5 Advantages Of Social Media Over Blogging (To Grow Your Brand)

A couple of months ago I shared a post called 5 Advantages Of Blogging Over Social Media. I absolutely loved your response and had in mind that I wanted to do it the other way around! If you’re interested in this topic, I would love for you to take a look at the prequel to this post once you’ve read this one. It’s linked right here.

So, let’s into it!

1) Instant Interactions

I tend to approach WordPress through the browser, not on the app. Therefore my responses will take longer. Whereas, for the most part, we use social media from our phones. I scroll through Instagram sometimes while I’m waiting for the bus. With some exceptions, Instagram comments tend to be shorter and easier to respond to. There’s an interaction almost suddenly after you post something. However blogs don’t have that element. Both sides are appreciated in their own way, but if you’re looking for instant growth you’re only going to do it with social media.

If I was purely relying on WordPress to promote my blog I wouldn’t be half as successful. But Instagram brought an added layer: more exposure, more traffic to my blog. And at the end of the day, it’s those things that will help you grow. 

2) Goes Hand In Hand With Short Attention Spans

TikTok’s fame and phenomenon has not helped the concentration levels of social media users. You watch something for 15 seconds, process it, then move on. 

Blogging isn’t the same. You have to READ and RESPOND with thoughtfulness. I feel like TikTok has destroyed the way we approach media but that’s a topic for another day… 

TikTok is the best place to share content at the moment due to its success and appeal to the new approach to content consumption.

Let me have a go at explaining this…

You have to be really interested in a topic to take 2-5 minutes to read it (blogging)

But with social media you can see if you like something instantly, within about 15-30 seconds. If you don’t like it the you’ve not ‘wasted’ as much time.

So people prefer social media over blogging/articles/news sites (for the most part)

3) Easier To Gain Exposure 

Daily active social media users are soaring to 3.5 billion and above. That’s 3.5 billion people you could be reaching out to. Another mind boggling statistic is an average of 3 hours, per person, is spent on social media every day. They could spend all of those 3 hours on YOU. 

On the other hand, there are 500 million blogs existent in the world. Compared to 1 billion Instagram users in the same year. Not all of those blogs are active… so I guess Instagram is the place to head if you want to blow up.

Not my infographic sourced from Global Web Index Blog

4) Informal Brings Element Of “Friendship” Between Customer and Seller (You!)

I wouldn’t say informal, but there’s more room to be chatty and casual on Instagram whereas blogging feels a tad more formal (this blog isn’t formal of course, I hope none of you are afraid to chat with me!). This relationship dynamic makes it quicker and easier to make bonds, and sales.

5) Snippets Of Info VS Bulky Post No-One Is Arsed To Read

Social media, for the most part, gives a few sentences of easy-to-consume info at a time. Blogging expands on those points more frequently than an Insta post would, bringing more resistance between reading the title and going on to read the post. My content wouldn’t suit solely being on Instagram. It’s really difficult for me to compress what I’m trying to say without skipping over valuable parts of information.

Infographic created by The Wall Street Journal and source cited

I don’t know if I agree that everything I’ve said makes social media better than blogging. Please leave your opinions down below!

I love blogging and social media equally, and for different reasons. They’re both very versatile. They both make it easy to interact with new people. They both have valuable content. They both have a vast expanse of content.

It’s always a good idea to experiment with both and see what is best for you.

But at the end of the day, what would choose to keep? Blogging or social media?

I’d keep blogging. All the way.

Catherine x

P.S For the purpose of the post, I have discussed blogging not being social media. There’s a similar debate for YouTube. Is YouTube social media? I don’t really know what defines them but I would class them differently. YouTube and blogging in one category, Instagram and Facebook in another. What I said about attention spans leads me to this decision. Instagram and TikTok are quick to consume whereas blog posts and YouTube videos are not. Equal amount of work goes into all of them, however! Just because a YouTube video is 15 minutes and a TikTok is 15 seconds doesn’t make one easier to make than the other! 

Speaking of social media… find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

Want To Reduce Your Screen Time? Here’s How:

I’m sure a lot of you want to reduce your screen time. It’s easier said than done, but it is do-able. We’re not alien to the science that proves lower screen time is better for us. So how do we turn that information into actionable steps?

These five tips are ones I stick to religiously and they help keep my phone screen time under an hour a day.

My desk and my bed are literally centimetres apart so this is the only angle I could get 🤣

Mini disclaimer time: 

We live in a virtual age – so don’t set unattainable goals. We need screens to function in this modern world and ‘screen time’ shouldn’t be shameful. Technology opens up so many doors. It’s saved us during the pandemic. We must keep in mind that is the backbone to our lives. This post is simply to help reduce excess screen time, like scrolling or browsing or looking at memes that aren’t even funny (that last one was for me).

