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Consistency is king – but what happens when things go wrong?

They say the consistency is king, and I for one preach that. But what happens when your life and work mean that you can’t be as consistent as you want to be? Do you throw in the towel? Do you just struggle on? Do you become completely overwhelmed and brand yourself as a complete failure? Well over the last few weeks I have not been as consistent as I want to be with my blog, just because I have not physically had enough hours in the day to do the work I need to do and do the blog as well. And I wanted to explain a little bit more about why that is. I’m also here to talk about how I am getting back on the path to being consistent. Because it really is important.

Ahh – September…

September is always a really busy month in my world. I have Christmas things that are kicking off for PR and marketing clients, but I also have Burghley Horse Trials and Blenheim Horse Trials. And this year I’ve chucked in a couple of extra fun things too. So first there’s Burghley Horse Trials. A number of my clients attend Burghley Horse Trials and it is a really big deal for them. I don’t actually attend in person and haven’t for a few years, but I am very involved in all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes to make the Horse Trials a big success for my clients. One particular client is Hiho Silver. Not only do they have a stand there, but the company also sponsors the best dressed at the first trot up. Because it is a sponsorship, a lot of preparation goes in behind the scenes before the event even starts. I was absolutely thrilled with how all this came together during the event, but it does take a lot of time. Worth every second though – seeing a big project come together perfectly is a real buzz and one I wouldn’t trade!

Then there was Style, Skills & Silver

A few days later we embarked on Hiho’s very first instameet which was called Style, Skills and Silver. This took place at The Fish Hotel in Broadway and was absolutely amazing on every possible level. I loved every minute, but it took a lot of work behind the scenes too. Emma Warren, Hiho’s Queen Bee, was the person who came up with the idea and did do a huge amount of work, but everyone involved also worked their socks off on their respective elements to make the day the huge success it was. 

Then there was Blenheim Horse Trials

The next thing was Blenheim Horse Trials which, again, was a brilliant event. I did actually attend on the Friday too. Again, Hiho Silver sponsored the best dressed at the first trot up, and there was quite a bit to do around that. I did go for the day on the Friday as I mentioned, and met up with a few people and had a really great time. But it’s another day out of the system and when I have a certain amount of work to do, it’s my blog and content that takes the hit (and so it should be!).

And then there’s my second TEDx talk…

And then this month, just for a laugh, I was very very pleased to accept the invitation to do my second TEDx talk. This one is at TEDx Telford in 10 days time. Not only did the application process take a little bit of time in terms of having to submit various things, but also preparing a talk. I’ve got another rehearsal to go and then the actual event itself. At every stage, this does take quite a lot of time, and so it should do. TED and TEDx are big institutions and when you have the privilege of being invited to speak at these, you need to pay it the respect it deserves. This means time, energy and a whole lot of sweat(!) go into making sure that what I am presenting is useful to the audience and withholds TED and TEDx’s values too. I take this quite seriously because I think it’s such an honour to be invited not just for one talk but for my second. I kind of think this proves that the first one wasn’t all that bad!

Excuses?

I’m not trying to make excuses but I’m being realistic here. My blog and the content I create have to support my business. When I have plenty of work to do, and the reason I have created this content (as in, to help people, create opportunities and show what I can do) has created the work I want, it would be crazy not to do those things in order to create more content, to get the opportunities that I’ve already been given. See what I mean? So the blog is the thing that’s taken a hit. I do tend to schedule my blogs in advance and I have a load saved as draft, but being a bit of a perfectionist (which is not a great thing), I like to proofread, tweak, add links and images after I’ve written them. This means that although I have quite a few saved and ready to go, they still take quite a lot of work to get to the final stages.

This isn’t a bad thing. I did really beat myself up about it because I do preach that consistency is king. I’m not changing that – it is!

