Stay out of debt by spending less than you earn, put any spare money after bills into an emergency fund, staying out of debt allows us to start saving money and be in a position to give a little back.
Set up a monthly direct debit to your favourite charity for as much or little as you can afford.
Raise money to donate by doing something you’ve always wanted to do, such as run a marathon, skydive or hold a coffee morning.
Teach your kids the importance of giving to charity, help them raise money to give to their local charity.
How To Donate Food.
Food banks and shelters for the homeless are always grateful for food and things like shower gel and shampoo. shelters for the homeless also need coats, gloves and scarves in cold weather, and blankets, duvets, pillows and sleeping bags throughout the year.
Women’s shelters and safe houses need food, sanitary products, laundry powders, toilet rolls, and clothes and toys for children too.
Animal shelters need huge amounts of food to give to the rescue animals whilst they wait for new homes. You can give tins of wet food or large bags of dry food. they are also grateful for bedding, pillows blankets for the animals to sleep on.
How to donate your unwanted stuff to charity
The unwanted stuff we keep stashed in our closets and overstuffed drawers will make someone else very happy, give it a new home, and create some space in your own home.
Gadgets are improving and changing at such an alarming rate that it is very hard to keep up with today’s technology, we all have a gadget graveyard in our house somewhere which is crammed with spare leads from forgotten computers or tablets, old mobile phones from the 90’s never to be charged again! Many charities have places where you can donate your old mobile phones and other gadgets.
Old spectacles, there are many opticians who collect old spectacles to send to people in need, all you need to do is drop them off and they will do all the rest for you!
If you’re struggling to donate an item of clothing you’ve never worn or an unwanted gift from a favourite family member read some of my tips on how to declutter here.
Why I’m sharing my blog planner template bundle with you.
I decided to put together a fabulous bundle of free blogging resources, to help you simplify your blogging day and keep you organised and motivated, right up until the moment you hit the publish button and way beyond!
As a new blogger, I needed all the help I could get to keep me on track to create great blog posts.
However, I could never find the right worksheets to keep me motivated and organised while planning my blog.
Most of the worksheets I downloaded were either overcomplicated or dull and uninspiring.
So, today I have decided to share with you the tools I use for organising my time and ideas in one handy bundle which won’t cost you a single penny!
I hope you find these worksheets helpful.
Daily blog planner pages
I use these daily blog planner to plan my daily tasks, write a list of things I need to fix or improve and to check off my social media posts. The blog planner templates are printed from Monday through to Sunday so you can plan for the week ahead or look back throughout the week for reference. There is also a spot for any ideas which you may need to jot down.
Monthly blog planner printable
I use this to do my brainstorming for the month’s blog posts, jot down any blog titles that spring to mind, write ideas for social media posts, I have also created a space for improvements needed on my blog or images for the upcoming month. these monthly blog planner printables run from January through to December, so there is plenty of opportunity for advanced planning and scheduling.
Blank blog planner template
I’ve included a blank blog planner template to use as an additional or a customisable blog planner page!
Social media checklist template
This is a little checklist I created to record my follower growth on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Instagram checklist template
Twitter checklist template
Facebook checklist template
I use these simple social media checklist templates to plan which posts I’d like to schedule to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and at what time to schedule them.
I use the Instagram checklist template with Planoly to schedule all my posts, here is a screenshot of my Instagram feed.
Using Planoly scheduling allows me to create a beautiful feed with minimal hassle.
I use this internet password organizer to store all the passwords and usernames to all websites connected to my blog.
These free blog planner checklist templates are simple, cleanly designed and easy to follow, to keep your ideas and thoughts flowing and the best bit is they’re completely free!
Trying to stop a toddler from hitting and biting can be a really difficult time for most parents. In this post, I will share with you some techniques I used on my son to help him control his aggressive behaviour.
Q. Why is my toddler hitting and biting me?
Is a question I get asked all the time, from parents with kids of all ages.
Most kids go through the hitting stage.
It is one of the most challenging, frustrating and confusing times a parent can face, one which leaves the parent left with self-doubt, blame and guilt.
For a lot of parents, the toddler hitting stage is short-lived, for some, like me it can go on for years.
I have two children, my eldest is 9, and my youngest is now 5.
