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Keeping Energy Costs Down this Winter

This season is usually very expensive thanks to the holiday season and cold weather. We spend all our money on Christmas presents and decorations, warm clothing (at least for the kids), and on keeping our home warm. Prior to being a mummy, I had a full-time job in Manchester in one of the big energy companies. I was in the Home Move department, so I dealt with opening and closing accounts when customers move in and out of houses. It was interesting to see how much people spent on keeping their homes warm, and I had to learn various energy-saving tips, in order to be able to advice customers correctly.

It is important to ensure we keep our energy costs down, or we will be spending a fortune every year on energy. Now keeping the energy costs down does not necessarily mean we have to sit in a cold house. It means we have to be smart when it comes to using energy, so we don’t waste money.

 

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Here are 5 energy-saving tips that you may find useful –

 

Ensure your Radiators, Boiler and Hot Water Tank are working properly

Make sure you have your Boiler and Hot Water Tank (if you have one) serviced annually. It is best to get the service done every year just the winter season. That way any faults will be picked by the Gas Safety Engineer. We get ours done for about £60 every year, and it is money well spent if you ask me. It just gives you that extra peace of mind that all your appliances are working as they should.

Our Gas Safety Engineer checks all the Radiators as well to be make sure they are all working properly. The last thing you would need is to have a breakdown issue during winter, with the freezing weather. We have had to buy some replacement parts over the years, which our engineer recommended we did to avoid a more serious issue. There are many companies you can find that offer these replacement parts, boilers and radiators when needed. You can check out this supplier for more info.

 

Fix your Deal

I always ensure we go for a fixed energy tariff. That way our prices are fixed for the duration of the contract. It has helped us save hundreds of pounds. We don’t have to deal with the fluctuation in prices. It is the oldest trick in the energy-saving book, but it is amazing how many people still do not do this.

 

Have a Timer

Our heating is timed to come on at certain intervals, and so is our hot water. That way we don’t have our heating on all day. It also helps keep our home warm but not too warm.

 

 

 

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Wash at 30 degrees

I do all of my laundry at 30 degrees, and I have been doing so for many years now. Our clothes are washed properly and my energy bill is low. Washing at 30 degrees means I don’t waste hot water, because the more hot water I use, the more I have to heat up.

 

Switch it Off

If it is not in use, switch it off. Switch off radiators in rooms not in use, lights in empty rooms, and appliances not in use. Doing that can save you some money every year. Research has shown that switching off lights when you step out for a bit can save £10 a year.

 

What do you think of these energy-saving tips? How are you keeping your energy costs down this winter? Please share your tried and tested tips below.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

 

*Collaborative post.

 

 

 

 

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How to Sound More Relatable on Your Blog

Blogging is a lot different from other forms of writing. It’s more informal, personal and relatable. I like to think of blogging like having a good conversation with a good friend at Starbucks. But instead of talking, you’re writing it all down.

As a blogger, it took me time to ease into the unique style of writing blogging offers. I had to learn to be more relatable to my audience. With a lot of practice I was able to master the art of effectively communicating with my audience through my blog.

 

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If you’ve also been struggling with trying to sound more relatable on your blog, here are some tips that may help.

 

  1. Look for a common ground

Imagine you’re meeting someone for the first time. What’s the best way to get a conversation started? Of course, by talking about something that they’re interested in. But what sustains the conversation? It’s if the thing they’re interested in interests you too.

That’s exactly how it’s like when you’re blogging. To sound more relatable in your blog you need to find a common ground that both you and your audience are interested in.

Share similar experiences. You can also use the same words and expressions they would have used. Identifying the similarities you have with your audience is a great way to create content that they can easily relate with.

 

  1. Show empathy

Before you start crafting content for your blog, always have it at the back of your mind that your audience wants to connect with someone who is as human as they are. So when you’re blogging, show empathy. Let your content show them that you care about their feelings, their challenges and their goals. Show that you understand them.

