My best tips for starting a blog

My best tips for starting a blog

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography | Shoot for Feel Fit UK

A lot has changed in the last few weeks, not just for me but for us all, and one of the biggest positives I have taken away is my re-found love for the foundation of my blog and doing it purely for the sole enjoyment. I have finally had a little extra time in my life to simply enjoy my hobby, write about things I love and just generally focus a little extra energy on being creative. Blogging has been something I have enjoyed for 6 years now, and I can definitely say that it is so good mentally to have a continuous hobby to keep you focused as life gets busy and stressful. So, with this extra time on our hands, perhaps this is the perfect time for you to start something new and creative, such as a blog. 

Now, I am by no means the world’s most successful blogger, but I still have the same passion for it now as I did 6 years ago. As much as my blog has helped me with my work, it still very much is a hobby, which I think is the essence of these online platforms. It is amazing how much of a success other influencer have made out of their blogs, but it was never my end goal and I feel lucky to have stuck with this as it is still very much my ‘fun space’.” 

So, I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of my best tips for starting up your very own blog, maintaining it and just a few general ideas of how to make a bit more of a living out of it if that is your intention. My blog has gone through many different stages, with three different platforms and web designs, countless attempts at different social media platforms and a constant change in my style of doing things in order to try and find my niche in this online world. 

Realistic expectations

First things first, you are not going to get rich overnight from starting a blog, nor will you get over 500 views on your very first blog post. Blogging is a process that takes time, consistency and you being you in order for your readers to connect with you and stick around. You have to be unapologetically you; write about the things you are extremely passionate about and use your wisdom to help others who may struggle with the same pain points. This can stretch from organising your wardrobe to battling anxiety. In my six years I have shared the extreme highs and low in my life, including all my favourite fashion tips to my journey having open heart surgery and building up my freelance business at the age of 19. Be you, for you. 

Finding your niche

This one is a hard one, as it is something, we all know, however it can be hard to find your niche nowadays as it is rare you will find others who don’t have the same one. This definitely stems from my first point that first of all you have to be true to yourself. This is the first building block in finding your niche. The second is to talk about all the things you are passionate about for a set amount of time, then you will start to develop a strong understanding of which things you actually prefer to talk and write about. This will lead to your niche as it will be something you are passionate about but also enjoy posting about. 

Social media first

My biggest suggestion would be to start your social media first, particularly Instagram, posting about the things you intend to discuss more on your blog and build a small following. This doesn’t have to be thousands, but definitely could be a hundred or so. Just do this consistently for a little while as you get your blog set up and connect with a handful of people online to begin your journey. For all social media advice head to my work Instagram >> @abigailhuntermarketing

Researching your web design

My biggest advice when you start your blog is not to invest in a really expensive fancy website, as it is a big expense and you definitely need to test the waters first. I started mine on Google Blogger and it was absolutely fine for the first year. All I would suggest is taking a little time to research how to do it properly and invest a little more time to put it together properly. 

Give yourself a year

Like everything in life, all things take time. My top tip for bloggings, and pretty much everything else in life, give it a year. Do it consistently, change it up and experiment and then evaluate in a year’s time. This gives you a clear goal of what to work towards and helps you personally decide if it is for you or not. 

Shop this post: 

Top – Zara

Makeup by Sophie Wilde

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own. 

What is really meant by a ‘balanced lifestyle’?

What is really meant by a ‘balanced lifestyle’?

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

I am writing this blog post whilst in the car, coming back from an extremely restful and much needed tech free week away in the Scottish Highlands. Don’t worry, I am a passenger in the car, not designated driver for the next hour. Before heading away last weekend, my stress levels had reached their peak. I was juggling multiple work plates, keeping my hobby up, trying to maintain a social life and basically trying to be the girl who can just do everything. It became apparent that I simply am not that girl on the morning that we were leaving, when I had a complete breakdown, literally sparked by not being able to find the pyjamas that I wanted to take to Scotland with me! Forcing myself to really switch off over the last week I have learnt a lot about myself, and how I simply have to make some big changes to better my health, mentally and physically.

