In May, I will have been blogging for three years. In my head this just seems absolutely crazy, and I cannot believe that it has been that long. It has got to the point now where I have been doing it for so long that it has just become a part of me. I wake up during the night with post ideas, I take photos of literally everything, I spend hours jotting down ideas and it never goes away. I love the feeling of doing something that I adore, but it can become exhausting as my mind is constantly in overdrive, thinking and thinking. It isn’t a nine to five kind of job nor hobby… it is every minute of everyday. Blogging isn’t even my full time job, so sometimes it can get a bit much… hence the slight disruption lately. Hopefully, I will always be able to get back to it as I am now, as it really is something that I enjoy and truly treasure. It is a huge part of me that I never want to change.
So in May it has been three years, and in that time I have definately learnt a lot about the industry. My blogging style has developed tremendously, my layout has been updated several times, my writing skills have improved and now my photos are being professionally shot. As each month goes by it always feels like a little thing changes on the blog, which is all part of its development as a brand and as my hobby. To be completely honest, there is a part of me that wants to pretty much write of the first year of the blog as I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Looking back all I do is cringe! The photos are awful, I never quite seem to get my point across and it was just generally a pretty crap teenage blog. Now that I am that bit older and have experiences of life to share with you guys, this has definately helped to improve my work and made it much more admirable to readers. As much as I hate the early on posts, I would never delete them, as ultimately they are what helped me grow. I learnt massively from my mistakes and was able to use parts of my early work to help develop my work now.
Being a blogger, I always make sure I make the time to read others work, to be inspired by others and support fellow bloggers who I have become friends with as a result of our joint passion. It is so important in this industry, and any other, to keep up to date with what fellow bloggers are doing, where they’re going and in my case what they’re wearing. It always sets something off in my brain, making me able to come up with endless lists of ideas to get creative with and bring to life. I love reading other blogs, and getting involved in other peoples work. However, not only do other blogs inspire me, but sometimes they also show me how I don’t want to do things. Learning from other peoples mistakes can also be a bonus. This isn’t because their work is bad by any means, more that it just isn’t my style nor how I want my blog to be. Writing this down it sounds like I am being really mean, but all I mean is that sometimes I learn from other peoples mistakes before I make the mistake by myself. This is natural, and happens every day in lots of different situations. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am my own worst critic and have learnt a lot from my own mistakes too. Over the three years I have developed a style that I am starting to feel really proud of and love, so I thought I would share my do’s and don’ts of blogging.
A huge part of blogging is photography. Blog posts used to be very much about the writing and the message people were getting across, whereas now it is much more about a post being more visually appealing and containing images that are going to counteract with what you are saying. I love reading blogs, and listening to the message bloggers are trying to get across. I think by now we have seen how powerful and how much of an impact bloggers really can have in the world. It is really important to be yourself, and to inspire others, especially with important issues. With all that said, I feel like a big part of the reason that I read blogs is because I love seeing peoples photos. I adore photography, so love seeing the technique that other bloggers are using as well as of course the subject of the photos. I read fashion and food blogs, so obviously I love seeing the photos of different peoples clothes and recipes.
Right back when I first started blogging, I had no idea about photography. I had been given a really nice camera for Christmas before I started blogging, but had absolutely no idea how to use it. I kept using and using it to get used to it and get a feeling for it. It wasn’t until I actually started blogging and saw all my work come to life online that I realised the things I was doing wrong. Over the past three years, my photography has developed massively. Not just the quality of my images, but also the style for different kind of posts. It takes time to learn how you want things to look and how you can get it there. As you have probably seen from this post and my last post, I have now found someone who is going to be taking all my outfit photos professionally. I decided that my blog was at the point where it is ready for the next step – now that I have a photographer all my photos will have a much more professional vibe and I will be forced to be much more consistent with my posts. That being said, I will still be shooting all my recipe photos and beauty posts myself. I love taking photos, so this wasn’t really something that I wanted to give up. So my do’s and don’ts for photography are:
Do – always think about location. To begin with I always took my photos in the garden, which was fine to begin with, but now I realise how much more interesting it is for readers to see photos in different locations. It adds variety to your content.
Don’t – my pet hate with my photos is when the lighting is wrong. If it is too dark, don’t just risk it. I used to attempt taking photos when it was completely dark outside with the light on. Needless to say, the result was a horrible yellow mess.
Do – always take way too many shots of pretty much the same thing. Really for every 10 photos you take, there should only be one good enough to publish. Don’t be afraid to overdo it, just keep snapping and choose the absolute best.
Don’t – if you have an expensive camera, don’t just assume that the pictures are going to be perfect. Always learn how to use your camera properly and learn how to take a really good photo. A camera can only do so much, it is the way you use it that counts.
D0 – if you are asking a friend, family member or partner to take your photos, always make sure they know what they are doing. I used to just give the camera to my grandma, assuming they would be okay because of the quality of the device. I was so wrong. You need to show people how to use it and an example of the photos you are looking for. Really discuss it with them in order for the best result.