But it’s not everything…

I haven’t dropped ball on everything. My social media is still pretty strong. But that’s how I think it should be. I like to experiment, try and test different things on different platforms, so I can pass this learning on to my clients and then they get the to use my ‘testings’ on their own accounts. Also, I feel that the referrals and everything else from my social media to my website and to my other social media platforms makes them really really valuable. And as someone who teaches and lectures on social media, I need to be on the pulse on that.

I really love writing and sharing what I’ve been up to with you all. Because of the amount of time and energy each blog takes to write, that tends to be the thing that gets the biggest hit when I’m busy. So I’d like to apologise. I’ve still been putting out at least one blog each week, but it can be up to three (as per my schedule). I’m thinking of revising the schedule too – but that’s another blog!

What do you do to get consistency back?

If you feel like you’ve dropped all the balls and want to get your consistency in content creation back again, I have some tips…

  1. Don’t beat yourself up. These things happen. We all make mistakes and when things get busy it’s very easy to become less consistent because you’re overwhelmed everything else. Accept that this is life. But also accept that you need to pick yourself up and crack on. Don’t dwell.
  2. Start with one thing. If you feel like you’ve dropped all the balls don’t try and pick them all up and start juggling at the same time because you’re just going to feel overwhelmed. If you think that you can pick up one social media platform at a time, for example, then do it. And do that one well. You can then add the rest in when you’re feeling a lot more confident in what you’re doing. So rather been completely overwhelmed by everything being thrown at you all over again, just add one thing at a time into your schedule so you know that you can cope.
  3. And last but not least – you need to get back on it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with work, you might wonder why you need to get back on it. Because things have been going well without being consistent in your content. But I think it’s because you’ve been consistent for so long. And this means it’s not something you should consider stopping too quickly. I’m not prepared to drop it. I’ve kept my social media channels running as I said above, but the blog for me is really really important for so many different reasons. It’s been so useful for me. I know how much it helps people and I get lots of lovely comments from people saying they’ve read something on my blog and it’s changed the way they view something. That, to me, is so important. 

So I hope that’s helped. Being consistent is king. It really, really is, but I also want to acknowledge in this blog that we all make mistakes and we all drop the ball. What’s important is how we pick it back up and carry on. 

 

Why I reduced my blogging schedule

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day and your blogging schedule is another addition to your workload? Do you feel like your blogging schedule is slipping? Or maybe you made the conscious effort to reduce your blogging schedule? Yeah… I did that too…

You may have noticed that my blogging schedule has slipped a little of late. Well, that’s not entirely true. It didn’t so much slip, it was more a conscious decision to blog less. To reduce my blogging schedule. But I’ve come to realise that, for me, this wasn’t such a good choice. So here I wanted to explain why I reduced by blogging schedule and why I have every intention of ramping it back up again…

Why I reduced my blogging schedule

Can we nip back in time? A while ago – well, over a year ago – I set myself a challenge. To blog once a day for 40 days. It was my 40 day blogging challenge. The aim was simple: I needed to get blogging for myself. At the time, I did a lot of blogging for other people’s sites and I saw the power it had. But for myself? Never had the time – too busy- nothing to say- insert any excuse you like. I had and used them all. I always like to try and test things so, when a client asks a question, I can actually help solve an issue because I’ve been there and done it. With blogging, I had done this for clients but not for myself, so I knew I needed to change that… so I started the blogging challenge.

What happened after 40 days?

After the 40 day blogging challenge, I reduced my schedule from once a day to three times a week because, really, once a day was not practical for me at that time – three times a week was. It felt good to have a plan and, after writing once a day for 40 days, three times a week was a breeze. I liked it. I got lots of information out, I had lots of lovely feedback, it generated traffic for my website, enquiries and clients. It ticked all the boxes.

As for the negative side of things, blogging three times a week is still pretty time consuming. I’m writing this blog at 11pm on a Tuesday night for a future Wednesday posting. Also, writing three times a week does mean that I can’t do everything else I want to do for promotion and marketing because there isn’t enough time. Well, OK, that’s not quite true. A bit less mindless social media time would generate this deficit. But I digress.

