How To Make Sure Your Blog Stands Out From The Crowd

Writing a blog is a great hobby or passion that anyone can get themselves into. The idea of writing great content for others to enjoy online has quite the appeal. The practice of then building a network of fellow bloggers, and become part of a huge group is also enticing. It’s a great way of building friendships in a particular fraternity of people. If you take it one step further, you can make a very healthy living from it, and it can be something you could do as a full-time job. It sounds a little strange if you’ve not really caught up with the times, but, yes, blogging is a great way for one to earn a very successful living. 

If you’re fully invested in the idea of creating a great little blog and turning it into something profitable, then you’ll need to make sure that it’s more than just a website with a few articles on it. If you want to rake in some money, then your blog will need to stand out. Much like with every other business in every other sector, you have to show people that you possess what others don’t. People are attracted to new, fresh, and different content, so that will be important. 

How can you really stand out from the crowd though? Well, it’s all a big game of creativity, critical thinking, and hard work, but there are heaps of things you can do. It’s just a case of actually doing them. Here are a few examples:

Think About Exploring New And Unpopular Areas

You often find that when you approach completely new and strange ideas, you end up finding a goldmine. Now, it’s easy to head into something that’s already popular (and you can do that if you wish), but that market will be so very saturated, and it’ll be super difficult to stand out from the crowd. When there are thousands of blogs about the same topic, it’s kind of hard to show others that YOURS is better than everyone else’s. 

Coming up with something completely new and out of the blue gives you the chance to pique the interest of everyone that casts their eyes. At first, it might seem strange to talk about something that seemingly nobody cares about, but if you can create a buzz and set a trend, then you’ll be laughing! Maybe you like something that nobody else cares about that much – perhaps you should enter that particular realm and see where it takes you. If you want to head into a topic that’s already popular, then you could always amalgamate it with your unpopular ideas somehow!

Work With A Web Designer

If you want your blog to shine, then it’s going to have to look the part. So many blogs out there are all over the place in terms of the aesthetics. It’s commendable that you’d like to share information and provide quality content, but if the page is cluttered, then people are going to click off straight away. If you’re not exactly an expert on websites, then you’ll probably want to get in touch with a web designer – they’ll be able to do exactly what you want.

Don’t Behave Like Every Other Blogger

We said that you’d want your blog to be different from others in general, but you’ll also need to act differently. So many bloggers stick to the status quo in terms of the way they act and approach the game. If you have the same mannerisms, catch-phrases, styles as everyone else, then you’re just going to look like a random John/Jane Doe in the middle of a herd. Be yourself – don’t conform because it seems like the right thing to do. 

Take In New Skills And Knowledge Regularly

Like with any journey or venture you head through, you’ll want to constantly pick up new things. If you wander through it all with an empty head, then you’ll probably get stuck. When you get stuck and start to think there’s no way past, you tend to become apathetic. Learn how to master certain parts of blogging – it might be tedious at times, but it will land you in a much better position in the future. 

Treat It Like The business It Is

If you’re going to be taking this seriously, and you want to be able to make a handsome living from it, then you’re going to have to behave like it’s a top, top business. Don’t see it as a little, fun side project that you do on the weekends. Behave professionally; use things like an official office address for a virtual company; conduct yourself well in all forms of communication. If you treat it as something that needs no validation, then so will others.

Get On Social Media

If you have a blog, then you need to supplement it with a social media presence. You could get away with building something away from it, but it’ll help you attract all the right people. Social media marketing is a quick, easy and cheap way of getting your name and blog out there. There are hundreds of millions of people staring at their feeds and timelines; make sure you’re in their eyesight!

Network!

If you want to become more popular, then you might need to get in touch with the right people. In business, success tends to arrive when you have the correct contacts and know who can help you – blogging is in that conversation, too. If you can collaborate with the right people, then your popularity can skyrocket. 

Get The SEO Side Right

SEO (search engine optimisation) is the practice of getting your website to the top (or as close as you can to the top) of an internet search engine. When you Google something, the top answers don’t just appear by chance – they put in work to get there. It’s such an important part of digital marketing. Have the right content, use the correct words, building links with other sites – do all you can to make your SEO score as high as possible and many more people will find you!

