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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

My Tips For Improving Your DA...

If you're a blogger then it's very likely you've heard of DA, whether you properly understand it or not is another matter. It wasn't really until 2017 that I really started to take my blog seriously and read up on it and what it meant for my blog. In that time I've managed to up my DA to 27 which I'm pretty proud of given that in summer 2016 it was only 3. I'm not an expert by any means and I've read lots of other fabulous posts on DA which I'll leave a link to at the end of this post but I thought I would share a few of my tips and explain how I did it.
improving DAFirst of all if you're reading this thinking, what the hell is she on about, your DA is your Domain Authority. This is a score that estimates how well your blog/wesbite ranks on search engines like Google and as far as I know, the higher your score (up to 100) the better. You can check your DA here on MOZ. So when I first checked my DA in the summer of 2016 I saw it was only 3 but given that I hadn't really worked on improving it or had even considered what SEO was, I couldn't really complain. Since then I've been making several changes to my blog to try and up it and gradually it's gone up, and even though I know it could still be better and I'm sure there are many bloggers with higher DA's than me, I'm proud of what it's at. There are lots of things that affect your DA which I've listed below but sometimes even things that can't helped like how long ago you started your blog can affect it, building it up does take time and it's not something that can be fixed overnight unfortunately so be prepared to work at it for a while. 

1. Check For Broken Links - I think this is the thing that has really helped with my DA over the last year or so. It wasn't until reading a post from the lovely Emmy once, that I realised I had never checked my broken links. As I started my blog in 2014 and didn't see this post until 2017, you can imagine I had a load of links to go through and change. I remember it literally took me days and it was something I had to keep going back to because it drove me mad. There were so many links to clothing items and beauty bits that were no longer available so those links were going nowhere, therefore affecting my DA. I now make sure I check my broken links AT LEAST once a month just so I can properly keep on top of it and get any links changed before MOZ (the site where you can check your DA) updates.

2. Guest Posting - I haven't done this quite as much as I would have liked but over the last year or so I've been making more of an effort to put myself forward for guest posts on other peoples blogs. Doing this and having a link to your blog within the post, means a whole new audience may come over to read more of your blog posts, and having that link from another blog really helps with DA. I think I've done about 3 or 4 guest posts, and not only does help towards your DA, it's a great way of interacting with other bloggers.

3. Quality Content - I suppose this is an obvious one but your content really is so important if you want to improve your DA. When I first started my blog I did quite short blog posts and looking back now, it's no wonder my DA never went up. I found out last year that most bloggers tend to go for at least 300 words per post, though there isn't really a proper recommended amount. Some do around 300, some 500, some 1000+. I'm a bit of a talker so a lot of my posts now end up being quite long but I have no doubt that has helped. It's also quite important to have some sort of routine with it, because if you only post once a month or so, your score is going to be much lower than someone that posts everyday. Also of course spelling and grammar are very important so always go over your posts before publishing.

4. Link Back To Older Posts - Again something else I only started really doing last year but something that I am so conscious of now. I used to unintentionally link to older posts every so often whereas now I really try to get at least one link to an older post in each blog post. I link posts that I think are relevant or similar, and for example if I'm mentioning a foundation I love in a post, I'll include a link to my review of that product. Doing this keeps people on your blog for longer and the more posts they read, the better. It will show your consistent and have relevant content so this is a big must I think.

5. Comment On Other Blogs - I absolutely love commenting on other blogs and it's something I've done really since I started blogging. Now I know the importance of it though because not only is it just a really nice thing to do, leaving a link to your blog helps improve your score. Don't just link drop, leave a genuine comment that shows you've read the post and then end it with your link. I tend to end my comments with 'Tiffany x www.foodandotherloves.co.uk'.

6. Share Your Content - I know it's a bit of a pain to schedule tweets, in fact I've said several times it's the bane of my life because it can take so much time but sharing your content really does help for many reasons. With all of my blog posts now after I've pressed publish, I share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Bloglovin and then sometimes Instagram and Insta Stories. This gets your posts out there to so many other people and it may also mean they share it on their platforms too and this all helps to build your DA.

I hope these tips help you if you're wanting to increase your DA score. These are really the only basic things I've done over the last year to up it to something I'm proud of but there are other things you can do too like optimising images and formatting your posts (things I need to work on next). All of these things really do work so definitely give them a try if you haven't yet! For more advice these are a few blog posts from other bloggers that I think are really helpful!

Chloe // Emmy // Jordanne

Do you have any tips for increasing DA? Anything particular you have done that's worked?

