Friday, 11 July 2014

How To Be A Blogger : My Tips, Tricks & Advice

After seeing Jim Chapman's recent video called 'how to be a Youtuber' this seemed like a fun thing to do! I was going to do this as a video but my Flip camera has decided to die so I shall be writing it out instead .... which, seeing as this is about blogs kind of makes sense doesn't it?

 Over the last few months I've been getting more and more e-mails for girls wanting advice on blogging or who have a few questions about blog related things - literally anything from giveaways to how to increase your views! 
I'm shocked and overwhelemed everytime someone comes to little old me for advice or with a query as I've only been doing this for just over a year and am noway any form of 'expert' in the subject. All I know if what I've seen/done/realised/taught myself over the past 14 months and I'm going to share all those things with you now!
These things may be obvious to you or they may not even interest you but this is what I've found to have helped me so far in this little journey!

So get a cup of tea, some comfy clothes on and settle down because this could be a long one... you've been warned!

Taking The Plunge & Getting Started
Anyone can be a blogger - if you have a blog and create content for it - you are a blogger.
1. The Right Reasons
You want to start a blog because you love reading other blogs and you have a passion for a certain subject and want to share that passion and your knowledge of it with others as a fun hobby, then GO FOR IT! But..... if you want to start a blog because you want to get free stuff and make money - stop now, it doesn't work like that. You've got to have a passion and drive about what you are writing about, if you are there for the wrong reasons it's transparent, it will be seen.

2. Picking That All Important Name
This is the tricky bit. You've got to think of this one username that's going to stand out, not confuse anyone and be original.
I think everyone goes through the stage of wondering weather they've picked the right name for their blog and I've seen a fair few change in the past year or so. I always have moments of doubt - should I change it? Is it okay? But for me I feel it's too late now to change it now and I've grown to like it!
Here's a few tips to help you create that awesome new blogname...
  • Pick Something Easy : No-one is going to remember 'babygirl27lovesmakeupforlife446539' are they? It's too hard to remember and too long for people to care about or type. Have something that's easy to read, especially when it's written all as one word and easy to remember! (People get mine wrong alot which is frustrating - you don't want that!)
  •  Google : Thought of a few ideas? Google them, see if there is anything similar already taken, if so try something else!
  • Be Original : You want to stand out right? So don't copy someone else or have something super similar - there's no point calling yourself PollyBowBow or SprinkleOfSparkle! You want to be a first rate version of yourself not a second rate version of someone else.
  • Commit : Once you've picked your name, commit to it - learn to love it - you're going to be typing it alot!
Content & Aesthetics 
I think I'll probably just be echoing alot of other people's thoughts here when it comes to what readers re looking for when they click on a blog to read.

1. Photography & Pictures
Now firs off - you don't need a big flash DSLR to create great pictures for your blog! As long as you have a camera and some decent lighting you can make it work! Just make sure they are clear and big, small, dimley lit photos are a big turn off for people and it only takes a spilt second for someone to decent weather to stay and read on or not - make sure they want to stay!

2. Font
Pick something readable , tiny fonts and funky calligraphy writing will put people off staright away aswell as bright colours/hard to read colours! Alot of people I've spoke to said that simple dark font on a white background is what they want to see as it is easy to read and clear.

3. Layout
Simply laid out blogs are usually the most popular. Lots of pop-ups and different places to click with multiple pictures and colours can put people off. Make sure each section is clear and it isn't too over-crowded for the reader. Just think of what you like to see and what you enjoy and don't enjoy when looking at blogs! 

4. Writing
Everyone is different! Just because someone writes a certain way doesn't mean you have to fit that mold and write that way. Everyone has their own style and you'll develop it over time, you'll tweek and edit til' your blue in the face but if you know what you want to say you'll get it out! Just make it easy to read and well structured! 

5. Content 
Just because everyone else has gone out and bought every single one of the baby lips collection doesn't mean you have too! Buy/blog about things that really do interest and excite you not just because you think it's what everyone wants to see and will get you more views from it. If you really like something and want to share it that will shine through in your posts, if it's not genuine that can also be noticed!
DO NOT steal/use other bloggers content - writing, photos, anything - you will be found out an it's just not cool! 

6. Honesty
Bloggers nowadays are relied on alot for decent and honest reviews and opinions on a range of different products. I always go to bloggers first when it comes to trying out something new or wanting recommendations. Being honest is a key ingredient for your blog. I'd say it's the number one rule when it comes to blogging - there is no point writing something if you don't mean it. Saying something is amazing when it isn't won't do you any favours, just say how you feel, everyone has the right to express their opinion right?

