Blogging Advice.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Image from We Heart It. 


Hello Lovelies! Recently I've been getting more and more tweets asking for advice on various aspects of blogging, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a post and put all of my advice in one place. Be warned though, this is going to be a super long post, so you might want to go grab a cup of tea now because we'll be here a while! I'm going to try and include everything I can in this post but I am in no way a 'big blogger' as I'm sure many of you are aware, so this list is going to change over time as I develop my blog but I thought it was about time I updated my last advice post! Anyway enough rambling. 


1. Get Organised. 

It goes without saying that blogging is not an easy thing. It takes a lot of time, patience, effort and hard work to run and maintain a blog, so getting organised is key. I really reccomend going out and buying yourself a diary, or alternatively you could use the calendar on your phone or computer, but personally I like to write things down. Having a diary means you can keep track of any ideas you have and when you want to post them, as well as meaning you have somewhere to jot down any post ideas which come to mind when your out and about - you never know when inspiration might strike! I currently use an A5 Filofax as I find it does everything I need it to do, it gives me somewhere to write down any events and appointments and it also has a notepad for jotting down ideas I might have for posts. I work full time as well as being a full time student, so fitting in my blog around that and having a life can be difficult, but I really find that keeping my diary up to date helps. 

Another thing to organise is how much you want to post and when. I aim to post at least 3 times a week as I find that this works best for my blog, however I know some bloggers who post every day and swear by it, so this one is really up to you and what works for your blog but having an idea of how many you want to write helps you to organise your time. You might also want to think about what time you post, I find that posting in the morning works best for me so, although I find it hard not to press publish, I tend to keep my posts sitting as a draft until I'm ready to post it. I find this really helps increase my views but this will defiitely vary as I've heard some bloggers get more interaction from posting at midnight, but it's all trial and error with this one. 

2. Photos

For me, photos are a big part of any blog. If the blog doesn't have big, clear, bright photos I instantly like it less (bad, I know!). Personally, I like to properly see a product if I'm going to read about it so having big, clear photos and also swatches is a must for me. Saying that, I don't think you need to spend a fortune on a camera to achieve this. I was lucky enough to get a Canon 650D for Christmas, and I won't lie - it has made my photography better and made things easier, but it's not a necessity, especially if you are just starting out. I'm no photography pro, and this post is not a photography advice post, but I find that taking my pictures when it's nice and sunny to be best as my photos then come out clearer. 

However, this is obviously going to be tricky during winter, as I'm sure most of you will have found. To beat the winter gloom, I get up early every Saturday and take all of my photos for the next week in bulk, so that they are ready to edit and use when I please. If I'm home on Friday night I like to set up my photographs and a basket of products that I want to photograph so it only takes an hour on Saturday morning to get all of my photos taken. I find that this works really well for me as it means I remember to write about all of my products and I have everything set for the week ahead. 

3. Design

Design is also something I look for in a blog. I know content is more important than pretty pictures and a nice design, but if your posts are hard to read or cluttered then I personally find myself closing the blog post before even reading it. You don't need to pay someone a small fortune for a blog design either. I had my blog designed in December last year, however before then I had been perfectly happy with one which I made myself by using tutorials found through some clever googling. You can pretty much find out how to do anything blog related if you just google it, you can even find websites offering free downloads of blog templates so all you have to do is install it. Two of my favourites for this are xomisse and The Darling Blog, they both offer design tutorials and advice and also some freebies so you can get your blog looking ship shape without spending all of your wages. Another tip for a good blog design is don't make it too 'busy', keep your posts background white with clear, readable writing and keep your sidebar neat. It needs to be easy for readers to see your recent posts and the search bar so they can find what they are looking for - this will only increase your views. 


