The 20/80 Rule: How To Get More Out of Your Blog Posts after Hitting Publish

It’s been a while since I blogged about blogging! And I missed it. No idea why it took a back seat per se. I’ve lately been a bit concerned that I’m not blogging as much as I used to do. Writing makes me happy - and many times that’s the bit I enjoy. But blogging should really be approached on a 20/80 rule. 20% writing and 80% promoting. So except you have a whole team or people sorting out the promotion for you, the hard job actually starts right after you hit publish! And this is something I know I’ve been ignoring.

A relatively recent tweet by a popular African musician - Mr Eazi caught got my eye and sums up this rule. Referring to his new music video here’s what he said:

“Cost of Production  - $6,000. Cost of YouTube Advertising - $10,116. Revenue generated in 10 months - $89,620. Don’t play yourself - Mark(et) ... if you can!”

So as a note to me and a note to you, to ensure we aren’t playing ourselves, here’s how we can get more out of the 20% once we’ve had a read through the post and are happy with it!

6 (+1) Ways to Read More Books

One of the questions I get asked all the time is “How you do you read so much?!”

The general answer to the question is that I prioritize reading. I certainly understand that a flexible schedule and the fact that I have very few responsibilities are a huge reason for my freedom to read as much as I do. Still, like anything else, I believe that to read more, we need to be intentional about making time for reading.

Here are six ways (+1) you can make time in your schedule to read more! 

No More Cranky Mornings: Five Tips For a Better Night Sleep

I’m sorta doing cartwheels right now, because this post is sponsored by Leesa Mattress, which we three have been using for the past month and absolutely loving it. I say “three” because yes indeed we’ve been co-sleeping with our son. It seemed unfair to have this new amazing mattress to ourselves so we let him join us! Okay I kid. Truth is since he outgrew his bedside crib I mentioned in this post, we hadn’t got around to setting up his cot and we welcomed him into the big people bed. But at the time of typing this post, his cot is being set up! I know he’d miss us and our new mattress, because honestly even he obviously slept better the first night we had it - not a wink or his usual attempt to move his hand around and search for me in the middle of the night!

Anyway, let’s leave out co-sleeping situation and actually get to how we, i.e. adults can improve our night sleep. I think two major life experiences have had an impact on my night sleep pattern.

How to Make Overnight Guests Feel Welcome: 7 Easy & Helpful Tips

I think it’s lovely having guests stay over with you. Okay let's caveat that - lovely provided they are reasonable guests. It’s heartwarming to know that people have chosen to spend time with you even when they could afford to stay in a hotel or other accommodation. One of the things I’ve come to love is actually having guests over - and you’re likely to catch me running around at the very last minute to make our guests relatively comfortable. And many times it’s the little things; which you can do whether or not you have a little space or a big space. Admittedly having a bigger space may be better but nonetheless hosting guests in such bigger space could still come across as impersonal and they could still not feel welcome.

So whether they’d be sleeping on the couch and sharing a bathroom, a mid size or make shift guest room or have a whole separate suite with chef and maids at their beck and call, I believe these tips will hep them feel very welcomed, and help you be a good host too.

How Do You Start Your Day? 4 Mums Share Their Family Breakfast Struggles & Tips

If I had my way, as a self-proclaimed foodie, I’d settle down to a huge breakfast every single morning! And although we all know that breakfast is super important, I find that whether individually as growing teenagers, hustling adults, parents with kids or more collectively as a family - many times we’re trying to find that balance between being on the go, but still ensuring that we eat healthy nourishing breakfasts.

As a child, I don’t have very many memories of weekday breakfasts – but I recall buying fresh bread right off the bakery a few streets from our house that was interestingly called “Fresh Loaves”, buying piping hot meat pies wrapped in brown paper from the baker literally next door to us, and on too many occasions my elder brother literally stuffing his belly with Golden Morn, which he liked thick and with lots of milk!

