Work In Progress // Blogging 101

Hey guys! Myself and my friend Gemma decided to tackle the subject of blogging in our podcast this week. Throughout this podcast, we collected and answered your questions from Facebook and Twitter, on blogging; every subject from how to keep your topics fresh, to how to stay thrifty with your money!

In case this is the first podcast you’ve discovered, here’s a quick run down of our podcasting plan. This is the third instalment of four podcasts that we are creating this month, and they go live every Friday. We’re having a lot of fun doing them, and we love that you guys are listening to them. So far we’ve talked about the magazine that we put together with our University, put together a playlist to showcase our different music tastes, and now we’re onto blogging!

So to avoid me rambling for another 5 minutes, here’s this weeks Work In Progress podcast, Blogging 101.

That’s it for this weeks podcast, thank you so much for listening to it! Next week we’ll be officially kicking off Summer with our final podcast! As it’s our last one, we definitely don’t want you to miss it, so be sure to tune in Friday 1 July, to get ready for Summer 2016.


Another super quick thank you to everyone that sent us questions, and again I’ll give a thanks to Gemma, she puts up with me while I laugh for a solid 3 minutes at the beginning of every podcast recording, before eventually saying “Hey guys!”

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How To Blog On A Budget

If you, like me, run a blog, then you can very quickly realise that over time, you might be investing some money in it. Be it paying for a domain, to feeling the need to buy every palette as soon as it’s released, we can very quickly find ourselves needing to save some pennies, while keeping up to date with the blogging world.

So today I thought that I’d write a post with some tips on how to save money, while still producing interesting blog posts!

Be Resourceful | It may be incredibly tempting to buy new products to test and review, but why not review something you already own? Even if you’ve already reviewed it, you can do an updated or empties post!

Follow Up | Following on from my previous point, you don’t need to do reviews, you can simply update previous posts. Anything from a personal post you’ve previously shared, to a wishlist post.

Playlists | Making a sharing a playlist is fun, your followers get to know your tastes, and it’s absolutely free!IMG_7847

Collections | I’ve loved reading and creating posts like these lately. All you have to do it talk us through your existing collections!

Lists & Tips | These posts perform outstandingly well, they are so quick and simple to put together, and once more, they’re free!

Personal | If you feel comfortable doing it, why not get personal with a post? Your readers will enjoy getting to know you better, and it can feel really good to get some things off of your chest.

Reviews | If you are obsessed with writing reviews, and you don’t really want to stray from that, you can try reviewing a movie, book or tv show that you have watched. You don’t need to buy anything new, just tell your readers what you thought about it!

Those are some of my tips for blogging on a budget, I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some ideas! Let me know if it did in the comments, and feel free to leave any ideas you have too!

101 BLOG POST IDEAS

As so many of you guys have blogs yourselves, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I mention bloggers block. It happens to just about all of us at some point, and it can be quite disheartening to kick it and get back into your blogging flow. So today I’ve given myself the task of sharing 101 blog post ideas with you, to help you kick bloggers block!

This post is quite long in itself, so let’s just get straight into the post ideas!

