Tag Archives: bloggers

New Year, New Life

Brace yourselves, long read coming. Please consume this post with left over New Years alcohol.

My new year starts with a pile of promotional goods, potential customers, check lists, big diaries, year planners and an unexpected boom from a side project.

I spent most of December telling myself I needed a break, and not really taking one. Instead I paced floorboards, browsed the net, emailed people, started side projects and not actually relaxing at all. What a waste of an intended break.

I did make a few blogging observations over December though. The first was I had expanded on my posts last year when I got quite a bit of feedback that people enjoyed my posts but a lot of folk would enjoy them if they were a bit longer. I expanded the posts I was making throughout December to a few paragraphs per post. The problem with that is, as discussed here a number of times last year, I am a flash blogger. Fast paced, quick and snappy, get in there, say what I need or want to say, and get back out again. Although nobody has actually complained about my writing in December, I am not happy with it. It reads like the random thoughts of a teenager who has just found Tumblr.

OK, maybe its not Tumblr bad… But all the same, flash blogging is where I excel.

The secound observation was of a side project. I started a fresh blog of doodles and flash fiction, trimmed right down, no waffle. It has a shop, a services list, and about page, then its all flash fiction and doodles. 1 post per day tops.

Three reasons for the new site.

First, the Tales of the Blue Moon involve actual people and their characters online. I have no rights over them. When I started the Tales of the Blue Moon they were intended as a bit of fun between friends telling silly stories about our online avatars. That grew and grew and now I want to put all this fiction into a book. Not a bad idea, but the characters are not mine. I have appropriated these personalities and I fell kinda awkward about it. I am positive none of them mind the tales being put into a book but I would feel better making a commercially written entity about my own characters. Not somebody else’s.

Secound was hark back to the beginning of December when I mentioned I was doodling on newspapers and had a concern they may get tugged at some point and I might get a slap on the wrist or taken to court. Yay copyright. Like Phil mentioned, you can use a newspaper as toilet paper, but you cannot make art out of it. So a new project using only copyright free or my own images. I found if I printed them off on standard photocopy paper, doodled on them and scanned them in, the paper still had a good texture and worked for my scruffy scribbles.

Works well with my style doesn’t it? So I can be as commercial or non commercial as I want with them, stick the characters and doodles in a book, online or use them as toilet paper.

Third reason was I often tell people I am quite good at building a following online. I began the blog on the 27th of December, spent an hour talking about it online each day to New Years. New years day the website had a combined following of about 1,700 people across various medias. I believe today, 3rd of January it stands closer to 5,000 or more. It is getting a thousand hits a day and as a side project, just annihilated Sableyes.co.uk in so many ways. Thats a smidge encouraging and depressing. Say it only picks up only 1,000 followers a day in January. It will be at 30,000 – 40,000 followers by February. I am not one for looking at stats or followers, but Sableyes.co.uk took a year to get to 10,000 WordPress and 11,000 Twitter subscribers.

That said, building a following was never a goal for Sableyes, although goal has changed several times, it has always meant to be an online representation of me. The numbers were just a nice bonus.

On top of that I have had 3 magazines ask to do features on the new project. I have had odd approaches from people about features on Sableyes, but its been here a year. New project is barely 7 days flipping old!

So when the side project takes off and smashes my old blog into the ground that hard? I am not sure how to put it into words… A mixed feeling between ‘Why did I not do that sooner’ and ‘have I been doing it wrong here all this time’ has come across me. Does that make sense?

The positives however.

Sableyes has taught me a crap feck tonnery about blogging. I do not believe had I started the side project a year ago I would have had the same success without the experience Sableyes gave me.

Sableyes has also introduced me to some some truly fantastic people online. It has given me some great friends, and all the numbers and attention in the world the side project gets cannot detract from meeting some of you lot in the blogosphere. You are all utterly fantastic.

Sableyes has also enabled to experiment a lot with my writing. I know I can write reviews, be humorous and I excel at flash fiction and doodles.

This year I need to hang on in there and climb on up. I need to write articles for magazines and websites, sell my products and services, I need to earn a wage from home and make a mark on the world. I reckon that might be a better thing to talk about on Sableyes.co.uk. The side project is an ultra focused ‘me’. I cannot ramble there. I cannot post the off topic doodles or the Tales of the Blue Moon. All of which I still hope to do in my spare time.

