These are 7 signs ‘just managing’ isn’t working anymore

There was no oxygen in my lungs and if my face could prune, the endless sobbing would have taken care of it. Hours dragged but eventually passed, physically there were no apparent signs other than an empty stare and a trail of tears; internally the void was overwhelming, entirely consuming. After there was nothing left, there lingered a question, “How did this get so bad?”.

No answer.


signs work is too much


Let’s take it back to a year before I had to leave an amazing job that was tearing me apart. New promotion, great GPA, great boyfriend, friends, family, and health, or so I thought. All they were, were great things to keep busy and distracted from what was forming within myself. Then, there were more roles, more “me’s” that had to be created for others. I was not breathing and living but was solely functioning to succeed in the many roles I had put myself in. As time went by, daily tasks became robotic, there was no breathing for myself and only myself. Now, that I live and breathe, the signs that were there the entire time stick out like sore thumbs.

Living without fresh air, trapped on a treadmill is not living, these signs may make you realize ‘Just Managing’ is not working anymore and things need to change in order to live and love living, before it’s too late:


001: Daily actions have become robotic

Once life becomes just one motion, it is time to pack up and go on to the next chapter of your life before you drown in those repetitive motions and lose yourself.

002: Healthy boundaries are not consistently being created & enforced

As human beings, we have the right to establish healthy boundaries and to heavily enforce them. Without healthy boundaries, those around you will undoubtedly make sure the role that they have created for you, is well played. Those are boundaries that need to be established for your own well-being. Saying no or saying yes creates and establishes those boundaries; enforcing them is making those boundaries habits and knowing who you are, without budging.

003: Extreme eating & sleeping habits, or lack thereof

It’s easy when we’re young to dismiss crazy eating and sleeping habits, but when there’s so much on someone’s shoulders, it is necessary to eat and sleep well. Not under-eating or over eating or over sleeping or going weeks without at least 6 hours of sleep. Chemicals in your body begin to unbalance, then the body thinks it’s in survival mode. Or maybe the complete opposite, too much food, too much sleep.

signs work is too much


004: Abnormal decision making

This ties in with having extreme eating and sleeping habits. Decision making extremely suffers when there is no consistent eating or sleeping habits. Brain and body have to be taken care of and in balance along with its functions and chemicals. Watch behaviours carefully. Is there something truly out of the ordinary?

005: Extreme reactions or lack of reactions

Exactly what it says. If the point where there is no understanding of what normal reactions are or any remembrance of them, TIME TO CHANGE. TIME TO GET HELP.

006: Isolation

We are a village, not an island. Isolation takes so much life from within us. Alone time is amazing, but too much of it will only drown the person and life that could be.

007: Always sick

Unstable eating and sleeping habits cause more than just abnormal decision making, but the immune system also suffers causing potential chronic colds and the feeling of always being cold.

Keep an eye on yourself and make habitual changes, the better we take care of ourselves, the better we can take care of others.

-The Patrona


If you are considering making changes to your life by changing how you work, click here to sign up for a free membership to The Female Entrepreneur Hub for tips on how to succeed.

the female business centre


How to increase traffic with powerful content marketing

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a method to reach out to your customers by using material such as videos, social media posts, blog posts, articles and content on the pages of a website. Content marketing typically uses certain methods so that it appeals to both the target market and to the search engines. This includes the use of keywords, interesting headlines and eye-catching graphics for example. You can see content marketing campaigns across social media channels and websites.

social media marketing

Why does it help your business?

Content marketing reaches out to your target market and pulls them in. This enables you to sell what you need. This doesn’t have to be a physical product, it could be a service, or simply that you want traffic to your website. Content marketing effectively drives traffic in the direction you want it to.

What strategies can you take?

There are arguments for both quality and quantity. It is usually better to find what’s best for your business. A high quantity of content will drive a lot of traffic to your website, but the issue is usually that the traffic is very general and therefore conversion is very difficult. For example, you have a hairdressing blog targeted at twenty to thirty-year-old females and you receive 500 visitors both male and female, all ages, all interests. How many of these will stay on the website to read the content? If they leave immediately this also increases your bounce back rate and Google doesn’t like this. It could, therefore, harm your Google ranking. You can check your analytics account to view statistics such as bounce back rate.

