. When you eventually go self-hosted (IE a .com site) you want to stand out from the crowd and be noticed as an interesting name for potential readers to remember and brands to want to work with.

    That is the end of my ranting and raving. I hope these (admittedly brief) tips and tricks will help you create your very own blog like mine (or better, who knows). If there is a trick I mentioned above that you used tell me if it worked.

  • Blogging,  Favourites

    ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING, IN 2018.

    This post is a celebration of blogging for a whole year. Am I proud? Yes. Will I continue? Yes. Do I think I can improve? Definitely. Will you join me reading my blog? I hope so!

    As this year has flown by so quickly, I want to look back on what I’ve learned this year blogging. Then do a brief description of what My Blog was, is & My new goals.

    WHAT I HAVE LEARNED:

    This year has been an eye-opening experience into the world of blogging. Although I have tried before in my teens it wasn’t until I fully dived into the community of books and blogs I didn’t have a clue it even existed. Blogging may look easy but it takes a lot of work, effort and sometimes creativeness to pull it off.

    It is a competitive world but most bloggers all pull together and help one another. I feel I have been neglecting this blog recently due to a thing called “Life” and I’m hoping to jump back into it soon. I noticed that some bloggers are more successful than others but others are a more interesting read. Just because they are popular right now doesn’t make the blog superior – blog popularity quickly changes.

    Just because your blog isn’t “popular”, doesn’t mean you haven’t put in the same amount of work into content!

    My blog personally has tried a few things and failed but that’s okay because you need to think outside the box and try – sometimes it works & sometimes it doesn’t.

    WHAT MY BLOG STARTED AS: This blog started out as a hobby as I enjoyed reading I wanted to share it with the world. While first starting out in the blogging world I had no clue what I was doing and had to change a lot of my posts. Most of my first few posts were obviously book reviews. This is my first blog post HERE.

    WHAT IT CURRENTLY IS: My blog has recently become self-hosted (post about it HERE). I am looking into different topics to add to posts as I don’t believe I am doing my best by writing book reviews. I believe I need to create more posts with more passion for what I am writing. This means right now I am coming up with a few different posts and seeing which ones work best with readers.

    WHAT I WANT FOR THE NEXT YEAR: In the next year, I hope to get more daily views and continue posting good quality posts. I don’t know which direction my blog is going yet as it is an on-going process. I want to increase activity and start writing more posts. I would love this little space on the internet to become my full-time career maybe a few years down the line. I think if I put enough effort into creating content I could create an income from this blog one day.

    WHAT do I want TO ADD TO MY BLOG?: I am going to start adding a huge variety of different topical posts on my blog, which I hope will become popular!

    What are your blogging achievements? Will you be continuing following my blog?
    What are your favourite posts on my blog? What can I do to upgrade my blog?
    LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

  • Blogging,  Favourites

    Social Media – Good thing or Bad?

    Social Media is a high priority to anyone into blogging or other internet based ventures. It is such a success that if you hope to become well-known on the internet, Communities recommend you create multiple identities on sites such as Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter to get noticed.

    Do you use Social Media often? Are you confused by Social Media?

    Examples of how Social Media works you post on Instagram a photo with various comments relating to the photo. Food bloggers would have a photo of tasty and good-looking food, Fashion bloggers would have a photo shoot or pretty jewellery…etc. Underneath the photo will have “Hashtags” which relate to the photo such as “FoodofInstagram“.

    This works if you have over 1,000+ followers, which means over 1,000 people will see your post and possibly share with their other social media or word of mouth – this gives the company in the photo publicity. The more followers you have the more chance a brand or company or place will work with you to create a post. This is because whoever is sponsoring the photo will hopefully get people to see and use the product.

    I personally choose to delete my Instagram [I HAVE SINCE REMADE INSTAGRAMS – Aug, 2018] both personal and blog related. I didn’t have many followers and I didn’t see the point in putting out posts that no-one’s interested in. If no-one visits your Instagram for example and you have under 50 followers, is it worth keeping? I say no as I can invest my time in places where I am continuing to grow my brand (which is my blog).

    I have decided to use my blog for posts and I will use my trusted personal Twitter profile to publicise all my blog posts. I use Twitter basically every day and I have a small but reasonable following over nearly 750 followers which is increasing all the time. This makes me happy to see.

    I also tweet more popular accounts that I am getting familiar with to boost my tweets, give out advice and also I may get some new followers. As they are not new to Social Media & Blogging they have lots of useful advice to give to me. The best thing about the blogging community, in particular Twitter, is that people are friendly and there for whenever someone is struggling .

    There are many different sides to social media. One pro of social media is having a possible career if you are good enough or motivated to create constant good content. One of the main negatives known is when random people on the internet tear you down or insult your content.

    My aim for when I get above 1,000 Twitter followers is to create new contacts and be friendly to those who are new or struggling. Eventually I want to start giving advice on how to use Twitter but that’s for another blog post!

  • Blogging,  Favourites

    Are you obsessed with your blog?

    When people hear you have a blog you usually have two different reactions. The first one is “OMG, Good for you trying something new, relevant and interesting to hear about!” and the second is “What are you doing with your life & why are you wasting it blogging?”. Luckily I have so far only had the first reaction with my friends and close family, except one family member.