7. How Often Should I Post?
That is totally down to you and your lifestyle. I post more or less everyday and that has become my routine but I'm well aware this isn't doable for everyone and there is alot of the time where I do struggle. Don't put pressure on yourself, this is meant to be fun - don't turn it into something else! As long as your posting as least once per week you should keep people interested.

Organisation Is Key
I got asked this one alot on twitter - how to keep organised - so these are the few things that I have found really helpful to keep my blog going!

1. Keep a Notebook
Write down every single little idea you have! Weather it's just a product you've bought and want to write about or a fun idea for a new series of posts I find writing everything down so helpful - even on scrap bits of paper or maybe even the notepad on your phone!
2. Plan & Schedule
Having a plan each week for my posts saves my blogging life! Each week I write out Mon-Fri and what I'm going to have up for each day. It makes it so easy to know what to write next and what to prioritise when I sit down to blog each night. Scheduling posts is a must for me, on my days off I usually try and write at least 2 or 3 posts for the up coming days/week and have them all published for certain days so I don't have to worry about it! Somethings I have set days for - like my POTW posts I normally put them up on either Friday or Saturday and wishlists on Wednesday's, it helps me to have a regular timetable to keep too.

3. Do Things in Bulk 
Taking lots of photos at once is a must for me. Having all my photos ready for the upcoming week or so makes it so muhc easier when coming to write the posts themselves.

4. Get The Apps
For blogging on the go - get the apps! I use Blogger  & Bloglovin to keep my own blog upto date aswell and catching up with everyone elses!
Growing Your Baby
I'm sure alot of you have scrolled down to find this section as this is the most askd question when it comes to blogging - how do I grow and build my audience?

1. Be Active
Make sure you are keeping your blog alive, posts as much as you can without it disrupting your life too much. If people go onto your blog and see our last post was 3 weeks/a month ago they will think you aren't that interest and will probably be les likley to follow. (I know this sometimes can't be helped with work, school, exams etc so if you know you aren't going to be blogging for a little while maybe just write a little note on there and explain to help keep people upto date!)

2. Use Twitter (and every other form of social media)
In this day in age I'd say Twitter is the number one place to share your blog and promote. Tweet every post you do, even tag the companies, if any, that are mentioned to help spread the word of your blog! Use the famous #'s and RT accounts to help get your posts across to new readers! The same goes for instagram, facebook, pinterest, 

3. Join In & Interact
If you are a blogger yourself then I'm sure, like me, you are a major lover of other bloggers and their blogs! I LOVE joining in with the #bbloggers #lbloggers #fblchat etc chats on twitter! Such a fab way to chat with everyone and find new blogs to check out and read! It's also a perfect time to show your work too, get involved with everyone and share!
Also, if you read someone's post, write them a comment - it's another great way to interact! 

4. Don't Compare Yourself
I will say this once and once only - you will (unfortunatley) not turn into Zoella  or Tanya Burr in a week. "Big" blogger are 'big' for a number of reasons including time, hard work and originality! 
Something Shaycarl says has really been drilled into me and that's 'Time & Pressure" if you put both time and pressure into something eventually it will turn into what you want it to be.... that's how diamonds are made right, time and pressure?
 Just because someone else has 458967 don't feel gutted that you don't. Success doesn't come overnight, it does take hardwork and blood, sweat and tears! Okay maybe not.... along I've definitley had a few tears in the past! 
Feel blessed for the people who have already followed/subscribed/commented on your blog/twitter instead of just thinking about the people who haven't yet! It can be hard not to focus on the numbers, number of views, number of followers but try not too.

5. Be Confident & Proud
If you are happy with your posts and like what you've written adn put together then it is highly likely that someone else will too! No-one got anywhere thinking that what they've written was a bit pants, be proud to show it off and share it. 
Uninspired? : Surviving Writers Block
Now this is something I think everyone suffers from, I have a fair few times! It's hard to give advice on this as everyone is different but I'll give it a go!

1. Making Notes
Like I said before, keep that notebook, paper, phone close at all times and write down every little idea you get! You'll never know when they might come in handy!

2. Tag Posts
When I'm suck in a blogging rut I always love doing a good old tag post!
 I find these so much fun to write and they are too strenuous on the brain either so if you're not feeling in epic blogger mood you can still bust one of these out no problem! And the good things is with these theat there's always one you haven't done yet! I seriously want to do the British Tag asap!

