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Behind… Karen McConnell’s Royal Highland Show coverage

Karen McConnell Royal highland ShowI for one was completely blown away by Karen McConnell, aka Karen & Clan and KAEquestrian’s Royal Highland Show content… did you see it?

As an ambassador for Hiho Silver, and as a friend, I did know what was happening before it did. In a full disclosure kind of way. But an idea is just an idea, isn’t it? It’s the execution of these things that REALLY matters, and Karen completely surpassed my expectations (which were pretty high, let’s be honest!). More than this, I genuinely felt like I was at the Royal Highland (and I really wasn’t, I was in Worcestershire!), saw new products thanks to her Instagram Stories, and also have not got a serious liking for Holland Cooper… which was something I didn’t have before. I didn’t ever dislike the brand, far from it, I’ve always been very impressed by what Jade and the team have accomplished, think the showroom is to die for and more, but seeing the outfits styled in a way that I would wear. And seeing how they all endured all day wear. And hearing Karen rave about them too means that they’re now firmly on my list of stands to visit at the next event I go to.

But I digress.

The whole content plan leading up to and during the Royal Highland Show was geneuinely superb, so I asked Karen a few questions to get the inside info from the show. You ready?

Behind… Karen McConnell’s Royal Highland Show coverage

Why did you pick the four brands you did to work with?
I chose HiHo Silver, Mackenzie & George, Fairfax & Favor and Holland Cooper as the four brands to work with on this project as I absolutely love their products. They all stand for the height of style and quality and together, I think, they make up the perfect country outfit.

Did you learn anything new about the brands working so closely with them?
Absolutely, Obviously when you start asking about the different products and manufacturing processes, you develop a better understanding of the products themselves but the most interesting part for me is getting to know the personalities within the teams that ultimately make up the overall personality of the brand. As a consumer, when I find a brand whose personality I like and get on with, I’m completely sold and as a blogger it’s absolutely vital that our personalities gel in order to create content that complements the brands I’m working with. I feel after working on this project together, I know all the brands a little better, love them even more than I did before and hopefully they know me a bit better too.

Karen McConnell Royal Highland ShowWhat did you enjoy the most about the Royal Highland Show? How long have you been going?
I’ve been going to the Highland Show since I was a child and it’s always a great event with loads to see (and buy!). It really does pull the whole of Scotland’s rural community together (as well as lots of others from south of the border and further afield) and this year, wall to wall sunshine just made it even better. As always with these events, although I love the attractions and shopping, what I love most is bumping into friends, clients old and new, and meeting new people with similar interests.

How did you come up with the idea of working with a brand a day, and how did you find implementing that during the event?
I knew I wanted to do something different at this year’s Royal Highland Show (last year was all about the equestrian side of the event), and with country style and fashion becoming such a large part of the Karen & Clan blog, it made sense to me to feature all my favourite country fashion brands who were exhibiting at the show. A brand a day just made sense to me as that way I got to really dedicate my whole day to showcasing the brand to share with my social media audience. It also worked well when I did IG story takeovers for Hiho Silver and Mackenzie & George. Implementing the format was really easy, I always knew where my focus needed to be.

What were the favourite pieces you got to wear and use from each brand – just one from each (I know it’s hard!)
Oooh, this is such a tough question! If I had to pick only one item from each of the brands they would be…..
Hiho Silver – The Bumblebee Necklace – I only spotted this on the website the other week and instantly loved it. I’ve not taken it off since the show, so cute!
Mackenzie & George – The Windsor Maxi Clutch in Navy – I’d coveted that for a while and it’s even more beautiful in real life. I got it embossed with my initials too which makes it even more special.
Fairfax & Favor – The Heeled Amiras in Tan – I wore these three of the four days at the show and they’re super stylish and surprisingly comfortable. I’ve never owned a pair of over the knee boots before and I was nervous about whether I could pull them off (in my head they were only for tall people!) but I LOVE them.
Holland Cooper – Another really hard choice but I really loved the Cadogan Jacket in Stone Herringbone (link to Duke) I wore on the Sunday. Its military influence is super-cool but the gorgeous tweed makes it instantly classic in style. I loved teaming it up with the matching Carrie Cap too (I know that’s two products – sorry!)

