My 1st Blogiversary and a Giveaway!

As you know I have been very busy as a new mummy and totally forgot about my little blog turning 1 year old! I would have missed it completely if it wasn’t for a Facebook memory showing up in my time line! Thanks Facebook!
So as it’s my first Blogiversary I want to host a little giveaway as appreciation to my readers. I have 4 completely different books and a box of chocolates for you to win. In my eyes books and chocolates is a win win situation, as I’m sure you will all agree.
1st Blogiversary

Looking back over my first year of blogging I feel as if I have come a long way. When I started I didn’t have a clue what coding was (I’m still trying to learn more about that one!), meta tags, search descriptions, SEO. It was like learning a new language. I have never really been totally computer savvy, so it’s been a real learning curve.
I think of my blog as an online diary, writing inserts of my life. What books I am reading, what one word sums up my week with Word of the Week, the photos I love to take with #MySundayPhoto, what I win with the competitions I enter and also what recipes and gardening stuff I get up to.
It’s been a hard year with working full time, spending time on my blog and then finding out I was pregnant, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s to the next year blogging through my new journey – motherhood!
So now onto the giveaway – the books to win are shown in the photo below. They are Atonement by Ian McEwan, a Jeremy Clarkson book, Campari for Breakfast by Sara Crowe, and the strange little book – A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. Also not forgetting the small box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray!
1st Blogiversary giveaway

 

To enter the giveaway, please complete as many entries as you wish in the Rafflecopter below.
Unfortunately due to postage costs it will be a UK ONLY competition.
Good luck!
1st Blogiversary

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: There is one prize of the four paperbooks shown in the image above and a small box of Milk Tray chocolates – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.com from all valid entries and be notified by Twitter. The winner will have 14 days to respond with a valid UK postal address before a new winner is selected. Open to all UK entrants aged 18 or over only. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. 

Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

Find more competitions here:
www.theprizefinder.com

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
A Cornish Mum
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

7 Simple Hints and Tips on Promoting Your Blog

I set up my blog 10 months ago and have found it really hard to get ‘my blog out there’ if you know what I mean. So to make a start on my 7 Hints and Tips Thursday series for the new year I have decided to do some research and come up with my own simple hints and tips to help promote my blog in the vast spaces of the World Wide Web. These are the hints and tips I want to share with you all.

  • Posts- Write high quality posts that will engage your readers. I have found the more I write the better a writer I have become. Don’t forget to reply to any comments on your posts – it’s polite to do so.

  • Promote Others Content-Find similar blogs/websites to your own and retweet/comment on it. Connect with influential bloggers, you may find them retweeting one of your posts to their many thousands of followers.

  • Daily Action Plans- Use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule your post tweets throughout the day. I schedule 10 tweets throughout the day, mainly that day’s post and a few of my other recent posts.  


  • Join Other Blog Linkies- One of my favourite parts of blogging is to link up to other blog linkies. It’s how I have discovered some of my favourite blogs. I try to link up with at least 3 a week. 

          My favourites are:

          
           #ReadWithMe from mamamummymum on a Monday. 
           #BrilliantBlogPosts from HonestMum on a Thursday. 
           #WordOfTheWeek from The Reading Residence on a Friday 
           #PicknMix from acornishmum and mummyandmonkeys on a Friday
           #MySundayPhoto from Photalife on a Sunday. 
      
          There are lots more out there to discover!


  • Share Posts on Social Media- After each post is published I like to share them on lots of social media sites such as Twitter, my Facebook page, Instagram, Google + Pinterest. Twitter and Instagram are my favourites and where I get the most interaction. The others I need to work on!


  • Social Media Buttons- I recommend including social media buttons that are easily accessible to the reader. These are very quick for the reader to share your posts or to follow you building your audience. This is one of my plans for my blog – to add social media buttons to one easy place.

  • Run Competitions- I found out last year that running competitions are great ways to build up your blog views. There are lots of compers out there that will add your competition to sites such as The Prize Finder and Competition Database where lots more readers can find your blog. If you run regular competitions you will get the same readers returning time after time. 
I hope some of these simple hints and tips you will find useful and apply to your own blogs. I would love to hear some of your favourite tips for promoting your own blogs. Also if anyone has any ideas that I could use to improve my blog, they would be most welcome.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


A Cornish Mum

                                          Monkey and Mouse

New Year New Ideas

This year is a going to be a big year for us in my house as we will be welcoming our first baby in just a few short weeks (or whenever she decides to grace us with her presence which could be tomorrow for all I know!)
This has given me some time to start putting alot more effort into my blog before baby girl arrives. So I dug out my blog planning notebook that I got when I first starting blogging last year, but failed to start using it. Now I have been jotting down some notes on what I plan to write about in it. There is something so great about using a pencil and paper to jot and brainstorm ideas. I could never get used to using note apps on my phone or even writing ideas down on a spreadsheet.

