Tag: how to

Are you one of the FEW? Female Entrepreneur Week

I am super proud to be taking part in this year’s Female Entrepreneur Week (FEW).

I’m going to tell you a little bit about what FEW is, and how you can get involved!

My Story

Not so long ago I was working 34 hours in a Doctors surgery as a medical administrator. The money was fabulous, my colleagues were lovely but I had a problem. Childcare was really hard to find when it came to half-term and summer holidays. I asked my bosses if I could reduce my hours and unfortunately they couldn’t offer me that position. So I had a decision to make. Do I find another job that can work around the school terms, or do I make the leap and become self-employed?

I’ve been blogging now for around three years, and most recently I’ve been enjoying it more and more, building up my network, writing my posts and actually beginning to earn money from blogging. I thought long and hard about the decision I needed to make. Would I want to be stuck in another job that ultimately could get me into the same position that I was already in? Absolutely not.

Do I want a job where I can choose my own hours, write about what I love and still manage to be at home for Dinky? Of course!

There was my answer right there. I handed in my months notice and that month flew by. The 5th of June arrived and I was now self-employed. It was a scary thought but I got right to it by applying to tons of writing work, some being freelance writing through Upwork, and some were writing for my blog.

So what have I achieved so far?

What an absolutely fabulous surprise I’ve had! In just over a week I’ve managed to land myself a column on Soapbox, I’m now writing regularly for two clients on Upwork, and I’ve been given this amazing opportunity to spread the word for Female Entrepreneur Week!

Of course, I would love to take on more work, and I’m still applying every day, but I think in one week, to have made this much progress isn’t bad at all!

If you’re interested in starting your own blog, check out my post – How you can give up your 9-5 and become and full-time blogger – I also have a fabulous giveaway for bloggers there too!

A few special shout outs

I wouldn’t have been able to make this leap if a few people hadn’t either pushed me to do it or given me tons of inspiration on the way.

Zara from Mojo Blogs – this woman has been my absolute rock through all of this. We’ve been friends for almost 6 years (!) now, we’ve met up a few times and had a brilliant day every time. She has been dealing with my crazy panicked texts, giving me advice, tips on how to improve certain aspects of my blog and in general just being an absolutely fabulous friend. Love love xx

Rachel from Coffee, Cake, Kids – I was lucky enough to meet this lovely lady at Blog Camp 2015 and since then she’s helped me build my blog by passing on my name to potential clients, reading my blog and giving me support. Thank you xx

Katie from The Perfect Juggler – I’ve only recently met Katie, but we’re at the same level with our blogs. Her blog is lovely and she’s given me support since starting this journey. We seem to have tons in common and I wish her all of the best with everything, and hopefully, you can make this jump soon! xx

Aby from You Baby Me Mummy – I have this lady to thank for all of my knowledge when it comes to sharing my blog and driving traffic. Although I still have a long way to go, I know by following her tips I will get there! Her blog is fabulous, and to be fair, so is she. Thanks Aby xx

What is Female Entrepreneur Week?

Female Entrepreneur Week (FEW) is an online festival, celebrating female entrepreneurs everywhere. Not many women have the courage to take the leap and start their own business. FEW is giving us the opportunity to take part in some absolutely fabulous workshops to help us build our businesses, our brands, and our skills. This all begins on the 21st of June, so get yourself over there and sign up!

How can I sign up?

Easy peasy! Head over to Female Entrepreneur Week‘s website here to get yourself access to all of the free training and resources. It’s really that simple!

If you’ve got a business and you’re unsure how you can take it further, or you write a blog as a hobby and would like to turn it into a business then this is the place for you.

See you there?

Little Steps Towards Making the World a Better Place

Image Source

 

It’s easy to think that the world is all doom and gloom. When we wake up, we turn on the television or radio and open up the morning’s papers, only to be greeted by story after story of all of the terrible things going on in the world. War, attacks, robberies, natural disasters. The list goes on. But just because what we read, hear and see from the news is mainly negative doesn’t mean that the world is an awful place. When it comes down to it, shock and horror sell. That’s why it’s plastered across headlines and front pages. But for every bad thing happening in the world, there are plenty more undocumented good things happening. It’s time for you to contribute to these positive occurrences. Here are a few ways you can go about making the world a better place.

