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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Ultimate Content Marketing 101.4




I definitely feel as though I am nowhere near where I want to be in my understanding of content marketing when it comes to my blogging.  To be fair, if I was, I probably would not be still doing a post on content marketing.  So far, the only thing I feel I have perhaps slightly improved on, are my images.   Imagery is a huge part of blogging for sure, so this is a good thing.

The one thing I have realised, is that there are really only so many charts you can look at that explain the flow of content marketing.   In my opinion, once you have seen one you have seen them all.   Simplicity works best for me where charts are concerned.   I don't want to see a flow chart where each of the seven headings that are featured in it have essay underneath them.   I always think that a heading, followed by the two main points minimum underneath explaining said heading, which ultimately leads on to aiding the final outcome of the flow chart.   Bullet points are also rather favourable as they are generally easy to read.   Below are a few tips I have found on Content Marketing today.


Prominent Words To Aid With Your Content Marketing.


Here I have compiled a basic list (I try not to do complicated!) of words that I hope can aid me in improving, perfecting and maintaining my content creation in general and my content marketing strategy.  


Visualisation.

Although images play a really huge part in blogging, it is also quite handy to play about with your wording in your paragraphs as well.   This allows your reader to obviously visualise what it is your are writing about.  Then, add relevant images to support your text, and you have got it cracked!




Trends.

When I really think about it, trends is actually quite an obvious one.   In fact, I feel it could be quite an easy one to use in my blogging too.  I have written a few blog posts about trends before but by my own admission, they weren't always trends I was fully interested in, which is probably why they never got many views.   If you are going to write about trends, or what is trending out there at the moment, best thing is to make sure it's something you are interested in.  Your reader will start to tell when you are not really interested in something.





Research.

This is probably the most important one of all.  Whatever type of article you decide to write about, make sure you do your research, know what you are talking about, and make sure all your opinions and suggestions are your own.   It's not rocket science!





Google Plus.

I always share on my Google Plus.  Always.  And I share my content several times too.  Of course the other most important thing, is do try and read what others have shared too, and comment on them if you feel inclined to as well.  This is something I have started to do a bit more of recently.  But also, by reading articles on Google Plus, it has given me my own ideas for blogging too.   It's very useful.



Plain English.

This is self-explanatory.  Whenever you are writing a blog post or article on whatever subject that you have chosen, it is imperative that you create easy to read, descriptive text.   Also when you are blogging, what comes up a lot in articles is, make sure you avoid 'keyword stuffing' wherever possible.  That is certainly a trick I have yet to master too.  Just stick with easy to read, plain English and you will be fine.



Fabulous.   Now I need to see how many of these I can improve with my own blog posts!



Thanks for reading.


Sarah x







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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

New List Of TV Shows I Want To Watch.




I haven't been watching as many TV shows lately.  The most recent ones I have seen are The Big Bang Theory, and The Inspector Linley Mysteries.   It's quite an old one the second one, but I have never seen it before and so far I am finding it really good.   You can never go wrong with a Big Bang Theory episode though.   The characters are definitely all crazy and I love them all, especially Sheldon.


It has been a while since I have been looking on my Amazon Prime to see what to watch, and of course, they still have quite a bit of choice on there.   A little while ago I was watching the majority of my TV shows on Netflix, however over the last few months I have found that, because I haven't been watching as many TV shows as I usually do, I decided I couldn't really warrant paying out for both Amazon Prime and Netflix.   With Amazon of course, you get free delivery and books to read from the Amazon Library, as well as movies and TV shows all included for £7.99 a month.   So I have decided that is the better option out of the two.


https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/prime/pipeline/landing/ref=nav_prime_try_btn


Here is a list of 10 shows I have decided I would like to watch from Amazon Prime.


The X Files.

Out of everything on this list this is the only TV show I have seen, and it was a very long time ago and I cannot remember much about what happened in it at all apart from the fact it's about aliens and unexplained phenomena.  Thought I would give it another go.  I wonder if I will be able to make sense of any of it this time round?!  Probably not, but it will be fun.




I have watched a lot of TV shows in the past, particularly American TV shows, so whilst you are reading this list some of you might be shocked that I haven't seen these shows, but I promise, The X Files is the only one I have seen, but here are some others.


Parks and Recreation.



Heard of it, never seen it.  It sounds really good and really funny too.  I know Chris Pratt is in it too and I like him as an actor.   So I will give this a go.


Arrow.



This looks quite exciting, sounds kind of down the Batman route in terms of storyline, but I do like Batman so I can work with that.


Prison Break.



