What I’ve Learned From 7 Years as a Blogger – And Why It’s Just The Start.

I wanted to inspire others, to show them anyone can follow their dreams. I had no intention of making money, who did that?

What I’ve Learned From 7 Years as a Blogger – And Why It’s Just The Start.

When I first started out as a blogger, back in 2011 (OMG 7 YEARS!It’s actually longer as I had a very small blog page before that too.) I just wanted to share my journey.

The journey across new countries as I started travelling and back packing. The academic journey through my literature degree and other studies.
The uphill blooming hard but totally rewarding journey of a single parent overcoming the usual home maker hurdles.

I wanted to inspire others, to show them anyone can follow their dreams. I had no intention of making money, who did that?



7 Years Ago = My first blog post:

Hello, I’m just starting on my new blog site. I’m hoping to get to grips with it all soon, but hey forgive me if I take a few days to get used to this page.
My writing group will soon have a new group blog too, so I’ll let you have the link shortly.
I look forward to you checking out my twitter, facebook and this blog as you go along with your daily routines…maybe it’ll add a little something cultural, optimistic or thought provoking…let me know!

Ha! No images, no chat, no SEO (what the heck was SEO?) no affiliates, just a few random words, but they were genuine.

I wanted to prove something.

CAW Angkor Wat

I wanted to prove to people that I could work full-time, run a home, be a single parent (which involved getting up at 5am to get to the pool, and not arriving home until 7pm) I was a volunteer mentor for teenagers, a YHA volunteer, I was undertaking a BA in Literature through home study, and buying and redeveloping my very own dream home along the way.

Why?

Well what better way to inspire people (and my daughter) to step up and work hard for their dreams, than to show them by example.

Wow, has my life changed in that 7 years! Those years since my first tentative steps into the online world.

Continue reading “What I’ve Learned From 7 Years as a Blogger – And Why It’s Just The Start.”

What is a media kit? (Why does a blogger, or writer, need a media kit?)

If you want to build credibility and real connection in the online space build your network of those people who think like you do, are interested in the same things you are, those who aspire to the same lifestyle as you do.

Pinterest What is a media kit

When I first started out as a blogger, back in 2011 (OMG 7 YEARS!) I just wanted to share my journey.

I wanted to take on the internet, embrace social media and chat with friends.

I wanted to show that just because I was old enough to be the mum of most bloggers out there, at that time, I was able to participate.

I had something to say.

I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! Little did I know how much I needed to learn! At first it was just a few lines, no ads, no. Links. I’d never heard of an affiliate let alone though I’d know how to do online marketing or auto schedule through third party apps. I don’t know if I even knew what apps were back then. Things change quickly in this online space.

After a couple of years I heard about blogging as a career, not just for the Kardashians but actually as a job where people would pay you.

Knickers Ebook cover

The myth is that all bloggers earn millions!

Er NO! They don’t. Well OK so maybe the Kardashians do, but even they don’t earn it just from social media or blogging alone.

Most online workers have multiple streams of income.

They have different work streams, they’ll do promotions, content writing, marketing and a list of other work that would make a good old fashioned CV grow into a small paperback!

That’s why you need a media kit.

It’s basically a CV on one page. It’s a quick reference point for you to supplement your business card and shows people who you are and what you do. Importantly it also shows why people should work with you in your media space, in other words on your blog or You Tube channel and the like.

It says what you offer to them, what you do and who will hear about it.



My social media stats (the number of people who officially follow me on the likes of Twitter and Facebook) are quite humble compared to some, but hard earned.

I’ve not gone down the ‘buying 1000 followers for just $50’ or chasing numbers. I’ve looked for and ‘friended’ people I truly connect with. I’ve checked links and tried to make sure the people in my list are ones I would probably get on with in person. People with similar views or interests. I think I’ve just about managed to stick with the plan and my own business ethics by not carelessly or slavishly obsess over that number at the top of my profile.

Now this isn’t a post about gaining followers, you’ll find loads of those online, however be aware the word is changing.