If you look at posting quality content marketing posts and you specifically target twenty to thirty-year-old females, who have an interest in hair and beauty, even if the content only receives 100 visits, the conversion rate will be much better and drive genuine engagement. Quality content is genuine, informative and interesting to the target reader.

With the recent algorithm changes across social media, it is clear that genuine content, with plenty of authentic engagement, is the way to ensure posts stand the test of the changes.

There has to be a happy medium between quality and quantity. The content needs to be interesting enough to attract an audience, but infrequent posting will not attract the traffic to grow a business.

content marketing

How can you produce quality content?

You need to be producing original and interesting content with correct keyword placement. The use of graphics will help. There are free programs that can help with this.

If this is something you neither have the time or ability to do there are people who can help. You may wish to use a content writer. This is actually my job other than running this blog. Content writers will provide content for blogs, articles, and websites with the aim of driving an audience to you by using words. You can chat with me about this by visiting my website – Lancashire Freelancer.

You could use a graphic designer to help with preparing images and logos. This is their speciality. They know how to use pictures and graphics in a certain way to push the audience to you.

You could also use the services of a search marketing specialist such as The Search Marketing Shop. This type of business can assist you by looking at your overall approach and pulling the whole content marketing strategy together.

Longevity of content marketing

It is accepted that it can take time for content marketing to work it’s magic. Time and consistency. It is worth considering your content marketing strategy now as a solid base for a business that will last years. For example, it can take time to rank in Google. Google takes statistics over months to decide if you are worthy of a spot on the front page of the search results. It’s not something you can necessarily implement today and see results immediately. It’s therefore worth taking the time and investing now.

That said social media is very instant and you may get rapid results, this is great, but don’t neglect your blog and website in favour of social media as the results come fast, but go fast. With the right content on your blog and website it’s slow and steady meaning it might take longer to get results, but when they come, they keep coming and keep gradually increasing. This can reduce pressure for finding the next big angle on a weekly basis on social media.

Again consider both social media content and blog and website content for a complete approach.

What positive results have content marketing strategies brought you? Please comment below or contact me to tell me what worked, what didn’t work and if you’d like any advice!

5 simplistic ways to begin blogging for money

Blogging for money

The nature of blogging has certainly changed, and many question if you blogging for money is still an option. It definitely is! There are people blogging for money making 6 figure sums such as Perez Hilton and there are people who do it for nothing, and simply for personal growth. There is everything in between.

Blogging for money does take effort and persistent. It is not an easy overnight money making scheme. But most of those are cons anyway, if it doesn’t take some degree of hard work at some point it’s usually a scam! People do give up, read here to find out why Linky Blog says people give up within a year. That said it is entirely possible. How do I know? Well, from this very blog!

blogging for money

How can I begin blogging for money?

Presuming you have already set up your blog and you are ready to begin monetizing it, these are various strategies you can use. (If you haven’t check out this post on setting up your own website which would apply to setting up a blog.)

You need to ensure you have quality content and start building a marketing list (read here for how to do this)

Once you have started to build your blog traffic and marketing list you will be in a position to start monetizing it.

What methods can I use to monetize my blog?

1. Affiliate marketing. This is where you include links to other businesses, and if they are clicked and/or the services purchased you will receive a payment for this referral. This is a great passive income as it requires no effort other than a few well written blog posts. I personally think it’s important to only endorse brands and services that fit your brand and you actually find useful. It’s important to be genuine otherwise it sounds like a hard sell and forced. Plus if you endorse anything that isn’t up to scratch, people will lose trust in your brand and not return to you. If you give them value, they will come back to you. Many products offer affiliate schemes, just Google the product name and affiliate, you will find any available schemes.

2. Adverts directly on your website. This would include Ad-sense by Google amongst others. This generates less income than affiliate marketing generally and it would depend on look and feel of your site as to whether this option would suit you. Some people don’t mind the ads appearing next to their content, others feel it would ruin the aesthetics of their website.

3. Become a guest blogger for others. Develop and refine your skills and get paid to blog for others.

4. Offer services through your site. For example consulting or coaching services.

5. Sell products through your blog. Anything that is related to your content. For example if it is a golfing blog you could sell special tees. Or it could be as simple as an eBook.