 

Give to Charity

This is one of the easiest ways to start helping those less fortunate than yourself. Giving to charity takes little to no time and makes all of the difference to the recipient of your donation. You can choose to donate regularly, signing up to a direct debit donation. Alternatively, you can just put your spare change in the charity buckets left out on store till desks or shook by volunteers in the streets. If you have a little more time on your hands, you might want to engage in a fundraising activity. Take No birds bash as inspiration: these two men are traveling to the most remote and rural parts of Australia to raise money for Variety children’s charity. While bonding and seeing places that they’ve never seen before, they’re helping out disadvantaged kids. If you have the time and energy, you could engage with similar events. Alternatively, if you find you have no spare time around work, you can donate to others’ charity ventures. A final option to bear in mind is leaving a charity donation in your will. This is a little morbid to think about, but how positive is it that you can continue to help others even once you have passed?

 

Small Acts of Kindness

 

Engage in small acts of kindness every day. Even if you just make one person smile and feel good about themselves, you’ve made the world a brighter place. These small gestures won’t cost you much or take up much of your time, but they make all the difference to the person on the receiving end of things. If you see a homeless individual rooting through a bin for food, offer to buy them lunch or a drink. Give your small change to a busker. Help someone in the train station up the stairs with their suitcase. Offer a helping hand to someone trying to get their pram onto a bus and offer your seat to the pregnant, elderly and disabled. Even something as simple as smiling at strangers in the street when you pass them could make all the difference to someone having a tough time.

Photo Credit

 

Consume Ethically

 

The products that we buy are so disconnected from their sources that it’s easy to ignore or forget where they come from. When possible, try to consume ethically. Whether you’re buying food, clothes or beauty products. Consider the process that has resulted in them getting from their roots to your basket. Food wise, try out a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. This is great for you, animals and the environment. If you don’t think you’re ready to commit to meat or dairy free living, any little will help. Whether that’s trying out a pescatarian diet, engaging with meat-free Mondays or even just opting for a vegetarian option over a meat-based option when dining out in a restaurant. Buy free range where possible and opt for organic, fair trade coffees and chocolates to ensure fair living conditions for the people who have grown and produced your food. When it comes to clothing, question whether the price on the label matches your perceived worth of the goods. Low price products are often imported from countries where workers aren’t paid a living wage, may be exploited and might have low standard working conditions. Try to invest in clothing that has a fair trade source, free of human exploitation for a clear conscience. When it comes to beauty products, think of the environment. Choose brands which don’t engage with animal testing and avoid non-organic products. These often contain chemicals which are harsh on your skin and pollute waters after use.

How you can give up your 9-5 and become a full-time blogger and bloggers bundle giveaway!

Giveaway details

“Not me!” I hear you say. That’s what I thought less than three months ago when myself and my best bloggy buddy were chatting. Now, as of next Friday, I am going to be working for myself, and I’m going to tell you how you can do it too!

I also have an exciting blogging bundle giveaway to give away to a lucky winner worth £50! It consists of a few essentials (and one or two not so essential but I know you’ll love them). The bundle consists of:

  • A midyear planner for your wall, so that you can have all of your tasks right there in front of your PC.
  • A midyear diary so that when you’re out and about, you can keep an eye on your schedule
  • A cork board for your wall to pin your inspiration or even more scheduling (you see a pattern here)
  • Sticky notes for your diary for the really important stuff that you need to remember
  • Glitter pens – I’m sorry but who doesn’t like glitter pens?!
  • Notepad station with drawer. My Mum has always had one of these and she never misses a thing because of it.
  • An emoji “stressed ball” for those moments where you need to take a few minutes to calm and collect your thoughts.
  • An incredible £15 iTunes gift card, because…well because I’m nice like that and think everyone deserves a treat. Also, you could download and create part of a motivational playlist!

So, back to the important stuff.

First, you need to decide whether you’re going to invest straight away – or even at all – into your blog. When I started blogging three years ago I jumped straight in and bought my domain name over at Go Daddy for around £6.00. This isn’t absolutely essential, but my thought was that when I would eventually want the domain name in the future, I wouldn’t want it to be taken and end up with an alternative I wasn’t very happy about.

If you don’t want to buy a domain that’s fine, most blogging platforms offer free accounts. Blogger and WordPress offer really good free accounts that you can jump straight into and create your website! They are super simple to use and are among the most popular for free hosting.

If you are going to buy a domain, head over to Go Daddy or Bluehost to choose and buy your domain. You can also choose to go self-hosted on here with easy instructions on how to do it, and also 24/7 help available if you do get stuck.