3. Read Other Blogs & Magazines
Now I don't mean this in a "copying" type way but really other blogs can really inspire you to think of new content for your old blog! Same with magazines, you might see a great celebrity look or a gorgeous outfit you want to create! Be insprired by others!

4. Create a New Series Of Posts
A great way to have a constant flow is having a series of posts that you are constantly adding too, for instance I have the Dress Like Disney series that I love doing and each week I like to share my Product Of The Week and a wishlist of some sort! This provides you with at least one thing to do each week!

5. Share The Love
Can't think of anything to write yourself and at a total loss? Why not form a list of your favourite bloggers/youtubers to share with everyone! You'll make someone's day and there's nothing better than a bit of blogging community love! 

Coming to the end of this post I am so so glad I did a written version instead of a video version. Lots to get out and it's pribably better to have it in writing anyway!

I hope you have enjoyed this post, please let me know if you found it helpful at all! IF you have any questions write them below in the comments or feel free to email me at 
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  1. So helpful! This post is perfect for newbies! X

  2. Great post, very helpful :)
    Madi x

  3. Loved it!!! I've been feeling a little out about blogging quite recently and this was a definite inspiration. I loved the part about time and pressure! Diamonds are made with time and pressure!! Loved it!

  4. I loved this post, so useful. Everything you wrote is so true and is so helpful, thank you for sharing it with us!


  5. Brilliant post, it is a great reminder not to get caught up in it all. Thankyou

    Gaby x

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  7. Thanks so much for the tips! They have really helped, I am very new to blogging as you know, and this was great!
    Keep up the amazing blog!
    Love, Fiona

  8. Agree with everything - love this!x

  9. Thank you for this - some great tips! Love your blog :) xx

  10. I totally agree with everything! This is so well written and useful! Thanks x

  11. Great read! I am quite new to blogging so can definitely relate to a lot of the content in this post. I often struggle with getting followers and people to share my content but as you said this takes time. I am definitely going to take your advice and start scheduling some of my posts throughout the week as finding the time to sit down and write on my blog can be difficult. I can only dream of being as successful as you over the upcoming months :) xx

  12. Great post on how to start a blog, wish I had more time so I could blog everyday or every other day.

  13. Lots of great advice, love this post. I will be taking a lot of it on board :)

    Hayley x

  14. Love this post! A lot of helpful tips and advice . Thank you! :) xxx

  15. This is such great advice lovely!!! SO honest and unlike what most bloggers post about!! Hope youre well :)

  16. Great advice's. I always had the Blog Name issue, fortunately I only had to change it once and I think it totally fits me. I love being a blogger and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    xx, M | Brunette In Black

  17. Ah so helpful! I started my blog only 2 months ago and I'm still looking for tips here and there, thanks a lot!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  18. This is so helpful! Being new to blogging like me can be quite daunting but I love these tips!x

  19. Literally started my blog wednesday, this is so helpful!

  20. What a great post! I started blogging not so long ago and this helps! Thank you :)

  21. This is so useful, thanks for sharing! Going straight to Bookmarks x

  22. Really helpful, thank you! I bookmarked it too :)

    Cup of Loveliness

  23. Love these tips. I agree with pretty much all of these. Especially that your heart has to be in it. I did a similar post but mine was a little less in depth:

  24. Great content on this post, some of which i've not heard before elsewhere. Thank you.

  25. This is such a nice simple post, you've got a lot of good tips in there!
    I did a post about blogging photography tips here a little while ago.

    Colourful Stuff | Beauty, Fashion, Life ♥

  26. This was really helpful :)

  27. These are such good tips!

  28. Such a great post with some amazing tips that I will be using!! X

  29. Thanks for this post. You gave some really good tips! xx

  30. I needed this, I was losing all motivation and direction with my blog but this has definitely given me some ideas for the upcoming weeks! Thank you <3

    Forever Rebecca

  31. Thank you for these awesome tips! I have to say, I do use a 'notepad' and it is the one on my phone! My phone is full of little notes for myself! haha xx

  32. This is fantastic, thank you so much - I'm a newbie and really enjoying blogging so far, but it's always great to hear someone on your level, saying "have fun / write what you're passionate about" rather than trying to write what's considered "current" / "in"


  33. Awesome post! I saw this on Twitter and thought I'd give it a look. I panic about the fact I have like 6 subscribers but at the end of the day it's true I am doing something that I love and I have only been writing for over a month. I also get writers block now and then, but yes the notepad advice really helps. I always carry a notebook with me to write down notes. X

  34. Great tips there hunny, I try to plan out my blogging weeks as much as I can - it really helps!

  35. Some great tips. I have to keep reminding myself not to compare mine to others, as it can proper bum you out! Each at their own pace eh?

