Who would have thought that seven years ago, when I first started this blog, that it would still be going all these years later. It is older than both my children, it has brought with it so many amazing opportunities and so many challenges along the way.

We’ve gone from Blogger to our own domain on Blogger to self hosted WordPress. We’ve gone from a primarily beauty blog to a parenting blog to the happy medium I am now – which is a little bit of everything but if I had to give it a niche, I’d say parenting and lifestyle.

This blog has enabled me to forge a career doing something I love. I always wanted to be a freelance writer and was even heading to uni to get my degree and then hopefully break into the writing business. It might have taken me a bit longer but I am finally doing a job I love – no matter how stressful it can be -and that wouldn’t be possible at all with this blog. I freelance around the blog and I have had so many opportunities because of it.

The best thing that has come from my blog? The friends I’ve made. The majority of the friends in my life now are through blogging. I even managed to reconnect with two old friends via blogging – how amazing is that?

These past seven years have been incredible and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

To thank my readers for being there for so long, I’ve got a giveaway for you all today for a Ferrero Golden Gallery. It’s UK only and ends at 23.59pm on the 31st of January 2018. Good luck!


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Why You Should Be Investing In Yourself…And Other Bloggers

investing in yourself

It is so important to invest in ourselves to help ourselves achieve more. There are certain ways of investing in yourself that can help you achieve these aims. These include setting goals, trusting your instinct and investing in your talents. I always set goals and I always trust my instincts – if something feels off, I will look for more information before proceeding.

I mainly want to talk about investing your talents, however. As a blogger, I am always keen to learn more and add another string to my bow. Since becoming a blogger almost seven years ago, I have become a freelance writer, I’ve started working as a proofreader, become a virtual assistant and now work in managing some people’s social media. I am now earning more from my blog and freelance work than I ever was in my old job and it’s all come from investing in myself…and other bloggers.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to harness your talents – there is some fabulous information out there for free – but if you truly want to build on your talents, then it is doesn’t harm you to invest financially in some things as well. When it comes to blogging, other bloggers are totally where it’s at for this information – you can find a list of my favourite free and paid resources from other bloggers at the bottom of this post.

I’ve taken courses, printed out printables, downloaded eBooks and bought paperbacks. I’ve joined Facebook groups and connected with others. All through blogging and other bloggers. I’ve recently been in contact with a blogger regarding her new book – I’ve answered some questions and she’s mentioned that those who help her will be credited within the book. Helping others can help you sometimes, why wouldn’t you want to invest in both of you in this way?

investing in yourself

So just why should you invest?

It builds connections

You get to meet new people, new brands, new groups. You may take a course and then be added to the private Facebook group and meet some incredible like minded people who you can bounce ideas off.

It can help you build on your talents

E-courses especially are good for this. If you want help with building your social media, then an e-course may help you with those things you didn’t know. If you wanted to learn something new, these resources can truly help you achieve your goals. All by a little belief and some investing in yourself.

It can be good for your PR

Making connections with others and building up on your talents can certainly help you in getting yourself out there. Through these things you can find yourself doing interviews for other blogs, being quoted in newspapers and magazines or being listed as a resource in a book. These things can do wonders for you. Why wouldn’t you want to invest in yourself in this way?

I’m planning on investing in myself more in 2018 – and investing in other bloggers at the same time – are you planning on investing in yourself? If I want to learn more information or want something but don’t have the time for it myself, I’d rather use and promote a blogger’s content so we both can benefit.

investing in yourself

Here are a few of my favourite resources so far:

Sarah’s Monthly To Do List printable – perfect for writing down those blog admin tasks.

Emma Drew’s Turn Your Dreams Into Money e-course {affiliate link} – plus use the code FUTURES to get £50 off, making it £147. Read my review here. Covers all the bases.

Lynn & Emma’s Blogging Your Way To Riches book {affiliate link} – A handy resource, packed full of Emma and Lynn’s knowledge.

