This week my blog of the week is No Andro Blog written by Erin aka Rin, a 23 year old children’s nurse and mum of two who blogs all about the realities of single parenting, studying to be a children’s nurse AND really important topics like why Universal Credit is so dangerous.
I discovered her via Instagram but have quickly become addicted to her honest and affecting posts and I hope you will too!
REVIEW OF THE WEEK
WHERE TO FIND ME
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @lucylucraft or on my blog: lucylucraft.com.
Alternative title: things I don’t do and genuinely don’t care about!
Zero waste fails vs. low impact living
I talk a lot about how I believe zero waste isn’t a helpful term, or even achievable. It’s certainly not something I strive for and prefer aiming for low-impact sustainability as much as possible.
Sometimes it isn’t possible. For me, and perhaps for you too. Because the word ‘possible’ is subjective and wholly dependant on your lifestyle, your privilege etc etc and for me, that also includes emotional privilege.
As a pregnant mum with a toddler in tow my version of zero waste looks different to this time last year. And…..although I love all the ‘Gold star for just trying’ type stuff, I don’t really buy it. I call BS on myself because I’m barely trying at the moment.
Instead of beating myself up about it I thought I’d share the things I’ve given up recently. My zero-waste fails, if you will!
Pin this for later:
Making my own EVERYTHING
From nut milk to vegan cheese, toddler-friendly treats and vegetable crisps…..just urgh. And that’s just the kitchen. Add in cleaning products, face masks, tile scrubber, nappy rash balm, bubble bath, bath bombs….OH HELL NO.
I should know my limits. I mean, I’ve mentioned before that DIY beauty is not my thing and I prefer to leave it to the professionals and shop mindfully.
Mostly though, the convenience food is a toughy. The whole family is vegan and both my husband and I work full-time so it started feeling kind of ridiculous spending every waking minute unhappy/dealing with a screaming kid who JUST WANTS A FREAKING SNACK or doing the alternative; knackering hours spent making crappy versions of the things I like.
Honestly, I know I can try harder on this one but I’m giving myself a pregnancy pass. For now.
Shopping for everything in bulk
We are very lucky in that there is a small bulk store within walking distance. However not everything they sell is quite what I want…..for example (and please don’t roll your eyes at me here) the chocolate buttons taste like shit.
So instead of buying stuff I hate and then feeling virtuous yet mildly depressed about my cup of tea and unpalatable chocolate I decided to get a grip and chalk that up to experience.
I do still compost…..just not on the scale I was previously. I had a great system of using my Bokashi bin for all compostable kitchen bits and food waste, leaving it to pickle for a couple of weeks then popping it in my big compost bin to work it’s magic.
But guess what? Composting is a humongous pain in the ass when you don’t know what you’re doing. The Bokashi part is the easy bit; getting the right layers of ‘brown’ and ‘green’ waste (which includes shredding cardboard and paper layers) to make the damn compost is the ultimate snoozefest.
We still have our big compost bin which is almost full and brewing beautiful compost as we speak but honestly…..what the fudge will I do with the compost when I’m finished? And how do I know when it’s done please and thank-you?!
I am not a big shopper, but sometimes, only Amazon has the thing you want. Or Etsy. And I buy all my clothes second-hand which, outside of pregnancy, is simple to do in charity shops.
But maternity clothes? I’ve solely relied on eBay and Vinted and that means packages of stuff.
Occasionally I also like to just buy something. Just because. And in those instances I email the seller and ask for no plastic packaging….this usually works a treat and often the seller is excited to come up with new plastic-free packaging solutions.
But it’s never zero-waste.
So there you have it. My zero waste fails. Ps – I am 100% totally okay with them right now too.
00.10 – 01.48
Hey welcome to another episode of what she said . I’m your host this aircraft craft freelance journalist blog our podcast . Based in Brighton and you’re listening to series for episode 1 . Well actually technically it’s upside to whether how you should be using Pinterest in this Sodo episode which is why I said a little bit scary . So bear with me the first one I’ve ever done aside from the pop myths episodes I want to tell you how much I love Pinterest why it is important for your blog business and how simple it is to use a quick reminder to subscribe to the show so that you don’t miss any episodes and to write and review too if the mood takes you . Every week I share my review of the week and here’s the first . This week’s review of the week comes from Jay Stubbs who I think I can say with some authority is Janice stops and and it’s the title is gem of a podcast 5 stars . She says I love the honesty that comes from Lizzie . I feel like she’s being totally genuine in every episode . I’m also kind of glad I was late to the party because now I get to go back over previous episodes when longtime listeners have to wait for next week . Blows raspberry thank you so much Jenna that is such a lovely lovely review and these reviews actually really really help . It’s not just for my ego . So if you do want to write in review I think you can only do if I genes and I’ve had some difficulty doing it any other way apart from on my laptop . But they make a massive difference . Okay so back to today’s topic which is Pinterest .