4. Getting Yourself Known

If you want to get your blog out there and increase people's awareness of your blog and your page views then there are a few things you can do to help, but this does take time and patience. I'd really reccomend getting involved in the #bblogger chats which happen every Wednesday and Sunday at 8pm for an hour and the #fblchat which happens every Tuesday at the same time. This is a great way to get some tips and advice as well as getting some great product reccomendations. At the end of each chat most people share their links or ask for other bloggers for links, this is a great way of getting your blog out there but I really wouldn't reccomend spamming your link - nobody likes a spammer. 

Another point to remember is that interaction breeds interaction. Reading and commenting on other blogs regularly will mean more people will return the favour and check out your blog. But don't just go around spamming people's comments with your link, this will get you nowhere apart from in bloggers bad books. Whenever someone leaves a genuine comment on my blog I will always go and check out their blog, but if someone leaves a 'follow for follow' comment on my blog I will usually just ignore it, as harsh as that sounds. Another tip is making sure you reply to blog comments. Admittedly, I'm really bad at this and definitely need to start replying more often but finding the time is really difficult inbetween everything else I have going on. I usually put aside an hour or two to reply to all of my comments in bulk as it can take a while to leave a proper, meaningful reply to each comment. But replying to comments is a good way of interacting with other bloggers and gaining friends in the blogging world. 

It may not seem like it at first, but followers, page views and interaction will come in time, but it will come if you are willing to put effort into getting your blog where you want to be. At first I was pretty hopeless, I didn't get my first follower until I'd been doing it for about 2 or 3 months but it did happen and it continues to happen, so hang in there if your a newbie!

5. Content

This is a bit of a tricky one to talk about as your content really is personal to you, but coming up with original ideas will always work better for you. It's always tempting to just do what all of the bigger bloggers are doing but if you do that, then you will always be compared and why would anyone want to read a copy when they could read the real thing? It's not always easy to constantly come up with original content but being a carbon copy of another blogger isn't going to get you anywhere. Another tip for your posts is including links to where things can be bought and the price, admittedly I'm quite bad at this, but if it's something you can't just nip to Boots and buy then it's always handy to include a link. 

At one point in your blogging career you will probably come across bloggers block, we all have times when we have nothing to say, especially if your posting every day! I'm always suffering with this and buying new products always seems like the easiest way out but I've stopped myself doing that now, it's a waste of money and completely unnceccesary. One way of getting out of this is simply by reading more blogs and blog posts, I'm always getting inspiration from other bloggers that I look up to and it really helps kickstart my creativity again. Also, sometimes taking a little break is just what you need. Nobody is going to hate you if you take a week off to relax, you will come back to your blog feeling fresh and ready to start again. 

6. Blogging Doesn't Have To Be Expensive

It's always tempting to rush out and get the latest products when they are so hyped up and think that you need them to be a better blogger, but trust me, you don't. You also don't need to be constantly buying products to keep up with other bloggers and always have things to review but there are lots of other things you can write about which you don't need to spend money for. Writing posts like FOTDs and wishlists are a great way of posting without spending any money and are actually some of my most popular posts. Collection posts are also a great way of posting without spending any money on new products. You could also write lifestlye posts or instagram updates, I don't really do many of these just because I don't think my life is particularly interesting but if you have a story to tell, you should definitely go ahead and tell it!

So, there you have it, a little bit of my advice on blogging. I'm sorry that was such a long post but I really wanted to include as much as I could. Obviously this list will never be finished, blogging will always be growing and changing and with that, new techniques will appear. If there is anything else you really want to know or get advice on then please don't hesitate to ask in the comments below or tweet me @RDerbyshire93 if you want a quick answer! 