1. Avoid an hour before bed

I do use the night light filter on my phone, iPad, laptop etc from around 6pm onwards. Even with this added protection, screens aren’t ideal just before bed. I like to switch off at 8pm on weekdays, and sometimes even earlier. You’re not putting down your phone for the sake of putting down your phone, you’re doing it because it benefits your health! Keep this in mind as you start switching off more regularly. In the beginning it can be a struggle but when you get past that stage you start seeing the many benefits low screen time gives. Often additional screen time is wasted time anyway.

2. Avoid an hour after waking up

Those first few peaceful moments in the morning should be savoured before the day kicks in. By leaving them on the side in the morning, you’re not only reducing your screen time but also allowing for more headspace. More clarity. Less clutter.

3. No screens when eating

If you stop using screens when eating meals, you’ll notice how significantly your screen time drops. Often you won’t just be on your phone while eating, but once you’ve finished you’ll continue and oops half an hour just vanished. 

4. Timelapse study periods/productive hours

Obviously this won’t make your screen time any lesser according to your phone, but you won’t actually be using your phone is more the point. When you study – TIMELAPSE! Then you can’t possibly go on your phone without interrupting the timelapse. And who wants to end a satisfying roll of film? Not you. This trick is really handy when you need to concentrate on something – not necessarily studying.

I always post these time lapses to my Instagram story so if you need a little bit of study inspiration please check out my ‘study’ highlight ✨

5. Replace your phone with other recreational activity 

Please don’t be that fool who promises themselves ‘the time I gain from not being on my phone I’ll use to do this, this and this’. When you normally grab for your phone, grab for something else. And it doesn’t have to be ‘productive’. I have a little Christmas puzzles book that I use in time where it would be normal to ‘just scroll’. Some good ideas are wordsearches, a book, knitting, listening to music, crosswords, journaling. I go on my phone as a distraction when things get too difficult, and my phone makes me happy/hold me off the problem for a while. Find something that will make you happy and carry it around with you, like a phone, so when you do want a little break you can do that instead of scrolling.

Knitting is my happy distraction ☺️

One of my goals for 2021 is to be a little more ‘analouge’ and less ‘digital’. Some weekends I completely switch off from social media without warning. I am a bit of a micro-influencer these days, and sometimes a digital cleanse makes me feel guilty towards my audience. But it shouldn’t. Because you’re always here for me. And that’s why I love you so much. 

Thank you for reading!

Which one of these tips are you going to put into action? Do you have any desire to reduce your screen time, and why?

Want to have some deeper chats in the comments today, so please do leave your thoughts below. 

Catherine x

P.S ONE MONTH UNTIL CHRISTMAS EVE AHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

My Top 10 Favourite Albums (Plus A Few More Because I Couldn’t Narrow It Down)

Hey, hey, hey!

I almost instantly regret saying that.

Anyway, how are you all doing? Have you had a good week? I’m writing this the weekend before it goes live. I just came back from a bike ride and it was really good fun. Cold – but sunny. It’s really got me into the wintery mood (I am also drinking from a Christmas mug as I write this… the festive vibes are high). Today is one of the only ‘nice’ days we’ve had this week. It’s been really rainy and I thought the bike ride would have to be cancelled, but the odds were in my favour!

I wanted to switch things up with this post and share my top 10 favourite albums. When I’m getting to know someone it’s one of the first questions I ask them. Through learning what styles of music I like, it might help you get to know me better! It was a really struggle cutting this down to 10 so there are in fact 12. But for the sake of the title, here are my top 10 favourite albums. 

1) Midnight Memories – One Direction 

Had to include some 1D in here, and the album that really speaks to me is Midnight Memories. It’s quite good lyrically, very catchy, and definitely leaning towards pop/rock. 

2) Harry Styles – Harry Styles

Harry Styles is one of the artists in recent history we will never forget. Only a week ago we found out he will be the first male cover of Vogue! He experiments with gender expression and uses his platform for good. Harry comes more into his own with the Fine Line era, but the music I most prefer is on his self-titled album. My favourites being Only Angel, Kiwi and Two Ghosts. 

3) Flicker – Niall Horan 

Yes – I am that girl. Completely and utterly obsessed with 1D. I don’t think I can’t ever move past my ‘phase’. Niall is the most talented of the 1D boys musically. His voice his like an angel. I love this album in particular because it has a country sound to it? Whereas his recent album is really pop-y. I know I love 1D but pop these days is so over-saturated and there’s not much talent shining through. This is an exception, but I think was released 3 years ago?