Sarah’s Address Book printable – Perfect for noting down the billing details of people you are working with.

Cass’s Free Motivational Quote printable – Perfect for motivating you when you aren’t feeling it.

Amber’s My Blogging Secrets: A Guide To Becoming A Pro-Blogger eBook {affiliate link} – full of information and anecdotes, this is a must read.

Elizabeth’s Blogger Finance Spreadsheet – Perfect if you are making money from your site.

Sarah’s Blogging Checklist printable – If you are like me, there will always be things you forget to check!

Jenny’s Editorial Calendar With Awareness Days – get the first month for free and then it is just £3 for the rest of the year!

Sarah’s Blog Stats & Goals printable – A great way of keeping track of what you achieve month by month.

I hope these prove handy for you. Are you planning on investing in yourself (and other bloggers) more in 2018?

Turn Your Dreams Into Money In 2018 (Plus £50 Discount Code)

turn your dreams into money

Read on to find out how you can get a £50 discount off this e-course for yourself.

I’ve been blogging for almost seven years now (January 19th 2018 is my blog’s 7th birthday to be exact) but I am still learning new things about it everyday. When other bloggers share their knowledge, it can only be a good thing so when Emma Drew released her Turn Your Dreams Into Money e-course a few months back, I knew she would probably have a lot to teach even seasoned bloggers like me.

I’ve taken a variety of e-courses over the years but none really related to blogging so I was intrigued to see what this could offer me. I’d heard people say that it had something for everyone, whether you are a beginner or have already been blogging for a few years. There are so many blogging courses out there who only speak to beginners or talk all technical, expecting you to know exactly what they are talking about as the creator assumes you’ve been blogging for a while. It is very rare to find a course that spans both sides.

The course covers an immense amount of topics – some you may not have even thought about or considered. There is of course sections for those who are brand new to blogging so if you’ve been blogging for a while, you can skip these or if you’re like me, refresh yourself a little by reading over them.

Other topics covered include social media and how to use it and gain traffic from it, search engines, ways of making money from your blog and where to find these opportunities, how to utilise your old posts, affiliate marketing and so much more. Emma really does cover all bases.

You can jump right into the content and continue when done – or skip if you feel you already know a lot about that particular topic. Each topic is divided into easy to read chunks which makes it much easier to consume the content.

turn your dreams into moneySo did it help me?

Yes I learned so much from this course – Emma covered stuff I’d dipped my toe into but never continued with because it seemed so confusing. She explained things so well that it made super simple and I started kicking myself for not utilising things sooner!

There are some incredible bonuses as part of the course too – a free blog critique from Emma herself, media kit and rate card templates and a PDF of Blogging Your Way To Riches. There truly is some incredible content in this course and Emma has thought about bloggers at all stages of their blogging career.  There is even a Mastermind group on Facebook for those who are taking or who have taken the course which is also a fantastic resource.

Whether you’re just starting out and want to ‘turn your dreams into money’ or you are more established and want to further your dreams, then this course is the one for you. I am certainly going to be implementing the things I have learned well into the New Year.

You can purchase the Turn Your Dreams Into Money course here {affiliate link} and to get £50 off, just use the code FUTURES at the checkout, bringing the course down to £147.

I was gifted access to the e-course for the purpose of review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Top 10 Reasons to Start a Blog

The popularity of blogs shows no signs of dwindling, and more and more people are setting up their own every day. While keeping a blog is a highly rewarding experience for many people, you need to have the reasons clear in your mind of why you would want to do this in the first place. Otherwise, you are unlikely to have the motivation that will keep you going. In this post, we are going to run through a few of the top reasons why people start a blog in the first place. Perhaps you will see one that you identify with or if you already have your own blog, the reason may become reinforced in your mind.