It’s no longer a mad rush for more and more friends and follows.

Continue reading “What is a media kit? (Why does a blogger, or writer, need a media kit?)”

SUPER EXCITED! 5 star reviews!! You can now buy my short story collection!

It’s taken hard work, many hours writing, editing and preparing for publication, and I loved every minute, well almost!

MY SHORT STORY COLLECTION IS OUT! 

Hi, how about having a coffee with me? Too far to travel, well how about spending the coffee coins on my new short story collection instead?

My book ‘Knickers and Other Bitesize Flashes’ is on Amazon, and I’d love it if you bought a copy.

IT’S A BARGAIN!

It’s taken hard work, many hours writing, editing and preparing for publication, and I loved every minute, well almost!

I’d love to get your opinions, hopefully in the form of good reviews! Like actors, writers rely on good reviews to feed their business, and nourish their art.

OK, so basically it feels good to know all those hours poring over a keyboard at midnight were worth the effort.


Want to know more about my short story collection?

Continue reading “SUPER EXCITED! 5 star reviews!! You can now buy my short story collection!”

If You Change Nothing, Nothing Changes! I’m Stepping Up In 2018, Are You?

It’s been proven that writing and using a creative outlet can reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing.

So another year is here, a week gone already.

CAW Pinterest If you change nothingTime flies! You can look back at 2017, but you can’t change it, it’s passed which is why it’s called the past.

So look forward! I’m really going to push ahead this year. Are you?

— What will you change?

— Where will you go?

— What will you learn?

When 2019 arrives how will you be feeling?

Frustrated, bored, confused, wondering where another year went, same old same old?

OR

Fulfilled, balanced, content, amazed at how much you’ve achieved and how you’ve managed to do so much in just 12 months?

I know I’m unbelievably lucky to work at my passions.

I write books, I write online and anywhere else I can share my words.

I coach people to become the best they can be.

I’ve worked as a mentor and trainer for years, to teenagers and adults. I now focus that attention and passion towards who wish to write, or have aspirations to be more creative. It’s been proven that writing and using a creative outlet can reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing. I know for sure that I feel much more balanced and relaxed since taking up writing in a more structured way. Continue reading “If You Change Nothing, Nothing Changes! I’m Stepping Up In 2018, Are You?”

How Your ‘5 a Day’ Can Help a Blogger (They’re not all millionaires, despite the rumours!)

You know when you ‘Google’ (other search engines are available) to find a fact, or check an ailment, the responses you find are often written by a blogger.

The headlines about bloggers making millions with no effort are usually fake news, or a sales pitch by someone building their own online business.

Good luck to them, some bloggers do make a great living, they work hard so deserve it.

HOWEVER most bloggers don’t make enough to live on, and never will.

Many bloggers don’t do the work to earn a fortune, most genuinely want to serve, support and help you, their audience.

Blogs exist across the globe for every topic you can imagine.

Self-help, educational study and mutual support groups, hobby groups and that isn’t even mentioning the travel, health, beauty and fashion blogs that you may be familiar with.

You know when you ‘Google’ (other search engines are available) to find a fact, or check an ailment, the responses you find are often written by a blogger.

When you read something online that you find informative, helpful or of value why not support the person who delivered it to you.


Continue reading “How Your ‘5 a Day’ Can Help a Blogger (They’re not all millionaires, despite the rumours!)”

How to Survive The Ikea Shopping Trip – My Guide, and Yes it Includes Meatballs!

I use Ikea alongside salvage yards and junk shops to bring the rooms to life and make them my own.

How to Survive The Ikea Shopping Trip – My Guide, and Yes it Includes Meatballs!

How to Survive The Ikea Shopping Trip - My Guide, and Yes it Includes Meatballs!

I love interior design. I adore art. I love beautiful things and want to be surrounded by them. Sadly my budget doesn’t always match my aspirations.

Over the years I’ve lived in rented one room apartments, mortgaged victorian terraces and larger ex-council properties. Whilst renovating my various homes over the years, I’ve made no end of mistakes, some more costly than others. I’ve learned by them.