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Monday, 15 January 2018

2017 Film Watch List Continued...

In May last year I did a post all about the films I'd seen at the cinema during the first five months or so of 2017. It's now time for me to talk about the rest of the films I've watched since then as we're into 2018 already and I want to start again and do the same thing this year. As me and George have unlimited cards we go to the cinema quite a lot and end up seeing so many different things! I definitely think we saw more in the second half of the year, and the majority of them were actually really good too so I'd been really looking forward to writing this up.
2017 cinema watch list
Colossal - This was a bit of a strange one and really didn't end how I expected it too! It stars Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis who I'm a really big fan of and the story is actually really interesting as it's so out there. There is a giant creature of some sort that is destroying Seoul, South Korea and over time we see that Gloria (Anne Hathaway's character) is somehow connected to it and she ends up sort of going to war a little bit with someone she thinks is a really good friend. It was definitely a weird one and I'm not sure I'd be in a hurry to watch it again but I'm glad I saw it as it's not usually my sort of film.

Baywatch - I went into this film not really expecting much but I ended up absolutely loving it! Most people I imagine will know of Baywatch so I'm sure you can guess it wasn't a serious film but just a really lighthearted comedy that was really easy to watch. It stars The Rock who I kind of love a little bit and also Zac Efron and I actually really liked all of the characters. It's definitely one I'd watch again and would buy on DVD at some point. I kind of hope they make another.

My Cousin Rachel - This was definitely more of a serious film and nothing like most of the others. I was so intrigued by this for months. After first seeing the trailer I knew I had to go and see it and it didn't let me down. It stars Sam Claflin who plays a young Englishman plotting revenge against his late cousin's wife. He believes she is responsible for his death and I have to admit it does look like that throughout the film, but we're never really told whether he was right or not. Even though he's convinced she's evil and a murderer, he also kind of falls for her in a weird way and is under her spell, only making things even more complicated. In the end we're left to make our own decision, was she evil or just misunderstood? I go back and forth on the answer a lot but I highly recommend watching it.

The House - Will Ferrell is just my favourite so any film with him in, I tend to like. For our 6 year anniversary we went for a meal and then went to see this and it was a really funny film. Definitely not the best thing ever but I didn't expect it to be. Aswell as Will Ferrell, it also stars Amy Poehler who plays his wife, and together their characters decide to open an underground casino with a neighbour so they can raise money for their daughters scholarship. Of course plenty of things go wrong and nothing is straightforward but it's definitely a funny, lighthearted film, perfect for a Friday night.

Spiderman Homecoming - Action sort of films like this aren't usually my sort of thing but I really wanted to see the new Spiderman one and it didn't disappoint. Tom Holland was brilliant and I think he was brilliant for the role. It had a great story, great characters and had me hooked all the way through. I can't wait for more in the future.

Annabelle Creation - I love a good horror film. There have been quite a few come out recently but we've not managed to see many which is so annoying as I usually really enjoy them! I find with some horrors though they just don't stay in the cinema for long so it can be tricky trying to find a time to go. I've been a fan of The Conjuring films for a while, I think they are so good and the first Annabelle film which is part of that series was so creepy and had such a good storyline, so I really couldn't wait for this one. Like the first, it was genuinely really creepy and scary and I was definitely a little terrified that night going to sleep! I think the whole series of films is great and I already can't wait for the next one which I think is all about the nun from the second conjuring film.

IT - Another horror and one that has kind of stuck in my mind a little ever since! I'm not the biggest fan of clowns anyway but this reminded me just how scary they can be. I loved the group of kids in the film because they were genuinely hilarious. So many little jokes and one liners and they were all really great actors, especially Finn Wolfhard who is also in Stranger Things. I'd never seen the original IT so I had no expectations really but I was really impressed and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do in the next one.

Kingsman The Golden Circle - I never expected to like the first Kingsman film, I'm not sure why, I just didn't think it was my sort of movie but I've watched it a few times and everytime I've loved it! It was nothing like I had watched before and I loved each of the characters, especially Colin Firths so I was eager to see the second one a few months ago. I was actually quite sad watching his character in the second one but overall I loved the whole film and it was an amazing sequel. It's not often you find a sequel to be as good as the first film but this really was and wasn't a let down in any sort of way. I always worry a little when a film is so good and they reveal they'll be doing more, because you don't want it to be ruined but hopefully if they do another, it will be just as good as the second one was.

Murder On The Orient Express - I've read mixed reviews of this but it was one I really, really enjoyed! I remember seeing the trailer for this a long time ago and thinking then it had to be one I went to see, and I think we ended up going opening night. It's full of so many big names so I thought it would be pretty good and I went into it not really knowing much about the story. In the end I loved how it was done and I really didn't expect the twist! All the way through I kept changing my mind over who had committed the crime but the way it ended, totally surprised me!

