growyourblog

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.

 

8 blogging email scams you NEED to know about.

So today I wanted to have a chat about your blogging inbox. Is it just me that seems to get all sorts of dodgy emails? I hope not. In fact, I feel like my bullshit detector (I don’t usually swear in blog posts but I feel a bit stupid doing the ** so it’s staying!) is pretty strong lately- and I seem to spend a chunk of time replying ‘it’s a scam’ to various posts on blogger forums. So, like anything I find myself commenting a lot about, I decided to turn it into a blog post instead. Here are 8 blogging email scams you need to be aware of- let me know how many you’ve encountered.

(more…)

How to revamp your old content to get tons more page views.

So for the past few weeks, I’ve been really busy and felt as if I needed some new seasonal content. You know the type: pumpkin recipes, Christmas guides and anything with the word ‘autumnal’ in. Since I already get some traffic from Google and Pinterest, I noticed some of my previous year’s posts were starting to get more hits- for some reason it’s now perfectly acceptable to google Christmas advent calendars in September. The old content was being read but to be honest, it was bit tired: dead links, crap images and very 2016. The solution was clear: to start working on my old content and make it as good as new! Here’s what I did:

(more…)

How to get verified on Twitter: everything you need to know.

I haven’t posted on here in a week or so and realised I completely forgot to document one of my exciting achievements last month: I was verified on Twitter. I’ve actually had a lot of people ask me about it- including some asking why it’s worth bothering with in the first place. So I thought I’d blog about the process, what happens after you apply,  the benefits and everything else you might want to know about how to get verified on Twitter.

(more…)

8 brands looking to work with bloggers for gift guides

Today is another gift-guide themed post. Last week, I shared my top tips for writing gift guides and shared 7 brands looking for bloggers. Now, I’m sharing ten more brands that want to get their products featured. I hope this blog post helps with your gift guide dilemmas!

  1. Self-care and Wellness bloggers: Affirmation cards and prints from A Life More Inspired email:nicola@alifemoreinspired.com
  2. Gift guides for her: Checkout https://upoveranddownunder.com/  and email: Info@upoveranddownunder.com
  3. Border collie inspired gifts, clothing+homeware http://www.olliecollie.co.uk email: heather@olliecollie.co.uk
  4. All types of gift guides.That Lovely Stuff. A gift store full of things handmade by mums at home. Email: nicola@thatlovelystuff.co.uk
  5. Gift guides for men. https://www.meandmycar.co.uk/ email:Fiona@meandmycar.co.uk
  6. Gift guide for 3-8-year-olds.  A range of art sensory boxes to feature. Visit facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/squidgydoodle/ 
  7. Gift guides for men. Sci-fi, gaming and retro film prints http://www.smartarts.gallery Email:sales@smartarts.gallery
  8. Gift guides for teenagers/young girls. Miss Dreambox are gift boxes for girls. Email: info@missdreambox.co.uk

Before you go….

 Check out my original post on gift guides and 7 brands looking for bloggers.

Read my interview with Fran from Prezzy Box on sending gift guide pitches.

Read my guide to Response Source– the perfect way to source products for gift guides.

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…)

Everything you need to grow your blog: themes, software, hosting and e-courses!

Yesterday, I made another purchase for my blog and thought I’d dedicate a blog post to it! Last year I signed up for The Genis Blogger’s Toolkit. It was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made (and in fact, other than Emma Drew’s course on making money from your blog, was the only real blog investment I’ve made).

For those of you who aren’t aware, the blogger toolkit is basically a huge list of resources for growing your blog. Last year I mainly focused on the e-book involved, but this year I decided to purchase it again and get involved properly! Why? Well, as I’m now working on 2 blogs, the products were more relevant than ever. I only purchased it yesterday but I have already delved in! Because the product is only on sale for a few days, I thought I’d blog about it now and share my experiences with it.

