Tag: Blogging

Celebrating last year – what did you learn?

Celebrating 5 things I’ve learnt in 2017

As we are all looking forward to what 2018 will bring and how we might be able to shape it I decided to take a look at what I’d learnt in 2017. It isn’t earth shattering or revolutionary but it is worth celebrating.

I am very much about looking forward because that’s the way we’re going! But we should be celebrating what we’ve achieved and how we’ve grown; the latter may be from some perceived failure or overcoming a fear.

I’m happier on my own

2017 started with an unexpected BANG! I was thrown into a new start when my partner decided we should go our separate ways, you can read about that here –  The *hit hit the fan!. The practicalities of this took over and I quickly established my new home and life – Calmer Waters.
As the year has progressed I have come to realise that I’m much happier on my own. I don’t  function well in a partnership, I become dependent and a little too submissive, yes that’s pathetic and I don’t like this about myself.  On my own I’m more resilient, competent and definitely independent!

Abseiling solo!

I love to sing

I have belonged to low key choirs for a lot of my life. However monetary constraints followed by my last relationship meant I had not been part of a choir for over 10 years.
I was pleased to discover in my new home village a community choir, 30 strong, no audition, no cost and just a short stroll away. This ticked all my choir boxes – as I love to sing I’m not very good, and would never sing solo and don’t really like people hearing me sing along with the radio! However in a choir I can tune in with those more proficient. It is a great hobby, has helped me to get to know people in the village and made me feel part of my new community.

I am resourceful

When my relationship broke down I found myself with my part-time massage business that I’d been letting tick over as I was living an hour’s drive away.  This was the impetus to crank this business back up and to look for other sources of income;  Work Update – Do you do a variety of jobs?
This year I have been a poll clerk and an exams invigilator alongside my massage work and blogging.
I have grown my own tomatoes and picked many blackberries whilst walking the dog. I shop wisely and waste nothing. I want to use my blog to encourage people to take responsibility for their health and live well, this post has some great signposts for low cost health.

I love to walk

Fitness and good health are important to me. I have had a dog for over 10 years and he is an active cocker spaniel that needs two good walks a day. I do not resent this I love to walk. I love that I get out into the countryside on my doorstep twice a day and I enjoy seeing the seasons changing in front of me on a daily basis.

Dog walk
Regular dog walk fun!

This year we walked Offa’s Dyke Path, a national trail on the Wales/England border. It was glorious, hard work and rewarding. A fabulous way holiday – activity, good views and good food! Read my post about it here.

Offa's Dyke Path
We’ve arrived in Prestatyn, in the October sunshine

Friends and family are precious, and I count my clients amongst these

Finding myself single I relocated back to be near my Dad and my daughters and I am so happy to be able to easily pop in or meet up for a coffee or a walk. We were celebrating my Dad’s 90th Birthday in December and it’s great to be near to see him regularly and help him out….even if that means digging over his vegetable patch!

healthy later life
Dad & I

I’ve also made a concerted effort to regularly contact and meet up with friends, something I’d neglected. I seem to do more with these friends than I did with my ex’s! The daily routine of work and TV has been replaced by trips to the cinema, theatre, meals out and other adventures.
These posts are a couple of things I got up to – Peak District and North Devon and there’s more I’ve blogged about take a look!

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

With my daughters in North Devon.

What are you celebrating about 2017?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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Blogtacular – Blogging Conference

Getting there

I spent a beautiful sunny Saturday in June at a Blogging Conference in London! It was very colourful, bright and cheery both in terms of the decor, the people and the presentations….oh and the food! It was indeed more than a Conference.

Blog Conference
Arriving at Blogtacular

When I booked on to the event I hadn’t realised there was a pre conference event on the Friday; a photowalk followed by a party at West Elm. This looked great fun but logistics (trains already booked and a dog!) meant I couldn’t make it.

I live a 50 minute train trip (and a 20 minute car journey) from Euston and a Virgin Rail offer enabled my to travel for £8 return…..YES £8 crazy! I had an early start as the Conference kicked off at 8.30 with Breakfast (you can see the day’s schedule here). My plan was to arrive at 9ish and partake in second breakfast – I am a hobbit and I can’t leave home without breakfast :).