Good luck!

5 Ways to Travel With Your Children

We tend to think that our days of travelling are more or less over once we have children. And it’s not hard to see why — it’s more difficult to set off on a grand adventure when we have so many responsibilities in life, and then there’s the whole matter of the logistics and practicalities of looking after your little ones when you’re out there on your travels, too. But if there’s one thing that life has taught us, it’s that everything is possible. If you really want to travel, even when you have a family, then you can — it’s just that you’ll need to make a few adjustments!

Choose Your Location

If you want to travel with your children, then you can make things much easier for yourself by choosing your location wisely. There are some destinations that just aren’t suitable for kids — or, at the very least, are more difficult to handle. You might have your heart set on visiting, say, New York, but unless you’re something of an expert when it comes to exploring a super large, busy city with your little ones, it’s probably not the best place to start. Look at visiting somewhere that is a little more laid back — you will appreciate the ability to spend quality time together above all else once you’re there.

Set Up a Base

It can be stressful enough trying to figure out the logistics of moving around, checking into hotels, finding food, and all the other aspects of travel when you’re by yourself, let alone when you have your children with you. When you just want to have fun, there’s nothing worse than not knowing where to eat, or checking into accommodation that falls well below your expectations. One way to get around this issue is to look at investing in a second home abroad. If you own a condo overseas, you’ll have a space that feels just like home, where you can return to again and again. You can buy food from the local supermarket; it’ll be comfortable, you’ll know what to expect. It’ll allow you to get down to the business of having fun, secure in the knowledge that the essentials have been taken care of.

In the Outdoors

It can, admittedly, be kind of difficult to find a destination that suits both adults and children alike. You might decide to go to an all-inclusive resort, which is excellent for children, but which can feel a little unexciting for adults who are used to travelling with more things to do. A cultural city can be fun for adults, but not for children who just wish to have fun. Thankfully, there’s one type of destination that can cater to all needs: the great outdoors. Taking a trip to a natural spot will give adults the sense of adventure they crave, and give the children plenty of space to have fun. And the good thing is that there are plenty of different types of adventure holidays, too. You could go skiing, or take a hiking or cycling trip, or go rafting down rivers. The outdoors is the natural playground of the world, after all.

Visiting Friends and Family

You’ll always want to use your time off work to go exploring, but it’s just a fact that this sometimes is not the easiest thing in the world. It takes a lot of time, energy, and money to arrange a smooth overseas adventure with your family. One way to get your travel fix and reduce the number of headaches that it can induce is to visit any friends and family you have in other parts of the country and the world. This has multiple benefits. First, it gives you a chance to reconnect with your loved ones as a big clan. Second, they’re likely to be set up to accommodate your family’s needs more than most other places, especially if the friends and family that you’re visiting have children of their own. 

Go with the Flow

Finally, make sure that you’re taking steps to make things easier for yourself. The best way to do this is to not create unnecessary problems. If you can have a relaxed, go with the flow attitude, then you’ll find that your journeys with your children, which can of course be stressful, are much easier to manage. Things will be tough at certain points of course, but on the whole, the travels and the experience and memories you create will be worth it!

How Can You Commemorate Your Baby’s Birth?

Baby Lying On White Fur With Brown Blanket

There are few things more wonderful and exciting that the birth of your baby. The only problem is that it can often feel like the time flies by far too quickly. There’s so much going on that you end up in a whirl of excitement and exhaustion that can often leave you struggling to take note of the little moments that really help you appreciate this amazing time in both yours and your baby’s life.

It might not be easy, but it’s important to take some time and slow down just a little. It’s so fleeting that, if you don’t, you’ll find that it’s gone before you even notice. But what can you do to preserve those memories and make sure that they aren’t lost in the whirlwind that the first year of your baby’s life?

Here are just a few simple ideas for commemorating the birth of your child.

A newborn photo shoot

They say a picture paints a thousand words and that’s definitely true. You can tell stories about your baby when they were first born for years to come, and you probably will, but you’ll never quite be able to capture exactly what they were like in that tiny moment when they were firstborn. A newborn photoshoot is a great way to help preserve that moment. If a newborn photoshoot sounds cheesy or unpleasant then don’t worry, photographers who specialise in newborn photography take great care to make sure that your baby is both safe and comfortable. Whether you want a little photo to stick into an album, or you want to be able to put them up on the wall in some a4 frames, there’s no better way to preserve the first days of your child’s life than a photograph.