Paddington 2 - Aww I just loved this film. I don't need to go on about Paddington that much as I've mentioned it several times on my blog over the last few months but it's just the best. The first film is one of my favourites and I really hoped the second one would live up to my expectations but it exceeded them! The second film sees Paddington wrongly get into a bit of bother, ending up in prison and planning his escape! He's just adorable and everything about it is brilliant. I'm always wanting things to work out for him and it actually breaks my heart a little when he's sad! The story, the characters, the location, the effects, I love it all and I can't wait for a third film!

Daddys Home 2 - I was so looking forward to seeing this! I absolutely love the first Daddy's Home film, though it's definitely one that some people hate. It's another starring Will Ferrell who I've already mentioned and he again teamed up with Mark Wahlberg to play two dads trying to get along and play happy families with their children, stepchildren and wives. It's one of those films you'll either really enjoy or really cringe at but I just found it so funny. I thought it was just as good as the first film, and I really hoped it would be, as at first I really couldn't work out how they were going to do a sequel. I definitely don't think they should do anymore but both the first and second are films I'd be able to watch again and again. They are the sorts of films that just make me laugh on a down day and are great to watch with family.

Pitch Perfect 3 - I kind of went into this film expecting to be disappointed so I suppose it's not a surprise that that's how I felt afterwards. I love the first Pitch Perfect, and even the second one, though it did take some time to grow on me, but I just felt like there was no need for a third and I really didn't know what they were going to do with it. It wasn't the worst film of the year and I'm sure I'll watch it again but overall I didn't think the songs were as good, I didn't feel like some of the story made sense (why get rid of jesse and benji?!) and I just didn't find it as funny as the previous ones.

So that's the rest of the films I managed to see in the cinema in 2017! I've really enjoyed writing this and the first one early last year so I'm really looking forward to doing it again in 2018. There have been so many brilliant films out recently but I think my favourites have to be Paddington 2, Baywatch and Daddys Home 2. I'd love to know if you've seen any of the films on this list and what you thought of them?

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Saturday, 13 January 2018

6 Places I Would Love To Go On Honeymoon...

I really hope my posts aren't annoying you too much, I feel like since we got married last month I haven't shut up about it on my blog, but I'm still just so excited about it all and in a very happy bubble. As we had a very small wedding and it was around Christmas time we knew we weren't going to get a honeymoon in straight away, but for us it really didn't matter. Even though it would have been nice to hop on a plane straight away, we knew it was never going to happen like that as it just costs too much money but with a bit of saving, I'm hoping this year is the year we can finally get away and have a proper honeymoon. I've got a few places in mind that I would love to consider, that I think would all make an amazing holiday.
honeymoon destinations1. New York - New York has been on my travel bucketlist for so so long. A few years ago when we first got engaged, it was a place we were considering even then as a honeymoon destination. It's probably one of the most expensive places on this list and would require a lot of saving as we would want to go all out and experience everything, but it would be incredible if we one day got to go. There is so much to do there, walks around Central Park, Times Square, skating at the Rockefeller Centre at Christmas, and of course so many other attractions like the Statue of Liberty, I know it would just be the best.

2. Italy - For a short city break, I think somewhere in Italy would be perfect. I'm so torn between Rome and Italy as both look so beautiful and picturesque and both have been on our list for ages. Whenever I see a picture from someone that has been to either on holiday, I always think that's somewhere we have to go soon. I'd love to visit the Colosseum in Rome and if we went to Venice, we'd have to go on a gondola. I think it would be such a romantic honeymoon if we went to either of these.

3. San Francisco - Of all the places in America, this isn't somewhere I've really thought of much until recently. It's a place I've seen on films loads and always thought it looked nice and would be somewhere to maybe visit one day if possible, but at the moment I'm warming to the idea more and more. This might sound quite strange but I think it's because you can visit Alcatraz Island there which was home to some of America's most notorious criminals. I've got such a strange fascination with prisons and what they're really like inside and have done for a long time so this would be an incredible one to tick off the bucket list.

4. Paris - I suppose Paris is a classic honeymoon destination isn't it? The city of love. From what I've seen online it's actually not too expensive to get there and relatively easy so I think in that sense, this is quite high on our list of options at the moment. I'd love to see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, go to The Louvre and make a visit to Disney Land Paris. I imagine it would be a very romantic place to go to and for our first holiday abroad, I think it would be really special. Also I'm all about croissants and pastries, so it's kind of the perfect place for me.

5. Amsterdam - I've seen more and more bloggers recently head to Amsterdam for a few days and even though it's somewhere that's always looked interesting, I've now realised how beautiful it is and what sorts of things there are to do there. It's another one that doesn't seem too expensive which is good for us and I just think it would be a really interesting one to visit. I'd love to visit the Anne Frank House while we're there, that's something that has been on my list for a while.

