I think I wrote my largest ever blog post this month, featuring a total of 3,814 words! It was all about our trip to York, which the kids absolutely LOVED (as did VIP and I) and we’re definitely planning on a return visit.
The post was all about what to do in York with teens – have a read (but grab a cuppa first as you might be there a while!)
December has whizzed by hasn’t it? Probably because I spent most of this month panicking at not having bought any presents midway through. And then two days before Christmas I started to feel ill (more on that later).
But for now, here’s how the rest of December panned out…
I hooked up with quite a few brands this month in ongoing collaborations, most of which I’ve now completed.
They included Beautify Home, JD Williams and Rex London to name a few, and most of them included gifts and products in return for social media posts, mini reviews and payment.
I also took part in a Christmas Day video collaboration organised by Leah from Home Family Life – see it here! As I rather enjoy making and editing videos, I’d like to do more of the collaborative ones.
If you’re interested, let me know and we can look at doing something together. I’ve always wanted to make a montage of bloggers’ tips and tricks – so I ask a question and then about 5 different bloggers give me their tips – and it’s all edited beautifully into a video – now that would be something!
Who I met
Oooh, it has been a busy month for hooking up with people (isn’t it always in December?)
I attended the Blogosphere Christmas Festival on 1stDecember (more on that in blog learning) and, as well as seeing my pals Kerry and Sima there, I also met Naomi from Healthy Living Naomi and Kirsty from What Kirsty Did Next.
This month I was also delighted to discover that Nell from The Pigeon Pair And Me lived quite close to me, so we hooked up for a cuppa and cake in a nearby town. It was lovely to meet her in person – and she’s just as nice as I thought she’d be.
I met with Anna Nuttall towards the latter part of the month too. I always seem to learn new things from Anna every time we meet. This month I learned about a new app that counts blog visitors and tells you where they’re from (and what pages they’ve been looking at), and Anna also suggested that I try an app called Unfold for Instagram stories, which I’m really liking.
In the charts
I didn’t think that I could better being at No.38 in the HIBs chart, but somehow I went and took the 24th spot, which is
amazing. I was so surprised that I even took a screen grab to prove it, because no doubt that’ll change again next month.
And my other bit of amazing news – and one that has ended the year on a high for me is that I’ve reached 39 Domain Authority (DA). I’m over the moon about this and I’ve noticed a lot more brands started to reach out to work with me because of it. My goal is to get to a DA of 40 in the first few months of 2019.
Guest Posts & Opportunities
Adrienne from Working Mum Cambridge put together an exhaustive list of Christmas Gift Guides – I loved it (it took me hours to read through but I got some great present ideas) – plus she included my post in the teen section!
It was a personal epic fail this month – and it was getting ill right before Christmas. The whole family started to get ill in the run-up to the big day – and somehow I kept avoiding it. I then predicted that I’d get ill just before Christmas – and I think I jinxed it!
I spent most of Christmas feeling pretty rough (and even as I write this on 30th December!), but it was still a magical time and I cherished the time I spent with my family – it was lovely. I’m just grateful my mum did Christmas this year – I don’t think I would have managed the way I felt.
My vlogging channel
Again I made 4 videos this month, averaging at one a week.
They included… Spying on My Kids With Blink, Saving Money At Home Bargains, Lip Dermal Fillers (skirting over this one quickly before my mum has the chance to tell me off – I've already had one friend call me to have a go!) and What I Ate For Christmas Lunch.
I’m pleased with what I’ve done, but I’ve still got loads of videos on my phone that I need to edit and upload, so I can’t rest up just yet.
As I mentioned, I attended the Blogosphere Christmas Festival in December. It was my second time attending the event and I was hoping to pick up some great nuggets of advice.
The venue was spot on – it was the 5-star Landmark Hotel, which offered plenty of opportunities for pics to stick on Insta.
However, the venue was the highlight of the event for me; other than learning that the Instagram algorithm knows if you’re posting via an iPhone or third party app, I didn’t glean much information if I’m perfectly honest.
So I kind of came to the conclusion that the event is more for newbie bloggers, offering inspiration on becoming big blog (or vlog) stars.
What I would like to have seen (and this goes for pretty much MOST blogging events I’ve attended) is a range of ages represented on the ‘expert panel’ offering advice and tips on their experience of blogging.
What we very often see are young beauty or fashion bloggers offering their advice – nothing wrong with this of course except if that’s all that’s on the table.