What you need to do

You now need to decide on your strategy and plan for it within your blog. Bear in mind you will need to keep marketing your blog to ensure you get the footfall. If Instagram’s new algorithm has impacted your marketing – click here to find out more how to work round this and future proof your feed.

You also might like to subscribe to the 7 day course we offer – completely free which goes into more detail about how to set up any business, including blogs over 7 days. Find out more here.

How to create powerful marketing lists for genuine engagement

The money is in the marketing list

Creating a marketing list, a list of email contacts, is essential for any business. It is a cornerstone of any marketing strategy. You may have the most amazing contents, products, services or offers, but if no one is looking at them, no one is buying them! In creating and expanding your marketing list you have a readily available audience. These are customers who have already shown interest in your brand.

email marketing list strategy

Why email over social media?

With social media platforms you get a lot of change. Algorithms are constantly changing (read here to get around Instagram’s latest algorithm change), and this means what used to work for you no longer does. Overnight your sales drop. The recent issues with Facebook highlight this, and now many are choosing to abandon the platform in the wake of the scandal. This is no good if you completely rely on this one platform for income.

Using email to contact your customers is a positive way to reach out to them personally, and it is not subject to any rules and requirements. For example it’s very difficult to actually get your post seen on Facebook and Instagram these days. With email you know it’s definitely being delivered directly to your customer. In addition people can see a post, and think they will come back to it, but forget or lose it. That’s it, your advertisement has disappeared. In an inbox it doesn’t disappear, it remains there until they take some action.

How to get people to sign up to a marketing list?

There are many ways to collect data. You can even go and ask people for it! The simplest way is to integrate a form into your website, and possibly even use a pop up to ask people to sign up. Learn how to create your own website here – even beginners can do this! This way you have their data, data they’ve been willing to give.

It helps if you can entice them with a hook or an offer of some description. Give them a reason to join your marketing list. People want value and this is the key to the collection of data.

How to use the data?

Once you have your marketing list you can pitch your product or services to them. There are many ways to do this with different services and you could even do it manually  from your inbox. I really like Mailchimp. It is free up to 2000 subscribers so ticks the box cost wise. I found it a little complicated to learn how use, but this is partly down to the sheer number of campaign types it offers. There is nothing Mailchimp doesn’t do! It integrates perfectly into WordPress.

You can send promotional material to your marketing list that is automated, professional and slick. You can also use it for pop-up boxes and subscription forms and so much more. It’s worth having a good explore of to find out how it could fit your business. You can personal everything in the campaigns and I love the automated feature. For anyone with the dream of a passive income or remote working automation is a godsend.

instagram algorithm

The end result?

Sign people up in the right way and then continue giving them information and promotions offering value, and your marketing list is a key strategy to grow your business overnight.

This is how anyone can create an impressive website in 6 steps

Why set up a website?

Why should anyone set up a website? If you are intending to start your own business having a corner of the web is imperative. It will cement your business as a trustworthy brand. Creating a website is the modern-day equivalent of a physical shop. Customers will believe in your brand purely from having the website and having quality content. To many, however, who may not have set up a website, this may seem a daunting prospect. You must set up a website to compliment any marketing strategy, it’s absolutely critical to drive traffic to your site and create strategies for future marketing.

remote working

How to set up a website?

Now you have the reasons for having a website, how do you go about getting yourself one?

I recommend your first step will be to visit www.one.com. Here you can see if the domain you want is available. “Domain” is the site you want to own. For example, www.thefemaleentrepreneurhub.com is the domain of this site. There is a box at the top which says “search domain here”. This is where you will type in your business name. For example “Carolsdogwalking”. The list will drop down and give you options. You can select from .co.uk or .com for example. I highly recommend selecting .com if possible. It tends to indicate a business that is more official or a leader. It ranks higher among consumers than say .net.

There are many domain providers, check what you are paying for and if there is a design feature included, otherwise you will end up having to design from scratch which can mean needing to purchase software.