Here’s what I have already used…

  • FREE Isabelle Theme ($79.00). I needed a new blog theme anyway and since my last one cost over £50, I knew I’d be pretty much getting my money back even if I just used this one product. As you can see, I uploaded the theme this morning and I LOVE IT! I still have some tweaks to make, but it took less than an hour to get it all up and running!
  • FREE 10 Stock Photos Bundle ($69.00). I am obsessed with stock photos so I’ve already downloaded this bundle (and used one in the header of today’s post)
  • FREE Pinteresting Strategies: How I Went from 0-200K Page Views with Manual Pinning ($32.00) I read this last night and thought it was a really good read! I am already doing pretty well with my Pinterest but this went over the value of pinning manually, how to use rich pins (still need to get working on this) and how to maximise your efforts with group boards. There is also a separate resource in the bundle that provides a huge list of Pinterest group boards and how to join them! Group boards make a huge difference to my traffic so this excites me!

 

  • FREE Turn Your Dreams Into Money: How to Build a Six-Figure Blog and Live the Life You Want ($250.00) A bit of a cheat this one as I did this course months ago (you can read my review here) But seriously the current value of this course alone is £197, so the fact you can get the whole bundle for £75 is just madness! I would definitely recommend purchasing if you were interested in Emma’s course.

I also have many more resources downloaded and ready to read for my trip to London today! Including a guide to SEO, a guide to freelance writing and another on time management! There is also a 2-month free plan of social pilot- which promises to grow and schedule your social media, so I’ll be giving that a go too! You can see the rest of the tools here.

Isn’t It all just American resources?

One of my concerns when I first signed up was that it is an American led bundle. I don’t know why but us Brits are much less vocal about all things blogging. However, there are very few resources that can’t be used by the UK bloggers too! The only ones that aren’t relevant is an ebook an American taxes and a snack subscription box for US customers (dammit!). Other than that, the rest of the resources can be used by a UK audience and are just as relevant and useful And of course, our lovely Emma Drew is representing the UK by offering her course!

How much is it and is it worth the money?

The total cost of the course is $97 (I never understand why Americans price things weirdly!) which comes out at £75 approximately. Given that just a few things I have personally tried come to over £500 then I would say absolutely! It’s only avaliable for 8 days (well 7 now, because I am a day late with this post) and after that, won’t be available until next year. You can purchase the bundle here  and although you only have 7 days to do so, you have a whole year to use a lot of the resources (some of the add ons- like the theme- have a shorter download date)

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of the Ultimate Bundles after purchasing it myself last year. This means if you purchase through my referral link, I’ll simply be credited for referring you. I purchased both bundles out of my own money however, because I’m such a big fan!

10 ways to grow your mailing list quickly

There seems to be a real trend towards bloggers and small businesses developing a mailing list lately and there are many reasons why. It is the perfect way of making sure your content is delivered directly to your reader’s inbox. And, with all the algorithm changes going at the moment, the only thing you can really rely on is your email list.

So what makes me the expert? Well, on my first blog I’ve been slowly growing my mailing list for the last year or so and have now reached 1400. Why did I decide on my mailing list in particular? Well being an information-based site, many readers come to you for information and promptly departed.

Health and food blogs have much higher bounce rates this reason, as readers are less likely to follow and connect with the person behind the blog. While I had a group of loyal readers, I could see that a chunk of my readership was brand new readers each month who didn’t find me through my social media. So, to me, it made sense to try and find something to keep them around.

(more…)

WIN a blog to job audit and 121 mentoring with me!

Today I am back on The Bloglancer for the third day running (after sharing my favourite blogging course Thursday and my interview with Fetch PR on Friday) and this time it’s a giveaway.

I’ve wanted to do a giveaway for ages and wracked my brain over the competition, until I thought of the perfect prize:me!! So many of you have got in touch that I’ve been thinking about the possibility of launching some kind of blog mentoring in a while-so I’m offering two bloggers the chance to win this for completely free!

The winners of the competition will need to send over their blog links, goals and media kits. They’ll firstly receive a document outlining my suggested changes to their media kit, ways to gain traffic, suggested pricing and pitching suggestions. They’ll then have a 30 minute 121 with me to discuss all of their questions, thoughts and ideas of growing their blog and ways they could turn it into a job. Whether you’ve just started blogging or are looking to turn it into a bit more of a career, this should be the perfect prize for you.