This place can live on as the combined machinations of an idiot with 2 dogs and a motorcycle on the Internet. But it will get a lot quieter as my priorities and finances will require me elsewhere.

I shall be busying myself over morning tea and porridge with the side project, so if you get a nudge and hello on WordPress from someone with an awfully familiar doodle style, that is probably me.

The side projects address is http://littlefears.co.uk/

It is entirely scribbles and flash fiction. Very me.

Hallway

That pile of crap would drive you nuts right? I know it will drive me nuts. It has sat on the other side of the drawers up the end of the hallway for years. The 2 owl boxes and odds and ends of motorcycle parts.

The problem is, the hallway is long, and goes nowhere except under the stairs. Thats a few metres past the drawers that you can fill with crap and never see, look at and deal with.

Thats a problem. We put stuff in there and it just sits, from now until evermore. That does not sit well with my minimalist values. So I dragged some of it out, dumped it near my desk where I have to look at it and I know its going to drive me mental looking at that mess until I either sort it, tidy it or Ebay it.

Now theres a life metaphor. It’s easy to ignore things we cannot see isn’t it? Family, friends, health issues, that squeak at the back of the car or a leaky tap.

If like me, you lean to the OCD side of cleaning up a mess, try putting whatever you are ignoring in front of you. Put it where you have to keep seeing it. A new tap next to your alarm clock. The mechanics card on to your dashboard. A photo of family by your desk.

*Opens Ebay app*

Gentleman’s Grooming Show

A couple of brands I represent will be at the Gentleman’s Grooming Show this weekend. If any of you fine people will be there as well, let me know, would be groovy to meet up with some fellow bloggers.

For a quick skivvy of mens products I have already reviewed, have a mosey through the Men’s Room on the blog. It looks considerably better now I have a consistent review format aye?

I do like to get the most out of a day. So while in East London I shall be toutin for a bit of extra business and taking as much winter photography as I can. We shall hope for no rain and by Monday, expect to see Christmas decorations and Hyde Park trees on the blog.

November Wrap & December To Do

I am a frequent To Do list creator and monthly wrap up post writer. This month and next month can quite frankly be summed up in 4 lines.

In November I quit my day job to go full time freelance.

In December I shall get healthy

In December I shall chill the feck out.

In January I shall kick some arse.

I do need to push hard to earn a wage from home, but after 17 years of doing 2-3 hours a day London commuting on a motorcycle at a job that was really dragging me down, I need to recharge.

With all that said, Monday I made a nicely polished media kit, and I am kinda raring to go. Nice chilling out there Sable. That’ll do it…

Do bloggers need Media Kits?

Do you need a media kit? Kinda depends doesn’t it?

Personally I do. I have a multitude of jobs and tasks I can do. I also approach people a lot looking for work. I need to put myself and the jobs I am capable of doing out there somehow.

There is room for improvement. Although I have 2 images at the bottom, I still like the flow. I want my services right under the ‘Hello’ section. I could do with squeezing in some reviews or brands I have worked with in there, but it is cramped as it is. Also, most people get a good gauge of me from my website.

My price list and complete job list is separate, that thing covers 6 or 7 pages. You can see why when approaching brands, I need something like this to show what I can do.

So do you need one? It depends entirely on what you are trying to achieve in work and with your blog. Do you want to reach out to brands and introduce yourself? A media kit discussing your blog and what you can do for a brand will help. On the odd occasions I get sent a media pack from a blogger asking about a brand, they immediately had my attention. Not only does a media pack make you look serious, but it also tells me most of what I want to know up front.

(Click here for 7 things I look for in bloggers looking for products for review)

On another level entirely, do you want work beyond blogging? Lord knows I do! I love blogging, I love the community and I love reading blogs. But good grief the pay for blogging is awful. 99.99999% of people cannot make a living from blogging alone.

So do you offer other services other than blog posts? If you do, you might also want to make yourself a media kit with a rough list of services you offer on.

If you cannot think of a reason to give anyone a media kit, you don’t need one. Not everyone blogs for the same reason. If you blog as a diary for example, I imagine you would be wasting your time making a media kit.

Something to think about for a lot of you though I am sure. The above media kit was made in Libre Office Word, using an old CV template, with my own images added.

Download my media kit as an example.

Download Link to Sables Media Kit