working from home tips

Are you looking for some ‘working from home’ tips? WFH sure has lasted a lot longer than anyone ever expected, and I don’t know if I’m the only one – but it honestly feels like all the days are blending into one…

It’s like an extended version of the period between Christmas and New Year, where no-body knows what day it is… That’s literally what this whole year has felt like for me! 🙈

So, I thought I’d put this post together about how to stay sane while working from home for another year!

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #1: Have a routine

Routines are so important… This includes waking up at a certain time, going to sleep at a certain time, eating at a certain time, and shutting off your work laptop at a certain time…

Getting into a routine is not only great for mental health, but for ensuring a smoother transition when things get back to normal.

Make some time for meditation, or a walk outdoors. Being out in nature really helps the mind.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #2: make sure your work room is different from your leisure room

If you have the luxury of multiple rooms, use one as your office, and another for leisure. I mean, when your bedroom is also your office, it can be really hard to switch off!

Of course, not everybody does, and in the event that you don’t – maybe try cordoning off a section of the room for work, and make the other specifically for leisure.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #3: try not to be negative

It’s so easy to be negative, especially in such a negative situation like the one we’ve found ourselves in… But, always try to see the positives. That’s what’ll get us through!

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #4: be social

As easy as it is to become a shy and retiring wallflower, it’s more important than ever to reach out to loved ones, seeing them as much as you normally would IRL.

This pandemic has really tested all of us, and taught us too, so – make the most of phone calls, texts and video calls.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #5: practice gratitude

Being grateful only leads to blessings. And trust me, even though it really doesn’t seem like it, there is a lot to be grateful for!

Working from home tips – #6: join virtual clubs to learn new skills

If there’s a skill you want to pick up as part of a new year resolution, now’s your chance

Better still, why not try finding online classes for local clubs, that way, you’ll be supporting the community and meeting likeminded people in your neighbourhood.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #7: play online games

I don’t know anyone who’s watched The Queen’s Gambit and not wanted to learn chess. Or anyone who’s not playing Among Us. They’re both awesome games that’ll help up stay sane amongst the craziness!

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #8: stay on top of your mental health

Take your vitamins and minerals. Above all, your immune system needs boosting – now more than ever.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #9: read more

The worst thing you can do is sit on your phone, scrolling through social media all day… Read a book. Learn something, unwind & lose yourself in a good book.

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #10: Watch some movies or boxsets

A life that’s all work and no play isn’t healthy… Press the ‘play’ button on your favourite films/TV shows or even get into some podcasts!

working from home tips

Working from home tips – #11 – volunteer if you can

There might be some opportunities in the area, so keep an eye out for them. It’s really rewarding, and important.

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grow your blog

I’m a hobby-blogger, but I’ve come across full-time bloggers who are loving it! This post focusses specifically on how to grow your blog while maintaining a full-time job…

grow your blog

Grow your blog by writing your posts in advance

Balance is vital. So, I write my posts in the evenings or weekends, and publish them later.

If you’re running out of ideas for posts, check out Macy Michelle‘s awesome and very current list.

grow your blog

Schedule your posts

WordPress has its own version, but it doesn’t work for me… I end up manually having to post it – or else it stays in the Scheduled tab.

Instead, another way to grow your blog would be giving Tweetdeck or Hootsuite a try when scheduling your posts.

I’ve found that an 8:30am and 4:30pm UK posting time works for me at the moment, especially as I’m currently averaging two posts a-day.

grow your blog

Post on Facebook groups

I spent a chunk of my evenings on Facebook and Twitter, this is the only way to grow my blog – whilst keeping my dayjob.

I’ll share posts in relevant groups. For example, when I wrote my supporting small or local business post post, I found Facebook groups dedicated to connecting locals living in various regions across the UK.

grow your blog

Grow your blog on Twitter

Honestly, this is one of the best ways. The people you find on there are so engaging! They’ll support, follow, like and comment on that specific post you shared.

The Twitter handles I recommend you following and even including in your Twitter posts include: @BloggersHut, @GoldenBloggerz, @BloggersTribe, @bloggingbees, @theclique_uk, @cosyblogclub.