You’ve done a huge amount of research into what to wear at country and equestrian shows for your Royal Highland feature. What would your top tip/s be when it comes to clothing for these kind of events?
I think dressing for a country show you need four key ingredients – a gorgeous tweed blazer or cape, a comfortable pair of boots (you’ll be walking all day), a great bag and fantastic accessories. If you have all of those things, all you need are your favourite pair of skinny jeans and a shirt and you’re good to go!

To find out more about Karen’s trip to the Royal Highland – here are some must see blogs and vlogs…

What I wore to the Royal Highland – Thursday

What I wore to the Royal Highland – Friday

What I wore to the Royal Highland – Saturday

What I wore to the Royal Highland – Sunday

What’s in my bag – Royal Highland vlog

What to wear at a country show – vlog

Are you a blogger or an influencer? Or both?

are you a blogger or an influencer?Are you a blogger or an influencer? They’re the same, aren’t they? Well no, no they’re not. You can be an influencer and a blogger, just a blogger, or just an influencer… here I hope to explain the difference. Not only is this blog for you if you’re not quite sure which category you fall into, but for brands too.

This blog was inspired by Haynet’s podcast, episode eight, which was hosted by the lovely Sam Hobden, owner and founder of Haynet. Listen to her ‘what makes a blogger an influencer’ podcast.

Are you a blogger or an influencer?

If you’re a blogger in the purest sense, you write a blog, which is an online written ‘log’. The term ‘blog’ came from the phrase weblog if that makes the word make a bit more sense. A blog can take many forms but blogs are generally informal and chatty in style. Blogs vary hugely in content, depending on the writer or objective.

Now, many influencers have a blog, but that’s not necessarily what earns them their title as influencer. An influencer is essentially someone who has influencer over others. Not in a weird or bad way, let’s just be clear. When people put a lot of time and effort into their social media, their audience (usually) grows, and this audience is usually engaged with the influencer. Let’s call the influencer Charlotte. So let’s imagine that Charlotte has grown an audience of 11k on Instagram. She takes pics of beautiful countryside things and gets lots of engagement on her feed. People ask her where they can buy what she’s wearing, or what she thinks about x’s new range, or the best place to visit in a certain county for country things. Charlotte is an influencer. She might have a blog. Her influence could be limited to a specific platform (like Instagram) or more widespread. She could have a blog too and use that to help support her influencer status. If she wants to. But she doesn’t have to.

How do you know if you’re an influencer or a blogger?

In simple terms, if your following engage with you and ask you for advice, ideas, buy things that you’re talking about or wearing, you’re an influencer. Because something you have done or said has influenced them. Or even they see you as such an authority that people reach out to you and ask you your opinion. If that’s you, you’re an influencer.

If you write beautiful blogs about your adventures as a creative outlet, just for you, you’re a blogger.

Or you can be both, if you write blogs about products, services, looks, etc that people read and absorb… and then take action on.

Don’t forget to have a listen to Haynet’s podcast about bloggers and influencers for more infroamtion.

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 – Harriet Edwards – A Girl About Country

Harriet EdwardsBlogstars – the occasional series I run on here looking at some superb bloggers that have caught my eye – is back… and what I treat I have for you… it’s only A Girl About Country, aka Harriet Edwards!

I have the pleasure of knowing Harriet as she’s a brand ambassador for Hiho Silver, but she also works with a number of brands I have connections with and adore. Her style is just superb, her blogs are well written and interesting, she’s a proper country girl and, you know what else? She is so flipping lovely! I met Harriet properly at Badminton Horse Trials this year and she’s even more lovely in the flesh (and, let’s be clear, she’s always been a delight). Actually, it was her influence that MADE me add to my Fairfax & Favor collection. OK. She didn’t make me. She actually offered some really good advice to help me pick the right colour Drivers and told me how and when she wore hers, and that made me think about how I could wear them too. So I bought. Anyway, I digress… here’s Blogstars…

What made you start blogging?

