The ‘Work’ Conundrum: Am I A ‘Proper Blogger’ Now?

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The 'work' question is one I've been pondering over lately, now that Ben has tipped over the 1 year mark. To work or not to work? That is the big question. I remember thinking after I had Max that the decision over whether or not to return to work after maternity leave was such a difficult one to make. Except it wasn't really - it was a decision that was made for me. I couldn't return to my pre-baby job in London - we'd moved out of London and when I looked into nursery hours and costs, I realised that a) I couldn't have managed the commute alongside nursery opening hours, and b) I couldn't actually afford to work in that ...

My First Photo in Manual Mode – The Ordinary Moments

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I think for so many people, that first year of motherhood hits you like a tonne of bricks, and you feel a bit lost. I know it's been like that for me both times now. I've found that a new baby just consumes you - not just taking up your time, but your energy and even all of your headspace. There's so little time left for socialising, for looking after yourself, or for your hobbies. But both times now, I've found I come out of it with the energy and focus for a new passion. With Max, it was gardening, and I threw myself into looking after our garden, creating planting plans and overhauling the whole space. This time around ...

Are Instagram Hashtags Dead?

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I've always loved hashtags on Instagram as a way to increase your visibility to like-minded people, and as a way to discover new accounts that I'd like to follow and engage with. I even wrote one of my best performing posts on my favourite Instagram hashtags which I know have worked really well for me. But I've been looking at my analytics in the last couple of weeks and have seen a change in how hashtags are performing. These days my views on a post through hashtags are ranging between 3 and 13, but definitely trending towards the lower end, which is staggeringly poor. In fact, I've experimented with not using them at all, and have seen no difference in ...

Blogging Goals, Creativity and Why I’m Abandoning Numbers in 2018

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2017 was my second year of blogging and I was in full planning mode at the end of 2016. I was buzzing with ideas for content, and was busy setting goals for the year ahead. I followed all the good goal setting advice and made sure that my goals were all ambitious and measurable, and that meant I ended up setting a lot of goals around numbers. Because that's the measure of a successful blog, isn't it? Follower numbers, page views, rankings - I had all kinds of goals that I was determined to achieve in 2017. And the reality is that I haven't achieved any of them. There are all kinds of reasons for that, a newborn baby being just the ...

How I Rediscovered My Instagram Love

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A while back I wrote about how I'd fallen out of love with Instagram. I know I wasn't alone in that - the algorithm changes and the follow/unfollow culture meant that so many people were becoming disillusioned with the platform. I'd found my follower numbers plummeting and I wasn't picking up any new followers either, so the whole thing started to become very depressing. But lately I've been feeling the love again, and I put that down to a number of ways in which I've changed my approach.   Relaxing my approach to what I post I admit it - I got caught up in all the advice to only post your 'best' photos. I'd ponder over whether a photo was instagram worthy, ...

How I Fell Out of Love with Instagram

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Of all the social media platforms, Instagram has long been my favourite. I love documenting those little snippets from our daily lives and capturing our family as it grows. I love the positive vibe it has, the supportive community that I've found there, and the connections and friendships I've forged with other Instagrammers. But recently I've fallen out of love with it all and I'm not entirely sure why.   Yet another algorithm change... There's no doubt that Instagram has changed the algorithm yet again - I'm not seeing my favourites in my feed and I'm having to remember to head over to their accounts to see their recent posts. Even those that I have notifications set up for I'm missing, as the ...

Growing your Instagram Following

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I don't profess to be an expert on Instagram by any means. But it's fast become my favourite social media platform, my 'happy place', and I'm really pleased to have built a following of over 2000 followers from scratch in a year. It's perhaps not a hugely impressive figure compared to accounts with over 10K, but it's one that is very achievable for someone starting out. Of course, it goes without saying that follower numbers aren't the be all and end all, but if you're serious about using your Instagram account as a business, then a large follower count is a huge part of why a brand would want to work with you, as well as factoring into things like your Tots100 and Klout ...

Embracing being a ‘Mummy Blogger’

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When I first started out blogging, I resisted calling myself a Mummy Blogger. I blogged about being a mum, sure, but I also blogged about beauty, fashion, and interiors - I was determined to prove that there was more to me than being a mum! When you hear the words 'mummy blogger', the chances are that the person saying it will have a kind of sneering tone - a disbelief that blogging about life as a parent could ever be a 'thing' - and, even amongst other bloggers, I noticed a general feeling that mummy bloggers were looked down on. But after a year of blogging, I think my posts have settled down into what I would loosely describe as 'family lifestyle' - ...

Hot Pink Wellingtons is One Year Old!

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I can't quite believe it, but somewhere along the line a whole year has gone by since I started blogging! I'm so proud of what my little site has become over this year, and everything I've achieved. I wrote a reflection on 6 months of blogging, and I'm so pleased that all those things I loved at six months are still so relevant now - the community, the emotional outlet, the creative element. Rather than repeating myself here, I thought it would be nice to look back at the highlights of this year and the things I'm most proud of achieving with my blog. Instagram I find it hard to believe now, but it took me a long time to set up ...

The Best Instagram Hashtags for Parent Bloggers

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So it's no secret that I'm a huge lover of Instagram. Despite my initial hesitation, it's grown to be my 'happy place', and rarely a day goes by that I don't upload a photo of what we're up to. When I started out, I was hesitant to use hashtags, and didn't really understand them, but I've come to realise how important they are to getting your photos seen and liked by as many people as possible, and connect with other users who share the same interests as you. There are so many instagram hashtags for parent bloggers that it can be a bit overwhelming, so I wanted to share the ones that have really worked for me to grow my ...