Bloggers name:
Kaye Gambles

My blog:
https://charityshophoppingandotherthings.co.uk

About my blog:
My blog is about charity, what they do, and how you’re shopping helps them and the people they help.

It is also a window into my own interests, such as Flowers and plants, and books and films.

On a Monday I tend to post about anything in general, that is seasonal or relevant at the time, for instance, I did a blog post about Valentines Day, and then about the way supermarkets and other places cash in on this day and others.

This week (25th February) the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, so my blog post was about that.

On a Wednesday I tend to upload a video, for my Charity shop hopping youtube channel of Charity shop finds and other things.

Friday is the day I focus on a specific charity. Last week the blog focused on Blue Cross.

My main blogging category is:
Charity

You can find me at:
https://www.facebook.com/charityshophoppingandotherthings
https://www.instagram.com/@charityshophopping
https://www.twitter.com/@charityshophop1

How and why did you get into blogging:
I started blogging as a way to channel my thoughts and to show others what it was possible to find in the way of bargains if you knew how and where to look. I then decided that to start with I would probably get my content to keep going if I interspersed my main focus with general information about my other interests of which there are many.

Where do you get your writing inspiration from?
All over the place,, however, the main place to start with was Oxfam, as you will see from my blog post ‘Oxfam The Place that inspired this blog’
I started with Oxfam as that was the place I knew best. I have then as the titles states shared my ‘bargains’ whilst visiting many charity shops or as my daughter dubbed it ‘charity shop hopping’ and that in itself was a catalyst to find out what all the charities were actually doing with the money they made from the purchases I made. To start with I am using my own town where at present we have 9 charity shops. So, therefore, that seemed like a good place to start. As I have been on this journey I realised that I could help other people learn a little more about the hundreds of charities there are in the UK, and to help them with a little PR as much as I could. As I have learned, I have wanted to find out more and there are a lot of surprises along the way. I have enough information to keep me going for a while yet! I never realised how vast this subject was.

If you could offer some words of encouragement to a newbie or frustrated blogger, what would they be?
Don’t expect everything to grow by nuclear explosion, it won’t. Be consistent. If you are consistent people will know when your blog will be published. (sometimes this goes to pot, as I’ve found this week) when things don’t work or do what you expect them to. Don’t give up. Try and get a routine going. For instance, my blog works like this: Monday General Blog
Wednesday is Vlog Day….hauls, recycling uses for shop finds and outfits, plus more general things (my own interests)
Friday (before Christmas) was Gluten Free and Me: Coeliac Disease how it affects my life.
Friday (Now) Focus On: Specific Charity, just to help spread the word and give you a bit more information, and I have found out a lot of interesting facts.
Try to utilise Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. I do not find Twitter as good as the other 3 but that does not mean I do not have a presence there, I’m just not very active.
Be honest, with everyone including yourself. If you can’t do things say so.

What has changed most about blogging culture/the blogging industry since you started?
Not much bearing in mind I only started in September 2018!
What I have found useful is Instagram, that has surprised me over the last fortnight. I try where possible to post every day and I try very hard to engage with my followers, although time sometimes gets in the way, but all I do is let people know on Instagram what is happening.

What daily tools and platforms do you use in your blogging routine, for research, promotion, sharing and other:
I use several plugins. My hosting site is 1&1 IONOS and I use WordPress with the multitude of free plugins that they have. Yoast is the SEO plugin and has some valuable free courses for beginners. I use a laptop. To promote myself I am active on Facebook and Instagram, as well as Twitter and I use a plugin to share on all platforms that you wish it to. You can pay for the premium service in order to be able to schedule. I am on a tight budget therefore at present I am using the free plugins as much as possible.

Tell us about your greatest blogging achievement to date?
Not sure. The fact I am blogging at all and regularly is probably my biggest achievement. I thought it would be a five-minute wonder, but I am enjoying it and as you will see posting regularly because I thought about how I would let people know what I found interesting. I mix it up a bit as obviously on a Wednesday I do a vlog which makes my life interesting and I actually quite enjoy filming which was a shock! My biggest achievement though is gaining 25 followers on Instagram over the last week, that was and is amazing.

Where do you hope blogging will take you in the future?
It would be nice to be able to earn a little money from it, so that I can then contribute more to the bills but still have the freedom to be who I am. It is good not to be tied to the alarm clock any more.

It is a fulfilling thing to do and I am enjoying it. I am also learning things along the way which is keeping my brain active. I started in September as a complete beginner and thanks to some courses that I have taken for free. I now know what an SEO is and a little bit of how to make it work in my favour.
I wish one of my posts had gone viral! Having said that I have had interaction from Oxfamgb and BHF on my Instagram account.


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