The Ultimate Blog Round-Up


Even on holiday I read and write! lol

November marked the end of the first 6 months in which my blog really took off. Although I have been blogging since Jan 2010 I didn’t really get into it properly until June this year when I took on the Nikki P 30 Day blog Challenge (Click here to visit NikkiPilkington.com.), from that point on my blog has gone from strength to strength and has reached a point where I am actually shocked and proud at how much it has grown…

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September Challenges and ROW80 Goals


Okay so my blog schedule is actually full at the moment and I don’t normally do more than one post per day but I just needed to highlight that this is a manic month for me, why? because in addition to quitting my job, starting two open university courses and having at least two potential business opportunites lined up I have also taken on two blogging/writing challenges!

The first which started on the 1st October is the Ultimate Blog challenge, where I receive a new email each day with blogging ideas to continue supporting my regular posting following on from the success of the #30DayBlog challenge I did earlier this year. Before the challenge started I already had my first ten posts written and scheduled!

It was through looking at other posts going up for this challenge that I discovered ROW80 – A Round of Words in 80 days “a writing challenge that knows you have a life” and thought yeah what the heck, lets do that too! 80 days of writing exciting! I just need to set a measurable goal for my writing and check-in with my progress twice a week!

So here are  my goals for the #ROW80 challenge:

  • To write at least 3 blog posts each week (although 5 would be better to meet my other blogging requirements… but I do get guest bloggers and interviews at times that can fill any gaps….)
  • To write at least 750 words per month towards my works in progress (I am writing my life story and also a fiction novel  and a tinkering with a few other bits but haven’t been putting in enough effort for any of them – need to crack down and this challenge will help me do that!)

I don’t like to specify much in regards to the amount of time/hours I will spend on these things as that will hugely vary depending on what I am writing and other things I am doing but I feel these goals are achievable, lets see!

Well that’s that for now if you are interested in either challenge latecomers are welcome to find out more click here for the Ultimate Blog Challenge and click here for the ROW80 challenge, you can also still get the ebook to join the #30DayBlog challenge – Click here to visit NikkiPilkington.com.

You can also follow both challenges on twitter with the hashtags #blogboost for the Ulitimate Blog Challenge, #ROW80 for the ROW80 challenge and #30dayblog for the 30dayblog challenge. Also why not check out the linky list to see who else is participating in ROW80 and what goals they have set!

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post please share it with others who may be interested and I always enjoy receiving feedback and comments :)

Blog round up – #30dayblog challenge over, what now?


So, I finally completed the #30dayblog challenge with a multi-part post about my weekend in London and a review of the challenge. Who would have thought that just two and a half days in our Capital city would provide me with enough content for 7 days worth of blogs posts!?  Now that the challenge is over I still one topic, which I was unable to complete in the time, to work on – an FAQ’s piece.  At the halfway mark I was averaging around 50 hits per day on my blog, now its closer to 100 and there is more and more variety in the sources of referrals and search engine terms that are bringing visitors in, plus visitors are staying longer, clicking through to more content, commenting and subscribing much more! All of this is really good stuff, and it’s all thanks to the @NikkiPilkington and the #30dayblog challenge Click here to visit NikkiPilkington.com.

On a personal note the best thing of all for me has been being asked to write a blog post for the National Charity MIND! After reading my ‘Returning to Work after a BPD crisis‘ post they contacted me via twitter to ask me to write for them. I have submitted my first post which should be going online soon, and have already been given a topic for my next post for them, a book review – as soon as my copy of the book arrives I will get cracking on that one and see what comes up next :)

Without further ado here is a round up of the top 3 posts from the second half of the challenge, the posts that I highlighted at the halfway mark as the most popular are still the most popular of all my posts, but rather than repeat them in this round up I’m just including posts other than those, well actually its more like ‘groups’ of posts as some of the newest popular posts have been multi-part posts or posts that are connected with other posts, well you’ll see what I mean -

Nelsons Ship in a Bottle and the National Gallery, Trafalagr Square

London Weekend – My fiancee and I went to London for the London Film and Comic Con, we had such a great time being there Friday Evening, through to Sunday attending a variety of talks by the many guest stars in attendance and meeting some really cool people. We also took the chance to explore a bit of London and take in a brilliant theatre production – as you can tell by the link words in this short synopsis of the weekend the weekend produced 7 blog posts all of which have proved very popular!

