Making Your Blog A Success-Top Tips From Fellow Bloggers

So often, I find myself shaking my head in exasperation, at the lack of help available for new bloggers, trying to find their way in the blogging world, but unable to get answers to basic questions.

Making a blog successful isn’t easy, so I decided to take it into my own hands, and give you newbie bloggers, a little insight into what my fellow blogger friends, think is important to grow a successful blog.

 

MakingSarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too said; When I started blogging there were only a handful of Facebook groups and they were really for asking advice etc.  My top tip would be to Google first before asking the same question in a group.

Lynne from A Day in The Life Of A Mum of 6 said; As a newbie who wished I had researched more mine would be;
– carefully select your Blog name and don’t go with the 1st.
– Think about the future and what you want from your blog I found going self hosted very stressful but so worth it.
– I should have researched lots prior to jumping in so a guide for newbies is a great idea.

Alex from Better Together Home said; I wish I’d gone self hosted right away! It’s an expense but would have saved me multiple headaches and losing my entire blog/ stats after months of work! 

Jodie from Maidenhead Mum said; Don’t convince yourself that you have to be big and have tens of thousands of followers to be ‘successful’. Mine is small by nature (I live in a small town which I blog about!) Despite this I have still worked with national brands and other local businesses. Even though my audience is small, it’s engaged and targeted. Let your blog evolve into what it can be instead of chasing the path that other bloggers have already established.

Claire from Life Love and Dirty Dishes said; Don’t feel that you have to do everything people tell you to do to make your blog great. I really don’t believe there is a one size fits all approach to blogging. It’s your blog. Do it your way. If you want advice on a specific area then search or reach out for it. But only do what works for you. 

MakingIrina from Wave to Mummy said; There’s a wealth of information at your fingertips, from SEO to social media marketing. If you want to become successful you will need to make the effort to learn it. Use Google! That said, one tip I would give is to invest in your photography. If you don’t have money, invest time and learn using whatever equipment you do have. It’s such an important skill to have as blogs are a visual media as well, and will really help if you want to monetise your blog. 

Jen from Just Average Jen said; Don’t worry if your friends or family don’t initially like your blog as long as some people do its fine you will never appeal to everyone and they may change their mind!

Frances from Whinge Whinge Wine said; There is no blogging question out there that has not had a hundred posts written on it, therefore if you find yourself as a newbie with a burning blogging question your best bet is to Google it! People who’ve been blogging a while do, I’ll admit, get blogger’s fatigue answering the same newbie questions again and again so is it any wonder there isn’t always someone to hand willing to answer your question when a simple Google search would have given you 807,000 walk through tutorials.

Victoria from Lylia Rose said; For me personally I didn’t make any money for three years, yet still put hours and hours of work daily into my blog, website and social media. Now I make a full time living 4.5 years later, but it didn’t ‘just happen’. My biggest advice would be you have to work hard and put in the effort, plus remember it takes time. I see a lot of bloggers stressing they’re not making any money or only have a handful of followers, but they’ve only been blogging a few weeks! Nothing happens overnight, or at least not for the majority of us. I’ve also only been a member of Facebook blogging groups this year – Google is your friend.

Louise from Pink Pear Bear said; Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s good to have goals and people that you look up to and admire but don’t get down hearted when you’re not doing as well as them as quickly. Look back occasionally and see how far you’ve come. Keep a note of your followers every so often, I take screen shots, and then I can look back and see how far I’ve come. Also play to your strengths, it’s very hard to be brilliant at all aspects of blogging and don’t give yourself a hard time about the channels that aren’t doing as well, just congratulate yourself on the ones that are successful.

Kate from Kate On Thin Ice said; I am notorious for being rubbish at tech and images and understanding things but I blogged from the hart and that led to my success both in terms of readers as well as new friends and also being noticed by someone who keeps me afloat financially. Be true to yourself and to others.

Emma from Emma Reed said;  Never compare yourself to those who have become overnight sensations. There is a reason they have and you cannot copy them. Be yourself and just look up to those who have a large following and use it to drive your ambition. It is easy to get disheartened if you look at these pages and wonder why they are hitting the numbers and you aren’t.