Express Thoughts and Opinions

The beauty of the internet is that it has given everyone a platform from which their voice can be heard. So, whatever topic you want to blog about, you can express your own personal thoughts and opinions. The most successful blogs are the ones in which a clear tone of voice has been established and people identify with it. Unlike other forms of publication which are heavily edited, everything is coming from yourself and you are the only one who filters what you are saying. This can be an exciting and daunting concept in equal measures.

Market or Promote Something

Obviously, a lot of personal blogs are used for marketing or promotional reasons, but there are some business blogs which are solely devoted to spreading the word about their range of products or services. Of course, this still needs to be done in a way that engages and interests the reader, but the main point of the blog is to increase sales. If you have a business that doesn’t already run its own blog, you are missing a trick as this is one of the top digital marketing techniques that you can use. If you run a personal blog, you may be able to form partnerships over time with other organisations, so marketing or promotion becomes a key function of your blog. However, you don’t want to lose the sense of personality and style which helped you to become so popular in the first place.

Help Others

Some of the most popular blogs are the ones that are devoted to helping people with the problems in their lives. If you have a passion for sharing the knowledge and experience that you have built up over the years, this is as good a reason to start a blog as any. If you are successful in helping people to solve the issues they are having, they are much more likely to come back to you time and time again. Try to carve out a niche for yourself so that the advice you are providing is genuinely useful rather than just generic things which can be found all over the internet. The feeling of helping others is a very rewarding one, and when you see a lot of positive comments from others, you are bound to want to continue.

Establish Your Expertise

There are many reasons why you would want to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Perhaps you run a business and you need to build up a sense of trust amongst people. It could be that you are looking for a job in a particular sector and this is a way that you can show off your skills to potential employers. You may simply want to establish your blog as the go-to one in the field to continually increase your readership. Whatever the reason, you need to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about by offering people advice and techniques that they can use in their everyday lives.

Connect with Like-Minded People

Blogs help you to connect with people in a way that you may never have tried before. People come to your site because they have a genuine passion for your topic and it also gives them a community to interact with. This is why it is so important that you respond to your comments, so you can open up a dialogue with your regular readers. The beauty of blogging is that you can express thoughts and opinions that you thought were totally alienating or isolating, only to find that others share a similar point of view to yourself.

Have Influence

Many of the top bloggers now have a great deal of influence which is why so many companies are keen to work with them. Also, if you have causes that you are passionate about promoting, you have the perfect platform from which to do this. You can galvanise your readers to take up the same cause as yourself and inspire them to become passionate about the topics you are writing about. Once you have a devoted readership, you need to think carefully about the type of content that you are sharing with them as you have a degree of responsibility to influencing them in a positive way. If you do decide to work with outside companies, make sure that they share the same type of mission and values as yourself.

William Iven

Stay Closely Involved with Your Topic

Running a successful blog means writing new posts on a regular basis. In turn, this ensures that you stay up to date with your topic in an effort to stay relevant and interesting. If you thought you knew a lot about your topic before, once you have been blogging for a few months, you will probably find that you know so much more. As well as reading the news and latest developments in your field, you will also end up interacting with your readers who will be able to give you different points of view and interaction. Perhaps you only passively consumed content about your topic before, but when you are actively creating it, this is an entirely different experience.

Keep Close with Those Around You

A lot of people don’t run blogs hoping to develop a huge readership; some do it just to keep close with their friends, family and the other people in their lives. Blogs provide the perfect medium where you can stay connected across countries by sharing stories, photos, videos and other forms of content. Every time you create a new blog post, you can just inform the people who you want to read your posts – you could even password protect the blog so only certain individuals have access. Give them the opportunity to write comments and you can interact with them even more closely.

Make Money

Now we come onto a big reason why a lot of people decide to start a blog; the opportunity to make money. While this is not an unrealistic expectation as many bloggers are able to make extra cash or even an entire income, you shouldn’t establish your blog just to make money. It can be a secondary reason behind the ones we have already mentioned above, but generating funds from your blog only happens when it starts to attract a decent readership. To temper your expectations, it is worth knowing that the majority of bloggers don’t make money from their blogs. It takes a great deal of hard work and determination to hit this particular goal.