4) Folklore – Taylor Swift

Folklore is so true to its name. Most of the songs have a country music echo. She concentrated on story-telling and the album constructs a series of novels, almost. My favourite is ‘betty’. 

5) Help! – The Beatles

Here’s my attempt at defining this album: every track is like a single. Every track is a ‘headline’ as if the album should be named after it. It’s so precious. Probably my favourite album EVER?!?!? If you take any recommendations from this post, listen to ‘Help!’

6) Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

Sgt Pepper’s is the backbone to my childhood. It’s always been there and the nostalgia makes me cry sometimes. The album is not sad though, not at all. My top picks from this album are ‘When I’m 64’, ‘Lovely Rita’ and ‘Getting Better’.

7) Favourite Worst Nightmare – Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys. There’s nothing more to say, but I will say more to encourage you to listen to them! I absolutely love this album for the drums! The songs are still quite focused in the melody but the drums. Wow. This album is a brilliant mood-lifter. I sing the lyrics so aggressively but it puts me in the best mood. But if you’ve never listened to Arctic Monkeys, I’d recommend AM as your ‘first’ album. It’s a little less… full on? 

8) Tell Me I’m Pretty – Cage The Elephant

After my friend recommended I listen to Cage The Elephant, I’ve been obsessed. This is the only album I’ve really listened to but it’s beautiful. The album ties together really well, but the band itself has a very different sound to any indie band I’ve listened to before.

9) The Ride – Catfish And The Bottlemen

Even if you’re not a fan of indie stuff, Catfish & The Bottlemen mix themes that are popular in pop music and add this acoustic twist? It’s really hard to explain but I love this band.

10) English Graffiti – The Vaccines

This album reminds me of being in Year 5 and making Musicallys. But it’s not ‘Musically’ sort of music! Similar vibes to Favourite Worst Nightmare. Inherently British and very, very good. The Vaccines are incredibly underrated these days.

11) Doctor Who: Series 5 – Murray Gold

Time for some cLaSsiCaL music. This is the soundtrack to series 5 of Doctor Who which was released in 2010. It was this ‘era’ of Doctor Who that I was old enough to get what was going on and I loved it. I still love it. Film/TV music has such an impact and this composing is one of a kind. I wish Murray Gold still did Doctor Who because I could swear down this soundtrack is the best soundtrack to Doctor Who there has ever been! 

12) Chaos And The Calm – James Bay

Now THIS is pop music I enjoy. James Bay’s voice is so unique, although sort of like George Ezra? I have no clue what genre this album is but, as I said earlier with Help!, every song is like a single. This throws me back to 2015. I can guarantee you’ve heard ‘Hold Back The River’ but ‘Best Fake Smile’ is my personal favourite. 

I could talk about music for days, and I feel guilty for leaving so many of my favourites out on this list! 

What’s your favourite album? 

And if you can’t choose one, just spill your entire Spotify playlist below.

Catherine x

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THE Top 5 Things You Can Do The Night Before A Productive Morning

If you’ve clicked on this post, it’s probably because you want to either wake up earlier, be productive in the mornings, or both.

And if that is the case this post probably isn’t the first ‘how to have a good morning routine’ you’ve ever read.

Therefore you will be familiar with the phrase that a ‘good morning starts the night before.’ Although that phrase gets on your nerves for the amount of times it is repeated… it is so true.

In today’s blog post I will be outlining 5 things you can do the night before a productive morning.

Enjoy!

1) Set Out Clothes

This practise is drilled into me. I have been doing it for at least four years, and it helps reduce the friction between waking up at getting ready. Along with the clothes I have picked out for the following day, I also lay down my deodrant, underwear, and watch/accessories. If I plan to have a shower the following morning, I will put out my body cream too. The idea is, when you wake up, you can easily get changed or if you’re a morning shower person – take the pile of clothes into the bathroom. Honestly, once you start doing it your mornings will run much smoother.

2) Go To Bed Earlier

Easier said than done – so I think I’ll have to do a whole blog post about this one. Going to bed earlier energises you. Beds are for sleeping in! Don’t cut that precious sleep time just to wake up earlier. Even if you don’t want to wake up earlier, getting an extra hour or two sleep will allow for your morning to be productive. Running low on sleep does not hand itself well to productivity.

3) Write Your To-Do List

I know some people write their to-do lists in the morning, and this is great. However, writing them the night before is the real turning point. 

Before you go to bed you can order your priorities clearer than first thing in the morning. 

