Wow it really doesn't seem like a year ago that I started this blog. It was actually on the 9th September, so I am a little late in sharing the blogs birthday information. I have a little giveaway for blog readers to mark the occasion. It is open internationally too. The prize will be a secret package of some 6x6 scrapbook papers, some pieces of ephemera and a few other goodies I have collected for use in scrapbooks and art journals. Simply enter by logging in below and verfiy yourself as a subscriber to my channels. The You Tube follow is your main entry ticket, You can then add bonus entries. If you already follow me you can still enter by entering your details. Good luck. The competition will run until October 1st or until I reach 50 entries, when the winner will be announced here and via email.
Phew, I have finally fully completed my first Creative Journal / Smash book which I started over Easter in 2016. It has quite a lot of pages as it is in one of the Moleskine cahier books. The end of the book has my Adventure Journaling Course pages that I have just completed from a course over at Mrs Brimbles I thoroughly enjoyed the course and hope that it is going to continue pushing my journaling forwards. Plannercon Europe news at the bottom of the post.
Have a look at my flip through below for all of my memory keeping, journaling, days out, events and scrapbooking for the year. If viewing from email please click here to see the video.
You can see what Smash book journaling is all about here
20 Ways to Use Smash Book Style Journals
Eek... in other news, I have won a ticket for Plannercon Europe! I know, so excited. I am seriously feeling the UKPA love - BIG TIME (I won the ticket over at the planner group Uk Planner Addicts). I'm in a state of shock. Booked my hotel and am going to stay from Wednesday so I can sight see and have a day in Bruges (only 1 hour away on the train). Hello chocolate, waffles, frites, beer, hot chocolate and planning!
Oh and the best of it all - Erin Condren is the keynote speaker... Yay!
Time for me now to complete my planning with a new Travelogue / travel journal to take with me for creative journaling on the go. Keep your eyes out for an update post on this before and after the trip.
Over in my Facebook Art Journaling group we have just completed a junk journal challenge which ran through the month of August. I have had an overwhelming amount of people taking part and loved every minute of it. Such beautiful books and journals were created. I for one will most definitely be making many more, they are so pretty and it has been so therapeutic. I will be using mine as a Happiness and Inspiration journal to log my moments of happiness and likes as well as adding mood boards and inspirational quotes.
The images from my journal are below as well as a video flip through of the completed journal. You can check out the pages participants have made using the hashtag #kmmamjunkjournal on Instagram, there are some stunning pages. People have taken part across a range of platforms; on their blog, in the group, You Tube, on Instagram and on Google Plus.
For the pages I used a variety of different papers and vintage ephemera from scrapbook paper, old books, vintage cigarette cards, vellum, journal cards and printables which I used to make some cute tags. I also used envelopes and paper bags to create pockets and pouches. Finally, I added some lace and trimming to some corrugated cardboard for the cover which was hand sewn. I bound it all together using two large ring clasps and then added some pretty ribbon.
Completed Junk Journal Flip Through Videos
We have six members of the challenge that have filmed their videos. Mine is posted below. If viewing from email please click the header to come on to the page or click here to view the video directly.
Check out the members stunningly beautiful videos and please subscribe to them from the links below.
Stephanie Kitching's Journal
Ashleigh (The Onyx Raven's Journal)
Susie Brays Journal
There are a few more videos but they are posted over in the group
Participants Junk Journal Photos:
Finally I will leave you with a plethora of the 'delicious' images (Thanks She for that word) of the participants journals, I love every single one of them, thank you for taking part, can't wait to see how you fill them up throughout the year.
I hope to run the challenge again next year as it was such a success. I have several smaller challenges going on and mini challenges in the group that you can take part in, or you can simply just be a part of the community. If you enjoyed the post, please do pin the image below to Pinterest and leave a comment. I hope to see you in the group soon.