Yeah I know, how is it I have never seen Prison Break?  I have got absolutely no idea.  But it is now on this list and I shall be watching it at some point.  It does sound exciting.


The 100.



100 criminals, delinquents go back to try and repopulate planet earth after it was abandoned following nuclear war.  Wonderful.  I will try this and see what it is like.

The Americans.



I have so far heard and read, that this has been quite a popular show.  It sounds a bit '24' like, if anyone has seen the show '24' with Kiefer Sutherland, that was good.  Makes me wonder if every time you get to the end of an episode it keeps you hanging so to speak.  I shall soon see.


The Following.



How can a serial killer be charismatic and psychotic? I am a huge fan of Kevin Bacon anyway so that is why I want to see this show.  It will be nice to see him in something other than a mobile phone advert anyway.


Sleepy Hollow.



I remember when I found out they were doing a TV show this, and I really did enjoy the Johnny Depp movie, so I thought, this would actually be a really great show to start watching.  I thought that about it at the time anyway, but then never started watching it when it first came on.  It's great when you watch any TV show through Amazon Prime anyway because you generally have the whole series on there.

American Gothic.



This show sounds awesome.  A family has discovered there is a serial killer in their midst and they have to work out who it is.   Sounds as though it's like a modern day Clue or something.   It says it's about a 'prominent' family, so maybe they are in politics or something, but one of them is a serial killer.  Looking forward to this one.

Haven.



I have added this to my list because it reminds me of Heroes in a way, except everyone in the town just have their own curse as opposed to an ability.  How many different curses are there can you have I wonder?!

The Fall.



I am not going to lie...it stars Jamie Dornan, and this is why I want to see it.  I think it will make a nice, refreshing change to see Jamie Dornan play a serial killer instead of Christian Grey.   It also happens to be the second TV show I have in my list that stars Gillian Anderson who plays the copper trying to catch him.  I love cat and mouse shows, and films.  So this should be good too.



Thanks for reading.

Sarah x

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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

One Goal Complete.




I decided that a little change in my bedroom was required.  My room had not changed at all really since I moved back home three and a bit years ago, to save more money.   Before then I was living with a close friend of mine.  Sadly I was paying out more than I was saving, so I decided to come back home for a bit.


Three and a bit years later.....





My bureau was one of the first pieces of furniture I ever bought myself.  I got it from The British Heart Foundation for about £250, I think.  It was a long time ago.  I love it.  In the couple of years I had noticed that I wasn't using it as much as I used to before I moved out.  I didn't even use it when I blogged or even for when I paint, which was where I always used to do my painting.   I came to the conclusion it was to with the fact it was right behind my bedroom door, which meant obviously if I wanted to use it, my bedroom door would have to be shut for me to put the top down.  I know you're thinking, what's wrong with that?  Well, for a start, it's too dark in that corner, plus, I never liked the idea of not being able to open my door, quickly or otherwise.  You know, emergencies etc.  Anyhoo, I finally decided to shift it's location from one corner of my room to the other, which is great because it's now right next to the window.  I can have proper natural light, hooray!


Somehow my room suddenly looks a lot bigger too.  Not sure how.  Especially as I currently have a few piles of 'bits' on my bedroom floor that still need to be sorted.  To be fair, I had filed loads of paperwork today and yesterday, so the rest can be done tomorrow.   All in all, I am so happy with the way my room looks now.  And what a difference it makes me being able to write my blog at my bureau properly.  I bet you're thinking, didn't you do that before?   No.  I blogged on my bed.

Not anymore.




I am so glad I have made these few little changes.  And it's been done before my 34th birthday as well, which is on Saturday, the 12th.  There are so many ideas out there to help you make positive changes too.

http://liveboldandbloom.com/06/habits/10-positive-life-changes

It's good to have a change, especially when it is going to be for the better.  Even if that change is a small one, it's still good.

And.... that's one goal down for this month! I am happy.   Check out my other goals here:

https://sarahsdreamscapes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/my-august-goals.html



Thanks for reading.


Sarah x

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Friday, 4 August 2017

My August Goals.





This may shock everyone who reads my blog, but despite the fact that I have been blogging with various blogs for about 7 1/2 years, I have never really shared any of my specific personal goals on my blog.   I have always had goals throughout my life obviously, but I have never really mentioned anything about them.

So I thought it would actually be quite a good thing to try out, keeping it fairly simple to begin with, and see how I get on.   Interestingly, one of my goals from this list I have already done which is really good, and it was only yesterday.   That's definitely a good start.


These are my goals for August.


Keep experimenting with my art.


