• The problem with bookmarking to read later…

    Over the last couple of days, I’ve been chatting to a couple of freelance/digital media types about social bookmarking. We all do it – pin recipes to check out later, bookmark an article in your browser or save it to Pocket. The general thought process is “Ooh that looks interesting, I’ll save it to read/watch later today/this week”

    The big articles never get read.

    They sit at the bottom of our To Do list, nagging at us to read them. Sure, some of them we will read. I tend to sit down each morning and catch up on the latest items in my apps, and YouTube feed. But there are still those articles that you never get round to – and they play on your conscious. I asked my group of Freelance Lifestyle ecoursers what percentage of articles they save to read later, and then never read. Answers range from 25% to 50%.

    Why don’t we read those articles? Personally, the main reason I won’t go back and read an article is because it’s either too long or it’s something I feel I should read, but don’t actually want to. Short, snappy articles tend to get read in the moment, rather than put off. Ali-Camden-Smith from Over A Cuppa made a great point:

    “Layout for me, if it is loads of text and no breaks my brain say’s save it till later and I don’t usually go back! So yes concentration wise it has to grab me straight away and look easily digestible too!  Video’s more than 4 mins I rarely get to the end unless it is really good!”

    Recently, I’ve been going through my Pocket account and clearing out anything I haven’t bothered to read. Some of the articles in there were 1-2 years old! I’ve set myself a new rule. If I don’t read it within a week, the article goes in the (virtual) bin.  

    The Freelance Lifestyle going forward

    Time is one of the things we’re all limited on – but more so for freelancers and anyone who works online. Which has got me to thinking about the kind of content I’m creating here. I don’t want it to be the kind that clogs up your bookmarks or reading app. Short, snappy and helpful is the goal. So more ‘How To…’ posts, list posts and A-Zs of Freelancing. A new feature is coming soon to Fridays – A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer, interviews with a lovely bunch of creatives so you can have a peek into what other people do. There may be the odd long-form article, but only very occasionally. To be brutally honest, brevity is one of my strengths anyway (I was always the student at school who wrote articles based on hitting the lowest word count requirement, rather than squeezing it under the top word count limit)

    I’ve also got a couple of plans up my sleeve for videos – three minute long videos (just enough to watch while you’re making a cup of tea).

    One more thing….VEDA

    Talking of videos – I’m going to be taking part in VEDA (Vlog Every Day In April). I can’t promise I’ll do every day, but it’s a great way to boost your experience of vlogging. Fancy joining me? I’m going to be joining Savvy Sexy Social’s VEDA, with an editorial calendar packed full of ideas for what to vlog about.

  • Switching off, #SSSVEDA and South Hill Park

    South Hill Park Blogging Course

    Just a quick post today with some housekeeping. This month is set to be an exciting one – I turn 28 on Wednesday, get married on the 27th and have plenty to prepare for in May. I’ve also, possibly unwisely, set myself a couple of challenges for April.

    So, here’s what is coming up…


    Regular readers might remember me taking part in SSSVEDA last year – Sexy Savvy Social’s Vlog Every Day in August. I enjoyed it, but lost my way a little half way through the month. This year, I’m taking part on my Vine channel during April. Six seconds a day is achievable…right? If you fancy joining in, pop on over to Amy’s SSS site to sign up and check out the calendar of suggested topics. Also, feel free to leave me a comment below if you fancy joining in! Also, don’t forget to follow the #SSSVEDA hashtag.

    Switch off after 6pm

    With so much going on this month, it seems particularly important to find some time to switch off. I’m aiming to switch off my emails and social media after 6pm. Realistically, I know this isn’t going to happen 100% of the time – sometimes I need to work evenings, and sometimes deadlines demand a little evening overtime. If I can keep to this 80% of the time though, I’ll have achieved something.

    Teaching at South Hill Park

    Throughout May and June, I’ll be teaching at course on blogging at South Hill Park, my local Arts Centre in Bracknell. Teaching was something I wanted to do more of in 2013, despite being a huge bundle of nerves, so I’m really looking forward to this. April will be about finishing off the course content plan.


    Some of you might have heard about Cybher, the blogging conference for women. I attended last year thanks to The High Tea Cast girls. This year, I’ll be joining them on the speaking line up, talking about freelancing. Tickets for the event are still available, although running out fast!

    Now over to you! What three things are you excited about in April? 


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  • VEDA – Vlog Every Day August

    It’s been a great week on the blog, with three brilliant guest posts from Fran, Fi and Betty Bee. Go have a read if you haven’t already. Big thank you to them, I hope you all found their posts as interesting as I did!

    Instead of my usual podcast this week, I’m doing something a little different. Yesterday, I started the Savvy Sexy Social VEDA challenge. For those that haven’t come across it before, VEDA is the Vlog Every Day August (it also takes place in April). Video blogging is something I’ve been looking to do for a while, because I have a feeling blogs are going to have to embrace other multimedia methods as well as writing in order to continue to succeed. Putting your face out there is scary, but I fully believe in doing something every day that scares you a bit. How else are you going to keep learning?

    Plus it means I brush my hair and slap some make up on each day. Which is no bad thing. I can’t promise I won’t occasionally rock the smart above the table/pj bottoms below the table look for videos though…

    So, here’s my channel. Feedback is welcome but remember that I’m very new to this so please be kind!

    It’s only day two and I’ve got a lot to learn, but if you’re tempted to do the same you can still join in. Pop on over to Savvy Sexy Social and pop your name down on the list and get vlogging. Amy from Savvy Sexy Social has kindly put together a calendar of topics to cover for the month, so you shouldn’t be stuck for ideas.

    If you’re already a vlogger, do you have any tips? Lighting suggestions? Camera recommendations? YouTube no nos? Let me know in the comments! Feel free to leave your link to your YouTube channel below too, I’m always interested in watching other videos.