Monday, 16 October 2017

Taking Blogging Seriously & Improving My Blog

Just a little warning, this blog post is going to be quite long! I have a lot I want to say about this so you might want to grab a cup of tea before sitting down for a read. Basically this year I really decided to take a step up with my blog and see how well I could do with it. After leaving my job last year, I was just so bored and thought as I love blogging so much, why not try and see where it takes me if I really push myself? I've put so much effort into it since the beginning of the year, I've had a new theme and blog header made, both I love, and I've been posting loads more than ever before. I'm so aware I'm still such a small blogger and probably always will be, but I never expected to do as well as I have done so I wanted to just write about some of the things I've done this year with my blog to improve it, why and how it's helped.

Posting 5 Days A Week & Being Consistent 

This is the main thing I wanted to do this year. After trying to post 3 times a week last year, I decided this year as I wasn't working, to try and up that and keep with it all year. So far I've done that! It's definitely hard to keep coming up with new blog posts sometimes and I go through phases where I love it, and others where I don't as much but I'm so proud I've managed to keep up with it. I thought if I really want to make something of my blog then I needed to be more consistent with it, post regularly and just try and keep things new. I love knowing when I can expect a post from other bloggers so I thought instead of posting randomly (not that there is anything wrong with that), I'd have a proper Monday-Friday schedule. 

Using Social Media More 

Aswell as posting on my blog more, I wanted to do the same for my social media. I've generally just tried to be active on all of the ones I use. So I've posted everyday on Instagram most of the year and I've been trying to tweet more general and personal things rather than just scheduled blog promotion. I've also started promoting all of my blog posts on my blog Facebook page aswell and also Pinterest. I've now got a whole board dedicated to my blog posts so any new ones get pinned there straight away as I know a lot of people have success with traffic that way. I think as a blogger it's important to be active on social media and to show your personality where you can. I've also joined some Twitter and Instagram groups/pods to help with liking and commenting just so we can all support each other which I really like.

Contacting PRs & Brands 

For a while now I've been okay with contacting brands I'm interested in working with. Not in a pushy or arrogant way for them to just send me some products, but there are some brands I've always been interested in working with so I see no harm in sending details across and if they choose to email back, then brilliant. This year though I really stepped it up. I've emailed lots of brands that I would love to work with in the future and I've also contacted a few PR companies about being added to their press list. There are so many that never got back to me, which I expected, and some have and now I've got some great relationships with those people. As much as it's nice to receive emails occasionally from people wanting to work me, I think it's just as nice for them to receive those sorts of emails and if I was the PR person for a brand, I think I'd be flattered to see emails from bloggers wanting to work together. I just think if there is something you're passionate about or a brand you use and love anyway, what's the harm in getting in touch? I've been lucky enough this year especially to work with some incredible brands and I really don't take any of the opportunities for granted, I know I'm still a small blogger!


When it comes to working with PR people and brands, after completing/publishing any posts I've been working on for them, I like to add them on LinkedIn. I'm still relatively new to the app but it's brilliant for so many things and I've managed to add quite a lot of people that I've had communication with over email for product reviews/sponsored posts and I personally think it's a good way to build up a little portfolio of people you've worked with. You can list your skills on there and if they want to, they can endorse them and generally it keeps you on their radar. It might mean they come back to you in future for more campaigns and it really can't hurt to have these people you've worked with as a connection. It could even help with getting work in future. I put a little status on there most days with my latest blog post, especially if I've done a review or collaborative post with a brand, you never know who might see it, be impressed and get in touch!

Upping My Photography Game

My photography definitely isn't brilliant, it's something I've worked hard on though this year and I'm really starting to see an improvement. I know I still have a long way to go with it and I'm always comparing my photos to other thinking mine aren't good enough but compared to over 3 years ago when I started this, there has been a dramatic improvement! Now I know what sorts of photos I like to create, what props I like to include and I just love experimenting all the time when I have something new to photograph. I'm really proud of myself for trying some different things this year and hopefully that will continue in the future as I think photography is definitely a big part of blogging.

Saying No 

As I've said I'm still such a small blogger so I don't get loads of emails, in fact I can go ages without anyone wanting to be featured on my blog or work with me, and that's fine but there have been times this year where I've been contacted about things and I've had to say no. As exciting as it can be getting these opportunities for product reviews and even sponsored posts, it has to be relevant for my blog, and this year I've been much more picky with what I feature. I've also started saying no to people who just refuse to pay what I'm actually worth. I take each thing as it comes and if they can't offer any money but it seems like a great opportunity, sometimes I will take it as working for free can lead to other things but other times it's quite obvious when someone is just trying to be cheeky and if it doesn't feel right in my gut, I won't accept. It's all about what you personally feel comfortable with and the majority of the time now I'm much more clear of what I expect. I like to think eventually it'll be respected that bloggers actually stand their ground and don't budge when offered a small amount for a post, and that we will all be treated a bit more fairly!

I think overall all of these things have really helped with growing my blog and even though it really is still SO small compared to some, I've already smashed my blogging goals for this year and I don't think I would have if I'd not taken it all a bit more seriously. Posting throughout the week all year so far has really helped with my blog views, and being more active on social media without a doubt has grown my following that way and I'm so happy with how I've done with my Twitter and Instagram already. There are definitely still things I need to work on and I'll always want to improve but I think I'm doing okay so far, so I just wanted to share that really in case anyone needs any tips. If you've got any tips with growing and improving your blog, let me know in the comments!

Relevant posts - My Opinion On Approaching Brands // My 5 Must Have Apps

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