Footprint moulding

Footprint molding is fantastic because, unlike professional photoshoots, this is something that you can do at home. You can usually buy the clay that you need at plenty of different stores, and all you need is your baby’s foot, or hand, to be pressed into the clay gently. After that, you’ve got a lovely mould of your child’s foot that you can use as a decoration in your home. Something you might want to do after that is to take a new mould of their foot every year so that you can see how much they’ve grown.

Home video

There’s an amusing stereotype of the dad obsessively filming everything that their baby does from the moment it’s born. Of course, that can understandably get a little irritating but here’s the thing. Do you really think you’ll ever look back and think “gosh, I wish we had less video footage of the first days of our child’s life?” Probably not! Now with smartphones, taking a high-quality home video of your baby’s first moments is easier than ever! You can see their first moments in full motion, rather than just a static image.

It can often feel like these kinds of things aren’t that important but the truth is that time flies by a whole lot faster than a lot of people realise when they have a baby. It’s always a good idea to do what you can to preserve those precious memories when you can.

Creating The Right Future For Your Child

Creativity is a trait we all value in our youngsters. From the age they can pick up a crayon, we encourage them to draw. Once they’re old enough, we teach them to tell stories. At some stage, though, this respect for creativity often disappears. This is evidenced by the fact that, with the exceptions or artists, etc., most adults don’t have the same connection to creation as their children. Some parents and schools even actively encourage kids away from creative pursuits as more academic priorities come to the fore.

For some of us, though, this switch from the creative seems a shame. We sorely miss those pictures on the kitchen fridge or those wild tales our kids used to tell. And, our kids tend to miss them even more.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to stop your children from losing that creative spark.

Choose a school that values creativity

For young kids, even lessons like maths and geography tend to involve crafts to aid understanding. As our children get older, though, this focus on creative thinking tends to take a backseat. Luckily, there are schools out there that continue to value creativity in older children. Just take time to research facilities like Leicester High primary school with its creative approach. A school like this aims to keep your kid’s creative juices flowing for much longer, and could even help their learning as a result.

Encourage creative pursuits

Too often, parents encourage their kids away from creative pursuits past a certain point. They worry about the sustainability of art and what could happen if their child went down that path. But, such fears will only stifle your child’s inherent creative nature, and that won’t help anyone. Instead, do whatever you can to encourage creative pursuits. Buy your child the craft supplies they need or encourage them to join creative after-school classes like art and drama. Even just encouraging a love of reading can help to hold onto the creative nature we should all value in the next generation.

Lead by example

As with anything, leading by example can be invaluable here. If your children don’t see creativity around the home, then they may slip out of these habits despite your best efforts. Instead, use this as an excuse to get back in touch with the creative nature you lost somewhere along the way. Get into the habit of colouring or painting during your evenings. You could even use crafts for fun quality time with your kids. Either way, showing your child your love for creativity is guaranteed to enhance theirs. 

Encouraging ongoing creative thinking in children is vital for everything from critical thinking to happiness. So, don’t fall into the trap of casting creativity aside once your youngsters reach a certain age. Instead, cast that creation net wide so that they keep this skill with them their whole lives long. 

Nozstock – The Hidden Valley – Festival

nozstock family festival

For the last few years we’ve kicked off the Summer Holidays with a Festival and we love it! We always go with friends and we always look forward to this annual get together, but having been to the same festival the past few years and seeing it change, we decided to try something different.

nozstock the hidden valley

So this year, after doing some research, we decided on Nozstock – The Hidden Valley, which seemed perfect! It’s intentionally not as commercialised as other festivals which was a massive draw for us. The organisers are made up of the Nozworthy family who own the farm and land it takes place on, and along with their friends and employees have grown the festival year on year until the 5000 person capacity it is today! It’s smaller than other festivals, a bit more traditional with a great family provision and just sounded altogether very appealing.