             
             

While I was catching up with some reading on one of my favourite blogs thereadingresidence I found out that they are doing a #BringBackPaper pledge. Which I think is a fantastic idea as these days everything is very much electronic. With Ipads, smart phones, ereading devices and even smart watches!  Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with electrical devices I have a few of them myself, but I love going back to just a paper and pencil, or holding a paperback in my hand.


So my #BringBackPaper pledge is to carry on using my paper blog planner for the rest of the year and recording my blog development progress and ideas as she hopefully grows throughout the year. Oh and to keep up with my reading of course! 

The Reading Residence

Goals For 2016

My blog will be 1 year old in March so I haven’t had the opportunity yet to do a yearly goal post. So I have thought long and hard about my list for this year and what I want to achieve for my blog. 
I have also added a little list at the bottom of this post of my own personal competition win goals for 2016, which is something I have never done before, but with a new baby on the way really soon and the up keep of my blog I want to be more focused in what competitions I enter to save time.

  • Content:

Posting: I need to be more regular at posting material to keep my readers loyal. I have got a blog planner up and running now so hopefully it will keep me on track! 

Book reviews: I would love to read, review and post a book review each week. 
7 Hints and Tips: I had great success with my series of 7 Hints and Tips posts last year so this is something I would love to get back into again and come up with some great fresh ideas.
Monthly Competition Wins List: When I first started blogging I used to post at the beginning of each month a list of competition wins from the previous month. This used to be my motivation for keeping up the comping. This is something I need to get back into. 
  • Promoting
My goal this year is to be more proactive in promoting my blog and posts, using tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule tweets throughout the day. Post regularly on instagram and use pinterest more. I would also like to discover more blog linkups and link to these at different times throughout the week. 

  • Statistics
  1. Increase Twitter followers to 2k
  2. Increase Instagram followers to 300
  3. Increase Pinterest followers to 300
  4. Increase Bloglovin followers to 400
I would also love to increase my blog visitors to 2k per month.
Competition Goal Win List 2016

  • Ipad
  • Kindle Fire
  • Love2Shop/Amazon Vouchers
  • Baby bits and bobs
  • Food Hampers
  • Books
I would love to hear about your goals for 2016. What is on your competition win list? Or if you are a blogger what are your blogging goals for 2016?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

A Cornish Mum

Looking Back Over 2015

2015 has been a very up and down year for me but there are a few things that have turned the year around. It was back in March that I started my little blog up. I had a very trying January and February so decided to take my mind off things by starting blogging. I wasn’t quite sure where my niche would be in the world of blogging, so I decided to blog about what I love to do and that is entering competitions, reading any type of book and gardening. So Book Lover, Competition Addict and Gardening Enthusiast was born. I am still not 100% happy with the name so that is something I’m going to work on this year.

I have won lots of competitions throughout this year as feel so lucky to have done so, although around the summer I took a bit of a comping break due to the severe morning sickness I had and the tiredness that crept upon me. 
Which leads me on to the best part of 2015 and that was finding out I was pregnant with our first baby – a girl! 
She could arrive any day now that I’m 37 weeks so the word excitement is very understated at the moment! 
As soon as I hit my second trimester I began to feel so much better and had that enthusiasm to enter as many baby competitions as I could and I won quite a few great things. The biggest baby win was winning the toddler bed, it is so adorable with a bears face as the headboard. I went on to win lots of nappies, baby clothes, a couple of changing bag sets and various nappy rash creams and ointments. Not forgetting for me, a mum to be pregnancy pamper set, nursing bra, bump band and a maternity nightdress. 

         

Before I started my maternity leave ( which officially started yesterday!) I took my 4 weeks annual holiday due to me from work which started at the beginning of December. This was perfect for me as I had lots of time to rest up and enter all the advent competitions I could find. But unfortunately I had very little luck this year and only won a set of sauces and chutneys on a Twitter advent competition. I did better winning on the ordinary competitions throughout December. These included a set of childrens books, chocolates, a case of 9BAR energy bars, a necklace and a DVD. 

                           
            
I wish you all lots of luck and a Happy New Year.
Rachel xx

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My Essential Blogging Stationery

I am a huge stationery addict, and have been since I was very little. I was over the moon when I won this mug during national stationery week on Facebook. Its perfect.
I cannot pass up the aisle’s with all the pens, notebooks and other essentials in supermarkets. I love that they seem to change their ranges all the time as well. Then of  course you can pick up discontinued lines at a fraction of the original cost! Bargain!
              I'm a Stationery Addict
This is a collection of some of my blogging stationery essentials. My sister always finds me weird and wacky pens from her travels which she always brings home. I have pens from Seattle, Utah, Arizona, and from all over Canada. I get so excited to receive pens, and you can always find a free pen anywhere. When I was little I used to go into Barclay’s and pick up the free pens with all the different phrases on.
                  Blogging stationery
My Blogging essentials include, post-its, notepads, pens, highlighters, pencils, planners, and diaries. Also including a mug of hot chocolate and some biscuits although they are not stationery but essential!
What is on your blogging essential stationery list? Do you have a favouite pen?
 Thanks for stopping by.
 
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