1. FIVE THINGS TO BE HAPPY ABOUT
2. FAVOURITE BLOGS OF THE MONTH
3. FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF
4. OUTFIT OF THE DAY
5. MAKEUP COLLECTION
6. A COMPETITION/GIVEAWAY
7. BLOGGING ADVICE
8. FASHION WISH LIST
9. EXERCISE TIPS
10. FASHION/BEAUTY HAUL
11. BOOK REVIEW
12. FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS
13. ‘HOW TO STYLE’ OUTFIT POSTS
14. PRODUCT REVIEWS
15. ROOM TOUR
16. HOST A GUEST POST
17. WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG
18. PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
19. FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF
20. WHAT’S ON YOUR PHONE
21. HOST A Q+A
22. FAVOURITE PODCASTS
23. AN INTERVIEW WITH A BLOGGER
24. INTERIOR INSPIRATION
25. A NEWS STORY
26. PRODUCTS WORTH THE HYPE
27. A DIY / HOW TO
28. HEALTHY SNACK RECIPE
29. PAY-DAY SHOPPING PICKS
30. A FASHION SHOW REVIEW
31. A STORY ABOUT YOURSELF
32. A LIST POST
33. A RANT
34. YOUR FAVOURITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS
35. YOUR DREAMS AND GOALS
36. A TAG POST
37. A POST ON YOUR FRIEND/PARTNERS STYLE
38. YOUR EVERY DAY MAKEUP ROUTINE
39. COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ADVICE
40. A BEFORE AND AFTER POST
41. AN INSTAGRAM ROUNDUP
42. A 30 DAY CHALLENGE
43. A REVIEW OF A PLACE
45. A CONTROVERSIAL OPINION
46. YOUR HAIR HISTORY
47. A ‘GET THE LOOK’ STYLE POST
48. WHAT’S IN YOUR MAKEUP BAG
49. MONTHLY FAVOURITES
50. DETAILS OF YOUR HOME
51. YOUR FOOD DIARY
52. AN EMPTY PRODUCTS REVIEW
53. YOUR HANDBAG COLLECTION
54. THE REASON YOU STARTED BLOGGING
55. A MAKEUP TUTORIAL
56. SHARE SOME POSITIVITY
57. ASK YOUR READERS A QUESTION
58. PLACES TO VISIT WHERE YOU LIVE
59. YOUR FAVOURITE APPS
60. A ‘DAY IN THE LIFE’ STYLE POST
61. OFFER A SERVICE
62. A LIST OF LIFE HACKS
63. MUST-HAVE ITEMS
64. EMPTY PRODUCT REVIEWS
65. YOUR WORK SPACE
66. ROUND UP YOUR OUTFITS THIS MONTH
67. STYLE INSPIRATION POST
68. HOW YOU STAY ORGANISED
69. A MOVIE REVIEW
70. FAVOURITE STREET STYLE LOOKS
71. A BIRTHDAY/ANNIVERSARY POST
72. SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE BLOG POSTS
73. A GET READY WITH ME POST
74. 5 THINGS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT
75. JOB INTERVIEW TIPS
76. BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS
77. A BRAND FOCUS
78. AN EVENT YOU’VE BEEN TO
79. YOUR OPINION ON A TREND
80. SAVE VS SPLURGE
81. HOW TO DE-STRESS
82. AN OPEN LETTER TO SOMEONE
83. A ‘WHO WORE IT BEST?’ POST
84. HOW TO GAIN FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM
85. HOW TO START YOUTUBE CHANNEL
86. WHAT BLOGGING HAS TAUGHT YOU
87. BLOGGER BLOOPERS
89. YOUR SHOE COLLECTION
90. AFFORDABLE HOMEWARE IDEAS
91. YOUR EXPERIENCE AT SCHOOL
92. HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
93. AN EBAY WISHLIST
94. FACE OF THE DAY
95. HOW TO STOP PROCRASTINATING
96. BLOGGING DOS AND DON’TS
97. BEAUTY HACKS
98. HOW TO GET MOTIVATED
99. THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE SAD

100. YOUR FIVE YEAR PLAN

101. SEASONAL ESSENTIALS

That’s it! 101 blog post ideas, whether you’re a strictly fashion, beauty, lifestyle or travel blogger, there’s something here for everyone! Let me know any blog post ideas you have that I haven’t featured, and also let me know what your favourites are that I have mentioned.

The Ultimate List Of Blogging Resources

If you run a blog, you can spend hours searching for the right website or plugin to help you with creating, increasing engagement and everything else that comes with running an online space.

So instead of spending all of that time looking through useless sites, I’ve done it for you and compiled this ultimate list of blogging resources!

I’ve alphabetised this list in order to make navigation easier for you, but if you want to find a specific tool quicker, just CRTL+F it!

IMG_2263Ad Management

 WP125 WP125 offers everything from a one or two column ad display, and includes support. You can also show as many ads as you want, and in any order. One of my favourite things about this particular plugin is that you can keep track of how many times an ad is clicked, and it runs ads for as long as you want, and removes them for you, on the end date.