6. Florida - Disneyworld Florida would be the ultimate! We were looking only last year for holidays there this year and while they actually weren't priced as high as we expected, it was still a bit risky so this might be one for in a few years time. I've never been to Disneyworld so this would be a dream come true, and I'd love to go just me and George before we hopefully have kids and take them one day. I already feel emotional at the thought of walking in and seeing the castle, and getting to meet my favourites like Winnie The Pooh and Olaf. It would be such a special honeymoon but I know whenever we go it will be just as incredible.

At the moment I have no idea really where we'll end up but if I had to guess, I'd say it would probably be a city break to either somewhere in Italy, Paris or Amsterdam. Though I do quite like the idea of just a classic beach holiday where we can just sit by the pool all week. Anything would be nice at the moment. I think for a first proper holiday as a couple, all of these would be lovely, but obviously if win the lottery in the next few months I'm jumping on a plane to Florida 😉

Have you visited any of the places on this list? or do you have any other recommendations?

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Friday, 12 January 2018

2018 Blogging Goals...

Last year for the first time I set myself some blogging goals and it was only right I did the same this year! Blogging is just the best hobby but I always think there is room for improvement and I'm always trying to find new ways to get better at this, so setting goals is a massive motivation!
blogging goals
Don't Put Myself Under Pressure To Post - As much as I would love to stick to blogging 5 times a week throughout 2018, it was tough sometimes last year and I just don't want to force myself anymore to post if I'm not feeling it. Last year regardless of how ill I was feeling (which happened pretty much every few months) or no matter what stuff I had going on, I still posted and some days it was so difficult. Even though I usually have posts ready to publish, I don't want to do it if my heart isn't in it and some days it just isn't. I do love having a routine and I'm so proud I managed to stick with it for as long as I did last year but I'm not going to put myself under loads of pressure to post this year if I just don't feel like it because I feel like it shows then to my readers and if I'm not happy reading it, why would others be? I think sometimes it's okay to take a break and if I feel like I need to do that sometimes with my blog this year, I will.

Reach Out To More Brands - Since my blog started I've been quite open to contacting brands and PRs and telling them why I'd love to work with them. I always get nervous beforehand and a huge amount of people have never got back to me, but some have worked out really well and I've formed some brilliant working relationships with people. I definitely cooled it down a bit over the last few months of 2017 because I was planning a wedding, my anxiety was all over the place, and it just didn't feel right to be reaching out to brands, if I wasn't 100% able to give them a great post. Now I'm feeling much better and ready to get back to it. I have an idea of some I'd like to reach out too, and I'm just going to keep an open mind about it all. I feel like 2017 was a brilliant year blog wise for me as I got to work with some amazing brands so I'd really love for that to carry on this year.

Reach 5000 Twitter Followers - I feel like I've been much more optimistic with my Twitter goal this year but I'm really hoping I reach it. Last year I started the year with about 500 Twitter followers and my goal was 1000, I ended up reaching over 2000 by New Year which I was incredibly happy with. I know followers aren't everything but it does help when it comes to reaching out to brands, and just getting your posts out there, so I'd really love to hit a bigger number this year. I think just even getting close to 5000 followers would be amazing!

Reach 2000 Instagram Followers - Again I think I've gone quite high with this one! Last year I aimed for 500 Instagram followers as it's just such a pain to grow but I ended up with over 1100 by Christmas so I'm really hoping over the next 12 months I can double that. With so many people struggling on Instagram at the moment, I'm not sure how likely this is but anything would be a bonus to be honest! I never expected to even reach 1000.

Reach 200 Facebook Likes - Facebook is another platform that I find is a real struggle to grow. I'm not sure what it is, and to be completely honest I don't use Facebook anywhere near as much as I used to, but I would still love to grow my Facebook page. I ended up reaching 100 likes last year so that's another one I'd like to double. I think I've invited the majority of my friend list and I'm not getting too far with that so if any other bloggers would like to help me out that would be amazing. Just to grow this even a little bit would be fab.

Improve My Photography - I had this on my blogging goals last year and I think it's one I'll keep adding each year! I definitely think my blog photos have improved massively since I first started but I'm aware I still have a long way to go. I look at others photos and can't believe how good theirs are, mine just look a mess in comparison so I'd really like to try and get better this year with them. I think photography for me is a bit of a slow one as I'm not too creative but hopefully by the end of the year I'll be more happy with them than I am now.

I don't think I've set myself quite as many blogging goals this year as I'm trying not to put too much pressure on it all but I do still think it's good to set yourself a few. I'm so proud of it and how it's grown, especially in 2017 so let's hope it continues this year!

Have you set yourself any blogging goals?

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