Take Care and thank you to all who took part,
I'm going to cut out the jargon, there are NO affiliate links, email list sign ups or selling in this post, just me sharing my tips. Firstly have a look around my Pinterest Page
1. Prepare Your Blog With Google Analytics
So you've got your blog and want to try to gain page views... the first step is to sign up to connect Google Analytics to your blog. It is easy to sign up, just visit the page and create an account, this will now start monitoring your blog traffic. Bookmark the page so you can check on your web page/blog stats. I use the Acquisition tab for most of my analysis and then click social links and or referrals to see how many visitors I have to the blog and where they are coming from. Below is the social acquisition for the last 4 months from May to August and you can see that Pinterest has dominated my page views with very little effort from me. I spend more time promoting on Facebook than anywhere else.
My blog is coming up to a year old and I'm so proud to have achieved almost 20,000 visits and over 33,000 page views in that short space of time. I used to have a successful website years ago and that had a total of 800,00 page views, but that was over the course of around 8 years and it was a slow process driving traffic to the site. Below you can see how my Monthly visitors have grown since I started taking Pinterest seriously.
2. Add SEO Descriptions and Keywords to your blog post
I promise to keep these short... SEO is so important for your blog traffic. Make sure whenever you hit publish or schedule that you have got a title in the SEO section and a description that tells people what the post is about, this will automatically add the description when you pin to Pinterest. Use keywords and long tail keywords that might make searching for your content easier. For example if I am posting about a planner set up, I would use a detailed title in the SEO section that explains more about it, such as Planner Setup - How I Use My Travelers Notebook. This adds extra search criteria, words and categories to your post. If lots of people are searching for planner setup, you need to be sure your site is seen, so adding more keywords increases those chances. You can read more about long tail keywords and why we should be using them on ahref's blog: long-tail-keywords-research
Post titles are important in your Google and Pinterest ranking. How to... or posts with numbers such as 5 ways to... perform better in searches. The description should then have keywords such as planner setup, plan with me in my Travelers Notebook etc, this all helps to narrow down the search and opens it up to a wider audience.
3. Pinterest Set Up
Add around 15-20 different boards to start with and have a board for your best blog posts. Make sure the boards all fit in with your overall blog niche or category. People who are interested in your blog want to see relevant pins, not pins about plumbing if you have a blog about art. If you do want to keep boards that are personal you can set these as secret boards in the board settings. Don't have too many boards, it can be overwhelming for you and followers.
Set your Pinterest account up with a detailed (keyword rich) description, add a suitable and searchable name for each board and add category and description for each board (through clicking board settings which is the pen icon). Make it all look pretty and consistent (I go for pastel and bright colours for my main board image to make it visually pleasing for the visitors). Set the board image again in the settings (you can only do this on a pc or laptop). I will discuss Rich Pins and getting a business account in the next part of the series.
4. Use Tall Pins and Canva
Tall or long pins do better than small images. The second and third images above are my most re-pinned pins from my blog pages here and here. They have over 8,000 re-pins between them in just a few months and most of my blog traffic comes from these posts. Use a free program on your pc called Canva - www.canva.com to create them. Select Pinterest Graphic and have a play with the templates and try to use your own images to make them stand out from others. Bright and pastel coloured pins perform better than dark or blue (cold colours). Apparently they get up to 60% more pins.
5. How to Pin
Don't just pin your own pins, it is important to pin useful content to other boards too, try to link these to your niche. Boards with high quality pins that have a high pin count will do better and get more views. Pin Consistently and Often, this goes without saying. You can't pin a post once and expect it to be re-shared. You need to get it out there, pin it often and re-pin it rather than creating a new one.. I often re-pin pins that have dropped down my board and then delete that pin after re-pinning, this refreshes the pin and brings it back to peoples feed. Try to have around 50-100 high quality pins on each of your boards as this will get you more viewers. It is advised to pin around 25-40 pins a day, a mix of your own and others, it sounds a lot but it is worth doing, besides which I enjoy browsing and pinning. Get rid of badly performing pins - higher pin counts do matter. I prefer manual pinning, but more on this later... told you this was an epic series! If a pin is doing well keep re-pinning it to a variety of different boards and group boards (more on these in the next series).
Phew, I hope you got all that. These are just the beginners tips, give them a go, have a tweak and let me know if they have helped you. You should start seeing the changes to your traffic straight away.
