3 things to to before you get carried away

Move

Whether it be taking a walk, doing a workout or having a solo dance party. Moving your body enables you to let go of the energy that is weighing you down, overwhelming you and will eventually lead you to getting carried away

Write

Just start writing something about how you feel and see where it goes. Don’t focus on it being good, write for yourself and be honest. You might find that you thought you were upset about one thing but really you were upset because it reminded you of something from the past.

Rest

Slow down, stop and take a rest. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and with a much clearer head rather than indulging in thoughts that only make you feel worse.

How to be a better listener

Don’t offer advice
Don’t offer advice until the person asks for it. People often make the assumption that when someone is talking about an issue they want to be told what to do. However, many times a person just wants to express themselves and feel heard.

Show that your engaged verbally
Muttering a generic hmmm, every now and then is sometimes what is done to portray a false sense of engagement but often the case is you’re probably just not interested. The ‘hmmm’ can also be a sign that you want to let them know you’re listening. You can also use short phrases like ‘I can’t imagine what that’s been like’ or ‘that must be difficult’ to show you’re engaged or you could ask questions.

Show that you’re engaged physically
Looking at your phone, being turned away from the person and not making eye contact can show a lack of interest. Don’t be distracted, have your body facing them and make eye contact.

Lastly, two things to remember, if you don’t want to listen then just say so instead of doing it half heartedly. Secondly, you can’t expect someone will want to come and talk to you if you don’t show that you’re interested in what they have to say.

How it started

In September 2019, I made a list of 12 things I needed to do before I was ready to launch my daily blog.

Some of them were things I had to do like pick a name and decided whether to have the option of likes and comments. Others were things to think about, like deciding whether to have social media for the blog and what the Instagram feed would include.

I didn’t complete all twelve things before I began but things still turned out pretty good.

Looking back over the list serves as a useful reminder. You don’t need to do as much as you think you need before you get started.

So often, we end up using not being ready or not prepared enough as an excuse to not begin which comes from a place of fear, it’s rarely because we actually need more time.

The pros and cons of an Instagram portfolio

Some thoughts I had whilst thinking about where to share my photos in the future.

I’m not a photographer but over the past couple of years my interest in prop styling/ product photography has grown and I really enjoy taking photos. I’ve thought about creating a portfolio website to share my work but then I found myself wondering if it was even necessary. The intention would be to also share on Instagram however, I started to think that perhaps just having Instagram would be enough.

Pros

Used by over 1 billion

Your work has the potential to reach so many people because Instagram is such a popular app. On the other hand your website may be much harder to find.

Create a community of fellow creatives

You’re likely to find through the use of hashtags a community of fellow creatives. Not just people that take photos but people in your city, peopke you can learn from, people you can teach and people you can grow with.

Directly interact with your audience

The people viewing, liking and commenting on your work may just be random people that think your photos are interesting. However, they could also be potential clients. But you also have the chance to interact with your audience and take them on a journey with you.

Cons

Image quality

Sometimes the images you post to your Instagram feed are of a reduced quality when compared to if they were uploaded to a site

Limited flexibility on how you can present

Compared to a website Instagram offers little flexibility. There are some things you can do to present images differently such as placing them on a white square that you post to your feed. But overall everything on Instagram is fairly uniform.

Getting distracted

Instagram comes with many distractions. As much as it allows you to interact with fellow creatives and an audience who may become potential clients, you can also end up wasting a lot of time. From getting distracted by the number of likes and followers to replying to comments and spending hours scrolling. In contrast when updating an online portfolio you won’t have notifications and messages to distract you.


I also think having a website can make a person appear more trustworthy, legitimate and professional. Anyone can have an Instagram account but taking the time to create a website isn’t something everyone would do. As someone who enjoys having their own personal space to share work online, the idea of only having an Instagram portfolio isn’t particularly appealing.

I think a website is the perfect base or foundation for your work, to share a bit about yourself, provide contact info and also what work people can pay you for. On the flipside Instagram is great for a more causal approach such as chatting with followers, sharing behind the scenes and answering questions.

The future of Clubhouse

I thought it would be fun to think about what Clubhouse will look like in the future. These are simply ideas rather than what I think should or shouldn’t happen. This post has been in the drafts for a few months and so some of these ideas may have already been implemented or been announced as future updates.

Paying the host

Paying to enter a room in the same way that we pay to enter clubs or events is something I consider likely to happen. It could be paying a set amount but it could also be more of a tipping feature where the room is free but tha audience are able to tip if they’ve enjoyed the room.

It would be interesting to see who uses the feature. I definitely think celebrities and influencers would be critisiced for using it because it could be seen as taking advantage particulary if they don’t have much to offer in terms of the quality of what is being spoken about. If clubhouse took a fee per payment, it could become a way for the app to generate money.

A payment feature was announced in April 2021 and creators will get 100% of the earnings.

Room membership

Similarly to the above, I think clubhouse could introduce some sort of membership for a room. This could involve a payment of X amount per month for X months. This could be used for online communities where the person leading gives monthly talks or holds weekly group discussions. It could be used by groups already existing outside of the app as an alternative to Zoom or Teams.

