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Ask Me Anything – Part One

A few hours ago, I turned to Twitter and made a request for questions for my first Ask Me Anything post. I have had a few come through so am going to start answering those – hopefully some more will come in as I type. So, let’s go!

From A girl with a blog: What do you study and how do you manage to keep a balance in studying and blogging?

I study a MSc in Science with The Open University. Good question! I’m still trying to figure that out myself – he he. At the moment, I make a weekly plan where I balance my time between studying and blogging and try my best to stick to it. When I am studying I have to put my phone on silent and be super disciplined otherwise I get so easily distracted with twitter, insta and general blogging related stuff.

From Morgie: What made you get into blogging? 

I used to run a blog from 2010 – 2013, writing about my journey to a healthier lifestyle where I shared my tips and advice. I took a few years off, then started reading blogs again and decided I really wanted to get back into it. Things have changed a lot since the old days – I used to just write a post, share it on Stumble Upon and hope for the best. Nowadays, it’s all about the social media but I think that’s a good thing.

From Another Little Birdie: Is your name short for anything? I find it very cool!! 

I have lots of names! My long name is Rebekah. My medium sized name Becky. I’m also a Bec or Bex. I added the A onto Bex so it’s like Bexaaaah as I thought it sounded cool. Heh, I’m glad you think so too!

From Huda: Tips on growing your Pinterest! 

Ooh, I would like to know the answer to this too! I’m always neglecting my Pinterest and only ever go on there for my daily dose of inspirational quotes and cute cat pics. So far, I have been pinning my own posts, creating boards and finding new people to follow from Twitter. I’ve read a lot that Pinterest is great for blog traffic but I’m yet to discover the secret. If anyone knows – please let us know!

From Soffy: Do you bulk write your posts or write as you go along?

I write as I go along. I’m not organised enough to plan ahead, although I would like to be. I try to blog 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) and hope I get some inspiration during the day. I sometimes have a few ideas lined up for the future but nothing is ever really planned out. My goal is to write and schedule some future posts but we shall see. I kinda like being a bit last minute as it makes it more spontaneous.

From Jennie: What are your favourite props for your blog photies? 

I have a little box of blog props which I have collected over the months, but I’m always on the look out for more. Some of my favourite props include: scrabble letters, hearts, stars, fairy lights, and mini inspirational cards. One of my favourite tricks is to use B&Q wallpaper samples to make it look like I have a fancy wooden table when I actually don’t. Shh, don’t tell anyone.

From Rebecca: What would be your dream blogging collaboration? 

Ooh, good question! I’d love to do a collab with a travel company or a some posh spa so I could get a free holiday or some luxury treatments he he – a girl can dream, right? Seriously though, it would be pretty cool to do a collab with another blogger. There are so many awesome blogs out there I couldn’t pick one. But if anyone fancies it, feel free to get in touch and we can share some ideas!

From Ana: How to you prepare your posts?

I think of a general idea then I’ll go and take my photos. Next, I’ll edit them in Photoshop and come up with a blog title. Once that is done, I’m kinda committed to the post and just have write whatever comes into my head. I’m not much of a planner really, although I would like to blog about some days out again out so I’m planning a little adventure soon. Watch this space.

Hope you enjoyed my first Ask Me Anything! Feel free to leave some questions in the comments for a future Part Two post! Thank you to all those who sent me questions – it was fun answering them.

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10 Simple Ways To Grow Your Twitter

The other day on Twitter, I reached 3,000 followers. This means Shaun is going to treat me to a turkey dinosaur dinner on Friday and I am a very excited about this. This also means that in just under three months of being on twitter I have 3k awesome people following me. How cool is that. I am so grateful for everyone that has pressed the follow button and all the amazing and supportive people I have met in the process. Today on the blog, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share with you 10 simple ways to grow your twitter. I know there are much much bigger accounts out there than mine, but hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right?

Tweet Regularly

There are no set rules to how many tweets you should post a day – just post whatever feels appropriate at the time but don’t be too spammy. Keep things varied and interesting and try to keep a balance of retweets and your own stuff. Since I have been on twitter, I have never actually scheduled a tweet. Yes, it’s hard to believe but all that wisdom is coming right at you in real-time (hah). Jokes aside, I’ve nothing against it and may try it in the future but just wanted to point out scheduling is not a necessity.

Create Lists

Twitter is such a fast moving social media platform it is impossible to keep up with everything! According to Moz, the average lifespan of a tweet is 18 minutes. So chances are if you are following a lot of people, you are going to miss tweets from your favourite accounts. Therefore, creating a few lists is so so helpful. You can make your own or subscribe to others and it makes it much easier to keep up and engage with people in your community.