Conference travel
Waiting for my bargain Virgin Train!

The Conference – morning session

Blogtacular Conference
Kat Molesworth welcoming us to Blogtacular

Things really got started at 9.40, after I’d consumed several Beurre d’Isigny pain au chocolate and pain au raisin, washed down with a bucket of coffee, with an inspiring keynote speech from Natalie Lue . The message promoted Blogging for yourself, doing it because you want to, not copying or comparing but LOVING IT.

Following a short coffee break a choice of 4 workshops were available, each with enough space not to be turned away disappointed. I had met a lovely lady (Jo) at this point. We were going to different workshops, this meant when we met later we were able to feedback and share our workshop experiences. This added great value to the Conference overall.

I attended the Foundations of Marketing workshop led by Kayte Ferris ( http://www.simpleandseason.com/) . I have some marketing knowledge and was interested to get a bloggers view, not only does Kayte blog but she is a Marketing Consultant and Coach. The session was useful. Kayte made me think I needed to look more specifically at who I expect or want my audience to be and to develop a “Buyer Persona”. From this analysis you can develop your stories and how to communicate them. Lots of food for thought and work to be done. Talking this through with my new friend Jo and others in the lunch break started the process!

Conference workshop
Kayte Ferris Marketing Workshop

Lunch was spectacular, I chose roasted salmon pea risotto, lemon butter and pea shoots accompanied with a variety of salads. It was very well organised and plentiful. No hassle, no queuing and plenty of time to chat or peruse the market.

The Conference – afternoon session

Next I chose to go to the Working with Brands workshop presented by Lucy Nicholls (http://www.shinythoughts.net/hello/ ). Lucy has worked for ASOS and now Boden as a Social Media Content Producer. Being a Blogger herself Lucy knows a lot about Influencer Marketing. The packed presentation was comprehensive and a little bit “on the horizon” for me but one can dream! Again it made me realise a scatter-gun approach to my blog was not ideal and identifying my audience is paramount.

Jo had been to the Finding your Niche workshop and came away with a useful handout. Needless to say I stole a copy, a useful tool to help my post conference work.

A short break before the last workshop of the day. Jo and I had selected the same one, the Creative Business Masterclass. Three lovely ladies with successful creative online shops talked us through the importance of Community, Collaboration and Balance for you and your business. They were very lively and at times haphazard. This wasn’t the best session or presentation, the slides were illegible as they were too pale and the lighting in the room couldn’t be adjusted well enough to improve this. There is always a kernel of something valuable tho’ and we did come away with a list of great websites for tools and resources.

The Conference – the finale

The final break and a cup of tea was much needed, along with a smidgen of cake, all fueled up for the final keynote speaker Emma Gannon. Emma was great, very entertaining presenting the changes in blogging from 2010 to 2016 , making predictions for 2017 and championing playing to your strengths:
Ideas first, Platform second.

Blogtacular Conference Emma Gannon
Emma Gannon Keynote Speaker at Blogtacular

The Conference was rounded off by Kat Molesworth, co-founder and director of Blogtacular (http://blogtacular.com/team-blogtacular/) and a group photo. I pretty much missed the latter as a dash to the loo pre tube and train journey was a priority! Sorry Kat 🙁

Conference photo
Just too late for the Group photo!

In conclusion

Blogtacular promised to be “more than an event, it’s the catalyst to transform your career.   You will leave with the tools, ideas and inspiration to achieve your goals plus the network of contemporaries who’ll help you get there”.
I think it lived up to this. The Conference has helped me to really consider my audience and given me some tools and advice on how to go about this. It sent me away with lots to think about, lots of resources to research and lots of places to look for inspiration.

Have you been to Blogtacular?

Would you recommend any other Blogger events?

 

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram jenafitlife

Conference goody bag
The morning after! Tea in bed and my Blogtacular goody bag!

You can read the Blogtacular write up in their blog here  http://blogtacular.com/blog/