10(+1) Great Picture Books to Read with Your Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

So, we already talked about how important it is to help children enjoy reading. One of the best ways to do this is by allowing children of all ages enjoy picture books. Don’t tell your children that “picture books are for babies” because if those are the books they enjoy, you’ll simply put them off reading.

Picture books are highly visual, but the best ones to read (aloud or not) also feature great language. There may be rhymes, but overall, you want a story that will delight, teach (but not seem like a textbook) and be unforgettable. 

I'll share a great list of ten picture books to start your kids off on. These picture books are short and simple enough that your toddlers (ages 1-3) and preschoolers (ages 3-5) can follow. However, they also have sparse enough text that your beginning reader (ages 5-7) can read and delightful plots that your older kids will at least crack a smile at! 

I Attempted to Go Viral on Instagram: 4 Important Life Lessons I Learned

A few months ago, a blogger created some Instagram story templates that allowed people fill in and share certain information. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're either relatively new to Instagram story or you don't use the feature very much. But, it was a very chilled way to share information about yourself. Seeing as most of the templates were related to personal matters, I decided to create a few related to blogging. 

This process took me about three hours as I struggled with Canva to design the templates. And guess what? I was doing this at about 3 am in the morning - when I ought to have been sleeping soundly after a full day of being with baby! It reminded me of the one time, I spent pretty much close to 24 hours creating and editing a 60 seconds video about my best moments of the past year, in order to enter a competition to win a phone - that I didn't even need.

8 "Must Have" Baby Products We Didn't Buy or Use Much

In addition to all the many others, one thing new mums or parents hope for is that the baby products they buy absolutely do what it says on the tin! It’s one thing figuring out what exact products to buy out of the myriad, it’s another to see it actually work for your baby and give you peace of mind. Because if it doesn’t that’s just sad: the time wasted, the money down the drain and worst of all – the space it just takes up in your home. I don’t think there are any new parents whose houses remain the same after having a baby - no matter how you try.

I recall once after we had popped into a baby store to pick up some large ticket items – the boot of the car was stuffed, and some products at the back seat slightly obstructed the windshield. It was a good thing the house was just under five minutes because we couldn’t have driven that way for much longer. When we got home, I said to the husband “well I hope this kid really likes these gadgets and takes to them”. His response “Of course he had better, what choice does he have. He should be thankful he got all this. You know how many kids don’t have this choice”?

6 Steps to Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall

If you’ve been following for a bit, you’d know I’ve been going on about creating a wall gallery, including some posters and photos. Well well, after what seemed like forever, guess who has finally done that? I can’t take all the glory though – so many thanks to Desenio who offer a wide range of amazing posters and prints - first of all for making it happen, providing an incentive and also sponsoring this blog post as I spill to you what you need to do to create a photo gallery wall. Trust me, it’s sometimes harder than it looks.

First off, why am I such a stan for gallery walks? Because bare walls do not feel cozy and definitely do not feel like home. They feel precisely bare. It’s a fab opportunity to let your personality shine through frames, posters and wall art, illustrations etc. It’s often aesthetically pleasing as well and often a great backdrop for photos. A well-done gallery is always to be appreciated and makes the wall come alive.  Now that we’re in agreement that everyone needs a gallery wall, let’s get into the how!

Four Tips That Helped Save Costs During Our Wedding

I’m usually not that crazy about weddings - even mine. So it was a bit surprising that last weekend, I had a bit of wedding nostalgia. The memories from my wedding came flooding back and I wished I could be transported back there (with a few tweaks).

I’m not sure where the nostalgia came from. Perhaps because a friend sent me a message at 3 am on Saturday morning saying a few of our friends were discussing how they had such a good time at our wedding. Or maybe because there were so many wedding videos on Instagram Story this weekend. Or finally, maybe it was because I was about to create a photo wall gallery at home and none of our wedding pictures made the cut. I’m probably one of the few people who 4 years into their wedding, don’t have an enlarged wedding photo. Heck, we still don't have an album, but I have now set that as a major target for Q4 2018.

Anyway, all these feelings meant that I deep dived into the soft copies of our wedding album and started glancing through.