1st WordPress Anniversary

1 07 2013

wordpressI have just received notification from WordPress today that it my is one year blogging anniversary.


207 posts later

6048 total views

1085 views last month in comparason to 18 in my first ever month

Average of 36 views per day

Started postaday challenge on 17/01/2013 still going strong 6 months later.


The first anniversary is usually marked with a paper gift – maybe I should treat myself to some post-it notes or a journal to record my ideas.



Advice to new bloggers

2 06 2013


My baby sister called me this evening and apparently I have inspired her to join the blogging community. She is not the first; I appear to have encouraged a number of people to “give it a go”. This is really flattering but having been inspired by two blogging friends myself I remember reading their blogs and wondering how on earth they had mananged to come up with topics to write about.

My sister has only written a few posts so far but is keen to get creative and may even be encouraged to commit to posting once a day. However she is experiencing the typical writers block and nerves that any new blogger faces in the first month.

I am far from an expert on the subject of blogging. However I have managed to sustain my initial enthusiasm and currently post at least once a day.  I often have writers block but I have always pushed myself to keep writing. I have enjoyed the experience and appreciate this outlet for my creativity and want to share the advive I have offered my sister with anyone who is new to blogging and the wordpress community.

To all new bloggers – for what it is worth – this is my advice:

1/ Create a great “About” page: Nothing is more off-putting than one of those “this is an example of a page” messages. As a visitor to any new site; I tend to read recommended posts, maybe check out a few recent posts and I ALWAYS read the About page – this is how I can decide if it is a site I wish to follow and/or recommend. You will alter this regularly (as I do) as you start to generate followers and recognise what is unique about your site.

2/ Make sure you add categories and tags to all posts: This gives readers a quick way of accessing the topics you write about that they are most interested in reading. This is especially important if your blog is ecclectic and jumps from topic to topic. It is also a good way of making sure your Blog comes up in online searches.

3/ Write regularly: If you have written nothing new there is no reason for new visitors to check out your site and as a lot of people will check out more than one post when they visit. Remember, just because your post on that particular day is not a literary masterpiece doesnt mean new visitors wont stumble across some of you better work.

4/ Check out Freshly pressed: After all the more blogs you read and like and/or follow the more people will want to check out what you have written and its good for inspiration.

5/ Read a few random blogs each day: You expect people to read what you have written so return the favour.

6/ Use Social Media to drive site traffic: When you are ready to share your blog with close friends and family (and it is common to not want to do this straight away) – tag it on facebook and other social media sites. I personally took a long time to develop the confidence to do this but it really paid off and I discovered that my friends were very supportive and keen to read what I had writen.

7/ Read the Daily Post: This is a wealth of information about generating site traffic but also provides daily prompts and creative photo and writing challenges that will help you generate ideas for your blog.

8/ Postaday: If you are posting once a day, tag your posts with postaday and add a badge – this made a significant difference to my stats when I first started.

9/ Be unique: Do not be afraid to discuss your personal passions. Both myself and FFOMC receive regular visitors viewing the most obscure topics that we have written about.

10/ Try the 30 day challenge below:

30 day blog challengeWe all need ideas from time to time and getting started is the most difficult part. Once you have established a habit you will find is easier to come up with topics but the list above is a great way of creating content right at the beginning – I wish I had a copy when I first started out!

Mind the gap

3 05 2013


Regular readers will have realised that Blogging has brought out my competitive spirit.

Over the last few months I have become totally addicted to my stats screen.

I am of course mindful of the fact that monitoring my most popular topics could be used to inform my choice of topics in an attempt to manipulate my site statistics but much as I want to engage readers I do not want this to stand in the way of my personal progress and I want to explore a range of topics and styles of writing before I settle on any specific genre or theme. This personal project has been a fantastic outlet for my creativity and I have some way to go before I will consistently attract large numbers of regular readers.

In my job role as a Drama teacher I have realised that the best work usually starts with the statement ” This may not work, but…

I want to explore many ideas that dont work in the quest for the gems and moments of inspiration that define great writers. I try to reflect my mood and obsessions as they arise each day. I love the pressure of my goal to post once a day and some of my most creative posts have been the product of the last minute panic to write SOMETHING at 11:59pm.