Complete your order

This will take you to an order page. Don’t worry too much about adding extras at this point unless you know exactly what you want. All these extras will be available still after your purchase and you may have more of an idea what you need then. Hint – they also give you offers occasionally so it can be worth holding out unless you really need a service.

You will notice you have a discount applied. As an affiliate, I get paid for you using this service, but you also benefit with a £5 GBP discount! I can assure you I only use one.com for all my various websites. I use them for a few reasons.

  • ease of use
  • integration of wordpress
  • shop facility
  • google adwords freebie
  • fast customer service
  • price
  • reliability (I’ve never had a site go down)
  • personalised email address

All of this is only £4.80 for 12 months! I fail to see why anyone wouldn’t recommend them to be honest! There are other that are recommended such as Bluehost. To be honest I haven’t used them so I can’t comment on them, however I’m told they are good. I had to choose price as I had minimal funds to start my businesses and that’s where one.com won out.

If you complete the check out process, you will receive an email to confirm your email address. Once this is done you will get a second email to set up a password, then a third to confirm the process is finished.

You have now set up your website congratulations!

What is next in the set up of your domain?

Now you have your domain – for example www.carolsdogwalking.com you need a site. What if you know nothing about website design? Well you can employ a company such as The Search Marketing Shop who can design a professional SEO (search engine optimised) enhanced website for you, which is good for having a sleek-looking site from the get go. However if you have no money for this you may need to design it yourself. Luckily this is relatively easy with two different methods on one.com

start etsy business

Design of your website

You now have two options. You can use the inbuilt Website Builder on one.com  or you can use 1 click WordPress installation, both found in the control panel. Both will give you templates to choose from, both give you the freedom to design your own. I have used both, but at the moment I prefer the 1 click WordPress installation as I think you can create a much slicker site far easier. I personally like the Orfeo theme on WordPress, but there are literally hundreds of free themes to choose from. WordPress can feel complicated at first, but it’s well worth having a play with for good results.

Many other providers also integrate WordPress.

If this all feels too much and your budget allows for it, as I said earlier you can have this stage done for you by someone like The Search Marketing Shop, who will design a website for you and help you manage it. They are also experts at getting you to page one of Google which will help drive business your way.

Personalised Email

I recommend setting up official email addresses to go with your website.

If you are a one.com user, go to the control panel and you will see mail administration. Here you can set up email addresses such as “info@carolsdogwalking.com”. This looks far more professional than carolwalksyourdogs123@gmail.com. This will increase customer trust in your brand. You should set this email up on your mobile phone in an app as well so you get emails directly to your mobile phone. There are tutorials in the one.com help files to assist you with all of this, or your provider should explain how to do it.


It is worthwhile installing the SSL certificate once you have set up your website. If using one.com, you can login into the control panel and scroll right to the bottom where there is an SSL box. If you accept this, your site will be labelled as secure. This means you get the padlock in the address bar and your site becomes https instead of http. Don’t worry if this means nothing to you, it just means that customer’s browsers will be happier opening your page as it’s labelled as secure. Some people have settings on their browsers which won’t open sites without SSL certificates. If this were the case people would not open your site, leading to loss of business.

The end result

You should now have a completed website! You can attach the web address to your emails and social media to start promoting it. It’s also well worth signing up for a free Google analytics account to monitor the traffic and stats in relation to your website.

This is why remote working brings freedom and happiness

Why remote working? Picture this. You wake up today, you have about 4 hours of work you need to do, but the rest of the day is yours. What will you do? Go out with your kids? Wander around the shops? Picnic in the park (you’d be lucky in the UK with the amount of bad weather we have)? Watch a box set you want (need) to catch up on. You have enough income coming in to need only work 3-5 hours per day, so no money worries. Will you get the 4 hours done in the morning so the rest of the day is yours? Or will you spend the day doing what you love and work this evening once the kids are in bed?

The things you won’t need to worry about today

  1. a patronising boss
  2. unrealistic deadlines
  3. low hourly rate
  4. feeling like crap/unfulfilled/frustrated*

* delete as appropriate

What exactly does remote working mean?