I decided a couple of months ago that I should knock one blog on the head, reducing to two posts a week – on a Wednesday and a Friday. I did also have a TEDx talk to prepare for, which did take a lot of time, I introduced a regular Live session on a Monday afternoon on my Facebook page, and I planned a lot of video content to record. But I felt like something was missing. In addition, I wrote guest blogs for Eventing Nation, become digital marketing partner for The Business Barn and landed two more magazine columns (joining my NFU Countryside column) in Absolute Horse and Equestrian Life. So I haven’t been sitting on my bum doing nothing.

But something was missing… I missed writing three blogs a week!

I know, I do wonder what planet I am on most days. The facts are this…

  • I love writing
  • I get great feedback from my blog posts
  • I reach my ‘tribe’ through my blog
  • People get to know me through my blog
  • My blog helps my SEO
  • Blogs help my web traffic
  • Blogs allow me to share unique content

So, in short, I will bring back Monday blogs, because of all of the above. At this stage, I’m not going to commit to a blog each and every Monday, but that is what I would like to achieve. I’m not saying I won’t knock it back to two blogs again in the future, but at the moment, I’m back at three. And I know it’s weird, but I’m kind of excited.

So, that’s why I reduced by blogging schedule- and why I’m ramping it back up again.

How often do you blog and why?

 

When is it OK not to blog?

when is it OK not to blogWhen is it OK not to blog? The short answer is that consistency in everything you do in your business is really, really important. So, therefore, you’d think that the answer to this is that you should always blog. No matter what. But I think there’s an exception to the rule.

When is it OK not to blog?

I talk about consistency a LOT. I have consistently published three blogs a week on my website for a flipping long time. And I’m really proud of it. I love writing. I love sharing my knowledge. And it works as a great tool for my business too. Many people who speak to me about small business coaching or equestrian and country PR and marketing have seen my website first. Some have read a few blogs. Some have read them all (thanks if that’s you!). Blogging is a really important thing for my business, and it’s a really important ‘thing’ for yours too. It has put me on the map in a big way (in addition to the other things I do), and I love it. But sometimes, life gets in the way, and as any blogger will know, content doesn’t manifest out of thin air. Sadly. Although I could be onto a million dollar idea if I can make that happen…

So I should blog all the time, consistently?

Yes, yes you should. That’s the short answer. But you may have noticed that last Monday, I didn’t publish a blog. It bothered me (more than I can express) that I didn’t. But I had a word with myself and realised that sometimes it is OK not to blog. See, I have really rotten cold last weekend (well, from about Thursday) and I felt really rough. I am not a sickly person and I don’t handle illness well. I’m one of these ‘I’m too busy to be ill’ people. I know. It’s not a great quality. As the mother of twin toddlers, running my own business, two horses, a dog that is very high maintenance and being crazy busy (I mean, I know everyone is, just for the record), I can’t just stop. I have been going to bed early, eating paracetamol like Smarties and so on. But life doesn’t just stop. However, removing a bit of pressure can be really helpful.

When is it OK not to blog?

I could have prioritised last Monday’s blog above going to bed early and getting another hour’s quality sleep. Should I have? Well, I’m going to say no. Because although I love blogging and it’s important for my business, because I have been a bit sickly, I’d been slower at other things. I had more emails in my inbox that I would have liked, the house still needed cleaning/washing done and all those boring things. And my clients still needed my attention in coaching sessions. There’s little point in working your backside off to attract the right clients and then doing them a disservice because you’re using your energy badly. Do you know what I mean? So last Monday’s blog was a casualty of me feeling a bit ‘meh’ and needing to focus on the core. What I NEED to do for my business on a day to day level rather than want or need to do on a big picture level.

Life happens

See, life happens. I’m not playing up a cold as something dramatic. It isn’t. But it shows that something as minor as a cold can make you readjust. When bigger life things happen or you and your focus is NEEDED elsewhere, things do slip. And you can either beat yourself up for it or just accept it and aim to get back on track as soon as you can. The former won’t help. If you’re NEEDED elsewhere, you can’t change that. All you can change is how you feel about the choice that you’ve made.

