YOUR SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR

YOUR SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR

I talk a lot on this blog and on my social channels about setting and re-evaluating your goals.

Setting one goal for the whole year isn't too realistic - your mindset, passion and circumstances chance overtime. As you grow, that means your goals adjust and change too.

The last quarter of the year is usually seen as a big push. We want to achieve those goals we set ourselves so many months ago and we want to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. This is the last chance of 2016 to make big things happen with our online presence, so it's natural to want to strive for more right now.

SO WHY DO I NEED A SURVIVAL GUIDE?

It’s good to have a survival guide for the rest of the year to help you work towards your goals. This is always a tough and busy time of the year, so you want to make sure you’re working in a way that makes you feel good and fulfils you, whilst also making sure the work you’re doing is productive and worthwhile.

A survival guide helps you achieve your goals on your terms, in the best way possible. You decide what your survival guide is going to include. But it also helps you take care of yourself in the right way. We all need to practice self-care in order to make big things happen. 

If you feel like you need something to get you through the rest of the year, I have the perfect thing for you.

After evaluating my own processes recently, I’ve created my own intentional survival guide to help me achieve big things for my blog and business over the next few months. I’ve crafted it in a way that works best not just for myself, but for my readers and clients too.

This survival guide will help you take some important steps to help you get to where you want to be. So below, I’ve listed the parts that make up this guide that you can use yourself, whilst still enjoying yourself in the last months of 2016.

THIS IS THE ONE TOOL I USE TO BALANCE MY DAY JOB, FREELANCING AND MY BLOG

THIS IS THE ONE TOOL I USE TO BALANCE MY DAY JOB, FREELANCING AND MY BLOG

A few months ago, I stumbled across the blog of Boho Berry. It was like no other blog I’d ever seen before. Kara is a productivity whizz and I soon spent a decent chunk of time reading all her posts.

Then I came across a collection of her posts on something called a Bullet Journal. I was instantly intrigued. At first, it looked complicated. I thought, there’s no way I could do that. But the more I read about it, the more I realised how suited to me it was.

So I researched, pinned things I liked and watched videos, all with the aim of helping me try and create the perfect bullet journal for me.

 My first go was way too complicated - I wanted to include #allthethings. But recently, I’ve cut back and found a method that really works.

Something I pride myself on is my productivity and motivation. I’ve always been a driven person - but my problem has been trying to keep on top of everything I want to do. That was until I started bullet journaling, and now I’m achieving more than I thought possible.

 I’ve shared some images of my bullet journal on my Instagram and talked about it on Twitter - so this post is for everyone who asked me share an insight into how I use it. I want to do a video at some point too, so let me know if you want to see that. For now though, let’s get into it!

What even is a bullet journal?

The way I’d describe a bullet journal is that it has everything in one place. It was originally created by a guy called Ryder, and it’s basically a notebook system where you can organise yourself. You can include lists, plans, goals, your diary - basically anything you want.

There’s a very thin line as to how much you include. I used to struggle to use mine effectively because I was including too much information. But after refining how I wanted the bullet journal to work for me, it started solving all my problems.

I’m definitely no expert, so if you want to know more about how the bullet journal works, watch this video.


WHAT EVEN IS A BULLET JOURNAL?

Ryder does actually sell journals you can purchase, but I also know a lot of people who purchase this one on Amazon.

You don’t need any extra special tools for this - I use a notebook that I bought from Sainsburys, because all my stationery has to be extra pretty 😉

Don’t pick a notebook just because everyone else is - pick one that’s right for you. When it comes to size, A5 is the most popular choice and I haven’t seen any bigger or smaller than that. This size means it’s easy to carry round with you, you can use it whenever you want and you don’t need to squint to see your writing.

In terms of pages, I’ve been used the lined style, but I’m leaning towards going for the dotted look next time. Something you’ve got to remember about the bullet journal is that you can listen to lots of advice - but it’s all about personal preference.

ALRIGHT, I'M INTERESTED - WHAT DO YOU PUT IN IT?

Anything. That’s the beauty of the bullet journal.

This is where you need to do some research. But set yourself a time limit, because the tunnel of bullet journal inspiration is never ending.

Some people use their bullet journal for everything. Some people have different bullet journals for different areas of their life. Some people store memories, goals and wishlists in them. Some just use them as a day to day planner. It’s completely up to you.

16 OF THE BEST WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF MORE HIREABLE ON LINKEDIN

16 OF THE BEST WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF MORE HIREABLE ON LINKEDIN

Are you on LinkedIn? You should be.

This is one of the most valuable online tools out there to help you develop professionally in your career. And if you’re job hunting? Well, it’s a no brainer.