With my eldest, the hitting stage included biting and scratching, resulting in my husband going to work most mornings with scratches down his face and me with bite marks on my hands, all caused by something as trivial as my daughter being carried upstairs for bedtime or being given the wrong coloured cup at breakfast.
Now, when I look at my beautiful, kind, gentle 9-year-old, it seems impossible to remember that this was the same child!
Let me also point out that she never hit another child as far as I’m aware; she only directed it at my husband and me.
We tried everything we could to break the habit,
Jo Frost techniques, which were marvellous for most other issues but it didn’t help us with this particular issue.
Explanations about why she should not do it.
Bribery (on desperate days, when we had to to get to an appointment )
Threats ( “you won’t get this”, or ” I’ll take that away from you”.)
The naughty step which was terrific for other behaviours but ineffective to our hitting issues.
Nothing worked! She had this overwhelming rage which just exploded into a mass of fur and sinew, and suddenly she was out of control, and I found myself in the middle of a brawl with a 2-year-old, it was terrifying!
I’d like to tell you that due to my amazing parenting skills, we managed to change her behaviour, but that was not the case!
We went on holiday with our lovely friends and their amazing little kids, and she just stopped doing it overnight. I suppose she just grew out of that stage.
There may have been a few factors which could have contributed to the sudden ending of this hideous behaviour,
a different routine
being with her friends who although were the same sort of age as her, didn’t behave that way to their parents
she turned three while we were on holiday.
It was a few things I believe, but I’ll leave that to the experts!
My son was an entirely different kettle of fish, his rages were utterly overwhelming they included kicking, spitting, hitting, shoving, and he would follow me around the house charging at me as I tried to walk away.
He would smash and throw anything that he could get his hands on. Usually, if he couldn’t get his own way.
Again we tried everything, including going on holiday! Nothing worked!
To my knowledge, he didn’t direct his at other kids, or my daughter, again it seemed directed at my husband and me.
It was exhausting, overwhelming and it left me feeling hopeless and as if I had failed as a parent.
Like most other parents I was tenacious about getting to the bottom of what was going on in his little brain.
I realised after analysing every single stage of these horrendous tantrums that;
He knew it was wrong
He knew there were consequences
He understood he was hurting people both physically and emotionally
He seemed to like a reaction
He would get worse if you tried to ignore his behaviour
I could not prevent it by giving advanced countdown at bedtime, bath time etc.
It was not through lack of routine or clear boundaries
He was not willing to apologise afterwards
The conclusion I came to was, that he needed to see at the end of each day how he had behaved, I felt this was the key, I felt that instead of using words if I had some way of visually letting him know that his behaviour was unacceptable then I’d crack it.
How to stop a toddler from hitting and biting.
I first decided I needed a warning sign to let him know his behaviour was getting out of line and had heard about the traffic light system, I needed the system to be mobile, so I could use it when we were not at home
I like this little tool because rather than yelling at him outside or over a crowded room at a party or sports hall, I can flash him an amber warning card and he stops what he’s doing.
Likewise, if I see him sharing or being kind I flash him a green card with a big smile then, he gets excited and carries on being kind.
If he did something dreadful the red one would come out but amazingly I’ve not needed to use that yet as I’ve always caught him when he’s at the amber stage!
Next, I needed a visual aid which would let him see for himself how he has behaved, after a lot of research I found this Visual Interactive Behaviour Board I loved the idea of giant clear ticks and crosses and straightforward pictures.
I loved the idea of this chart because my son can see how his day has progressed in a clear and precise manner, he can almost see himself hurting people, shouting and breaking things, and the times that he has behaved amazingly well.
I knew I needed to reward him for his good days and to reward those green ticks. So I decided to set up a reward chart where he would get a green smiley face if he had all green ticks at the and of the day, an amber sticker if it was the mixture of ticks and crosses and red face if his chart had more red crosses the end of the day.
with this Reward chart, I didn’t want to use the stickers which came with the chart as I wanted continuity of the traffic light system throughout.
Q. How does a toddler behaviour chart stop my child from hitting people?
If I see him doing something well, I put a green tick on his chart next to the picture of what he’s done well ~ for instance, listening, sharing, being gentle.
If I see him doing something he knows is wrong he gets a red cross next to the picture ~ for instance kicking, breaking things, shouting.