I’ll blog when I have business

I'll blog when I have a businessA few weeks ago, I was chatting to someone about their business. They had big plans and great ideas, but a line that they said had me confused. And that was a line about blogging. And when they were going to start blogging.

See, part of their marketing plan was to use their blog. I liked that. It ticked my content marketing box. The thing that I queried was when they were planning to put the time into blogging. And that was when their business had become a success. Not before. The line ‘I’ll blog when I have a business’ stuck with me. I didn’t really get it. Here’s why.

Let’s look at why we blog

There are plenty of reasons to start a blog. I mean, I could rattle a load off to you now. SEO, brand awareness, social media content, exclusive content, thought leadership, promotion, etc. etc. etc. All of these elements work for established business. I have absolutely no doubt about this – they’re one of the reasons why I put so much time and effort into blogging and why it’s an important part of my marketing strategy. But do you think that all these things could also help new businesses? Yep. I do too.

Another major perk of blogging

Another major bonus of blogging against other forms of marketing is the cost of entry. That would be zero. You can get a blog on a platform like WordPress for £0 if you’re happy to have wordpress in the URL, and we’re talking pounds if you aren’t. So, something that is FREE, that can allow people – customers, partners, collaborators and more- to find out more about you, and it goes to the bottom of the pile? See… I just don’t get that.

I get that blogging can be tricky

I understand that some people struggle with blogging. In fact, I’ve written an article all about it and ways to help overcome some of the common issues. I also understand that some people will never ever ever blog. That’s fine too. It’s not something I would advise or suggest (as in, I think everyone should blog), but that’s fine. Everyone has their own beliefs and quirks. But if you’re looking to integrate blogging into your marketing plan in the future to help promote your business, then please PLEASE consider starting sooner rather than later. As you get busier, your time will be more stretched, especially as your business grows, and blogging might find itself at the bottom of your list. But what if you could put in some of the legwork now, when you have more time, and have this content continuing to generate leads and interest now and in the future? If you’re new to your business and you’re trying to build one, and blogging is part of your plan for the future, then I would really really urge you to consider starting it now. It could help you to reach where you want to be quicker at the same time as helping to support you moving forward.

How I embraced blogging

I’d blogged for clients for a long time, but my own blog got knocked to the bottom of the list for a long time. I know. Pretty shameful given my line of work. I was determined to do a better job, so I decided, in my infinite wisdom(!) that writing a blog every day for 40 days was a good idea. Yep – I doubt my sanity sometimes too. However, it was the ‘baptism of fire’ that I needed and I really haven’t looked back since. I would urge you to try blogging, You don’t need to do one a day, or even one a week, but start. Write something relevant and authentic, promote it, and see where it leads. And keep doing that over and over again. And if you’re stuck, I have some blogs that might help you…

End of the 40 day blogging challenge

How dictation software can make blogging a whole lot easier

Should you bother with a blog?

Why I love… why the new blog series

Why I love... my new blog seriesI’ve been trying to think of a way to share with you the numerous gems I come across in my travels… because I am lucky to find a lot. This might be a book (and I read a lot), or a podcast, or a gorgeous bit of stationary or maybe something even more special in terms of a stunning or clever product that I’ve bought, been given or have helped to promote. I promise that everything in the ‘why I love’ series will be something that I genuinely love. I do get to see a lot of lovely products in my equestrian and country PR and marketing role for a couple of key brands, and even more in my business coach role, but I want to give you my take on some of my top finds in this blog series. It might seem self indulgent and that really isn’t the intention. And I’ll explain my reasoning…

