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You know you are a blogger when…

You know you are a blogger when…..

Last weekend I asked the members of the wonderful Blogging Your way to Riches Facebook group this question. You know you are a blogger when ……..

The replies were hilarious and it was a popular post so Emma and I thought we should turn it into a post on here sharing our comments and gratitude for support from the members of the group. Thank you to Emma Drew for being the inspiration behind the idea.

Mrs Mummypenny – Lynn James

1) I’m on first name terms with the DPD delivery guy.

2) I’m forever thinking ‘that will look beautiful on Instagram’.

ShoeString Cottage – Jane Berry 

3) I am constantly writing ideas for blog posts down, sometimes mid conversation.

Mum of Boys & Mabel – Louise Sleightholme 

4) I write blog posts in my head in the shower

Katy Kicker  – Katy Stevens

5) You know you are a blogger when you take a photo of something and your husband asks if it is for your website. Erm no, sometimes I just take normal photos

Thrifty Mum – Hollie Gregersen 

6) Say pretentious stuff like “quick whilst we’ve got the light!”

Mums Savvy Savings – Emma Bradley

7) When your child loudly asks do we have to queue? Aren’t we on the guest list?

Debt Camel – Sara Williams

8) When you ask your friends if they have any good pictures of estate agents windows

Frugal family – Cass Bailey 

9) When you google ‘Top Instagram spots in …..’ before you go anywhere. My Milan itinerary was based around this.

The Life of Spicers – Angela Spicer

10) When you’re planning a day out thinking how many different angles can this be written about

Much More With Less – Faith Archer 

11) When your husband is resigned to eating cold food, because you just want to take a quick pic before anyone eats it.

If you are reading this and thinking you would love to become a blogger or up your monetisation in the blogging game..buy our book from this website. Its just £9.99 for the paperback.

 

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Why I Won’t Go Back to Working for Someone Else

Becoming self employed has been the best thing for my family and for my job satisfaction. Prior to leaving teaching I was always rushing and it was taking its toll on me and the family.  It has been well documented that Erin needed my full attention and was in and out of hospital many times due to her hip surgeries and asthma.  I got to the point that I dreaded my phone flashing at me on my teaching days.  I don’t know if we were particularly unlucky but shock horror young children get ill frequently and mine were forever picking up infections and things.

Until I made a change

I then decided enough was enough.  I wanted to put my children first.  I wanted to be the helping them with their homework.  I wanted to cook them better meals and above all I wanted to work and make money my way.  I wanted flexibility.  And so I left my secure teaching job to work for myself to turn my hobby to my income.

7 Reasons why being self employed is awesome

  • I have the flexibility to work when it suits me.  I don’t miss the children’s assemblies, sports days and can even go on school trips now.
  • I negotiate my rates of pay and choose the campaigns that interests me.
  • I can watch my children’s sports matches without feeling that I should be somewhere else marking books.  There was many a time I sat in my car marking when the children were playing.  Now I am on the sidelines with my camera.
  • I save money by having no childcare costs.  It means rather than working to pay childcare fees every single pound I earn is mine to spend on our family. You can read about many of my money saving ideas over at Mums Savvy Savings
  • Since working for myself I am more ambitious, I set myself bigger financial goals.  I feel so proud of the money in my pocket, knowing I made it happen
  • Sometimes I work in my PJ’s – I don’t need to commute apart from down the stairs!
  • I never miss a delivery – in fact I am on first name terms with the postman now!

If you are looking to make the change and regain control of your finances and career have you considered blogging? Being your own boss gives more satisfaction than I have ever known. Our book Blogging Your Way To Riches shares our inspirational stories, it gives you the tools you need to build a blog to the position where it makes you money.

There are 18 chapters to guide you from pitching and negotiating to collaborations and and networking.  Each chapter is written to give you the information you need to make money online.

You can buy from Blogging Your Way To Riches or from Amazon.

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LCN

A guide to self-hosting for Bloggers – LCN

A guide to self-hosting for Bloggers – LCN

One of the questions Emma and I get asked all the time is ‘what does self-hosting mean?’ ‘Why should I move from WordPress hosting to self-hosting?’

It comes down to the questions, do you want to monetise your blog and do you want control over your content? If the answer is yes go self-hosted from day 1 or as soon as possible. Your content is yours and brand are more keen to work with websites that are self-hosted, so websites like www.emmaand3.com and www.mrsmummypenny.co.uk.

Lynn’s Preferred Hosting Service Provider is LCN

Lynn used LCN to buy her domain names (she has 5 now!) and to provide self-hosting on those domains where which have live websites. The prices Lynn paid are fairly low…£92 for 2 years of business hosting for Mrs Mummypenny for example. These prices are incredible value for money, particularly compared to some bigger hosting partners who shall remain nameless!

Customer Service

Customer service is very important to both Emma and Lynn and they will often pay more for goods if the customer service attached to it is amazing. Take First Direct for example. I will not move my personal banking away from them despite them not being the cheapest. Their customer service is amazing.

