• 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

    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.