Freedom is what it means. You work.. remotely. So you still have to work, yes, however you are not tied to a physical location to do this. In most cases this means online work of some description. You may actually remote work for a company and be employed under a contract, and this is great because it does usually mean a regular paycheck. However if you want the ultimate freedom then you need to freelance. You are your own boss. You decide your schedule, who you work for and who you don’t. Remote working as a freelancer means you decide what pay you work for per hour, what jobs you do and what time you do them in.

Why is remote working good for my mental health?

Regardless of whether you have a history with mental health issues or not, we all suffer stress to some degree. It’s known that work is a contributing factor in the majority of people’s lives.

Live to work or work to live.

If you can free yourself from that stress, you have won a huge battle. If you can rid yourself of high stress levels then you are much more unlikely to suffer with any mental health issues.

However, what if you are already struggling with any mental health issues such as depression or anxiety? It can depend how bad you are. If you are still able to function day-to-day and manage day-to-day task then it could be fine to set up or operate a business. You should find that run correctly, it will improve your condition. If you really aren’t very well at the moment, for example, if you couldn’t manage employment in your normal job, then now may not be quite the right time to start. You should focus on getting yourself better, the next goal could be to improve the quality of your life by remote working.

remote working

What kind of jobs can I do remote working?

  • Freelancing positions including writing, design, website building, sales, photography, consultants and many more. Visit sites like People Per Hour and Upwork to get an idea of what freelance work is available.
  • Specific remote working in your industry. If you search on job boards such as Indeed or Reed with the search term “remote” or “home based” and your industry, you should find specific jobs. You can also simply run this type of search through Google. You can also do these searches for general remote working jobs.
  • Blogger – you can start your own site through a web provider such as One.com. You can integrate WordPress into the site and use a free template. If you use this link, there is a discount for readers of As Acorns Grow and it will only cost you £5.00 for a year for an entire website, domain and mail package!
  • Social Media Influencer – If you have a strong social media presence you can have people pay you for using and reviewing their products. Even just a picture of them in your feed will bring in revenue. You would need to set up a website and direct people to it from your social media and have the ability to grow and manage social media channels. Check out @life_with_oaksandolive on Instagram for how this is done. You can really charge what ever your feed is worth, I’d suggest at least £100 for a package including a couple of posts across social media, and of course you should get the item for free.

There are many jobs when you start searching for remote working positions. I deliberately haven’t included things like filling in surveys as this is really an “extra income type of gig” rather than a “well paid job to support your family type position”.

remote working family

The perks of remote working

The perks of remote working are actually personal to you. You could travel whilst you earn money and use the money to see the world. It could be so you are at home with your family and pets. It could be because you are fed up of answering to a boss and simply want control of your own schedule. For some remote working as a self-employed person may not be for them. They may be worried about a stable income. But really, with a well thought out remote working strategy, this need not be an issue.

I’d love to hear more from you about your experiences of remote working!

Create your perfect business in 10 steps for improved health

Are you at a stage in your life where your health is being impacted by your work and you’d like to explore other income sources and businesses to create a happier and more content life?

chose a business that makes you happy



What if you created a business that left you so happy and fulfilled you barely got depressed and anxious?

A business that fit around your life and gave you the time to do the things you love, and make money from the things you love.

If this resonates with you, your mission is now to discover and explore what you truly love.


What are you good at?

This is what you need to do to get started

1. Write a list of what you enjoy

2. Write a list of your strengths

3. Examine these lists and think about any business ideas that could be made from either or a combination of any

4. Conduct research into similar businesses and the market and pay available.

5. Consider if the time to pay ratio is appropriate. For example ten hours work for £5 is no good.

Okay you’ve done the first part. Time for a cup of tea and the next stages!

6. Consider how much time this business will need?

Can you lay it aside for a day or so if you’re having a bad day as long as you’re generally organised? This is a very key point. Is it a reasonable number of hours per week that you can manage?

To work around this I have created several small businesses. That way even if I let one lull, the other are either ticking along or need bare minimum doing to keep bringing an income in. I can do what I enjoy or feel like that day. I find that because I have the variation between the business, even on a bad day there isn’t something I don’t feel like doing. Some days I’m happier at the laptop. Other days I feel like sewing. I do what I feel like that day. On a good day I power through as much as possible to either catch up or get ahead. When I am on top of everything I find it less likely that I’ll have a bad day anyway.


