12 Hour Photo Challenge

There's been many challenges I've set myself over the years for photography. My last challenge was a 365 day one - and whilst it served well for nearly 90 days, it fell apart around Feburary. (Whoops.)  But with my move to Darwin now looking like it's only 13 weeks away - I figured that I should really start to re-document what my life currently is like.  Enter the 12 Hour Photo Challenge.

In theory - it's pretty simple.  Take at least one photo every hour, for twelve hours.   As far as a photo challenge goes - I figured this would be one I could actually do.  Which, in fairness, I did - but by jeez. I nearly failed a few times.  It's actually really hard if you're not a super social person to continue taking photos throughout the day.  You'll see at the end that it's mainly just photos of Wally that keep popping up because I just there listening to my phone on the couch.


10AM - Start of the 12 Hour Photo Challenge


 

I may have chosen Saturday to do this challenge because I knew full well I was getting that Corona hair fixed. (Thanks Nat!)  Gonna be honest, absolutely looked like poop in the photos taken just before these ones as I woke up late (as usual.)


11AM


 


12PM


 

20200530_0087

1PM


 

20200530_0097-copy

2PM


 

20200530_0105

3PM


 


4PM


 


5PM


 


6PM


 


7PM


 


8PM


 


9PM


 

20200530_0642

10PM


 

20200530_0654

Hold up for a quick moment! This post contains some affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission for recommending the products featured. You're under no obligation to purchase these, nor are you charged any extra if you do decide you might like them! I do receive a small percentage of the sale if you use the links to help pay the bills.  Alright - back to our scheduled posting!

Behind the scenes:

I shoot with the Canon 6D + Sigma 50mm 1.4mm
I used the Camera Connect App + The R6 Remote + Manfrotto Tripod 

And edited using the Adobe Suite ♥


 

12 Hour Photo Challenge 1

I've gotta be honest - I really did love this photo challenge, even though it was super hard at times. Even uploading some of the photos I realised they weren't within the actual hour and had to go back to edit more.  I'd be excited to do more of these challenges over the next few weeks and months - and I think with everything that is going on with the world at the moment, documenting the little things is so, so important.

Let me know in the comments below if there's a particular photo you liked the most - or if there's a challenge you'd like to see me do.  Otherwise - if you'd like to join in with the photo challenge series, you can use the hashtag #ChallengeSGW on Instagram (and can follow me on there here!)

Stay safe everyone ♥

Clairesupersmall

May Results & June Blog Goals 2020

Hey hey!  This is a new type of post around these parts. I've goal set before but I haven't really focused too much on my stats.  I've taken up a bit of the analytic watching over the past few months, and I figured that y'know what? We're coming into the midway mark of the year. I've been focusing more and more on the blog over the past few months and being that it's still going to be a few more months until we start to look at going back to normal, why not?

The other thing as well of course that SGW was always meant to be a platform for honesty. So, if that means sharing the growth (or decline, pray be that's not the case) - then we'll do that too!

 

So without further ado-  the results of May:

May Results:

Twitter


Instagram Followers


Email Sign Ups


Affiliate Sales


DA


Pageviews


Pinterest


713 Followers


245 Followers


10


$0  (to be fair, I only started a week ago!)


4


2208


 


Impressions - 39.2k


Total Audience - 35.6k


Engagement - 1.3k


Engaged Audience - 1.1k


 

Woohoo! Look at me go learning about how to use columns! I'm so good at this.   I'm actually pretty proud of last month. Whilst I didn't have anything to officially say what I was at,  I know that my Pinterest was at like, 0 on everything, so that growth within a month was insane.  IG also grew by about 70 people, and Twitter grew about 50 odd.  As someone said on one of my tweets earlier,  growth is growth, no matter how small!

So what about next month's goals?  (Well. This month. As I slept through yesterday and totally didn't post this in time. Whoops.) Great question.  I figured that growth is still growth - but I really want to make Blogging eventually a full-time job.  So this month I'm focusing on acquisitions and affiliates, and growing my page views.  So here is June's goals.

June Goals:

Twitter


Instagram Followers


Email Sign Ups


Affiliate Sales


DA


Pageviews


Pinterest


800 Followers


325 Followers


30


$50


6


3000


 


Impressions - 50K


Total Audience - 50k


Engagement - 3k


Engaged Audience - 3k


 

And that's it for my May wind up and June goals!  I'll be back tomorrow with my personal goal wrap up (yay!) and I think I'll do a combined version of this next month.