At the end of each day before bed, we look at his chart and discuss the pictures
If his chart has mostly green ticks, he gets a green smiley face on his reward chart
If the chart is primarily red crosses, he receives a red sticker on his reward chart
If he has an equal amount of ticks and crosses, he gets an amber sticker on his reward chart.
At the end of the week, we check his reward chart if he has mostly smiley green faces he gets his chosen treat.
Mostly greens and amber, I’d use my discretion and review how busy our week was, how tired he was, and how his behaviour was, to decide whether he should get his reward.
Mostly reds and amber, he will not get his chosen treat.
Although my little man had responded well to reward charts in the past, it had never been successful in curbing this issue, so I was praying that this would resonate with him.
We went through all the little pictures, ticks and crosses, stickers and charts and he found it all very funny, this, of course, didn’t fill me with confidence!
Using the toddler behaviour chart.
It was the first thing he mentioned when he got up, so we discussed which reward he would like if his weekly reward chart was mostly green stickers, he decided he wanted to go to Lyme Park for a picnic which is one of his favourite things to do.
All went well for a few hours until he pulled the cat’s tail, I asked him to be gentle, and he flew into a rage. I calmly put a cross on his chart for shouting and one for not being gentle with the cat.
He was devastated and apologised to both the cat and me immediately without prompting, which was something he always struggled with before, then broke down in floods of tears.
The rest of the day his behaviour was terrific, and he got green ticks to fill up his chart, resulting in his first green smiley face of the week and one step further to his reward. At the end of the night, we discussed all the green ticks and the red crosses, and he could tell me how his behaviour had made me and the cat feel.
He was so pleased with himself he went to bed a calm and happy little boy.
He was very excited to get his ticks
He, for the most part, filled his chart with green ticks and smiley faces.
He had a day where they were mostly red.
But that was when he was out with grandparents so I think he thought he would be able to get away with it; however, my mother in law is great at communicating and continuing with the boundaries we set when she has the kids, which is a godsend.
He was devastated that the behaviour he had exhibited out of the house with other people would affect his reward chard!
He has a few slips now and again, mostly yelling. He has primarily green ticks with an occasional red one dotted in which is usually probably for rude behaviour.
I am now calmer, I feel more in control, respected and relieved that this has broken that awful cycle.
I feel that his behaviour now is more in line with most of his peers and I’m proud of him for that.
He is immensely proud of his green stickers and ticks and works very hard to earn them, and he has a better understanding of how his behaviour was disruptive and how it was affecting people around him.
He is pausing before acting on impulse now as he knows he’s responsible for getting his green ticks and not blaming everyone else (including the cat) for his behaviour.
Why I think the toddler behaviour chart works with older children.
The reason I think my method works so well with my son is that
I believe he is a visual thinker and learner.
I think my words both positive and negative were not resonating with him, and I was never actually making any difference to his choices because it was as if he wasn’t listening and wasn’t hearing me.
The key ring gave him a fair warning visually even across a room that his behaviour was either acceptable, superb or unacceptable
He was able to make the correct choice for himself rather than being told to stop, so he had no one to argue with and fight against
It also let him know that I was checking on him even if I wasn’t standing next to him.
The chart enabled us to deal with a situation immediately without a punishment. Therefore, it was over and done with within a matter of seconds, no threats, no consequences.
It enabled him to be judged fairly on the day’s behaviour and not just an isolated incident being brought on by hunger, tiredness overstimulation etc.
If he did get a red cross on his chart, he tried extra hard not to get another. And he realised that his choices determined whether he got his reward at the end of the week, there was no punishment as such just no reward and that was the turning point for him, he loved his rewards and would do anything to make sure he didn’t lose them.
He was able to relate to each picture on his chart to understand what we expected of him, something which explaining, coaxing or scolding had failed at.
I am aware each child has different needs, skill set, abilities and personality. Age is a huge reason too, however, due to this system being simple I feel this would have worked on my little boy at an earlier age too.
I’m relieved that this has worked for me after nothing else I’d tried was working, and I’m pretty sure that cat feels the same way!
organizing school papers can be a never-ending job with a constant stream of paperwork arriving through the door. In this post, I will share with you a simple way to keep all those fiddly bits of paper organised and to hand whenever you need them!
Why we need to organize school paperwork.
Firstly, let’s look at how much paper arrives through our door from school and how we usually deal with it.