You will need to create your brand. 

This will consist of deciding what you’re going to write about (your niche) and creating a name that fits with it or is relevant to you in some way. Try and make your name unique and catchy, something that your soon-to-be readers will remember.

Once you have done all of this you can begin creating your blog! Here are a few tips to follow when creating a great blog post:

  • Make the title eye-catching. You want your readers to be drawn in. Read how you can do that here.
  • Think about who you’re writing for, and how your post will benefit them.
  • Write an introduction on what you’re going to be talking about.
  • Make sure you write grammatically correct, one massive thing for me that will make me close that browser window is if someone’s writing is all over the place. A good way to check this is to use Grammarly that you can install right into your browser to help you.
  • Create a call-to-action at the end of your article, this will keep your readers engaged and increase your returning visitors.
  • Relate to your targeted audience.
  • Don’t be shy. Include personal experiences, readers love that.
  • Link back to your sources for information, the sources that are other bloggers will totally appreciate this.

Once you have created your blog post you will then need to share it. I’m sure you all know the social media platforms but here are the main ones that bring in traffic to my blog.

  • Facebook – create a page for your brand that your fans and friends can like. You can also join Facebook groups dedicated to bloggers where you can share your work.
  • Twitter – it is super easy to reach the right people on Twitter with the use of hashtags and retweets. You can also “tag” people in your tweets to get their attention.
  • Pinterest – Pinterest is one of the biggest sources of traffic for many bloggers because it’s a search engine and once your pin is out there, anyone can find it. You can also join Pinterest group boards within your niche to increase your traffic even more. Make sure your pin images are high quality to catch people’s eye. Here’s how you can do that.
  • Stumble Upon – this little beauty was unknown to me until recently. Basically, you upload your blog posts and the more it gets “stumbled on” the more traffic you receive.
  • Tumblr – Tumblr is a blogging platform in itself, but I have linked my blog to it so that when I post, it goes onto my Tumblr account too.
  • Instagram – Instagram allows people to discover you by the images you upload and the hashtags you use. Be sure to use good quality images for the best results.

Then you need to think about scheduling your posts to your social media accounts. I find an amazing way to schedule my pins is through Tailwind, which comes with an option for a free account, and gives you a free tutorial. One program I use which is incredible for scheduling posts and growing my Twitter is Crowdfire – this will schedule and post for you to many social media accounts at times you choose, or it will even pick the best time for you. It also gives you little tips on how to expand your reach. Honestly, get them both.

Another super important thing to do is to read other people’s blogs and leave thoughtful comments on their work. They will return the love! Not only that, reading other blogs can spark your own inspiration and give opportunities for collaborations with other bloggers. Also, brands and companies are able to find you through you leaving your web address on other blogger’s posts.




 

Right so you’ve now got your own blog, and traffic coming in, so how do you make money?

The first way you can begin making money is by adding Google adverts onto your website. It’s pretty simple but you can find out more here. Make sure you read their use policy as if you get caught out misusing the system you could get into big trouble. Google Adsense will place adverts into your blog where appropriate, and people who click through those adverts will earn you money per click. Not loads per click, but the amount adds up.

Another way to make money is to sign up for Bloggers Required, where you will receive blogging assignments straight to your email address as they are uploaded to the database. Then all you have to do is apply for these assignments, once the brand/company has selected you (this will normally be by email) then away you go!

Sponsored blog posts are another way of making money. Companies will pay you to display something of theirs that you will link back to them. This could be anything from sidebar links, widgets, reviews to a guest post.

You can make money on your blog by placing affiliate links in your posts. This often comes through reviewing a product for a company and the more clicks it gets, the more money you earn.

Creating your own merchandise or product that you can sell on your blog.

That is literally all you need to do. It may seem like a lot to take in, but honestly, once you’ve done it all once, it will become second nature.

Here are a few key things to remember:

  • Make your posts easily shareable – add sharing buttons to your site.
  • Post regularly, you can’t expect people to keep coming to your site if there’s no new content to read.
  • Share other people’s posts on your social media accounts, people will get bored if all you do is spam your stuff.
  • Create catchy headlines.
  • Use high-quality images.
  • Research SEO (search engine optimization) this will help your blog to be found.