I really do enjoy doing my painting.  Some of it is a bit weird and off the wall but I really love doing it, I love experimenting with colours particularly as I am now using acrylic paints, and I love coming up with funky shapes and doing geometric designs.  There are no boundaries when it comes to art.








Sort my bedroom out.


I am a bit of a hoarder.  I have stuff to sort in my wardrobe, in my bureau, which I have decide I want moving because I don't use it as much as I should, my drawers where I keep paperwork and art stuff need tidying, I have near empty bottles of cosmetics that need attention and my daily essentials area is too bloody crowded anyway.   It needs sorting.


Meet up with my friends.





I actually started doing this yesterday as I met my friend Angela for coffee and dessert when she had finished work.  We went to Café Neros and then went to this restaurant called Cote for dessert , Crème caramel, which was lovely.  It was a really nice evening.  And I have already arranged to meet two of my other friends later on in the month too, so it's all good.  It's always nice to catch up with your friends when you haven't seen them in a while.



Use stuff up before I get more.


That's leading onto what I have just said, but I really am a nightmare for having bottles and bottles of shower gel, and I can't keep all of them in the bathroom because there are other people to think about besides me!



Read the pile of magazines beside my bed.





I currently have three magazines beside my bed which is their designated home within the bedroom, which actually for me isn't too bad, except I know there is another one due to arrive any day now and I haven't started reading any of these three that are already there, and as they are Total Film magazines it's not exactly a thin magazine.  This is something I must get on top off too, if I am going to continue reading them.



Start reading a book.


Like literally any book.   Nevermind the pile of magazines.  I do miss reading books I will admit, although sometimes I can be very indecisive about what I want to read and then because of that I end up not reading anything.  Need to try and get out of the habit of that really.   So I need to find a book to read now.



Do more on Instagram.






To be fair, I only started using Instagram properly this year.   Most of the time I tend to just share my art or my colouring, but I have started to go out a bit more lately so I think I would like to start taking a few more pictures and share them for people to see.  I do like looking at pictures others have posted on there too.  I think I feel I would like to be a bit more consistent myself with it.  So this is a picture  of my pudding from last night, crème caramel!



Try and blog a bit more consistently.


So yeah, moving on from using Instagram more consistently, maybe I should look at blogging more consistently too.   It's on the list of things to do when I come up with ideas for blog posts of course.  Might need them first.



Treat myself to something from ASOS.




I have decided I really do love ASOS.  I bought a dress and a new pair of shoes the other month and they fit really well.   I had started shopping at Misguided recently too, but having discovered what ASOS offered after I shopped at Misguided, I have decided ASOS is much better quality in my opinion.   And, as this is my birthday month (12th) I have an extra 20% off too.  Bonus.  Better get looking hadn't I.



Keep the habit of setting goals for myself.


Like I said, I don't usually set myself goals, or if I do I don't usually share them.  So perhaps I should do it more often and try and stick to them of course, or as many as I can at least.   I quite enjoyed writing this post too.    Personal goals are definitely a great way forward.



Thanks for reading.


Sarah x


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Saturday, 29 July 2017

Ways I'm Using To Stop Spending Money.




Saving money is always a huge challenge for anyone, no matter how much or how little you want to save, or what it is you are saving for.  For quite a long time I have been scouring the internet on tips and ideas I can use to help me save money, and saving money on everything, from food to petrol, clothes and movies, even every day essentials.

Another interesting view I have come to discover is what could I do to actually 'stop' spending money.  So not necessarily 'saving' straight away, but ways in which I could potentially stop spending the money I get every month.  Like by stopping my 'impulse purchases', which I do feel I tend to do an awful lot.  They may sometimes be few and far between but they always make a huge difference.
By the time I have noticed there is never much I can do about it.

So a little while ago I decided to put a little idea into action.   Ways on how I could stop spending money and have more money to spare at the end of the month before any wages go in, that I can use to perhaps pay any bills early or put towards gifts I need to buy, get extra petrol I need, put towards savings or to just simply have as a float in my bank.



These are a few ideas that I use that I feel helps me to stop spending money.





1) Reading.

You could add that books in general are practically free if you get them from a library or if you borrow them from a friend which I have done on a fair few occasions.  The only exception is when you get your books from a charity shop.  I personally don't class that as 'buying for me'.  That is me giving a little to others to get a book.  The point is by reading a book, which actually takes me ages anyway, it can stop me going out and spending money on something else.


2) Painting.

If you have read my previous posts you know I like to paint.  Of course paints and brushes, paper etc do cost money but you don't have to spend a lot initially, and when I get into the flow of my painting I can do it for ages and ages, sometimes for days.   Just a little tip I have discovered to share, I usually buy the A3 size watercolour pads which I then split in half to A4 size and it makes the pad last longer.  That's what I do.  It definitely works.