Why I want to share what I find with you

You know those people who find something extraordinary and then hide or keep it to themselves? One of my children is currently going through this phase with small rocks and acorns. You see his face light up when he uncovers a dirt encrusted rock and he’s delighted… and then you see the sneaky little devil go and stash it in the seat of his push along quad thingy or the hole that the parasol fits down on his sandpit. Why? Because he’s not too keen on me, his Dad or his brother touching, looking at or finding out about his ‘precious’. He’s really into rocks. Anyway, I’m pleased to say that the things I get excited about are ever so slightly more useful that rocks or acorns (well, to adult humans anyway), and I like to share. If it’s a resource I have found that has helped me learn something, I want to share it with people I think will benefit. If it’s a lovely ‘thing’, well, I just like to share the knowledge of things I have found, bought and adore with people I think will love them too. And if it’s a client product that’s jaw droppingly gorgeous, well, I really, really want to tell people about that. I know it’s sad cliche and everyone says it, but that thing about raising others up and helping them progress and improve? Yeah. I’m all in on that score. And I also really like it when people tell me about brilliant things that they have found that  they think I might like. Recommendation for someone you know and trust is a big thing for me, so I am extending that to you. Equally, I would LOVE to hear about things you recommend. I am planning to cover one ‘thing’ in each post, and anything connected to that thing that you would recommend would be brilliant.

Will be be all business things?

Nope. There will be a good amount of things I love that are connected to business. I have a vice for business books and have a collection that could rival Amazon, and there are lots of other lovely business-y things I do like from Apps and software to podcasts and other businesses… but I also love well made products with a story, brands with a heart and the brilliant people behind them. I find the detail and design of some products completely amazing and I find it equally gutting when no one knows the story behind why something is as it is. So I have adopted the role for the things I love. To share with you why they’re special and why I love them.

So, that’s it – the reason behind the ‘why I love…’ series. And if you have something you think I’ll love, or know of something you think it right up my street or could be of benefit to my clients, friends, Small & Supercharged VIPers and more, Well, I would love to hear from you.

Stay tuned for the first one next week… I just thought giving you an explanation to the thought process was a good idea. I’ve been struggling with the Monday blog theme for a while now, but I am hoping that this ticks all the boxes. Here’s to ‘why I love’. I hope you love it too.

Blogstars – Wiola Grabowska – Aspire Equestrian

In today’s ‘Blogstars’ post, I chat to Wiola Grabowska from Aspire Equestrian. The lovely images in this piece were taken by Christine Dunnington Photography.

 

Why did you started blogging?

I first started blogging in 2007 to share my new freelance coaching journey with friends and family. Most of them lived abroad and since I loved writing and wanted to practice my English language skills, the blog became my way of keeping everyone updated with my various ups and downs.
Over the years I went away from a typical diary format and now focus on growing a blog that you might call a coaching and a curious rider companion!

How do you measure its success?

The blog exists to help riders and coaches out there to ride and teach with horse’s wellness in mind. It is also my way of telling others what we do at Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy and how we do it. I consider it successful every time the post makes someone stop and think or gives them an idea Wiola Grabowskathat starts a chain of improvement in a skill they have battled with for a long time. Emails and messages from the readers as well as readers who become real life clients are my success measures.

Tell us about the post you’ve most enjoyed writing/has been the best received

This one is a funny one for me. Sometimes I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking up a post. Making sure it is what I want to convey, that it is clear and concise. It, no jokes, takes me hours to put together just to then receive a several hundreds views and no interactions whatsoever.
Then I might be in the middle of a lesson and think oh, this could make a nice quick blog post. Jot something quickly on my phone, put a post together in just about half an hour (editing photos etc), let it fly live thinking it might help a few riders just to be shared everywhere and hitting over 30k views.

To answer this question fully – the posts I most enjoy writing are those that draw from my riders’ or my own experiences, that try to address real, well-lived in issues that we managed to tackle and can now pass a little knowledge on.

How do you promote your blog?

Carefully! 😉 I have a very specific audience in mind that I want to reach so I adjust all my promotion activities to that. I mostly use social media and other blogging platforms to spread the word about each post and have in the past boosted posts on Facebook but have not done it for a long time now.

Any tips you’d like to pass on to first time bloggers/people who are interested in blogging?