Analytics

Quill Engage This is a free tool that collects all of your Google Analytics data and emails you weekly summaries.

Apps

DWNLD For just £15 a month, you can transform your online content into a sleek app!

Colour Palettes

Adobe Colour This is perfect for creating any type of colour palette. They can be analogous, monochromatic, or customised, it’s even fun to just play and create your own palettes!

Comment System

Disqus I’m sure you would’ve come across this system on many blogs, it’s incredibly easy to sign up for, and it’s said to increase both traffic and engagement for your online content.

Competition Tool

Rafflecopter This tool is the only way I would ever run another giveaway. It takes minutes to input your terms and prize, and the rest of the work is done for you! I think this tool is an incredibly fair and fun way to run giveaways and competitions.

Focus

StayFocusd This plugin helps you stay focussed when you’re actually writing. It does this by limiting the amount of time you can spend on what you input as ‘time-wasting’ sites.

Fonts

Da Font Search by style for the exact font that you want, and download for free.

Group Work

Basecamp We’ve all encountered annoying times when you’re working on a group project and no one is sure where they stand, or what’s being done. Basecamp takes away all of these issues, by not only featuring an interactive working space, but also a real-time chat, for you to voice any concerns and collaborate even easier.

HTML

HTML Dog This site offers beginner, intermediate and advanced tutorials on both HTML and CSS. There is also a handy reference guide for HTML tools.

Image Editor

PicMonkey An insanely easy to use photo editor, collage maker, and graphic design site. Perfect for everyone and it’s free!

Photoshop The most famous photo editing software, it’s very easy to navigate once you’ve got the hang of it, and you get a professional quality service.

Easel.ly This site actually features thousands of free infographic templates which users can customise, and share their visual ideas online.

Inspiration

Uber Suggest Enter a few keywords, and have blog post ideas generated for you!

Day Of The Year Find worldwide events and special occasions to inspire blog posts!

 

Livestreaming

Twitcam Perfect for livestreaming without the cost. Here you can  livestream and talk to your audience in the live chat at the same time.All livestreams are also archived and available after you’ve ended the stream.

Online Safety

Login LockDown This plugin allow you to limit the amount of login attempts allowed from any particular IP address during a space of time.The current default is a 1 hour lock out of an IP block after 3 failed login attempts within 5 minutes.

CheckShortURL If you’ve encountered a shortened URL and you’re not sure where it leads, this site lets you ‘peek’ at the site before you click on it.

Page Annotation

Bounce If you’d like to share a webpage with someone, but you’d also like to annotate or mention a specific section this website does exactly that. It even screenshots the entire loaded page, and not just what you initially see on the screen.

Screen Recorder

Screencast-O-Matic A free and easy to use screen recorder, with no download.

Sharing

Buffer The perfect way to share a post multiple times, to various social media outlets, but with different introductions and images.

MailChimp A free system for sending an email to your entire list of contacts. You can set up automated campaigns, or design them from scratch each time.

Signature

WiseStamp Create your own unique email signature, with an automatic link to your latest blog post.

Skype Capture

Pamela for Skype This is one of the more secure and easy to use Skype recording software. You also have options of a free version, but you are limited to 15 minutes calls.

Stock Images

iStock With this site you can pay per photos, or buy a subscription, to have access to millions of free to use images.

Image.Net Another If you’re a member of the media, this site allows you access to free to use images and videos, with email updates when particular tags are updated.

Twitter Tool

Crowdfire This site is actually perfect for keeping on top of who you’re following, and who is or isn’t following you.

TweetDeck A super slick way to view and interact with Twitter. I particularly find it the perfect way to take part in Twitter chats, as you can tweet, reply and interact with so many people at once.

URL Shortener

Google The quickest way to shorten a URL, foolproof.


I hope you guys found some useful sites to use, be sure to let me know if you will start using one of these!

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Drop me a comment with what you’re after and I’ll find it for you!

