Tag Archives: blogging

Thank You For The Memories!

I have just received the following report concerning the amount of readers that my blog has reached this year. A big thanks to everyone who has supported me. I plan to continue my weekly blog this year so please keep reading and tell your friends so I can try and beat my reader numbers in 2013.


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Bloggers Day Out

This may be my 48th post but I still regard myself as a relative newcomer to the world of blogging. So, when the opportunity came to attend the Mumsnet Blogfest last Saturday, I happily filled out my credit card details hoping this event would benefit my future prose! I emerged out of Westminster station and headed to the Millbank Tower where the event was taking place. As I wrestled with my broken umbrella amongst the tourists lining up to have their picture taken by Big Ben, I cursed at my unruly tear ducts that tend to stream tears at the mere suggestion of a gust of wind. When I arrived at Millbank Tower there was a huge throng of women with a few sparse men and as we made our way inside I desperately tried to remove the Alice Cooper look that I was now sporting.

A posh version of the Eastenders credits

I was, I suppose, a tad naive at how tough the competition is on ‘Mum’ style blogs, but when I entered into the ground floor lounge of the Tower I was quite startled by the enormous crowd of ladies that were gathered round sipping their complimentary coffee. I smiled at a few unable to catch a friendly eye, everyone did seem ‘on alert’ at the competition but there was a still a buzzy atmosphere. We were led through to an auditorium for our first round of speakers. First up was Mrs Nick Clegg, the über glam Miriam Gonzalez. With her soothing Penelope Cruz sounding voice, she talked about her own ‘normal Mum existence’ which was very engaging. She told us about her charity work and how our role as bloggers was an essential one. This ‘blogging is an essential role’ comment was used over the course of the day by various speakers, some fellow bloggers, authors and columnists, all championing our role in the literary hemisphere. However, there were other literary experts such as Publishers, Newspaper Editors and Liz Jones, who were less than supportive at our blogging commitment, who were a little bit patronising and quite sneery in places. We were told to pursue our blogging ambitions on one hand and then also assured not to get our hopes up if wanting to publish a book as 50 Shades Of Grey was a bit lucky really. I personally think 3,000 bloggers (Mumsnet blogger numbers alone) can’t be wrong and that some bloggers seem to make quite a healthy living from it.

The Mumsnet organisers went above and beyond with the venue and catering and they were on hand with their cheery approachable manner. Whilst we sashayed around the sky high bar, there were a number of sponsors bidding for our attention. The impressive line-up included Google, Skoda, Boden and even The Portland Hospital, all keen to pass on a bit of merchandise in return for a bit of a chat. The one sponsor that caught my eye were the discount shopping people Savoo.co.uk and not just because of the man-sized glass cube with real notes inside it, but because they seemed a good opportunity for bloggers. This online savings website have created a community of bloggers called DealPro’s who have become their own Del-Boys of the discount voucher website world. By promoting money-off scoops on their blogs, Savoo will promote their blog on their website in a win-win situation, exposure for Savoo, bit more traffic for your blog and certain perks to be gained along the way.

A room with a view

Following a packed day of interesting panel discussions and a packed itinerary of different lectures I found myself in the lecture for Blogging Beautiful. I suppose the clue was in the title but this was later in the day so was on a sugar low from my earlier 3 complimentary cupcakes. Anyway, as most people would suspect Blogging Beautiful is aimed at bloggers who cover the subject of beauty. And although it was interesting to hear a different slant on blogs, I decided to nip out discreetly and head back to the bar with the sponsors to take advantage of The Blog Clinic and a bit of one-to-one expert advice. I waited until the panel were in deep discussion and conducted a pathetic bit of sign language to the ladies sat next to me, motioning that I needed to leave. I then proceeded to do that walking bent over to avoid blocking the view of people behind thing, but instead managed to block the view of everyone in my row. The loud floor tiles were another thing to combat so had to do this sort of walking on toes like an ostrich to avoid my heels clunking loudly as I left.