An example of this would be…

Another part of Twitter to take advantage of are the #hashtags. Look for ‘#WritersLift’ or ‘share a post’ threads. But, make sure that you actually follow the rules!

🌟 Following the account which started the thread

🌟 Retweeting the thread

🌟 Sharing others’ posts from the thread

🌟 Commenting on posts from the thread

The final part of Twitter which I find useful is the Lists. If you start by following the blogging lists, you’ll get a chance to engage with more bloggers, seeing the type of posts they share for inspiration. If you keep at it, they might even include you in them!

grow your blog

Grow your blog by making use of the ‘Discover’ button on WordPress Reader

I’ve met some incredible bloggers through this feature! I’ve grown my WordPress blog’s following and maintained engagement with all who I’ve found.

The best part is that you can type keywords into the ‘Discover‘ button and find likeminded bloggers, who write about that exact topic!

Also, if you’re on WordPress (or any other blog platform), remember to tag and categorise your posts.

Top tip: make sure your tags aren’t the same as your categories. Also, don’t use the same tags in multiple posts. My advice is: try to ensure they’re different each time.

Another top tip: don’t overtag. I’ve found that three-four tags work, maximum ten. Excessively tagging actually lowers your algorithm.

The final tip: sounds silly, tags are case-sensitive. Lowercase works best for tagging.

grow your blog

Pin stuff on Pinterest

I actually don’t know how to use this, so I’m not going to talk about it much… But, I’ve heard it’s great for others who decided to grow their blog.

grow your blog

Don’t stress, just be consistent

I’ve saved the best to last… You can throw so much money into ads, you can even guest blog – but there are no guarantees that your content will be accepted, or even that the ads will bear fruit.

My main advice is don’t stress. Just be consistent. That’s the safest and most organic way to grow your blog.

If you do it any other way, you’ll lose the enjoyment. Keep an eye out on your previous posts that worked well, and focus on reinventing (or advancing) on them.

Like I said, I blog for fun, as a hobby and for stress-relief… I can’t see myself blogging for money, because I’d probably lose the enjoyment I get from it. If that does happen later down the line, it’d be an added bonus I didn’t expect.

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Small Business Ideas

Now’s the time for all the ‘supporting small business’ ideas in the world! Especially as we’re heading into another national lockdown, which – if it helps the NHS cope and means life can get back to normal post-vaccine, then it’s worth it!

This year has been one heck of a ride… Worst rollercoaster ever, one you’d never find at Thorpe Park!

A major thing that suffered is our economy, and on a global scale. Therefore, this year, it’s been more important than ever to support small and/or local businesses.

In the first national lockdown, plenty of businesses were forced to close… With another one on the way, I dread to think what that means for the ones that luckily & thankfully survived.

This post aims to give tips on what you can do to support small or local businesses wherever you are in the world.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #1: Shop online

This Christmas, I relied heavily on Etsy. In fact, all year round – my friends and family have been receiving gifts from small businesses which I’ve found via Etsy.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas- #2: Buy & send gift cards

Gift cards are a way of giving a business extra £££ during the pandemic – even when they’re closed – which you or a loved one can claim back at a later date, in exchange for purchases or treatments.

Non-essential shops rely on this sort of thing to keep their businesses open, it also shows your loyalty.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #3: Order a Home Delivery or Pickup a Takeaway

Although local restaurants and cafes have closed for dining, they are open for takeaways and home deliveries. So, pop in or order one via Deliveroo, Uber Eats or Just Eat to “eat in, help out”.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #4: Tip More Than Usual

Here’s another tip for you: get tipping. Go above and beyond your usual (when and if possible). That way, the business knows that they are valued by you.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #5: Leave Good Reviews

You must have come across the ‘support local businesses’ telly adverts by Google, where the likes of Anthony Joshua showcase their favourite local business, encouraging viewers to leave a good review on theirs’.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #6: Continue with Subscriptions and Memberships

Keep paying your memberships and subscriptions, even if they’ve been temporarily suspended.