So what do you need to do win? It’s simple, just enter via Rafflecopter below! You’ve got until Friday  29th to enter! Please note, the two winners will be expected to provide me with  a very short testimonial of their experiences, which I can then use on my own blog at a later date. There’s no obligation to write about this on their own blog or social channels.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The only blogging course I’ve Ever Taken (and an exclusive discount)

Sometimes, it can feel really overwhelming with the sheer amount of blogging courses out there. There’s ones that specialise in Pinterest, others that promise to make you an Instagram queen or grow your affiliate income from 0 to thousands in 30 days. As I am only just beginning my journey into full-time blogging, I just couldn’t justify the hundreds upon hundreds of pounds these courses often cost, just to focus on one area of my blog. So it was only a few months ago when I decided to take the plunge and invest in my very first e-course.

 

Somebody once told me that ‘people invest in people’. It’s something I’ve always tried to apply to my own blog- making connections and always helping others. It’s one of the reasons behind changing my social channels to @jennafarmeruk (well, that and my desperation to get a twitter verified tick!). Well, Emma Drew is somebody who I have followed for absolutely ages and when she announced her first course ‘Turn Your Dreams Into Money‘, I knew I had to buy it. I was completely sold before I’d even looked at the course outline! Emma has always taken the time to help and support me (even when she definitely should have billed me for her time)- so I just knew it was going to filled with amazing guidance.

I was lucky enough to be part of the ‘beta’ tester group- which meant I was one of the first people to take the course. So I have taken the whole course and feel I am in a strong position to give an in-depth review.

What Does the Course Cover?

One of the best thing about the course is the huge amount of topics it covers. It begins right at the beginning with a few modules for brand new bloggers (I originally skipped these but then actually returned to them when I launched The Bloglancer) and covers everything from gaining traffic, social media, Pinterest traffic, how to find sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, creating a product, repurposing old posts. The list is endless. Unlike most courses, it’s text and worksheet based rather than videos.

This was a huge bonus for me as there was literally no faffing! I’ve tried free courses in the past and I’ve been put off by the lengthy introductions and waffle- you are often 10 minutes in before anything of value is given. Emma’s course doesn’t set out to be the most visually appealing- instead, it’s almost as if she’s piled up everything she knows and divided it into chunks. They read like short and snappy blog posts on every single topic on blogging you could ever think of.

Did It Help Me?

Yes! I consider myself a fairly established blogger: although I still have a lot to learn, I don’t need to be taught the basics. I was worried at first as the first few modules are for ‘new’ bloggers- but actually Emma still taught me things in this section! From writing a disclaimer to backing up your blog.

My favourite part is that each member of the course gets a free in-depth blog critique. To do this, you simply send your key concern over (mine was traffic and SEO) and Emma will do an in-depth critique via video and send it back to you. Straight away Emma was able to show me my Alt Image descriptions were wrong, my site speed was really really slow and my site layout needed improving! She also suggested a few affiliate ideas for me. I am still working through the advice- but I’ve managed to increase my site speed, apply and earn through a few more affiliate ideas and am now on mission SEO!

I am so glad I purchased the course and I know it’s going to be something I go back to time and time again. Emma has a big supporter of my ‘Bloglancer’ adventure, so I was really pleased when she offered to give my readers an exclusive discount! If you enter the code BLACKFRIDAY into the checkout-you’ll receive a huge £50 discount off at the checkout! The course is usually priced at £197 but by using my code you’ll get it for £147 instead. Given that many bloggers charge this just for a critique, it’s a really reasonable price. If by some miracle, you don’t know Emma’s blog, do go have a read to as there’s tons of advice on blogging and making money on there!

Disclaimer: As a referrer of the course, I do receive an affiliate payment. However, this discount is significantly more than you can find on other sites and this is the only course I am currently promoting because it really is brill!

 

1 2