Let me help with a few tips to keep you safe and sane.

They may just save you from making those time consuming or expensive mistakes.

The best friend of the interior designer on a budget is Ikea. Can you believe it’s nearly 30 years since they opened their first UK store? I’m a self confessed addict. It started with a mutual love of wood and candles and has developed over the years as we’ve both aged and matured.

I use Ikea alongside salvage yards and junk shops to bring the rooms to life and make them my own.



Here’s how I do it…

Continue reading “How to Survive The Ikea Shopping Trip – My Guide, and Yes it Includes Meatballs!”

How to Build Ikea Flatpack Furniture – My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide – ( Without Breaking a Nail! )

Things that were minutes ago just squares and shapes laid snugly in a well fitting cardboard box are now a three dimensional gorgeous addition to your home.

How to Build Ikea Flatpack Furniture –  My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide – ( Without Breaking a Nail! )

How to Build Ikea Flatpack Furniture - My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide - ( Without Breaking a Nail! )

Do you hanker after well designed furniture but can’t afford it?

How about flat pack? Scared of it looking cheap and wobbly, with poorly fitting doors etc? Be scared no more, Ikea could well be the answer to your problems. Never shopped in Ikea before? Have a look at my shopping advice here.

If you followed my previous advice, you got home safely with all your bargains and flatpacks and are ready to make your house into a home.

Many people, sadly often the lovely men in our lives (I’m not sexist but guys, you know this is true) do not like following instructions. If this is you, then walk away. I can’t help you.

Walk away, with your big hammer, your tool belt and be prepared to break things.  Get your ‘might come in handy stuff’ box, aka toolbox, for all the left over pieces you didn’t think were necessary. You may want to keep the drill handy too, you know you love a power tool. For those who are less gung ho and want to do the job as suggested by Ikea, this post is for you.

Right then, who’s still here?

You did swot up and buy, or borrow, all the required tools didn’t you? No? Oh dear, you may have a problem, or not. DO NOT PANIC! I can help. You will just be reading instructions, or rather following text free diagrams with little pictures of people helping you along the way. No language difficulties here.

Check your watch, it’s not a race, this is a task that could take time. If you don’t have time, leave it. A panicky last minute build could be disastrous. Happy? OK, we’re going in.

My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide – My 5 Practical Tips

1. Prepare your Construction Zone

Are you ready to go? Great. Get changed, be comfy, wear trainers not slippers or barefeet (bare toes and sheets of glass or wood don’t make for a healthy mix.) Grab a glass of water, it can get heated.

It’s a good idea to cover the floor area or table (only use a table for small projects. Picture frames usually have glass in them, you need to keep it flat. Furniture is heavy, you need to keep it as low as possible.)

Bedsheets / blankets to protect your flooring or carpet are ideal.

You don’t want to produce one gorgeous piece at the cost of scratches and marks on another.

You need as big a space as you can wrangle, spreading out will help you keep track. It’s also safer, you don’t want to be stepping over or on the flatpack pieces during construction.

At this stage it’s worth putting your drink where it won’t get knocked over but you can reach it. You may need extra energy so bring the Ikea Dime pieces, you DID buy some didn’t you?

Continue reading “How to Build Ikea Flatpack Furniture – My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide – ( Without Breaking a Nail! )”

The Hero’s Journey Formula – How To Write A Successful Novel

Fiction writers, especially new ones, sometimes fight the idea of conforming to a genre or sticking with a formula. They think it may suppress their creativity, but this isn’t the case.

The Hero’s Journey Formula – How To Write A Successful Novel

You will be familiar with The Hero’s Journey, even if you haven’t heard of it by name.

Star Wars, Matrix and Jane Eyre are just a few of the classic stories that follow The Hero’s Journey formula.

One vital component of the correctly applied formula is that at the beginning of the story, the protagonist can not possibly imagine how much their life is to change. They’ll go on a journey, their ‘character arc.’ As the plot moves along, so does their transformation.