7. Consider start up costs.

If you don’t have upfront capital can you change around the business model. For example why not buy materials after the order is placed? Or consider dropshopping. So we have the money upfront. I’ve started all the businesses with pretty much no investment, sure it’s slower potentially to get going, but if you don’t have the capital there’s no other way!


8. Next I would recommend checking out the legal side of your business.

For example we looked at selling teethers. However there’s quite a lot of EU legislation that’s quite complicated with costly testing. Now there’s a lot of Instagram handmade teething companies out there, and Facebook ones, and I’ll bet you most of these don’t have the relevant testing certificates. What would they do if a child choked on a part? To me that wasn’t worth the risk and it wasn’t a viable business as it was too complicated. Check out any necessary legislation and insurances etc, and make sure you can handle these.


9. If you have got to this point you are pretty much ready to go.

Now you will need to come up with a name, branding and your target audience. These are massive topics within themselves so I’m going to write up separate articles to assist with these asap. Subscribe at the top of page to ensure you get these updates.


10. Well done, you have your business!

Now all that’s left to do is decide on your selling platforms, for example the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a website. I can highly recommend One.com, if you sign up using this link you will get £5 off so it will only cost you around £7 for the year for a website including the domain!! You can integrate WordPress within your site, they have a webshop facility, and their own web designer in there which is very simple to use. I use them for all my various businesses including this website! Note I also get a bonus if you sign up, but I’d recommend them anyway for ease of use and price!


The Key Thing To Remember

The absolute key thing is doing what you love and enjoy and what you’re good at to get the sense of fulfilment and happiness from each working day. The next consideration is choosing businesses that are profitable, but that will work around your particular mental health needs.

For example if sitting at a laptop stresses you out, but you love dogs and walking, don’t set up a Virtual Assistant business that’s all based online via your laptop, set up a dog walking business!

dog walking business

Get in touch!

I’d really love to hear from you! Has this been useful to you? Have you followed the steps and come up with a business? Please do drop me a comment below or contact me here!

I’m adding content to build up the site every few days so do come back soon for more information on setting up your business, I’m going to be offering free guides as well. You can subscribe at the top of the page!

If you’d like to explore One.com to set up your website you can click here.


Post by Hannah Thornton

These 5 things will make your Instagram explode (and they will beat the new algorithm!)

I’ve learnt what I’ve needed about social media from the ground up. From marketing different businesses, both local and online, I’ve had to very quickly become adept at navigating Instagram, and what I would say is that in terms of online businesses I’ve found Instagram to be the easiest and most successful social media platform to market on. Maybe others have had a different experience, but I definitely depend on Instagram predominantly. Facebook I find better for local businesses.

When ever I hear about changes and new social media algorithms it fills me with dread.



You may have heard there’s going to be some huge changes coming to Facebook, but it’s difficult to find out what’s happening in the Instagram world. When researching this yourself, please bear in mind Instagram releases updates periodically, we’re not anticipating one huge big change where your feed will be null and void over night. However nobody knows what the changes will be other than those in the know at Instagram!

You can check here on Instagram about changes.

You will note Instagram quote the following in regards to changes made;

“we found that people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way”

This is the focus for Instagram;

  • likes
  • comments
  • engagement
  • community

Work on this as a solid foundation then when changes occur it shouldn’t affect you too much.



  1. Build Followers. This is achievable in a few ways. Your content needs to be spot on. Good images, on brand with good comments. Make use of your hashtags. Many say to just use a few hashtags, but I still prefer to use all thirty, but ensure you mix them up otherwise Instagram feel it’s a bit spammy. Follow people who are the audience you want, follow in bulk. There are apps that will do this for you. Like their posts, comment, get involved.
  2. Build relationships. We selected businesses and we work with them, sharing and recommending their products, and they return the favour. Comment and like their pictures, they should return the favour. It will all help to increase the level of engagement on your account.
  3. Be active for the hour after you post, answer any comments, even if it’s the spam ones, thank them for commenting, because Instagram picks up on this as engagement and will put your post instantly before more people.
  4. Use stories. We found that our views increased when we used stories, we use it as a way to show behind the scenes, but use it as you need, just use it! Instagram want this to be pushed forward, and as stories are actually used three times more than snap chat apparently it’s not something to turn your nose up at.
  5. Post regularly, at least one a day, but I don’t like to post more than three times a day.  You don’t want to annoy people! Bear in mind you don’t just have to post your own photos, you can post quotes, stock pictures, you can repost other’s posts, which again builds relationships. We found if we don’t post for a day or two the views will drop in the following days. This means Instagram isn’t putting our post into people’s feeds.