    How long have you been around?

    This blog was started on the 15th of May 2017 on a whim to write down my thoughts about books. it has since expanded to have blogging tips and recently other reviews on different topics. I started this blog on the idea it would be like a journal recording all my book reviews so I could look back on them and remember the books I enjoyed.

    What is this blog about?

    This blog has expanded more than I ever imagined when starting! I have a loyal follower count of over 100 and it seems to show I have nearly 1,000 subscribers. In January 2018 I decided with help from a friend to go self-hosted and have my own domain name (.com) to expand my blog’s potential. I have tried a few different blog topics trying to find my niche and I’m still a year after starting this blog not there yet.. but I will get there one day!

     

    My new obsession..

    I have recently started to get obsessed with my blog. I constantly all day spend time thinking about new posts and how I can improve content. Today for example I spent over 2 hours watching Youtube videos with bloggers giving advice on exploring your blogs brand and how they are still blogging 3 or 4 years down the road, how they didn’t give up on their blog. I have also spent over 2 hours on top of that planning new posts and content. Yesterday I spent an entire day planning out different things for my blog and updating content – it’s a hard job!

    I believe this is a good thing as I am now committed to my blog, in a effect it is like another part of me and I don’t remember who or how I was a year ago without my blog. There comes a time after blogging for nearly a year you have to assess is this worth it? and down the line could I actually make a career out of this time and effort I am putting into content on the internet.

    Negativity towards bloggers.

    Some abuse is by people who either don’t understand blogging and what it entails and how much hard work it is to get a good post up on a weekly basis. Some abuse (although I’m not blaming the bloggers as such) there are some bloggers out there who go too far with companies who don’t agree with the blogging world and they then get abused.

    Will I carry on Blogging?

    Although I believe because I am currently in a reading slump so I am using my blog as a distraction from the previous goal of reading I think that I honestly want to work hard at this blog so I can finally reap some benefits. I want to make my blog more well known and eventually work with brands on sponsored posts or companies approaching me as a blog (brand) – the only way that will happen is if I can find ways to get more traffic to my blog.

  • Blogging

    My favourite blogs 2017

    This is a post dedicated to my favourite haunts on the internet that I view regularly.

    I will give you an idea of their content, where to find them and social media links. Some of these are quite new to the bookish community (like I am) but some have been around for years!

    So in no order (as they are all fab bloggers!) …here they are:

    Sarah in wonderland

    • Name: Sarah
    • Blog: www.sarahinwonderland.co.uk / www.fromsarahlex.co.uk
    • Twitter: @Wonderlandblogs / @fromsarahlex
    • Content: Disability, beauty, lifestyle.
    • Note: She has since rebranded to “From Sarah Lex”.

    Writing wolves


    No safer place


    The fiction life | Olivia


    So this concludes my list of bloggers I admire & been viewing their sites often.

    Is there any bloggers that I missed that I could add to my annual list in 2019? Am I on yours? Do you frequently view these blogs?

    Let me know in the comments!

  • Blogging,  Favourites

    NEW URL: Self-hosting & update

    Hello all,

    This is my first post since this week I have changed to self-hosting. You don’t need to know the one & outs of the technical side of it, as even I get confused trying to explain it but basically what it has allowed me to do is drop the “.wordpress” out of my blog address URL. Hope this switch over doesn’t confuse you.

    Say hello to: http://welshiebooksandthoughts.com.

    Funny fact?
    I tried to change to just “books and thoughts” but found out someone else already had that URL so It’s a good job I’m welsh born so I have an excuse to carry over the “Welshie” part in my blog!

    I hope you will carry on with me on my journey through books and blogging. I started blogging many years ago and failed on different sites such as Tumblr and Google+ in an attempt to create my own website.

    This site has finally given me the confidence to say “This is Mine, and I am happy with it”. I have seen a few blogs on the internet since joining the “Bookish Community”, and exploring other topics, some blogs are over 5 years old, while mine is a mere 8 months old (at time of writing).

    I hope to carry on for a long time – As long as you keep reading WB&T I will keep producing new content. I am hoping with time and experience my blog will grow and become better and better.

    Danielle
  • Blogging,  Books

    Goodreads 2018 + fave book

    Hello all,

    As you may have noticed I done the Goodreads Challenge this year and set the bar low. This was because I was restarting reading a lot again after about 10 years away from books.

    I plan to do 2018’s challenge and up the book count and higher my reading limit. I am hoping to read 50 books next year max but if I get through 25 I’d be happy enough!

    Also, I want to read this list in 2018..

    • Old Classics
    • Game of Thrones Series
    • Italy-based novels
    • Non-fiction -Romans
    • Contemporary classics
    • My A Level set list
    • ARCs and Review Copies

    As it’s coming up to the end of the year and although I have only been blogging about books and reading a lot for 8 months, I feel I should do a shout out to my favourite book of 2017. Drumroll please?

    My favourite book of 2017 goes to Born Bad by Marnie Riches. If you are into gritty, Manchester crime I would recommend you pick this book up!!