In Star Wars Luke Skywalker has his dreams but in the wildest of those dreams he couldn’t contemplate his vital role in the fight against Darth Vader (No spoilers here just in case you happen to be the one person on the planet who isn’t aware of the storyline.)

Jane Eyre travels through her life and against all odds survives and ends up in a life she too couldn’t possibly have dreamt of. (Again, I won’t spoil your enjoyment of my favourite book, please read it, it’s beautiful.)

Fiction writers, especially new ones, sometimes fight the idea of conforming to a genre or sticking with a formula. They think it may suppress their creativity, but this isn’t the case.

If I use this formula won’t my story be predictable?

By being formulaic it doesn’t mean it will be boring or predictable. It will however be written in a way that your fans know what to expect. Fiction book readers like a story they can expect to a certain extent. This is why publishers usually give you clues. In the blurb or reviews on a book cover it will often say things like ‘If you like Harry Potter…’ or ‘This writer is the new Baldacci…’ these pointers help your fans find your book in the mass market that is the modern day bookshelf, whether that be in a physical book store or a digital one.

Continue reading “The Hero’s Journey Formula – How To Write A Successful Novel”

Want To Know How To Be A Screenwriter? Book Review of The ‘Last Book On Screenwriting’ – Save The Cat!, Blake Snyder

This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit

Want To Know How To Be A Screenwriter? Book Review of The ‘Last Book On Screenwriting’ – Save The Cat!, Blake Snyder

Blurb:

This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!

Ebook – CLICK HERE TO BUY!

Subject:

I realised as I was working on one of my novels, that it would be much better suited as a TV show or even film. I visualised it so much whilst working on it I decided I should investigate the possibility of editing it into a screenplay.
It was at this point that I realised my study hadn’t included a huge amount about it, and so many people just ended conversations about screenwriting by saying things like, ‘Why bother, it’s all about who you know, not what you know.’
Whilst this could be true, the six steps from Kevin Bacon do seem to cover the whole of Hollywood and beyond, I don’t like being fobbed off or deterred so I decided to learn a bit more about before writing it off (sorry really rubbish unintentional pun)

Continue reading “Want To Know How To Be A Screenwriter? Book Review of The ‘Last Book On Screenwriting’ – Save The Cat!, Blake Snyder”

Book Review – Get to know the iconic Smart Passive Income guru – Let Go, Pat Flynn

I’ve also been ‘let go’ and it’s hard to bounce back but Pat gives you the tools, and motivation to do it.

Book Review – Get to know the iconic Smart Passive Income guru – Let Go, Pat Flynn

Title: Let Go

Author: Pat Flynn

Copyright: Pat Flynn

Ebook 

Audio Book 

Blurb:

Let Go is Pat Flynn’s touching memoir about overcoming adversity through a commitment to pursuing your own path. Pat’s story chronicles the extreme highs and lows he faced as an ambitious and hardworking architect. When his luck was down, Pat turned away from the expected path and built his own through perseverance, investment in self, and a devotion to helping others. Along the way, Pat managed to not only achieve financial success but more importantly discovered what matters most: passion and purpose. In Let Go, Pat reveals the inside story of his transformation into one of today’s most beloved thought leaders in the areas of Internet business, online marketing, and lifestyle entrepreneurialism. He shares the challenges and feelings he faced as he pieced together what has become a thriving online enterprise. If you share Pat’s impulse to pursue your own path, then you’ll enjoy Let Go. After all, we all must confront the same risky idea if we are to unlock our true potential: letting go.

Subject:

I listened to this audio book in my car, it made for a really entertaining drive. It could be a self-obsessed depressing subject but it certainly isn’t, nor is it promising riches to anyone who wants them. Pat Flynn describes his naive optimism when starting out in his chosen career. How it didn’t quite turn out as planned and how he moved forward.

Continue reading “Book Review – Get to know the iconic Smart Passive Income guru – Let Go, Pat Flynn”