Today on The Blog Lowdown, I’m delighted to be bringing you Steph from MisplacedBrit…
Please Introduce yourself:
Hi, I’m Steph! Expat Brit in Sweden. Mama to Miss 6, Miss 3 and Mr 1. Currently on maternity leave (in Sweden, a generous 1.5 years at least) …Dreading the inevitable return to work!
When did you start blogging?
I started my blog, MisplacedBrit in November last year (2013).
Tell us a little about your blog
The tagline for my blog is: Simple, Creative Family Life
These are as much aspirations as they are a motto. Setting the tone behind the scenes. Keeping things simple. I’m asking myself the question, what is the core that you’re left with when you peel off all the unnecessary and unhelpful expectations on kids, parents and family life? When the ideal isn’t perfectionism. Simple, easy and sustainable, whether it’s crafts and activities, outside or in, getting kids to eat or surviving sleep deprivation. Making sure that we’re all thriving as a family, the kids, and us as parents. Honest about the good stuff and the flops! Real life.
My six year old is creativity personified – her ideas alone are enough to keep all of us on our toes 24/7. It’s tempting to want to suppress that sometimes! But I want to find ways to encourage and nurture it. And inspire others who want to do the same.
I also blog about our secret recipes, my love of chocolate, and fill posts to the brim with photos!
Why Misplaced Brit?
I chose the name because even after 12 years in Sweden, there’s part of me that still feels like a Brit out of context. There’s something about living in a different country – even though I love it, I’m just not going to be a Swede!
Who designed your blog?
I’m another of those ‘designed it myself’ bloggers – but let’s call it a working progress! I have an endless list of improvements and adjustments I want to make. Prior to November I’d never heard the word linky or widget, never used a hashtag, and firmly believed I’d never be found on twitter! I’m loving this journey & the fun I’ve had designing my online space has all been part of that.
Which of your posts have been the most popular? Are there certain types that get more interest?
My most popular posts? Let’s play around with the statistics a little bit:
– Most popular with Americans:
10 Ways to be Compassionate to Yourself
– Most extensive Facebook exposure:
Californian Eggplant & Halloumi Burger
– My only post to have more male than female visitors!
Why you Should Never Bungee Jump in a Bikini
– Most popular post all around:
7 Things Your Children Need to See You Do
– Post receiving the most google hits:
DIY Toilet Roll Owls
The types of post I’ve noticed getting the most interest generally have been about wanting to be a better parent, and a better person, in one way or another – short, practical thoughts on that.
How do you promote your blog posts, and which methods do you find to be most successful?
Primarily I promote my posts on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest; possibly Instagram; and by joining in linkys.
Facebook has been the most successful method for me so far. I share all my posts on my Facebook page. If it’s a particularly personal post I may even share it on my private fb account too. There used to be a lot of likes and comments – that varies now. What I see however is that posts get a lot of shares, and re-shares. Second after those visitors who’ve come directly to my site, are those who’ve come via Facebook.
I tweet all my posts – though the way I’m doing this needs a great deal of improvement – part of the plan (- to take over the world) I’m working on right now 😉
The tweets that get the most reach are always those regarding a linky I’ve joined. When I make sure to compose a tweet myself (never the auto tweet option that inlinz provides after linking) with the linky hashtag and address the host. I try to always attach a picture to these tweets too, making them that bit more personal. Hosts are usually fantastic about retweeting those – and if they’re interesting there’ll be more rt after that too.
Which linkys do you most enjoy joining in with/reading?
There are so many great linkys!!
I love the photo linkys:
Special post linkys:
All about the kids linkys:
And fantastic food linkys:
I’m a regular at most of these, but other than the food and photo ones, I don’t specifically write a post in order to participate, rather if I have a post that fits I link it.
When are your busiest days on the blog, and why? (if you know why!)
The busiest day on my blog is definitely Monday. Despite all my good intentions I’m always caught up with the final touches of my #tastytuesday food post at the last minute… Or even worse baking, photographing & blogging it all in one go, burning the midnight oil! My food posts are by far the most time consuming. Making sure all the measurement conversions are accurate and because I like to do the method in photos!