Party invitations ~ these arrive in your house in copious amounts and either get stuck to the fridge or end up in a heap with all the other piles of paperwork which you need to trawl through and organise. One week before the party you panic that you haven’t replied to the invitation and frantically search through the items in a pile only to find the invitation is missing and has ended up who knows where!
Parent events and parent evening letters, you think you’ll remember the date, then panic at the last minute and realise it was yesterday!
School sports activities, you didn’t write it down and you need to book the time off work but can’t find the paperwork!
School calendars, who has time put that information into a diary?
World book day letters and many other non-uniform messages these are often found in the bottom of a book bag the day before the event.
School project with deadlines letter, you forgot to write it down, you assume your child will remember, they don’t until the day before its due in.
School competition letters, stick it in the pile you’ve got ages yet!
school trip letters, you realise on the morning of the trip that you’ve got no bread for the packed lunch you were supposed to make!
The list is endless, but they do all have one thing in common, either you need to sign for it, pay for it, attend it, or it has a deadline!
Oh and you can multiply the quantity of paperwork by the number of children you have at school!
Q. How do I start organizing school papers
Here is a super quick way to start organizing school papers, it is mobile and accessible at any time of the day or night.
I have a super easy plan to keep it all organised and it’s so simple it is genius!
Write the event straight into your diary, or on the calendar. I prefer to use my phone’s calendar because I always have it with me, and can see at a glance what I’m doing if needed.
File all of those bits of paper immediately, I will be showing you the best method to do this in a moment!
Reply to any invitations immediately! I can guarantee if you leave it, you won’t reply until its almost too late and you’ll be scrambling around at the last minute looking for an invitation with the number on it!
You will need
A page a day planner.
Steps to organizing school papers
Firstly check the date of the event on your school paperwork or party invitation
In this case, it would be Wednesday 18th October at 4 pm
2. Find the corresponding page in your diary.
3. Fold the paperwork or invitation to A5 size (or the size of your diary page) if necessary, then staple the invitation or letter to the corresponding diary page.
And that is all there is to it!
You now have a filing system you can take with you on the go and one which is easily accessible user-friendly, and super organised and super cheap!
Make sure you buy presents and wrap them for upcoming parties or events.
Starting your own lifestyle blog can be terrifying! Pressing your first publish button is a really daunting experience. In this post, I will show you how to start lifestyle blogging without spending any money.
Do you want to be a lifestyle blogger?
Have you got loads of information from your own lifestyle that you’d like to blog about?
Do you sit down at your keyboard, and not know where to start?
Do you want to start a blog?
Have you heard about a WordPress blog and the free platform Blogger, but you’re not at all technically savvy and have no clue where to begin?
I have been where you are, I had no clue where to begin, I made lots of mistakes at the beginning and wasted a huge amount of time trying to fix them.
I spent many nighttime hours trying to learn how to start a blog while my family slept sweetly upstairs.
Everything seemed so complicated and it had me tearing my hair out trying to understand what everything meant.
I didn’t pay for courses and I didn’t pay for people to design stuff for me. I did it all myself without spending a penny.
As my own blog content grew I became more confident and became better informed as to where I would like to invest money in my blog.
If I didn’t know how to do something I looked it up on Youtube and did it a thousand times until I got it right!
Enough about my struggles getting to grips with the world of lifestyle blogging here’s what I’ve got for you!
The good news is that you don’t have to sit up till the early hours pulling your hair out!
In this post, I’m going to give you a straightforward guide to the tools I use and a step by step guide to lifestyle blogging and setting up a successful lifestyle blog. And it’s not going to cost you a penny! You don’t have to sign up for anything. It’s all in this post in bite-size pieces for free because I’m such a nice person and you’ve caught me in a good mood!
I will explain the blogging jargon in the most simplified terms I can, so you can get started quickly, without having to wade through tons of information, if you feel you need further explanations of the terms you can always look up more info as you need it or contact me at email@example.com
In this post, I will show you the free tools you need, to start lifestyle blogging without spending any money at all!
Although it is possible to blog without spending money, you may find that you do want to upgrade to some plans to enable you to grow with your blog and to take it in the direction that suits you. So I have included in most of my recommendations and the reasons why it may be preferable to upgrade, allowing you to decide whether that would be the best option for you.
What is lifestyle blogging?
