I’ve publicised my blog and I don’t know what to do now.

I have used this image recently but I don’t care, it works beautifully with a post about indecisiveness. I have made the decision to share my posts on other social media platforms as I felt it was the right time, however with this wonder whether I should post less frequently.

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I am currently blogging at least once a day and only being on one platform still requires a lot of free time as many of you know. The first hour of my day is spent responding to your comments, and I would never not respond to comments. Also taking time to look at my About Me and Introduce Yourself section’s and trying to check out blogs really makes time fly by. Then I upload a post and engage with you all on an evening. But this means that every post is pretty short in length and I am wondering if cutting down and maybe posting 3 or 4 times a week would be beneficial moving forward.

This would mean that I could maybe type more lengthy and in depth posts, however honestly fear I may not see as much engagement with followers if it is not as frequent. It has made such a difference to me posting daily and this is why I have kept it up. It also helps keep me motivated to carry on. But I know that many of you are on social media too and of course taking more time out here would mean I could see you all on Instagram and Twitter more.

I am really shit at multi tasking. I find it much easier to watch all the plates fall than to jog back and forth between them and keep them spinning. But if I take just a tiny step back on WordPress I think I could manage a little better. Or maybe I will just bite the bullet and keep up the pace and see if I can use social media more often. I’ll sleep on it.

How many of you also use social media? How do you balance the time and do you use certain platforms more than others? Let me know as I would greatly appreciate the feedback!

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Cheers!

Sam

Scheduling posts

I rarely schedule posts here. Unless I know I won’t have access to my blog for a little while, I would prefer to post when I feel like it. This would be a great tool for when I am working and would prevent the issues mentioned here, I just struggle for the motivation.

I fantasize about this a lot. Picture the scene. It’s a lovely Sunday evening and I have seven posts all lined up ready for the week ahead. I can go to work and actually get other responsibilities done at a decent time now that I have the posts up and ready to go. I mean I could do this, I have about 25 drafts in there doing nothing so far. But I don’t like to just type away for hours. It makes blogging repetitive and boring.

And whilst I was wallowing in self-pity regarding my lack of motivation I thought to myself why change? If what I am doing is still enjoyable and I am motivated enough to write every day, why not just do it daily? Sometimes if something works we should stick to it. Change is not always enjoyed despite often being needed, but sometimes unnecessary changes need not be made if we are already going in the right direction. Sometimes routine and tradition is enough to keep us on track.

Also, have you noticed that this bridge that I walked under is actually two bridges right next to one another? That’s cool.

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Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

My ‘Quitting Blogging’ post blew up!

Wow! 200 likes on my post Quitting Blogging already. This post seems to be very popular and I have had a lot of comments on it, and still need to respond to some. But I just looked through my notifications and thank you for making this post one of my most viewed and liked.

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I am not sure if it is the featured image or the content that stands out for this post, maybe both. But it is as interesting to see which posts are popular and which aren’t. Sometimes this catches me by surprise.

Thank you for making it a popular post!

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

 

Blogging + time = positive mental health

I really do love scrolling down the Meet and Greet section of my site. Every single day I am getting new additions to this and people seem to really enjoy introducing themselves and having a browse of other blogs. It is great to see and I am pleased I have it on here.

As I have said a few times because of the number of comments I receive here I am not going to try and respond and clog up the feed, I would prefer to leave it clean. I can barely keep up with daily blog comments and my about me section, not that I would consider this a bad thing for a second. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

However every now and then I will spot a contribution that catches my eye. Elizabeth over at Living with Mental Illness asked me a question that I have answered recently in comments, however with the theme of mental illness I will try to answer with this topic incorporated.

 


How do you reach a larger audience with reads and follows? I would greatly appreciate any advice you can share! Thank you in advance.


 

I have always wanted to expand my blog as much as I can. Not really out of an ego although we all have one to some extent, but because I would love to reach as many people as possible with my thoughts and opinions. The further we reach, the more people we will meet with the same outlook on life. We will also reach people that disagree but are willing to engage in interesting conversation. The more people I reach, the bigger the audience that would potentially read a book that I may publish further down the line. Also, the opportunities through blogging increase as it grows. Would I like to have a living outside of the 9-5? You bet.