The giveaway

Now for the giveaway. I am giving away a lovely bloggy bundle that every blogger will find useful, new or established. The giveaway will end 29/06/2017 at 11.59pm UK time.
a Rafflecopter giveaway




How To Cope With Anxiety

I’m just going to put it bluntly, anxiety is shit. I have dealt with it daily for over 10 years. Most of the time it isn’t bad enough to rule over my day, but those days/nights where my anxiety is so intense that I can barely catch my breath are awful. I had my first one of those creep up on me after months of nothing last night. I got through it in an unusual way, so I’ve decided to compile a list of quick fixes and long term treatments you can do if you’re struggling with your anxiety!
Quick Fixes

  • Distraction

I always find that the first trick I turn to when I feel anxious is to distract myself, whether that be on my phone, a game, putting the TV on or simply going for a walk. Sometimes that is literally all you will need. A distraction long enough to make you forget about what you were anxious about in the first place. Often I’m not even sure why I feel anxious or what thought triggered my feelings, so I find doing something different will change my train of thought.

  • Shout it out

Sometimes I find that I mistake frustration for anxiety, or even that my frustration and stresses create the anxiety. If this is something you feel happens to you then my suggestion is to just let it out.

– Go and find a quiet place and shout out your frustration. 

– Maybe nominate a friend that you can call and just rant to (offer the same back to them for if they ever need it, of course)

– Crying always helps. Don’t be ashamed or too proud to cry. Of course if you feel like crying or you do cry very often, then what you’re feeling may not just be anxiety, so please visit your doctor (see long term treatment for more information)

Basically any way to let out some emotion will help. This is a tip I have picked up very recently and it works very quickly for me. It releases pent up stress that’s boiling inside and you will feel better and fast.

  • Talk it out with someone you trust

I know it may feel hard to talk about how you’re feeling, and it’s difficult to even know where to begin but talking it out with someone I trust helps me feel like I’m not so alone. Even if the person I have told doesn’t have anxiety themself, at least they understand why I’m acting a little strange or why I’m more fidgety than normal. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised how understanding most people are.

So if you feel like you can talk to someone about it then do it, it will help!

  • Deep breathing

This trick is probably the oldest one in the book, but it’s a tried, tested and true way of alleviating anxiety symptoms. Simply sit up straight and breathe 8 seconds in through your nose and 5 seconds out through your mouth. Carry this on until you feel calm again.

  • Keep your feet on the ground.

I often find that when I’m feeling anxious my head spins and I almost feel like I’m not in my own body any more. Putting at least one foot on the ground helps your body regain balance and work out where you are. This technique is called “grounding” and is also used for people who are suffering with symptoms of vertigo.

  • Ride it out.

A few years ago a therapist told me something that I’ve always tried to remember when I’m feeling anxious. What goes up must come down. This means that your anxiety will only get so high and then it will slowly drop and go away. If you’re able to ride it out, then ride it out because I promise you, every time after that it will get easier.
Long term treatments

  • Change what you put in your body

    In every way possible, look after yourself! Eat as healthily as you can. Being overweight and eating the wrong food can often give you symptoms that mimic anxiety, which would in turn make you worse. Cut out alcohol (or cut down at least). Quit smoking, not just for your anxiety but for your general health too.

    • Exercise

    As I mentioned earlier, sometimes a walk can distract you from a panic attack. Not only that, exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Also, of course exercising will keep you fit and healthy.

    • Talk to your GP

    For a very long time I’d avoid speaking to my GP about my anxiety because I was worried that they would just shove me onto medication and I didn’t want to take anything. After now working in a GP surgery and seeing and speaking to my colleagues about anxiety I have learnt that there are so many different ways of treating/dealing with it. You can:

    – Get your Doctor to refer you for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)

    – Your GP can also help advise and monitor your lifestyle, ask what help is available.

    – Your GP can also recommend self help websites.

    – Medication. I used to have this massive stigma in my mind about taking medication for my anxiety. I was convinced I didn’t need it and that they just cover up the problem rather than solving it and I didn’t want that. I do now fully support medication for anxiety because once I had heard and seen how it helps people, I knew I needed to try it. 

    It was hand on heart the best decision I have ever made regarding my health. The Doctor explained that it resets the chemical levels in your brain that cause you to feel the way you do. I’ve now been on medication for 6 months and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. My anxiety still creeps up on me, but nothing like it used to.

    There are many different types that the Doctor can prescribe you, so go and speak to your GP.

    Also, don’t forget to…

    I really hope that my tips can help someone. I know only too well how horrible it is crawling through the internet trying to find help. Do you have anything else that you do when you’re anxious? I’d love to know!

    Much love xxx