Honestly, I think it has to be attributed to my shopping addiction! I’ve always been very passionate about style and more specifically country style. The countryside is my home but just because you need to wear practical clothes it doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish too. A perfect example of this combination of practicality and classic style is Fairfax & Favor – needless to say a good few years ago I fell in love and started my collection. It quickly expanded and through sharing my pictures of their gorgeous products I was encouraged by the guys at Fairfax & Favor to start a blog. I laughed it off at first – I’m not great with technology, but came round to the idea and the rest, as they say, is history!

A Girl About Country British Polo GinHow do you measure the success of A Girl About Country?

My blog is very much a hobby. I have a very stressful and somewhat scientific full time job that keeps me busy, so blogging is an outlet for me. That means that my idea of success is probably different to those who blog full time. For me, the success is knowing that what I have said or shared has made a difference to someone else or that they enjoyed reading what I have written. The first few times I wrote a post (and to some extent even now), I would feel a little bit nauseous at the thought that no one would bother to read what I had spent hours agonising over. The biggest measure of success for me has to be hearing from my followers that I have inspired them to try something new – the one I’ll remember most is a lovely lady who contacted me after reading my post on the Femmes Fatales (an all ladies shooting club), she had never even picked up a shotgun before but was inspired to give it a go after reading my post and now she’s a regular at their events!

Tell us about the post you’ve most enjoyed writing/has been best received for A Girl About Country

The blogs I’ve enjoyed writing the most are also the ones that I invariably feel most nervous about releasing into the world. The one’s that open my life and my choices up for criticism which actually makes me feel quite vulnerable but at the same time I feel so passionate about that particular subject that I really want to put my point of view on the table. The post that I believe has been best received was one of these blogs – it was an account of my first experience game shooting which is a very controversial and emotive topic to talk about. I was expecting so much negativity for that post and don’t get me wrong I did get some, but the overwhelming response was positivity and more importantly education. A lot of people really didn’t understand the reasons (my reasons at least) behind shooting game and I think I managed to help people understand that – even if they didn’t A Girl About Countryagree.

How do you promote A Girl About Country?

As I mentioned, A Girl About Country is my hobby and so I don’t really promote it as much as I’d like to but I do utilise my Instagram account to direct people to my blog. I try and link the content with Instagram and the actual blog site so that the two are synonymous and people identify with both.

Any tips you’d pass onto people thinking of blogging?

YES! I feel very strongly about this, particularly with the influx of new country/style bloggers. Of course you should look through others content and take inspiration from that, in fact that’s a total compliment but please please please stay true to yourself. That is my biggest bit of advice. Don’t write about the things you think people want to see, write about the things that YOU love and you’re passionate about because that is what people really want to see. If you are trying to do something that your heart isn’t 100% in, just because you see others enjoying success with it, it won’t work. Be true to yourself and you will only be successful.

Has anything good come out of blogging?

Absolutely – if I didn’t enjoy blogging I wouldn’t do it, so that must mean some good has come from A Girl About Country in Ariatit right? If it ever gets to the point where I feel like I’m not enjoying it anymore I will definitely stop. I know that most people will expect a particular answer to this question – freebees, but the truth is getting freebees is about the furthest reason from the truth possible why I started blogging or enjoy blogging. I’m very independent and I’ve always bought my own things so I wouldn’t want or expect to blog solely for freebees – as soon as people do that the blog becomes false. The very best thing that has come out of blogging is new friends, I have been introduced to some of the best people and have formed some fantastic friendships and from that enjoyed some amazing experiences. It’s all about spreading the love!

Where can we find you online?

The blog – www.agirlaboutcountry.com

Instagram: harriet_lily

 

 

A few minutes with… Samantha Hobden – Haynet

Today’s ‘a few minutes with…’ is all about Samantha Hobden from Haynet. Haynet is a fabulous community online created for bloggers.

Tell us about you and your backgroundSamantha Hobden

I am a half Finnish mum born in the seventies running two businesses, two terriers, a handful of chickens and one huge horse! I have always worked with the public sorting out problems through customer services or promoting companies through marketing and PR. These industries have ranged from the banking sector, hairdressing and medical companies to the car industry. I have also worked in a partnership with a clothing and accessories business. I am now working within the equestrian industry talking all things blogging and social media, which I definitely enjoy the most.

