When I hit 1500 followers I was asked by … if I would consider doing a blogging advice post. I never considered myself qualified enough or with enough experience to make this post but I thought I would share my personal “swear by” blogging tips with you guys.
Keep things polished
Nothing puts off a reader like a page that is hard to navigate, looks unfinished (I’m talking about where it still explains what a text widget is.. things like that) and is pretty inconsistent. Yep, these things are totally guaranteed to be present when you start up or go through changes but it is important to keep things as clear and consistent as possible. I recommend having some sort of theme to keep things polished. This could just be colours you use, particular layouts to each post, the same sign off at the end or similar header photos. All these things are important to keep people clicking on over and wanting to actually stay and browse your blog.
Arguably, one of the most important pieces of blogging advice anybody can give. This doesn’t just mean replying to comments in a relatively quick turn around (you do miss some here and there and you’re obviously going to be busy but 3 weeks is a bit too long if you ask me!) on your blog but also engaging with other bloggers. Sometimes it can be really hard to come across blogs and content that you enjoy so start with just reciprocating any appreciation others have given you. We are all here to support each other and ultimately, without that, blogging and the community wouldn’t exist. I have also found that interacting on social media helps so much. Tweet links to your posts, chat with bloggers in blogger chats and use Instagram to find some amazing bloggers.
I found that I was posting whenever inspiration hit me initially but I have since realised that a schedule, personally, works so much better. People know when to expect to hear from you next and it helps with the consistency point previously mentioned. Also, nobody is 100% inspired to write posts every single day – hence why I admire people like Angela and Cheila that are so damn present on WordPress – you people are goals! I often block write posts when I am really inspired and then when I am lacking I focus on making the pictures for the posts or browsing other people’s blogs. This also helps balance your timing between your blog and others, I find.
Keep it personal
This doesn’t necessarily mean make very personal, autobiographical posts but heck, why not? I mean do exactly what you want to do with no shame. Don’t choose to review makeup products when you don’t really feel passionate about it because it is so obvious when people aren’t 100% in to writing about something, honestly. Also, decide what works best for you in terms of long posts, short posts, 4 times a week updating us ‘day in the life’ style or once a week with a polished picture heavy post? It is all up to you and is ultimately the little bits that make your blog personal and unique.
What is the blogging advice that you swear by?
I have been self hosted for a few days and I have to admit it was one of the most stressful and nerve wracking things I have ever done to my blog. I have had ellamaygarrett.com for over a year now and the thought of losing everything that I had worked for was my biggest concern and something that prevented me from taking the plunge before.
As I mentioned on my last update post, other people’s experience posts really helped me throughout the whole process so I thought I would share mine in the hope that it helps anybody else out there thinking of making the leap to being self hosted.
Where Do I Start?
I hopped over to Site Ground where I purchased a plan that was a little over £30 for the year. Their website is reasonably easy to navigate so it doesn’t feel like a daunting process. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t research any companies and I went with Site Ground purely on the recommendation of others in their own experience posts so I have little to compare it to. Site Ground migrated all my WordPress content over for me so that was a nice easy thing that I didn’t have to worry about. Honestly, during this bit, just do some research or chill out. Let them handle the moving process for you. They will let you know when everything is ready for you to take over and make your own edits. I was sent a link when my site was ready and I could begin making changes.
I would totally recommend using the Site Ground help pages as I did find them really clear and useful to use when going through the various steps to becoming self hosted and having a fully functioning site.
When you know nothing about this type of venture it is super daunting and you do fear losing everything at points. Because I already had ellamaygarrett.com the mapping from here there and everywhere got quite complicated and I was worried it wasn’t going to work. The best advice I could have is just to be as patient as possible. By this point, I had already been making the transition for a few solid hours and every time I tried to customise my new self hosted site I was kicked off and my old WordPress site would reappear in its place. I was massively frustrated as I kept losing all the changes I made so I decided what was best was for me to close my laptop down for a bit and just come back to it later. Honestly, this made the world of difference and probably benefited the Site Ground support team that I just kept hassling about this that and the other.
I went to pipdig for my theme as I knew it was a site a lot of reputable bloggers use and love. I will admit that I dived in to buying one very quickly without actually checking out other places so I would recommend finding a theme you love (if you’re going to buy outside of WordPress) before making the whole transition as I was left worried about a half finished site going public and being on some default theme. I chose the Firefly theme and it cost me £39 but was quick and easy to download and looks good (well I think so anyway!). I would say that if you want something very individual to you, pipdig probably isn’t the best source as you will probably see several blogs that are variations of similar themes from them.
This is something that I am still attempting to work on. I followed the guide on the Jet Pack help site which was definitely super easy and ensured I didn’t lose the 2150 followers I had. Although, this is something that I am still working on. Yes I now have the followers I had before but I have 11 followers some how still lurking on my old site who followed after I made the migration. If I attempt to migrate them over again, does this replace the ones I have already migrated? I don’t want to attempt to move 11 people and lose over 2000. That is a lot of work to gain back! If anybody knows, I would really appreciate the help!
I am now attempting to learn the ropes of SEO (I am useless at this stuff!), ads, DA and more. This is all totally outside of my comfort zone and I am thinking in time of doing beginner guides on each of the topics to make the self hosted journey a little easier for each and every person that decides to make the switch and didn’t know very much – like myself! Let me know if you would like to see more when it comes to a beginner in the self hosted journey as I cannot begin to say how much other people’s experience posts helped me and I would very much like to do the same!
Hello Hello Hello! Welcome to the new ellamaygarrett.com blog. I really hope you guys like it! It has taken me a few days to umm and ahh about making this decision, go through with it and then figure out how the hell everything works so please give me time to understand the various hurdles of going self hosted.