We were offered tickets in exchange for an honest review and looked forward to our weekend getaway for weeks and weeks! We couldn’t wait to get there and experience all that Nozstock had to offer! Situated in rural Herefordshire, it was a good couple of hours drive for us but our usual camp mates…. Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby, Katy from Modern Mummy and Emma from That’s the way the Cookie Crumbles were already there and waiting for us!

kids at nozstock
Yay finally here, very excited and loaded up with stuff! Hugo carrying his pillow… can’t go camping without our pillows!

On arrival, the first thing I noticed was how near the car parks were to the festival! This might sound like a minor thing but if you’re a regular at festivals, especially with kids… this is MAJOR! The amount of luggage you need when you go camping with kids usually means a couple of trips to the car, which is a killer if it’s miles away, so not having too far to go was an absolute game changer as far as I was concerned!

The second thing that blew me away was the HELPFULNESS of the car park staff/volunteers. They were super happy and friendly! This lovely chap offered to pull my trolley all the way to the entrance from my car! What a star!

nozstock festival
What a nice young man!

We opted for Pre-Pitched camping this year. This was provided by a company called Camplight who rescue tents from festivals, clean them up and re-use them! This fits in perfectly with Nozstock’s ‘green ambition’ ethos of keeping things as sustainable as possible…. helping to fight the disposable culture which is damaging our planet. Nozstock provided many activities and fun workshops to promote this- it was a big feature. They were encouraging people to re-use their cups to cut down on plastics as well as hosting competitions to incentivise campers to keep the festival tidy!

We were in the Family Camping area which was a lovely space, separate to the other camping fields. Definitely the nicest one we’ve stayed in so far. It just felt cosy, for want of a better word. There was a little playground area for kids.. mostly made from wood and sustainable materials of course, the portaloos were clean at all times and there were also some eco-friendly tiny toilets for young children with little toilet seats that looked like potties! There was even a baby changing facilities gazebo stocked up with free nappies, wipes, lotions and suncreams for anyone to use! I thought this was a lovely touch.

zoo bells bell tents
My lovely Zoo Bells tent

The weather, unfortunately hadn’t been kind the first day of the festival which meant the tents took a bit of a battering and one or two became waterlogged! Because the others arrived before me they all swapped around to get the driest ones. The organisers were super helpful anyway offering to take down and bring new ones if need be. Luckily for me though, the nearby glamping field was full of gorgeous tents provided by Zoo Bells and one of their generous employees on site happened to walk by and offered one of their spare ones to me! I mean…. whoop whoop yes please! My Bell tent was fabulous, we haven’t stayed in one before but would definitely consider one next time for sure!

Once settled we headed into the festival and straight into the Little Wonderland kids area which is a dedicated zone for families and children to enjoy age related fun activities all day long. There’s a sand pit, circus skills, workshops in break dancing, graffiti, beat boxing, felt-making, crazy cartoons, up-cycling clothes and lots more. Our’s decided on some sculpting with clay!

little wonderland nozstock
nozstock little wonderland
Fabulous creation!
It was great to get all the kids together again!

The childrens area is a wonderful space that incorporates shows and music too, with so much more to get involved with… it’s really worth checking the timetable so you don’t miss anything you’d like to catch. The family aspect of the festival is something one of the creators, Ella Nozworthy is passionate about, especially now that she has children of her own. Speaking of the new elements for this year she said .. “after listening to feedback and realising there are some simple things we can do to enhance the experience for families – that’s what this is all about.”

Lots of fun little toys and bits and bobs to make or dress up in!
nozstock festival
I couldn’t resist!

The music lineup at Nozstock this year was brilliant, although I think when you go as a family, depending on ages of children, you might not get to see the headliner DJ’s and bands that play into the early hours but there’s definitely something for every taste with ten stages to choose from! My twenty year old son who didn’t come with us was absolutely gutted when he saw the lineup… the Hospitality takeover on Friday night was a massive coup for the younger festival goers! Then there’s so many different, more chilled artists playing all kinds of music during the day before kicking off again later on!

nozstock

The theme of this years Nozstock was the Wizard of Noz which was evident throughout the festival. Some of the stages were designed on the theme!

This stage was supposed to be Dorothy’s wrecked house from the hurricane and even included the witched legs and feet if you look to the top left!
elephants graveyard nozstock
There was a raggae stage that was found via a pathway which led to this bizarre open space called The Elephants Graveyeard! It was rather groovy!