 

  1. Inject gratitude and appreciation

Your blog is nothing without your readers.  So the least you could do is to thank your readers for stopping by your blog or taking time to read your blog post. You may not necessarily write a long thank you note in your blog post. A line or two in the comments thanking your readers for their time can make a big difference.

 

  1. Imagine you’re having a conversation with a good friend

I think this is the key to writing that perfect relatable blog post. And the funny thing is that this is the tip that most bloggers miss the most.

Ask yourself: How would you talk about your blog topic with your close friend?

Don’t look at your blog as a place where only you do the talking. You need to picture yourself having a conversation with a member of your target audience. It’s so much easier to relate with someone who is trying to engage you in conversation than with someone who is trying to pour all the information in one swoop.

Add some personality.  Use words (no swear words) you would use in real life like “duh”, ”yay” or “ouch”.  Such words make your audience feel like they are having a conversation with a real person. Don’t be afraid to throw in some insider jokes that your audience can relate with.

 

What are your thoughts on these blogging tips? How do you sound more relatable on your blog?

How to Survive the Quiet Months as a Self Employed

The earning potential of a freelancer or self employed is limitless, unlike being an employee. As a self employed person you determine how much you want to earn so long as you back it up with the work that will make that figure possible. In a 9 to 5 you’re only entitled to a fixed salary from month to month.

There are pros and cons for each career path, so it all depends on what matters to you. Working from home works for me and my family at the moment, and I don’t see that ever-changing. I enjoy my work and the flexibility it brings. Plus, I make more money every month than I did at my previous traditional 9 – 5 job.

 

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Although being self employed is great, there are times when you face those dreaded quiet months where the inflow of projects or gigs is slow. This can pose a challenge in your life. However, if you’re prepared for those quiet months you’ll be unperturbed when those months knock at your door. Here are some quiet months survival methods for when you are struggling with new ideas to bring in money.

 

Survival Tip #1: Plan ahead

As much as planning for success is important, you should also factor in moments when things may not work according to plan. That’s where most self-employed miss it. They don’t expect that anything can go wrong, but that’s nearly impossible in real life.

Have a list of all the things you want to achieve next month and how you will make them happen. Now on another list write all the mishaps that could probably happen and how you would get over the problem.

This little exercise will give you a realistic perspective of your monthly goals as well as a road map out of possible things that may go wrong. The idea is not to focus on the negatives but rather help you make necessary improvements to smash your goals.

 

Survival Tip #2: Contact previous clients

Clients are the livewire of your business. So, if you’re having quiet months then you have a problem. The good news is that you don’t have to go very far before you can get clients.

One of the ways to get clients to patronize you is to reach out to your previous clients. Ask them if they have any projects you can help them with. Give them offers that will make them come back.

If they aren’t ready to hire you for the month, don’t stop there. Ask them if they know anyone who would need your service or product. You’d never know how many gigs can come out from just asking. Reach out to various corporations and see what happens.

 

Survival Tip #3: 10X your outreach

During those dry spells, you have to put yourself out there constantly and consistently so that more people can know about you and the products and services you offer. The more people know about what you do, the higher the chances that someone will buy from or hire you.

There are so many ways you can put yourself and your business out there. You can join meet-ups or other networking events and connect with people. Guest posting to showcase your expertise and attract your target audience is another great idea. You can help your target audience with problems or questions they have as a way to let people know what you can do. Pitch to companies or small businesses you can offer your services to.

 

Survival Tip #4: Promote on Social Media

Never estimate the power of social media. With the help of social media, you can be based in the UK, but still reach people as far as Detroit or from China. Ensure you always promote your business on social media. Make use of the social media platforms that work best for your kind of business and get the word out there.

 

 

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These survival tips are tried and tested by me, and have worked beautifully for many years now.

How do you handle the quiet months in your business? Do you have any tried and tested tip to share with other self-employed persons? Please drop a comment in the comments box below.

If you enjoyed reading this post, remember to share it on your social media platforms.

 

*Collaborative post.

 

 

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