If I ever were to write my to-do list in the morning, I’d probably be rushing to write it so I can just get started and not waste any precious time.

Don’t rush it; do it the night before. Try forward-planning so you don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge list. To-do lists are made to work to your advantage. By taking some extra time, you can really maximise the benefits of a tick list.

(I will write a post about how to create the perfect to-do list)

4) Put Your Alarm On The Other Side Of The Room

I used to think this was bullshit advice. Because I’d wake up, walk over to turn off my alarm, the walk back into bed again. I still do that now! But I do recommend putting your alarm on the other side of the room. This works well for someone with a big room, because there’s more of a walk to turn it off. Whereas for my room there’s one step between the end of my bed and the other side of the room. 

I put my alarm somewhere that I have to get up to walk over to. Nowadays I’m only snoozing once before I get up. It’s not perfect, but we’re getting there.

5) Understand The Routine You Will Follow The Next Morning

No point saying you’ll have a productive morning without knowing what you’re going to do! Think about what you need to do before you start working: breakfast, skincare, get changed… This is different for everyone although don’t skip breakfast. PLEASE! 

Work out an order for those tasks and drill it into your head. Or, if it helps, write it down. Then, the following morning, you’ll know just what you need to do and when so it takes less brain power. The more you follow this ‘ideal routine’ the easier it will become – and you’ll just be on autopilot.

I hope this advice helps you to navigate your mornings better, and allows them to run more smoothly. Let me know which tips you’re going to implement right away! As I said, I will write a post about creating a perfect to-do list and how to go to bed earlier. I think those points deserve a little more explanation. 

What do you like to do before bed every night?

I enjoy washing my face and following my skincare routine. My brain subconsciously knows that when I take my makeup off, the day is over and it’s time to sleep (or read for an awfully long time). 

Have a lovely day,

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

What’s In My Schoolbag 2020 | How I Stay Organised

Hello!

Welcome back to the blog. I don’t think I have shared on here (but if I have you may have forgotten) the new upload schedule: Tuesday and Friday! That’s two posts a week over here on the blog and two posts every week on Instagram too (also Tuesday and Friday).

Anyway, you probably just want me to hop straight into the post: What’s In My Schoolbag 2020. Typically these posts come out in early September, but I was on my mini hiatus. I still wanted to spill the ins and outs of my bag, and how I stay organised with my school work. I hope you enjoy!

Le Sac

Most importantly, we have the bag itself. This one was on sale from Cath Kidston a couple of years ago and I have used it ever since. It has a handy laptop compartment and, although I don’t take a laptop to school, it is useful for keeping papers and books straight, neat and not crumpled!

In the main compartment we have:

My Academic Planner

I bought this planner from Ink Outside The Box a few weeks ago – admittedly not at the start of the academic year. They were on sale for much cheaper than the original price, with profits going to charity, because during production some of them went kinda wrong! The main planner is still completely functional however the monthly dividers weren’t in the correct order (I quickly rearranged them though). So yes, ta-daa!!!

A Book

You never see me without a book, and I take one to school with me every day. Currently I’m reading The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch. I’ll report back once I’ve finished and post my full review to Goodreads! (my username is @cathjaneblog so please don’t hesitate to add me as a friend 😉

My Pencil Case

This one is bigger than last year’s, however it fits my calculator which is really handy. Having the extra space means I can put sticky notes in there too (a student’s dream) and, of course, some snazzy highlighters. I have got into the habit of emptying it out every weekend, sharpening all of the pencils, throwing away the random loose bits of paper – we all collect them – and making it fresh for the following week. It’s a lovely little ritual and motivates me to spend more time studying. Definitely the best part of my school bag!

Bag of Random Things

I also have little drawstring bag that is home to the loose articles I take to school ‘just in case’. That’s a tin of Vaseline, spare mask, extra hand sanitiser, and a little packet of tissues!

Other Stuff…

The front pocket of my bag is home to a pair of socks with non-slip soles for drama. On cold occasions (aka Autumn-Spring) I put my gloves in there too. I don’t keep anything else in the front pocket despite there being space.

A blazer is one of God’s gifts. In there I can put my purse, hand sanitiser, face mask, the planner school provided, phone, bus pass… It’s a fantastic organisation method XD

Sorry if this post is generic and boring, but I’m very happy you stuck until the end!

If you were a school teacher, what subject would you like to specialise in?

Leave your answers to this question below, I can’t wait to read and respond to them! I’m almost certain I’d teach English. Although Geography is by far my favourite subject ❤ 

Thank you for reading,

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com