LCN customer services are equally amazing, here are come examples of help they have given to Lynn over the 4 years of partnership.

  • They always seem to be working, I have called at 8am or 9pm and they answer the phone.
  • They have sorted out every issue I have had even the complex technical ones.
  • They sorted out recent site speed issues by moving me to a different server.

WordPress Hosted Packages

They have brought out an exciting new product for WordPress users. Custom built hosting optimised for WordPress websites. Essential plugins and themes are already included in the box. My friends at LCN have kindly offered readers of Mrs Mummypenny, Mums Savvy Savings and Blogging Your Way To Riches a 20% discount code. Here are the deal details.

Promotion code: newsite20

Discount: 20% off the cost of any new WordPress hosting purchase (this 20% applies to our already discounted multiyear options too)

Applies to any new purchase of a WordPress hosting package: www.lcn.com/web-hosting/wordpress

Code expires at midnight on the 30th of June 2017

Be quick to sign up and get the discount. Its available on the pay monthly packages or the better value 1-year, 2-year or 5-year packages.

Details of the Package from LCN website

Plug-ins

We’ve trawled the web searching for the very best WordPress plugins so you don’t have to. Our WordPress hosting comes with six vital plugins, pre-installed and configured to improve performance, security and SEO.

Email

Sync email across your computer, phone and tablet with our IMAP email service. Can’t get to your device? No problem, our free mobile-optimised webmail lets you receive send and write e-mails through your web browser.

Themes

Choose from over 20 free premium themes professionally designed by WooThemes – each one worth up to £50! Find the essential design for your website, install in a single click, and customise it to suit your needs.

This a collaborative post. There is no affiliate commission payable to Lynn or Emma for any sign-ups.

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LCN

7 Plugins and App’s to Boost Blog Traffic

Writing content that people want to read is obviously the number one aim of your blog.  However you also need to promote the content. Here are my favourite 7 Plugins and App’s to Boost Blog Traffic. These will help you on the road to traffic success.

When writing, think about the purpose of the post.  The content needs to be well crafted and have something worthwhile to say. Are you writing to share an opinion, like I did in this popular post that became Mumsnet blog of the day Would You And Should You Take Young Children To Funerals? Or is it to inform others like Lynn did in her brilliant post 7 Unusual Ways to Boost Your Income Online. However once you have written your words of wisdom how do you get others to read it?

There are a number of ways to promote your posts and increase traffic to your site. In this post we are sharing 7 Plugins and App’s to Boost Blog Traffic.

Plugins

  • Related Posts plugin.  This clever plug in recognises words in the post that you have used before.  It will showcase 3 or 5 previous posts you have written.  It pulls the image and the title and is found under the post. This encourages readers to read more posts, therefore reducing bounce rate. It will improve your pageviews ass people go between posts.
  • Share This plugin.  Again this features under your post and allows easy sharing to all social media channels. It encourages your readers to share your content and increase promotion.
  • Pinterest is a huge traffic booster for many.  Therefore it is good practice to make a pinnable image (size 735 by 1335 is ideal) and use the pin it button that makes it easy for others to pin.
  • Yoast this is an SEO plugin.  It uses a traffic light system to show you if your posts are well optimised.  This means that it is likely to do well in search. If someone Googles a question or a topic the well optimised posts are the ones that come up near the top of search. Using the plug in gives you a visual prompt that you have written it well.

Apps

  • Buffer is a free app that allows you to fill up with tweets or Facebook posts that are then automated to publish at specific times. This promotes your posts and encourages others to come over and read your content.
  • Tailwind is an app for pinterest that helps you find others in a similar niche. It can have a huge impact on sharing your pins.
  • Moasico costs £4.99 and is used for Instagram.  It allows you to see what your feed will look like and help you curate it to look exactly how you want it too.  This app will also publish at specific times for you.

Pin

7 Plugins and App's to Boost Blog Traffic

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bywtr-thumb Blogging Your Way To Riches

How to Write a book and Self Publish in 3 months

How to Write a book and Self Publish in 3 months

This is exactly what Emma and I did, we met in September 2016 and our book was published on 21st Nov. Here is how we did it

The SHOMO Awards Sept 2016

Back in September 2016 we attended the annual UK Money Blogger Awards. we met for the first time and got on like a house on fire in the social bits. Part of the day was a big discussion on blogger rates of pay, Emma was on the expert panel and I was a rather vocal member of the audience. Quite a discussion transpired with many a differing view in the audience and the words were uttered ‘someone should write a book about this’. The idea was sparked. The very following day Emma messaged me and asked ‘did I want to write a book?’. It took me about 30 seconds to respond back with a big fat YES.

The planning stage

We met soon afterwards for a ‘bashing heads, go-no go’ planning session. In the meantime, we did our research. I spoke to Tom Church of the website Latestdeals and to Di Coke of SuperLuckyme who had both written books, to ascertain the commercials and process. They were most helpful with time and information and helped with the big decision, should we write this book? It was GO GO GO.