What about yourself dear reader?  What are you focusing on this month?  Can we help each other at all?  Let me know in the comments!

If you want to connect on social media - you can find me on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram 

Clairesupersmall

Is a multi-niche blog for you?

When I first started out with blogging - I found one of the biggest stresses was trying to keep to a consistent theme.  If you can't remember that far back (which is fair enough) - originally I had intended on Short Girl Walking to be a fitness and weight loss inspo blog (We can all laugh collective together). Obviously this hasn't worked out, but it got me thinking. Is it possible to have a successful multi-niche blog and still be coherent, and importantly, keep readers coming back?

The answer was yes.

 


 

Hold up for a quick moment! This post contains some affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission for recommending the products featured. You're under no obligation to purchase these, nor are you charged any extra if you do decide you might like them! I do receive a small percentage of the sale if you use the links to help pay the bills.  Alright - back to our scheduled posting!

So how do you make a successful multi-niche blog?

An absolutely fantastic question and we're actually going to look at this question in reverse.

To start with, we first need to have a quick look at what this means for you - and where you are in your blogging journey.  If you've read my post about having a coherent blog - you'll notice that I mention that having too many subjects on your blog can really throw off an audience. Truthfully, I'm not about to tell you differently here.  There is absolutely a fine line between having a blog that talks about a different range of subjects that you'll keep coming back to vs a blog that's really a hot mess.

 


 

Are you in month 0-4 of your blogging journey?

I would suggest if you're only just starting out in your blog (As in, months 0-4 of officially launching) - stick with your chosen blog niche until you start getting into a regular posting pattern.  You'll continue to build up your base over this time, and can then start branching out.  Why do I think this is important, rather than diving into the deep end straight away?  Number one is to be able to create your blog identity. Number two, it gives you time to test out if blogging is right for you. Number three, blogging and writing is much like photography (aka, your first 10000 photos are going to be your worst.)

I don't expect you to write 10k blog posts in 4 months, but having a bit of structure before you start writing about everything under the sun will allow you to get used to what style you're wanting out of your blog, and practice the other little things that go into making a blog post.

 

This isn't to say however that this is the time to not be planning ahead.  There is no reason that you can't already have a vision in your head (or paper!) about what direction you want your blog to go in.  Let me be honest, there's a really high possibility it might not be what you originally anticipated!

 


 

Are you 4+ months into your blogging journey, and have at least 8-10 posts created?

I know a number of people will disagree with the timing, and that you should really start branching out more after about twelve months. I disagree.  Unless you're ready to 100% commit to a one niche blog (doing only fashion, DIY tips, etc) - then around the four-month mark, if you're like me, you're going to get bored.  Blogging is SUPER fun, and I think having this super restrictive timeline of 12+ months is kinda crazy.

The great news is that if you've got those 8-10 posts already curated, there's a couple of things that happen:

    1. You've got posts to deep-link back to (Google LOVES this.)
    2. As mentioned above, you've already got a rhythm going on what you're writing
    3. Hopefully, you've now established a bit of an audience and can start asking for opinions on what to write about
    4. There's also a strong likelihood that when you were doing the posts that other post ideas started popping up and you've got them saved as a future idea in a draft folder somewhere
    5. You already have posts that you can expand on!

Need to some inspo to update your blog? Check out these amazing pre-built templates for WordPress
Loading Preview...
Powered by Creative Market
Loading Preview...
Powered by Creative Market
Loading Preview...
Powered by Creative Market
Loading Preview...
Powered by Creative Market

 

Having a non-micro niche blog is not a get out of structure jail for free card.

Just because you've now got a lot more freedom to post about different topics, doesn't mean you can get lazy. You absolutely should have an over-arching theme of what you're wanting to achieve across all of your blog posts. In some ways, this actually makes it more difficult to have a blog where you are actually writing about different things.  It's once again taking a step back and thinking, what exactly am I trying to achieve with each post? How does this relate to what I want my readers to take away from my blog?

 

There is such a thing of over-complicating your blog.

 

Key things to remember when starting to add more category subjects:

    1. You need to be conscious of SEO: Your keywords may not fit every category!
    2. Your Tone of Voice still needs to remain consistent in all your posts
    3. Everything still needs to tie together in some capacity across the whole blog

 

 


 

Micro vs Multi-Niche - Which Should I Do?

There's a lot of arguments for and against having a multi-niche blog. I can't begin to tell you the number of hours and stress that it caused me when I first started out blogging, to feel that I had to have a specific blog type to be successful.  Once I realised the notion this wasn't the case, and I had free reign for what I wanted my blog to be - I became a lot more invested in what I was doing. I was more than happy to do more research, write more posts, do more graphics. This compared to dragging my feet through the dirt on topics I didn't really care for anymore was a game-changer.