MakingEmma from Me and B Make Tea said;  Get your Twitter share button sorted with your handle! Not sure what your handle is? It’s the @thenyourname bit.  Why is it important?
So you know people are sharing all your awesome stuff!

Nickie from Typecast said; 
Write in your own voice – don’t try to copy anyone else.
Do NOT take images from Google.
Find your own rhythm and dance to that tune. Your blog should be different to everyone else’s.
You don’t need to be self hosted to be successful. It might be an idea to purchase a vanity URL though.
It takes some people 10 years to become an overnight success.
There are some really good tips here-some I hadn’t even thought of.  Thanking the lovelies at UK Parent Bloggers for helping out with their tips-feel free to add your comment below if you have any others, to help new bloggers!
Making
Check out my other lifestyle posts on the website HERE!

Parenting, Blogging, Housework-Top Tips on Juggling Jobs

 

So often I see people mentioning how overwhelmed they’re feeling with all they have to do.  Parenting is a full time job as it is, without adding in the mountains of washing and housework, and for my fellow bloggers and I, the writing time needed to get posts out on time, especially in the holidays when the children are at home all the time!

Personally, I’ve started working every evening until late, as this is the only time I seem to get quiet time, and then I have the days free to do things around the house and spend time with the little ones.

However, this still doesn’t stop me finding it all a bit much sometimes, and so, I asked some of my lovely blogger friends to help me out with some tips on juggling it all! Continue reading “Parenting, Blogging, Housework-Top Tips on Juggling Jobs”

Being Beaten By Anxiety and Depression-Let’s Talk, Mental Health

 

Do you ever feel like you’re being beaten?  Beaten by something that’s basically “all in your head”?!

This week (and month if I’m honest) has been a really hard one with my anxiety and depression.

Nothing major has happened, but little things have cropped up, and, instead of those things going over my head like they should do, they seem to have affected me more than ever.

I’m suddenly at a stage where I just want rid of it all-the anxiety attacks have changed their symptoms, and I’ve been toying with starting medication-something I never wanted to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve changed a lot this last couple of months . I aimed to make 2017 a positive one, attempting to focus on the good things that happen rather than the bad.

I’m doing well, I’m in a much better place than I was this time last year.

I’m more confident, which is a massive thing for me.  I’ll never think I’m anything special (mainly because I’m not), but, I know I’m good at something for once, and compliments I continue to be given remind me of that.

I’m busy! This may seem like a negative to some, but due to my social anxiety, and lack of confidence, making plans and socialising eluded me for a while.
Blogging has taken me places I never thought I’d go, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I have these opportunities-they’re one of the main things that keep me going.

For all the positives I find, the negatives start creeping back in, especially when my mental health is as bad as it has been.
Recent events have shown me how alone I am, and I never thought I’d feel alone!

Of course I have the children-and as I always mention in these sort of blogs, they’re what get me out of bed in the morning.

And I have my husband.  But recently, him working random hours, with seemingly little down time, alongside me going straight out to events some evenings, has left me feeling a little “single”.

I don’t have a Mum, someone I can go and see for advice or a shoulder to cry on (she’s not dead, see HERE for why I don’t have a ‘Mum’).

My Dad lives 20-30 minutes away (dependent on what transport I use), and, although I know he’s on the end of the phone or at the end of that journey to see him, he has his own life too, and I don’t always feel like I can burden him with my stuff.

I don’t have many friends. This has never been much of an issue for me-I prefer a smaller group (less people to get my hopes up they’re going to stick around).   But the ones I do/did have are even starting to dwindle now.

I’m a great believer in “those who mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind”.  If people don’t want to be in my life anymore that’s fine, but I now can’t help feeling like I’ve gone through life wasting my time on people that aren’t going to last.

Sometimes I just don’t feel like I have anyone.  Loneliness is the worst feeling in the world, and it’s the one thing I currently keep going back to.