Don’t – Don’t forget to edit. I never used to edit my photos because I always assumed they were good enough, but now I realise how important it is. They should be cropped correctly and the colours and filters need to be adjusted to get the result you were looking for. There are so many editing apps out there, free of charge, so look around and found which work for you.
Writing & Genre
For me, a major change that needed to happen in the past year of blogging was an improvement to my writing and content. For so long, I focused on the outfits in my photos and recipes. I never really went into detail with my posts and never really talked much to you guys. For quite a while I didnt really know what I wanted to talk all about or what was needed for the blog. When I was talking to friend about the blog, I asked them what they thought I needed to do next. The first thing they said was you need to improve your writing skills. You need to write more, and your posts need to follow much more of a theme. Hearing this it was quite hard, as I suddenly realised how bad it had been for the first two years. However, I had to take their advice, seeing as they are a good friend and would only ever speak the honest truth. So instead of spending twenty minutes on a post, mainly focusing on the images, I then went to spending a good few hours. Now, this ranges between 1 and 5 depending on what the post is about. I enjoy talking much more on the blog and have found a new found inner confidence to talk about things going on in my own life and commenting on issues in the world. I like sharing my advice on fashion and beauty, based on my own experiences and what things I feel are worth talking about. Although it can be quite tiring staring at a computer screen for three hours writing a post, I have learnt to love it. At school I used to hate writing, so because I am now doing it solely for myself I have actually started to really enjoy it. It is such a key part of blogging, so I am really pleased that I have started to enjoy writing just as much as I enjoy photography.
Do – always speak the truth. Never be afraid to talk about your feelings or what is going on in your life. Readers can connect so much more to someone who is being honest and just being themselves.
Don’t – don’t forget to proof read. So many times when I’ve been in a rush I haven’t proof read a post. I’ve then had my best friend texting me, highlighting all the mistakes that I have made! Obviously I then change it, but I don’t really want others to see that I have made those mistakes.
Do – do add variation to your writing. If you have something major going in your life, don’t be afraid to talk about it, however make sure you are talking about other things going on. A blog cannot succeed if it is only ever about one issue, so make sure you are talking about everything you have experienced and are learning.
Don’t – don’t be afraid to get personal. For quite a long time that I have been blogging I have never shared about personal things going on in my life. I stand by the fact that I don’t want to completely expose myself online, nevertheless, readers love knowing as much about someone as possible. I now share so much more with you guys about my life, but only things that I think are necessary and never going to harm my reputation.
Do – always properly plan your posts, especially if you know they will be long. I always do a little plan, with an Intro, the different points I am going to talk about and then how I will conclude. Not only does this improve your writing but it also makes it so much easier to actually get it done.
Don’t – don’t be afraid to write too much. Often when I have written a really long and informative post, I worry it is too much and won’t be read. This is silly – people who choose to read blogs will be willing to read what you have to say. It is always better to have too much rather than too little.
I think the most important thing about blogging is social media. Not only does social media develop your blogging brand and expand your audience, but it is your main source of advertising. You can get your work out there and aim it at the appropriate audience. You can share all day everyday, you expose yourself much more to a wider audience and you can interact with your readers and other bloggers. For my blog I use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I think my favourite has to be Instagram. I love posting photos, as well as looking at other peoples and love the new Instastories feature. I love posting much more casual parts of my life, as well as looking at others! Instagram is great for exposing yourself to brands and companies who are looking to work with bloggers, as well as even other bloggers. I have met quite a few people through Instagram and have come to the conclusion that it really is the most effective form of social media for blogging. I use Twitter and my Facebook page to advertise my different blog posts and what’s going on, but don’t really share much more.
Do – do share as much as possible. I try to be consistent with posting, even when I don’t have a new blog post out. Share about a blog post as many times as possible, and keep interacting.
Don’t – don’t overdo it. Sometimes, especially on Instagram, I get to the point that some people are posting so much that I just unfollow them. If you are posting relevant and interesting content it won’t be too much, but when people are just posting over and over again it can simply just annoy people.
Do – try to keep a theme going. I am not too strict with myself when it comes to my theme, but like to keep all my photos and social media posts similar. The photos I share on Instagram are all relevant to my blog and all my posts on Twitter are relatively following a theme.
Don’t – I think nowadays it is so obvious about this one, but putting paid advertisements online and not disclosing really isn’t okay. Everybody knows and understand that bloggers have advertise in order to pay the bills, but I just think the hashtag ad is so important. I like knowing when bloggers are actually advertising. Personally, I would always tell you guys if I were advertising. I always feel so proud when I work with brands, so will always be honest with you all.
Shop this post:
Net Top New Look
Crop Top New Look
Black Ripped Jeans New Look
Photos by Abi Galatia
I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.