This said - you might be better suited for a niche blog or a micro-niche blog.  In another example - I'm also a photographer, and I used to have a dedicated blog for tips and tricks for doing better photography on a budget.  This then made no sense to add extra topics about things that weren't related to that particular niche.

There is a benefit of doing smaller niches in that you are competing with fewer people (theoretically), but you can also tend to shoebox yourself in if you want to later expand.

 


 

The best things to do to have a successful multi-niche blog

 

    1.  Plan out your content in advance, and make sure your posts continue to link to your over-arching theme
    2.  Research your potential future categories, and consider combining category posts until it's ready to have its own separate one
    3.  Make sure you have an actual interest in the topic you're writing about - Don't just create a category or blog post just because you feel like you have to
    4. Don't be afraid to ask your readers what they want to see from you
    5. If your goal is to eventually make a profit on your blog - are you able to think of how affiliate marketing or ads will be able to carry across your different posts?
    6. Remember to space your blog posts out.  For example, have a "Travel Thursdays" or "Fitness Fridays", it will give your readers who might be more partial to one part of your blog than another to see what they want to read.
    7. Consider whether you may actually be suited a niche, or micro-niche blog. If you're finding that you're going too over the place with your posts - it might be time to re-evaluate.
    8. Remember to still ask for sign-ups for your newsletter!
    9. Don't be afraid to reach out to others to ask for collaborations or guest posts
    10. Have fun!  Experiment with your style, and remember your readers will continue to follow you for your writing, as long as it's consistent writing style!
multi niche blogging tips 1

Wrap up time!

I personally love having the flexibility of a multi-niche blog.  It gives me the opportunity to go and explore my many different hobbies and interests, and I no longer feel that I have to be bogged down sticking to one thing, and one thing only.  There are a lot of bloggers out there that are very successful in having multi-niche blogs, and there's absolutely no reason you can't be one of them.

 

Let me know in the comments below what you're struggling with at the moment with your blogging goals?  Are you getting stuck on finding a niche?  Or trying to break out from it?  Or let me know if you found this helpful!

 

Clairesupersmall

Weight Gain: My Current Struggle

Look.  I know most of us have had some form of unwanted weight gain during the last few months. It was really to be expected.  We went from having gyms and parks open - to being told: "Don't leave your house."  This was rough, y'know?  If you've been following my journey for a little bit - I was just starting to get back into the gym so I could lose some kilos for my trip to Bali.  My end goal though was to get back and be like BAM. Let's do this and just smash out some super amazing weight loss and fitness goals.

 

But, I knew that I was expecting to gain a little bit of weight. I was (am?) stress eating. I haven't left the house. I hate walking. I despise running. Saying that - I went and bought like $100 worth of gym stuff. There's kettlebells, free weights, resistance bands, exercise balls - LIKE, SO MUCH STUFF, so I could have at least the things I do actually love doing there and ready to go.

 

Do you think I've opened any of it?
Ha. No.

The first issue I saw with weight gain

I wasn't really phased too much in April. I knew some clothes were getting a little tighter.  At one point I thought that I might've actually been pregnant (not the case.)  I could live with that though.  A little weight gain = a little more effort to getting rid of it.

The issues really started popping up though when I saw my health was getting compromised. My right knee keeps threatening to pop up.  I struggle standing up when I'm sitting on the floor.  The clothes that were a little tight are now digging into my skin or just won't do up at all.

Over the last few days, I've noticed a significant drop in my mental health.  Instead of being super chipper like I've been aiming so hard to be,  food has taken over and I've felt like a potato.  I like potatoes, don't get me wrong.  They turn into chips, and vodka, and baked potatoes - but I don't necessary like feeling like one.

See: these were taken today - and I'm not unhappy. Just not AS happy as I think I could be.

As I quite often do - I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. I preach as much as possible that one should love their body - no matter what stage it's currently at.  On the same token though, I think when you're in a situation where you are physically uncomfortable, and you're noticing that your actual health is getting impacted - that focusing on making the best you that you can be, overrides that. It's not to say I don't love myself. I absolutely do. I just don't like the way that I feel, and that it's projecting outwards.