Lifestyle blogging is mainly writing content created by the experience of the lifestyle blogger. Inspired by the lifestyle blogger’s everyday experiences and daily activities. There is no fixed niche with a lifestyle blog you can write about anything you like!
Lifestyle blogging ideas.
Being a lifestyle blogger allows you the freedom to get away from the shackles of having a niche topic and allows you to write about any topic you want. there are many lifestyle blogging topics here are a few ideas to get you started!
Health: you may like to write about your experiences with certain health issues of yourself or a loved one and how this affects your daily life and activities.
Depression: this subject is a great topic to write about to help and inspire other on their journey through depression.
Postpartum depression: your experiences are so useful for other parents to read about to remind them they are not alone.
Weening: this is a huge topic and could be full of tips and tricks to help other mums.
Breastfeeding: you could write about breastfeeding, your experience and how it impacted your life.
Toddlers; the list is endless on this subject and if you’ve got a toddler you’re open to any advice or funny story you can get your hands on!
Craft: tutorials, favourite craft stores, how to posts.
Day trips: where you’ve been, places to visit, what to do with kids
Best beaches: this one speaks for its self with the opportunity for lots of photo taking!
Pets: who doesn’t like to read about pets! The more unusual the better!
DIY: how to posts, tutorials, before and after and of course the big reveal!
Kids: again the topics are endless!
Gifts: the perfect gifts for…, gives a great opportunity for affiliate links.
Fashion: outfit of the day, shop my style and many more!
Art: artist of the month, galleries to visit, showcase your own artwork, art tutorials.
Books: book club, a book of the month, top ten books, book reviews.
Films: film reviews, top ten films, seasonal films
Tutorials: if you can teach someone to do something write a post about it!
Product review: write a review on your favourite product!
Essential oils: cleaning, health, recipes
Home decor: shop the look, favourite products, upcycling.
How to start a lifestyle blog.
The first thing you need to think about is who your target audience is, and what it is you’d like to tell them!
If you’ve no idea what you’d like to write about, think about:
The things you are passionate about
A subject that you spend hours reading about
A topic you enjoy talking about
Something which takes up most of your leisure time.
Whatever are you an expert on
It’s easy to waffle on about not very much in the early days of blogging, if you pick a niche it helps you stay within an umbrella of topics.
You should always try to consider what people are searching for in google and then try to answer their question. For instance, if you are writing about your soggy camping trip in Wales, then you might be better writing about the top 10 things to do for kids while camping in Wales and write about your experiences.
Examples of lifestyle blogs
What is a lifestyle blog? Lifestyle blogging is blogging about life and can cover a huge range of categories, so for instance, someone who lives by the sea may write a surfing lifestyle blog. Here are some examples of lifestyle blog categories :
Vegan lifestyle blogs
Men’s lifestyle blogs
Vintage lifestyle blogs
Bohemian lifestyle blogs
Outdoor lifestyle blogs
Holistic lifestyle blogs
Creative lifestyle blogs
Frugal lifestyle blogs
Photography lifestyle blog
London lifestyle blog
Lifestyle blogging should be about what you enjoy and do all the time, it should be a reflection of you but should also impart some information about what you do rather than just storytelling. So, for instance, if you decided to write a vegan lifestyle blog it would be helpful to include things like recipes, places to eat, vegan makeup brands and other helpful things for fellow vegans.
Although its good to write storytelling posts and have a unique voice, most people using the internet are looking for information, and what better place to get it from than your blog!
Creating a brand for your lifestyle blog
Your blog should reflect your personality and should be instantly recognisable among the thousands of other lifestyle bloggers out there. It should have a clear font and should be uncluttered to make it easy to navigate.
Colours you love
Blogs which inspire you.
You can get help from a web designer like The Hungry jpeg to help you with quirky fonts, templates and graphics to reflect your own personality!
Choosing a name for your lifestyle blog.
This is the fun bit of starting a blog, here you can really make your personality shine! I’ve included some more information at the bottom of this post in the Q&A section where I discuss how to choose a name for a lifestyle blog.
Now we get to the nitty-gritty part of lifestyle blogging, where to start! starting a lifestyle blog can get overwhelming and quite complicated, I’ve outlined a few steps aimed at a beginner blogger to get you started.
Picking a domain name.