Blog with passion for what you write about. Write about the things you would like to read in a way you would like to read. Add photos that make the words in the post come alive and have a clear “why” for every post you write.

Has anything ‘good’ come out of blogging?

I don’t even know where to start here and how to keep it to a few lines! I would totally monopolise Aspire EquestrianRhea’s blog space if I accounted for every amazing opportunity blogging has brought me in the last 10 years!
One of my most memorable blogging “goods” was being invited to learn from Anna Ross for several years. I think it was her mum who read my blog first 😉 I went to spend a day auditing Anna’s lessons almost 10 years ago and have learnt a lot through watching, tagging along and helping on the yards she was based. To this day I tell anyone who wants to listen to go and watch riders and coaches. Just sit, observe and listen. You don’t have to copy everything or teach the same but there is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom out there that can really be learnt by quiet observation and analysis.

Around 2010 I think I was sitting at Cafe Nero in London looking out at crazy amount of snow outside that stopped my teaching (and my income) for days when an email appeared on my screen. It was from a lady in Norway who said she’d been reading my blog and wondered if I would be interested in coming over and running a clinic for their riding club…These were the guys who trained with Andrew Murphy and many top riders and trainers in the world. I said yes of course and then spent weeks wondering what on earth could I teach them they didn’t already know!
I went over to run the weekend clinic once, twice, several times. An experience I will treasure forever that not only taught me a lot but gave me friends for life.

Similar opportunities happened over time, from invitations to run my training weekends to gaining real life, long terms clients who loved what they were reading on the blog. I have been sent products to review from various brands, met some amazing, inspirational people and that’s only the beginning as we have big plans for my little blog!

Thank you Rhea for the opportunity to write for this series!

Where can we find you online?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aspireequestrian/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AspireAcademy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aspireequestrianacademy
Website: www.aspireequestrianacademy.com

Blogstars – Samantha Hobden – Haynet

Samantha Hobden is the lady behind Haynet, a brilliant website that provides a blogging platform and network for country and equestrian bloggers all over the world. Here’s a bit about her and why she started blogging…

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging purely to keep a journal of my horse’s medical condition on the advice from my vet. My horse had developed a number of sarcoids and at first were slow growing. They then started to increase in size so I kept a photographic digital journal for my own records. This then became a diary about everything to do with my horse and I enjoyed writing it.

How did you/do you measure its success?

I noticed that people were started to respond to the posts, especially when I used an alternative therapy for the treatment which was a success.

Tell us about the post you’ve most enjoyed writing/has been the best received

The post about the treatment of his sarcoids was the most successful as it offered advice on a more natural remedy.

How you promote your blog?

I decided to search other equestrian blogs as I was very interested to read about others who were having medical problems with their horses. However, back in 2011, I found searching for these blogs quite difficult to locate, let alone promoting them. I then decided to launch Haynet, which was a “social blogging network” for equestrian bloggers, to come to a central place on the internet where they could promote their own blog posts. So this was how I promoted my blog in the end!

Any tips you’d like to pass on to first time bloggers/people who are interested in blogging?

First of all, please don’t think you cannot blog because you have nothing to say or cannot put it into words. We all have something to say – it will be that someone may resonate with your posts and some may not. Don’t worry about those that are not interested in your posts, it certainly isn’t personal. Going back to my horse that had sarcoids when I first starting blogging, not everyone has had to deal with them. If your horse is lucky enough not to be blighted with them, then you probably wouldn’t read my post on it. However, with many horse owners struggling to contain these horrible lumps, my post may be of great help to them. Blog for yourself, but never make it a chore. If it becomes a chore then it may be time to stop, take a break or perhaps just change subject!

Has anything ‘good’ come out of blogging?

Blogging has changed my career! Starting my own blogging network has been a huge change in my life by creating a business out of it. I now help clients particularly in the farming sector promote their businesses through blogging and social media. I have made a huge amount of friends through blogging and made many business contacts. So an immense amount of good has come from it!

Where can we find you?