For those of you who have a steady income, offer to continue paying your cleaners, hair stylists, nannies, etc. They need us and we need them.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #7: Don’t Always Accept Refunds

If you’ve paid for something, don’t ask for a refund where possible and if it won’t put you out of pocket. Think of it as a donation.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #8: Start a Local Business Network

Pretty self explanatory, set up a local businesses group (via Facebook or wherever) where all the local businesses can place ads. Then promote it, getting the local residents involved. It may just be that the locals in your area didn’t know of this particular service.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #9: Crowdfunding

If you love a business and know it’s worth saving (which all do), create a campaign on platforms like GoFundMe to boost its finances. Promote it to friends, and encourage them to share it with theirs and so on…

Another way to do this is to get in touch with your local newspaper and see if they can do something to help.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #10: Offer Your Services For Free

Calling all cool web-designers, web-developers, awesome content creators, ace copywriters, social media whizzes & excellent marketer & advertisers…

Offer your services to those in need. 9/10 times the companies would be so taken aback by the gesture that they’ll spread the word of how amazing you are, which might lead to extra business later down the line. But, don’t expect this.

Never do anything with expectations of reward – the feeling you get after helping someone is enough of a reward in itself.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #11: Share A Local Business’ Promotions & Ideas

If you learn of a unique promotion or idea from a local business, share it online. It may well be something your social-media following or network would like to know about.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #12: Search for Online Services Offered by a Local Business

Not everything must close entirely. Keep an eye out for those businesses who may be able to alter their services, offering online engagement.

Therapists, tutoring, yoga, personal trainers, coaches, financial planners, lawyers, music classes for kids – all of these can be continued through videos or online conferencing.

Whatever and wherever you can, do help out.

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job

Another day, another blog… Thought I’d spice things up a bit with a ‘finding a job you love’ past !

Seeing as we’re currently in the weird part of the year between Christmas and New Year (when no-one knows what day it is), I thought it’d be an ideal time to post about & tap into some motivation ‘new year, new you’ topics.

We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and things are very tough. There are many people losing their jobs, and feel like they’re between a rock and a hard place. If you have been made redundant, I am truly sorry. Another opportunity will come your way, I truly believe that.

There might be many people who are considering a career change since Covid lockdown, and I’m hoping that this post will help.

Before I continue, I want to ask you to think about something (below)…

Just think…

‘If you had unlimited opportunity in the world to do a certain type of career, what would you choose?’

For me… I’m grateful to have a full-time job in marketing – but also work freelance as a journalist/blogger, as that’s what mine was.

I majored in journalism and gained opportunities to write for both national and regional publications while studying, and loved every second of it. But being the type who loves a challenge, I switched as I didn’t feel like that career challenged me enough, I’ll explain…

One thing I’m not in doubt about is that I’m talented a writer. I feel like this means that I don’t necessarily need to limit myself to what I write, and who for.

That’s why I took the brave step of going freelance. However, I made sure I could take up a more challenging and fulfilling full-time role in something I wanted to learn more about and get better at – providing me with a stable income. I chose marketing & events.

Right, so let’s get cracking! The purpose of this post is that I want to help you by offering some tips that I’ve picked up along the way…

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life

Confucius
job

Tip 1) Don’t listen to others’ opinions on your career choice

First thing’s first, think back to when you were in school. What subjects were you good at/enjoyed? What was your dream career? With the right help, you can make it happen (as long as it wasn’t something unrealistic like “be a unicorn”).

Also, be mindful that everyone has an opinion about everything, and theirs isn’t warranted when it’s regarding a career you should take up & how you choose to pay your bills (within reason of it being legal and above the law, of course!).

If you want to be a footballer, and believe you can do it – train. If you want to be an astronaut, study and get your foot in the door (or should I say: on the moon).

There is literally nothing we cannot do if we have the passion, willingness and determination.

I’m pretty sure that people who appose our choices of career are only doing it to protect us.

They think it’s just a “pie in the sky thing”, because they don’t realise how hard we’re willing to work, or how determined we are to make it happen. It’s up to us to show them and prove it.