Beginners Guide To Blogging

Hey guys! Since I started my blog (1 year and 2 months ago, dear god) a lot of people that I know have spoken to me about wanting to star their own blogs, and I really endorse setting up your own place on the internet, so today I thought I’d use my experience to give any budding bloggers a little run-down on how to set yourself up in the blogging world!

backgrounder (1)Research

Before you jump right into starting your blog (there is nothing wrong with just jumping into it, but I’m just giving you some ideas based on my own personal experience) first look at some of your favourite blogs; what is it that draws you to them and keeps you returning to read? What kind of blog names do you relate to more? Do you prefer paid themes over free ones? Do you think you’ll want to start out with your own domain? These are all really good questions to know the answers to, because you’ll feel much more confident and secure in starting out.

Pick a platform

I didn’t really do a lot of research into the various platforms available for starting a blog, but I settled into WordPress very quickly because it makes everything so easy for you. I did briefly attempt to set up my own website through Wix, but that proved far too complicated for a beginner like myself. I then tried Blogger, and it was slightly easier to use and navigate, but still not straightforward enough for me, and I found the themes to be quite boring and blocky, so I did a quick google search for alternate blogging platforms, and WordPress had the best reviews, and I haven’t looked back. Even buying my own domain was incredibly simple, you just need to set up a payment option, and you’re done! WordPress even automatically redirects to your new domain!

Think about your niche

This isn’t majorly important, because I think the best type of blogs are ones that perfectly reflect the person behind them, and we don’t all fit into stereotypical niches. So ultimately, for this point I would recommend just having an idea of the direction, tone and general layout and outlook of your online space. Do you want to keep your identity private? Would you like to cover personal and deep topics? Do you you want to post exclusively makeup reviews? Do you want to be a travel blogger? Just have a general idea of what you want to write about, otherwise you will find it difficult to get your site up and going.

Write like the wind

Finally, the best advice I’ve ever been given in relation to blogging, and the best advice I can think of giving to someone who wants to start a blog: Just start writing. I wish that I had thought about the previous points before starting out, because I did experience some starts and abrupt stops, and for an awfully long time I just put the whole blogging thing off because I had no clue about what to call my blog! But if you just start writing, you can always go back and edit posts, even delete them entirely if you want to. The important thing is to just get going, we all know that I was in such a rush to get started by the time I had finally chosen a name, that by 2 months into blogging, I had no motivation, ideas or direction, so I had only written one post.


I hope that this post has helped some of you budding bloggers out! Be sure to drop me any questions you might have in the comments below!

Did you just throw yourself into blogging or did you plan everything out before getting into it? I’d love to know fellow bloggers stories!

A Whole Year Of Blogging!

Today is officially one whole year since my very first post!

IMG_0978
My only regret is that the banner does not fill the frame.

I didn’t know what type of post I should do for today, especially as it is a little bonus Saturday post, so instead of rambling on about how happy I am that I stuck with this for a whole year, or about how ridiculously grateful I am to have you guys reading, I figured I would share some blog recommendations!

Obviously I want to shoutout The Girl Gang, as without this awesome community I wouldn’t have met so many awesome supportive people.


So naturally, following on from The Girl Gang I want to give a heck-tonne of blog love to it’s creator, Jemma from Dorkface! She works insanely hard, and is bright and positive the entire time!

Then there’s Charlie from Charlie CP, who runs an absolutely gorgeous blog, and shares my love of all things lilac/lavender and silver. Her pictures are always so gorgeous, and she keeps it super real!

Olivia from Olivia Cheryl is my inspiration for never letting the need to have a ‘niche’ get to you, because if there’s something she wants to write about, she just does it! I also love her openness and honesty.

IMG_0988
Here’s Soy enjoying the festivities

Fii from Little Miss Fii is my ultimate go-to for when it comes to Korean beauty, and all-around gorgeous lifestyle and funny posts. I love her style and attitude, she’s an absolute doll.

Holly from The Kitty Luxe has some of the most gorgeous makeup and outfit-inspiration posts that I have ever seen. (Plus her hair is just so pretty, like how does she do that?!)

Rebecca from WavesOfThoughts is single-handedly one of the most positive and supportive bloggers out there, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her more, she’s just so lovely!