Please come and visit Haynet at:

http://www.hay-net.co.uk/

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Blogstars- Victoria Brant aka Diary of a Wimpy Eventer

I’m incredibly honoured to be able to share a bit of the magic that goes on behind some of the blogs I love – and today it’s all about Victoria Brant – creator of the blog Diary of a Wimpy Eventer.

Why did you start blogging?

Diary of a Wimpy EventerI started my blog as a bit of a ‘self-help’ outlet.  I was merely documenting my fears, my frustrations, my highs and lows.  I wanted to vent to an audience that ‘got it’ and save my husband’s ears. 

How do you measure its success at Diary of a Wimpy Eventer?

Success for me, is measured in how many people I am touching the lives of. I tend to judge this based on the volumes that privately message me, opening their hearts and disclosing their inner most fears when it comes to horses.  I respond to around 30-40 private messages per week.  Statistics have mesmerised me recently too, each post reaches around 30,000 people, with never less than 200 interactions – Success for me isn’t just about follower numbers.

Tell us about the post you’ve most enjoyed writing/has been the best received

The posts that I dearly love to write are the ones reviewing a particular issue (usually one I am secretly dealing with inside), everything is first draft and straight from the pit of my belly. The best received post by FAR, was the hunting post from January.  Documenting my terror and then sheer elation start to finish.  This post reached 67,000 people in 48 hours.

How you promote your Diary of a Wimpy Eventer?

I spend around £20 per month page boosting to over 300 target groups that I have individually selected on FB ads. I have ensured that I guest write for some big names, that not only improves your SEO by ‘freeloading’ off a bigger company, but it gets you noticed by people you may not have reached otherwise. I ALWAYS plug it on my commentator notes when I run BE, I have Wimpy Eventer on my XC gear and make sure I give recognition to every single share that I get, even if it’s just a ‘like’, Retention is JUST as important to me as acquisition.

Any tips you’d like to pass on to first time bloggers/people who are interested in blogging?

DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY UNLESS YOU KNOW HOW TO SPEND IT. It is a TOTAL waste of a very nice bottle of wine unless you make the money work for you. Put in the time to VERY carefully select who you want to target.

Content is King – Stop posting cr*p that doesn’t breed emotion or engagement.  If no-one can relate, no one will respond. – My BIGGEST bugbear!

Be honest – don’t try and be someone you’re not for the sake of an audience.  People appreciate authenticity, copy cats are smelly rats!

Has anything ‘good’ come out of blogging?

Wow, has it ever! I have never had a lot of money to buy nice things, I now wear brands that I could have only dreamed of before September 2016.  I love it when people come and support us at shows and the recognition you get when you’re out and about, essentially, just for being you. I have made some wonderful virtual friends that I can turn to for support, advice or just a chat.

I am writing my first book!! (It still seems so surreal) due to come out in May – this would NEVER have happened without the blog. I am finally doing something that is worthwhile, that is helping so many people and that I actually love with every inch of my person.

Find out more about Victoria here – you won’t regret it! 

www.wimpyeventer.com

www.facebook.com/diaryofawimpyeventer

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Five reasons people don’t blog

Do you blog? There are lots of reasons why you should blog, but also plenty of reasons why people don’t. But I’m here to help and explain five reasons people don’t blog. Well, I’m here to explain how to get around these issues, to encourage you to start blogging. It’s a game changer. Honestly. I even made an infographic to prove the point!

So – five reasons people don’t blog… (there are more, but I decided to start with five!)

‘I don’t like writing’. OK, this might seem like a big deal as blogs are written pieces of work, but actually, it isn’t. You could utilise dictation software (here’s blog about Apple’s inbuilt dictation software and how to use it), and if that doesn’t float your boat, you can record you thoughts and use a transcription service.