01.49 – 04.04
Let’s talk about Pinterest shall we . Okay I’ll talk you listen . So firstly what is it . Well it’s a search engine same as Google being whatever . It’s a search engine and I think that’s probably one of the first misconceptions that people who only use Pinterest to like pin home décor or just kind of personal stuff . No they should be using it but don’t you understand why sometimes people refer to it as a social media platform . It definitely isn’t . Although it shares some similarities in terms of having followers and you can read pin which is similar to re tweet . But it is a search engine . But what makes it super special are two things . Well there’s probably loads more but two things that I can think of . One it’s visual and it’s super fun to use . Pinterest is made it is a search engine full of pins and pin is . I’m really sorry if I’m teaching you to suck eggs here but a pen has basically an image with text overlay that links to something . And the second thing that makes it pretty special is that there are a load less uses than with Google . What that means . Well I guess quite a few different things you can apply similar ACA rules as you would when optimizing your blog posts . If you don’t know what SEO is its search engine optimization is something that everyone is probably doing kind of intuitively for their blog already . But there are certain ways that you can almost upscale with your SEO to make sure that you rank for Google . And how I always word it is that you want to remove the invisibility cloak from your blog so that you say that Google is seeing a blog but that’s what SEO is traditional SCA for Google for being all the other search engines . However of course Pinterest is a search engine so you can also apply those similar rules . It also means that there’s an algorithm at play with Pinterest albeit one that is not nearly as heinous as Google’s algorithm .
04.04 – 08.11
Same I suppose there is a double edged sword in terms of you can apply similar SCA rules to Pinterest as you would with your blog when optimizing for Google . And yes there’s also an element of . Shady algorithm stuff but the difference with Pinterest is that like I said there are a lot less users it’s so much more simple than using google keyword plan which now actually keyword planner is not free for every single person to use which is very frustrating . I think it’s free for the majority of people to use but I found anecdotally with my students that not everyone is able to create a free keyword planner clique keyword power to account . If you don’t know what that is just ignore that . But anyway when you’re doing keyword research which is basically when you you are looking at what people are searching for literally the words that the string of words that they’re using that they’re typing into a search engine to get a blog post . It’s much simpler and Pinterest much much simpler . And most importantly because Pinterest is a search engine . People are searching for stuff they’re searching for information albeit in a completely different kind of manner than with Google because they’re looking for you know beautiful images . And if they are looking for information it means that you can use it to drive traffic to your blog which is why bloggers love it . Traditionally people food bloggers and craft bloggers and home and kind of DIY bloggers have dominated Pinterest and they are the ones that first noticed how great it is . So that’s why when you go to Pinterest to look for a recipe there are absolutely gazillions on there . But Pinterest is good for every single niche . It is good for every single niche . Fact just 100 percent because the morning show blog is the last users you need anyway . So I’ve been using pinterest for seriously for about . Five years now which feels pretty O.G. although it definitely isn’t . There are people who’ve been using it seriously for a lot longer than I have . But there are still so many people not utilizing Pinterest to its full effect . And I sometimes feel like like I I’m an early adopter which I literally am never an early adopter of anything . Well I kind of early adopter . And then I don’t do it properly I don’t do it very well until after I’ve seen everybody else doing it well I’m too scared to jump in there and try . But it’s such a great way to drive traffic without without the effort that’s required for especially going over old posts and optimizing them for search engines or social media trying to gain their Facebook algorithm having to create your best content for Instagram and get it seen by people creating video content . All of these things are really quite laborious . Pinterest isn’t and I mean you know I love it . If you’re the sort of person that I hate Pinterest then switch off now and definitely don’t add it to your blog strategy plan because it’s not worth it . But if you were even remotely interested in using Pinterest then please stay listing and believes that by the end of this episode you will know the main things that you need to do or start looking into to utilize Pinterest for your blog . So I’m going to share three Pinterest tips now .
