Relentlessly Purple – 2nd Year Of Blogging

I can’t believe Relentlessly Purple is 2! My second year of blogging as Relentlessly Purple has been awesome, I’ve learnt a lot over the last 2 years.

Relentlessly Purple Bloggerversary!

Changing over to Relentlesslypurple.com last year was a scary and exciting move but one I’m so pleased I made! With a great friend looking after my hosting (so I don’t break anything) I’ve been lucky to escape the big issues most bloggers face. I am extremely grateful for that! If you haven’t already check out my post on his new subscription box and take a look at his fab new project, Bytesize Box UK.

Bloggers

I’ve continued to meet some awesome people in the blogging world too which has made a huge difference. Whilst I am still struggling with my mental & physical health amongst other concerns, the support I’ve had from the blogging community is absolutely amazing. It’s nice to know someone is always around for a chat about absolutely anything from blogging, crochet, crafts, days out & more!

Opportunities

Some of the review opportunities I’ve had have been fantastic. The girls have had a chance to play with gorgeous toys such as the Lucy Locket Wooden Fairytale Tea set.  We’ve met Authors & Illustrators at Little Tiger’s 30th Party and had some fun days out with Martyn & the boys at events like the Medway English Festival and the Rochester Dickens Festival. I’ve worked with Hallmark at Christmas & for fathers day too. So many great opportunities & hopefully lots more to come.

Growing Relentlessly Purple

Looking back I can’t believe I walked away from blogging before. Setting up Relentlessly Purple has been amazing. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been blogging for 2 years which I’m taking as a good sign! I never expected the blog to grow so much in so little time. Although I lose confidence at times and have days where I just can’t hit publish, I am getting braver and enjoying blogging in my spare time.

Family Fun

Blogging has become a fun part of our family life too and the girls love getting involved. Even the Mr has had a chance to try some awesome beers like Goody Ales & these Fallen beers as we’ve started trying more craft beers and share our discoveries. All round blogging has been pretty positive for all of us. Hopefully I’ll carry on for years to come & get a chance to work with more brands I love & continue making amazing blogging friends!

I decided to celebrate my bloggerversary and 27th birthday on the 14th August to run a small giveaway for my lovely readers!

After running a twitter poll it was quite clear we all love chocolate and stationery so I have decided to fill this lovely gift box below with a few surprise treats for the winner! Want to know what is inside? BEST GET ENTERING 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How long have you been blogging for? Has your blog exceeded your expectations?

10 Blogging Tips To Stay Motivated

I’ve put together 10 blogging tips to stay motivated. We all get a little stuck at times and it can be so hard to keep yourself motivated. Remember everything you need to do on the blog can be stressful. With products to review, personal posts, keeping up with social media plus the real world getting in the way it’s easy to lose track.

I am always complaining that I am slacking so I decided to try and keep myself motivated and last week it most definitely worked, I managed to post on 6 out of 7 days! 6!!! I usually struggle to get 3 done! So what changed? How did I manage it?

10 blogging tips to stay motivated

  1. Post it notes – Yes, that’s right those simple little pads of paper you can stick anywhere & everywhere! I have always loved post it notes and I have a few that have lines on for lists. I’ve been using these to note down all my account links, special days coming up (WMHAW17 etc.) as well as my weekly stats for each platform.