What made you want to start a business?

Having worked for many big companies and sorting out their client’s problems, I knew that I would rather be working for myself utilising these skills and helping smaller businesses. This has now expanded to the rural industry where they are experiencing tough times, so to help with their social media marketing I find hugely rewarding.

How is your business different?

I think because I own and run my own social network it enables me to give my clients and the work I do an extra audience. I would say the experience in running this business over the last few years enables me to use a wider network and encourage them not just to use the basics in social media but help them with content and trying to be just that little bit different.

What makes your product special?

As I don’t sell a product but a service, I would hope that my experience running a social media network would make an extra impact to potential clients needing help. with their social media.

If you had to sum up your business in five words, what would they be?Haynet

Telling your stories from the stables to the fields!! Sorry that is nine…..

Do you have a motto or ethos?

I cannot emphasise enough to have respect for your clients and work colleagues. Just be nice and friendly. There are times where mistakes are made, so say sorry. Don’t make excuses and own your errors. This builds respect and that goes a long way in business.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?

Well as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and I think that applies to any new business. Give it time, put in plenty of research and thought and go with your gut feeling. It also takes time to gain a reputation and all the hard work you put in when starting will be worth it. However, it just may take some time, so be patient.

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively

As my business is totally online, I would have to say I would be lost without my iPad. I do all my work on a desktop and this is invaluable but my iPad takes over when I am away from home or away from my desk, it continues to work for me. Software wise I am a massive fan of Canva. I am no graphic designer but this piece of software has made my life so much easier. Photoshop made me cry…. So thankfully I discovered Canva before booking on a Photoshop course!

Best thing about running a business?

It is totally flexible and you only answer to yourself. You make the decisions whether they are right or wrong but the buck stops with you. It is also a massive learning curve being responsible for your own income and growing your business. However, it is a great learning curve!

Worst thing about running a business?

Being responsible for your work and this is potentially a tie. You cannot clock off at 5pm and having time off from it can be like organising a military operation. If you work from home like I do, it is not recognised I think as “proper work”. I think perception of working from home is sitting in front of the tv with your iPad watching Phil and Holly!

Top business blog you follow

I suppose it will have to be Andrew William Smith on Facebook. Every now and then you need to take a moment and listen to his video tutorials to make sure you are keeping an eye of the ever changing world of running a business, especially through social media.

Top business book you’ve read

I will side track from a business book and say The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. If you are ever thinking life is not going your way or work is getting you down, please read this book. It will change your outlook completely!

One thing we might not know about you

I love psychic mediumship and all things about it. I have read so many books on the subject and love seeing mediums and have been on workshops too. So make the most of this life before you move on to the next one…

Top business achievement

It has to be Haynet and the recognition and following I have with this now. Someone was talking to me the other day and one sentence from our conversation made me smile and think that running Haynet is all worth it. She was visiting a yard with her work and one of the liveries was telling her how she loved Haynet and had learnt from the blogs and content that was featured on it. She also said what a friendly equestrian place it was online. It may not sound much but it made my day!

Where can people follow you or your business online 

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/haynetblog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/haynetblog
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/haynetblog/

 

 

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

A few minutes with Sophie Callahan – Sophie Callahan Photography

Sophie CallahanIn this week’s ‘a few minutes with…’ I speak to the lovely Sophie Callahan. Sophie is a vlogger, blogger and professional photographer. She’s blogged on my blog and I’ve blogged on hers. She’s an all round good egg and so flipping knowledgable.

Tell us about you and your background. What made you want to start a business?

I’m a specialist equine photographer and also a blogger and vlogger of all things equine and country. I started my career in event photography and soon got bored of photographing football tournaments and dance competitions. So I decided to give equine photography a go and never looked back.

I’ve always wanted to work for myself, so I started exploring self employment as soon as I graduated from university. I have always been creative and have ridden since I was three, so I feel like I’ve found the job I was born to do. It just makes perfect sense for me.