08.12 – 10.33
But if you need help to get your head around Pinterest then I really recommend just by my course . I’ve also got a free challenge so it’s like three days long and you just get a series of emails with actionable tasks and a bit of homework and really is . And then I will . I will offer you the course as well which you are under no obligation to buy but if you want either of those things you can go to Lucy to craft dot com forward slash links and you’ll find links to both of those the course and the free challenge on that page . Or you can if you just want to buy the course for seventy nine pounds . Just go too lazy to craft a column for such courses and you can click the link in the shinies because they’re basically there . OK so let’s talk about my three tips . Number one group boards and tribes . First of all apologies for the inappropriate use of the word tribes but that is what they’re called say on your profile on your Pinterest profile . You create boards where you pin your own staff as well as pin other people’s . It’s kind of literally like having a heap of categorize mood boards I guess but where you’ll really fly and where you’ll really see your traffic grow in your Pinterest profile grow is when you start using group boards and tribes group boards are basically collaborative boards run by one or a few people where lots of folk can join and start painting their stuff . When you start pinning your pins to a group board you increase your reach immediately . So for example there might be 10 partners or so collaborating and each one of those partners or maybe a handful of those partners will reopen your pens to their boards where their followers will see them . So on and so forth . Tribes are similar except you have to share people’s stuff the way it works is literally on a one to one basis you you pin something to your tribe and you will be . You will have to pin somebody else so you can pin that every everything has different rules and there will be specified same with group boards but whereas group boards were really like not so many of them say you have to share on a one to one basis as in share your own and then pin somebody else’s tribes .
10.33 – 12.59
That is the whole point of them . It’s very much it . I suppose it’s a bit like like for like or comment pod spurts of less icky because to join a tribe you have to request to join and you’re only going to be joining a tribe that relates to your niche and the group admins will only accept you if you adhere to their rules and all of those sorts of things . It’s a little bit different but I guess it’s the same theory and Pinterest encouraged this . You won’t get shadow banned . So tribes work . Yes . By sharing . Sharing your pins to the tribe that you a part of and they tend to be smaller Maneesh . And you obviously pin other peoples so and you can also direct message in it’s kind of more of a unity than a group board . It’s probably a bit more like a Facebook group although I haven’t had any chat really in a tribe but I’m pop top 5 and they’re all quite big . Most my recent viral pins have come through pinning to tribes and it happens really quickly . I had a pin the other day that was retweeted I think about 12 hundred times and I was looking for where it had all started and it was one I pinned to a tribe . I think about 10 people maybe less than 10 . Not very many within a tribe within the tribe had reopened and then it had just gone wild because their followers are picked up and etc. etc. So tribes are amazing . Second tip is lead magnets and email lists so I’ve long been a fan of building an email list . Probably accidentally I was another I was an early adopter of an early adopter but I built my email list very early on . So because of that I am a big fan of other people doing the same . And I’m so happy that I did it because sometimes it feels really overwhelming and now everybody’s talking but it feels like everybody’s talking about email lists and I think the more noise there is the the harder it is to navigate what you should and shouldn’t be doing anyway . So I feel very lucky that I kind of was able to make my own mistakes .
12.59 – 13.45
Anyway on Pinterest people really love practical stuff freebies how tos all those sorts of things so utilizing lead magnets to drive people to a landing page on your blog where you can then convert them to an email subscriber is such a winning formula . I’m not amazing at creating dreamy lead magnets to be honest . However I managed to grab my email list to about 3000 in a year mostly through lead magnets and it was things like packing lists checklists principal PDX that kind of thing and you can get really creative with it and I’d really encourage you to do is just have a search on Pinterest and see what’s on there just by literally typing into the search bar .
13.45 – 18.29
I don’t know something relating to your niche that might be you might say your niche zero waste . Its ultimate zero waste checklist . Things like that or 10 10 stores 10 box stores in London those kind of things . And if you don’t understand what I’m talking about when I say lead magnet lead magnet is literally just a something that will entice people to your email list and they can only get it when they sign up . So it’s a bit like getting 10 percent off in a store when you sign up to their newsletter . That’s essentially a lead magnet . My last tip and this is probably where Pinterest gets really exciting for me . Automation . So whereas we have Instagram yes you can schedule pay sort of and Twitter and Facebook whatever you can schedule you can schedule your blog posts blah blah blah blah blah . Scheduling isn’t really automation . And actually even when I talk about automating technically it’s not automation it’s scheduling . However it’s on such a big scale that I consider it as dreamy as automation . So Pinterest is something that you can genuinely do in your sleep . So I spend about an hour on Pinterest a month and it probably drives around . I think the last time I checked it for it was driving around eight thousand page views a month . And I’ve been getting around 200 new email subscribers each month too which really that you might be hearing these numbers . Meanwhile wellness . Tiny but I consider that my blog is tiny now in total I get less than 25 years now . So yeah eight thousand is a lot . That’s a big that’s almost half the rest of my views come from organic just from Google which is what you’d expect . But for some people it’s completely the other way and they get the majority of their views through Pinterest and that’s not a bad thing that’s been a Pinterest is another search engine . It means that you don’t have to spend hours creating lots and lots of blog posts because you know I think sometimes we can feel like we need to create at least a blog post every week to maintain the traffic that we want . Which kind of is how it works with Google but with Pinterest you don’t have to spend hours creating loads of blog posts . You can actually focus on creating quality content and then use Pinterest to promote it over and over and over again . And there are so many different tools that you can use to do this . I use tailwind it’s amazing . And the link to get a free month on winter is in my bio . It’s why if you do sign up for a paid version it’s an affiliate link . Which means I get bit of money off my tail wind subscription but there are other tools I think Hoot Suite and buffer . You can also scheduled to Pinterest but I really recommend tail wind because you can do very specific things really clever things they’ve got their own analytics I do things like it’s called looping and where you just literally . So far my evergreen content and you don’t . You can set up different types of leaves you can set up seasonal loops as well but I don’t I don’t really do that . I don’t have a lot of seasonal content but for my evergreen core content I have a bulk of my SO best my best blog posts that are just constantly pinning on a loop with a gap . So over six months they’ll just be rotating through the specific boards that I ask it to Pinta which just keeps those blog posts fresh and I can drop in new pens whenever I want . Which you know keeps it fresh and you don’t have the same pen constantly out there so that’s it . My three tips are Pinterest and why you should be using it . I really hope I’ve convinced you to jump on board and start using it if you want some extra help . My free challenge is three days . It’s really good . It’s really simple . It’ll just help you get a bit more stuck into it . And there is a video tutorial of how to use tail wind . I think on day three .