An example of this, below…

Love what you do, do what you love

Confucius

Whilst working for Archant (a UK regional newspaper brand), we hired a student on work experience. He was young, and impressionable with a zest for journalism.

He dreamed of being a journalist, but wasn’t comfortable in telling his parents he wanted to choose that career as his parents saw it as one without “shelf-life”. They wanted him to become a doctor instead.

I felt the need to encourage him to stand up about them in a dignified way. As I said, people give their opinions without realising our talents, our passion or our determination.

They think it’s the “easy way out” (from a career with a short-self life), which in hindsight, the world of journalism would’ve definitely been more of an easy way out than doctoring! A career in anything can be as long as we’re willing to work at it.

I gave him this very piece of advice, and received some news a couple of years later that he ended up going to study journalism at University a few years later and landed his first role! 🎉

job

Tip 2) Don’t just sit and take rejection

Disclaimer: I’m not talking about being in denial here.. I’m talking about trying elsewhere & never giving up on the dream as a whole.

Yeah, a certain firm/employer might not see your potential, but there are plenty of other firms/employers out there who will. You are the sauce. Believe it, prove it and at the right time, in the right way, you will achieve it.

Take yourself “back to the drawing board” by all means but take all the lessons back with you and learn more, practice your craft more, you’ll get there. Even go as far as asking for feedback from said company/firm who rejected you. This shows tenacity…

job

Tip 3) Stay consistent

This probably should be the first one to be honest… Consistency has very rarely led to failure.

People have experienced failure along the way, sure – but it’s their ability to stay consistent that led to the win. That’s the secret to success and is probably the most important too.

Tip 3 made for a smooth transition into tip 4…

job

Tip 4) Don’t be afraid of failing

You shouldn’t fear failure. Newsflash: failing doesn’t make or break us… What makes or breaks us is our decisions of whether we give up or persevere.

Fail seven times, stand up eight!

Japanese proverb

Did you know that the likes of Coca Cola and Apple failed a lot before they stumbled across their goldmine products that has now made their companies worth billions?

Even famous entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson have failed before succeeding.

Your education report card doesn’t map out your life… Your ideas, and decision to innovate and bring them to life without giving up does.

Simon Cowell (the music mogul) and Alan Sugar (entrepreneur & host of the The Apprentice UK) are examples of public figures didn’t do well school but still succeeded.

Look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t study and learn, I’m just saying that if you’re not cut out for it, it’s not the end of the world. Do what you love, and you’ll love what you do.

Besides, there are plenty of vocational courses out there & apprenticeships for a wide range of careers.

job

Tip 5) Don’t do a career simply for the money or ease of the journey

Aside from the fact that we’re facing a pandemic and our economies are dwindling, choosing a career based on the salary isn’t the wisest move because if you’re a talented footballer but decide against pursuing the career before choosing something more “realistic”, you might live to regret it.

As a former journalist, I did a lot of internships and writing for free before I started earning. I’m not ashamed of it. It taught me a lot, I got to experience things I never would’ve without it.

My first job in writing was for Archant (covering the London boroughs), I stayed on for seven years… In that time, I did a bunch of writing for underground student online magazines too before landing roles at HuffPost, Closer & T3.

If my pursue of journalism was for the money, it wouldn’t have got me far. It takes a lot of patience and pursuing unpaid/intern experience before you land your big break. Be prepared.

job

Tip 6) Consider the option of someday turning your hobby into a full-time job

… but do it wisely and gradually.

I’m not saying quit your day job and commit by becoming self-employed. What I’m saying is, start it up as a side business.

That way, have a stable job and income whilst earning that little extra from your hobby.

Say for example you’re an artist: paint and sell it on. The better you get, the higher you can charge when selling them on – paving the way for setting up your own gallery/business.

Your motto should be: keep grinding, and you’ll get there.

Another way to do it is by saving a chunk of your paycheck each month (or when feasible) from day-job, and put it towards your side-business.

Eventually, you will have enough to stay afloat if you decide take the plunge – but: only take the plunge when you have a good clientele or are financially stable. Because taking a risk like that too soon has its downfalls.

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