 

So after having this revelation last night, and also have read Bec's post on a very similar subject - I've decided that I'm going to start a 3-month journey into getting rid of this weight gain from isolation.   I actually started today by making sure I went for a walk around my streets when Wally brought his lead to me (an actual deal we made like six months ago when I was trying to teach him that lead = leaving the house.)  I admittedly haven't really followed through on that, so that's one of the biggest things I'll be doing.

 


 

My 8 Goals For The Next 3 Months:

    1. Fit back into the clothes I was wearing 2 months ago
    2. Do at least one strength exercise set per week
    3. Try to do one walk every day
    4. Start keeping an eye on food intake
    5. Restrict take-away food to once per week (twice if it's "healthy") 
    6. Up water intake to 2L
    7. Decrease coffee intake to 1 cup of coffee in the morning
    8. Increase green tea intake

 

How about yourself, dear reader?  I've created the #ShortPalProject on Facebook to have a community of people who are looking for daily positivism and uplifting content.  The exclusive Facebook group will be launched later this week.  For more details - you can follow me over on Twitter ♥

 


 

Let me know in the comments how you're going at the moment. Remember, as always, it's okay to be not okay - and if you are okay - that's even better!  Until next time,

 

Clairesupersmall

The Reality of Now: Nine Weeks In

I'm going to be super honest - I actually started writing this post about five weeks ago, but never quite got around to finishing it. I was fuming at the time, and no-one really wants to read about an angry Claire. (Maybe you do? Let me know in the comments?)  I've cooled down a significant amount, however, one thing hasn't changed.  The reality of now has not changed. Being stuck in a Long Distance Relationship in 2020 is ridiculously hard.

 

I'm not saying that it's the hardest thing in the world. I'm pretty confident my appendix bursting eight years ago was probably tougher than this, but it's not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Throw back to Bali in March before the world went into chaos
Throw back to Bali in March before the world went into chaos

"It's just really strange, y'know? Normally by this stage, we'd have our next holiday all booked but it's just not even on the radar this time around."

 

This was one of the hardest statements to come out of my mouth when I left Darwin back in March.  It's been nine weeks today since I boarded the plane back to Tasmania.  This has gone fast. The issue stands that at current, the plan for me to move is another fourteen weeks away, which means we're not even halfway through this process. I'm frustrated, and annoyed, and coping the best I can given the circumstances.

Do I sometimes wish that I just stayed put when the call to return to our home states occurred? Yep, absolutely.  The reality of now still stands that I didn't do that.  I chose to come home, and whilst I don't regret doing that (couldn't leave Wally behind, hey?) - it sucks to think that it's going to take so long to get back.  There's something comforting in the fact you've got someone to go back to every day - even if it's just to share a coffee with, or a cuddle when you're sad.  It's very humbling to know that you've got that option out there - but it's well out of reach.

In the wise words of Katrina,  "Bad times are just times that are bad."
I'm trying to remember eventually this time will end.  That we will be able to move forward and each day that we trudge through is another closer to what I'm looking for.  I'm still entirely grateful that we're still really in a good spot - and whilst it sucks, it's livable. We could have it worse.  It doesn't make the situation any easier - but it's always better to look at silver linings, right?

Clairesupersmall

(Guest Post) The Balancing Act, How One Mom Juggles Work and Family

We love hearing people's stories and invite amazing people around the world to guest post.  The images have been provided by Carla for use on this blog.  The cover photo is from Prateek Katyal on Unsplash.

Hello Lovelies,

 

Claire has so graciously lent me her platform to share with you all some insight on working from home. First, to introduce myself, my name is Carla! I am a 30-year-old creative and adventurous spirit. I like to describe myself as a linguist, blogger and entrepreneur. I spend my time learning new languages, completing my 2nd BA, running my business, and of course caring for my family. I am a wife and a mother to my recently turned 5-year-old rambunctious daughter.

 

Due to the pandemic situation, like most of you, we are all confined to our home in quarantine. Prior to COVID -19 I had been working remotely from home for nearly 2 years. Two years ago after much time and reflection, I left my stressful corporate job behind in pursuit of more flexible contract positions. When I first started freelancing it was very hard. I had miscalculated my anticipated income and our budget took a major hit. I did extensive research and applied for jobs with clients all day every day. I even briefly went back to work in a physical office setting to help make ends meet.

During this process of searching for clients and getting rejected for jobs, I learned that contract work can be very risky if you do not secure consistent longterm clients. After a year of flopping around in the deep end, I secured 2 longterm clients which now generate 2 streams of business income. I finally feel a bit more secure with my self-employment. This brings us to where I am today.