I am a busy mum with a few businesses, it’s difficult to wait around and create this engagement on Instagram so I have taken a few measures;


I use a scheduling app to schedule my posts. I personally use Tailwind although others are available. I use this for both Pinterest pins and Instagram posts. I like it because I can bulk upload, store sets of tags and manage it through my PC and phone via the app. It also analyses your account and works out the best times to post. You do get a free trial to see if it’s for you. I tend to do a week’s worth of posts in one hit.

I also use an app to add followers. I struggled to find one on I Phone but I have one on my android phone. I refuse to do the spammy generic comments as I hate those! But I would imagine they would help if you don’t mind doing them.

I turn of most instagram notifications as they get a bit annoying, but I do leave on the comment one so when I get a comment through I reply back instantly, like I say even if it’s just the spam/generic ones.

These are just some basic tips that you can implement straight away. These should stand you in good stead regardless of changes implemented. The key is genuine posting with engagement.

I wish you luck with your Instagram marketing strategy and I love to hear from you! What’s worked for you? Will you be implementing any of these changes? Are you worried about the impact on your account?

Follow these 5 steps to start your own Etsy style business

My sister and I have successfully been running a crafting business since October 2017.

Our business is called Blossom and Oak and we design, handmake and sell baby and children’s clothing and accessories.

We make a reasonable side income from this and it’s something we very much enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction from. It’s an amazing process to design, make an sell an item, and then people often share pictures of their children in our items and it’s overwhelming!

So you have an idea for something you could make and you’d like to sell it – how do you go about this? Especially if you have no upfront capital?


Here is my start up plan to get your business going;

1. Complete costings. First and foremost can you make profit from your item? What would you need to charge to make this profit? Add up every part that needs to go into the design, and make sure it is sourced as cheaply as possibly, but ensure the quality is where you need it to be. Cheap components that are poor quality will make a poor product, customers won’t return if they aren’t happy with the quality. Is your product worth making? We like to add on a hourly rate for how long it takes to make, you may like to do this to ensure you earn a wage. What will postage look like? Do you need to factor this into the cost or will you charge for it? If selling this item will make you money, move to step two…


2. Market research. Is anyone else selling something similar? Compare sale price, you don’t necessarily have to be cheaper, bear this in mind, but if it’s exactly the same why would they pay a lot more for your product? How does the postage compare? Or do you have something that makes your item unique? Something that gives people a reason to buy yours? This doesn’t even have to be about the product. For example I see some Instagram business where the products are amazing, but they take terrible pictures on their bed, people won’t buy into it or even give it a second look! Will people be interested in buying your product? How easy will it be to market your item and sell it? If you think their is a market for your item and people will buy it, move to step 3..


3. It’s now time to make up your sample or samples. We like to purchase as little components as possible to make up the initial sample so we’re not left with excess stock. Consider where or who you can photograph this with. For example we need to put our products on babies, luckily we have a few in the family so we will make it in their size and give it to them in return for photographs and videos. It’s also good to test them, we like to get the babies to wear them, then wash them, and see how they do! Once you have done this move to stage 4.


4. Create your business name. I think too much focus can be put on this, think about other brands, Curry’s for example – sells appliances – you wouldn’t know from the name! The branding and products are more important, that said try to think carefully about the name, nothing that will offend, or isn’t easy to say or remember! Does anyone else have your name already? Your business may evolve so don’t pigeon hole yourself with your name. For example “Donna’s Dolls” – what if you move on from selling dolls?


4. It’s now time to build your marketing platforms. We are going to create the following;

  • Facebook business page – go to pages within Facebook and create a page. There is an app to manage the page but it’s not very good. There is more functionality on the desktop version.
  • Instagram page – try to get your name so it all matches
  • Twitter page – again your name is a good idea
  • Pinterest page – there’s lots of good tools that come with this and well worth it
  • Website – I highly recommend One.com it should only cost around £10-12 for the first year and it includes some nifty tools and email addresses etc.