In my late teens and twenties I started suffering from anxiety and a mild form of depression. Not to the extent that some people have it but enough to see me go to therapy for a few months. I realised that the more time I had to be in my head, the more these conditions manifested into something ugly. As a result this totally demotivated me to blog which only went and gave me more free time to think negative thoughts and a whirlpool opened up below me.

Another factor was the nature of my blog. I had a blog that originally started out just as I was leaving religion, and many of my posts would reflect on existential questions and philosophy. Naturally, putting my non religious views out there to the world caused occasional debates and I often went out to seek them. Not to be a troll but because I really wanted the truth. But because of this blogging wasn’t always fun, and when I was feeling very low I needed something (no pun intended!) to raise my spirits. I ignored my blog for this reason as it didn’t appeal to me when I was at my worst.

This inspired me to change up my blog style and theme. I wanted a happier blog full of colour and photographs. I also decided to travel to Australia as I felt this would be a great distraction from my anxiety, and at the same time I could give much more positive blog posts to the world. I am so glad I did this.

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One thing that helps keep my my mind stimulated is continuous blogging. I now spend many hours a day here and it is something I love to do. I love watching it grow and everyday is a new challenge to write about something which is a great mental exercise. Now this is the beautiful part. Blogging frequently does more than just keep us stimulated and- hopefully- free from mental anguish. It means more and more people are able to find our blog. People in the same boat and people that would love to see life from our perspective. No one is perfect, and hearing from others with daily struggles reminds us that we are all human and that we shouldn’t strive for perfection.

Despite having this blog since 2014, it was only in September 2017 that I started to really put effort into this website. That was when I landed in Sydney and my motivation to blog increased tenfold. I had a two year working holiday to show family and friends back home and every day was a new experience. But I couldn’t just post and expect people to come over and read. I had to engage too. This is half of what I do everyday, crossing over to other peoples blogs and introducing myself. If I didn’t do this my blog wouldn’t be as popular. I realised that people enjoy conversation. We all do, we are social creatures and a conversation unites us. No one wants to spend all their time reading in the same way we don’t want to simply listen to someone wanting to speak all the time. We like to have a say and make it a conversation rather than a lecture. I have found some amazing blogs and people this way.

I then found myself with a much larger community of people that I was engaging with. The same thing happens when we decide to leave our house and explore the neighborhood… the people that didn’t know we existed do now and are happy to say ‘hey’! It isn’t that people don’t want to speak to us, it is that they aren’t aware that we are here to speak to us in the first place.

I thanked 600 people whilst I was at the Blue Mountains in November 2017 for following my blog, and I expect at the end of the month I will be thanking 7,000. A huge change in 13 months, and that change is all down to the time spent on my blog and engaging with others.

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I keep blogging as it has been a great form of therapy, and if I stop I am unsure whether or not I will sink to those depths again. Keeping busy is a great remedy, and I can see why so many people blog. It is the chosen method for many to keep their heads above the water, and at the same time be creative. It is truly turning a negative into a positive and is great to see.

I hope this answered the question, and if anyone has any thoughts on this topic please feel free to let me know. As always, I will see you in the comments!

 

Sam


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

I fucked up

Looking at my uploads today, I’ve noticed that I uploaded the same ‘This is Australia’ post twice. I don’t know how it happened, whether it was my fault or a glitch but it did, so sorry if that confused anybody. But as I have comments on both posts that I will respond to I won’t delete. I’ll just improvise. Somehow.

I will learn from this to check my damn uploads and make sure I’m not clogging the feed.

Anyway, how is your Monday?

 

Sam


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

 

Be obsessed

I was very lazy growing up, and in many ways I still am. Success in life is often desired but rarely pursued if it isn’t handed to us in the form of a lottery ticket. We know what we want, but knowing and getting are a million miles apart. We know where success is, it’s on the other side of that vast expanse of water. Way too far. And getting there means we get our feet wet, and today is not the day for that. It’s too cold. Or maybe we are too tired. Regardless, there are more excuses than the desire to go for it.

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On top of that, if we start today, there is a 99% chance we will still not be at success tomorrow. That would be way too easy. And the fact that it is harder than that is great because it means most people turn back. We have the choice whether or not we want to be the ones that go all the way. Statistically, they don’t. Statistically, we won’t either. But we can change our minds and knowing they aren’t leaves much more space for us to sail on over there.