3) Colouring.

The price of colouring books has definitely gone up over the last five years, but I believe if you are like me and really enjoy colouring you can allow for this change, particularly as the colouring books themselves have become so much better in quality, with more choice, more detailed pictures and in general are a lot thicker now too.   I can colour for hours.  Providing you don't go overboard by initially spending too much on too many colouring books at one time, I find it's well worth splashing out a bit more on a good quality one that will last you a several months.   The one thing I find about colouring is sometimes I get carried away, particularly if I am colouring at night time.   The other night I started doing a little bit at 11pm because I couldn't sleep.   When I next looked at the clock it read 1.15AM!   Yeah!  Best not to get too carried away.




4) Watching Movies and TV Shows.

This is true because if you watch a film at home, I will stress at home because the cinema now is so expensive, generally it's on for at least two hours.   I'm not saying I don't go to the cinema at all anymore because I do, but I am quite selective about what films I see nowadays.  I still have TV show marathons as well, like a lot of others out there, and that can take hours as well.   You're not spending money when you're watching them are you?!   It's particularly nice when you are watching movies with your family or friends especially funny ones because you can just laugh together.




5)  Playing The Sims.

I was actually in two minds about sharing this because generally I don't tend to play games anymore  And it's not something I've done for a long time either, however, in the past I have found that playing The Sims 2 takes my mind of things in general, and it has proven to have stopped me from spending money.   As I actually still have my Sims 2 games, and I would at this point just point out that I never got on with The Sims 3, I am tempted to give them a little go and see if my theory works.  Without getting so addicted that I totally forget the outside world of course, which has never happened anyway.  It would just be intriguing to try out, perhaps just for a number of days over the course of the next month and see if it makes a difference.  Who knows, I might not even enjoy it, but it's worth a go.



Thanks for reading


Sarah x
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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Favourite Pins 101.3.




I am beginning to find just how many different ideas Pinterest is giving me recently, whether that be for my art, or ideas for gifts, or just generally keeping up with what's out there.  I have always found collecting in general fun.  The best thing about Pinterest is that you can collect for free.  Of course there is always that moment when you find a specific gift idea on there, and then go out and buy it! Regardless of cost?....  It can be easy to get carried away with finding ideas on here that you want to buy.   On the other hand, Pinterest always gives me ideas for my art too which is really good.


These are some of my favourite Pins I have recently discovered and added to my collection.


So it's official, I am a sucker for unicorns and this cuddly toy is just too cute!   They are very popular now, I am forever seeing them in toy shops everywhere I go.  I am not a big pink fan generally, but I am willing to skip past that for this.   It is so cute and I bet it's nice and soft and snuggly.  I want it!










The copper bathtub!  Complete with large copper shower head.    Not like the really rubbish plastic ones you can get nowadays.  It's the shape of this bathtub I particularly like, and also the depth of these tubs make them look very appealing too.  I find it has an 'antique' look about it too.  You can just imagine filling it with warm water with loads of bubbles flowing over the top of it.   Can't have a bath without bubbles.






This is a dress that has immediately caught my eye.  I think it is just so pretty, and so sweet.   Unusually, this is not a colour that I generally go for, myself.  There is just something about it that to be truthful, has sparked a memory inside me, like I have seen it or rather something similar somewhere before, perhaps when I was very little.  I'm not sure whether it wold be something I would wear now, but it is a lovely colour.  It looks like a bridesmaid's dress.







I am loving the look of this place.   It's because I love trees and forests and strange paths that lead to exquisite places!    This forest which is apparently the Isle Of Aran in Scotland, and is called 'The King's Path'.  It sounds and looks really exciting.   Never been to Scotland personally, but a friend of mine, and a family member also, tend to go there quite frequently.  Perhaps I should go one day too.   I wouldn't mind getting lost in a forest.  For a short length of time anyway.







Here we have a Magical Tree.  I have chosen to add this pin to my favourite Tree pin board because it's sooo pretty!!!  It's a special tree.   Beautiful colours, with added little critters hiding away in awe behind a large rock.   That's what it looks like anyway.   I didn't see them straight away either.  That is unusual for me considering I have always felt like I have an eye for detail.





I love this picture because it looks like a magical pool hidden within some mystical mountains that only lights up under the light of a night sky invaded by shooting stars.   That is how I see it.  I think this is as stunning picture.







This is a great poster I added to my Super Hero pin board.   I only saw this movie the other week too, and I thought it was bloody brilliant.    If you haven't seen it already I highly recommend it.  It's a bit weird, a bit crazy and random at times, but it was an awesome movie.   I really enjoyed it.   I loved The Joker and Harley Quinn the best because they were both so weird.  It was very good.