You will need to decide what your blog is going to be called; it needs to be unique, easy to remember, and preferably relevant to your topic.
It is better to choose a domain name which is less complicated and easy to spell this will help enormously when people come to search for you on google.
After you have decided what your name will be, it is advisable to purchase a domain name.
Having a domain name is like having an address for your blog, and it allows anyone to find you on the internet by typing in your domain name into the search engine. You can then connect your domain name to a website or email address.
Domain names can be bought for quite cheaply and can rise a lot in price depending on where you purchase it.
It’s wise to note that you can buy your domain and host from the same company or from separate companies the choice is yours!
I started out with Blogger but soon found that I was quite limited with branding, and how I wanted to share my blog on social media, so I decided to change to WordPress, which I felt was a better fit for me.
WordPress has many different free and paid themes.
A theme is how your blog looks, you can either go for one of the free themes on WordPress, or you can pay for a theme, depending on your preference.
Weebly is also a site which can help you design your blog if you don’t like any of the other available themes.
How to find a host for your lifestyle blog
Hosting is the space where your blog is stored and shared on the internet, you will need to find a host to enable your posts to be seen by other people.
There are some free options for hosting by WordPress and Blogger, but their services can be quite limited. If you pay for hosting you can install things such as free plugins which help you do things like:
Share your posts on social media
Check your statistics and visitors to your blog.
Help you sign people up to your website
Redirect any broken links
Help you with SEO ( search engine optimisation)
Make a cookie warning
and many other things, it also allows you to be able to start making money on your blog with affiliate links.
If you decide to self-host then you will own your blog and all of its content, if you are not self-hosted, then your blogging platform such as WordPress will own your blog and all its content, this means that they can shut your blog down at any time without giving any explanation. It’s a bit like building a huge house on someone else’s land and they decide they don’t want you living there any more! they often put ads on your free site and this may stop you from being able to add your own ads to your site in the future.
I would think about choosing a recommended host who will give you the best technical support such as
If you decide not to self-host your blog will have an address which connects to your blogging platform so, for instance, my address looks like this www.theorganizeruk.com if I were not self-hosted it would look like this www.theorganizeruk.wordpress.com or www.theorganizeruk.blogger.com
Being self-hosted also allows me to have my email address which looks like this firstname.lastname@example.org which I use for communicating on a business level.
Affiliate programs such as these give you commission based on products people purchase after clicking on the special links on your blog which you create from the affiliate site.
You should choose links which are relevant to the subject you are writing about.
Create amazing readable content
Write, write, write!
This is the fun bit!
Keep your voice throughout your post and remember that people like to be given information in an easy to follow, simple fashion unless you’re writing a food blog they probably don’t want to know what you had for breakfast!
People like to read about things that they are going to learn something from, so, if you are writing a travel blog they want to hear about great places to eat, visit or how to travel with kids, rather than what happened when you went to visit great Aunty Mary for her 80th birthday!
Make sure you save it your post as a draft as you need to add a few extra things and edit your post before you hit the publish button!
Blog post ideas for a lifestyle blog.
Creating great content for your blog is essential here are a few examples of what to include in your lifestyle blog post and still remain current and helpful.
Think about things that you may search for if you were looking for advice on your chosen subject, what can you help people with, what can you teach people, what have you experience in, or are an expert in?
Places to eat
Things to see
Things to make
How to posts
What is the best camera for lifestyle blogging?
It can be a real headache creating perfect images for your blog, and there are many cameras to choose from. One of my favourite cameras is the Nikon B500
Social media dictates that we must have the best images to create visually appealing content, so it’s important that as a beginner you have a camera which cuts down your editing time by sending you photos straight to your phone via a constant Bluetooth link. This camera features HD video recording which will be perfect when you start to branch out into the world of Vlogging!
It’s good to do some research to find the right camera for your lifestyle blogging needs, but for those of you just starting out, the Nikon comes highly recommended!
How to add graphics to your blog post
If you’ve taken your own photos, then this is the time to add them.
Do this by uploading your photos using the “add media” tab at the top of your blog post, make sure that you fill in the “alt text” boxes with a relevant title for your photos as this will help them show up in a google search.
If you are not using your own photos you will need to use images from a stockphoto source, there are
Free stock photo images from sites such as pixabay
I used free images when I first started blogging, but I had heard about cases where some bloggers had not been able to prove where their photographs had come from and were sued by fraudsters.
