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ADVICE, POSTS & LATEST NEWS

Dream Bear Chief Editor Role

I’ve been working with Tara Young, creator of the DreamBear website, a haven for single parents primarily although frequented by all parenting combinations, set-ups, and dream teams, since August 2016. I have been busy creating the content for the website since then, and have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Tara who has a clear vision for where DreamBear is going, what it will offer and the drive to get it there! In December, after a soft launch of the website, I was asked to take on the Chief CEO role and oversee all content moving forward. This was a position I was proud to accept.

Moving forward I will be working closely with Tara to help realise the dream that is DreamBear, a website and a community that offers practical advice as well as a virtual shoulder when needed.

There’s something very special about Dream Bear, about a community of superheroes (not all superheroes wear capes, you know!) who are raising families and going out of their way to support each other on the magical (and sometimes blooming scary) rollercoaster that is parenting. I’m very pleased to be a part of the team and be working to make DB the resource we know it can be.

 

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Lea Rice Ultimate UK Content Planner

One of the tasks I undertake on behalf of my clients is content creation and social media management. At the end of last year, I was introduced to the Lea Rice Ultimate UK Content Planner and have never looked back.

I’ve been self-employed for over eleven years and a freelance copywriter for nearly nine of those. In that time I have come across numerous magical tools (or so they’ve been described) for boosting productivity, for making me the best that I can be, for streamlining my work so that it can practically be done without my even getting out of bed. I’ve come across gurus, mavens and demi-gods, all of whom have promised me the world if I’d just buy their magical elixir/tool/course and so on. I learned very early on to take most claims with a pinch of salt. That’s why I think I was attracted to Lea Rice and her Ultimate UK Content Planner.

With Lea Rice there is no pomp or glitter, there is a tool that, having used it myself, has clearly had a lot of work put into it. The upside of this, of course, is that I don’t need to do this work, which is just as well because I have plenty of other things to be getting on with. In one sense I consider this outsourcing.

The Lea Rice Ultimate UK Content Planner Product

Lea Rice Ultimate UK Content Planner

So what is it? It is a set of Google Sheets, a spreadsheet of sorts which has been set up to help you create all of your online content in one place, including adding links, images and more, before moving it over to your favourite scheduling tool (mine is Buffer by the way). On top of this Lea has pulled together a vast number of awareness days, national days, special dates and more which are specific to the niche your calendar has been produced for.

There are a number of content planners available and one larger one which encompasses them all. Which you choose will depend on your individual needs and the needs of your clients.

Benefits of the Lea Rice Ultimate UK Content Planner

Just some of the benefits of using this tool include:

  • It saves time.
  • It provides clarity.
  • It helps you create a weekly, monthly and annual record of the content you have produced.
  • It offers the opportunity to track the success of posts and more.
  • It helps you create consistency and on-brand content over a period of time.
  • It is very easy to use.
  • You may customise it to suit your needs.

These really are just the tip of the iceberg as far as benefits are concerned.

Summary

I don’t work for Lea Rice and don’t owe her money. I’m simply sharing my experience of a tool which has saved me a lot of time and effort. I purchased the Health and Wellness content planner, however, I am now seriously considering upgrading to the full bundle. A relatively inexpensive tool (check the website for up to date pricing) I would highly recommend it. I’m a long-term hater of spreadsheets and so on however even I have managed to navigate this one with ease and Lea Rice and the team are happy to offer support where required or even to create a bespoke calendar to suit your needs.

Have a look, see what you think and if you try it out for yourself, come back and let me know how you got on.

 

*This post contains an affiliate link. Basically, I get a little back if you choose to click through and buy the content planner via it. This does not have any bearing on this write-up.

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PicMonkey: The End of a Graphic Producing Era

Picmonkey is no longer a free service, or it is, however, it won’t allow you to save anything you now create without a short free trial or a paid subscription. Picmonkey announced the change in this blog post on the 19th September and the news have been met with mixed reactions.

PicMonkey

 

If you use Picmonkey regularly and wouldn’t be without the service it might be worth coughing up. Many freelancers, businesses, and individuals use PicMonkey to produce graphics for their social media accounts, their blog posts and more.

An Alternative to PicMonkey

Canva, PicMonkey
Created in minutes for a client campaign.

I am a Canva gal. Canva is a great tool which is free, unless you wish to purchase a specific image not covered within in the vast collection of free ones. You may also upload royalty free images from elsewhere to create graphics. On the rare occasions that I’ve found an image on Canva that I wanted to use that isn’t free I have paid no more than $1 (you may also buy a bundle).

As well as the user-friendly set-up, Canva appeals to me because it allows you easily create a number of graphics, from Facebook posts to infographics, giving you templates, (which are of course properly sized) in minutes. I have put together a vast number of client graphics using Canva and am happy to recommend it.

What Tool Works For You?

Canva and PicMonkey are only a couple of the graphics editing tools out there. What do you use? These tools are fabulous for those of us (like me) who aren’t graphic designers by any stretch of the imagination and who wouldn’t know one end of Photoshop to the other.

I’d be curious to hear what you think of the changes to PicMonkey. Have they made you look elsewhere or do you love the tool so much that you are willing to pay? Let me know.

canva

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