I remember one of my favourite footballers, Steven Gerrard, talking about being obsessed. A Liverpool and England superstar, he said we need to be obsessed. Now of course he was referring to football in this instance, but it is relevant for us all in whatever we are doing and want to achieve. He said every day on the way to training in his car he would be obsessed to be the best player there and if he wasn’t, he would go home and think about it and try to do it again the following day. Every now and then his talk comes to mind and gives me a little boost for the day. It reminds me that having an obsession isn’t always a bad thing.

To be okay at something we need to do it regularly. To be great, maybe even the best, we need to be obsessed. That is the difference between the two and I think we all have something we are either obsessed by, or capable of being to succeed to the heights we want to.

It’s hard to be obsessed with something if we aren’t seeing the benefits from that obsession. But it is impossible to gain the rewards without the effort. Effort is an investment we should accept without the pay, as the pay will come in time. It will reward us in ways we will never be rewarded in a life we aren’t truly living for ourselves. For most of us that is often the life on this side of the water. Stay if you wish, but the hard work getting over the water is an incredibly small sacrifice for a lifetime of freedom.

 

Featured Photo by Matt Lamers on Unsplash

Second Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash and edited by me.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

I need a beer.

Today has been hectic. I haven’t had the chance to blog at all and I was have really enjoyed riding this wave of motivation. But it wasn’t the motivation that got me, it was work.

I was woken up by a voicemail from my manager at 8.30am. I was expecting to be off so I set my alarm for a little later.

‘Hey give me a call back, I have a shift for you’.

I have been begging for shifts recently as hours are scarce, so despite hardly being able to open my eyes I called straight back.

I didn’t know that this shift would be in an hours time…

Thankfully the hostel I am staying at is in viewing distance of my hotel, so time wasn’t an issue. I honestly cross a crossroads and I am there, waiting for the green man probably takes as long as the walk itself. It is weird being so close to work that I can be given an hours warning of a shift I wasn’t aware of, and still be able to take a long shower. It has certainly been a pro amongst the cons of hostel life.

I had walked into the hotel during the check out period (up to 11am), but being such a huge hotel check in’s were occurring. Some VIP groups, some airline crew. Two guests checking in asked me what the emergency services and media were doing on a nearby street, I didn’t know. Hospitality can be like that, we can get so much information from people around us and at the same time be so busy that we have no idea what is happening around us.

I do more check in’s at this hotel before 11am than I did all day in other hotels. This one is huge. There is just a constant buzz around the place and always something going on. We had Chinese New Year celebrations happening in house, with a huge dinner taking up a whole ballroom. Dancing dragons and beating drums took over the reception area at 6pm, before making their way up the escalators and leading the huge group to their event. This occurred as airline crew were checking out for their next flight, I wish I could take pictures at work to show you how active the lobby was during this moment of organised madness.

As I am trying to keep my work and blog life separate, I do not want to disclose where I work or too much information about my job. I’m no MI5 though, honest.

We then had a another VIP arrive, however as the concierge team were so busy I left the desk and assisted with getting the tour group’s gear to the room. This is the kind of thing I love about hotel life, we get to mingle with people that are literally idols to their fans. It makes me grateful despite the hectic nature and having to stay back longer than I should have isn’t a big deal.

I was planning to leave by 6.30pm latest, however I ended up staying until 9pm. Not a bad days work considering I was going to be off today. But sadly my time in Brisbane is coming to an end and I need all the hours I can get to fund me until I find a job in Melbourne mid March. So despite being grateful for the hours I gained today, I wasn’t blogging. I have spent so much time on my blog that it feels weird when I have a few hours away from it. I still think of posts to write about, I just can’t start them. But a quick draft entry to come back to later on will do.

So sorry for being a lot less present today than I have been, I feel like I have been engaging a lot with you all and then suddenly went cold. But I need to remind myself that it was only for one day, and the reason was out of my control. But I hate when I can’t blog as it is something I have done for years and it is just weird not doing it. And for that reason a day feels more like a week. It is a hobby that I enjoy, and I don’t enjoy having it taken away.