We loved watching Elvana (an Elvis fronted Nirvana tribute act) on Saturday afternoon on the main Orchard Stage! This was completely nuts but very entertaining!

elvana nozstock

My favourite stage was The Coppice. I could’ve stayed in here for hours listening to the dreamy trance music and getting lost in all the decorations set up in the trees. This was run by Tribe of Frogs, a psychedelic DJ dance event organiser who are amazing! My kids loved all the lights, special effects and the way everything glowed!

tribe of frog nozstock
tribe of frog nozstock the coppice

There were hidden stages too, like The Cabinet of Lost Secrets which you found through a secret doorway… as modelled here by my friend Emma!

We had a great time at this stage dancing the night away… even my 9 year old twin boys had a dance! That’s the first time in all their festival going years that they’ve actually danced! There’ll be no stopping them now! We boogied on down to fab swing band Year of the Dog and funk quintet The Happy Daggers!

year of the dog nozstock
nozstock family festival

The headliners on Saturday night were DJ superstars Rudimental. As their 10pm start time approached, you could feel all the different areas emptying out a little as everyone seemed to be making their way to the main stage! I was praying that my children stayed awake at least for a little while so we could catch some of the set! And I got lucky!

Katy and Ruth headed back to the tents but myself and Emma stayed out to partayy! And boy did it kick off big time when Rudimental came on! They were amazing! We hovered around the back of the crowd at first as the bass line was too much for the kids, although, incidentally, you can go and grab ear plugs for free if you need them from a little on site kiosk which offers all kind of helpful stuff! I grabbed some for mine earlier in the day!

Back to Rudimental. Emma was not satisfied with standing at the back so she instructed her husband, Andy, to watch all of our kids for a second and grabbed my hand to storm down to the front. Barging through the crowd like a mad woman on a mission, probably ruffling some feathers in the process but we didn’t care! It was funny and worth it because from there we got to experience the music and atmosphere so much more, right in the thick of it!

rudimental nozstock
rudimental nozstock
Grainy photo but this was an action shot of us ‘having it’!

One of the reasons we love a festival is that we get to don the glitter! Oh how we love the glitter! The family camp site at Nozstock was so chilled and relaxed, we enjoyed just hanging around there in the mornings, leisurely getting ready, chatting and eating breakfast that was made by Rocknrollerbaby for all of us! Feeling the fresh morning air while the kids played – even with other children that were camping nearby! In a world where kids are often indoors on some kind of screen, camping brings such a welcome change.

nozstock festival glitter
My hair and makeup being done by Poppie and Florence!
nozstock family camping
festival hair and makeup
nozstock bell tents
festival hair
My daughter does everyone’s hair!
rosies tea rooms nozstock
We loved this little cafe, Rosie’s Tea Rooms, at the entrance to family camping where they sold teas, coffees and delicious crepes! It was so nice, cosy and friendly!

Around Nozstock there’s loads of weird and wonderful acts everywhere you look, a real feast for the eyes. As well as music there’s comedy, acting, dance and film too!

We loved the human jukebox…
nozstock
..and this unbelievable fire maze!
nozstock wedding
There was even and wedding taking place at Nozstock!

My favourite thing about our Nozstock weekend was simply just wandering around, discovering new areas and enjoying the whole place. The site isn’t huge so nowhere feels too far to get to, yet there’s always something new to see or do. It was compact yet felt incredibly spacious where the children could run freely and enjoy the different zones!

nozstock
nozstock festival family
nozstock
nozstock
henna tattoo nozstock
nozstock
Nozstock ambassadors festival

Even though it wasn’t just a festival for families, there were children playing everywhere and everyone just mingled seamlessly together. At no time did I feel worried about the children, or thought I shouldn’t have them in a particular area, which I know is a concern for a lot of parents. Safety was paramount for the kids….. they are given wristbands on arrival with a space to write your telephone number on, so you can be reached should you get separated. There’s also a dedicated lost child tent that they can find easily should they need help.