However back to my competitive streak – my husband is a fellow blogger and despite his more irratic approach he is still 1532 views ahead of me!

I am determined to overtake him in time for my 1 year blogging anniversary in July.

I need to generate some good material to achieve this goal as he has been lucky enough to stumble across some really niche topics that continue to attract readers months after they were first posted simply because there is only limited information online anywhere else.


31 03 2013

In a bid to help me organise my writing a little better – my husband has just installed Evernote on my laptop.

In truth I think his efforts to help me get organised are part of his ongoing procastination over actually writing his book.


Since his return to blogging on 18th March he has written about how rubbish it is that he left it 70 days between posts, a great quiz inviting his readers to guess whether a series of photos were real places or CGI, his goal to create the world for his book, his first attempt at creating a map of the world his characters will inhabit, a list of the fantasy books that sparked his interest, an exam about the cliches dominating the fantasy genre, a blog in which he explores the pros and cons of available software for writers.

As he was happily tapping away on my laptop and extoling the virtues of Evernote I pointed out the fact that he had not actually written a word of his book in this time. He acknowledged that this was true and suggested that maybe he should start by creating an outline so he knows where his story is going. When I retorted that this was simply another stalling technique – he simply ignored me.

However Evernote does seem to be a great software program that will definitely help me to organise my work and keep better track of my ideas. It is a good way to:

  • Create text, photo and audio notes
  • Clip web pages including text, links, and images
  • Synchronize your notes across your devices
  • Search for text within snapshots and images

But in the true spirit of this post I will start using it…tomorrow

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25 03 2013

Thank you to Parenting and Stuff for being the 250th like on my Blog!

On the about page Parenting and Stuff is described as: A mom to 3 kids, 2 dogs and 1 cat, (so far, but who’s counting) I know all the secrets to being a great and a perfect parent, and will reveal all of them to you in this blog, for free!!

She goes on to say that it is not a Blog about how to be a great parent but “a place for sharing with you special moments, wonders, worries, solutions, failures and successes …everything that can maybe help other people like me, who knows less from day to day about this mystery called  parenthood”.

I wish this woman all the success in the world and hope I will one day be as inspirational to prospective parents as she has been to me 🙂

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I need at least 100 views to beat my husbands stats!

23 03 2013


The heat is on!

Inspired by my 100th Blog post my husband has started Blogging again. He is known online as Jezzarath or FFOMC (future father of my children).

Check out his site at: http://sofaruntitled.wordpress.com/about/

His return to blogging follows a significant break.

Initially I was delighted by this. I am after all, supportive of his creative endeavours and as I have mentioned before I started my own Blog because I was inspired by his writting. However my initial happiness about his reintegration into the blogging world was short lived as today, only three days after he started to write again he has managed to secure about 150 views of his site. Not fair!!!

This has brought out my competitive side! So the game in on hunny! Good luck and I love you but I WANT TO WIN!!!!

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100th Blog Post

18 03 2013

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It was back in July 2012 that I started Blogging. I was inspired by my husbands Blog and his efforts to get into the habit of writing regularly. I also needed a new challenge to get my creative juices flowing and do something that was just for me.

I was slow to start with and struggled to find inspiration at the beginning; as a result it took me months to find the dedication to commit to a post a day but I am now in the swing of things.

At the point of writing my 100th post I have the following stats:

Best Ever views = 56

Total Views = 2305

Best Week = 231

Total Comments = 66

Best month = 687 views in February 2013

61 days of writing a post every day.

Three majoy themes have emerged: Finance, Aducation and Parenthood.

I know that in blogland these are far from the most impressive stats but I am so proud of myself for sticking with it and I am so grateful to the regular followers who stop by and take an interest in what I have written.

I hope to continue as I am for now but it would be lovely to attempt more demanding writing projects in the future – I have a few things in mind.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading my Blog, I hope you like what you read and continue to stop by and enjoy reading what I write.

I'm part of Post A Day 2013