3 Things That Worry Me

As I drove home from work today, I started reflecting on a few things that people had been discussing and it made me think hard about some of the issues that really worry me about our world and the culture we have developed in the UK in particular.

Streets are safer when we inhabit them.

This post is meant to be an outlet for my thoughts but is also a talking point. I hope that those of you reading this will comment your own opinions below and be open about your own related worries.

Worry 1: Lack of Independence

When I was young, in the 1980s, there were certain things that were expected of us. we used to have to look after our own clothes and possessions, for instance, and walk or cycle ourselves to school. We also had to quickly learn some independent thinking skills and apply these to our everyday lives.

Even in getting to and from places such as the local shops, we had to learn to adapt and think on our feet. Most of my friends walked to school in little groups and we had to make those journeys every day without adult guidance. By habit, we looked out for each other and learned new routes together.

Some of the skills we gained from making our own way to school were really valuable. We got to negotiate crossing roads, get some much needed exercise and talk through our feelings with our friends. These days so many kids arrive in cars and have little awareness of the routes that they take to get from one place to another. Although there is generally more morning traffic, much of it is families ferrying kids to school.

More independence in getting around is very good for self confidence and health. Less cars on the road would mean safer journeys and less pollution. There are many other ways that I believe independence and coping mechanisms are less evident these days, especially during growing up. It worries me that we are becoming a really dependent society and people are anxious more about things because they haven’t gathered those valuable coping mechanisms.

Worry 2: Rubbish

Lately I have been noticing just how willing many people are to dispose of rubbish. Without a thought, people are chucking waste out and putting little thought into reducing it or recycling it.

Packaging is everywhere and often only used for a specific purpose before being thrown out. I myself reviewed a small item in the post and it came in a massive cardboard envelope which was a total waste of space.

I am trying to think more carefully about what I buy and not to use unnecessary wrapping or extra packaging when buying gifts. Do you really need a snazzy gift bag that is going to be emptied quickly and then disposed of?

Worry 3: Aeroplanes

The other week a football club flew its players across the UK to get to a match near me. Getting through security and boarding a plane, along with the journey and travelling time either end meant it wouldn’t have been that much quicker than simply coming on a train.

In my opinion people are too quick to choose flying over other more sustainable forms of transport. For instance, I took a leisurely train ride to Edinburgh which was four hours long but many would go by plane almost without thinking. I know people that fly back and forth to Scotland regularly.

Why? You may arrive slightly quicker but the damage done by aeroplanes is so much greater. They literally pump greenhouse gases into the higher part of the atmosphere where they can do the most damage. Trains are cleaner even though some of their electricity will come from fossil fuels. They are far more sustainable in the long term, especially as more of our electricity is now from solar, nuclear and wind farms.

Summary

Maybe I worry too much. I don’t get anxious about these things but it does upset me that some of the ways we live our lives are causing problems which we could easily avoid.

If we really do learn lessons from the past then hopefully we will begin to make changes that benefit us in the future. I am just concerned that often our culture focuses on speed and technology and we as human beings lose out in so many ways due to this haste.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post about worries. If you enjoyed my article please consider dropping a comment or following my blog for future similar content about entertainment, books and the environment.

How To Boost Your Income – 5 More Ideas

Finances are at the top of most people’s agendas at the moment as energy prices rise and a war in Eastern Europe makes some products less available. It feels like we should be celebrating as Covid takes a back seat for a while, but suddenly our pockets are being emptied faster than we can fill them.

After my recent post about Side Hustle Suggestions, I was interested to read more about this subject and can see that so many people are in the same boat as me, trying to make ends meet. A lot of my friends ask me how to keep astride of finances and my simple answer always has to be ‘work harder and save like mad’. Passive incomes are great but they take time to build up. In the short term, the only real fix is to take on extra work.

So let me share with you five more possible ways to make a little extra income to help pay those horrible bills. I have tried to suggest work which anyone can access. Let me know what you think of my suggestions in the comments below.

5 More Side Hustles

1) Flexible deliveries

It is a fairly obvious fact that most people rely on deliveries these days. From all kinds of household products to fast food, we are becoming more used to using delivery firms to meet our daily needs. Many of these companies pay a fair wage to deliver at anti-social times, such as in the evening.

Some companies are keen to promote flexible working and will pay a little extra for delivery drivers who work at night. For example, Uber Eats, Just Eat and Deliveroo will enable you to earn a bit extra when you feel you have the time and energy. Some firms allow their customers to give tips too, which is a brilliant bonus.

2) Offer a room on Air BNB

Make a room available for short stay tenants. Having a room available for a guest can be a nice little revenue generator. You can choose when is a good time to make the room available and there are always people looking for somewhere to affordably stay. Every guest will provide a boost and you can withdraw your offer at any time or for an extended period.