How is your business different? What makes your products special?

There are a lot of equine photographers out there, so it’s tough trying to constantly come up with ways to differentiate myself.

When I share the images from my clients’ shoots online, I don’t just post their photographs, I also tell their story, which often evokes a deeper level of emotion, in both my subjects and the rest of my audience. I want my clients to have ‘an experience’, from beginning to end. 

I also blog and vlog, every week, and try and share lots of fun, original content to my social media pages, which has helped build my online ‘tribe’ and I am super grateful to be able to say that I have a very loyal, supportive following. This has definitely made me more valuable as a photographer, as my audience feel like they know and trust me before they’ve even met me. Photography is quite an intimate thing, so trusting and feeling comfortable with your photographer is so important. I think being so active online has definitely helped me achieve this level of trust in my potential clients.

If you had to sum up your business in a few words, what would they be?

My dream business!

Do you have a motto or ethos?

Work hard and be kind. That’s pretty much all that matters.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?

I have lots. I love an inspirational quote! Lol. But most of all, I think it’s to be grateful for what you have and work hard for what you want.

Gratitude is so important and it’s easy to focus on everything you haven’t achieved/got yet, rather than what you have. We’re all in a different place, so don’t compare yourself to others and remember to appreciate how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved, every step of the way.

One thing that helps you run your business more effectively

My other half? Lol! I’m a creative, so I’m naturally disorganised, impulsive and a little bit ditzy. He’s the opposite, so he makes sure I’m actually earning money and keeps me on the straight and narrow.

Best thing about running a business?

Just one thing? Erm… The freedom and flexibility it gives me, not only to decide my own hours, but to make my own decisions. I couldn’t stand having to go through three levels of management to get a new Facebook campaign signed off, or something. I like to just make decisions and run with them.

Worst thing about running a business?

Being everything, all of the time. Building your website, doing your own tax returns, packaging orders, sending invoices, taking bookings, sending emails, creating content… It can exhausting sometimes.

Top business blog you follow

Well, this one, obviously! And also, Jasmine Star and the Female Entrepreneur Association.

Top business book you’ve read

Get Rich Lucky Bitch, by Denise Duffield Thomas is my favourite!

Top business achievement

Building my dream job from nothing when everyone said it’d never work. This job is literally everything I could ever have hoped for. I love everything about it and feel so lucky to be doing it!

That and interviewing Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester for my vlog. Vlog goals!!

Where can we find you?

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Youtube

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!

How does a blog provide exclusive content?

How does a blog provide exclusive content? Well, that’s an easy one – unless you copy someone’s blog (and please, PLEASE DO NOT do this!), it’s your words, your viewpoint. It provides exclusive content as it’s your view on a subject, a product, a situation – well, whatever you want it to be.

How does a blog provide exclusive content?Does exclusive content matter?

I think it does. I use my blog to share my views and ideas with people who are interested. All thoughts are my own (apart from guest blog, but these are clearly labelled and align with my own thoughts). And that’s really important. It’s exclusive content that you should only find here. My blog is part of my ‘marketing mix’ when it comes to my own business. I am not expecting everyone who reads it to convert into clients, God no, but neither would I expect everyone who saw an ad to call me. What I am expecting if for people to read it to feel that, after they’re read it, they know me a little better. They may like what they read, they might not – and whilst I hope for the former, the latter is always a possibility when you put yourself ‘out there’. Because the content created is mine. It’s my words, it’s my thoughts, it’s my take on things, people are building up a picture of me and my expertise and skill set. I also like to think that, when people read my blog, they’re getting something that they can’t get elsewhere. Sure, there are a LOT of blogs about blogging. But are any quite like this?

Be your authentic self

So, what I’m trying to say is if you write from the heart and you’re your authentic self and create interesting, engaging, exclusive content that can only been viewed and digested on your website and blog, you’re adding value. You’re giving your fans and followers the chance to read something difference (or, at least, the way you view it) and you’re adding layers to your offering and your story. And that’s why it’s exclusive. Because your reader shouldn’t be seeing it elsewhere.