43 comments:

  1. great advice and tips , will defiantly help
    xxx
    The Inked Blonde

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  2. Thank you for taking the time out to write this post, a lot of thought and time obviously went into it and it has helped me out a lot! There are some great tips in here and I agree about spammers, it's much nicer to reply to a comment which is meaningful rather than reading "follow4follow" comments! Saying that, so far I'm quite good at replying to every comment I get and I hope to continue this :)
    Lovely post.
    danielascribbles.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I love this post so helpful thank you xx


    http://yougottabegorgeousx.blogspot.co.uk/

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  4. Great advice! really enjoyed reading this post.
    Mahsa xx
    mahsal.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. Fab advice , thanks for taking the time to help us newbies x

    Makeupemotion.blogspot.com

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  6. I love reading advice posts! It's nice to see bloggers supporting other bloggers by trying to guide them i the right direction! I've found social media to be a great tool in helping me, as well as being happy with my content, not writing for the sake of it! I recently got a Canon 600D and I agree it is super handy to have! I can't wait for summer though when all my pictures can be bright and pretty. Love your blog!

    lifeofatraineejournalist.com

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  7. I loved this post. Love reading advice from other bloggers and I will take note of some of the things you have said x

    http://lipstickandsparkles.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. Some really great tips here, thank you x

    http://penneychic.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. Great tips lovely! I tend to photograph products when I get them so I can start using them asap, then I'll pop them in a basket and once I've used it enough I'll write about it. x

    fabheadtotoe.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. I really loved this post, full of down-to-earth advice! Thanks for the recommendation of places to get design tips too, this is the one area I really struggle with so will definitely be checking them out! x

    http://ninegrandstudent.wordpress.com/

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  11. Really like this post very honest and true. As bad as it sounds I hate when a blog doesn't have nice clear photos or their blog design is bad. I am really trying to be organised and prepare my posts in advance which is a lot harder than i thought
    http://fashionandbeautytribes.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. This post has really helped, thank you. I've recently got into blogging and its really nice knowing that everything takes time. I've been getting quite paranoid that views are few and far between but like you say I'm going to hang in there! Great advice about the spending side too, I don't want to spend lots of money on things I may only use for one post, time to get creative! Thank you again x

    alongcamekelly.blogspot.co.uk

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  13. Thanks for this it was a really helpful post! :) I totally agree with the "getting yourself known" tips! I think I set up my blog about 6 months ago now? I only have 93 followers so not many, and I have seen some people I follow go up to like 400 in a week, and their blogs are no better than anyone else's, it's just through spamming and following thousands of people! At least I can say I have gotten my followers "organically" and I have clearly stated in my description if someone follows me and I like their blog, I will follow back, but I refuse to follow blogs I don't enjoy reading just for follow backs! Really gets under my skin that some people just want popularity but aren't that bothered about loving their blog. You've definitely done it the right way! And well done on being so organised!! xx

    xbeccabe.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. Really helpful advice, been looking for a post like this for a while :) thankyou!

    Steph
    OhanaSteph.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. Such a good idea to take the photos in bulk in the morning! I should do that. I just went to take some pictures and they just didn't look right in this light.

    Jenn | Photo-Jenn-ic

    x

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  16. Thank you for writing this! I found lots of great tips-especially the photography section. It is hard to get the photos looking crisp and I don't have a nice camera (yet) which can get tricky. 2014 is all abt improving the photos for my blog. Thank you for the tips!

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  17. I'm obsessed with reading blog posts like this. It's interesting to see how others do it and how I can adapt some of these tips into my blogging. I think content can be the hardest and most subjective thing to nail and I know my personal reading list is very eclectic and I suppose my blog posts can be, being a lifestyle blogger. I also find design is key. I can be a design snob (yours is lovely btw). I definitely need an insight into other bloggers photography. Anyways I ramble!

    Toni May, from Average Adventures.

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  18. This was extremely helpful, thank you for writing this x
    http://www.classychicxo.blogspot.com

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  19. Thanks so much! This was so helpful for me because my blog is pretty new!

    oodlesojess.blogspot.com

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  20. Great post, very helpful :) I also really like FOTD posts and wish lists, they're great to read and to write, also really informative :)

    http://www.beautybyalicee.co.uk/2014/01/beauty-haul_26.html xoxo

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  21. I found this to be pretty helpful! I remember when I first started blogging I would post kinda whenever, but then I decided to be a bit more serious about it and switched to M W F in the morning. But because I have class when I would like to publish my posts, I had to start scheduling them. It was so weird to not have the instant gratification of publication! But I think this works better now. (:

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  22. Great tips, especially for those who may be just starting out or are stuck. Scheduling posts is so handy for me and I recommend it to anyone!
    xx
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

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  23. I'm a new blogger, and reading this post has given me such great advice. I am looking for ways to get people reading my blog and I am definitely going to take your advise :) Also knowing what you look for in a blog is great, because i bet a lot of other people look for exactly the same things!