So I decided to stay on the safe side and now choose to purchase my images to avoid this issue.
If you do choose to use a free image site its advisable to take a screenshot of the image downloading, so, you have proof that the image was indeed on a free image site.
How to optimize a blog post for SEO
To give your posts a chance of being seen on the internet and to get lots of traffic (visitors) to your blog you need to have good SEO
To enable you to get an excellent SEO ranking (to improve your posts showing up on google) you are advised to add a few things at this stage to your blog.
Outbound links: These are links to other sites that you recommend such as a favourite website which is relevant to your post, or your favourite lifestyle bloggers, article or reference source. It is better for your blog if you link to blogs who are more established than yours. so aim for high quality links and backlinks.
Internal links: All your posts in certain categories should link together to form a cohesive link to each other, this helps Google think that you are an expert on the subject you are writing about, which gives your website a better chance of ranking and getting traffic. these links should be relevant to the post you’ve written and should interest the reader. the more links to internal posts you include in each post the better your chances of ranking, as long as it’s a relevant link. You can link to other posts once you’ve written more articles! These links are important as they create a link juice which flows through your website and enables Google to recognise that you are an authority on the subject you are writing about.
Keywords: these give your post searchability, so you need to pick a relevant long-tailed keyword and make sure your post contains this keyword throughout. It should be included in your title, your image alt tags, at least one header and at least a couple of times in your post. Do not overstuff your post with keywords as it will make you look inauthentic.
I use Keysearch for my keyword research, it allows me to find popular keywords that lots of people are searching for but have a low competition level, which means that not many other bloggers are writing about that subject, to help me write posts which will help me to reach that all-important first page and number 1 spot on google! Keysearch also has a tool which lets you know the keyword difficulty level that you should be searching for depending on the strength of your site! You can grab a month’s free trial by using the link below!
Editing your blog post
There is nothing more off-putting than stumbling upon a blog post with hundreds of grammatical errors. So make sure you edit, edit, edit then edit some more!
Read and re-read your post, check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. I find it easier to read my post aloud to myself as this stops me from skip reading or speed reading which doesn’t help me spot any errors.
I use Grammarly to help me check for any errors in my blog posts, it is user-friendly, and there is a free option or a paid version depending on your needs and budget. It corrects spelling mistakes, passive voice, grammar, punctuation and passive voice. There is also a section where you can double check that you haven’t plagurised anyone elses work by accident!
Publishing your blog post.
Pressing publish never gets any easier even after youve been blogging for years! It is a terrifying moment especially the first time. take care not to keep going back trying to make everything perfect, get some content written so your audience has got something to read!
Hopefully, with the all these amazing tips I’ve shared you should have lots of traffic rolling in soon! As you start to develop your own style of writing, gain more experience and confidence you should find your audience grows and grows!
Nobody is perfect and a blog is the same as anything, it gets better with practice. Every seasoned successful blogger looks back at their first posts and cringes at the mistakes they made.
Don’t beat yourself up trying to be like other bloggers just hit publish and don’t look back!
As soon as I have published a blog post I share it on all my social media accounts
Facebook, I have a facebook page related to my blog and also run a facebook group within my niche which I share all my new posts to.
Twitter, this is not a great platform for me and I don’t get much traffic from here but I know a lot of bloggers who do!
Instagram again this is not much of a success for me but I probably need to spend more time on posting stuff!
Pinterest group boards. This is where my traffic rockets a huge percentage of my traffic comes from Pinterest. I also have group boards you can join if you’d like to share your posts just contact me on email@example.com if you’d like some invitations!
Google +, I don’t see much traffic from Google + and dont know many other bloggers who do either!
This is made more accessible by using a social share plug-in on WordPress.
To allow me to create beautiful graphics for my Instagram,Pinterest and Facebook posts I use canva.com, as with most things I recommend there is a free version and a paid version, at the moment I am still using the free version which allows me to create beautiful graphics such as these
How to get people to sign up to your mailing list
To enable me to convert traffic to subscribers on my blog I need to get them to subscribe to my updates. To allow them to do this, I use the free version of MailChimp
which will enable me to send Newsletters, free opt-ins, free checklists and my weekly blog posts to my subscribers once they have subscribed using the subscribe box on my blog, again this is all done via the WordPress Mailchimp plugin!