Join In With Chats

Twitter chats enable you to meet like-minded people and find new friends. I love joining in with chats when I have the time, they are so much fun and you might even learn a thing or two as well. There are tons out there; the best ones which spring to mind are Bloggers Tribe at 7pm on Saturday, The Blogger Crowd at 8pm on Wednesday and LBloggers Chat every Wednesday and Sunday between 7-8pm (all UK time).

Support Others

Twitter can be a bit of a lonely place if you don’t engage with others. The quickest and simplest way to make friends is to encourage, compliment and support the people around you. Whether that is by a retweet, a like or a comment – it is so nice to give and receive positive feedback. If you find an opportunity to get involved in a group, go for it! These are places which offer continuous support, tips and advice whenever you need it.

Use Photos, Gifs and Emojis

In a sea of tweets, you need to make yours stand out. If you follow me on twitter, you will already know I have a bit of an emoji obsession. I just think a heart or smiley or dancing lady adds something extra and who doesn’t love a bit of colour and silliness every now and then! I also think gifs are brilliant for adding a bit of humour especially to a twitter chat or just simply for your own entertainment. I must have spent hours scrolling through cat gifs in the last few months.

Run Polls

Polls are a great way to engage with your followers and show that you value their opinion. You can run a poll on anything, whether that is blog related or just something you are curious about. A few weeks ago I ran a poll asking people how they kept up with their favourite blogs and 62% said it was through social media links. That tells me it is important to share your latest posts on twitter to reach a bigger audience.

Giveaways

Who doesn’t love a good old freebie? Giveaways are a fantastic ways to increase you twitter following! By offering a chance to win a prize so long as they are following you, you can gain more followers in a short space of time. I did a giveaway when I reached 1,000 followers on twitter last year, and a recent one to win a Paint Splash Map Of The World.

Participate In Threads

If you are browsing your twitter feed, it won’t take you long to come across a thread. These can be anything from blogger or Instagram follow trains to blog comment swaps. I have met so many awesome people through participating in follow trains and threads. Bloggers Tribe run two very popular blog comment swaps on Friday and Sunday at 8pm. Teacup Club Meetings are another one of my favourites on Monday and Thursday at 5pm. Also don’t forget to check out Rebecca’s very supportive New Blogger thread on Thursdays at 8pm. And of course, my Sunday Blog Swap which is my pinned tweet all day every Sunday!

Don’t Overthink It

If you feel uninspired to tweet, that’s okay, don’t force it. Twitter can be a bit of a overwhelming place at times with viral tweets and popular posts all happening at once. So sometimes you just need to take a step back from it all and not overthink it too much. Normally something stupid pops into my head at a random time and I think I wonder what would happen if I tweeted that hah. Or, I wake up feeling inspired and want to share a list of tips and ideas. Let it come to you naturally and don’t feel under pressure – just share whatever you wanna share.

Be Yourself

The most important thing is just to be yourself. If people like you, they will follow you, simples.  Don’t try and be perfect, just be real and relatable and people will like you for that.

I hope you enjoyed my ideas and suggestions! I would love to hear what works for you and your twitter, whether you are small or big, everyone is important. If you would like to follow me on Twitter – click here!

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10 Things To Include In Your Media Kit

Since I started my blog last October, I have been pretty fortunate that a couple of brands have already contacted me for sponsored posts and product reviews. I haven’t reached out to anyone yet (except to one popular hair dressing salon asking for a free haircut which they politely ignored) but anyway moving forward I’ve decided in 2018 that is all going to change! I have recently created my own media kit in the hopes that I can increase my blogging opportunities and collaborate with awesome brands.  If you are thinking about making your own here are a few things I think you should include.

What is a media kit?

It’s basically an online CV for bloggers and businesses to promote their services to potential brands for collaborations, sponsored posts, product reviews and more. It shows all the key information at a glance and gives an overview of who you are and what your blog is about.

How do I make one?

I used Canva Media Kit Templates to create mine as I wasn’t sure of the layout I wanted but you can design your own using photo editing software if that is your thing.

What do I include?

Your Logo and tag line

Use your blog logo or similar font so that your media kit and blog are consistent and easily recognizable. Make sure it is big, eye-catching and clear. A short tag line underneath will describe what your blog is about at a glance (eg. travel blog, food blog, beauty & lifestyle and so on).

A Photo

Include a recent photo of you – using the photograph which matches up with your blog and social media profiles will make your media kit easily identifiable.

About You

A short summary of who you are, where you live, what you enjoy will hopefully show your potential brand you are someone they would want to work with.