Over the last few months I have invested a lot of time into myself. Listening to audios, reading books and taking the time to learn from others in order to go further in my career and most importantly, become a better version of me. Everything I have been learning seems to have come to the surface over the last week, as my body has had a chance to catch up with itself and reflect on the wise words, I have taken in.

A big lesson for me has been to appreciate that a balanced lifestyle is about so much more than just the food and drink we choose to consume. A balanced lifestyle really includes everything in life that we choose to do, in order to enjoy ourselves, live a healthy life mentally and physically and most importantly, grow, evolve and embrace the changes we all go through. In this blog post I am briefly summarising all the things in life that I believe shape a balanced lifestyle, with a few pointers on how to achieve each of them and focus on becoming a better and more balanced you.

Our attitude to food

So, this section of the blog post is very much inspired by a book I have recently been reading, called ‘Hungry for More’ by Mel Wells. I cannot recommend this book enough if you are feeling a little lost and in need of some direction. I first heard of Mel Wells when she spoke at our Arbonne conference back in September, where she gave the most heart-warming and moving talk, which resulted in the whole arena of 3,000 people sobbing at the thought of their goals, dreams and realisation that anything in life is possible. From this moment I was hooked and have not been disappointed by her words in this book. The main takeaway for me is how our relationship with food reflects so many other relationships in our lives, whether that is the relationship we have with friends and family, possessions, our goals, our overall lifestyle and ourselves. The attitude we have to food in the 21st century can be extremely damaging to our minds and bodies, especially with regard to a balanced lifestyle. A lot of us follow the all or nothing method, as well as turning to food to fill something that is completely separate to our need for the feeling of a full stomach. This attitude is often the reason as to why we mentally struggle with following a balanced lifestyle, as when one barrier falls (like eating a whole pack of biscuits), everything else just seems to follow. So, the first step in achieving this balanced lifestyle is to heal our relationship with food and everything else can then follow. I would recommend picking up a copy of this book if you feel that this is something that you really need to focus on first.

An active lifestyle vs inconsistent exercise

This is a big one for me, as I am still very much on my journey with this. Over the last few months, exercise has really been pushed back for me as I have always had an excuse, usually related to work. What’s worse is that I know how ridiculous this is. When I am consistently exercising and being active, I am so much healthier, happier, energised and focused on other important parts of my life. However, I still very much live in this cycle where I will be consistent and then suddenly, I will have an overwhelming week and it will all crumble and I will start again in a few week’s time. Let’s be honest, for it to have a positive effect and help you with a balanced lifestyle, your exercise and natural activeness level needs to stay consistent. I have learnt a few tips from my PT to help with this: walk up and down the stairs twice whilst having a 5 minute work break; get up 30 minutes earlier and do a short home workout; get outside for a walk in the fresh air between work and preparing dinner. Just a few examples there of what can be done.

Work hard, play harder

This one is very much a piece of advice for me too. What is the point in working hard if you can’t also enjoy your life too? I have been pretty horrendous in the last few weeks, working non-stop without really taking any time out for me to relax and for myself. Having spent a week away and being completely switched off, I know that this is a big change that I need to make. I am promising myself that each weekday evening I will give myself 2 hours before going to sleep to eat properly, watch something or read, have a bath and unwind, as well as completely stress-free weekends, prioritising time with my family and friends over working. Hopefully this will make my work time much more productive Monday to Friday, and the quality of my me time so much better. I will keep you updated on this.

 

Balancing your free time

As well as balancing our work and play time, I also think that it is very beneficial to balance your free time too. I want to be much more intentional with my weekends and evenings, giving myself time to focus on my personal mind and mental health, mixing up time with different friends and family members and trying new things. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of doing the same things all the time with your free time, spending it with the same one or two people and never really feeling like you have achieved much. Be more intentional, plan your free time and try something new at least once a month.