Nozstock gives you that special kind of fuzzy, warm feeling and has an atmosphere that has been missing at other festivals. It’s fun and immersive, you really feel like you’re taking part in a wonderful imaginary story! Yet it manages to stay intimate and considerate. There isn’t anything I would change, we had the best time in the best place with the best people!

I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Super early bird tickets are now on sale for 2020 Nozstock – The Hidden Valley which takes place Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th July 2020

https://nozstock.com/tickets/buy-tickets-online/
www.nozstock.com @nozstock

Top 3 Kids’ Playhouses

Playhouses are toys which children seem to never tire of. They take prime place in most people’s gardens and as long as tit’s not raining outside, you’ll usually find your little one enjoying themselves whilst playing with their favourite toy.

If you’re looking for a playhouse to buy your child in the near future then you will evidently have a lot of things to consider. Before you make your purchase, you may want to contact a company like New Lawn for artificial grass installation to improve safety. After all, there are so many different types of play houses available on the internet and in stores all over the UK and these differ on a whole host of different factors, such as price, size, appearance, features included and more.

Here’s some information on a few of the top kids’ playhouses available for purchase at the moment, which will hopefully provide you with some ideas and inspiration for when it comes to buying one for your child.

Smoby Duplex House

smoby playhouse

This kids’ playhouse will literally blow your mind. It is a two storey house which features a staircase inside that leads to the top floor which is deemed to be a relaxation and rest area. This area is protected by a security fence so you need not worry about the levels of safety. In addition to the exciting upstairs, the Duplex House also has a kitchen area, a barbecue area that comes with accessories, a living room with a table and two stools, a gateway with a bell and more. It’s not hard to see that the level of fun which can be had is immense. The product is actually easy to assemble., even with all these features.

Step 2 Sweetheart Playhouse

sweetheart girls playhouse

This playhouse is the ideal option for any little girly girl. It boasts a pale pink framework which goes beautifully with the purple thatched style roof and the bright pink door and window shutters. Moreover, above the door there are three bright pink hearts which completely makes this toy cuteness personified. The playhouse also comes with electronic features in the form of a phone and a doorbell. In addition to this there is a range top which doubles up as a barbecue grill, a clock and a window flower pot.

Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio Playhouse

picnic on the patio little tikes playhouse

It says it all in the name – This playhouse is the perfect option for children who want to sit outside and eat strawberries and sandwiches in the sunshine! It sort of takes the role of a toy kitchen as well, which is an option extremely popular amongst children. It boasts an oven, burners, cupboards and a 19 piece accessory set which includes play food and tableware! There’s also a pretend phone with this product and an electronic doorbell which makes a massive six fun and exciting sounds.

3 Things To Be Prepared For When You Get A Dog

If you are thinking of getting a dog, you can be sure that it’s going to be a huge decision which will dramatically affect your life. We all know that a dog is a huge responsibility to have, but often it’s not until you actually have it home that it really sinks in! If you are keen on getting a dog though, doing some research beforehand is going to help you out a lot. With that in mind, in this article we are going to focus in particular on a few of the major things that you need to be fully prepared for if you are going to get a dog. As long as you are prepared, you will find that you are in a much better situation to get a dog and to make the most of it.

Cost

First up, let’s look at the cost of owning and caring for a dog. You are going to need to make sure that you are able to afford it, otherwise it is just not. The cost is often a lot higher than people realise, and there are many things that you are going to need to budget for in order to get it right. For instance, there is going to be the food and dog bed and all of the other supplies to consider. However, you can always reduce the cost of these things by being clever about where you source them from, and making a point of shopping around. That way, getting hold of pet supplies can actually be cheaper than you would expect.

Time

You can’t simply get a dog and expect that it won’t take up much time. It is always going to, and the more prepared you are for that fact, the better off you will be. You need to spend a lot of hours with your dog showing them love, training and exercising them, feeding them and so on. If you are so busy that you are not able to do much of this, then that means you probably don’t have the right lifestyle for a dog. It would be better to get something like a cat, or to try and change your lifestyle first if that is really what you want to do.

Noise

Although you get different kinds of dogs with varying voice boxes, it is also true that you will have to put up with a bit of noise from time to time. It shouldn’t be a massive problem, but if you are not prepared, then you might find that it’s something of a challenge to get used to it, so this is certainly something to think about.

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