Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Who are you and what have you done with my baby girl?

parenting quotes, quotes about parenting

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family & children photography

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family & childrens portraits

portrait photography, outdoor photography, natural light photography

She's 29 months old today (2 and a half next month). All traces of baby have well and truly disappeared from that face. 

In it's place, the innocence of a young girl, and the promise of a strong and beautiful woman.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Let's Talk About Blogging: Facebook Finessing and Sharing the Love

Bloody Facebook, hey? The lament is universal. The reach of our Facebook pages has been steadily declining the past year or so. Why? How do we stop it? There are no easy answers, and to make any difference it's going to take a bit of work on our behalf. But there are a few simple things we can try that might help (and they don't include paying!)

By now you're all well and truly sick of hearing me and everyone else who was there bang on about the #voicesof2014 masterclass. But it wasn't all yummy food, copious cups of coffee and fabulous minds meeting to embrace each other in the offline world. There was actually some learning that went on as well.

There were three panel sessions at the masterclass, and while I loved all of them and came away with a lot of food for thought, there was one panel that I was most interested in and got the most actionable information from.

Facebook Finessing 

This panel was run by the lovely Maxabella (who I sadly didn't get the time to meet in person) and featured three speakers: Kat from The Organised Housewife, Jaclyn from Blog Society, and Yianni Konstantopoulos, the Director at Social@Ogilvy.

Kat, Jaclyn and Yianni were kind enough to share their tips and tricks for working with Facebook and getting the most from your page. Following is some of the most useful information I gained...

Page Insights

Facebook pages have some pretty powerful analytics built in to them. It's a really good idea to use the Insights to see what posts work well, how people are interacting with your page, and most importantly, when your fans are online. By using these insights you can plan and post accordingly.
how to reach more people on facebook

Kat schedules all of her Facebook posts a week in advance, and they are always at the same time every day. She says her fans have come to expect this from her. While my audience (and yours) are probably very different to Kat's, there is something to be said for consistency.

I'd already started investigating the page Insights before the masterclass but this last week I've been trialing scheduling some of my facebook posts. I've definitely seen an increase in the amount of people seeing the posts with links, and I'm pretty sure it's partly because I've scheduled them for times when a lot of my fans have been online. I am going to continue to experiment with this and see if the reach continues to be better. I'll let you know how I go.

Multiple photos and tagging

All panelists agreed that the images they post tend to get a wider reach when they upload multiple images at a time, say two or three. Another tip was to tag people in posts. For instance, you may have noticed that in one or two of my posts this week I tagged individual people, like my sisters. This works because when a person is tagged on facebook it shows up in the timeline ticker of their friends (depending on their privacy settings of course). When that happens their curious friends can click on the post to see what it is they've been tagged in and then you've reached more people. Not to mention the fact that you make sure your nearest and dearest are privy to your wit and wisdom!

The important thing is to tag people appropriately and be sensitive to people who may not want to be tagged. I've only done this sparingly so far, and only with people I know wouldn't have a problem with it. If your friends and family know that you blog they can be a really good tool for increasing reach as well. Ask people you know won't mind to engage with some of your page posts to help increase your visibility.

Engagement is more important that reach

We keep hearing people say that the best way to increase reach is to create and post content that people will engage in. But how do we get people to engage if they don't see content in the first place. And is it enough to just like a post?
facebook tips & tricks

The short answer about likes is no. The best kind of engagement is shares and comments (I'll come back to shares later). Having people commenting on your posts is a great way to increase engagement and reach. Ask some of your friends and family to comment on some of your posts and even share one or two. Post things that people want to share. Ask questions of your fans, ones that can be answered easily and without much thought.

I've started asking a question on my page at 1pm each day. Not only is it a great way to get people engaging with your page, but it's also really fun and interesting and allows you to interact with the people who matter most and who support you.