Take Care, Kerry xx
Blog Planning, Organisation and Productivity
Wow, the 6 weeks holiday went so quickly and now it's 'back to school' time. Great I hear the parents cry and wahhhh I hear the teachers wail! As a teacher, I need to plan my working work quite meticulously. Read on for my back to school planning / planner and teacher planner setup for the new academic year in my Travelers Notebook (as part of the Planner Girls Collective).
For my teacher planner I am using a travelers notebook that I bought from Ebay very cheaply (and it's real leather). I love the versatility of using a tn as I can add notebooks and replace them when full. I use three inserts; A Diary (week on two pages), a monthly planner from Travelers Times and a blank notebook for notes and meeting information. I have added some drama teacher decoration to the cover and used the Teacher Planner kit from Jo at Little Rainbow Moon - Etsy Store
The kit is amazing and has teacher related event stickers, inspirational quotes, term stickers and a whole array of other teacher related goodies.
To store my stickers and timetable, I have made a pocket at the back of the insert, which I made by covering the insert with scrapbook paper and folding over the back piece. I can also keep important student notes in here too.
Travelers Notebook Diary Inserts:
The standard diary insert I use is from Queen Mabel and Doris on Etsy (you can get 10% off if you use the code KERRY10). I love how it has boxes to write in on the right and I have used these to add my homework set / to collect and detentions lists for the week. I also have a mini code of M and R in the check boxes to say whether I have a Meeting or Rehearsal after school (I'm a drama teacher).
I use the weekly insert to write my classes and what they are working on and sometimes add a red or green smiley face sticker to say whether it was a good or bad lesson. I can then use the notes section at the bottom to follow up on any issues as they arise.
Since using this system I would never go back to a standard teachers planner. This is much more teacher friendly and also works out cheaper too (although I do buy the inserts myself rather than going through the school budget).
Make sure that you have a read of the other girls fantastic blog posts as part of the
'Planner Girls Collective', click the bottom of each post to go to the next persons blog post xx
Starting out in the 'Planner Community' can be very daunting; which planner should you choose? What does all the planner jargon actually mean? Which groups on Facebook should you join? Complete overwhelm! I started planning properly around January 2016 and have learnt so much about planners and planning since then, so thought I would share some simple tips as a beginners guide for people start out in planning
This is a guest post for the lovely Jo-Elle from The Yorkshire Pudding Blog. Please go and check out her pages and fabulous blog.
What Planner to Choose?
Wow, so much choice and really the choice has to be yours. No doubt there will be some trial and error, I bought two planners before I realised that I wanted to be in a Travelers Notebook. The trick is to go with your instinct. What grabs your attention? Ringed planners like Carpe Diem, Webster Pages, Kikki K and Filofax are all very popular, but can be quite expensive. Have a look around the web for UK stockists and have a browse. Paperchase do some cheaper ones and even Wilkos now stock some lovely ringed planners. Have a look on www.mrsbrimbles.com and www.paperchase.co.uk to see if there are any that grab your attention.
You may decide to go straight for a Travelers Notebook (more on these here). A TN is basically a notebook cover usually in leather that houses up to 6 notebooks (also known as inserts) in one place through them sliding in to elastics down the centre of the cover. I absolutely love the versatility of mine and I now have a total of 6. My favourite being from Ugly Bug Plans. You can search for these on Etsy or you could choose a larger companies brand by going with the original make The Midori. You can totally customise it to your liking and add cute paper clips and tabs, just as you can in a ringed planner.
Ok, so you have chosen your planner - now on to the jargon (and believe me there is a lot of jargon and abbreviations within the planner community). Below is a short list to help you understand some of the concepts and terminology.
Weekly Inserts - The planner pages themselves, most planners come with weekly pages.
Monthly Overview or inserts/pages - A monthly overview page like the one below to plan out your month (Carpe Diem come with these, with a travelers notebook you can buy these as an insert book).
WO2P/WO4P - Week on 2/4 pages (relating to weekly pages, you can have the whole week on two pages so you can see it all, or for more space to write spread it over 4 pages)
TN - Travelers Notebook (such as Uglydori, Foxy Fix, Bevdori, Lyradori, Midori).
