Blogging & Inspiration Part Two

Hello! A few weeks ago you may remember I wrote a post about my own thoughts on blogging and where I find inspiration. It got a pretty overwhelming response on here and on social media. I wrote the post to get out all the random clutter in my head and as a way of trying to focus these thoughts for the forthcoming talk I was to give on blogging. Thanks to everyone who gave me such great feedback and support. I hugely appreciate that. 

For a while before I had to do the presentation I was an ostrich, totally burying my head in the sand. I'm a procrastinator at heart, easily able to find other projects to distract me from the tasks I really need to complete, especially if they frighten me. And boy does public speaking frighten me. With one week to go I had to pull my head out of the sand and get a presentation sorted out - learn PowerPoint, focus on the main topics and research the heck out of some areas of blogging. Google 'blogging tips and hints' and you are opening yourself up to thousands upon thousands of nuggets of information, some that make your head feel like it will explode, others so simple that I kicked myself for not doing them. Ultimately I had to make the decision what to include for bloggers and non-bloggers and make it twenty minutes long. That was super hard, because there is so much information out there that you can't possibly cover everything you want to say or show. So I opted to share some of my own experiences and posts at the same time as chatting about how some of my favourite bloggers work, yet each writing with our own unique voices. 

I have to say I was nervous before giving the talk, then it passed, then it came again, little waves of panic rose up in my mouth, and I fought the urge to spout out nonsense. On the whole, I think I did okay and twenty minutes turned into over an hour due to the fact that I was asked so many great questions by the audience. It was a pleasure for me to meet and chat to this group in Sheffield and if you are local to that area with a little one or two, do head along as it's a great project run by some super talented Mamas

One of the best things about this experience for me was actually finding myself get more inspired again. My creativity on here often wanes as it does for a lot of other bloggers I'm sure. Yet, writing that presentation helped me to focus on my own goals, ideas and possibilities. And for that I'm so grateful. I've shared my presentation as a PDF file with the Mama Social ladies as it has (hopefully) some helpful ways to use social media, photography and suggestions on ways to improve their own blogging experiences. They are popping it on their website as a resource. But I thought I'd offer it up here too if you feel your own blog needs a little more structure or ways to move it forward. It's at the bottom of this post. Obviously you won't hear my nattering over the top about doughnuts (yip, food as always came up!) and some of the slides are me trying to explain how I have 'branded' my blog posts for product reviews or campaign work. And as I said to those good ladies of Sheffield, if you need some help or just want a little advice, email me or write on my social media. I'm always happy to answer your questions. Oh and I completely forgot to mention yesterday, wherever I've mentioned Facebook, I mean a page for your blog, not your personal Facebook profile. Keep them separate, it's simpler that way (and keep your cats wearing hats videos on your personal page!). 

After the talk I wandered down to my favourite shop in Sheffield, MoonKo to treat myself to a little reward. I was not disappointed as it was stuffed full of goodies. I came away with this gorgeous handmade pot and macrame hanger above as well as an ivy plant (I killed the last one, how I don't know, I thought they were supposed to be indestructible?). I took the tram back to Meadowhall where I'd parked the car and headed back to Leeds, super tired but happy. 

Jen x

Ps. I also created a Pinterest board with some excellent resources for further blogging hints and tips. It's here if anyone finds it useful.