7 Simple Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Home

We’re already 11 days into 2018...what the?! How are you going with your resolutions for the new year? If you’ve been spending time with me on Instagram, you’ll know I’m not really into making them, but more about choosing themes that resonate with me. I’ve noticed a lot of people choosing a word to focus on for the year, which I love the idea of.

No matter your style - resolution, theme, word or ‘no thanks’ - this post may interest you. See, refreshing your home ties into many facets of your life. If you work from home, as I do, it helps to keep me interested and motivated. If you’re home with young children, you’re spending an awful lot of time in the same space; change is not quite as good as a holiday, but it helps! Making small adjustments around your home can help you to move out of a rut, look at an issue in a new way or simply make you feel calmer or more positive.

Here are 7 super-simple and affordable ways to make your home your sanctuary in 2018.

Rearrange the furniture

This one will cost you nothing (except if you get carried away and purchase new things, for which I won’t be held responsible). Rearranging my room was one of my favourite things to do as a teenager. It often really impacted the energy or vibe of the space. I’m no feng shui expert, but you could incorporate a few tips through some basic research on the interwebs.

Incorporate plants or greenery

If you've been following for a while on socials, you'll know I struggle to keep plants alive. This is why I have a mix of real and really convincing faux plants and flowers in my home. My pick of hard-to-kill plants right now are the aluminium plant, aloe vera and the humble fern.

Replace cushions or cushion covers

I used to have to justify this one to my husband, but now he’s totally on board. Changing the cushions has awesome room-updating potential. Plus, it’s waaay cheaper than replacing the couch.

New bed linen

Or, my favourite lazy option, wash and air dry the linen on a good drying day. There’s nothing like the feeling of fresh sheets. (Also, when did I start talking exactly like my mother? Eeep!)

Clear the kitchen bench

Take everything off the bench that you don’t use every day. Find an alternative home for it. If there is none, question whether you still need it.

De-clutter

We’ve moved house twice in the past 14 months (yes, fools) so I’ve done this step a few times recently. Gosh, it’s such a great cleansing activity. Go through any serious-clutter areas in your home, such as wardrobes and toy baskets every six months and be ruthless. I pass quality items on to charity and good friends as part of this process, which ups the feel-good factor.

Visual happiness

This may mean art, pictures, your child’s artwork or photos of family and friends. There’s no right or wrong way to display things as long as they bring you joy.

Tell me, what are your tricks to instantly refresh a home? I’d love to know, so I can try them out.

P.S. Now that your home is refreshed, are you keen to refresh your business message for the new year? I can help with that too. Be in touch to see what a copywriter can do for you in 2018.

copywriter-and-content-creator

The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas

You know you should be blogging. And I know you know it.

But, why? I hear you ask. I’m so busy with everything else. I totally get you.

Ok, so first the why. Blogging can establish you as an authority in your industry, help you to build an audience of potential customers or clients, and it’s also great for SEO. Depending on your industry, your blog can also act as a portfolio. For instance, potential clients can quickly get a sense of my writing style by reading my blog.

But who has the energy to come up with content ideas all the time? Even fortnightly blogging comes around very quickly, I can tell you!

So let me help.

This list of 11 ideas is readily adaptable to your industry, and flexible enough to suit your unique tone - whether that’s more serious or light and humorous. Each blog post idea also offers a WHY - the benefit for your readers. Ultimately, it’s them you are writing for and their time is precious.

When it comes to crafting the post, make sure you always create a strong headline to engage your readers, using a ‘hook’ that relates to your topic. Try not to be too clever or obscure! Numbers can work well to grab the attention of readers, such as 10 Instagram Accounts You Need to be Following. Bam!

I really hope you enjoy using this list of ideas, and I’m sure it will spur you on to create many more of your own.

 

A day in the life of...your profession.

Help your readers - potential clients and customers - learn more about you and what your typical day looks like.

Bust myths about your profession.

Assist your readers to understand more about what you do work-wise, and perhaps helps them overcome any blocks they might have about using your product or services.

Quick tips about small business.

Establish yourself as someone your readers trust and appreciate. Tips could be anything from how to make over a LinkedIn profile, to how to stay organised for tax time. Just think - what could simplify life for a small business owner just like you?

How to survive the first year in business.

This piece could be either humorous or serious, while providing practical advice for readers.

Instagram accounts or bloggers to follow.

Provide your readers with new inspiration, resources and networks.

Podcasts to listen to.

Position yourself as someone who shares useful resources. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like an authority or an expert! You have something worth sharing.

Music that motivates or inspires you.

Reveal more about yourself, while broadening the interests of your readers. After all, who doesn’t want to feel more motivated or inspired?