Recording rooms

I think there’s a possibility of being able to to record the audio within the app but I think that this would take away from the appeal and exclusivity. If you can just listen to it later then why would you bother to show up live? I can see there being issues with this such as less people showing up live or people taking the recording and posting it on YouTube.

Some other ideas for this feature would be restrictions on how long you can record the conversation and people having to pay to access the audio. This could be a one off payment per file or implemented into the premium version of the app that requires a monthly payment.

More visuals

Another idea is to add more visual aspects to the app. This could be by having more pictures or allowing for video content. However, I think there is a risk that this would weaken the USP of the app because audio only was innovative and we already have Instagram for visual content.

Direct Messaging

Similar to what is already available on Instagram, Twitter and most other social media. Implementing a direct messaging feature is great way to increase the use of an app, if users use it to communicate with people they follow. Due to the type of app that clubhouse is I think the majority of people use it to listen to people that they don’t personally know so a messaging feature may be of little value. In contrast, for social media such as Twitter or Instagram where people can have private accounts and only follow family and friends direct messaging is considered useful.

Increase accessibility

Lastly allowing more people to use the app. One of the main ways is extending the app to android users which finally happened a few days ago. Another way is to no longer have the app be invite only. I think this was useful when the app was being portrayed as exclusive but if the creators want to grow the app, the invite only aspect doesn’t really help with that. Although I think there are likely to be other reasons to keep that aspect such as collecting the data of how the users are connected

On a different note but still on the topic of accessibility, another feature could be to have audio captions to make it usable for those with hearing impairments. However, I think this could come with some issues if people speak over each other or if people don’t speak clearly the captions may be highly inaccurate which would reduce the experience. On the flipside, Clubhouse app could be considered as accessible to those with visual impairments as they don’t miss out on any imagery like they would on a YouTube video, IGTV or Instagram live.

Making time for good habits

I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.

Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.

None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.

So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.

Short-term pros

When making a decision you might find yourself making a pros and cons list.

The choice you make in the end is likely to be based on whether the cons make the benefits worth it.

But sometimes we focus too much on the short-term. Making a particular decision might be great right now, great in 6 months and even great in a year. However, in 2 years or 5 years it will end up being something you regret.

Or, perhaps we allow short-term pros to outweigh long-term cons.

It could be taking a job where you earn way more money but isn’t in a field you want to progress in. Maybe the alternative was a job in the field you’re interested in but you passed it up because the salary is lower and the commute is longer.

In the short-term you’re earning more money and you’re journey to work is shorter. But in the long-term you’re progressing in a job you don’t want to be in which probably means you’re not as happy as you could be.

On the flipside, if you’d chosen the other job in the short-term you’re salary would be lower and your commute would be longer. However in the long-term, your salary will increase, you’re progressing in field you’re interested in, you may choose to move closer to work and have a shorter commute or perhaps you now work from home 2 or 3 days a week and best of all you’re happier.

11 Ways to make your work more visible and find your audience

They’re out there maybe you just haven’t found them yet.

When putting your work out there it is important to put it in the line of the people you’re creating for. If they right people never see it, how will they find it?

These days it can be easy to fall into thinking that simply having an Instagram account is enough. Of course we can’t deny that Instagram is an incredible useful platform but there are plenty of other things worth doing to find and grow your audience.

I think there are 2 main ways: creating content on more platforms and making yourself visible.

It’s about giving people the opportunity to find you. This is something I’m working on and so this post is as much for myself as it is for you.

Here are some ideas to help increase your visibility and find your audience:

  • Write articles for other sites
  • Create YouTube videos
  • Twitter
  • Start a podcast
  • Attend events relevant to your work
  • Speak at events relevant to your work
  • Create sharable content
  • Talk about what you do
  • Pinterest
  • Host an online event
  • Start a mailing list

7 Reasons to quit daily blogging

I’ve been daily blogging on this site for 22 months now, almost 2 years.

It’s something that I enjoy doing and I love that I’ve created a space to share my thoughts on various aspects of life and my experiences.

However, I’ve recently started thinking about what changes I could make to this site and how I can make it better.

One of the first things that came to mind was posting less. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself not enjoying posting so often. I began thinking about how much I could improve the site if I was no longer sharing a new piece every day and I relaised that maybe it’s time for me to quit daily blogging.

Perhaps you’re in a similar position to me or maybe you are just curious. Either way, here are a few reasons to quit daily blogging:

  • You’re no longer enjoying it
  • Your audience is overwhelmed
  • The quality of your content is decreasing
  • You’re posting out of habit rather than because you have something worth sharing
  • You want more time to work on other projects
  • You’re not happy with your content
  • Posting daily no longer feels beneficial

The beauty of a blog is that you can create your own schedule. You might quit posting daily and realise that all you needed was a break and so maybe after a month you’ll go back to it. However, you might also realise that you’re much happier posting less.