• reason for writing my blog was to improve
    blogging,  writing

    100 days blogging, what I have learnt

    I started my blog in October 2018,  100 days later, today, I am exhausted. I would not recommend blogging for 100 days straight but it has honestly been quite an experience.

    As I submitted my first blog post, Saturday morning, I did not expect to put as much work into it as I have. I also did not expect to read as many fantastic blogs and meet (virtually) as many lovely bloggers.

    My reason for writing my blog was to improve and develop my writing. Having started writing a novel and feeling a bit lost with it I thought blogging might help. I also considered that if I had people following and reading my blog then my name will already be known if I ever do get my book finished and published.

    Since starting my blog my Facebook page has grown and there are people actually reading my writing. Before I had to force my husband to read it and then any criticism of it was just based on his opinion.

    I enjoyed it so much that in December I decided to go self hosted with Lyrical host and I would highly recommend them.

    I have learnt in the last few days that people have many different reasons for starting a blog. I have been looking at my progress and then reading others on Pinterest. I have now realised that I should not be comparing, I have blogging friends who simply blog for the community and friendship, they have no interest in making money from it.

    Talking to a lady on one of the many Facebook groups about my blog, I was advised it will not make money as it is not giving anything to the reader. Now maybe this depends on the reader. If someone is wanting to read poetry or a story they are possibly not asking Google. They will possibly be searching in the Word Press reader just like I have done.

    The same lady also said that she would not be interested in any of my Pinterest pins due to the images being to personal. Interesting feedback and yes I think she was right. I am now learning Canva and using that for my pins rather then pinning straight from my blog. I’ve also realised that the posts that might make money need to be separate from the others as they are maybe the ones that someone might save.

    What I have learnt
    1. I have written some posts that are more giving to the reader and I will continue to in an effort to monetise. see,

    How to keep your kids entertained, some ideas

    What is the point in writing a blog? why do I do it?

    My garden world in Winter

    Then purely more selling if interested.

    Amazon Kindle fire deals

    Amazon kindle e readers

    Amazon deals and Alexa enabled devices for the smart home

    Christmas / birthday present ideas

    2. I started my blog to write and I will continue to write. I enjoy writing poetry and writing short stories, I also enjoy the community and friendship. There are many blogs out there that are purely for the community aspect and so many are so enjoyable to read. I am not going to list any here as you know who you are.

    Here is some of my fiction writing and poetry.

    Short stories

    The worst day of my life

    A fork in the road

    Just one of those days

    Poetry

    The mystical city

    The mannequin and the slippers poetry

    The world of blog

    3. I started writing about my children but, I am thinking that I cannot continue writing about them daily. So, I will still write about them but not every day.

    4. I have also learnt the importance of making the time to visit other peoples blogs, blogging is a huge community and a good one. Also if you do not visit other people they might never find you and you might then miss out on a good connection and possible friendship.

    5. Here are my stats on day 100, most of these numbers are Facebook and the WordPress reader. However, I have had a few visits directed from Google and Bing and other wordpress blog sites that I have posted to.

    As 17.20pm today 20/01/2019

    Views –

    October 2018 – 727 views

    November 2018 – 946 views

    December 2018 – 1000 views (I have a feeling this is more 1033 views then the figures add up).

    January 2019 – 861 views

    Views Total – 3567 views

    Visitors Total – 1511 visitors

    Stats 2018

    101 posts, 451 comments, 77385 words

    Stats 2019

    24 posts (now 25), 119 comments, 11472 words

    Word Total – 88857 words

    Yes without blogging I could have completed my book.

    Aim for this year

    1. To master SEO (Search engine optimisation) I am slowly getting my head around it and have about 50 posts still to work back through.
    2. To look again at my Pinterest account. People tend to repin from my other blogs and posts board rather then my own. However last night someone I do not know saved one of my more helping posts with a canva vertical image.
    3. I need to make a schedule of when I am posting and maybe ideas of what to write about.  Keeping up with my poetry and short stories plus the kids.
    4. I need to continue writing my book. I recently found Chapter buzz and then submitted my Secret time warp story to it, in an effort to maybe turn that into a book as well, one day.

    5. I also need to make time to read more.  Blogging daily has meant hardly any reading.  I bought myself a Kindle at Christmas and I have hardly looked at it.

    So on with the blog and thankyou to all of you who have helped, followed and supported me and answered all my questions. I really appreciate  all your help and friendship.

  • how do you keep your kids entertained
    Parenting,  shopping

    How to keep your kids entertained, some ideas

    Note: This post contains affiliate links, so anything purchased through it will earn me some commission which will help to pay for my blog.

    So how do you keep your kids entertained? they can be difficult and as a parent I am often feeling stressed.  Here are some ideas.

    If you are a reader of my blog you will know that I have two wonderful but difficult children. Right now they are asking Alexa to play  David Bowie’s, Star man and dancing around the front room.  Yes this is one answer to keep them entertained, but if your children are like mine they are also jumping on and off the furniture.

    So here are some other ideas for if you are stuck at home.  My daughter loves to be creative, so she enjoys the creative sets by  Melissa and Doug she can spend hours creating.  It is also something that I can do with her. My son can also join in with us.

    The children also love colouring books, there are also more complicated colouring books   for your older child (or adult) that could keep them entertained for days.