Have Fun

The final reason we are going to talk about is a simple one; simply to have fun! Blogging is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, so if you are not passionate about what you are doing, your readers are likely to be able to tell. This is also what will encourage you to continue writing on a regular basis which is necessary in order to build a following. A lot of the biggest blogs out there were set up with the main reason of having fun and being creative.

There you have 10 of the main reasons why people decide to start a blog. If you already run your own site, hopefully, you have been able to identify with one or more of these reasons. The same goes if you are looking to establish a blog in the near future. Check here for an easy way to do so. If you identify with all of them, you may be able to carve a life out for yourself as a blogger!

To many people, running a blog seems like a dream career, but it is also one which is very difficult to get into and it requires a great to of patience and commitment to build up the type of following that you are looking for.  You may even find that you fit in with some of the other reasons given for starting a blog over time as it is an activity that throws up all sorts of different surprises. As we already talked about, the money-making side of the enterprise comes after you have already taken the time and effort to build up a readership who want to hear what you have to say.


Refreshing My Blog With Logojoy

Logojoy final design

I received a premium package free of charge from Logojoy with which to create my new logo.

I’ve been blogging for six years now and every now and then I get a bit bored of how my blog looks. Now I am not the most techy of people and usually end up relying on others to create items for me – I seek out decent layout designers or theme creators just so I can give my site a fresh new look.

However it can get quite frustrating when you know exactly what you want but can’t quite verbalise it – and when you aren’t techy enough to create something for yourself, what are you to do? Well recently I was introduced to Logojoy and I was extremely intrigued by the concept.

Logojoy uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to help users get great quality design quickly at an affordable price. They are located in downtown Toronto and utilise AI to bring customers exactly what they want. I was kindly offered the chance to try out a premium package (worth $65) to create some logos and see how I got on.

Logojoy Picking Logos

First of all you select the styles, colours and icons you would like. I chose a couple of styles I liked, a few different pinky/purple shades and some icons which I think were relevant to me – a pen, a laptop, a book, a baby holding their mother’s hand and a mother holding hands with her son and daughter.

Logojoy picking colours

Once you have chosen these, you will be shown a number of different 100% custom logos tailored entirely to your business. As you scroll, more will be added – if you have favourited any, the logos generated will be based on these. When you favourite a design, you can actually see it in action – how it would look like on business cards or even clothing. This is great if this is something you offer. If you make changes to your design, these will edit in real time so you can always see the updated designs.

Once you have settled on something, you can then choose between 475 fonts, 550k+ premium symbols, 5.5k colour presets and 6 layouts to perfect your design. You can even change the spacing and font size if you so wish. Then all you need to do is purchase your final design and once purchased, Logojoy will send you all the files a designer would – these include high res PNGs and vector files. They even include perfectly sized versions for social media and even create some brand guidelines.

Loogjoy purchasing options

There are three different purchasing options. Basic package is $20, the premium is $65 and enterprise is $165. As I was offered the chance to try out the premium FOC, this is the plan I opted for.

So what did I think?

I think the concept of Logojoy is brilliant. Some people would love to have the skills to create beautiful logos but don’t and they don’t have the funds to necessarily pay someone to design them something especially if they can’t quite tell them what they want. Logojoy cuts out the middle man – it enables you to control every step of the way with some help from some AI, taking the things you want and turning them into stunning logos ready for use.

Once I had purchased mine, I was sent over my file as expected in any file type I could ever need. Based on my colour scheme, this is what I finally opted for and am very pleased with.

Logojoy final design

I will definitely be using the site again in the not too distant future as I am looking to update all of my sites and you just can’t go wrong – I always struggle to tell people what I want from a design so to actually be able to get something exactly how I want with a little AI help was always going to be a major plus point for me.#

Would you give Logojoy a try?