But here I am having a beer, with a whole day off tomorrow. I hope…

I’ll speak to you all again soon.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

 

How I visualize my blog stats to comprehend them

Yesterday I posted about the time I celebrated 500 followers. Today it is two years exactly since it was posted and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was delighted to have received this news and to try to visualize 500 people reading my posts was pretty cool even if a little difficult to do. But to visualize it makes it more real to me. On a screen full of text and numbers it can be easy to disregard such numbers. WordPress alone has over 75,000,000 sites according to online sources, I mean how are we supposed to comprehend such a number!?

I remember some of the very first followers I ever had. You know who you are, I still talk to some of you every day and it is fantastic. When we are talking numbers in the tens it is much easier to take in, however fun to think about. What I sometimes imagined was sitting on my computer at home and having ten people listening and watching me as I chatted away and typed up a post. I mean that is pretty nerve-racking to have ten people listen to you. I hated it during presentations in school and even as an adult in meetings. Presenting to an audience is not my thing.

So yes, imagine ten people listening to you read your blog posts out loud in your home, suddenly it doesn’t seem like a small number anymore.

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I visualize everything. The views, the visitor numbers, anything that turns a number into a picture to help me analyse what’s going on. And before you know it, all that hardcore blogging pays off and you have 500 followers looking forward to each post. Amazing.  I’ll add here what I posted in the link above when this notification from WordPress came my way back in 2017. It certainly shows how significant this number is.

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Again, thanks to moth dad over on Twitter to help with this visual. Now I admit, we have to space everyone out a mile to get the distance, but 500 is still a very large number. It doesn’t seem so with the ridiculous follower numbers we see some people have on Instagram, however some people are just freaks. I mean another way I think of how significant 500 is, is this. Imagine you were sentenced to 500 days in prison, or told it would take 500 days for your WiFi to start working again. Or if 500 wasps were heading to your home or your team lost by 500 points. All will ensure sheer turmoil, and this gives me a nice little boost for the day.

But anyway, back to the map. If you have 500 followers, this is how far they would stretch if a mile apart. Supposing Brexit didn’t cause a problem at the border that is. If you don’t quite have that number of followers yet that’s cool, as 500 views works too and is a nice number to aim for moving forward.

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My best month ever views-wise was January 2018. I hit 10,877 views for the month, visitor numbers were half this. But lets go with the 10,877, you know it’s our blog so we can make those kinds of decisions. We’re now talking about a small town population here. One with at least five pubs, there’s always one you just don’t go into as an outsider if you want to come out alive. One of those sized towns. Instead of seeing a number I see a thriving community, I see actual people all doing their own thing and living their own lives. Imagine that, a small town following what you do online and talking about it in the local fish and chip shop as they wrap the chips in the newspaper with your name as a headline.

I am providing the stereotypical British village/town visual for everyone, but I am sure you have figured that out by now. Feel free to change this for your local village setting.

And then, lets increase the statistics timeframe to one year. In that same year of 2018, I totalled 57,140 views and 23,961 visitors. But again lets go for the larger number. Why not? It gives me an added boost to see the glass half full.  Now lets imagine we are walking up the steps of a football stadium and step out to this view…

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This is the Vicente Calderón, a 54,907 seater stadium in Madrid. If these blog views were people, this venue would hit full capacity. Think of the noise this amount of people would make. The atmosphere and the buzz. Amazing. Now I know none of us are going to be sitting in the centre circle of such a venue with such a crowd simultaneously, that’s not how blogging works. But I just wanted to share how I visualize the numbers over the years. From a room full of people to a stadium full of people. Wherever you are on the scale, keep moving forward and keep watching your blog and community grow. My community is amazing and I have been very lucky to meet and talk to so many cool and interesting people through this site.

I hope this was helpful, even if a little weird, hopefully both. But we need weird or we are doomed.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you do anything similar!

 


 

Featured Photo by Eric Perez on Unsplash

Meeting Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Village Photo by Stephen Oliver on Unsplash

Stadium Photo by Liam McKay on Unsplash

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

Deciding between a writing book and starting a blog

I remember the exact moment I decided between whether I was going to write a book or create a blog. I was crossing the road from Central Station in Newcastle, this road to be exact.

