Posts tagged Blogging
The 28 Day Blogging Breakthrough Challenge

Are you excited by that title? I know I am! Welcome to the official Blogging Breakthrough Challenge. Yep, starting on January 4th we’ll be going through a challenge to help push you out of your comfort zone and get a real breakthrough with your blog. 

You heard right. For 28 days we’re going to be doing some game-changing tasks to get your blog ready for a brand new year and take it to the next level. I’ve been planning this challenge ever since 2015 started. It’s easy to just coast along, doing the same things for our blogs all the time. So I’m saying, why not switch it up a bit? 

But this challenge is different. These tasks won’t take you hours or days. It’s all about working smarter, not harder. You know High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - where you do a lot of work in a shorter amount of time? That’s what this is going to be like. 

So really, there’s only one thing I need from you. A maximum of 30 minutes each day, for 28 days to complete this challenge


You. All of you. If you’ve not started a blog yet, this can be your launch checklist. If you’re a beginner, these are great things to tick off as you’re starting out. And if you’ve been blogging for 6 months or 6 years, this is for you too. 

If you’ve never taken part in a challenge before or you’re thinking you want to reach the next step with your blog, the #BloggingBreakthroughChallenge is for you. 

If you feel stuck, uninspired, unmotivated or you’ve simply lost your blogging mojo, this is for you. And hey, I’ll be doing it with you. So we can be accountability partners too. 


The challenge will start on Monday 4th January with Day 1 and will end on Sunday 31st January. Every day during that time, there’ll be a new post up on ABOH with the next task in the challenge. We’ll be covering everything - small things that make a big difference. 

You can choose to start the challenge with me on the 4th. Or you can pick it up and start it whenever you want. That’s the beauty of it. There’s no set way to do it. You don’t even have to do it over 28 days. You could do one task a week if you wanted to. It’s all about doing it at the pace that works for you. 

But this is doable. If you’ve got a full-time job, a house to look after, a family - this is doable. And it’ll make a difference.

So, to get your mind rolling, here’s a quick overview of what we’ll be looking at on each day of the challenge. 

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11 Of The Best Things To Tell You From My First Conference

Hello my lovely readers!

Boy have I missed you. But now I'm back from France, refreshed, rested and ready to work hard for the next six months of the year. 

Nearly three weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend my first ever conference, called SAScon: Search Analytics & Social Media. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you'll have been well aware that I live tweeted the whole event. There was so much incredible information, I couldn't not share it. Which made me realise that I also needed to write about it. So here we are.

In this post, these eleven points will open your eyes as to where the blogging and online world is heading. They aren't action points to work on, and I'm not going to tell you how to do anything. This will be more of a discussion as to what you need to know to get a head start in the direction our industry is heading in.

So sit back, relax and get ready - some of these points will definitely shock you.

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How Do You Even Know What To Blog About?

"What should I blog about?" 

This is a question that has been asked by each and every single person who owns a blog today. Even the now famous bloggers who make a living from doing what they love, all asked themselves this question at some point. It even happens when it comes to planning our content and we hit a wall - it's pretty frustrating when it seems like no ideas will ever enter our minds again.

Whether you apply this to coming up with ideas for blog posts, or you're starting a blog and don't know where to start - these scenarios apply to any person in any situation.

It's annoying.

But today, I'm going to talk with you about some tried and tested ways, so you won't ever have this problem again.

By the time you've finished reading this, you'll be able to answer the question: "what the hell should I blog about?"

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14 Blog Posts You Need To Read In April

This month, I've come across more new websites and content than I ever thought possible.

Some I've found have made me ask: how have I not found this before?

And some of my favourite bloggers have been creating some of their best content yet. Luckily for you, I've rounded it all up for you right here. This month, you'll find the best podcasts to listen to, social media tips and a bit of inspiration as always.

So get comfy and get ready to add some great content to your reading list.

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Two Amazing Pinterest Boards I've Made Just For You

There are around 70 million users on Pinterest.

That's a huge figure. And it's no wonder. This purely visual site not only gives us inspiration; but for some, it's a huge driver of traffic. Today, I'm not here to talk to you about how to promote your blog on this platform, or what to do to completely organise all your pins. Instead, I'm sharing two boards that I've been putting together recently, and that I'll continue adding to on a regular basis.

They're exactly what you need and I know you'll love what's on there as much as I do. 

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How To Analyse Your Website's Performance

Stats. A word that a lot of people want to avoid.

Some keep track of them each month in order to see how they've progressed. Some keep track of them as and when they remember, just out of curiosity. And some just don’t check them, each for their own reasons. I know people in each of these categories. But I also know a lot of people don’t like looking at their stats because they don’t understand them. Honestly? Sometimes I’d even prefer not to look at them.

But I've come to learn that your data is key when it comes to analysing your website's performance.

Every digital marketing agency is different. But there's something that the majority of them will have in common - they'll do reporting. They'll report on their clients' traffic, monthly and yearly. This gives them explanation and identifies what it is important to focus on in the next month.

Reporting helps to see where you've been, where you are now and what to do to achieve more in the future. It might sound intense. But it's exactly the same as what we can do to analyse our site's performance.

And the best bit? It'll take you an hour, tops.

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Quality Or Quantity: Which Is Better?

A recent study analysed the quality and quantity matter with parents and children (source).

It found that it doesn't matter how much time parents spend with their children. What's more important is how they spend their time with them. So if you spend five hours with a child when you're stressed or tired, this could affect their development. But if you spend two hours with a child when you're happy and in a positive environment, the better off the child will be. What does that tell us?

Simply, that quality is more important than quantity.

But is this debate that straight forward? 