And Corinne from SkinnedCarTree, if you are in need of blogging help, or a super-real-no-holds-barred review, then Corinne is your girl. Her posts are so informative and helpful that she herself is my ultimate guide to this blogging thing. (And yes, we can bond about all of the pros and cons of having our name)


These guys are all so amazing, I would recommend checking out and following their blogs right away! (After all, they did all pay me to say that… jk!)

So here is it is, we all knew it was inevitable, thank you guys so freakin’ much for reading my blog, whether you’ve been here for almost a year now, or if this is the first post you’ve read, I am so grateful that you’re here.

How To Proof Read Your Own Work

As I know that most of you guys reading are fellow bloggers, today I thought I’d write another post with writing/blogging in mind!

backgrounder (6)
Jack Bun-Bun is here to give you all of his editing advice

We’ve all found ourselves looking back on a post, (usually just after having pressed ‘publish’…) just to be confronted with annoying typos and missing/extra words that we swear weren’t there after our final scan through the post. Or even worse, having someone point out a really obvious mistake that you hadn’t noticed at all. It’s much easier to proof read someone else’s work than it is to check through your own, so today I’m sharing some tips that I’ve found and collected for how to proof read your own work!

Dissociate | The most important thing to do in order to be objective when re-reading and critiquing your own writing is to separate yourself from the fact that you know how the piece is supposed to read; which means we tend to not pick up on the little details. A quick way to go about this is by reading the piece backwards. It really can be as easy as starting with the last sentence and reading backwards, as that way our brains pick up on anything that doesn’t make complete sense.

Bring Your Words To Life | Again, doing something different with your work, that can be as simple and obvious as reading your work out loud, or printing it out, instead of just writing and rewriting, means that our mistakes are much more obvious.

Plan | I really should take my own advice on this one, but sometimes proof reading your own work can be a lot easier if you’re not proof reading on the same day. So planning and drafting posts ahead of time gives you a lot more opportunities to redraft and find errors.

Avoid Scanning | When we are faced with a mass of text, we very often tend to scan the piece as a whole, instead of actually taking the time to read the sentences as we would if someone else wrote them.


Those are the best tips I’ve found, let me know in the comments if you can think of any tips that work for you that I might have missed. I hope that these tips can help some of you out! I am by no means a professional; in fact, I have some very lovely editor/proof reader pals who usually find my errors and let me know about them, but hopefully these tips can help us all out!

How To Optimise Your Blog Photos

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that we all start out in the blogging world, because we’re passionate about it. We love to create, and we love it even more when other people love what we have created.

But it can be a little disheartening if you are avidly creating and developing ideas, if your content is never seen. Therefore we all quickly start to learn little tips and tricks for correctly tagging and sharing our posts, in order to get them in front of the right people. So today, I thought I’d share with you guys, my tips for how to optimise your blog images, so that you are using every available tool for showcasing your blog/online space in the best possible way.How To Optimise Your Blog Photos

Starting out with optimising your images can be as simple as correctly naming your file. For example, the image above is related to this post, “How To Optimise Your Blog Photos”, therefore that’s what I named this file after I transferred it onto my computer, and before uploading it to this post. I know this sounds really useless and obvious, but think of just how many images you take directly from your camera and upload to your blog, without thinking about it. It’s as simple as this, I want people to find this post when looking for tips on how to improve optimisation on their blog photos, therefore that’s what I named the image, so when it’s searched for, this post will appear.

No one ever searches for “IMG_567” or “FPEBDWR”. Your file names must be relevant and useful.

Secondly, there is also ‘Alternative Text’. Alternative text is separate from the file name, and it essentially identifies what the picture is. It’s the text that shows up on screen when a picture doesn’t load properly. This essentially tells whoever is searching for a specific keyword, what is in the image. So if you take a picture of a Lush Bubble Bar, you’ll want to add Lush and Bubble Bar to the alternative text tags.