I’m just lost sometimes on how to fight these invisible illnesses, and how to shake the feelings that engulf my every day moments.

I keep fighting. I keep going. I keep hoping.
X

Mummy Times Two

Today I’m Thankful For #2

Good Morning!

I’ve had to double up on the thankful blog today-as I was too ill to blog yesterday during the day, and out at a press event yesterday evening.
So……today (and yesterday) I am thankful for;

My Bed
I was literally in it all day yesterday.  Trying to gain some energy or rid myself of some of these horrible symptoms of my yukky cold, before heading to the theatre for a press event last night.

My husband
Even though he feels rough too (and today is literally in the same position I was in yesterday), my husband pretty much gave up his day off yesterday, to have Olivia downstairs with him, to allow me to rest, and picking up and putting away the food shopping yesterday morning, leaving me stress free and relaxed to try and get better.

 

People who step up
This one is probably the most important-and more of an ongoing thankfulness really.

It’s dedicated to those select few, that, regardless of whether they have been given jobs, such as-maid of honour/godparent etc, they still step up and be those things.
I am so grateful for those that bother with my children, even though they’re not duty bound to, and those that are truly there for me and my family, regardless of whether they were given a role to do so.  You put others, who were supposed to step up, to shame.

My Job
Yes you read that-my job. Because what I do, to me, constitutes a job. It’s what I want to do, it’s what I love to do, and quite frankly it’s what I’m bloody good at!

I tire of having to explain to people why it is classed as a job, when they question how “easy” it is.

I love it, I work hard at it, and actually, the opportunities I get from it make the tiresome questions and constant explanations worth it.

 

That’s all for today folks.

Remember to join in with what you’re thankful for over on social media, tagging me, and using the hashtag #MFBthankful, or on here using the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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Xx

Today I am thankful for…….

Hi my lovelies!

I know, I know-what an odd choice for a blog title.  Well, you’re going to see a lot more of it!
For a long time now I’ve wanted to change the way I look at my life, and the days events that go with it.  Every day, in everyone’s lives there’s stresses, worries, and tons of emotions and negativity, that you tend to focus on a lot more than the positive stuff.

For me, suffering from anxiety disorder and depression, those “positive” days, sometimes seem few and far between.

So I’ve decided to start this series of blogs.  I won’t say I’ll do them every day, but I’ll try to (that’s as good as it’s getting im afraid).

The purpose, is for me to try and focus a little more on what I’m thankful and grateful for each day, rather than moaning constantly about the negative stuff that’s stuck out more.  Also, I’d like to show others, maybe in a similar situation to me, that it really does help, when you have mental health issues, to do things like this.  I’m not saying everyone should start a blog about it all, but even just writing it down at home, or saying it to yourself could help!

Today is Tuesday the 17th of January-and today I’m thankful for the following;

Medicine
I’m full of cold-thanks to my little darlings sharing their lovely germs.  Even though I’m poorly, I still had two nursery runs to do today, and general mum/wife related stuff, so medicine today, has been my friend.   I do believe it’s a life long friendship that I’ll continue every time I have an illness which coincides with loads things I have to do.
Nursery
Olivia, not so long ago, started nursery (as you can read about here-Another New Chapter).

She started going in absolutely fine, then a week in decided it wasn’t for her anymore, and, because she’s only three and still thinks she can rule our lives, as well as hers, she dislikes it very much when I still take her in for her sessions!
Nursery staff are very well aware of this, and take her straight away and calm her almost immediately.  This for me, and my anxious Mummy brain is an absolute godsend.  I know they can deal with her, and that this isn’t forever.
Today was made even better by the fact, an old friend of mine (old as in I’ve known her a while, not old as in age-she’d want me to say that) is now working there, so they both took to each other this morning-making me even more relaxed!

Apple- the makers of the iPad and iPhone
Yes, I went there, and they’re not even sponsoring me to write this!
On a day where I’m spending the majority of my time in bed, but still needing to work and keep in touch with people, these two things have been amazing today.  When I’d finished working, I watched films on my iPad, and really, that’s all that needs to be said.  They keep my life turning, even from my bed.

And finally-leftover turkey from Christmas
OK, so I’m pulling at straws a little for this one, but the one thing that’s made me feel better today (aside from the drugs) is turkey and vegetable soup.  Not just any turkey and vegetable soup-homemade-by-me turkey and vegetable soup.  It was made last month, the day after Boxing Day, in my slow cooker, and frozen into 8 batches for the foreseeable future.  It’d almost as if I knew there would come a day my body was screaming out for good food, and those batches would serve me well.  Thank god for massive turkeys at Christmas that don’t get eaten.

So there you have it-that was me finding the positives in my day when there were so many negatives I could’ve focused on.

Now it’s your turn.  Why don’t you think of just one thing (you can do as many as you like but try one first) you’re thankful for today.  And, if you fancy it, add it onto here as a comment, or on your social media platforms, tag me in them (look to the right for my social media links), and use the hashtag #MFBthankful.

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The (not big, not fat) Quiz of the year- 2016/2017

So my lovely friend Alex over at Better Together Home, tagged me in her quiz over at her blog (go see her answers here!)

I do love a quiz, as most of my friends and family will know, so one about my blog and personal life, is right up my street.

As mentioned in 365 Days of Mayflower Blogs, 2016 for me (and a lot of others), was up and down to say the least!

Blog wise, it was really successful.  I met a lot of lovely people, and have had (and am still having) a lot of amazing opportunities come my way!
Personally, it was a mixed bag.  Money issues, a family death, and attempts to manage my mental health issues, often made the year feel pretty rubbish.  But the things I managed to achieve professionally, therefore affecting me personally, made the year actually pretty good!

So, here goes with this “Not big, not fat-quiz of the year 2016/2017”, complete with highlights from last year, and goals for this year!

 

What was your highlight of 2016?

Professionally-it has to be the nomination from Tommy’s for their Mums Voice Award.  It just brought together, everything I’ve ever done, for the reason I do it.  I blog to make a difference, and to help people feel less alone in what they’re going through, that I’ve already been through-so to be recognised in even just a nomination for those reasons was (and still is) amazing.

Personally-my husband’s 30th celebrations, and my 30th celebrations.  I put so much effort into making his so special, and thankfully he did the same for mine.  Alongside friends and family, we had such a special time (6 months apart), and I’ll never forget that.

Name one thing you are likely to remember about 2016 if asked in five years time?

London.  Not just in general, but accomplishing what I thought was the impossible.  Battling through an anxiety attack on the train to the city.  Trying to curb the rising panic building in me when I arrived at my first London press event, into a room with tons of people I didn’t know, attempting to ignore the social anxiety issues, that usually plague me on a regular basis.
2016 was the year, my mental illnesses didn’t beat me on one of the most important days of my life.

 

Sum up 2016 in one word

Arduous.

 

Name one pearl of wisdom from 2016 that you will carry through 2017

We all have to start from somewhere!  Granted, this was a pearl of wisdom I realised myself at the latter part of 2016.  After a couple of meetings and events, I realised all of the people I was meeting, all started from the same place-the start.
When I’m asking those who have more years than me of writing, advice on how to do something for my beginners blog, I would hope they would remember, they were a beginner once, and they didn’t learn it all themselves!

 

Do you have any new year resolutions?
Nope!  I don’t do resolutions anymore.  I don’t diet on the 1st of January, I don’t stop doing things on the 1st of January, because, I feel, if you’re willing to quit doing something on that day, you should’ve quit it a week before, or half way through the year.
Goals are a different thing, as are dreams.  I aim for those rather than keeping resolutions.

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How did you see in the new year?
How I always do, how I probably will for a while yet!  Indoors, in my pyjamas, eating cheese and chocolate, watching random tv, then asleep by midnight!  My children aren’t the sort that go to bed late so wake up late-they wake at the same time no mater what time they go to sleep!  So there’s no way I risk being a Mombie on New Years Day, because I wanted to watch fireworks over Big Ben live on the TV (we tape it and watch it with the kids the next day-we do the countdown ‘n’ everything!)
What are your main goals for 2017?
Personally-continue to manage my anxiety and other mental health issues.  Try and save some pennies, and treat the kids (and us) more.
Professionally-really get myself out there and noticed.  Work hard to help others, and try and make a difference, in any way I can.

Aaaaaaand, thats a wrap folks!  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Big Loves

MFB x

Mental Health and Closed Minds


I see myself for who I am. 

I know I’m not my illness(es). 

Recently though, it’s become increasingly obvious to me that not everyone understands that!

On a few occasions in the last few weeks-I have been treated like I’m poorly. 

Look, I’m not blind, I know I’m unwell. Constantly unwell-I’ll give you that!  But how I see it, is that I’m super poorly on certain days.

On those “super poorly” days, nothing major changes. I still get up, I still look after my kids, I still look after the house, make dinner, keep plodding along.  The only difference between those days and the good ones is that I’m a bit quieter and sometimes less patient.  I’m certainly not unhinged and unable to cope!

I’ve never been shy about speaking about my mental health, I think it’s really important to try and stop the stigma attached to people speaking about the subject.  

But I’m not sure I would have spoken so easily about it if I’d known I’d be treated differently once people knew about it!

The amount of opportunities I’ve lost out on, the way people speak to me (or the way people now don’t speak to me), because I have some issues, is actually quite concerning. 

Concerning for those who will suffer in the future, who think they can go ahead and speak about their issues openly and frankly, only to have people put a label on them and treat them like a cliche “mental case”. 

Personally-I know I’m not what I’m being labelled as. I am fighting every day to work through my issues, I’m probably the strongest most days, I’ve ever been. I have learnt so much from working through it all, and am now in a position where I can help others with their problems too. 

I feel sorry for those who think they know who Mental Health sufferers are! You’ve got no idea! 

For those that took opportunities away from me because you don’t trust my judgment, or you think I’ll compromise my position because of my “issues”? Your loss. 

Because one day, I’ll show you all what I’m made of. I’ll make myself proud, and continue to try and stop the stigma attached to mental health issues-and that’s all I need to aim for in life. 

“The 4 Nesses”

Hi, It’s been a whole month since my last blog post! 

 The end of November and the beginning of December for me is always filled with what I like to call, “The 4 Nesses“. 

MadNESS, IllNESS, BusyNESS and TiredNESS

Our house is a hub for these things, seemingly magnified over the festive period. 

My son’s column of the family planner calendar I own, is full to the brim, with Christmas parties, panto visits, his own school Christmas play, and when he breaks up from school.  Each year his social calendar continues to exceed the previous years madness and I constantly question how my 5 year old can have more going on than I have!

Then there’s the husbands column, full of the usual work shift times, but in addition during this month, there are now dates for when he finishes work, when his Christmas meals are (yes more than one), and little messages sharing his excitement for finishing for Christmas. 

  
My littlest bubs is thankfully at the age where her social calendar isn’t as hectic as her brothers, and is mainly filled with things we’re both doing, or who’s having her when I have to be somewhere with the biggest bubs. 

And as for me? I’ve run out of space.  They don’t make the blocks for mummy’s side on the planner big enough.  I have lists about the calendar, lists about which Christmas cards need writing and for who, lists about which presents are where (which haven’t helped me not lose any!) I have lists about lists and a head full of images of the lists I’ve made. It’s never ending! 

Add all this with constantly having to think of ideas to use for our house elf every evening, remembering to keep the kids presents covered and to keep the kids away from the bedroom without arousing suspicion, the usual housework, school runs, potty training (yep we’re still at that-she weed on the sofa today-don’t go there) and general winter illnesses doing the rounds hindering my progress, this month is completely overwhelming!

  
Next week though, I will be the one, although still overwhelmed and stressed out to the max, getting excited with my family for the events we have planned over the Christmas week. 

I LOVED Christmas as a child, and now I have children, the magic continues with them, and in me too!

The 4 nesses” will be completely worth it in the end. 

X