What tips do you have for maintaining a balanced lifestyle?

Shop this post:

Jumper – Mango

Skirt – New Look

Boots – New Look

Belt – Gucci

Bag – Mulberry England

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Thoughts so far on studying with the open uni

Thoughts so far on studying with the open uni

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

So last year one of my many new year’s resolutions was to start a degree. For a few reasons I decided not to go to university when I left school as I just knew deep down that it wasn’t right for me. However, that didn’t mean to say that I wouldn’t want to look at studying again in the future. Originally, I was looking into some sort of business or marketing degree, but after researching I decided that I was going to opt for the most difficult and time-consuming degree purely so I could say that I really am a real life ‘Elle Waldorf’. Joking… ish! Law was something I had wanted to do when I was a lot younger but with the pressures of the schooling system, I constantly felt like I was put in the ‘not clever enough’ box. Well, I have learnt very quickly since leaving school, hard work and dedication is just as important as having a natural talent for something. So that is why I decided to simply go for it and choose law.

“Let me tell you something about taking on a new challenge. The best way to do it is to say yes before even thinking. If you think, you will always talk yourself out of it!”

So, as you can imagine from what I have said about not wanting to go to university and having a full-time business to run I have opted for the open university. After seeing a few ads for them and hearing very good feedback I just simply took a little look through and saw instantly what I wanted to do. The set-up process was so simple, all paid through a student loan, and everything was so simple and easy from the get-go. In fact, six weeks before starting I had a spontaneous phone call from my tutor which lasted over an hour where he asked everything about me, why I chose the course, what to expect and every detail you could imagine. This put me at ease massively, as I was started to feel very apprehensive about it.

Once starting I took my time to get into it, budgeting certain times in the week and having power study sessions so I wasn’t letting myself get overwhelmed. This is one of the main things I love so far about the open uni… it fits in with my existing life… not the other way around. As and when I can I study, I read, and I organise making me feel totally in control of my own learning and progress within the degree. Don’t get me wrong I am very strict with myself and dedicated to the course, but it is much easier to be when you are playing with your own time.

The whole degree is flexible. I can do it when I want, where I want and most importantly all on my terms. What better way to enjoy your education?

The course itself is amazing. Everything is so simply put, easy to follow and most importantly great to engage with. I love our online lectures where we all interact with one another as it makes it feel a lot more real, especially learning from our amazing tutors who all work in the law as well as tutoring. The weekly work has been a little heavy but only when I have personally been very busy in life, so is more than doable if you stick to your budgeted study times. There are so many extra resources available, especially for law, and constant support from tutors and all your fellow students.

I wanted to keep this short and sweet, just to give an overview of my thoughts so far. So far so good in my eyes and I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and took on the challenge. If you’ve ever been considering trying something new, need a degree for a career choice or even just want to learn for the sake of learning, you have to do it! I promise you won’t regret it.

 

 

I have not been paid to feature The Open University and all views and opinions are my own.

3 + 6 =

Sticking to your new year plan

Sticking to your new year plan

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Hello! Hello to all my readers in my first blog post of 2020. After a rather long festive break I am totally ready to get back into everything and back into blogging. Towards the end of the year last year I took a bit of a back step as my workload increased a lot, but now I am very much ready to manage my time a little better and make it all work. Which leads me on nicely to the topic of this blog – setting your new year goals and most importantly, sticking to them.

At this time of year, it can be very overwhelming when we are all starting to get back into a routine whilst also making some changes for whatever reason. The main thing to remember is that the reason only needs to be because it is something you genuinely really want, and it is for you. So, what are my tips for making them happen?

Realistic Goals

Ultimately there is no point whatsoever in setting a goal if you know right from the beginning that it simply will not be achieved. Yes, I agree that you have to be ambitious and push yourself in order to grow, but you also have to appreciate that we are all human and a realistic goal is much more likely to happen. For example, I knew that I want to take on my degree last year as part of my 2019 goals, however with work and everything else in life a full-time study career simply was not possible. In the end, I settled for part time studying, meaning I could work towards my dream of completing the degree whilst also working and building my business.