 

Carla Stone image

The first 2 weeks of working from home during the pandemic was a chaotic hot mess. At first, my husband and I both tried to work during daytime hours and keep our daughter occupied. We quickly learned that this would not work for us longterm. Now that we are into week 6 or 7, we employ a shift schedule and alternate caring for our daughter. Our schedule looks a bit more like the following:

 

post illustration pic jpg

7 am

Both my spouse and I wake up. I retreat to my upstairs office with a coffee in hand and work until 11am or until my daughter wakes up. My husband logs in and works from his basement office. We each have separate and defined workspaces.

 

11am-4pm

I watch my daughter, we do approximately 1-2 pages from a workbook for school, we water our outdoor garden, she plays outside, eats lunch and watches a show. At most my daughter works 10-15 minutes in a workbook. That is what her attention span can handle. If I feel a tantrum coming on or I see that she starts to get frustrated, we take a break. I let her know that she has the option to cool down and then we can return to it later. I also incorporate outdoor learning. Every day we complete our outdoor observations where she notes the weather and temperature. She observes if it's cloudy, sunny, warm or cold. She has this awesome magnetic calendar by Melissa and Doug that she fills in every day with the day of the week, current month, weather, etc.

 

4pm-11pm

My husband gets off work and we rotate. He handles dinner, usually puts on a movie, and keeps takes care of our daughter and the dog for the rest of the evening.

 

Our schedule is not foolproof and often I get burned out working in the evenings. I also miss the opportunity to have family time after work. I am always adjusting my schedule and testing out different things to learn what works best for us. Recently I discovered that I can do some tasks with my daughter in my office if she is sufficiently entertained. When she has her iPad and headphones, I can actually work for about 1-2 hours.

 

With two working parents and young children in the house, there is no magic formula to have a smooth-running day. My number one piece of advice is to acknowledge that we are literally being tasked with completing the impossible. There is a reason that teachers, nannies, and childcare services exist as occupations. There are amazing individuals gifted with discernment and knowledge to enrich young minds. The act of homeschooling, caregiving, and working a full-time job is actually 3 jobs in one. For this reason, do not feel bad or guilty if some days you crash and burn. We have our new routine and a new sense of normal.

 

Do your best and give God (or the universe ) the rest. You can get through this and you are not alone.

 

-Carla, Author of My Soul Venture Blog

 

You can follow Carla on:
Her Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Are you looking to submit a guest post?  Now accepting submissions for travel, mental health & food-related posts.  Please send me a query through the contact me form for more info.

Not pregnant at 28?

I'm looking down at the electronic test kit, killing time in that awkward three-minute wait before you get the "yes you are!" or, "no you're not pregnant!" results.   When I started to look online last night at the different types of test kits out there - I figured I'd bypassed the days of trying to decipher whether or not there were two lines on the stick, or if that was just a random smudge in the second window.

Sod it, I went. I'll just get the fancier version and go digital.

Depending on who's view you're looking at - I've been pretty fortunate. I've only ever had to do five of these tests before.  The first one was after my first time in college, and I nearly vomited in trepidation of waiting for the results.   There's a possibility that I may have fainted.  It came back negative.

The likelihood on each occasion has always been pretty low. I've been on some form of birth control for over half of my life.  I started with the pill when I was 12.  I'm now 28, and out of that period of time, there was only three months where I wasn't on something.  There was a great deal of time where I had no interest in ever falling pregnant. If I could just stay, y'know, not pregnant, forever - that'd be great. I'd considered asking how you get your inner bits out.

 

I look back down at the test.  The little clock is still flashing, and I'm guessing that it means it's considering whether or not it just wants to extend the anxiety out any further.   Realistically - it's a terrible time. If it is the case - it'd mean I'd be well into the 8-week mark.  It'd explain the bloating, and the SUPER amount of tiredness over the last few weeks.  Also the random increase in my boob size and why the sudden nauseous was rocking up at 4 am. (It wasn't like I went online and cross-checked symptoms or anything.)

But then, how absolutely inconvenient would that be?  Darwin's still another four months away at least, and that'd be put me at six months if that was the case? Are you even allowed to travel at six months? Nor would you realistically want to be on a plane for like five+ hours I wouldn't imagine.  Not to mention trying to find a house, and relocation costs and just -

The clock face flashes to a No. 

But I don't feel relieved. I almost feel a little sad. This wasn't the reaction I was expecting.  Maybe I'm maturing.  Maybe this is the part where I actually start growing up.   Being 28 and not pregnant is something that I didn't ever think I'd be concerned about, or would start to place thought into.  But here we are.  And I'm quite confused.

Clairesupersmall