The other busy day is definitely Sunday, visiting lots of other bloggers who’ve linked photos to the various photo linkys I’ve joined.
Can you name 3 things that blogging has brought you?
Yep – this is where it gets personal!
When I started MisplacedBrit in November last year, I was suffering from postnatal depression. I hadn’t been in a good place at all. I’d had hard months wriggled with anxiety and panic attacks. It’s fair to say that little of the activities I had previously loved; pastimes which had previously energized me, were even an option.
Blogging brought me photography. An entirely different kind of photography. We may have 10000 pictures in iPhoto, but they’re ’the usual’ front on daily shots of our growing babies! Blogging has had me laying in the grass and creeping around my kids to reach angles that captured what they’re doing, without disturbing them and without seeing their faces! It’s brought me behind the lens with papers, flour and dough only cm’s in front of me. I found a stillness and peace in staring down the lens at food and craft projects, rotating them to find the best angles to capture the colours and hopefully get an interesting shot.
Blogging saw me through, and pulled me out of a time of little to no craft activities with my children. I had retreated from all ‘non-essentials’ just to try to get through the day. I started to want to pursue my ideas again. Blogging became the extra push that I needed to dare to believe that I could do a craft project with my kids. And doing one, seeing that I could, that we had fun, made me want to do another.
Blogging pulled me back into the great outdoors. The push I needed to try going out with my three little ones on my own. Not doing everything to avoid it, but willingly putting myself in that situation – baby steps!
My Top Tips for Bloggers:
1. Check out some of the linkys, and after trying some consider these three questions:
a. Do you enjoy the linky? Is it in tune with what you want to publish, and what you want to be known for?
b. Take a look at the statistics for your page, how are visitors finding you? If hardly anyone is coming to you from the hosts page, then participating in that linky (fun as it may be) isn’t generating any traffic for you. If participating is about networking with the hosts, great, but otherwise, you might want to try a different tactic.
c. Does the host pick out, and highlight some of the contributions the following week? The possibility of having a link to your website from another well established one increases your SEO and google ranking. As well as obviously giving you more exposure!
When you’ve found linky’s you like, keep showing up! You’re not making your presence felt by dipping your toes in all over the place. People start to recognise you, look out for you and notice you when you’re at the same places again and again.
2. Use each of your social media profiles in a different way! Sure you want to plug your posts, but you also want to create unique content, giving people a reason to follow you on more than one of your social media platforms without boring them! It also allows you to gather followers from right and left for a variety of reasons …Different bait for different ponds! But all of which ultimately increase your exposure (and contribute to your TOTS100 ranking).
3. Be active on instagram. If you want to increase your following, being active is about more than posting, it’s about interacting with others. Don’t think of instagram as your personal photo album, think of it as your invite into everyone else’s life & living room. It’s not enough to go around clicking ’like’ on everything. Everybody’s doing that – so you’re one of 40 likes they just had! If you want to get to know people; if you want to network; if you want to stand out – you need to comment – and it takes literally only a few seconds.
4. Make sure to add feeds from each of your social media accounts into your blog. You may not be posting daily, but if you’re updating facebook, posting on instagram & pinning treasures on Pinterest – let it all show! Let your blog be loading with new information all the time, so whenever anybody comes back over to your site, there are new discoveries to be made!
5. When it comes to twitter. Promote great content. Whether it’s yours or someone else’s. Be a source of valuable information.
My Social Media Links:
You can find my blog at: MisplacedBrit
Like my Facebook page
Connect on Twitter
Check out 7000 carefully selected pins!
Follow me on Bloglovin
And find me on Google+
…And I’ll follow you right back!
Thanks very much, Steph. A post absolutely crammed with advice and food for thought, thanks so much. I’ve made several notes!
If you’ve any questions for Steph, feel free to comment on this post, and she’ll pop by and check in. Next week, we will be hearing from Kate from Family Fever so be sure to pop by for that on Tuesday morning. You can catch up the previous posts from other bloggers here, too, if you’ve missed them.
If you’d like to feature on The Blog Lowdown, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
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