Networking tips or tricks.

Give your readers valuable advice about an aspect of business that scares the pants off some people.

A product or service review.

Review a business resource, cafe, restaurant, playground - you name it. Help readers to learn more about what interests you, while perhaps introducing them to a new product or service.

What I wish I knew when I was starting out.

Position yourself as someone who shares resources and good advice freely with others.

Teach your readers something.

The ‘something’ doesn’t need to strictly relate to your business, but make sure it’s helpful information.

Happy blogging!

P.S. If blogging still sounds too scary - or time consuming - just shout! I'll happily craft any blog posts you need.

blogger-copywriter-content-creator-melbourne

Andrea Drake - Fitness & Wellness Superstar

Andrea Drake is a real dynamo. Not only is she an accomplished Physical Education secondary teacher who leads a department, she is the inspiration behind Melbourne Fitness Diaries (MFD). Ange runs this group to empower women to take control of their fitness, strength and wellbeing. She operates with passion and infectious enthusiasm, and genuine joie de vivre. I should know - she's my trainer and, my oh my, she's good! 

I admire Ange as a businesswoman and wanted to know more about what makes her tick and how words factor in to her work. I know you will enjoy getting to know Ange and MFD.

How important are the right words?

The right words are incredibly important when trying to engage, motivate and support members of my community to be the best versions of themselves.

Nutrition science can also be so complicated. My role is to make this information accessible, simple to understand and easy to follow for my clients. There is so much content on the internet, particularly in social media feeds, that promotes fitness and nutrition advice. Unfortunately not all of this content is credible, which can create confusion for the girls I work with.

When counselling clients through sticky points in their lives or writing health and lifestyle articles, I can’t go on faith alone. My words reflect proven systems and science because my clients’ success and happiness depends on me doing my job properly.

What gets you up in the morning?

Passion. I feel so blessed to have found a career that enables me to have such a positive impact on other people's lives. From a personal perspective, I see the start of each day as an opportunity to be challenged, to grow, learn and become the best version of myself.

What led you to your current career choice?

I have always been active. Growing up in country Victoria, I played a lot of sport and spent a lot of time outside. I have always had a passion for human movement, which led me to complete my Bachelor of Education, specialising in Physical Education.

After a few years in teaching, I realised that many of my friends and family were looking to me for fitness or health advice. Getting my certification in Fitness was the best decision I could have made. As soon as I began working in the fitness industry, I fell in love with exercise programming, creating and sharing nutritional plans, and working specifically with women.

What are the most effective ways you market your business?

Word of mouth and client referrals continue to be the best way to market myself. I am incredibly fortunate that my community of girls are so supportive of Melbourne Fitness Diaries and of me.

Facebook has revolutionised the marketing world. I use Facebook advertising to find girls outside my training community who have similar interests. I have been really successful in using this method to recruit girls into my 28-Day Intro Challenge.

How has the landscape of your industry changed since you began?

Technology, social media and the plethora of apps available has transformed the fitness industry over the last 5 years. You don't have to look very far to find a cheap online gym program that will be sent to your inbox faster than it takes to put your gym clothes on. While this could be seen to be putting fitness professionals out of business, nothing could be further from the truth.

People will always value the ability to connect with a professional and a community, with research suggesting this supports individuals reaching their health and fitness goals. Apps, such as MyFitnessPal, Fitbit and RunKeeper, help to increase client accountability to set behavioural goals.

I use technology every day to help me stay connected with my community, via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and blogging (Wordpress). I also use the online training system Trainerize for online clients and Hootsuite to help me schedule posts.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to other freelancers/small business owners?

Be patient. It takes time to develop systems and learn new things. It can become overwhelming when you look at individuals who have 'made it', have a great website, loads of followers and testimonials. It takes time to build a great brand. You are running your own race, so take your time, know what you are about and trust your gut instinct.

Why should people working in any industry prioritise their health and fitness? How does it help you to work smarter?

For a long time, I thought exercise was about helping you to 'look better'. As I have grown in the industry, my training style has changed based on what works for me and letting go of ego. You don't need to be a maniac and train every day to get results.

Training and eating well gives me clarity and a sense of calm. When my body feels good, so does my mind. In a world where we are all so busy, taking time out for yourself is the best form of self care you can commit to.

To learn more about MFD and Ange's approach to training, visit Melbourne Fitness Diaries.