And lastly, keep file sizes small. People don’t like to be waiting 3 minutes for an image to load. Most will wait roughly 15 seconds before getting tired of waiting and moving on, and that’s not what you want. You want people to love your content and want to return regularly, not click on a link once and never return because your image loaded bar by bar.


That’s it! I hope this post helped some of my fellow blogging buddies out, be sure to let me know if it did! Also, if you’re a seasoned professional in the world of blogging, please do leave any tips you’ve acquired on this (or any similar topic) in the comments, as I’m sure we’d all love to share as much advice as possible.

25 Blog Post Ideas For New Bloggers

Hey guys! For today’s post, I thought I’d take us all back in time; to when we very started out in this blogging world. I know for me, when I finally bit the bullet and created my blog, I was in such a rush to get my very first post up, and get going in the blogging world, that I burnt out after that one. I just didn’t have the ideas to back up my motivation, so I ended up having a month-old blog, with one post.25 Blog Post Ideas For New Bloggers

So today I’m sharing with you guys 25 blog prompts for those of you who are brand new to the blogging world.

  1. An introductory/”About Me” post
  2. 10 things no one knows about you
  3. Why did you start a blog?
  4. A round-up of “daily life”-type photos
  5. Where do you see yourself (and your blog) this time next year?
  6. Share some guilty pleasures
  7. What are your favourite blogs to check out every day?
  8. Share an embarrassing or silly story
  9. Let us see what’s in your bag
  10. Share some of your favourites – movies, music, TV, books, etc.
  11. What’s been inspiring you lately?
  12. Talk about a hobby or something you’re passionate about
  13. What are some goals you’d like to achieve this season?
  14. Share your bucket list
  15. What’s a day in your life like?
  16. Create a weekly feature or series
  17. Interview another blogger or friend
  18. Create a “Top 10” or “5 Tips” post
  19. Feature someone who inspires you every day
  20. Review something specific to your niche
  21. Share your to-do list for the day/week/weekend
  22. Swap guest posts with another blogger
  23. Share the pros and cons of something you have experience with
  24. Create a list of blogs you think are worth following
  25. Write a letter to your future self that you can come back and read on your blog’s 1 year anniversary

That’s it! I hope this post gave some of you budding bloggers some inspiration! (I know I could’ve done with bookmarking a post like this back when I started out!) So if you are starting up a blog now, what do you think you are going to share on your blog? Or if you’ve been blogging for a while, what was your first post?

Just A Thought…

DSCN0985I know. This isn’t your typical “Beauty | Fashion | Lifestyle” post. I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but there’s something that I just felt like saying today, and that’s that I’m human. That’s right, I am a person, this blog isn’t an automated device, nor is it a big company.

All too often I feel like people can forget that there is a person (sometimes more than one) behind a blog. These things really don’t run themselves, nor are they a breeze to do so. We all dedicate a lot of our time, effort and passion to our blogs. But sometimes someone can be reading, and be hyper-critical, or even unnecessarily harsh towards a blog, forgetting that there is a blogger behind it.

So today I just felt like saying, let’s share the love. We’re all blogging because we love it a lot, and it’s something we enjoy doing, so let’s celebrate one another, and cheer each other on. We don’t need to constantly be comparing ourselves to blogs that we might think are ‘better’, nor do we need to ignore or be harsh towards those we might not love.

The same goes for readers, just because you might not agree with something a blogger has said, or something as trivial as you don’t like their choice of eyeliner, try to see the amount of effort that has gone into that post, and applaud that instead. We create content because we love to do so, and sometimes it can be really soul-crushing to put so much of yourself out there, for people to judge, and then they do so harshly.

I am by no means expecting everyone to falsely get along, or comment on every blog post they see screaming how much they loved it, I just think we should simply cheer each other on.

I can’t believe how many friends I’ve made through creating this little online space for myself, and I can’t believe how supportive and positive they all are. It’s amazing how many lovely bloggers are out there. So much can really come out of just reaching out to another blogger, or commenting on someone’s post.


That’s all for now, I hope you guys enjoyed this slightly different type of post! Let me know if you’d like more personal posts like these. Also, be sure to leave your links below so we can all check out each others blogs and share the love!