‘I have nothing to blog about’. I’m going to stop you right there. Do you ever run out of things to say and talk about? If the answer is no, then you have plenty to blog about. A blog doesn’t have to be like a work of Shakespeare (which is lucky, because my blogs certainly aren’t!), it’s a way to document, to share, to engage, to educate. You might not think that the things you know, that you’re passionate about, are of interest to anyone but you. But they are. Honest. If you’re lacking inspiration, have a look at this blog – what should I blog about?

‘No one wants to hear what I have to say’. They do. Ever looked at a review online? Ever used Google? The people who wrote the copy for the reviews and the pages you view could have thought the same thing. It’s only their opinion, isn’t it? But you read it. I read it. It’s how we learn and research.

‘I don’t know what the point is’. This depends on why you’re blogging. If you’re blogging to document an experience, that’s the point. If you’re blogging for your business and to increase your profile, that’s the point. If you’re blogging to help improve your SEO and make your site more searchable, that’s the point. The reason you’re blogging could be completely different to you friend’s, but both are valid. Some people just love writing and that’s the point for them. Don’t overthink it.

‘I don’t have a following’. Who does when they start? Start sharing your blog on your social platforms and you’ll start to get readers and grow the following you want. No one started with a pre-made group of fans and followers, they built these up overtime. The key is to start!

Why don’t you blog? Or what’s your reason for blogging? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Five reasons people don't blog

What should I blog about?

Have you ever heard yourself asking the question ‘what should I blog about?’. Maybe it’s something that pops into your head whenever you sit down to create your first/next masterpiece. What are you going to write about? What will people want to read? Will they want to read what you have to say? In this blog I’m going to share my tips to help you address the question ‘what should I blog about?’, and keep you brimming with ideas for the foreseeable future too. Here are four topics that will generate a whole heap of ideas…

What am I passionate about?

Simple. Write down a list of the things you’re passionate about and then work out from there. If you’re the next Nigella and you’re passionate about food, you have a near constant source of inspiration from recipes to ingredients to food/wine pairings to what to cook when you’re in a hurry/in-laws are coming over/on a budget. The list is endless. Say you’re passionate about the countryside – you have the seasons, farming calendar, wildlife, farm animals, issues threatening the countryside/schemes to enhance it. Let’s say you’re passionate about cars – you have the differentWhat should I blog about? makes, models, styles, innovations, events, races… just get some paper, but a passion in the middle of it and let your imagination run wild!

What am I known for/what does my business do/what problem/s can my business help to solve?

If you’re lucky, this will overlap with point one, and if not, you have even more ideas. Let’s say you’re a retailer selling – I don’t know, screws. Yep. I’m being really specific to prove a point. You have the different types of screws for different jobs, the differences in the metals they’re made from and why that matters, how to with screws (how to screw into wood, plasterboard, etc), and that’s before we look at stuff that goes with screws (rawplugs? I’m getting out of my depth now!), tools to use with screws (drills, screwdrivers) and DIY jobs. And then you could expand into other DIY products and materials. Take my blog as another example. Yep, I’m a coach and PR and marketing consultant, but there’s a LOT under that umbrella, from the things I do in my job (PR, marketing, social media, video, collaborations, blogging, strategy, advertising, etc), to great examples of things I specialise in, to the companies I work with, to top tips and how to, really focussing in on individual parts of things (Facebook ad targeting, hashtags on Instagram, Twitter power-hours)…the list goes on.

The news.

Yep. The news is a near constant source of blog inspiration. Don’t be completely off the wall and start blogging about something you are clueless on, start with industry news and work out from there! So, in my line of work, the algorithm changes, new software and apps, new tech to make lives easier usually hits the news, as well as PR campaigns that haven’t quite worked out, or viral content that’s made the news for one reason or another.

YOU

Yep, and this can be scary. Why not tell your readers about you? It doesn’t have to be your deepest darkest secrets, but a bit about what makes you tick and why you’re passionate about what you do, how you got into the job you do, places you’ve been, things you love (see point one), even your pets if it’s relevant.

So, next time you ask ‘what should I blog about?’…

So, if you find yourself asking ‘what should I blog about?’ ever again, come back to this blog with your notepad and get planning!