I haven’t seen the coming (or going) of this month! May always goes quickly – I think it's partly to do with the fact that we have two main family occasions – mine and VIP’s wedding anniversary (11 years) and Luis’ birthday.
Luis turns 12 this year and he has just joined a youth club. I can hardly believe it; I remember when I used to go to my local youth club and play pool and table tennis – and now my own son is going to them – where has the time gone?!
When this post goes live we’ll have just returned from Leicester, courtesy of Visit Leicester to experience their ‘Stay, Play and Explore’ short break. Obviously I’ll be writing a blog post on it and I’m aiming to do a video too of the activities that we managed to squeeze in.
Well, I’m pleased to say that I don’t seem to have had any major ‘epic fails’ this month. Instead, the problem I’ve had is biting off more than I can chew with collaborative posts.
Most of them have been unpaid – and being a conscientious blogger, I’ve been pulling out all the stops to get them done (with more four hour sleeps than I care to mention) just to fit it around my full time job.
All of them have been relatable to my blog theme of course, but I’m not seeing any form of payment – just a mention of my blog or a link. And for all the effort that I’m putting in, I think this is a big wake-up call for me.
So, from now on I have decided to charge for most of my collaborations (except those that don’t require a blog post but perhaps a mention on my ‘10 New Things’ page or in my newsletter)
This will mean that I don’t end up spending hours writing and perfecting posts and seeing very little in return. Instead, I can write more about what I want to – a win-win.
This moves me nicely on to my media kit!
They say bloggers who are looking to work with brands or ‘go pro’ should have a media kit.
I’ve wanted to get one done for a long time and I know they have free templates where you can create your own, but I wanted something with the ‘wow factor’.
So I hired a great graphic designer, Nicky Valsamakis, to create mine from scratch.
What’s great about Nicky is that she takes the time to learn about your blog, what you’re trying to convey, the brand, the topics etc…and incorporates all of this into a media kit using your brand’s colours.
My media kit is quite long (three pages) but if you’re very new to blogging I suggest you start out with one page, with three being the maximum number of pages.
As I continue working with brands (and as my blog stats and social media stats improve), I’ll update my media kit to reflect this, but I have to say I’m delighted with how it turned out – here’s a sneak peek!
Nicky is available to design professional looking, bespoke media kits – and her prices are very affordable. You can send her an email at: email@example.com
I wrote a blog post (to help Provident with its ‘Don’t Break The Bank Holiday’ campaign) on ideas for the Bank Holiday.
Not to be pessimistic of course, but on the last Bank Holiday it rained, so just in case it did so again, I wrote a post on 5 Fab Family Games to Play When You’re Stuck Indoors.
I also had the opportunity to review the ‘Insider London’ book, which offers an insider’s tour of London’s best-kept secrets and diverse neighbours, and I’d highly recommend it – either for yourself or as a gift. In fact, I’ll be running a competition on the site in June to win a copy.
And finally, I reviewed a Peli Protective Case for my iPhone 6. The good news is that I’m giving this away as a prize to those taking part in this month’s #SnappedUp Linky.
Talking of the #SnappedUp Linky – I think myself and Carol (from Family Makes) – who run the monthly linky are the only ones to do so and offer those linking up the opportunity of winning a prize.
In fact, I haven’t yet come across any other Link parties that are giving away prizes on a regular basis. The good news is that you’ve a good chance of winning something as the Linky is still in its infancy.
As it grows, we’re looking at introducing bigger and better prizes – hopefully sponsored! Otherwise we might give away multiple prizes to offer more chances of winning.
Guest Posts & Opportunities
Right at the end of last month I wrote for Victoria’s Mummy Times Two Blog about dealing with my son being born with clubfoot in her ‘More Than Ordinary Life’ series
As part of my regular blog contributions to Meet Other Mums, I wrote a post on how genetics can play a large part in our children’s behaviour. I always wondered how I can raise my two kids exactly the same, yet they turned out so differently.
And finally, for my regular slot as BritMums’ Shopping Hauls Round-up Editor, I wrote a post about holiday buys.
My vlogging channel
So what videos have I been uploading recently?
Well, just for something different (and to try and offer some humour to my channel), I made a video on my blogging bloopers it seems to have been popular and I’ve got a few comments from it.
I also went along to George Home’s Autumn/Winter Collection earlier this month to see what they’ve got comingg up in store – have a watch at what you can expect to see!
When we went to Florida in April we visited the largest entertainment McDonalds in the world, so of course I had to capture this on video.
And finally, as usual every week (and mostly with Girlwrighter) I vlogged The Weekly Scoop -10 New Things in Travel & Interiors)
I attended a Manfrotto Masterclass in London, offering tips and tricks on vlogging and equipment to use – it was a really worthwhile event.
At the end of last month my goal was to explore more speaking opportunities and I’ve actively reached out to do this. Not all of them have panned out but I’ll keep plugging away and see what happens.
The Blogging Month At A Glance
What was great? Getting plantation shutters fitted in my home. I’ve waited eight years for them – and I absolutely love them. No regrets! Oh, and meeting Caroline from Girl About Townhouse – I love hooking up with other bloggers and swapping ideas & stories!
What wasn’t? Taking on too much non-paid work and (almost) losing my sanity!
Goals for June: Get my media kit out there! I’m proud that I’m now charging for my posts.