So. The above is what I've been working on in the last week, and here are a few more things you might want to consider -

    google link shortener
  • Use short links, ie. instead of posting the full link to your post like this: {} use a link shortener and post them like this instead: {}. Facebook likes short links much better and you will quite possibly get better reach using them. Wordpress has it's own link shortener that you can use and Google has one too. The cool thing about using Google's own link shortener tool is that you actually get analytics for each of the shortened links you use...
  • Include text on photos to get more bang for you buck post
  • Have your blog URL in the description of your page's cover photo and also include your blog URL in the About section of your personal profile (that is if you don't mind your friends and family knowing about your blog!)
  • More posts can actually decrease your reach. I was posting more often to my page in a bid to reach more people but it seems that this could actually work against us. Kat said that she posts 6 times a day with a combination of different stuff, links, images, etc. I've decided to limit my posts to between 4 and 6 a day and will continue to monitor if that makes anything difference.

Caring is Sharing

Now, getting back to the shares thing. It was stressed that having people share your posts is the best way to increase reach. But it's not that easy to get shares. Sometimes you might post something that you think is awesome and  it goes nowhere. Other times something you post on the spur of the moment will get a few shares and lots of comments. It can be hit and miss. I'm sure people who's job it is to try and create viral content know what will and won't work but I'm no expert that's for sure!

Before the masterclass I had an inkling that people sharing a page's posts was important and I was actually trying to think of a way to to incorporate that and get bloggers helping bloggers. After the masterclass I knew that I wanted to make it my mission to try and comment and share other bloggers posts to my personal page as much as I could.

I've gotten so much from the blogging community that I feel like this is a small and easy way I can give back. So you may have noticed I've been quite prolific with the commenting on people's posts. Obviously one person isn't going to automatically increase a page's reach, but by gosh I'm gonna do what I can.

caring is sharing, share the love sundayWhich is why I took a leap, had a go, and the other Sunday I did the first Share the love Sunday on my facebook page. The idea behind it is simple. You tag your facebook page and I visit it and comment on as many posts as I can, and share one. I do it all from my own personal facebook profile and not the page.

The response was overwhelming and it was really great to see everyone getting on board. I found quite a few new pages to follow, and had a chance to visit pages that I already like, but who's posts I never see in my newsfeed. It was great!

My friends might have got a little shirty with the amount of stuff I was suddenly sharing on my personal profile but I don't really care. It's one day, for a couple of hours and I actually had many friends comment on and view the things that I shared, so it was a win as far as I am concerned. I really loved catching up on peoples pages and I think, if the interest is there, I might do it again this Sunday.

All I ask is people that play-along share the love and visit at least one other page and leave a few comments from their personal profile, maybe even share a post that particularly resonates with them. I promise you'll get a little warm, fuzzy feeling down low.

So there you have it, the facebook finessing tips and tricks I've learnt at the masterclass and things I've been doing to increase my page's reach and engagement. If you have any tips or tricks of your own please let me know in the comments. And feel free to post the link to your facebook page in the comments as well so I can stop by and share the love some more.

Do you have a facebook page? Have you noticed the reach has been poor? What sorts of things to do you find people respond to best on your page?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Monday, 21 April 2014

And the Tosser Trophy goes to...

Oh Barry.

Barry, Barry, Barry. What the fuck were you thinking?

Actually scratch that, you probably weren't thinking.

Coz you was drunk!

And when you is drunk, forgetting to declare $3000 bottles of wine from suspect sources is an easy thing to do.


To be fair, if it was me, I wouldn't say no to getting my drink-on with a $3000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange. Can you imagine how good that shit would taste?! Like drinking unicorn piss I imagine.

If it was me, I'd be sitting on my lounge sipping that unicorn urine in a lady-like fashion. From the right glass for that type of piss (the wider ones are for red, yeah?), while eating some super-creamy and not-safe-for pregnant-woman soft cheese. And my husband would be sitting beside me drinking his wine, chilled from a mug.

Coz we're classy like that.

But the difference between you and me Bazza is this.

I'm a 30-something, middle-class suburbanite, stay-at-home-Mum.