I am very new to this and the only help I received was from a few very late night conversations with the Site Ground team where I essentially panicked over and over to them so please understand that this isn’t 100% up and running how I would like just yet. Although, I am extremely happy with how my site is looking at the moment and I hope you are too!
I want to apologise for any mistakes you may notice – I am still tweaking some little things here and there. I also know that two drafts got published in the time I was working on my site which I tried (and obviously failed) to prevent. I am really sorry about that too.
Please let me know if this post appears in WordPress reader as I have had some problems with that so your feedback would be really appreciated. If there is anything, as a follower, that you like or would like me to change please let me know. What is most important is ellamaygarrett being accessible and perfect for you guys.
I will be doing a self hosted experience post (update: it is here now!) as it was a reasonably stressful experience for myself and people’s post such as Adell’s and Angela’s really helped me understand what I was doing.
I have contacted the giveaway winner already (which was the lovely Chloe) and I am posting her prize off to her today. Thank you so much to everyone that entered, it was so great to see it go down well! Because of how well things went I am hoping to hold another one before Christmas and ensure it is international as that was something I know you guys wanted.
Thank you for your endless support!
As someone who is going in to their third year of studying English Literature and Philosophy, books have definitely had a big ol impact on my life.
I thought I would do something very different for my blog and talk about some of my favourite reads and how they changed and influenced my life. I found this really hard to narrow down so please let me know if you would enjoy a part two!
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
When anybody asks me what my favourite book is, this springs to mind. For my birthday last year, Adam bought me a gorgeous copy that I am excited to reread in time after completely destroying my old copy from so much use! If you have never heard of this classic; Tess of the D’Urbervilles is about a young girl called Tess that is sexually assaulted by her “cousin”. She falls pregnant but her baby dies in infancy and the plot follows her stoic journey from the fake relative who abused her to the man who idolises her so much that his curated vision of her destroys their relationship. I personally find the book light years ahead of its time and I feel like Hardy did a fantastic job in creating a feminist piece of literature without potentially ever intending to. I cannot draw similarities with mine and Tess’ lives but there is something about her character that you can’t help but empathise with. Hardy’s rape scene perfectly crafts what appears as a dominant view across time – one that we now refer to as victim blaming. Where Hardy symapthises for Tess and how her assault essentially is the catalyst for the hardship in her life, characters see her as responsible for his crime through, ultimately, having a bit of a flirt. I think if you enjoy feminist literature, you will appreciate this book as it basically catapulted me in to these types of conversations and cemented my determinism to be a part of this discussion.
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck
On a slightly more modern note, this book has completely helped changed my anxious little world. I definitely over think things, worry and allow myself to be consumed with how others choose to perceive me. Since reading this book, I have started to declutter my mind of these thoughts and instead replace them with much happier and positive ideas. I have begun to learn what steps I should take and what methods I should use to feel less overwhelmed with life commitments and focus on myself and my happiness. I love the humour in this book and it definitely makes what is essentially masked as a self help book be incredibly interesting and insightful.
The Harry Potter Series
This may be an incredibly obvious one for many people but I had to include it. Under this umbrella I must mention the film franchise also and the casting of Emma Watson as it all contributes to why the Harry Potter series helped changed and shape my life. The series has definitely touched and moulded so many lives but it is also responsible for creating a character that I totally aspired to as a child. I truly believe that I was a motivated individual because I was inspired by Hermione and Emma Watson’s portrayal of her. Hermione, and like wise Emma Watson, may have been representing a pretty ballsy character when it comes to on screen battles but coupled with her insane intelligence and dedication to learning – I had a friend for life. I wanted to be Hermione. I wanted (and still do) to be Emma. I aspired to be the girl with confidence, bravery and intelligence and if these aren’t qualities you want to take precedence in childhood then you’re crazy! I liked that she wasn’t about pink and unicorns and boys but rather creating her own path and totally bossing it.
What books have changed your life?
Well it was about time I got round to doing this for you guys! I have been really nervous and excited to host my first giveaway so I hope you like it. I spent a lot of time researching and thinking about what I should include, why I should include it and how to structure this giveaway so I’m praying everything goes to plan and it goes down well – fingers crossed!
What’s in the giveaway?
I wanted to sum up my blog with the items I included. This means that everything I am giving away represents an aspect of the different posts I write.
To represent my student posts 2 x notebooks from Ohh Deer. One is A4 and not lined, the other is lined and A5. I also picked up 1 x marble pencil case with a pom pom on the zip which doubles up as a travel makeup bag. Perfect for the new school year!
To represent my skincare posts 2 x destress face masks from Superdrug that I adore and always pick up when I can. I also grabbed 1 x Micellar Cleansing Water from Garnier that I already swear by!
To represent my makeup posts 1 x NYX soft matte lip cream in Cannes that is from my holy grail lip range and 1 x brush cleaner that is a product I can’t imagine living without now.
To represent my homeware posts 1 x copper love sign.
To represent my bodycare posts 1 x luxurious coconut body milk from New Look. Anybody else literally sold on anything that mentions cocount? Just me?
To represent my travel posts 1 x passport holder from New Look in this gorgeous palm leaf print.
How to enter
I am awarding 1 entry each for the following things. This means you have up to 4 entries.
- Follow my blog
- Follow my Twitter
- Follow my Instagram
- Leave a comment about what posts you would like to see me do or do more of
Please also leave the way you would like me to contact you if you win. If you don’t include this, I won’t be able to include you in the giveaway!
As this is my first giveaway and I’m still learning, it’s unfortunately only open in the UK. If all goes well I’ll make sure to open it worldwide next time round!
I will leave the giveaway open for 7 days (8th September). I’ll contact the winner (chosen at random) through their chosen method within 2 days to let them know they’ve won. If I don’t hear anything back within another 3 days, I’ll contact somebody else.