Across all of these you are going to fill them all out and start posting pictures, news and updates. A blog isn’t a bad idea either. WordPress are very good and you can link this to your One.comwebsite. The reason a blog helps is because every time you post Google will pick up the new content and sees your site as a website with fresh detail on it. Google likes this and it will push you higher up the ranking.

I’m going to do a separate write up on marketing through all the different mediums as it’s pages and pages of content just for that alone! There’s a lot to it, but for now just start posting about your business, what you are doing, your products, how you feel, people like personal detail, they connect to you, don’t be something you’re not it’s hard to stick to. Start following people, liking their posts, retweeting, repinning, comment like and comment and like some more! Interaction is key with the new algorithms in Facebook and Instagram in particular. Move to step 5.


5. How will people buy? People do not like a barrier to the purchase. I wouldn’t recommend having them contact you to purchase. I invested in the webshop on One.com. This gives a direct and professional way for people to purchase. We also have an Etsy Shop. This picks up it’s own sales through Etsy, but is another way to do it. You can direct people from your website to shop here. You can also have a store in Facebook. You technically don’t need a website with these other resources, but I like to have our own individual shop front which pulls our brand together. One.com is also useful as it has a feature in the webshop to manage the orders which I like.

We offer a 3 week turnaround which gives time for the payment to come in, buy what’s needed and make the item, this means you don’t need up front capital to get going.


You are now up and running! Well done! The key now is to market market market. Look at running competitions, grow your following. Don’t directly sell, but show people your products, offer them a reason to buy, whether that is simply showing them a gorgeous picture that makes them want to buy a product or it’s a giveaway. Interact where ever you can, you need to be active on social media every day, and I plan to go into how to do this.

For now here are some links you may find useful;

Maximise the SEO for your website

Get more Facebook page likes

Get more Instagram followers

What to tweet about

How to use Pinterest for your business

A risk free way to bring in an income whilst you set up your business

I wasn’t sure whether to include matched betting on this blog or not given the theme of the blog includes mental health. However I felt to not do this was doing what I really hate, in making the presumption every person with mental health and debt issues can’t manage their money. For me this isn’t true. I’m perfectly capable of managing my money, the struggle comes when I have no money because I’m unwell and not working properly! If there’s no money to pay the bills that’s where the issue lies!

So with that in mind and given my success with this during my first week I’ve decided to write about it.

I use matched betting to bring in an income along side other incomes.

matched betting as an income

I’m not going to go into the details of matched betting as it’s more complicated than I have time to explain really! I have used Profit Accumulator which literally gives you a step by step guide to matched betting. There’s others available such as Oddsmonkey, which I haven’t tried as yet.

The basic premise is that it’s risk free as you match a bet for and against something, for example a football team, and you make money from the offers bookies give you.

I have to say I have met this with success and made almost £500 in week 1!

Unfortunately I don’t have much of an income at the minute so this will be going to pay the bills, but I’m fine with this as it gives me time to collect myself and work on other projects such as this blog!

I had barely placed a bet before starting this, I’ve maybe bet on the Grand National a handful of times and been to the races once, it’s safe to say I know nothing about gambling, and to be fair I’m not fussed by betting. The risk has never interested me, and this week I’ve not been bothered once by making an actual bet with risk. If there was any risk this might happen I wouldn’t advise immersing yourself in this.

I’m worried about the longevity and would love to hear more on this, I wonder what sort of long term monthly income could come from this? I’ve googled it and found a mixed response. One main concern is moving to reload offers. At the moment as a newbie I’m still on welcome offers, but eventually these will be exhausted and I’ll have to move to existing customer offers – reload offers. Another concern is being “gubbed” where bookies basically stop giving you offers one way or another.

I’d like to at least keep going until I’ve managed to secure a secondary income from elsewhere…


I can recommend Profit Accumulator – I will keep you updated on my progress, but pretty happy with it so far, and looking forward to matched betting at Cheltenham 2018 next week!

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