    Post it notes

  2. Weekly Planners – It can be difficult to remember which products you’ve agreed to schedule for which days and trawling through emails can take hours. To save time & keep me on track I use these awesome weekly planners, which you can pick up in most pound shops, to jot down which posts need editing, scheduling, pictures uploaded & of course sharing across social media. This in itself has kept me on top much more than before!
    weekly planner
  3. Notebooks – I love stationary, purple pens & notebooks make me way happier than they probably should but having a few notebooks handy has helped me jot down some ideas to go back to later. The Mr bought me a few different sized purple ones so now I have them EVERYWHERE!
  4. Set goals – We all set goals but how many of us keep to them or actively work towards them? Jotting down my stats each week lets me see which platforms I need to spend time on. I generally go up in 10’s, 50’s, 100’s then 1k for each goal. Seeing the difference each week helps me work out what I need to do more or less of on the blog & social media.
  5. Read other blogs – When I find myself stuck for something to write I often head to Stumble upon. I spend an hour or so flicking through a billion posts. Although it doesn’t always happen it usually gives me an idea of something to write about. Even finding new crochet stitches can be useful as I can write about them as I learn them.
  6. Take a break, Go for a walk – Ever sit at your desk and feel like your head is going to explode & you just can’t think? Take a break & do something else, maybe go for a walk. Sometimes we waste too much time stressing about what we need to do. Stepping away gives you a chance to think without feeling pressured to do so. Sometimes just going for a walk can give you ideas. Take your phone/camera too as you never know what you will come across.
  7. Chat to other bloggers – Sometimes running ideas past another blogger can be so helpful! General chats can lead to ideas for posts. Tracey from Hooks & Dragons recently struggled to remember which WordPress plugins she needed to use after buying her domain. I realised it’s something I had no clue about when I began. Sharing My Top 10 WordPress Plugins I helped Tracey & other bloggers find useful plugins they didn’t know about.
  8. Chat to friends & family – Whilst they might not know about or understand blogging sometimes the best ideas can come from those around you. A lot of my ideas come from talking to the Mr, the girls, my brother & friends like Mike (Slim to me) from Keep it Mike who I introduced to blogging before he went off on his travels last year.
  9. Clean workspace – Having a clean workspace can make the world of difference! If your desk is cluttered your mind probably feel’s that way too. If you can’t find paperwork or samples you need because they are buried it can get pretty stressful. I keep clearing my desk as I find if it’s cluttered I tend not to sit & do much at all. If it’s clear I enjoy sitting at my desk & get so much more done.. even with my granny squares taking up some space haha!

    clean workspace

  10. Use time saving apps – IFTTT is an absolutely amazing app Martyn from Inside Martyn’s thoughts passed on to me. It allows you to link social media accounts. Say I share a picture via Instagram, I have it linked so that it then shares to my Facebook & twitter too. I use Buffer too to schedule tweets/posts across the day. This frees up time leaving me free to write or chat with others on social media.

What do you think of my 10 blogging tips? Do you have any tips for keeping motivated?

My Top 10 WordPress Plugins

There are literally thousands of different plugins out there that do all sorts of things so I thought it may be useful to list my top 10 WordPress plugins. Any blogger will know plugins are essential to help them get what they want out of their blog. . When setting up your site for the first time there are a few must have plugins & a few extras that will just help make blogging easier for you & user friendly for your visitors too!

My Top 10 WordPress Plugins

  1. Jetpack by WordPress.com

    Jetpack connects your blog with wordpress.com it has  ton of useful features such as showing Stats, providing security & spam protection, automatic plugin updater, as well as boosting image loading speeds. That’s just the free version too!

  2. Yoast SEO

    Most bloggers have heard of SEO and how important it is when writing posts, Yoast helps you by analysing what you write and giving tips to improve your writing & use of keywords to boost your posts and make them easily searchable.

  3. Word Fence Security

    Another security app which provides an anti-virus, firewall & malware scans to help keep your blog protected. It also allows you to view real time traffic and hack attempts.

  4. Akismet Anti-spam

    Another security feature to prevent spam comments getting through to your blog, it catches anything it considers to be spam and allows you to review it and either approve or delete the comments.

  5. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

    Google Analytics gives Real-Time Statistics on your WordPress Dashboard by automatically tracking the code in every page of your website.

  6. Cookie Bar

    You must display a cookie warning on your site to let your visitors know  that your website uses cookies. Cookie bar makes it nice & easy!

  7. CommentLuv

    This plugin lets your visitors link up their most recent post by selecting CommentLuv when commenting. This helps increase comments & community spirit. It makes it much easier for me when someone comments to return the favour!

  8. Broken Link Checker

    This plugin is extremely helpful, it detects any broken links and images and notifies you via the dashboard so you can either update or delete them.

  9. Addtoany Share Buttons

    This app allows you to add as many different social media share buttons as you like to display on your blog to help you visitors share your content on pretty much any platform! There are over 100 different social share buttons available with share counts which are also integrated with Google Analytics to track shares.

  10. No-Bot Registration

    After recently being hacked by bots I was told about this plugin which helps prevent bots getting through. It works by blacklisting emails and presenting people with a security question when registering or posting a comment.

  11. Share drafts publicly

    Ok I lied.. but I had to add in this last plugin as it has been so helpful for me! If you want a second opinion on your post or you are working with a company who wants to see your post before it goes live this plugin allows you to share a private link to your draft!

What are your top 10 WordPress plugins? Have I missed any you think are important when starting up a blog?