    My son loves his Thomas the Tank engine trackmaster train set, my daughter loves it too.

    They also both love Lego and K’nex they can spend many hours playing with it.  A recommendation here is a toy storage bag which means that it is easier to gather the lego and K’nex together once the child has finished playing.  Another option is to use a blanket to keep it together and off the carpet.  I have stood on many a lego brick and it hurts!

    My children love playing on their tablets, so another idea is the Amazon Kindle fire for kids they come with a years subscription to kids unlimited. This can also be subscribed to and there is a trial for kids unlimited, my children benefit from what it has to offer.

    Another idea is books, my son loves Roald Dahl. The Twits is his favourite.  Books are great because not only does it keep the children quiet, you can also cuddle up and read with them.

    Other ideas for indoors include  baking together then you can enjoy your cakes or baked goods afterwards, relax and eat them together. Satisfying but also productive and constructive.

    My children love to play outdoors when the weather is good.  To be honest they also enjoy jumping in puddles when it rains and making mummy upset by walking mud through the house. Not helped by the fact that we have beige carpets.

    So some outdoor ideas, planting seeds, my children love doing this, then watching the flowers grow.  Amazon have many different seeds so are worth having a look at.  They also enjoy gardening but  this can be stressful when they start pulling out plants that you want to keep.

    Garden games is another option. Swingball is another family favourite. We can spend hours wacking the ball up and down the pole.

    My son loves his football but it often ends up over the fence in the neighbours garden. This then gives him the excuse to go over there and explore their garden, thankfully they do not mind.

    They also love to ride their bikes round and round.  However, we have a cycle path that we visit near by and spend hours cycling along it.

    Other outdoor ideas include, walking through the woods. Often quiet and a lot of opportunities to learn about nature. Going to the shops is not so much fun as they want everything in site. Visiting the local library and choosing some books together.  My two love doing this but can be very noisy.  They do not seem to understand ssshhh.

    My children love visiting Castles and the Zoo.  So English Heritage membership is worth considering.  Maybe also membership of the local Zoo.   I find that the children are much better behaved when their minds are occupied.  It makes life that little bit easier for us as their parents.

    So are your children like mine? constantly needing your attention, needing to be entertained?

    I hope this has helped and given you some ideas. For more see some gift ideas,

     

  • So really why write a blog
    blogging,  hosting

    What is the point of writing a blog? Why do I do it?

    So really why write a blog? Why put all that time and effort into something? Maybe you feel that your writing is not good enough. Maybe you just have not got time or maybe it is concerns about the cost. Are you feeling you could not design a website? Feeling it is too complicated?

    Well to set aside all those questions and fears, blogging can be free! It can be easy and it could take you maybe 1 – 2 hours a week or whatever you are prepared to commit.
    I started blogging due to feeling stressed with life and my children. I also love to write, my writing is not wonderful however, I like to think that I have a good imagination. This blog encompasses my children – my mum life and my writing. You will find poetry as well as fiction stories as well as tales of my children, they are hard work!

    So why blog? Why put the time and effort in?
    1. If you are creative and want to build on your writing skills or just enjoy writing it is a very worthwhile hobby. It also means that you have your own part of the internet.
    2. I find it cathartic with all the stress of life, family and kids.
    3. There is a large supportive blogging community. If you like to sit behind your computer and chat then blogging is something to consider. This is one reason why I love it so much.
    4. There are many Facebook groups dedicated to blogging.

    How do you have time?
    1. It is your blog, you can do as little or as much as you like.
    2. Once you start, you may suddenly find time that you did not know you have. Chatting to people and making new friends has that effect.

    Creating your blog

    I found WordPress, and I signed up for a free account, they then have free themes. This means that within minutes an amateur could be pouring all their feelings into a blog. Blogging has honestly helped me plus there is a whole blogging community.
    1. Go to www.wordpress.com enter in your details and what you would like your domain name (web address) to be.
    2. Choose a theme, there are many to choose from. My blog theme is Ashe and yes it is free.
    3. Start blogging and publish, it really is that easy.
    4. There is then the  WordPress reader where you can read other bloggers blogs and they can see yours.

    Once you start blogging you might decide that you enjoy it enough to want more web-space and consider paying for it or trying to monetise it. Don’t be in to much of a hurry but if you are ready then go for it.

    You can sign up for a plan through www.wordpress.com and create a custom domain name. However, many bloggers are self hosted which allows you more blogging freedom..

    My blog is hosted by Lyrical Host. I highly recommend them as they have been very helpful. Their customer service is excellent, for more see my review of Lyrical Host.

    As a lyrical host affiliate if you enter my affiliate code Muddling10 at check out you will get 10% of your hosting plan. (This means I will earn some commission which will help pay for my blog).

    Something to bear in mind is that other hosting companies might give you a good deal at the beginning but at renewal are likely to put their prices up. Lyrical host promise not to do this. Please look at my post and their website for their benefits. You will not regret choosing them if you do.

    So I hope this answers some questions.  if you are still considering starting a blog there is no harm in signing up for free and seeing how you get on.

    This is based on my own personal experience and there are other blogging platforms such as Blogger.  However, I have only ever used  WordPress  so I can not comment on the difference.

    I hope this post has helped you and if you do decide to go ahead, happy blogging!

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