Interviews – I started a series of interviews with friends and colleagues all of whom have varied and interesting careers, so far I have published interviews with a ‘professional student‘ ‘a teacher in a inner city state school‘ and a ‘general radiographer‘ with more interviews to come soon, including a ‘web-designer’ and a ‘catering manager in a care home’. these posts are proving popular as career inspirations and insights into what it is like to work in the various fields.

Our Sexist Brain

Image by Ryan Somma via Flickr

Opinion posts – After starting the challenge with the highest ranking post of all time on my blog (still getting numerous hits per day) ‘Is Chivalry Sexist‘ I have written a few more ‘opinion’ pieces all in a similar line of interest – sociological, anti-feminist, sexist, controversial topics. Including ‘So what if a woman hits a man?‘ and my opinion on ‘Clare’s Law

Please share you views on these and any other posts I’ve made, I really do like to know what you think! and if you have any suggestions about topics you would like me to write about again, please share them! :)

Thank You!

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

Use this link to share this post - http://wp.me/pLoi4-lW

Why not subscribe to my blog so you can be amongst the first to view new posts as they appear!?  To do this just click on the ‘keep me informed’ button on the right hand side of the page and enter your email address; or click ‘notify me’ at the bottom of this article when you leave a comment! :D

And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website :)

How to gain more readers on your blog – What I learned from the NikkiP 30 Day Blogging Challenge


What a great journey!  I’ve had so much fun, learned so much, gained more confidence in my writing and been inspired – The #30dayblog challenge has pushed me to think more about what I write, who I am writing for and how to get people reading. This is also a landmark post for me, as well as completing the challenge this is my 100th post on my blog! Yay – Go me! :D

Just me :)

So, as the challenge comes to an end here is a round up of some of the main things I have learned that help get more people reading your blog…

  1. Post Titles – Interesting ‘catchy’ titles might look good but ‘questions’ attract higher hit rates!
  2. Topical blogs – Are really popular, my first post for the challenge was written around an online newspaper article I had read and is STILL the most popular post on my site a month later!
  3. Call to Action – I now include this at the end of all my posts, to encourage readers to share, comment, subscribe and interact with me and my blog
  4. Guests – writing a guest post for another site and receiving guest posts on your site to give readers some variety and help promote other bloggers
  5. SEO – the use of key words and phrases, tags and titles that will attract attention in search engines to draw more traffic.  Using wordpress.com prevents me using various plugins that would enhance this further, but it’s still proved useful!
  6. Promotion – traffic to my blog has increased dramatically through useful promotion (without spamming). I now have my blog registered with a number of blog directories and lists, use Stumbleupon regularly and share links to my posts on relevant facebook groups/pages or in the comments of a news article when I have written a blog around the topic in the original article.
  7. Pictures – using pictures enhances your subject and can help to attract more interest

Now you may notice I haven’t given much detail about any of these things – there is a good reason for this! I don’t want to give it all away without encouraging you to take up the challenge yourself, that wouldn’t be fair ;) You need to put in the effort if you want to see the results – no taking shortcuts! So if you want to take the #30dayblog challenge why not head over to Nikki Pilkington’s blog to find out more or purchase the ebook for just £5 – Click here to visit NikkiPilkington.com.

Good luck with the challenge and be sure to let me know how you get on!! :D

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

Use this link to share this post - http://wp.me/pLoi4-df

Why not subscribe to my blog so you can be amongst the first to view new posts as they appear!?  To do this just click on the ‘keep me informed’ button on the left hand side of the page and enter your email address; or click ‘notify me’ at the bottom of this article when you leave a comment! :D

And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website :)

Need ideas for blogging?


It happens to all of us – writers block. You’ve been posting to your blog regularly then… blank… nothing. Sometimes it’s just that you are too busy with other things, but sometimes it’s just that you don’t know what to write next. Well there is help at hand for dealing with this problem!

There are numerous websites and ebooks that can help you with ideas here are just a few that have helped me:

Ebooks by Nikki Pilkington – Click here to visit NikkiPilkington.com.

Ebooks from Problogger – Click here to visit ProBlogger.

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

Use this link to share this post - http://wp.me/pLoi4-ff

Why not subscribe to my blog so you can be amongst the first to view new posts as they appear!?  To do this just click on the ‘keep me informed’ button on the left hand side of the page and enter your email address; or click ‘notify me’ at the bottom of this article when you leave a comment! :D

And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website :)