To give yourself more time for fitness and wellness, consider outsourcing your copywriting!

ange-drake-melbourne-fitness-diaries-trainer

Book Review - Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur by Kate Toon

I first came along Kate Toon back in 2016 when I was still summoning up the courage to call myself a copywriter, despite already taking on clients. I was doing a lot of research to try and educate myself about the industry and current trends, when I discovered the gold nugget that is the ‘Hot Copy’ podcast. This podcast about all things copywriting is hosted by Kate and her partner-in-crime Belinda Weaver. I related instantly to these two because they are natural, no-frills presenters who speak honestly about the peaks and troughs of copywriting and freelance life.

Gradually over the months that followed, I continued to listen. I began to understand and relate to much of the content, and to take on board advice offered by the pair. I also started to tell people who asked what I did, I’m a copywriter. Eeep, scary! But, of course, nobody argued with me. Instead they wanted to know more about my work.

Flash forward to the middle of this year, with my business Instagram and website up and running, and my portfolio of work building. I even took the bold step of purchasing accounting software. No matter what I did though, I just didn’t quite feel like a small business owner, whatever that was supposed to feel or be like.

Enter Kate Toon again with her book Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur.

Kate has written a book about small business and freelance life that is unlike any other business book I’ve ever clapped my eyes on. She is brutally honest about what the process was like for her and how many ‘rules’ she broke along the way. Kate’s book is divided into chapters, each of which tackles a popular entrepreneurial myth. She responds to each in turn, blasting some out of the water and compromising where others are concerned. I found it so refreshing to hear about someone’s unconventional journey.

Kate’s style is wry and humorous at times, and she tells it likes she means it. Whilst I don’t relate to all aspects of her story - (Um, I don’t have three burgeoning business just yet! I also can’t work in my pyjamas because it just doesn't feel right) - I found it a real page-turner. Kate’s tone is natural, relatable, and definitely no-nonsense. One of the best pieces of advice she offers is to stop comparing yourself to other people and she has a great point. Since finishing the book, I’ve curbed my Insta-stalking, focusing on being me and doing my own thing, without worrying so much about what others think.

I would recommend this book to freelancers or small business owners, or even those with an inkling they might like to venture down this path. I finished the book feeling more positive and knowing there’s more than one way of achieving small business success.

To learn more about me and how I do business in my own way, click here.

book-review-kate-toon

7 freelancing locations to mix up your workday

I was staggered to learn recently that freelancers now make up around a third of the Australian workforce. Although, perhaps I needn’t have been so surprised. Having recently joined the ranks as a freelance copywriter, I can certainly attest to the benefits of the lifestyle. I am my own boss and the hours are more flexible which suits my young family. Things can get a little lonely though, especially when you’re used to a bustling office or workplace. You may need to mix up where you work not only to stay motivated and inspired, but to keep company with other like-minded folk. My desk is the kitchen table, which makes me very portable. When I need a change of scene, I just pack up my laptop and planner and off I go. Coworking spaces are brilliant if you’re seeking a community of freelancers and creatives to work alongside, but there are plenty of other alternative spaces that might work for you.

Need focus?

Try a library! All libraries have different vibes, with some offering lovely views and even indoor/outdoor spaces. Explore your local neighbourhood or head to your state library for an environment that is reliably calm and aids concentration.

Hunting for inspiration?

Look no further than a cafe for excellent people watching and fascinating conversation snippets. Select one where the atmosphere and playlist suit your work style and, if you’re going to settle in, try to choose a quieter time of day. Pop onto a communal table or bench and order a meal or at least a couple of drinks to maintain a good relationship with the staff.

Errands to run?

It’s a freelance work day but the errands won’t run themselves. Leave the car at home and catch a tram or train instead, using that time to work productively. If you miss out on a seat, pop on a podcast to motivate you and use your Trello board or planner to help you organise the day ahead.

Craving collaboration?

Loads of coworking spaces are popping up all over the place - pick one that suits your vibe and try it for a day. If you need to put your head down, others will understand. If you want to chat or need a break, there will be people happy to oblige!

The great outdoors your thing?

A local park might just be the thing you need if it’s a lovely day. The best part? You can stay as long as you like.

Fancy some motivation?

Remember the good old days of group school projects? Camping out at a friend’s place in the afternoon made work so much more fun and the work got done with minimal fuss. Bring nibbles or coffee and try working side by side at someone else’s house. It may just be the productivity nudge you need.

Got the travel bug?

Take a workation! On Instagram recently, I saw a snap of a bunch of freelancing creative types who took themselves off for a couple of days and rented a house to work. This idea ticks so many boxes - change of scenery, collaboration, motivation, inspiration. I’m yet to try this idea but I think it sounds fantastic.

To make sure you get all the latest from the blog plus my newsletter-only tips, take a moment to sign up now.

freelance-outdoor-writing-location