TIPS AND TRICKS: Blogging Tips #7

Image: pinterest, I left my memory card with my pics on at home!

Would you believe I haven’t posted a blog tips post since the start of May? Crazy. I was gonna make them a weekly thing when I first started writing them, but it didn’t quite work out as planned. Nevermind ey! Anyway, disclaimer: I’m not trying to tell you how to blog, I’m just voicing my opinion in certain areas and you don’t have to follow anything I say!

Tip One: Try Not To Feel Pressured To Buy New Things | One thing I see in the blogging world and on social media is how ‘expensive it is to be a blogger’ and it always makes me wonder if it really is.

I, personally, don’t feel pressured to buy new things just so I can blog about them or a need to buy all of the latest releases just because they’re new. I know this might just be me, but I’m not too bothered if I’m not 100% up to date with what’s just came out. Years of buying unnecessary things has taught me to do a hell of a lot of research before making a purchase too, especially if it’s a pricey one. I’ll read at least ten reviews before considering picking something up, as I don’t want to waste my cash. So, more often than not, new releases and hyped up products just don’t do it for me. Obviously I make a few blogger inspired purchases and there are certain bloggers I really trust the opinions of, but as a whole I always think before I type in my card number!

I know blogging is a world where people like to blog about new things as soon as they come out, due to PR samples and the need to release information as soon as, especially on social media. But, I’d be really sad to think people are just buying these new things so they can be the first to blog about it or for the page views, instead of purchasing an item because you actually want to own it. I genuinely hope blogging isn’t actually putting pressure on people  (or, when you think about it it’s really you putting that pressure on yourself) to buy new things all of the time, as I feel like that takes the fun out of reviewing if you constantly feel like you need to update your stash.

If I want to ever buy something new, before reading reviews, I always look at what I already have in my collection. Shopping your stash and being more creative with your posts can really help curb those cravings for new purchases too. Obviously, I’m not saying don’t buy anything ever. Not at all. Just please try not to put that pressure on yourself to buy new things solely for blogging or as a result of pressure.

Tip Two: Make Sure Everything Is Accessible | Have you ever found a blog you adore, but their bloglovin link is nowhere to be seen? Or you can’t find where to comment? I’ve come across this so many times and it’s so frustrating, especially when you really want to follow that blog!

So, following on from last Sunday’s blog design #bbloggers chat, I thought I’d write a little section about making sure everything on your blog is perfectly visible for the reader. It might make a difference to your numbers if you make sure the following are in check:

Comments: Make sure your comment link (or whatever comment form you use) can be easily seen, whether this is at the top or the bottom of your post. Readers will only look for it for so long before they don’t bother leaving one!
Note: Also, consider getting rid of Captcha codes/word verification on your comments, as they can be extremely offputting to some readers who want to say hi on your post. They’re usually there to prevent spam, but I found disabling anonymous comments to be more effective, as spam is usually anonymous anyway and my 100+ spam comments a day are now 0. You can turn it off by going to your Settings > Posts and comments > Show word verification > No.
Social Media Icons: If I really love a blog, I’ll tend to follow their bloglovin and their twitter, as I’m more likely to keep up with their posts as they put them up on there. I know other people like to do this too ie. if your photos are lovely then people may want to follow your instagram etc, so it’s important to make sure all your links are easily accessed by your readers. This doesn’t have to be in any fancy way and social media icons are available online, as well as the HTML tips to help you put them on your blog (though you can get help if you need it!)
Follow Buttons: Whether you use bloglovin of good old GFC, similarly to social media icons, make sure readers can see these and click the little button easily!
Fonts and Colours: This isn’t strictly accessibility, but using fonts that people can actually read and colours that aren’t too harsh on the eye make a huge difference. No one is going to bother struggling to read a post, so why make them? Pick an easy to read, plain font for the main bulk of your text and stick to colours that are don’t hurt to look at when choosing your blog theme. There’s no point in putting people off as soon as they click on your blog!

There’s lots of little things that make a big difference to how readers interact or read your blog, but I think the above four are a good place to start. I’ve talked about blog design before and will always recommend pipdig if you’re after a new, affordable layout. Just imagine you’re the reader for a second, would you leave a comment or follow? If not, then work out what you can improve on from there.

Tip Three: Write Down Your Inspiration | This sounds like the most basic of tips, but writing everything down can make a huge difference to your content and the time spent doing it. I know a lot of you write and take photos as you go, so this may not apply, but for those with maybe full time jobs or a limited time to put together content, writing down exactly what you want to do really helps.

Whenever I’m browsing blogs, looking around the internet in general or going through my stash, I jot down little ideas for posts as I go. Whether this is for a beauty post, outfit inspiration or even blog tips. It really helps organise my week as I tend to take my photos over two days, one for beauty/baking and one for outfits. So, if I’ve got all my content written down, I know which products to include and which ones I need to pick up to photograph and build my posts around. It saves a lot of time and I can get posts completed much quicker.

I tend to write things down in a notepad file and keep it in my Dropbox, so I can access it/add to it from my laptop, desktop, boyfriend’s laptop and my phone. I have a document for each month, so I’ll put all of my ideas for July etc in one place. This also helps with any samples I have to feature too, so no one is accidentally forgotten about or misplaced. Doing this has really helped streamline my blogging days and makes me much more productive!

So, that’s the seventh installment of my blogging tips. As always, if you have any suggestions for topics, then please do let me know and I’d love to hear your opinions on the above too!

Helen x | twitter | instagram | bloglovin
ps. Check out the lovely The Blossom Cart, Beauty Gabble and Loulabeth this month!