18.30 – 19.08
And if you want to just dive in and buy the course it is . I should have all the information here . I don’t . This is a self paced course . It’s seventy nine pounds or you can pay in three installments or you can nab a pay what you cancel spot if you are unable to commit to the full seventy nine pounds and not commit to I cover everything from optimizing your profile looking at branding feel pride few Pinterest profile .
19.08 – 19.56 Finding your ideal audience keyword research . There’s a heap of video tutorials designing beautiful pins the anatomy of a viral pin how to put your pins into your blog post and there’s some technical stuff in there too and had great feedback from my beta testers . Hope you enjoyed this episode . It’s my first set of episodes it’s a bit scary and I’m really sorry if you feel like it was a big old sales pitch and I don’t expect you to go and buy the set too . I just really wanted to talk about Pinterest . So yeah thank you so so much for listening to the episode . I hope you enjoy the new format but next week I’ll be back with another interview so that’s exciting .
19.56 – 20.05 Please let me know either way. If you loved it or hated it by tweeting me or dropping me an Instagram DM. I’m Lucy Lucraft on both.
Last week’s post was UBER chunky so I’ve pared it back this week and I’m throwing out a simple letter that formed part of my monthly dispatches for my email list and Patreon subscribers.
Content warning: I chat about grief.
I’ve found this month to be really tough. In fact, May is the worst month for me because it’s a) my dad’s birthday and b) the anniversary of his death. I mean, he was nothing if not efficient I guess so…
But more than the annual foreboding sense I always feel coming into dead dad month (DDM for short) it’s been tricky on a few, less dramatic fronts.
It’s been a weird work month, with no course launch and minimal ‘big’ projects. Just a quiet ticking over of ‘passive’ income, which is what I always wanted but in reality can feel a little unnerving. When you aren’t ‘hustling’ hard, working all the hours or chasing invoices it almost feels like you haven’t earned it. Or something equally ridiculous.
I’ve worked less hours than EVER and earned the same amount. Some of this is because my overheads (aka nursery, and Teachable fees) went down. And some is due to the fact I’ve simply worked out how what works for me.
I have an analytical brain and my background is retail. In fact, my job description was this:
“Merchandisers ensure that products appear in the right store, or on a website, at the appropriate time and in the correct quantities. This involves working closely with the buying teams to accurately forecast trends, plan stock levels and monitor performance.”
Monitoring profit and managing budgets was my job for YEARS so it’s little wonder I’m obsessed by the profit margins of my own business.
I knew, in my gut, that freelance writing gave me the worst ROI but critically examining my income over the past six months (using Free Agent, btdubs) solidified that thought. I now pitch rarely…..and spend my time doing the things that bring me joy AND profit without sacrificing family time/my sanity.
Leaning into ease and walking the path of least resistance has been incredibly freeing for me. It’s infected other aspects of my work life too, and I no longer worry about sticking to a social media schedule preferring to post when I feel like it and focus my promotional efforts on Pinterest and email marketing instead.
And in my personal life, that looks like not feeling tied to a gazillion WhatsApp’ and Instagram groups and saying a firm no to those obligatory meetups you suffer through.
Life’s too short.
I don’t really know what the point of this diatribe was except to perhaps empower you to say no to the things that no longer serve you enough.
Choosing the path of least resistance can be pretty magical.
What are you struggling with right now? Is there an ‘easy’ path you are resisting?