In The Blog Clinic, things were a lot more relaxed. I met a fab creative team from Digital Bungalow who gave me some much needed advice on the appearance of my blog, ahem, please notice my ‘clean lines’ and use of images. I was also extremely eager to meet with Commando Dad, Neil Sinclair, the blogger Dad, ex-army/house husband who turned his blog into a bestselling book. I found him casually sipping a coffee by the bar till I slightly stalked him asking ‘If I could possibly bend his ear on his book publishing experiences’. Despite his initial look of fear, he was very obliging and gave me some excellent advice on my upcoming novel, which is currently an empty box file titled ‘My Novel’.

Funny lady

The day came to a close with the always funny and massively entertaining Caitlin Moran who gave us her unique take and sought after advice on being a writer. Basically cheeky afternoon whisky in your cuppa, be joyful, don’t over describe and if in doubt cut and paste your second paragraph to give your piece a better ending.

Totes Amazeballs #

I am a monthly subscriber to Marie Claire magazine, it started off as a birthday present from my Mum years ago and bless her, she keeps renewing it every year as ‘a little something to provide quality me time’. I first received it before I became a Mum and was able to sit and read it cover to cover then place it down in perfect condition on my coffee table. Over the years that has inevitably changed. I no longer read it cover to cover but in more sporadic 5 minutes to myself moments. It is normally read in the bath, so is often water-logged and is shoved in the magazine/toiletries rack in the bathroom and ends up too dog-eared to finish by the time the next one arrives. But I still relish it’s arrival, as it allows me to read articles and check out latest fashion trends like a normal woman.

This month’s issue was delivered by the Postman actually knocking at my door, who passed it to me packaged in bubble wrap as if he was delivering some covet papers in a scene from a spy film. As me and my daughter ripped it open in anticipation of a free gift I found just a much thicker version of the magazine instead. I turned the first few pages to see why it was so heavy and was met with a D&G advertisement on a really thick page. I inspected the back of the page and picked at it expecting to find a perfume dispenser but discovered some wires, how weird. I turned back and then noticed a little tv screen on the page and as I laid the book flat a television advert started to appear on the screen complete with music. Me and my daughter watched wide-mouthed in disbelief, actually I was wide-mouthed, my daughter was very nonchalant about it saying ‘look Mummy a tv in your magazine’, to which I replied slowly spelling out the words, ‘there-is-a-tv-in-a-magazine’ sounding like Metal Mickey (80s robot children’s programme for younger readers). The quality of the picture was perfect and the oh-so-beautiful models, decked out in black and white, breathlessly pouted and danced to the sultry tones of a french singer.

Now I know this is hardly Blade Runner but I was completely astounded by this revolutionary new way of advertising. We are all so used to how quickly technology is changing. Our smart phones have so much capability it has become completely normal to check our emails, update our Facebook status and purchase something on Ebay within 5 minutes by just using our mobiles. I am desperate to keep up-to-date on modern technology, even though that statement alone makes me sound incompetent!

I recently wrote the blog entry, Finding Our Blind Spot, about a Blind Football Paralympic event me and my eldest son went to for Mumsnet. Part of the requirements were to talk about it on Twitter to give it some publicity by using various hashtags ## to discuss the topic. I didn’t have a clue how to do this, I had to read other people’s posts and then had a bash at it myself. And with Twitter you only have a very short window to write your comment, something I am not very good at it seems. I like to waffle about things and use detail to explain myself, I really didn’t feel comfortable using Twitter speak to get my point across, but you have to reduce your comments to fit them in. For instance, my tweet (get me!) could say: A?4U instead of a question for you, or my particular favourite, A3 which means Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere. Everything is abbreviated which is intentional to encourage a fast bulletin board style of conversation. But what is the rush?

I am branching out into the world of Freelance Writing, Twitter, Facebook, etc are a necessity for me to get to grips with if I want to be heard and be noticed. However, no matter how ‘down with the kids’ I get, I will always be picking up my kids on ‘talking properly’ and absolutely no text/twitter speak is allowed to appear in any of their homework or mine for that matter!