    Seriously good advice here :) http://kitchandco.co.uk

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  24. This is awesome, tips are always helpful - And I love your design!

    Thanks for sending me your link in bbloggers :)

    S xx
    Friday is Forever Blog

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  25. Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks. I haven't been blogging for very long but I seriously love it, and with your helpful tips I know I'll be able to get my blog to new heights.

    xo.Janiecy.xo | A Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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  26. These are some really sound tips. I definitely have to work on some of these! :)

    www.natalielovesbeauty.com

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  27. Love this advice, given me some great tips for some things I have personally been struggling on. Love your blog and really enjoy reading your posts!

    http://tastingtheworldwithme.blogspot.co.uk/

    X

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  28. Such a great post Becky. A lot of people will be so thankful for this. Old and newbie bloggers! Has gave me some tips :-) organisation is definitely key!

    Rachael x
    All The Little Things x | Rachael McClenaghan

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  29. Lovely advice and tips and blogging is harder than I originally thought and always organize posts now :) Personally I post 2-3 times a week at midnight as I feel you get longer out the post that way and its great for night owls who love to read at night like myself ;) xx

    www.krystelcouture.com

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  30. Great advice lovely and thank you so much for including my blog!! x

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  31. this is a great post lovely & u have made some really important points like commenting on others blogs & replying to comments!i think that is really important:)xx

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  32. I cannot believe I have only just found your blog. I love it! I have been reading back through old posts. This was such a useful post, full of great tips. Thank you! x

    www.whatlouiseisloving.com

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  33. As long as we love what we are doing i think its enough. We should not always worry about getting new readers , cuz that takes away from the blog! Thanks becky for such a lovely post!
    -Chaitra|Itspinkpot

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  34. Great advice, I'll definitely follow your advice! I'd love to get my blog out there.
    xxx
    Paper Dreams and Plastic Bags

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  35. Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out to new bloggers in the world (: Your advice is great to take note of!

    egardsdeevon.blogspot.com

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  36. Such a great and inspiring post! As a blogger who has started/stopped and then started up again a few months down the line I'm finding it hard to keep motivation when my follow count or even page views remains the same for a good couple of weeks, but I know now to just persevere and actually, taking part in the #bbloggers and #BlogHour chats on twitter is a great way to speak with other bloggers, I genuinely feel more at home talking to bloggers than I do other people, considering they're complete strangers!

    Love your blog girly! Xx

    cornbreadorvelvet.blogspot.com xx

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  37. I've just this year started blogging and i'm already starting to grasp the basics and i've picked up quite a few followers, but this post has really helped me!

    Thank you xxx

    Love From RHJ

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  38. Hi I just found your blog and clicked on the link for this post. Just wanted to say it sounds really great advice. I started my blog in November but I'm still finding it kind of slow to get going, so I will definitely try some of these out.
    Thanks :-) Dani
    http://crystalsparklydreams.blogspot.co.uk/

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  39. Your blog is great! This is really good advice thanks for sharing. This was definitely helpful. :)

    http://awkwardgirlx.blogspot.com/

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  40. Such a good tip about the OOTD and wish list post :) Thank you it will be very helpful in my new blog :)
    Jamie xox | Bethnal Bohemia

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  41. Really good advice, Thanks. X

    http://chloeveblog.blogspot.co.uk

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, I would love to hear from you! However, if you are looking for a more instant answer please feel free to tweet me your questions @RDerbyshire93.

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