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

  36. This is so helpful! I think my biggest problem with blogging is that i'm scared to tell anyone I know that I do it :(

  37. I'm not going to be original but thank you A LOT ! That's so helpful !
    I'm just so scary that someone i know that i've a blog..

  38. Awesome post! Always nice to have some good tips :)

  39. These were so helpful! Im trying to start out my own right now on fashion and beauty and just being happy. I love it!!! This inspired me (:

  40. Great tips!! Thanks

    xo IDM

  41. This is super helpful. I feel so blessed for the small amount of people that have found my little blog in the few months that I've been doing it, but of course it can really get you down if you feel like you're not growing as quickly as you would like to. These tips were perfect <3

  42. Great tips!! Thank you :))))) I'm new to blogging so any tips are awesome.

  43. This is so helpful, and great to see experienced bloggers looking out for those starting up! I wrote my first post today, and actually asked if anyone had any advice to get the ball rolling, so this is an ideal post. <3

  44. Love this post, so helpful!

  45. Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks. I've only just gotten into the blogging notebook for writing down ideas and it's honestly a life saver. I haven't run out of inspiration since jotting down everything I think of as it comes.

  46. Love these tips! I really need to get more organised lol xxxx

    Laura | Tease Flutter Pout

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  48. thank you so much I loved this post. it was really helpful! keep it up xx

  49. Really helpful blogpost and I fully agree with you! I love your blog x

  50. Such an helpful post! My blog is not even a month old so I love to read tips! xx

  51. Such great tips! These types of posts are really helpful.


  52. Great post! I love this kind of posts because who doesn't want to get better, right?

  53. Thanks for the tips Kirstie! I have just started my blog in the last couple of weeks and am still getting to grips with it all so this advice was great!
    Harriet -

  54. Thanks for putting effort to write this post, it's very informative. I started my blog 4 months ago with all hopes to turn my passion for fashion into a career in the future. I'm working really hard on my blog and believe me behind every click there a secret story that I can tell, my advice for every new blogger like me is just be passionate and put 100% of your best effort.


  55. Hi ! Thanks for your nice article :-)
    I am French and I have been blogging for a travel/lifestyle blog since 2 years now. I just started another new blog but this one is about beauty and I keep it all in English.
    The first time I have been blogging it was really hard to know exactly what to post, and how to find new readers. But this great challenge helped me lots and I could even make great friends through it.
    It's quite difficult to blog but I try to keep notes of the new posts I want to write. I really take lots of time for that blog and I post every day, I try to give 100% my best and just like some people said : we must be passionate, honest and give our best.

  56. Thank you for post in this. Very helpful! :) xx

    Anu |

  57. Such a helpful post, thank you so much! My blog is still a baby and I'm literally hoarding any advice I can get for future reference/moments of self doubt. xxx

    Beth |

  58. This is really helpful! Definitely gonna bookmark this for future uses! I love your blog, the design is really cute :)

    Michelle | Destination Femme

  59. Did I enjoy your content? Of course. I love how your tips are basically all that a blogger needs. Amazing post! Easy to read and so useful! Thanks!

    Mary x

  60. this is very informative thanks for sharing your thoughts :-)

  61. I love this! I just recently started getting active on my blog so a notebook + organizer is definitely something I need to invest in in the near future. Great post!

    Vessi :: arts & petite style blog

  62. I honestly love reading tips and tricks from other bloggers. It makes me more confident and believe in myself :) thank you for the advice


  63. Thank You so much for sharing that's just what i needed !

  64. Wow Kirstie! This post is just what I needed, being a smaller blogger myself just starting out these tips have already really helped me. This has made me more confident about blogging and to continue doing what I love to. An organiser is definitely something I'll have to invest in. Thank you so much for the advice, love your blog!

    Beth |

  65. Great post! Thanks for the tips :) Just started blogging this year and it's great to read and learn all I can. I especially have to take the "don't comparing yourself tip" to heart. It's easy, especially in the blogging world, to compare your blog and yourself with others, but I'm learning. Thanks for the reminder!

    - Mariah-Ruthel

  66. This has helped me lots, just starting out my blog and using all these tips! :-)

  67. Love this, so detailed and helpful x


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