As beginner bloggers, we can be made to think that we have to publish content every day. There are plenty of people who do this, because they have big dreams for their blog and want to interact with their community on a regular basis. You can see why it’s an attractive thing to do. But I don't know if that necessarily means it's the right thing to do. 

So today I wanted to go through the pros and cons between quality and quantity, to see which one really is the best to aim for. 

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4 Big Mistakes You Could Be Making With Your Blog

Running a blog is hard work.

So it’s no wonder that a lot of people who start blogs quit within the first three month (source).

After blogging for eighteen months, I can see why this is true. There is a lot more to blogging than simply, well, blogging. This is something I learnt on my own, through my own journey. I've learnt that there are some quite simple things we can do to help our blogs be more professional. Most of us aren't even aware of them.

I came across articles which included almost 20 mistakes you could be making with your blog. But I didn't want to give you an endless list. I wanted to pick out the key things that you could be missing out on. The things you can start working on today. My hope is that by identifying these mistakes, you can then work on them and improve them.

This will be key to your success in the long-run.

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Five Tips For Content Originality

Do you ever find it difficult to come up with ideas? Are there ever times when you want to write a blog post, but you don’t know where to start? We’ve all been there. Publishing original content on a regular basis is challenging. But it’s something that goes a long way with readers. As a blogger, I pride myself on creating original content for my readers to enjoy. But I also know how difficult the process can be, and I’m sure you do too. Your reason for having your blog is unique. But whatever it is, why not do it right? Today, I’m breaking down some really useful tips for creating original content.

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Why Should You Promote Old Blog Posts?

Being Boss is my favourite podcast. Recently, Kathleen and Emily spoke about how we should write about what we know. Then we should share that knowledge with our community. This is something I plan to start doing more of with this online space, but to clue you up a bit more, here’s a brief introduction.

I’ve worked in the Digital Marketing industry for five years. The backlog of skills I’ve gained in this time is something I’m proud of. So soon on A Branch of Holly, you’ll start to see more posts around the topic of digital marketing. I know this content will be quite specific, and I apologise if I put some readers off. But I also know how beneficial the topics I’m going to write about will be to you all.

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How To Refresh Your Creative Process

Do you ever sit down to plan your editorial calendar with no idea where to start? Or when you sit down to write a blog post and no words come to mind? It could be the dreaded writer’s block, but it could also be a sign of something else.

If you ever feel lost with your blog, it could be time to refresh your creative process. You could be blogging about too many topics or stuck with how to create content. Or maybe you need to completely change your perspective for your blog. I have been in all of these positions and I still don’t think I’ve found my blog’s true purpose.

These things take time. But you don’t have to put up with it. So today, I’m going to share a few helpful tips that I’ve picked up along the way.

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Seven Realities Of Being A Blogger

When you tell someone that you’re a blogger, what would they say? I can think of a few answers. It’s true that quite a lot of people don’t really ‘get it’. It’s also true that, at the moment, there’s seems to be a bit of a general stereotype surrounding bloggers, which those of who us are bloggers know isn’t true. Yet some perceptives will never change. When I started blogging I didn’t really know what to expect. But after nearly a year and a half in the industry, it’s safe to say that some things you hear just aren’t true. Today, I’m going to let you in on some realities – and you’ll probably be able to relate to each of them too.

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Five Reasons Why Blogging Creates Happiness

Starting this blog has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Losing yourself in such a creative place is so rewarding and fulfilling. The people you interact with and the content you create on a regular basis are two of the things I love most about blogging.  Your blog is however you want it to be. There are many different tutorials advising you on how to start and grow your blog. But ultimately, the way you manage, grow and create is uniquely down to you.

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Blogs I've Loved In November

If you don't follow these bloggers already, you really should. Collecting and writing these posts each month really makes me realise just how amazing the blogging community is. The fact that each of us can come up with so many unique ideas for content on a regular basis truly is brilliant. December will be a quiet month so I'll be taking a break from this post until the end of January. But I'm pretty sure everyone is going to kick start the new year with style and a bang. So take a well deserved break this Christmas, catch up on your favourite blogs and add some more to your feed. This is the content I've been loving this month...

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Ten Newsletters You Need To Sign Up To

Recently I've stumbled across some pretty incredible creatives. These people are not only great writers - they're helpful too. Even more than that, they know you. They're somehow magically in tune with their readers. One scroll through their recent posts had me signing up to their newsletters on the spot - and there wasn't even a pop up. I don't think you should miss out on these, which is why I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Well, ten of them actually.

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Do You Have Brand Values? If Not Why Not?

"A question that doesn't have a definite answer is a question worth exploring."

Did you know a source found by Social Triggers says there are more than 164 million blogs? 

I know right. What a figure.

164 million. To put it into context, there are around 64.1 million people living in the UK right now. So currently, there are more than twice as many blogs in the world compared to people in the UK.

That’s a big figure. 


If you’re reading this, you may have a blog or you may not. If you do, I’m guessing that like me, you’re one of the 164 million. 

So in other words we’re all really little fish in a very big pond. It’s no wonder we always ask ourselves the question: “Why do we blog?”

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Blog Love: September

So for this month's round up of some of the best content from around the web, I've decided to change the title from Post Love to Blog Love. I've been noticing recently that sometimes I can't just pick one post from my favourite blogs - you all have so many great ideas! Here are my favourites from this month and trust me, there's some amazing reading in this list.

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12 Things I've Learnt In 12 Months of Blogging & A Great Giveaway

This year I’ve written 173 posts, tweeted over 2000 times and taken nearly 300 Instagram snaps. I’ve shared my ups, downs, happiness, loves and life with you. There was a stage where I questioned myself and my blog but I came out of the other side more positive, confident and on track with where I saw this space going in the future.

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