We came up with eighteen chapter heading and picked the ones we were most comfortable with writing, taking nine each. I worked on a time plan and the commercials. At this point it was late Sept and we wanted to have the book out by 1st Dec for the Christmas sales period. It was going to be tough and mucho work but we knew we could do it.

The writing

The first job was to brain dump the chapters, and we reviewed each other’s brain dumps adding ideas to each other’s work. We then got to it and started writing. We stuck to the time plan so strictly and actually got ahead of ourselves, we had weekly skype meetings and chatted all the time on messenger. One of the intersting things we found about writing a book together was that got into competition with each other. Emma would message me telling me she had written a whole chapter and 3000 words..so the next day I would do the same. We had originally planned to take the October half term holiday as a week off but we ended up using it to finish the writing stage. The 18 chapters were done by the end of October.

The Proofreading

Firstly, we proof read the book, let me tell you how dull this task becomes and brain numbing as we ended up with about 14 different versions of proofs! The first proof was the hardest as we picked up all the inconsistencies between our writing styles. We had set rules at the beginning things like writing in the first person but there were things we had missed. For example, Emma used a double space after a full stop when I used just the one!!

We then passed the book to a good attention to detail friend Emma Wright who proof read the book for consistency, spelling, does it make sense’ kind of thing. We made these changes then passed it onto 8 different people for more proof reading, thank you to Faith Archer of Much More with Less in particular who spent so much time giving us advice and revisions.

After all changes were made, we did a final read through, made plenty more changes and we had a final draft. This really was the most painful part!

Self-Publication

We had decided after advice to go with the self-publication route. Mainly due to time as we wanted to write the book and get it out there. Here are the pros and cons in my view.

Pros of Self-Publishing

  • You have more control
  • You take a bigger cut of sale proceeds
  • The rights to your book are yours
  • Speed to market is super quick
  • Self-publishing is mega easy with create space

Cons of Self-Publishing

  • You pay for all costs yourself, promotional costs, book stock (if selling through your own website), design costs, website costs, proof costs
  • All PR and sales is your responsibility and this is pretty hardcore
  • You do a lot of proofing yourself. A Publisher would do that for you

Pros of Publishing

  • You might get an advance payment, normally split 3 ways, on agreement of book, submission of first draft, final draft agreed.
  • If your book is highlighted by your publishers as a star you will get good PR by experts
  • Prestige of being a published author

Cons of Publishing

  • Much smaller cut of the sale prices comes your way and not until the advance had been recouped.
  • Loss of control
  • Ownership of book is the publishers

 Costs of Self-Publishing

  • We set up a website to sell the book from as well as selling through Amazon. There are paperback and eBook versions.
  • We have bought some stock of the book to process the website orders. Packaging and postage.
  • A designer to design the front cover of book (how good does this book look!!)
  • Photography costs for the front cover
  • Proofing costs
  • PR costs, much can fall into here, competitions, travel to events.

As you can see from these costs they can be as big or as little as you want, we pulled in a lot of favours so we didn’t spend much. The big cost was the purchase of stock. You don’t have to do this as you can just publish via create space which is print on demand.

Promotion and sale of the book

I’ll leave you hanging on that one and will save it for another post…as let me tell you..it’s hard. It’s incredibly difficult to get someone to part with their hard-earned cash and buy a book!

There you have it how to write a book and self-publish in less than 3 months. We met on 10th Sept and the book was available on Amazon on 21st Nov!! 72 days!

The book is available here, go on you know you want to buy a copy. Do you dream of writing a book? Can you do it?

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Blogging Your Way To Riches: The Next Chapter

Welcome to the Blogging Your Way To Riches blog page.  We excited to share that going forward you will be seeing more content appearing on the blog and on social media.  Each Tuesday and Thursday there will be fresh content that we hope will help bloggers grow.  Both Lynn and I are looking forward to creating a resource for bloggers that will really make a difference to how you blog.  We will use this space to blog about blogging  and answer any questions you may have.

We will be putting the spotlight on bloggers and asking for their tips and tricks.  There will be the opportunity to learn more about becoming a successful blogger.  If you want increase your skill set, read tutorials and be inspired by amazing bloggers this is where you will find that information.

Blogging has given us both so many amazing work opportunities. Now we want to be able to show you that blogging can be a lucrative career choice. We want to equip others with what we have learnt so that others can reap the rewards too.

To coincide with the blog we are also launching an Instagram hashtag.  We would love to see bloggers using #BloggingYourWayToRiches in those instagram posts that celebrate blogging.  We are welcoming inspiring images, images that show the flexibility and freedom blogging gives and also images related to blogging.  For example I am going to Badminton Horse Trials on Friday and will be using the hashtag as I celebrate the opportunities I get due to my career choice. Each Saturday we will share some of our favourite images from the community. Do make sure that you are following Mrs Mummy Penny UK on instagram and Emma and 3.

We are really looking forward to this next step in the Blogging Your Way to Riches journey. We have more exciting plans for later in the year. Stick with us, it’s one fantastic journey that we are going on!

 

 

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