If your profile is out of date, your profile picture is a poor-quality selfie or all you do is talk about how much you love your cat, you could be missing out on some big opportunities.

Don’t get me wrong - it’s a big job. Not only do you have to create a LinkedIn page, but you’ve also got to keep it up to date too. Plus, there are so many different parts to fill in. Before you’ve even started, you feel instantly overwhelmed and wonder where to even begin.

Through my LinkedIn page, I’ve received both job offers and freelance gigs, which means my profile is doing it’s job. So how do you know if yours is? Today, I wanted to share with you these 16 simple hacks I’ve used that can help make yourself more hireable on LinkedIn. Let’s go.

#1 | Make sure you’ve got the basics up to date

These might seem like the least important things to you, but overall they can make a huge difference. Here are a couple of things to check:

  • Make sure you’re using a custom URL. So when you originally set up your LinkedIn page, your URL will just look like a load of numbers. What you can do instead is change it to something like this: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hollysutton2. Putting your name in it makes you instantly recognisable and brands yourself too.
     
  • Include your email address, website and social media platforms. If someone wants to get in touch with you through another channel, including these makes that happen. There’s nothing worse than wanting to get in touch with a person and not being able to find their contact information.


#2 | Make your headline creative

You might think your headline should be your current title, but this is actually a big mistake. Instead, be creative. Use your headline to describe what you want to do next. Plus, you can include more than one title too. 

Really, I class myself to have three jobs - my full-time one, my freelance business and my blog. That’s why I’ve included three different titles in one headline, so each represents one part of my career.

One thing to remember as you work through your LinkedIn page is that this is your chance to show off. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to show people what you can do!

 

MY CREATIVE PROCESS PART 4: EDITING, DELIVERY & PROMOTION

MY CREATIVE PROCESS PART 4: EDITING, DELIVERY & PROMOTION

It might seem like writing a blog post or creating a freelance writing piece is easy. You just type up the content on your computer, hit publish and you’re done, right?

Wrong.

For the past week or so, I’ve been taking you through my creative process step-by-step. This has shown you what blogging looks like behind-the-scenes for me.

The first thing I do is discover the idea. This involves going through different methods to make sure I come up with an idea that directly speaks to my audience.

Before I get started on writing the content, I do some research around the topic and create a full outline for my post. This is a hugely important part of my process. Without research, your content will never deliver as much as you want it to, which is why I never skip this step.

Then it’s time for the words, which is always the step of my creative process that takes the longest, and takes most of my energy. I write the content and in a perfect world, it should be good to go, right?

Unfortunately, no. And this leads us to the last step of my creative process: editing, delivery and promotion.

 

So like I said, in a perfect world, a blog post would be good to go when you’ve finished writing it. But that isn’t usually the case for writers. Many people find the editing stage quite tedious - and some skip it altogether. Let me tell you. Whenever I see an error on a blog post, I leave straight away.

Editing and evaluating allows me to review my work, challenges me to become more intentional with my words and results in even better content for my audience. Here’s what the first half of step for looks like in my creative process.

 

MY CREATIVE PROCESS PART THREE: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RIGHT WORDS

MY CREATIVE PROCESS PART THREE: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RIGHT WORDS

Like most careers, it’s so beneficial to have a process in place for your work to help make you more productive. I’ve seen many designers approach this subject, but not bloggers.

My method may not suit everyone out there, and that’s completely fine. Instead, I hope it inspires and encourages you to think about your own creative process.

Having a creative process is a way of being able to craft the best content possible. It contains various steps that you have to take to get to a finished product. (Want to know why it’s so important to have a creative process? Check out the first post of this series!)

 

As a blogger, I know you have a lot of fears. One of the biggest of these fears is the feeling that you’re writing to no one. The feeling that you’re not giving your audience something; whether that be entertainment, motivation or teaching them something new. 

Coming up with a solution to a reader’s problem that really speaks to them is the biggest struggle when it comes to communicating an idea. That’s why this part of my process is one of the most important - and also the most difficult. 

Writing the actual content is the part of my creative process that makes me the most nervous. And, no surprises here, it’s the most time-consuming step too. The way the blog post is going to look and how my readers react to the content, all hinges on each individual word that I write. 

It’s been eye-opening for me as I’ve written this creative process so far. It’s made me realise why I spend so much time in steps one and two - coming up with the idea and doing the research. It’s purely for the writing.  

You might not think writing a blog post is that difficult or time-consuming. You might be able to smash one out in half an hour. So why does it take me so long? How do I go about putting the ideas and research into words? How do I get to the finished blog post? Here’s a look into what step three of my creative process looks like for me.