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!
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.
So sorry guys, I accidentally posted this earlier when I was writing it up!!
Well you guys need a pat on the back for being the most amazing people in the world. I do not know how many times I can say how lucky I am to get to have you guys in my life brightening my day every day but one more time wouldn’t hurt eh?
Thank you so much. Honestly. I never thought this kind of thing would be possible for little old me. I am sending you all lots of love and hugs because I never feel like I deserve this group of people. I don’t know.. you’re all too lovely to me!!
If you didn’t know, I have my 1500 follower blogging giveaway up at the moment if you’re in the UK and interested in winning some goodies! I am reposting it every morning so that everyone can make sure that they see it and enter.
As you know, my monthly goal posts have been a pillar of my blog since I started. For some reason, I just really didn’t feel like doing it in the same format so I hope you don’t mind the little switch up!
August was a pretty jampacked and exciting month for me.
- I went to Centerparcs and had the best day feeding the animals they had there. This was actually something I have wanted to do for ages and became a bucket list check off for me.
- I went to Prague literally two days later and managed to fall in love with another city! The architecture and food was just to die for and I would love to be back there right now, exploring all the little streets.
- The old next store where I worked closed down and we had a manic week preparing for the new one to open. The hours were long but it was so rewarding to see our brand new shiny store after all the effort we put in.
- Blogging wise, it was a stat crazy month for me. I have now surpassed 2000 followers which is just…wow. That’s more students than my school had which blows my mind. I recently uploaded my 1500 follower giveaway because it was about time that I gave back to you guys. It’s open for a few more days so don’t forget to check it out! Also, it was my 1 year blogging anniversary – how time flies!!
So what’s in store for September?
- I finish work on the 10th September after realising that I needed some time to enjoy my summer and prepare to move back to York. I start university in the first week of October but I think I’ll be going up early to settle in to the new house.
- Speaking of, I’m starting my third and final year at university and it’s somewhat terrifying and exciting at the same time. I have so many extra commitments and roles as I attempt to really cement myself in to a good employable position by March, eeek.
- I am hopefully going to give blood before I go back to university which I’m really excited about as it is another tick off the bucket list! I know this isn’t something everyone gets excited about but I’ve wanted to do it for so long now.
- Hopefully I’ll have some fun things planned in the final weeks of September while I enjoy my last long summer so I’ll share this with you guys as and when!
How was your August?