As I have blogged since early 2009, I reckon I must have learned some things of value to bloggers whether new to the exciting game of blogging or old hands. Here are my 5 top tips for bloggers.

1. Make your blog your own in terms of content and style. Don’t try to please the crowd because it is false. Be yourself and perhaps get a real wake-up call when you realise you are not alone with your thoughts and feelings. The more true and heartfelt you are on your blog, the more people will like and respect you as the individual you are.

2. Network for advice and support. You will be delighted at just how willing most bloggers are to share their tricks of the trade with you. There are lots of networks for bloggers both at home and abroad. If you don’t know their names, just join Twitter and ask on there. I am a member of Netmums, Britmums, Mumsnet and Love All Blogs. They all provide slightly different things so go and find which one/s suit you best.

3. Don’t write yourself off on the technical side of things. When I started I knew nothing about themes, widgets, buttons and all those sparkly bells and whistles. My friend Kat gave me some help via emails and then I just realised that perhaps I should have more faith in myself and have a go at the techy stuff myself. I am the most untechy person you could wish to meet so if I can do it, so can you.

4. Don’t become a slave to reviews, awards or statistics. They are all entertaining to an extent but it is easy to get sucked in to thinking they define you. They don’t and that way insanity lies. Believe that you are worthwhile in your own right and if plaudits come your way, celebrate them but don’t get needy for them.

5. Expect the Unexpected. Blogging is an unpredictable and exciting journey. My first surprise was when people read my blog and commented on it. My second surprise was realising that I was not quite as weird as I had previously thought (or that if I am, there are an awful lot of folks like me out there). My third surprise was when a public relations firm asked me to review a toy. My fourth surprise was when a founder of one of the networks listened to me and appeared to value my opinion. My fifth surprise was when I was asked to speak at Britmums Live. My sixth surprise was when I was featured as Blog of the Week on Netmums. My seventh surprise was when old college friends found and read my blog. My eighth surprise was how blogging helped my relationship with my stepdaughter. My ninth surprise was when famous authors and journalists read my blog and encouraged my writing. The tenth surprise may well turn up today!

So there you have it and now pop over to the Kate Takes 5 where you will find lots of lovely bloggers sharing their own ideas on what works best for them as part of the weekly Listography.

Joining in with my very favourite blog hop of the week and thinking positive after quite a stressful little occurence in Tesco earlier this evening. Will be the subject of a blog and rant later my dears. This post is about being chirpy.

1. We went to Blackpool illuminations. It was lovely to share something so familiar from childhood with my own children. Even the teenager in training got into the spirit of things and enjoyed it. It was inspiring to see families out having a good time despite probably including a fair few who are struggling in the current economic climate. My youngest son said “I think I have found heaven” and that made the long drive through rain worth it. For anyone even considering thinking snotty thoughts about Blackpool, here is my view. Blackpool is a one-off and if you give into the madness, you can have a fabulous time there. Plus it is the place I first wore make up and got a snog so it is very special to me (and Dean from Sunderland wherever you are now – sorry never got a last name!)

2. I started a new blog hop all about mums getting their groove back and it really seems to have hit a nerve with people out there. Big thanks to those who have joined in with Get Your Groove Back Tuesday and it is definitely here to stay.

3. I lost half a stone in one week. When Michelle posted about her 101b loss recently, that seemed so impossible for me so it just goes to show that with the mind in the right place, anything is possible especially with the back up of the wonderful #mumentum peer support.

4. I spent the morning with my Dad. He makes a trip to the charity shop and the Co-op seem very special indeed. I bought lots of little lovely things that I will be sharing on Monday as part of #MagpieMonday

Well, that is just some of my reasons. Do check out the other entries at http://mdplife.blogspot.com or even better join in.

Are you thinking positive?

Love from the Striking Mum x

OK, so I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here has hit our television screens again.

So I thought I would have a little fun with blogger friends old and new and start a new meme type thing. I will tag a few people, hope they join in and pass on the jungle baton to other bloggers.

It is very simple to do and the rules are as follows

1) Answer the 10 questions and consider the mission.
2) Tag a few bloggers to do the same
3) Come back to my original blog post and tell me you have done the questions and answers so I can take a look and promote your post.

 

1. What one thing about being a parent makes you scream “Get me out of here!”

2. What qualities would you bring to the jungle?

3. How are you likely to annoy people in your were stuck with them for 3 weeks?

4. What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?

5. What  item would you smuggle into the jungle with you?

6. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

7. Who would you miss most if you went into the jungle with a bunch of strangers?

8. What celebrity alive or dead would you like to have with you in the jungle and why?

9. What would scare you about being in the jungle?

10. After leaving the jungle, you go to a luxury hotel. What would be the first thing you did on reaching your hotel?

11. Who do you think should win the Jungle Crown this year?

12. Who is your least favourite celebrity in the jungle and why?

13. Which celebrity has surprised you most and how?

 

Your final mission should you choose to accept it is to tell us why the blogger/s who you tag are stars.

Have another look at the guidelines above and get going to have some jungle fun!

I am tagging @AutismMumma @mummyglitzer @smilesandphotos @LJB41 @CupcakeMumma11 @InstinctiveMum @Tamsin_Tweets @goriami @ SarahMo3w @DownsSideUp @ Redpeffer @ knackeredhwife @ KimberleyJTaylor @MummyTries @ nicolacupcake @ Ojosworld @oliversmadhouse @soundinglike

 

Anyone should feel free to join and obviously if you can link back to this post so much the better.