TN Inserts - These could be plain notebooks, lined, dot grid, grid paper, watercolour or have diaries on them. You will need to buy inserts if you have a travelers notebook.
EC - Erin Condren Planner (more expensive if in the UK as you have to import from America and can get customs charges).
HP - Happy Planner - Again mainly available in America, but you can sometimes find this on UK sites, it is a ringbound disc system.
ARC - Another ringbound disc system style planner.
LT1917 - A Leuchtturm notebook often used in bullet journals
Moleskine - This could either be cahier sized notebooks for use in travelers notebooks or a standalone notebook again used in bullet journals.
Bullet Journals - A system using bullet points and codes mainly used in a notebook or travelers notebook. See my Bullet Journal Pages here.
BUJO - Another term for a bullet journal.
EDC - Everyday carry (pertaining to the planner you carry around with you.
PWM - Plan With Me (often used on You Tube or blogs when people are sharing their planning video).
Functional - Functional stickers, such as work, home, dinner, activities, weight loss, fitness.
Decorative - Decorative stickers like sticker kits with boxes and pretty sheets
Deco sheets - Purely decoration stickers (say of fairies etc)
Planner Group Jargon
ISO - In search of, used when people are looking for a particular planner to buy.
DISO - Desperately in search of.
Unicorn - A planner that is rare or expensive and one they would love to have/own.
RAK - A random act of kindness usually a giveaway someone is running.
UKPA - A fantastic secret group on Facebook which stands for UK Planner Addicts.
BST - Buy, sell, trade posts.
Which Planner Groups Should I Join?
The planner group jargon leads me nicely on to the next section. There are hundreds of planner groups on Facebook and it took me a while to find the ones I loved. Special mentions of my favourites below.
UK Planner Addicts (this is a secret group, so you would need to be invited to it) - not to be confused with Planner Addicts UK, which is also a good group).
Mrs Brimbles Happy Place - I love Mrs Brimbles page, this was my first planner group and I am now proud to be on her Arty Creative Team.
Ugly Bug Plans - Planners and Papercrafts - The home of the Uglydori travelers notebook, Michelle is a lovely person with lots of activity going on in the group.
Planners With Manners - A lovely US planner group without any drama.
Which Inserts Should I Use?
Again this is free choice to you, many diaries and planners come with inserts already, but if you search Etsy you can find printables and inserts to purchase. Do check the region as getting them overseas can work out more expensive. For printables Annie Plans Printables do great ones. For physical inserts you can buy in the UK I use Queen Mabel and Doris on Etsy. The quality is amazing and you can get 10% off if you use the code KERRY10.
So there you go, planners fully explained, you are now ready to make your purchase and go grab some decorative or functional stickers. Have a look at this post for my favourite places
to buy them. My 5 Favourite Stationery Shops.
I have really enjoyed my first ever guest post for the lovely Jo-Elle from The Yorkshire Pudding Blog. Here is a bit about Jo and her site.
About Jo and The Yorkshire Pudding Blog:
My people are my world! My family, extended and close, and my amazing network of unbelievable friends!
I am a self-confessed Planner Addict - don't judge me, it's a thing! Who knew?!
As well as being an epic stationary geek, I am an avid reader and hoarder of all things literary.
I love to save money (to spend on stationary and books!) and will always check to make sure I'm getting the best price on everything! I'm a sucker for very cool storage and safety hacks and making my house pweeettttyyyy.....
The Yorkshire Pudding blog was designed to have a realistic (and comedic!) take on family safety & personal wellness. The blog covers topics ranging from mental health and parenting to home safety, decorating, organising. And all things in between! Join the conversation to talk frankly about family wellness and striving for self care and home perfection.
My book, entitled "WTF", talks frankly about my family's battle with mental health and has had brilliant feedback! I've been told that it's"funny, honest and genuine"
(can you tell I didn't say that myself?!)
