6 ways to be proactive during quiet blogging periods

The Christmas lull is common in the blogging world-everything’s winding down, budgets have long been spent and ‘The out of offices’ are on! It can be frustrating for bloggers as there’s likely to be fewer campaigns and money can be tight. It can also leave us short of inspiration; since we’ve spent so much time planning our Christmas content it’s hard to think beyond that.

Today I wanted to offer some of my suggestions on how to keep proactive during these quiet periods to make sure your blog keeps ticking over and money is coming in.


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‘Shop small’ last minute gift guide

As the threat of the tax deadline looms ever closer, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be self-employed and essentially being a ‘small business’. Since I finally started working for myself (more on my life as a freelance writer and blogger here) I’ve been so much more aware of supporting small businesses. I have so much respect for those who go out on their own as I know first-hand how hard that can be.

Last week, I attended the Ideas Birmingham Etsy market and I was invited to go down to shop, spend and tell you all about the different small businesses operating in my local area.

The event was at the Custard Factory-a place that is always brimming with creativity; I just wish it wasn’t such a trek to get to it from the centre of Birmingham! Here are a few of my favourite stands-and, if you’re last minute like me, I’ve also included a few items that would work perfectly as gifts for you to snap up!

Jewellery from FU Loves

I loved this stand of vibrant, eclectic jewellery. These handmade earrings are amazing for a fashionista friend!

Every home office needs a candle or two and I was blown away by Firefly Handmade Creations. In fact, I’ve already put another order in online! They are the most amazing handmade candles and wax melts- often in the scent of lush products. My favourite ‘Snow Fairy’ smelt absolutely identical to the Lush version and burnt beautifully; filling the room. These are a perfect stocking filler.


Talking of my home office, these prints and cards from Corin Beth Designs were so quirky and adorable. They also do great gifts, cards and prints for children.



I  promptly fell in love with the amazing vintage creations from Silly Old Sea Dog. I very much need this dress in my life immediately. They had a whole variety of handmade colourful vintage style dresses.

And finally- I couldn’t resist this little fella from the gorgeous Hollow Bourne A real work of art! They’d make a lovely gift for that animal lover in your life as they come in the style of foxes, cats, birds and even dragons!

A post shared by Jenna Farmer (@jennafarmeruk) on

Since attending the event, I’m making a real concerted effort to shop small and order from small businesses and Etsy shops in the future. One order can make a real difference and support fellow self-employed people; but what’s more, the items are truly unique and crafted with love. I’d love to hear your suggestions about shopping small and any Etsy sellers you’d recommend?

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What to buy a blogger for Christmas

So, I’ve written quite a lot about gift guides on here- so I thought it was only fair I did a gift guide for bloggers and freelancers too. Looking for gifts to improve your blog, your productivity or your home office? Then check out my ‘what to buy a blogger for Christmas’- thanks to all the bloggers (from our amazing Pitching and Motivation for UK Bloggers facebook group) who gave me their suggestions too!

1.The Perfect Mug

For when you need a bit of a kick to get your work done, look no further than this ‘Today I Will Get Stuff Done’ mug from MS Mugs. You can also have the handle personalised too!

2-3 Blogging Books

Everyone loves a book in their Christmas stocking- so here are a few of my favourites for bloggers.

Blogging Your Way to Riches is written by two British bloggers (If you’re not a member of their Facebook group ‘Blogging Your Way to Riches’ facebook group and is a practical guide to earning an income from blogging.

The Million Dollar Blog is another great read- it features interviews with super-successful bloggers-both in the US and the UK. It focuses on different ways to make money- such as e-courses, affiliate links and brand ambassadors


The EPIC BLOG planner is great if you really want to set yourself some blog goals in 2018- and want to monitor your progress and growth along the way! There’s also monthly space to plan content.

5. Leather Personalised Diary

Thanks to the lovely Bethan from A Pretty Place to Play for this recommendation! This gorgeous leather diary (which you can also have personalised) comes with notepad slots, sticker sheets, to do lists and more!

6. OHH DEER Papergang Subscription Box

I am a massive fan of subscription boxes- so ordered this one for the first time this month and I loved it. Each month you receive stationary from independent designers-it’s quirky finds that you’d never find in stores. I’m converted and can’t wait to see what January’s box brings.

7. Happiness Planner Subscription Box

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Happiness planner- but did you know they did subscription boxes too? Each box is themed around a quality- be it confidence or self-awareness. In each box, you receive notebooks, guided prompts, stickers and a pen. All very instagrammable!

8.The perfect Instagram backdrop

Sarah from A Mundane Life recommended these and I’m hooked. For years, bloggers have been using tile samples but now they can purchase proper backgrounds for their photos. How gorgeous does this background look?

9. A Blogging Course

Blogging courses can be pricey- so asking for one as a Christmas present makes sense. I’ve already blogged about my favourite course Turn Your Dreams Into Money but Rachel from The Daisy Pages recommended Me&Orla’s Bloom and Grow course

Once a year, the hills around here turn to a sea of purple as the heather comes into bloom. It looks sort of impossibly beautiful – a big thanks to @hannahargyle who snapped this picture of me when we met on the moors to shoot it. . & to anyone thinking, like a previous commenter, that I look "cold, uncomfortable and miserable" – THAT IS MY PHOTO FACE! 😂🙈 How very dare you. I think you'll find I look moody and whimsicle like a Bronte-esque heroine 🙊😉. . But seriously though. It's not easy being a woman and putting your face out there in a world that hates everything short of perfection. Let's stop assuming we know everything about people's lives based on on the tiny fragments they share on Instagram, hey? Peace, love and purple heather x

A post shared by Sara Tasker (@me_and_orla) on

Orla creates the most beautiful Instagram photos and her latest course ‘Bloom and Grow’ is designed to help you cultivate your Instagram following with beautiful pictures and boost engagement (god knows we all need that!)

10. A stylish camera bag

I’m always lugging my camera bag around so thanks Adele from Nest and Dressed for suggesting this super stylish bag from The Tog Bag.

Those are just a few of my favourites for Christmas- but let me know what’s on your list below!

Looking to write your own gift guides? Read my blog post on how to get started and brands who are looking for bloggers!

Disclaimer: may contain affiliate links.


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10 tips for going from blogging to freelance writing

Today is a much-requested post here on The Bloglancer. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that as well as running two blogs, I am a freelance writer. I mainly write for magazines and online sites but have also done some blogging for brands and copywriting. This topic is something I get asked about a lot, but for me at least, getting ahead in freelance writing is the same as any form of media: working hard; not being afraid to put yourself out there every day; making contacts and constantly coming up with new ideas!  Here are my ten tips for going from blogger to freelance writer….


1. Read, read and read some more. (more…)

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