Scheduling your social media posts
Due to hectic working and family life, I’m not always able to post to my social media accounts when I want to, so I schedule most things out.
Here’s how I do it!
To schedule my Instagram posts, I use the free version of Planoly.
Planoly enables me to use the beautiful posts I’ve created on Canva to schedule them beautifully as you can see in the photo above. I can schedule up to 30 posts per month on Instagram using the free plan which means that I get to post at least every day, even if I’m busy or on holiday! If you’d like to schedule more, you can check out their other paid plans. Tailwind also has a new Instagram scheduler in its paid plan, and also has a great little hashtag finder tool too!
To grow your brand and followers it is advised that you should be pinning 50 to 100 pins per day on Pinterest, 30% your own pins and 70 % other peoples pins.
A lot of my traffic comes from Pinterest, so to allow me to post throughout the day to various group boards in my niche I use Tailwind
I currently pin approximately 50 pins per day and tend to schedule them when I am sitting waiting for the kids at a sports activity! I use the paid plan but its worth it to me for the price of a posh coffee as it frees up my time and does drive a lot of traffic to my site.
What areas of lifestyle blogging should I focus on? As with any blog, it’s always best to write about something you are passionate about and will not get bored with after writing about it for a while. If you consider yourself an expert on something then that would be great to use a subject matter.
Is lifestyle blogging profitable? Every niche has the potential to be profitable these days, the way to make money blogging is to create a trustworthy brand that people buy into. Once you have built up a large following of loyal readers and a good social presence you can then concentrate on monetising your blog. The more traffic you get to your blog the more money you stand to make.
How do I increase traffic to my lifestyle blog? One of the best ways to increase traffic to your lifestyle blog is to get onto the first page of Google and preferably hit the top spot in the search engine, however, competition is fierce and it can be easy to get hidden behind all the other lifestyle bloggers out there. Make sure you’re writing better posts than the ones at the number one slot and make sure you are optimising every post for SEO.
You should also consider sharing on Pinterest and other social media channels to get some traffic but bare in mind social media can be fickle and can change overnight, plummeting your traffic with it!
How do you choose some great lifestyle blog names? Choosing a name for your blog is one of the most daunting things you have to do when setting up a lifestyle blog. there are a few things to consider when thinking about lifestyle blog names.
Your audience, you need to make sure that your name resonates with your audience, the last thing you want to do is alienate your audience. so for example, if you wanted to write about your parenting skills and be taken seriously you wouldn’t call yourself “the drunken mummy diaries”!
Think how your name will look like as a domain name so for instance “teachers talking” will become ” teacherstalking” when it’s in a domain name. Likewise “Lilli light bites” will look like” lillilightbites’ which for anyone trying to search is a nightmare
Make it easy to remember, people need to be able to search for your name straight away, and to be able to do that, they need to be able to pronounce it and remember it.
Make it easy to spell, keeping your lifestyle blog name short and easy to spell will make it easier for people to search for you.
Make it unique, be memorable, make sure no one else has a similar name to you, you need to stand out in the huge crowd of other successful lifestyle bloggers.
Try to make your blog name relevant to whatever you chose to write about. So, for example, I wouldn’t expect “travel with twins” to lead me to a website about DIY. It wouldn’t be what I’d expected to see and I’d bounce right back out of your site, which would tell Google you’re not worth visiting!
What are the best posts for a lifestyle blog? There are tons of subjects to cover to cover when lifestyle blogging and you should be able to link to each post from another one of your posts so for instance if you were writing about the “easiest way to travel with a toddler” a great post to link to that would be “ten top things to pack for a toddler beach trip”. You should always make sure there is some sense to your posts so your site is easy to navigate.
Craft blog post examples: tutorials, organising craft supplies, favourite stores.
Photography blog post examples: tutorials, camera reviews, showcasing, favourite subjects to photograph.
Travel blog post examples : best places to eat, best places to visit, how to pack, local tourist sites.
Well, I hope you have found this a helpful guide, and I hope its given you the confidence to hit the publish button and start on your amazing journey to successful lifestyle blogging!
If you’ve any questions you’d like to ask me about lifestyle blogging, leave a comment below!
This post contains affiliate links which means that I get a small commission if you purchase anything through these links, this allows me to cover the costs of running this blog.
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