It would be much more beneficial to see bloggers or vloggers at different stages of their blogging journey on the panel – as well as a wide range of bloggers represented – those who blog about food, books, interiors….etc …there are plenty of them.
It’s all very well presenting a panel of ‘experts’ to offer advice, but when they start suggesting that newbie bloggers launch merchandise or charge for every single thing they do, they’re then not relatable to the majority of their audience.
I’ll get off my soapbox about this now (and save it for a mini rant), but high five to the blogging events that start introducing this concept – remember, you heard it here first 😉
I started selling with good intentions selling on eBay this month, but I think it was the wrong month to do it, given that most people were distracted with buying Christmas presents. January will be no better I don’t think, given all the sale offers going on.
So from February, I’ve decided that in order to achieve one of my 2019 goals (to empty my eBay chest of goodies to sell!), then I really need to have a few items a week on eBay for sale.
As I mentioned in my November report (and more on this below) I’m slowing things down a little when it comes to taking on new work – not because I don’t need the money or collaborations (I do!), but some of what I set out to achieve for myself this year hasn’t happened due to taking on too much.
I’m mainly talking about affiliating my blog site so that I can start earning more money from it as I sleep. Of the (almost) 400 blog posts I’ve written, only a tiny fraction (probably about 5%) of these use affiliate marketing – and it’s something I need to fix.
It will take time of course, but it will mean other things (for the immediate future) will have to give.
Other income streams in December:
– JustPark £49.04 (I rent my driveway for parking and also use JustPark for when I’m visiting hospitals, town centres, stadiums, airports etc) here’s £5 to get you started!
– Top Cashback: £103.87 – this is how I earn FREE cash for shopping online! Check it out for yourself.
Affiliate links: £17.49
December income: £250.40
I received an email from Amazon asking me if I wanted to join its ‘Influencer Program’ – given that it was spelt ‘program’ I figured it had been brought over from the States – and it had, but they just failed to update the name to ‘programme’.
Anyway, you have to meet certain criteria by logging in with a social media channel. I tried my YouTube channel, which has over 700 subscribers, but they told me I didn’t qualify! I then thought I’d retry with my Twitter account – and managed to get in.
So basically, the programme – or rather ‘program’ allows influencers to showcase their favourite products on a dedicated ‘storefront’ page to share with their followers.
I’m always sharing my favourite things from my 10 New Things page or from my Favourite Finds posts on social media, so I think that this is a great introduction to have a store front for all my favourite (and most importantly, affordable) goodies.
Plus, if it means I get the chance to earn some commission on the side for sharing what I love, who am I to complain?
So, here’s the big reveal…my personal page is right here – check out some of the items that I’ve either bought for myself and swear buy – or those I’ve got my eye on.
I’ve only managed to upload two folders – ‘Bloggers’ Favourites’ and ‘My Go-To Kitchen Gadgets’, but I’d love to know what you think of the items I’ve picked – or if you have any yourself.
Plans for 2019
As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to have to look at paring things down slightly on the blog as I’ve decided to work more on my ‘making money’ tasks for 2019.
As such, there are a few things that I will need to either give up in 2019 or start doing less often.
This means that my regular monthly competition will most likely become a competition as and when I run them (as opposed to monthly), and I’m also giving the monthly #SnappedUp linky a break.
I’ve built it up over the past year, managing to run it quite successfully by myself. It has been a lot of hard work getting the name out there, but it has paid dividends and I’ve enjoyed discovering lots of new blogs and vlogs – and climbing the DA ranks of course.
The only way I’ll keep this going is to run it with someone going forward – maybe even a couple of people. If you’re interested, let me know! But otherwise, it was good fun while it lasted.
And finally, I am changing 10 New Things from weekly to monthly. It takes a lot of time each week coming up with new items to feature, upload pictures, write descriptions etc..so the pressure will be off slightly if I switch it to monthly.
For the first part of 2019, I will probably only be writing one blog post a week as well. This will allow me to focus on my other tasks until I can commit to uploading more often. I haven’t decided what day I will publish on, but I will try and make it consistent so that you know when to expect it to appear.
That’s it from me until next month, so all that’s left to say is here’s to a healthy and happy 2019 – may the year bring you plenty of
December At A Glance:
What was great? Reaching a DA of 39.
What wasn’t? Getting ill 🙁
Goals for January: Get (and stick to) a plan to better monetise the blog – and sell more things on eBay!
A Pin For Your Blogging Board