Wow, what a month! And more to the point, what a year! I’m giving myself a huge pat on the back here as exactly one year ago I read a blog post that listed 50 significant things the blogger had done that year.
‘What I great idea!’ I thought – so I’ve gone and ‘upped the ante' by writing 99 things I did, saw or learnt in 2017. Of course, I didn’t think of 99 things off the top of my head!
All throughout the year I kept a record of everything significant – just for this blog post! So enjoy the read!
In the meantime, here’s how December has fared for me…
I left it to the last minute to get my Christmas shopping done, which is a huge shame. I had planned to get it all done by November, but as usual work got in the way, so I was left to try and quickly get goods online at the last minute. Next year WILL be better.
Meanwhile, my other ‘epic fail’ …In October I had shot up in the HIBS chart to take 64th position, which was a huge achievement. Two months later and I’m at 75, which just goes to show you can’t take anything for granted.
So my goal is to get that number down into the 50s – I can’t be loitering up there in the 70s for too long yo!
Tourist England got in touch to ask if I would like to contribute to an article they was putting together on travel bloggers’ favourite things to do in London – have a read!
Meanwhile, Personalisedgiftsshop.co.uk let me choose some nice gifts in the run up to Christmas. One of my favourites was this personalised bauble for £9.99. It looks great on the Christmas tree, but then I thought I could go one better on using it…I could make personalised Christmas cards!
Here’s how I did it
Step: 1: I took a close up picture of the bauble on a nice background (this is where offcuts of wallpaper come in great use!)
Step 2: I printed it out (x3) and cut them out
Step 3: I sourced some arts and crafts materials – card, tracing paper, cute decorations etc…
Step 4: Then I got creative in making them. I made three different designs in total – what do you think? I think the purple one is my favourite.
I’m a brand ambassador!
Since I started blogging two years ago I’ve long had my sights on becoming a brand ambassador. It would have been very easy for me to say ‘yes’ to brands that didn’t quite fit my own brand, so I held out.
And I’m glad I did because one of the brands that I personally love is B&M Stores and I’ve been hankering after working with them for months.
And, on 24th November, I finally got the email that put a huge grin on my face. Yes, I’m finally a B&M Ambassador – badge and all! Maybe that video I put up nailed it for me – who knows?
My goal for 2018? Become an ambassador for a travel brand that fits Home and Horizon. Wish me luck!
I got tagged this festive season on a couple of blogs – which basically means a blogger nominates you to complete a questionnaire and then ‘pass it on’ to other Bloggers.
The first I completed was The Christmas Tag, nominated by Zena from Zena’s Suitcase. Well done to these people for completing it! Laura from Musings of a Tired Mummy, Alejandra from Alejandra’s Life, Gareth from 16-bit Dad and Kate from The Less Refined Mind.
The other post that I completed was 100 Truths – nominated by Laura from Musings of a Tired Mummy. I passed the tag on – and thanks to Anna from Anna Nuttall, Su from Ethan and Evelyn and Kerry from Kerry, Life and Loves for rising to the challenge – it wasn’t easy given that there were 100 questions to get through in the busiest month of the year!
Instagram has now introduced a ‘follow’ for hashtags. Just type in the search bar the hashtag you are interested in, click on the follow button and you’ll be notified of when someone posts using the hashtag. Just make sure you don’t search for a common tag otherwise you’ll be getting notified every few seconds!
My vlogging channel
I have been concentrating so much on the blog and social media that I’ve kind of let the vlogs slip a little this month (even though it was a goal for December to increase the vlogs). But I’m planning to change all that in 2018 and make sure I upload at least once a week – wish me luck!
Plus I’ve got an idea for one of my playlists that I’ve been toying with for a while – so I think rather than mull it over in my mind, I’ll just go ahead and do it – and see if I get any views/postitive feedback on it. So watch this space!
At the end of last month, my latest copy of Blogosphere popped through the letterbox. Inside (as usual) was the Blogosphere Events mini mag – and I was chuffed to see my Instagram post (on the Blogosphere Summer party) made the Newsletter subs page!
Out and about
And talking of Blogosphere, I also took myself along to its Christmas Festival somewhere near Old Street in London.
There were a few brands there and we listened to inspirational (and advice-led talks) by a number of bloggers.
Sadly, due to childcare reasons, I couldn’t stay until the end, but my favourite session was the travel panel – and I made sure I asked the questions that I’d been wondering. They handed it very well and provided some great feedback. So thanks Laura and Claire (Twins That Travel), Lucy Lucraft (Wanderluce), Kara (Heels In My Backpack) and Yaya & Lloyd (Hand Luggage Only).
And of course, I met up with my good old blog buddies – Laura from Musings Of A Tired Mummy, Kerry from Kerry’s Life and Loves, Anna from Anna Nuttall (who seems to know EVERYBODY!) and Leah from Roots and Toots. The picture of a group of us is at the top of this post.
Looking ahead to 2018
I’ve learned a lot this year and I’ve also done a lot; from brand collaborations and press trips abroad with the family, to presenting talks at blog events and now becoming a brand ambassador! Things are definitely moving along in the right direction – and I’ve had such a great time, all from doing this in the little spare time that I get.
There have been plenty of learning lessons along the way including dealing with (very) late payment on collaborations, miscommunication from brands on content deliverables (oh the joy!) and trying to juggle a full time job and raising two kids.
I’m making a few changes going into next year such as better planning and organisation, making blogging goals – and tracking their success, blog monetization, changing my weekly newsletter date (sign up to hear about weekly deals in homeware and interiors) and more guest posting (get in touch if you want me as guest blogger!)
Finally, what I’ve really loved this year was the opportunity to meet other bloggers that I now consider my friends. This by far was the best thing that happened to me blog wise – and I’m looking forward to widening my blog friend circle in 2018!
Blogging Month: December At A Glance
What was great? Becoming brand ambassador for B&M Stores. Hell yeah!
What wasn’t? Still not getting all my Christmas shopping done by mid-December. Next year WILL be better!
Goals for January: Launch a monthly favourites section, stick to my posting schedule, start working on my ebook design!
What have you got lined up for 2018?
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