Friday, 28 October 2016

What to do when blogging gets you down

What to do when the blogging game gets you down
Blogging isn't easy. Do you ever look at your blog figures and think they're crap? Do you see other bloggers getting invited to events whilst you sit at home in your onesie and ask yourself why weren't you invited? Do you sometimes wonder 'What's the point?'

If the above sounds like you, then you should probably do the following..

Remind yourself of why you started blogging in the first place.
Some people start blogging for the freebies but I know for a fact I didn't. Alright Blondie started as an online diary for my travels, a place where my family could have a nosy at what I was up too and look at all my photos. I didn't even know that blogging as a career was even a thing, didn't have the foggiest about coding or HTML and was just happy to be doing something creative. The fact that I other people that weren't related to me wanted to read my blog was just an added bonus. It's really important that you remember that you started blogging for you and not for anyone else as that's the best way to stay true to yourself.

Take a step back.
As a smaller blogger it doesn't matter if you are posting regularly or not, promote your old posts instead. Have a think about what exactly you want your space on the internet to be and create a manifesto or a list of goals outlining what your blog is about and what you want to achieve. Plus taking a break can be really good for you and believe it or not, it will normally result in you coming up with loads of new ideas.

Try not to take too much notice of what others are doing.
It's hard not to notice that so and so has X amount of followers and got to go to three restaurant openings and got sent that brand new luxury mascara to try but I'm afraid you just need to ignore it and focus on you and your blog. The biggest and best bloggers are usually sending out unique and interesting content that other bloggers haven't touched on so if you are constantly looking what others are doing, you will never create something new.

Get involved with the community.
If you want to grow your blog audience then you need to put some effort in with the blogging community.

Twitter's a great place to start and tbh, I'm really bad for not getting involved as I always worry that people will think I'm weird or butting in but the truth is, bloggers are just people and they will probably respond positively to you. If you're afraid of jumping in, start with some blogger chats - Lbloggers is every Weds/Sun at 7pm, Bloggeration Chat is Sunday at 9.30am and there's the Blogosphere chat at Sunday at 8pm.

You can also go to blogger meet ups (usually arranged on Twitter or through blogs) and spread the love by commenting on other blogger's posts (only genuine comments though, don't be a billy bullshitter).

Put yourself out there.
Schedule tweets, join in chats and go to meet ups are obvious ways of getting your name out there within the blogging community but what about brands and PR's. Even if you have small numbers it's worth throwing your hat into the ring, even if it's just to make a brand aware that you exist. Introduce yourself and your blog, explain what it is what you want, what you can offer and what you like about the brand. I'm a big fan of emailing local brands/businesses rather than the bigger brands as they already have a zillion bloggers on their mailing lists.

Kat (Chapters of Kat) has a great post on how to contact PR's and brands here.

Do you have any tips you want to share?

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

10 things I've realised since coming home from my travels

john forrest national park
1. Family is number one.
Sometimes I really missed my family, sometimes they never crossed my mind (sorry guys) but whilst we were away they were our number one fans, always skyping, always messaging, always liking photos. Coming home was no different and they were so so happy to see us. The novelty's kind of worn off now but they were so amazing whilst we were away that I won't forget that for a long time.

2. Nobody really cares that you spent a year away having the time of your life sorry.
Your family might have wanted to know every single thing you did and every place you went but apart from them, chances are noone else will be that arsed. Sure when you get home your mates will ask you questions but expect that to wear off within a couple of weeks if not days. You're more likely to get a positive reaction out of a complete stranger.

3. Nothing really changes & everyone stays the same.
When we knew we were coming home we often wondered if things would have changed. Spoiler alert, they haven't changed at all and I have literally slotted straight back into be my pre-travel life, which I didn't really expect.

4. 'Normal' Life will never feel the same again.
After doing some unreal things (e.g Campervanning through the outback, climbing a mountain, seeing great white sharks) coming home and working Mon-Fri 9-5 still feels a bit weird, even now, 9 months on. When it pops up on Facebook that this time last year I was hiking through a national park or whale watching on the coast, my time away just feels like a dream. It's like I've never been away.

5. You will constantly find yourself checking flight prices.
You would think a year away would cure your wanderlust but nope, if anything it just makes it work. Hence why I spontaneously booked flights to Vegas and NYC for 2017 despite saving for a mortgage....I have to have something to look forward too don't I?

6. Dogs never forget.
I was so worried that my dogs wouldn't know who I was when I got home but hurrah, they came running up to me to say hello. Alfie whined for a cuddle, Stella had a stroke then went back to her chair and Boo pissed on me. Aww puppy love.

7. North Yorkshire is reeeeeally nice.
I loved Bali and Thailand but jesus christ, some parts were rough (And the streets stank). There was even a couple of places in Australia that I was a bit wary of. Despite there being quite a few nobheads in my city, the city itself is actually beautiful as is the surrounding areas.

8. Nothing beats British chocolate
Australian chocolate is absolutely shite (although they do have Crust pizza). It tastes like it's gone off or melted then re-hardened up. Yuck. Going into the Kings Cross WH Smith was amazing, despite being extortionate (Jody thought I'd gotten lost I was browsing for that long).

9. I'm a much better person now and I've (sort) of grown up.
I spose there's not a lot to explain here is there? I'm not nearly as much of a dickhead as I was before I left and I like myself a lot more for it.

10. There will always be days where you feel like saying fuck it and going on a new adventure.
Sometimes I'll have a shit day, Jody's parents will be getting on my tits and it'll be pissing down for the millionth time that week and I'll just think to myself, why the hell am I wasting my time saving for a mortgage when there's so much world out there? They're only momentary blips and I don't have any plans to travel long term ever again but I imagine it will take a while for that feeling of 'Fuck this shit' to totally leave me.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Bloody Mary Metal

Brace yourself cos I'm about to go all Gollum on you...

Recently I was stalking someone on Instagram (#Creepy) when I saw they had some really awesome jewellery adorning their fingers. After doing a bit more digging I found out that they hailed from a Cornish jewellery brand called Bloody Mary Metal.

With quirky designs that I haven't seen anywhere else, Bloody Mary Metal is one of the coolest jewellery brands I've come across in long time. So I bought one ring then bought another within a week.

My first purchase was the Lonely Bone ring (£40) - I was tempted by the crossbones ring but I thought this one as it's a lot more understated, perfect for wearing to work. I love that despite a bone being quite macabre, the ring is very delicate and looks really pretty.

My second buy was the Air Alchemy (£45) ring which doubles up as the Earth sign aswell. I'm not particularly interested in alchemy or the elements, I was just drawn to the strong and powerful design.

These rings look great when worn seperate or together and since buying I've barely taken them off. If anyone wants to know what to get me for Christmas I have a BMM list as long as my arm!

Have you heard of Bloody Mary Metal? Or do you know of any similar kind of brands there you can recommend to me?

Standard delivery is £4 (tracked, arrived within 3 days but can take 48 hours upon order completion), Express is £6 (24 hours, tracked) and special is £8 (signed for).

Twitter @bloodymarymetal
Instagram @bloodymarymetal