An Action Plan

A goal without a plan is pretty much just a dream without any drive to actually get there. For every goal you set yourself, no matter how big nor small, it needs to have a form of an action plan to go with it. If it doesn’t, how on earth do you know how you are going to achieve it? One of my main goals this year is to double my client base within my business. How am I going to do this? I have a daily tracker sheet that I tick off each day with how many companies I have reached out to on various platforms, as well as my own personal marketing etc… by doing this, it is impossible for me not to achieve my goals.

Small chunks of time

For me, the best way to stick to any plan is always to break it down into very small bite size chunks. So, for 2020, all my goals, action plans and diary are only for now until the end of March. I can’t comprehend where I will be past that, how I will be feeling or anything, so the only way to stay on track is to purely focus on the now and the months coming up very soon. What is the point in worrying about December when February hasn’t even happened yet!

Regular Reviews

Another way to stay on track is to regularly monitor your progress and really review your goals. Really challenge yourself and accept that sometimes your goals will need to be changed or indeed your actions plans changed in order to achieve them. By reviewing them and monitoring your progress you are only ever setting yourself up for a positive result.

Breaking a habit

So, apparently it takes 21 days to break a habit. Do you think you can stick to your action plan for 21 days in order to achieve your goals? For me, using my bite size chunk theory, I really am only thinking about the next 21 days for the moment. I am focusing my energy on getting into the routine and solidly enforcing my action plan to achieve my 2020 goals. Can you do this too?

 

Shop this Post:

 

Coat – Mango

Jeans – Zara

Boots – Ugg

Bag – Michael Kors

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

 

13 + 7 =

2020 – I’m ready for you

2020 – I’m ready for you

Wow, another year gone, and another amazing one for me. I never quite realise how many things I have done until it gets to New Years and I suddenly realise how many memories there are to look over. The years seem to have started to go very quickly, but life is definitely moving in the right direction and I feel like I am changing for the better as each year goes by. In fact, more like as each month goes by.

This year has been a big one for me. I have reached every business goal for Abigail Hunter Marketing, I had my eyes opened and started a new business, I started a law degree, I completed so much in my home, I got to visit some amazing places including my dream of going to New York with my bestie, turned 21 and have never felt such a clear vision and drive for how I am going to build my dream life. Everything now seems possible and I am so ready to work towards my dreams and huge goals.

With that all being said, there is another thing that 2019 has given me, and that is another year of my favourite hobby. This blog. Somehow, even with everything new on my plate, I have still managed to keep up this blog which I’m guessing is for one reason; A real passion. I adore writing this blog, creating content and having somewhere to escape to when life inevitably gets a little much. I am grateful to have got to work on some incredibly blog campaigns with brands that I still have to pinch myself when I remember that they have chosen to work with me. Life is busy, but my blog will always be a priority and one key thing I have learnt this year: the only way to add more to your plate is by simply making your plate a hell of a lot bigger!

So, a big thank you, to you my readers. Without you my little hobby would not be able to stay as a priority, so I am eternally grateful for your readership and support with Lady Hunter Blog, which I cannot believe will be 6 years old in 2020! Crazy times!

I want to know what you are most excited about for 2020! Leave me a comment below.

1 + 14 =

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Festive week with Lady Hunter has come to an end and I am so thrilled that this year I chose to focus my Christmas content into one week and deliver a few posts that for me really highlight my favourite parts of the season. If you have missed a few, why not pop back to the home screen and have a little read?

I just want to take a quick moment to wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas. I can’t believe this blog is in it’s sixth year! I absolutely adore writing on here and never thought in a million years that I would find a hobby and actually stick with it! I am very much looking forward to using my Christmas break to dedicate a little time to blogging, prepping for the new year and finding some new inspiration.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you just a little before we enter 2020!

 

 

Leaving you here with a few pics from my home this Christmas!