I absolutely love this picture.   So far it is quite possibly one of my favourite 'art' pins I have saved.  It's just so stunning.   I have also saved this one to two different boards, my Art board for obvious reasons, and my 'Atmospheric' board also, because I truly believe it is very atmospheric.  It is just such a beautiful, simplistic picture.  It's incredible.   I actually wouldn't mind owning it myself.  It's lovely.







There is nothing like some bright, psychedelic art to finish with.   I have chosen to share this specific favourite pin of mine as my star sign is in fact Leo the Lion.  I love this because I feel like it is very 'me', being a colour and abstract/fractal/geometric (had to get them all in) art fan.   If you take a look at these last two pins I have shared, you will notice the lion is obviously the light, colourful, psychedelic picture, and the ballerina is the dark, atmospheric one.   They say most people have a light side and a dark side to them in some sense, so perhaps this is an example of mine.


I hope you have enjoyed reading about my favourite pins, I do enjoy sharing them with everyone who reads my blog.   In some ways I actually find it quite therapeutic to talk about the pins I have saved.   As strange as that may sound.


Thanks for reading.


Sarah x




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Monday, 24 July 2017

Ultimate Content Marketing 101.3




The last time I wrote a post about the topic of content marketing I indulged in the idea of presenting interesting facts in little bitesize snippets as it can be easier, particularly if you are a new blogger just starting out, to digest and take from these chunks what you feel you find useful.

Somehow, whilst I share my research, I am going to attempt to learn how to use content marketing more effectively whilst I blog whether that be casually, or how I am blogging right now.  What I have immediately found out is, well this is not easy.  But I guess it is not supposed to be easy to begin with.   And yet it still fascinates me.

These are a few bitesize snippets I have come across whilst browsing the internet today.



1) Renew Old Content.






This is probably one of the easiest ones to do, and at some point we have all probably already done it.  I did it last week in for my last post on content marketing.


https://sarahsdreamscapes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/ultimate-content-marketing-1012.html


Do you know what I did?  I added an extra image into the content.   That's it.  That's how I renewed my original content.   I know that doesn't sound like an awful lot.  But I wanted to see if it made a difference, and this post did get a few more views than it did before, so thank you for all who have read this piece.   Maybe a picture does speak a thousand words!   In all seriousness it is also very effective to perhaps add in or expand on an original piece of text as well as, or instead of.  Try both maybe. Still a great idea.



2) Make A Plan To Gain A Bigger Audience.


This I have been trying to do for such a long time.  Generally I tend to just use Twitter and just recently Pinterest to promote my posts, but today I made a bit of a leap and set up Buffer.  I have only been using it for quite literally half a day, but already I am starting to notice a difference, plus I only have the free version at the moment.   But I have been so impressed with it already I am noticing a difference.  You also have the option to pay to get more privileges with it, or just have the free version.  So if you don't have Buffer already, I highly recommend it because I think particularly long-term, it's going to make a huge difference to me.   That is my first step in planning for gaining a bigger audience.





3) Always Make A Reference To Your Favourite Bloggers.


Or anyone else you gain inspiration from that has helped you along your blogging journey.   I tend to use Twitter a lot for this because of the amount of bloggers that I have started following recently.  They are all unique in their own ways, and they all have something interesting to say, and I thoroughly enjoy reading and commenting on other peoples blogs.    It gives a sense of community and I have made some really great friends along the way.



4)  Talk About Trends.


I need to do this a bit more.  As I mentioned I do use Twitter an awful lot, like every day, but I don't always look to see what is trending all the time.  Trends change so often but I guess in a way that is even more reason to stay on top of them.  One of my favourite sites for trends is http://whatstrending.com/ I check that quite frequently.  So perhaps that is something else that is not particularly hard to do, as long as you are interested and passionate about the thing you are talking about.  I think that is really important.






5) Write Like You Are Speaking To A Friend.


This is a great tip.  I love it because it is really just something so natural, and I feel it is something that I tend to do already.   I think it makes anything that you write a bit more personal and that is a good thing.   That in itself makes information easier to digest.  Or if you look at it a different way, if you sell something on your blog or website for example, sometimes that product on it's own may not sell itself, so if it is a product that you genuinely believe in, then you alone have the ability to sell it.  Writing like you are speaking to a friend means you are being open and honest with your reader, which means that reader will come back.  The same way a customer would go back to the shop they received good service in.



What do you think about these tips?!


Thanks for reading.


Sarah x










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