Now go visit The Yorkshire Pudding
Christmas Travelers Notebook Inserts
The Christmas inserts are amazing and came from the lovely Susie Bray over at Queen Mabel and Doris over on Etsy, as member of her PR team I got to see them before they went on sale. Use code KERRY10 for 10% off and visit the fb group queenmabelanddoris. Below is a video of the stunning inserts and how I will be using them in my Christmas Planner setup.
If viewing from email or a reader click here to view the video.
As you will see from the video there are a variety of notebooks available which you can purchase here (don't forget the code KERRY10).
Firstly there is a weekly/monthly planner for the Christmas months and beyond. This will be my go to planner specifically for Christmas planning and won't have my day to day planning in it, you can see in the video and below how I have decorated some of the pages. The pages and covers are so smooth and you can choose which paper set you would like too - bonus!
Next is the Christmas organiser insert, which features a variety of pages from Christmas films, meal planning, advent calendar countdown, decorations, family traditions, planned days out, Christmas crafts and gifts to buy and received.
The final two consist of a Christmas Budget Planner insert and a December Daily insert which is blank for you to decorate. I do want to keep up to date with a December Daily this year, I only got to day 3 and gave up last Christmas!!!
I can honestly say that I WILL use every single page of these notebooks. I made my own last year, but they were nowhere near as detailed as these, hats off to Susie and Carole for creating them.
So that's my bit of Christmas all planned for nice and early, do check Susie's shop on Etsy (KERRY10) and why not have a go at creating your own travelers notebook from the tutorial I followed. It is so easy, only took me half an hour and that's because I didn't have a large needle. I am hooked and will be making many more for presents and myself to try out other sizes...I mean 6 tn's isn't enough right?
Let me know your thoughts below and Merry Christmas... I mean have a great end of the Summer holidays,
Firstly I used patterned tissue paper which I sealed with matte medium. I then added watercolour to the page using paints from Poundworld! They are a complete bargain - you can see Geraldine Jayne testing them out here.
I followed a set of process videos from Anna's Patreon, starting with the July content on creating sketchy girls and then moved on to facial expressions, painting a girl and finally creating a whole art journal page. The instructions are very simple and so clear to follow. I followed on from this using some her amazing collage sheets for the design elements, including the houses and flowers. Finally I added detailing in black felt tip and a white posca paint pen. I love the effect of the finished pages.
For the journal itself I used a cheap sketchbook from Hobbycraft and added some scrapbook papers and washi tape to the cover and then decorated the first two pages with the list of participants in our circle and a comment on the inspiration for the page. I can't wait to see everyone's pages they have created. For a look at everyone's work don't forget to head over the the group - Kerrymay._.Makes a Mess.
NEW Online Course Creative Travel & Adventure Journalling - How to get started!
In addition to the Patreon content, Anna has an amazing new course coming out too on Adventure Journaling. Here is Anna's advert on what the course offers.
"Through comments on my YouTube videos and social media interactions, I often hear people say that they would love to keep a travel or adventure journal as they have been inspired by ones they have seen but don’t even know where to start."
Join Anna on a beginners guide to adventure journalling. Whether you have just come back from a wet week camping and want to know what to do with all those photos you took or your planning a massive back packing trip for next year, I hope that the ideas and information I give you inspire you to create your amazing journal. Of course adventures don't have to be huge, an adventure to me is sometimes just going for a walk in my nearest wood!
This course is suitable for beginners with no experience of creating a journal and to avid journallers who would like to incorporate more adventure into their journals. This course is a self paced online course so you can go entirely at your own speed from the comfort of your own home or coffee shop if you prefer!
Included in the course are the following lessons:
What is adventure journalling
Where and how to find adventures
Supplies – packing light
Prepping for your adventure
Tips and tricks for making your pages
Abstract watercolour landscapes
You will have access to this course for life. If for any reason we need to terminate access you will be given adequate notice.
TO PURCHASE THIS COURSE PLEASE HEAD ON OVER TO:
Thanks for reading, do go and check out the group and Anna's courses, they are great value for money. What have you been creating lately?
Hi I'm Kerry a Notts UK blogger and drama teacher. I'm also a planner, art & creative journal fanatic. Make a cuppa and browse my tutorials, musings, and crafty makes.