About Your Blog

Write a short summary on what your blog is about, a little background and the topics you cover. This will allow brands to see if their product would be a good fit on your blog.

Notable Collaborations

Share a few of the brands you have previously worked with and feel most proud of. They may even search for these posts so they have an idea of the sort of work you produce.

Services Available

List everything you feel you can offer – the more options the better! After all, you don’t have to say yes to everything but you may just stumble across an unexpected opportunity which could work for your blog.

Examples of Photography

If a brand is going to send you a product, they want to have an idea of what it may look like on your blog/instagram. A few examples of your photography will personalize your media kit even more and give the brands a quick preview of your skills.

Social Media Followers

Show your current social media follower count and keep updating this over time. Some brands will only work with bloggers who have a certain number of followers, which can be frustrating but keep putting yourself out there and you might just get lucky.

Blog Stats

In this section I have used the stats from Google Analytics. This will give a rough guide to your target audience and how many people visit your blog each month. I have also included my domain authority (DA) and you can check your own here. DA is a search engine ranking system which ranges from 1 – 100. This is another stat brands use to determine whether they want to collaborate with you. Jordanne from The Life Of A Glasgow Girl has written a very detailed and helpful guide on Increasing Your Domain Authority and she explains it much better than I can!

Contact Details

Finally, list all the ways in which you can be contacted such as e-mail address and blog link – don’t forget to include social media links too!

Where to find opportunities?

I am sure there are tons and tons of places online. The places I am currently checking are:

UK Blogger Opportunities Facebook Group

Bloggers Required Website

Also searching for #prrequest #bloggerswanted #bloggersrequired on Twitter will find up to date opportunities.

I hope this helped! I am now going to be brave and send this out to a few different brands so watch this space… Have you created a media kit? Do you have much success with it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

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Paint Splash Map Of The World Giveaway

Two of my favourite things in this life are art and travel. So when the lovely people at Photowall contacted me and offered me a free print, I knew exactly which one I would choose. I ordered myself the Paint Splashes Map 2 canvas as it looked so awesome on their website. On 1st January, I ordered my print and on the 5th it arrived (all the way from Sweden!) impressive, huh?  I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really have much concept of dimensions, so just picked the biggest one available (150 cm x 150 cm) so I was slightly alarmed when I opened the door this morning to a HUGE package. I made a comment to the DHL driver that I was amazed how big it was and he said it isn’t often people say that to him. Ha ha ha…

Simba was also slightly alarmed at the new arrival in the flat. It took me a while to realise there were actually TWO maps here, so I thought this is going to be a perfect giveaway gift for my Twitter followers. (See details at the end of this post)

If you would like to buy your own print from Photowall, use the discount code HelloBexaCampaign2018 to receive 20% off your order (valid until 20th Feb 2018).

The canvas comes with a DIY frame so that it doesn’t get damaged coming all the way from Sweden. I don’t even own a tool kit so I was a little concerned at how I would manage this… I need not have worried though.

After I examined the bag of bits and looked at the instructions I felt more at ease. I didn’t actually need any tools myself, everything I needed was included in the package.

Photowall have handy installation guide for building the frame which can be found here.

OK, how hard can this be. Let’s go!

Each strip of wood has peelable tape to reveal a sticky side.

First, you turn the print over and stick the frame along the edges. Ensure you leave a little gap each end.

This is so you can fold the corners of the cloth onto the frame. So far so good!

Repeat process for all for sides, then push the frame inwards so the wood is flat.

Now allocate 4 screws and a corner plate to each of the corners. No screw driver required, these little things just get twisted by hand. Win.

I found it was easier to screw in the two outer screws first then add the middle ones.

Ta-da! That is it! Do this for each corner and it’s done. How easy was that. Just flip the canvas over and go find somewhere to hang it.

Amazing! I’m pretty impressed at my canvas making skills if I do say so myself.

The print is such good quality and I think the paint splashes are just awesome! I love it!

Does it look better in the lounge or my bedroom? Let me know! I can’t decide.

As I have two of these, I am going to do a giveaway on Twitter. If you would like your very own paint splash map of the world, worth £168 then simply make sure you are following @hellobexa on twitter, like and retweet for a chance to win! I’ll pick a winner at random on Friday 12th January at 7pm GMT. You have to make it yourself like I did but it is very straightforward and can be done in no time at all. Good luck!

Thank you so much to Photowall for sending me the canvas, I absolutely love it! If you want to see more fantastic canvas prints which range from £40 – £168 and environmentally friendly wallpaper then go check out their shop: Photowall You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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