3) Do paid surveys

Some people make a good income from completing paid surveys. You just need to look around online for websites that provide surveys that you can be compensated for.

I often use ‘Slicethepie.com’ which has loads of opportunities but it can take a while to build up enough funds to withdraw. If you have half an hour spare each day, you can soon become efficient at it and build up your trust rating, so as to earn more per survey.

I enjoy the bonus surveys that they offer and often make 20 cents for a quick music survey. This usually entails listening to one minute of a track and rating it, as well as writing a paragraph about it. It probably takes me three minutes max.

4) Sell products online

There are so many apps available which enable you to trade in old ‘stuff’ lying around your house. I use eBay to get rid of things I no longer want and always find it easy to use, with postage prices added to each item so you never lose out when going through the selling process.

You can take this one step further by making craft items which can then be sold either on eBay or directly through your own website or on Facebook marketplace. I do find that eBay has a quick turnover though, so you must make sure you get products posted out quickly, or customers complain and ask for part refunds.

5) Make an audio recording

I recently discovered the Amazon ACX service where you can sell your vocals to writers and publishers looking for people to read their audiobooks aloud. All you need to do is leave samples of your voice work and apply to be the reader for any books that take your fancy.

There are two ways to make money from this. Either you request a flat fee for the audio or wait for a share of the commission. I believe you can also ask for a smaller upfront payment and a share of commission as well.

Summary

I hope that you found some of my suggestions useful. Not everybody has time to go out and deliver goods but there should be an idea for everyone amongst my five fresh side hustle ideas. You can find even more useful ideas in this article about Making money while you sleep.

Personally, I have done so many different jobs over the years and have learned that you just have to do whatever is needed to keep the money flowing. Right now I am building up my blog, selling items on eBay and doing surveys.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article about boosting your income by taking on extra work. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog for future similar content.

How to Blog – Consistency

Every couple of months I have been writing my thoughts about the blogging process. As a blogger who formally started blogging last June, I have learned so much already from my own mistakes and from the advice I have gleamed from others in the blogging community.

The last article I wrote about this was How to Blog – Progress and I enjoyed reading the feedback. There are thousands of us who are working hard to create blogs and maintain them but we could all benefit from sharing our experiences and pointing out aspects that we have improved or become more competent with.

Consistency is the Key

I know it may sound fairly obvious to some of you but it is something that I have learned the hard way – consistency definitely matters. Blogging regularly and keeping to a schedule of some kind really is important if you want to become serious about building up a blog.

When I was a bit overloaded by projects for my main job, I allowed blogging to take a back seat and this resulted in my viewing figures dropping. Understandably, people start to forget about your blog if you don’t regularly put content in front of them.

That is why consistently putting out blog posts is crucial for us bloggers. If you can manage two posts a week then great. If you do a post every three days, great. But try not to be erratic. A full on daily bout during blogtober followed by one post a fortnight will confuse readers and not encourage followers to stick around.

Tips for being consistent

Here are some of the ways that you can ensure that your blog is regularly putting out content:

– Have a blogging schedule. Some bloggers put out a regular post every Friday for example while others produce funny cartoons every Monday… Whatever it is that you do, keep doing it and remember that your readers will be looking out for that familiar (niche) content.

– Make sure the content you do produce is top quality. Whatever you do, don’t be sloppy and bang out any old article just to fill space. We all have days when we put out lazy articles but try not to have that as a go-to habit.

– Open up to guest bloggers regularly. Members of the blogging community always want to share the love and one of the nicest things to do is to cross-pollinate on each others’ websites. Not only is it a great way to widen readerships but it also makes backlinks that can increase a blog’s DA.

– Have a few evergreen blog posts written ready in your drafts folder. These will be ready to put out during a busy period or when you are unwell.

– Plan ahead. I know some bloggers spend a whole day getting their posts ready for the coming week. I rarely do this but can see how useful it might be to those with a busy workload or parenting commitments.

Bitesize Content

For me personally, rather than spending lots of time in one chunk creating blog articles, I tend to do little bits here and there. I often think of an idea while at work and generate a title and introduction paragraph during my break. Then later on in the evening I start piecing together the rest of an article.

Also, I complete those important jobs such as promotion, SEO, responding to comments and research at different times throughout the day. For instance, when I wake up I pop my last post onto some twitter threads. Later on I find time to comment on other blogs and reply to comments on my recent posts.

Moving On

Hopefully you will agree that producing regular content is a way to sustain a readership and enable a blog to have firm foundations. By having a schedule or making bitesize time slots for writing content can help to maintain the consistency that bloggers require.

Thank you for reading my article about how to blog consistently. It is great to see many new bloggers emerging in 2022 and I hope that my general advice is helpful. Please comment your own thoughts on this topic. If you enjoyed my post perhaps consider following my blog for similar future posts.