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As I recall, it wasn’t this sunny that day. It was a much rainier day, the grey skies and lack of activity had my head elsewhere. Despite being committed to writing in some form, I wasn’t sure which path to take and it was playing on my mind a lot. After a bunch of trips to Waterstones (one of the leading book sellers in the UK) and a bit of online research, I made a decision.

I realised that writing a book without an audience would be like buying a car without wheels. And writing a book with hardly any book-writing experience would be like trying to find that car without wheels whilst blindfolded. All in all I didn’t think it was a wise idea.

The beauty of blogging is that it is much more adaptable. I have changed my site considerably three times since 2014, including the name of it and themes. I like that I can change my style when I feel like it and find out what works and what doesn’t. I will eventually become confident with a final product and until then, I can create content that can be put into a book and increase my writing skills in the process, at the same time build a community that would like to read such a book. It is a perfect route for a potential first-time-author-nobody like me. To think that I even put so much time into simply throwing a book out there is silly looking back. It was the perfect decision and it has been fantastic for so many reasons since I started back in 2014.

Another reason why I had decided to blog is that I can add to it as much as I want, when I want. I am not limited to pages or word count, and my posts don’t really have to follow a theme. One post could be about my recent trip somewhere, the next could be how I am feeling. I don’t have to stick to chapters and I enjoy that writing freedom.

My about me section mentions that I am book writing, and I have roughly 100,000 words stored in chapters waiting to be tidied up and finalised. I have a title but I don’t want to put that out there until it is closer to publishing. I am not going to touch this however until I know that publishing would be at the appropriate time. My blog has evolved since I started to write the book, so I may make big changes to chapters as since then, my opinions and feelings have changed on certain topics. Another pro for writing on WordPress is that I can evolve over time too. If I published in 2014, I might now disagree with some of the things in those chapters. Waiting has been the right choice for me.

Looking back I think I may have started book writing first, getting a few thousand words into a word document. I remember copying and pasting those paragraphs into my earliest blog posts, and I also remember the moment I almost accidentally deleted the whole thing. That was probably another reason why I wanted play it safe with a blog, 100,000 words is rather scary to have in a document unseen. Blogging I can share it bit by bit with my audience and I love that.

What do you think, have you also considered writing a book? Have you one or more published? Let me know in the comments and feel free to share if you have already.

Happy writing!

 

 

Featured Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary, Instagram and Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

Blog, eat, blog, eat… (a post from 2016!)

What I love finding in earlier posts is that I haven’t lost my love of blogging. From the title of this post from 2016 I can see that blog, eat, blog, eat was a ritual that I have kind of stuck with to this day. The only difference is back then I would have bouts of frequent blogging and times with little activity. One of the reasons was episodes of anxiety and depression that had me lose all motivation to blog. But since then I have morphed my blog into one with more optimism and bright colours. This has helped a lot.

This post was a quick one. It was from the Botanist, one of my favourite bars in Newcastle, England. This gin tasting session was in fact a reason why I found a new love for gin, as learning more about how it is made convinced me to give it another chance. I just learned not to drink it at parties.

In fact, as my book writing remains dormant as I build my blog, this very moment at the table in the Botanist is the opening lines to my book. Will it remain there? I am not sure but I guess we will see.


 

From January 21st, 2016…

It’s restaurant week here in Newcastle, so the pounds that leave my wallet are being added to my gross tonnage.


It’s a great idea for the difficult weeks after Christmas, but bloody hard to make a booking. Oh, there was a little gin tasting session thrown in too yesterday. I really don’t like gin (probably more psychological than anything after what I can only describe as the hangover of all hangovers, and waking up in my friends parents bed to be sick all over their sheets) but I didn’t have the heart to tell him and it was an interesting talk to say the least.

BBQ yesterday, Italian tonight?

That’s all I can type for now, I’m getting out of breath.

 


 

Just a quickie, how would everyone feel if I was to upload throwback posts into my blog every so often? I know I have asked this previously with positive results, however I may blog during the day and find an older article to talk about on an evening, as I like posting twice a day and it gives me a chance to repost some of the thousand+ posts that have hardly been viewed as I got used to blogging. It’s like a little time machine that helps me remember how this blog formed and I think you will enjoy some of the posts.

Let me know what you think!


 

Originally posted 21/1/2016

Re-posted 07/02/2019


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam