#Blogging Course and The Ivy, Tower Bridge, #London – Part 1 (Blogging)

I recently went on a blogging course in Whitehall, London. Christine and I, agreed to meet on the train and travel together. The trains were chaotic and we had to keep changing the route but eventually took the next one to London Bridge and then to Whitehall via the London Underground. We arrived, exhausted but dived into the cloakroom, knowing full well this would tip us over the lateness line. I absolutely hate being late, but we were not the only ones, due to the transport problems.

Luckily, the lecturer was just starting and we plonked ourselves down and listened. As usual, with these things, they don’t give much away, but the content (below) did remind me of what I should do in order to be a tenacious blogger. I’ve listed the key features at the end of this blog, as they may help remind others what you need to do to improve your blog.

I found this information useful, but without much substance. On the plus side, the tips I liked helped refresh my mind about what I need to do to improve my blog. My main wish is to interest people and maintain their interest. The main reason for blogging is because I love writing and researching stuff. On this basis, I will continue, and it doesn’t hurt to remind oneself what needs to be done.

I’ve decided to have another look at blog themes, although will keep the rolling blog format. I need a strategy for social media as I want people to read my blog. I find reading other blogs, interesting too, so will keep an eye out for fascinating blogs to read and follow. As far as improving my skills, I am taking a photography course and may decide to do a Photoshop course too. I already use CANVA.

Another thing I plan to do is look at old blog posts and do some updates. I like the ‘break a story’ idea as I get out and about so could do more of this so long as it will interest people and remain relevant.

Anyway, after this event, we rushed back to London Bridge for our delicious meal in The Ivy. To be continued…

 

Blogging Course (Key Points)

Checking up

Look at your blog and check colours, fonts, style and branding. Compare to others. Have a responsive layout. Plugins, links, platform?
Have a Media Kit (with case studies, traffic, engagements) – This is when you have lots of traffic!
Skill Up – Html, editing (photo shop), etc.

Branding

Is the theme consistent with your brand? Imagery/photos (you could be known for your pink, filtered photos). Know your style. Have a dialogue with followers. Go to networking events.

Enhancing

How are you doing as a writer? Tone/style…is it consistent? Visuals – Are they good enough. Photos should be very good. Text over pictures – CANVA is good for this. Search engines love videos. User experience – check for broken links, updating blog posts and make sure dates are relevant. No popups (although some disagree with this advice).

Promoting

Traffic
Networking and ask peers to share (something that I won’t do). Meetups, trade shows and FB groups. I haven’t found FB groups all that good. Collaborations, link ups and identify similar blogs.

Subscriptions, giveaways, competitions, list posts and check your headlines. Be controversial (finally found something I’m good at).
Break a story (e.g. review a new restaurant/exhibition).
Evoke an emotional response. Be personal and find new content/ themes.

Social Media
Have a strategy and be methodical. Post three times a day (Twitter), once on FB, once on Instagram but keep it the same and scheduled. Engage others through content, peers and brands you like. Use news stories that are relevant to what blog about. I often use studies to back up what I am blogging about. Network with journalists. Pitch stories to local newspapers.
If you write about a product encourage the business to retweet (promote) what you have written.

Monetising

Advertising with Google Adsense. Free to sign up and put the code on the blog. Affiliate marketing. Instagram is good with links.(This is not applicable to me at present.)
Sponsored posts – Someone pays you to write a post, newsletter or podcast. In other words, go freelance with your writing/photography. If you are an expert on something, then write an ebook/course.

Effectiveness

Check to see how effective you are with Google analytics, FB insights, Twitter insights, reader surveys, etc.

100 #Blog Posts

Well, I cannot believe it. I’ve been congratulated on completing 100, yes, 100 posts by WordPress! Thank you for reading my posts, liking and commenting.

Don’t forget I have a Twitter account, Facebook page, Pinterest and Instagram account too (see left). 😏😉

My favourite posts…

One size does not fit all!

5 reasons why you should take a mini, mini break…

I write because…

Latest declutter – Minimalism

Mini break in Weymouth…Sun, sweary lady and genius chip shop man!

Broadstairs…

and Broadstairs (part 2) – Jazz, Art, Cafes, Skeletons, Quirky Pubs and Ab Fab Ladies!

Cambridge (Part 1)

Tenterden Folk Festival (Sat)

Being Social – Improving Twitter

Exercise can be contagious – new study finds..

Margate – Small hotels, posh food, micro pubs and a sunset…

How boosting energy will make you run for you life…

How boosting energy will make you run for your life… Part 2

London – A challenging day out…

I enjoy writing about stuff that interests me and if you can think of any subjects, for me to waffle on about, please do let me know.

Andyx

Easter prep, gym, cooking and a flat tyre…

Had a good week. Was invited to a family meal 🥘 . It was a lovingly home cooked Spanish tapas and absolutely delicious. We had bruschetta (as photo), meat balls, tortilla, olives, veggies, canary potatoes, prawns and manchego cheese. The pud was homemade brownie with ice cream and was absolutely amazing. The beer was Punk IPA by BrewDog which is my all time favourite beer, at the moment. Must say, tapas is a great way to entertain because you can pick what you like which, in my case, is most of it. Oops.

Been to the gym three times and been on a couple of walks. Tried to go on about 1200 calories and some days have been ok but others, as above, not great. However, feel more in control as not stuffing chocs and biscuits so feel a lot better. With Easter Sunday looming this is my main aim. Upwards and onwards. Really aiming to start properly after Easter.

On Saturday, did the booze and bits top up shopping and discovered a flat tyre when we returned to our car. Luckily, handy husband was with me and put the spare tyre on. This seemed to fascinate the local shopping population. Looked a fairly simple operation but I probably wouldn’t have the strength for the nuts. We then had to rush to the tyre shop and the man insisted I stayed in the car, like lady muck, while he jacked the car up! So I carried on nonchalantly writing this blog post! All part of life’s rich tapestry! Can you change a tyre?

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I’m looking forward to a jolly family day of roast lamb and all the trimmings including homemade Yorkshire puddings, chocolate pudding and cake. Then I’m back on the running, gym and healthy diet routine. I promise.

The obligatory Easter chocolate cake is a simple affair…

8oz marg

8oz caster sugar

8oz self raising flour

4 eggs

Chocolate drops

Splash of treacle and or milk (makes it fudgy and yummy)

2 oz Chocolate powder

Mix together and put into two 8 inch tins.

Icing is 2oz butter with around 3oz icing sugar and 1oz chocolate powder. Mix with a tiny drop of boiling water. To be honest, you don’t have to be too careful about measurements for the icing.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter.

Please don’t forget to press the FOLLOW button. 😉

It’s All About (The) Blogging Niche

I’ve been blogging for a few months and I’m happy with how it is going.  However, I am aware that, as the title suggests, it is a little too much of a mishmash.

When researching advice on starting a blog, some bloggers suggest finding a niche, but some think it is fine just to blog about multiple passions. What do you think? Blogging was originally meant to be a log about life issues. The most popular blogs are Huffington and Mashable.

I’ve decided to focus on health, fitness and wellbeing. The wellbeing bit, will cover reviews, food and life observations. This does cover a lot, which is the idea of the blog, but retains some sort of a niche. I will throw in the odd book/film review so I suspect nothing will change.

Thank you to everyone that has followed my blog and put up with my musings about life. Personally, I really enjoy writing the blog and plan to continue.

Thank you,

Andy x

What else can go wrong?

Friday…So what else can go wrong? Do you have periods when everything is breaking down? Many things have gone wrong in the last couple of days. We’ve had a blocked drain which was dealt with by efficient, friendly drain expert. Whilst shopping today, my glasses fell apart which meant I couldn’t see the prices of the food I was buying. (The glasses are now mended as I found the missing screw.) The boiler is playing up and a friend is ill so no weekend trip to London. Oh well. First world problems and all that!

Then, today (Friday) wait for it… I washed my hands so that I could make omelettes for lunch and the tap came off in my hands! Water sprayed everywhere! No matter how hard I pressed the tap into the spraying water, the aggressive fountain continued. As the kitchen was rapidly flooding and I am screaming at D (husband), he ran into the garage and turned the water off. Phew.

After frantically mopping the water up whilst hubby tried to fix the tap, we decided to call an emergency plumber. I spent a couple of minutes finding a local chap online, called him and he promised to come around later. He promptly came later that afternoon and cheerfully and quickly fixed the problem. Didn’t charge us much either. Very pleased with the outcome and delighted that we’ve found a decent plumber.  I’ve given him some more business too.

What surprised me is how shaken up I was by the exploding water fountain. But glad that I was able to find a tradesman to fix it without any more drama. Great to know people are willing to turn up, help out and not charge a fortune.

The boiler man is coming on Monday so hopefully that will start to work properly soon..

By the way, my top tip is this. Know where the stopcock is! According to the friendly plumber, a lot of people don’t know where it is.

Oh and keep calm and carry on. (Haha)

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