You're the fucking premier of an actual state and you should know bloody better!

Really, Barry?


Seriously dude, did you not learn anything from toddler-hood? Saying "I know nothing" has never worked. Ever! Even Punky learnt that lesson early on!

While I do have to thank you for finally pulling out the finger and getting Sydney's second airport on the go and making it NOT be in my backyard, that is not enough to stop you from being awarded the coveted Tosser Trophy.

I'm a little disappointed that you didn't actually say "I did not have sexual relations with that wine bottle", but you came close. And for that I'll give you a little golf clap. The amnesia defence almost worked.


If you can't remember what happened to a $3000 bottle of wine then that is all the proof I need of your qualification for a Tosser Trophy. You've obviously consumed too many $3000 bottles of wine and to be honest, that's more than a little bit wanky! The average non-wanky person remembers drinking that kinda piss!

Barry, you have excelled in the work required to obtain your Dickhead Degree. I'm sure the many constituents of NSW will join with me in awarding you this highest of accolades. You have set the (wine) bar high my friend.

In your time as Premier you have excelled in reaching new levels of crappyness. However even I can admit that your time in power has been prematurely extinguished. If left in office for the remainder of your term, you may have been able to reach the lofty heights of douchiness reached by the former wardens of the state, the NSW Labor Party.

Now there's a bunch of hacks even more worthy of this award!

But alas Barry, it's time to exit stage right, and you will go down in NSW history as the first Premier to be rolled by a bottle of wine.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

FFS! I'm just thankful for the Things I Know!

Post by Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions.
(Actual post from FB. You can click the See More to read the rest of the story)

So that ^^ happened on Tuesday night. Zee choked. And choked badly. Scared the shit out of me and took about 10 years off my life. Like I can really afford to lose those 10 years with all the crap I got up to in my 20s!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Two Peas in a Cot

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Let's Talk About Blogging: How do YOU read blogs?

I went to a blogging thing on Saturday and it was all sorts of cool. It was the Kidspot Voices of 2014 Masterclass and dagnammit if I wasn't in blogger heaven getting to meet not one, not two, but a few of my blogging girl-crushes!

There was so much to take in, as there always is at one of these events, and I will most definitely share some of what I learnt in later posts. But a few things that were mentioned in passing got me thinking about how I read blogs, and how you guys read my blog.

I've had this post sitting in my drafts folder for ages now, about 6 months. It came to me in a flash of brilliance while lying in bed trying to fall asleep, as all the good blog posts do, and I've been meaning to ask you for ages...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Monday Mini-Rant - F&%king "Fashion" and Why I'll never be a fashion blogger

The other day I went to the shops to try and find something to wear to the #voicesof2014 blogging masterclass. And lemme tell ya, it was an effing depressing experience!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

96-102/365 - Zee

6th April 2014 - You're newest skill is clapping your hands, and you absolutely love it when I sing the song "If you're happy and you know it" so that you can practice your clapping over and over. It brings me immense joy to see your face light up and your little hands start clapping furiously when I sing.

96-102/365 - Punky

6th April 2014 - This is a twice daily occurence, hanging out in Zee's cot when she wakes up from her nap. You love to climb in and insist on helping unzip her from her sleeping bag. There are tantrums if you don't get to pull her legs out!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

If I die tomorrow...

I was looking in my desk for a notebook on Tuesday night. I have so many, I've been obsessed with stationery for a very long time (why oh why were there no stationery stores around when I was a teenager?!) and I knew that I would most likely have an unused one somewhere.

I found a nice purple one that looked fresh. One I got from work when we had excess samples. I pulled it out and grabbed a pen, thinking to utilise it for making notes on some of the design stuff I've been doing for my own blog and others.

When I opened it to the first page I discovered that it had in fact been used. What I found written on the first two pages surprised me. I'd completely forgotten writing those words. But as I read them, all of the thoughts and emotions I'd felt at the time came rushing back to me.

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